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Tom Hyland

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I - Me - My - Mine ... Ego Trip?
By Tom Hyland
Posted: Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Last edited: Saturday, January 27, 2007
This short story is rated "PG13" by the Author.

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· CHICKEN SCRATCHES ?
· DADDY ... ADDENDUM
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           >> View all 79
So, how's it hangin'? Who killed Cock Robin? Who cares? Who shot J.R.? Who gives a rat's arse? WHO was a Doctor in BBC's TELE! < Note that was a statement of fact, not a question, ERGO, followed by an exclamation point, not a question mark, as in an interrogatory - En Espanole -- ?COMPRENDE?

CHEERS, M'DEARS! The following diatribe took about four hours to contrive. Is that Good, Bad, or just Ugly? In a Hundred years will it matter? Who gives a SHAT? (past tense, no less!).

Questions - QUESTIONS - questions ???

Any Arsehole can ask questions -- he/she/it that which may provide ANSWERS is the true Valedictorian Extra-Ordinaire, who/which/what may earn applause -- THE CLAP --- oops! Now that's another totally different story --- BEEN THERE! DONE THAT! I was only twenty when it happened... GOD BLESS PENECILLIN! Damn it! WHY DO I TEND TO DIGRESS?

Maybe it's Shitzo-phrenia induced Micro-What-a-Call-Itz ??? To answer your question, YES, I DID PARTAKE A SQUEEZE OR TWO OF THE GRAPE !!!

TAWNY PORT = 10 --- ME = ZIP !!!

Or vice versa? Who's countin' ? :) :) :)



I – ME – MY - MINE

EGO TRIP?

Copyright: Tom Hyland – 11/29/06


Way, way back in the fall of 1963, in an English class at the University of Baltimore, it was the very first day. The teacher was a Professor Hill, a rather flambouyant gentleman, who often wore a French beret. While yours truly was actually at the ripe old age of twenty-three, this was to be my Second, but still Freshman year of college. Was I a “late bloomer?” - no, just a late starter! Although I had actually won a full, four-year scholarship from the Maryland State Teacher’s Association in 1958, at the age of seventeen, I had the brilliant foresight at the time to turn it down! En Espanol, Muy Stupido!

Although I had been a “Straight A” student, and a “Math Whiz,” as well as having earned a 95 average in Chemistry, and won the Language Award that year, for achieving a 95 average for four years of Foreign language -- two years of Latin, followed by two years of Spanish -- there was a solitary requirement for getting this FREE education – upon graduation, I would have to TEACH for two years in the State of Maryland! ME? A flim-flam, bim-bam, .#%&*#$% TEACHER? NO WAY! JOSE’!

In retrospect, this was probably the most absolute, DUMBEST mistake of my entire life! But, who knew? Certainly not me! I was lean and mean, weighing in at a whopping one hundred and ten pounds, soaking wet -- fast as a speeding bullet, and loved playing the left half-back position in football, strictly ‘Sandlot’, not high school ‘cause I ‘chickened out’ -- those “Big Bruisers” would have KILLED me! So, I earned my High School Letter on the Rifle Team – yeah, yeah, I know, BMOC, right?

Anyway, I also had discovered GIRLS, and loved to dance -- won the Dance Contest on The Buddy Dean Show, the prior year, with my partner, Ruth Hartlove, to the instrumental hit of the day, “RAUNCHY.” So, my goals at the time were very clear! I WANTED: my FIRST real JOB, FIRST CAR, and that ever-lovin’ blue-blooded American boy DREAM – DATING AND MAKING WHOOPEE! Now, let’s be honest, what ‘normal’ teenaged guy would actually CHOOSE to be a TEACHER? By way of footnote, I discovered this answer twenty years later, at the Southern High School Class Reunion, held at the Brooklyn Booster’s Club. My friend, Jimmy Lamar, was next in line for the scholarship, wisely accepted it, earned his degree, and was then the PRINCIPAL of good ole Southern High, in 1978 – he was no dummy, like me!

