January 24, 2018: Wednesday ONAIRprep

ONAIRprep is a subscription-only feature of MarlarHouse.com. Visit ONAIRprep.com for more information.

ODT: 20180124
PDF: 20180124



We regret to inform you that because of a humor shortage we must ration the laughs. If you live at an odd-numbered address you can laugh at the jokes today. But if you live at an even-numbered address, you must wait until tomorrow to laugh. Thank you for your cooperation.

(For my friends in Illinois – and possibly a few other states.) Shower drain is clogged so I had to go to Walmart this morning. Let me see if I understand this correctly. You don’t require me to prove my identity when it’s time to vote for laws or for the future leaders who will control the direction of our country, but you do require me to prove my identity in order to buy Drano? Seriously?

PRESIDENTIAL WIT & WISDOM (click here to buy the book)

(None on the weekends or holidays.)

“The storm of frenzy and faction must inevitably dash itself in vain against the unshaken rock of the Constitution.” – Franklin Pierce


“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”  — Colossians 3:12-13

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” — Matthew 7:7-8


(From VerseOfTheDay.com)

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. — 2 Corinthians 12:9

Thought: While other preachers in Paul’s day were parading around their credentials, Paul refused to get into a bragging contest to prove he was the most impressive of Jesus’ disciples. Even though he had the religious education and Jewish pedigree to silence his rivals, he preferred to acknowledge the areas of his weakness where God had triumphed over his own limitations. Let’s be careful today about examining and determining the ministry-worth of someone based on his or her resume. Instead, let’s look for people in whom God’s grace has triumphed.

Prayer: Almighty and loving Father, thank you for sustaining and enabling me to serve you in ways I would never have dreamed of doing. Please help me serve you faithfully as I depend upon your grace. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayers for Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

BIRTHDAY VERSE” OF THE DAY (The chapter and verse correspond to the month and day!)

2 Corinthians 1:24 NIV = Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm.


(NOTE: Some holidays may be duplicated due to various calendars reporting conflicting dates)

Today is SOCIAL SIPPING AND NIBBLING REHEARSAL DAY, a time to practice cutting a piece of cake with a plastic fork on a paper plate while holding a cup of punch, a napkin, and some mints. Memorize something clever to say if you drop it all on the carpet.

This is NATIONAL TAKE BACK YOUR TIME WEEK.  ***That way you’ll have enough time to rehearse eating cake and mints.

Today is BELLY LAUGH DAY, a day to celebrate the great gift of laughter. At 1:24 p.m. (local time) smile, throw your arms in the air, and laugh out loud!  (audio clip)

Today is NATIONAL PEANUT BUTTER DAY. ***If ever there was something to smile and throw your arms in the air about, it’s peanut butter! Of course, if you were truly celebrating, it’d sound more like, “Thuday ith Nathunal Pheanuth Buthah Thay.”

Today is NATIONAL COMPLIMENT DAY. Not sure what to say? Here are a few compliments to choose from.

You…have a great way with words.

You…are a terrific leader.

You…make working on a project a joy.

You…are very creative.

You…are a good provider.

You…are fun to be with.

You…have a great reputation.

You…are cleaver.

You…make a house feel like a home.

You…have a good eye for decorating.

You…are a good driver.

You…can do anything you set your mind to.

You…are capable of accomplishing whatever you believe.

You…are a good listener.

You…are very cheerful.

You…warm my heart.

You…sing like an angel.

You…are very handsome/beautiful.

You…are important to me.

You…have a terrific outlook on life.

You…are very intelligent.

You…are kind.

You…are a good role model.

You…are very alert.

You…are funny.

You…always motivate me.

You…are unique.

You…are very strong.

You…are a picture of good health.

You…are courageous.

You…are very loving.

You…bring out the best in me.

You…make me want to be a better person.

You…make me smile.

You…are a wonderful cook.

You…make hot dogs taste like a gourmet meal.

You…are a wonderful caregiver.

You…make me feel special.

You…make me feel I can do anything.

You…are fun to be with.

You…are the wind beneath my wings.

You…are the light of my life.

