March 9, 2007

Greetings workers of the world! As you know, I just re-send the best joke(s) I get from the emails I gather for the week.

This is difficult for me to say but I think this might be the last month for my TGIF mailing. What started as an experiment back in 2003 might finally come to a conclusion. I can't really share my reasons at the moment but one of these days, when I have collected my thoughts, I will.

Thanks to DJ of Burbank, Sylvia of Virginia, Russ of Monrovia and ALL of you out there who have been part of this grand experiment called Raoul's TGIF joke of the week.

TGIF people!

sent by DJ of Burbank, CA

A lawyer named Strange died, and his friend asked the tombstone maker to inscribe on his tombstone, “Here lies Strange, an honest man, and a lawyer.”
The inscriber insisted that such an inscription would be confusing, because passersby would tend to think that three men were buried under the stone.
However, he suggested an alternative: He would inscribe, “Here lies a man who was both honest and a lawyer.”

That way, whenever anyone walked by the tombstone and read it, they would be certain to remark: “That’s Strange!”

* * *

Bubba and the Lawyer
sent by Sylvia of Virginia

Down south, Bubba called his attorney and asked, "Is it true theys suin them cigarette companies fer causin People to git cancer ?"

"Yes, Bubba, sure is true," responded the lawyer.
"And now someone is suin them fast food restaurants Fer makin them fat an cloggin their arteries with all Them burgers an fries, is that true, Mista Lawyer?"
"Sure is, Bubba."

"And that lady sued McDonalds for millions when she Was gave that hot coffee that she ordered?"
"And that football player sued that university when he Gradiated and still couldn't read?"
"That's right," said the lawyer."
"But why are you asking?"
"Well, I was thinkin . . ..
What I want to know is, kin I sue Budweiser fer all them ugly women I'd been hanging out with?"

* * *

Give Him Time
sent by Russ of Monrovia, CA

A pickpocket was appearing in court for a series of petty crimes. "Mr. Brewster," the judge said, "you are hereby found guilty and fined the sum of $150."

After consulting with his client, Mr. Brewster's lawyer stood up and said, "Your Honor, my client is a little short at this time. He has only $125 in his pocket, but if you would allow him a few minutes in the crowd . . ."

Raoul's mini-Blog

The End?

Last Sunday, at church, I made a promise to God that I would commit my whole business to Him. I'd like to think that I always did but this time I knew it was more genuine. I had a scary thought because I know that whenever one does something like that, some trials would follow to force me to retract that commitment. I knew there was a storm in the horizon.

Last week's edition generated a lot of very good feedback. As usual there were several laughters from the likes of Catherine, Alan, and two guys named Ed, A few sent in their own story of how their careers had come in the way of their true identity. Laura of Pasadena described how she should have been a cat, a singer and a novelist. Herbert, trained as an engineer is now an accountant but is really an artist and is seeing his daughters picking up his artistic gene. Others were touched by the story of "the Other Woman." Thanks Rick of Studio City, Herbert of LA, and Judy of Pasadena for being so open about your love for your Mom. Anne, who is a pianist, loved the video gag about on Rachmaninov. Remember Margaret's Chinese paintings? Pegi, a reader from Georgia wanted to explore the possibilites of Margaret creating some designs for their line of apparel. It feels good to know that I was a conduit for a need and a talent to fill that need.

All this happened in one week. Every week brings different stories about life --- much better than fiction. Through this TGIF, I had access to a pipeline that showed me how people all over the world were coping with their trials and tribulations. It gave me an opportunity to laugh and pray with them.

Through the years of doing this TGIF Joke, I have met so many interesting people. Many, I know I will never meet face to face. Like subsribers from Pakistan, the Bahamas, Russia and Australia. Some genuine friendships have developed like with Mike and Dave of New York, or Rocky and his son Wally of San Francisco whose friendships have nurtured because of this Friday fun. Who would have thought this was possible via the internet?

To be honest, it was difficult to consistently come up with these early Friday morning jokes. Behind the laughter were hundreds of hours I could have spent playing basketball, attending parties ... and especially being with my family. Many times I wondered if this was all worth it. Who really cared if this was delivered or not? But there was something inside me that told me I had a gift that I could share with others. I believe it is the gift to touch others with my appreciation for humor (in all its flavors), interesting concepts and translate the gags visually through my drawings. Whenever I hear how the jokes made someone's day, I know I did a good thing.

This week the storm that I feared finally came crashing in. I cannot divulge the details but just know it's a bitter pill for me to swallow and somehow this TGIF mailing is affected. I do ask your prayers because it's beyond what I can honestly resolve alone. A wise friend told me once "The bigger your God, the smaller the problem." As I face the mirror, I ask myself "how big is your God?"

My favorite verse this week comes from Psalm 46:10. "Be still and know that I am God."

This decision to end the experiment isn't final. But there will definitely have to be changes if I decide to continue. I just wanted to prepare you for it. I'm especially sensitive to those of you who are adicted to this column (and I know there are quite a number of you). You are part of my family. Yes, even you who are my silent audience.

If you wake up one Friday morning and you wonder where your TGIF joke is, it might not be in your spam box, it might not be stuck somewhere in internet limbo. It might not be there because there just wasn't any. Not to worry. There's always regular email.

TGIF people!

Classified Ad
Sent in by Tom of Pasadena

E-recycling to be held this weekend in the Southern California area

Saturday and Sunday, March 10 and 11, San Gabriel residents will have the opportunity to drop off old electronics for e-recycling. 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, a local junk removal and recycling service, is sponsoring the free collection day. Residents are encouraged to bring out old electronics including PCs, monitors, televisions, printers, fax machines, phones, VCR and DVD players and cell phones.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m both days at 708 W. Las Tunas Drive, San Gabriel.