Okay, okay, OKAY! So, we started out with 1963, jumped back in time to 1958, then went back to the future, to 1978, now we shall return to our story, in 1963 again. At this point in my life, I had also made a few more stupid moves, which had blown five more years of delaying my formal education. After working for the Social Security Administration, then joining the United States Army Reserves, and doing six months of Active Duty in Fort Knox, Kentucky, and Fort Eustis, Virginia, and then enrolling as a Freshman at the University of Maryland, College Park, and FLUNKING ENGINEERING, thereby BLOWING nine out of thirty-two credits in 1962 -- here I was, taking ALL MY FRESHMAN CREDITS OVER AGAIN! BRILLIANT, EH, WOT?

The course was English Composition, or learning how to write properly. It was a three-credit course, meeting three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. At this very first class, Professor Hill was simply outlining the requirements and providing the syllabus for PASSING IN HIS CLASS! They were quite clear, and quite simple:

1. If, on any given assignment, he found a ‘mis-spelled’ word – you would immediately receive a RED ‘F’ – and he would read no further!
2. If, on any given assignment, he found a ‘mis-matched’ tense, between a noun and a verb – you would receive a RED ‘F’ – and he would read no further!
3. If, on any given assignment, you had used ANY form of ‘The First Person Singular’ ( I – ME – MY - MINE ) – you would receive a RED ‘F’ – and he would read no further!

SAY WHAT? WAS HE A MADMAN? THIS WAS TOTALLY UNFAIR! FOUL! His technique, while highly unorthodox, was in fact, both FAIR, and actually made SENSE – he wanted you, as a writer, to be PRECISE, and to LEARN from your own mistakes. If you took the entire semester, and kept getting – F’s, F’s, F’s – then, improved to D’s, D’s, D’s – C’s, C’s, C’S ---- and so forth, by the time you submitted your final paper, if you EARNED ONE SOLITARY A or B – then THAT would be your FINAL GRADE -- there was NO AVERAGING !!! Pilgrims, trust me – in that day and age, this concept was: Rare, Unique, Unusual – it defied the Establishment!

But, how was this even possible? You might ask. You had to learn to use other terms and expressions, like: ONE must, ONE can, ONE should, could, or would, or a PERSON did this or that – the goal was to be able to express yourself, without being totally, or even ignorantly EGOTISTICAL! THAT, my Dears, is no SMALL TASK, especially when attempting anything that even SMELLS of being auto-biographical! Want a challenge? Try it! Just sit down and write a short essay, or whatever, say 250 words or so. Then, go back over it with a RED pencil, circling any and all violations. Then, figure out what you need to change, and still be somewhat interesting, by alternating your choices.

Anyway, getting back to this very first class, there were probably twenty-five or more students present on that day. As a very first assignment, Professor Hill stood up, glanced out the window, facing Maryland Avenue, spotted the U.S. Postal Service’s Truck Parking lot across the street, and said: “Write a two hundred and fifty word composition, describing that building and lot across the street.” Then, he quickly dismissed us. Trust me, this guy KNEW what he was doing! INSTILLING THE FEAR OF GOD – POST HASTE!

Needless to say, the aisles were abuzz with negative comments about this “Gestapo-like” writing instructor. Two days later, I was one of the select few that returned to this class. The number of students had quickly dwindled in size to a mere handful or so. To be more accurate, the number had been about halved, to around a dozen! The rest had gone immediately back to the Registrar’s office, and quickly obtained re-assignments to another teacher’s course. Obviously, this was no “Mickey Mouse” course! (TRANSLATION: EASY).

As I sit here now, at the age of sixty-six, forty-three years later, I have no regrets about staying with Professor Hill. Certainly, I did receive my fair share of ‘F’s” but ultimately, I did learn, and did finish with a final grade of “A.” I can also honestly say that in my four years of high school and seven years (five were in night school, while working full-time) of college, I could count on one hand the number of teachers that I regarded as truly very EXCELLENT ones – and Professor Hill certainly leads the pack!

OH! By way of footnote, another totally unrelated concept now comes to mind. Way back then, I did not have a clue to the fact that my Paternal Grandmother’s Maiden name was none other than: Mary Katherine HILL – what a surprise! This was just recently discovered while working on a Re-write, while editing family history for my prior little book – “BAWLMER, MERLYN – Home of The HONS!” Heck, maybe Ole Prof Hill was actually some kind of second, third, fourth COUSIN – TWICE REMOVED? En Espanol, “Es Possible!”

Ah, but how bad am I at digressing? Back to our chosen topic – I – ME – MY – MINE --- Let us take a moment to review. According to WIKIPEDIA:

“Grammatical person in English

English distinguishes three grammatical persons:
The personal pronouns I and we are said to be in the first person. The speaker uses this in the singular to refer to himself or herself; in the plural, to speak of a group of people including the speaker.

The personal pronoun you is in the second person. It refers to the addressee. You is used in both the singular and plural; thou is the archaic second-person singular pronoun.

All other pronouns and all nouns are in the third person. Any person place or thing other than the speaker and the addressed is referred to in the third person.

When used as adjectives, they should be hyphenated: first-person, second-person, third-person. The table at right shows which combinations of tense and grammatical person are generally appropriate. “

AND FURTHER:

“Pronouns in English
Main article: English personal pronouns
Ordinary English has seven personal pronouns: first-person singular (I), first-person plural (we), second-person (you), third-person singular masculine (he), third-person singular feminine (she), third-person singular neuter (it), and third-person plural (they). Each pronoun has a number of forms: a subjective case form (I/we/etc.), used when it's the subject of a finite verb; an objective case form (me/us/etc.), used when it's the object of verb or of a preposition; two possessive case forms (my/our/etc. and mine/ours/etc.), used when it's the possessor of another noun — one that's used as a determiner, and one that's used as a pronoun or a predicate adjective; and a reflexive form (myself/ourselves/etc.), which replaces the objective-case form in referring to the same entity as the subject. That said, the different pronouns, and the different forms of the pronouns, often have overlapping functions. “


PLEASE – PLEASE – PLEASE -- I am not trying to “Preach to the Choir” here, most of you who come here to AD to read, post, comment, and review may well be much more proficient than the humble “I” – in fact, like our friend, ELIZABETH LUCAS-TAYLOR, many of you are regarded by me as – WORDSMITHS – PAR EXCELLENCE’! SO, don’t get me wrong – my intent in this little true story is NOT to blow my own horn! Rather, it is to emphasize (not empathize) how important it is to pay attention to learning the Basics of Writing, and applying them properly, so that your DETAILS are correct. Those simple little items, like: spelling, grammar, punctuation, verb tense, agreement, PERSON, et alia --- are the Paramount Building Blocks, upon which a firm Foundation may be built. In other words, to ignore, or simply not use them properly, is akin to attempting to build Castles in the Sand!

Your entire ‘piece’ may be SUPERB, the topic may be SLENDIFEROUS, your Imagery may be SUBLIME, the flow and meter may be SUPERCALIFRAGIALISTICEXPEALIDOCIOUS --- BUT ---- if the BASICS SUCK --- your reader may be “Washed Away” like the sand in the first ripple of “Ebb Tide!” DUH?

HEY – HEY – all my wonderful, fellow (fellowess) Venusians and Martians out there --- let’s be honest --- in the infamous words of Richard Millhouse Nixon --- “Let me make myself perfectly clear… I am not a crook!” GEE --- doesn’t this sound so easily trite, and condemning?

To my amazement, just now when I GOOGLED his name, I was presented with his RESIGNATION speech. Although I did hear it, thirty-two years ago, I had totally forgotten how EXCELLENT it was. No matter who wrote it, HE presented it to the entire world at large. After taking the time to read it just now, AND reconsidering what was said, along with the PRINCIPLES involved, and applying them to TODAY’S CURRENT WORLD SITUATION --- I – ME – MY – MINE – would be remiss if I did not include it right here! PLEASE READ IT – THINK ABOUT IT – WHAT IF YOU WERE HE ???

?President Richard M. Nixon

“Good evening.

This is the 37th time I have spoken to you from this office, where so many decisions have been made that shaped the history of this Nation. Each time I have done so to discuss with you some matter than I believe affected the national interest.

In all the decisions I have made in my public life, I have always tried to do what was best for the Nation. Throughout the long and difficult period of Watergate, I have felt it was my duty to persevere, to make every possible effort to complete the term of office to which you elected me.

In the past few days, however, it has become evident to me that I no longer have a strong enough political base in the Congress to justify continuing that effort.

As long as there was such a base, I felt strongly that it was necessary to see the constitutional process through to its conclusion, that to do otherwise would be unfaithful to the spirit of that deliberately difficult process and a dangerously destabilizing precedent for the future.

But with the disappearance of that base, I now believe that the constitutional purpose has been served, and there is no longer a need for the process to be prolonged.

I would have preferred to carry through to the finish whatever the personal agony it would have involved, and my family unanimously urged me to do so. But the interest of the Nation must always come before any personal considerations.

From the discussions I have had with Congressional and other leaders, I have concluded that because of the Watergate matter I might not have the support of the Congress that I would consider necessary to back the very difficult decisions and carry out the duties of this office in the way the interests of the Nation would require.

I have never been a quitter. To leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body. But as President, I must put the interest of America first. America needs a full-time President and a full-time Congress, particularly at this time with problems we face at home and abroad.

To continue to fight through the months ahead for my personal vindication would almost totally absorb the time and attention of both the President and the Congress in a period when our entire focus should be on the great issues of peace abroad and prosperity without inflation at home.

Therefore, I shall resign the Presidency effective at noon tomorrow. Vice President Ford will be sworn in as President at that hour in this office.

As I recall the high hopes for America with which we began this second term, I feel a great sadness that I will not be here in this office working on your behalf to achieve those hopes in the next 2 1/2 years. But in turning over direction of the Government to Vice President Ford, I know, as I told the Nation when I nominated him for that office 10 months ago, that the leadership of America will be in good hands.

In passing this office to the Vice President, I also do so with the profound sense of the weight of responsibility that will fall on his shoulders tomorrow and, therefore, of the understanding, the patience, the cooperation he will need from all Americans.

As he assumes that responsibility, he will deserve the help and the support of all of us. As we look to the future, the first essential is to begin healing the wounds of this Nation, to put the bitterness and divisions of the recent past behind us, and to rediscover those shared ideals that lie at the heart of our strength and unity as a great and as a free people.

By taking this action, I hope that I will have hastened the start of that process of healing which is so desperately needed in America.

I regret deeply any injuries that may have been done in the course of the events that led to this decision. I would say only that if some of my judgments were wrong, and some were wrong, they were made in what I believed at the time to be the best interest of the Nation.

To those who have stood with me during these past difficult months, to my family, my friends, to many others who joined in supporting my cause because they believed it was right, I will be eternally grateful for your support.

And to those who have not felt able to give me your support, let me say I leave with no bitterness toward those who have opposed me, because all of us, in the final analysis, have been concerned with the good of the country, however our judgments might differ.

So, let us all now join together in affirming that common commitment and in helping our new President succeed for the benefit of all Americans.

I shall leave this office with regret at not completing my term, but with gratitude for the privilege of serving as your President for the past 5 1/2 years.

These years have been a momentous time in the history of our Nation and the world. They have been a time of achievement in which we can all be proud, achievements that represent the shared efforts of the Administration, the Congress, and the people.
But the challenges ahead are equally great, and they, too, will require the support and the efforts of the Congress and the people working in cooperation with the new Administration.

We have ended America's longest war, but in the work of securing a lasting peace in the world, the goals ahead are even more far-reaching and more difficult. We must complete a structure of peace so that it will be said of this generation, our generation of Americans, by the people of all nations, not only that we ended one war but that we prevented future wars.

We have unlocked the doors that for a quarter of a century stood between the United States and the People's Republic of China.

We must now ensure that the one quarter of the world's people who live in the People's Republic of China will be and remain not our enemies but our friends.

In the Middle East, 100 million people in the Arab countries, many of whom have considered us their enemy for nearly 20 years, now look on us as their friends. We must continue to build on that friendship so that peace can settle at last over the Middle East and so that the cradle of civilization will not become its grave.

Together with the Soviet Union we have made the crucial breakthroughs that have begun the process of limiting nuclear arms. But we must set as our goal not just limiting but reducing and finally destroying these terrible weapons so that they cannot destroy civilization and so that the threat of nuclear war will no longer hang over the world and the people.

We have opened the new relation with the Soviet Union. We must continue to develop and expand that new relationship so that the two strongest nations of the world will live together in cooperation rather than confrontation.

Around the world, in Asia, in Africa, in Latin America, in the Middle East, there are millions of people who live in terrible poverty, even starvation. We must keep as our goal turning away from production for war and expanding production for peace so that people everywhere on this earth can at last look forward in their children's time, if not in our own time, to having the necessities for a decent life.

Here in America, we are fortunate that most of our people have not only the blessings of liberty but also the means to live full and good and, by the world's standards, even abundant lives. We must press on, however, toward a goal of not only more and better jobs but of full opportunity for every American and of what we are striving so hard right now to achieve, prosperity without inflation.

For more than a quarter of a century in public life I have shared in the turbulent history of this era. I have fought for what I believed in. I have tried to the best of my ability to discharge those duties and meet those responsibilities that were entrusted to me.

Sometimes I have succeeded and sometimes I have failed, but always I have taken heart from what Theodore Roosevelt once said about the man in the arena, "whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again because there is not effort without error and shortcoming, but who does actually strive to do the deed, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumphs of high achievements and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly."

I pledge to you tonight that as long as I have a breath of life in my body, I shall continue in that spirit. I shall continue to work for the great causes to which I have been dedicated throughout my years as a Congressman, a Senator, a Vice President, and President, the cause of peace not just for America but among all nations, prosperity, justice, and opportunity for all of our people.

There is one cause above all to which I have been devoted and to which I shall always be devoted for as long as I live.

When I first took the oath of office as President 5 1/2 years ago, I made this sacred commitment, to "consecrate my office, my energies, and all the wisdom I can summon to the cause of peace among nations."

I have done my very best in all the days since to be true to that pledge. As a result of these efforts, I am confident that the world is a safer place today, not only for the people of America but for the people of all nations, and that all of our children have a better chance than before of living in peace rather than dying in war.

This, more than anything, is what I hoped to achieve when I sought the Presidency. This, more than anything, is what I hope will be my legacy to you, to our country, as I leave the Presidency.

To have served in this office is to have felt a very personal sense of kinship with each and every American. In leaving it, I do so with this prayer: May God's grace be with you in all the days ahead.”


THAT --- my Fellow Americans, took GREAT BIG BRASS BALLS!” TITANIC TESTOSERONE!



Back to “ I – ME – MY – MINE” :-


Perhaps, in the final analysis, if each and every one of us can possibly be totally honest --- EGO, or EGOTISM --- is that what it is all about?

Is it what mankind has struggled with, since the Dawn of Creation? What am I doing here? Will I be remembered? How will I be remembered? What impact did I personally leave upon this earth?

As writers, do each and every one of us secretly seek IMMORTALITY ??? Is there a burning inherent desire to leave a HUGE FOOTPRINT that future generations will look back upon, and say:

“GEE – He / She / It --- WAS GREAT! GOD BLESS THE FIRST PERSON SINGULAR !!!

I -- ME -- MY - MINE ---? ENGRAVE IT ON MY URN -? ONE EGOTISTICAL S-O-B !


Smiles – Hugs – Kisses – Defecations -- as well as -- WHIZZES !!! ? ? ? TOM.


P.S. :- Did I cause YOU to actually: THINK? LAUGH? SMILE? GIGGLE? FART? PUKE?

LIGHTEN UP, PILGRIM --- IT’S ONLY L-I-F-E !!!

? ? ? Olde English = ic !!











 

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Reviewed by Regis Auffray 2/6/2007
You make some good points here, Tom. Most of the time we are "blinded" by preconceived prejudices put upon us by mass media. Thank you. Love and peace to you,

Regis
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 1/29/2007
Deeply thought provoking, amidst a sprinkling of humor. I was laughing out loud one minnit, shakin' me head at the next--you've penned a winner here. Do I suffer from "I" disease? Perhaps. Workin' on it, though......keep writing, Tom, I'll keep reading.

(((HUGS))) and loe, Karla.


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