Belly Laugh Day
Beer Can Day
Bodhi Day
International Mobile Phone Recycling Day
National Compliment Day
National Peanut Butter Day
Talk Like A Grizzled Prospector Day

COMING UP NEXT (Just a list, we are not endorsing the holidays posted below. Find more holidays and link to their websites at BrownieLocks.com)


A Room of One’s Own Day
Macintosh Computer Day
National Irish Coffee Day
Opposite Day
Robert Burns Day
Thank Your Mentor Day


Dental Drill Appreciation Day
Fun at Work Day
Lotus 1-2-3 Day
National Big Wig Day
National Peanut Brittle Day
National Pre-school Fitness Day
Toad Hollow Day of Encouragement


A.F.R.M.A. Fancy Rat & Mouse Day
Auschwitz Liberation Day
Holocaust Memorial Day
International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust
National Geographic Day
National Seed Swap Day
Thomas Crapper Day
Viet Nam Peace Day
Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day


Data Privacy Day
Grammy Awards
National Kazoo Day
National Pediatrician Day: 28
Rubber Duckie Day
Thank A Plugin Developer Day
World Leprosy Day


Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day
Curmudgeons Day
Freethinkers Day
Library Shelfie Day
National Puzzle Day
Seeing Eye Dog Day
Thomas Paine Day


Croissant Day
Inane Answering Message Day
National Plan For A Vacation Day


Appreciate Your Social Security Check Day
Inspire Your Heart with Art Day
Street Children Day


1848: James W. Marshall discovered a gold nugget at Sutter’s Mill in northern California, a discovery that led to the gold rush of ’49.

1908: The first Boy Scout troop was organized in England by Robert Baden-Powell.

1922: Christian K. Nelson patented the Eskimo Pie.

1939: Ray Stevens was born in Clarksdale, Georgia. Possibly the only musician proficient with every known modern musical instrument, his biggest hits have been “Ahab the Arab,” “Everything Is Beautiful,” and “The Streak.”

1952: The NFL New York Yankees turned up in Texas as the Dallas Texans, to become history’s worst pro football team. They were run out of Dallas after only four games and had to play eight games on the road, finishing 1-11.

1955: Major-league baseball announced that during the new season the rule requiring a pitcher to deliver the ball within 20 seconds after he received it would be strictly enforced. It’s still the rule, but is never enforced. ***Sounds like campaign finance rules, doesn’t it?

1957: Elvis Presley recorded “Teddy Bear.”

1960: Singer Johnny Preston hit #1 with “Running Bear.” The song was written by the Big Bopper, J.P Richardson. The Sonny James version had stayed at #1 on the country charts for three weeks the previous June.

1962: Brian Epstein signed to manage the Beatles, swapping their leather jackets for matching suits and a smarter stage show.

1989: The world’s oldest sheep died in England a week before her 29th birthday. She had given birth to her 40th lamb only months before.

1996: The fat substitute Olestra was approved for sale by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. ***A fat substitute… so how do I go about making an exchange?

1999: A British road safety official found an effective way to make motorists reduce their speed on the street past his house. He put up a large poster of Czech supermodel Eva Herzigova, taking off her shirt. Drivers slowed down immediately.

2002: Singer Freddy Fender underwent a kidney transplant.

2003: The new Department of Homeland Security officially opened as its director, Tom Ridge, was sworn in.

2003: A U.S. government program got underway to vaccinate 500,000 front-line healthcare workers in case of bio-terrorist attack.

2004: A hiking magazine apologized after it published a route plan that would have sent hikers striding into thin air off the north face of Scotland’s largest mountain, Ben Nevis. Anyone following the magazine’s directions would have plunged down a sheer cliff into nearby Gardyloo Gully. No one did.


1076: Germany’s Henry IV convenes the Synod of Worms to secure the deposition of Pope Gregory VII. The Synod charged the pope with serious crimes, called upon Rome to depose him, and issued other anti-papal statements. The pope quickly excommunicated Henry. One year later, Henry traveled to Canossa, Italy, and stood three days in the snow in an attempt to gain Gregory’s forgiveness. Gregory granted it, but the two men soon fought again; Henry set up an antipope in Gregory’s place.

1573: English poet and preacher John Donne, dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, is born. One of the most prominent preachers of his day and one of the greatest English poets, he is known for such famous lines as “No man is an island,” “For whom does the bell toll? It tolls for thee,” and “Death be not proud.”

1722: Edward Wigglesworth becomes the first Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard, probably America’s first divinity professor.

1990: “The Bible has come!” yelled the 5,000 men gathered for the big celebration in the Moni tribe in the highlands of Iran Jaya, Indonesia. Bill and Grace Cutts, missionaries under the Christian Missionary Alliance had spent their lives learning the language, preaching the gospel, and translating the Bible in the Moni language. The work of evangelizing this 25,000-people tribe had been long and difficult, but very worthwhile. A huge feast was planned and when the plane landed with the books, their was great rejoicing.


  • actress (“The O.C.”) Mischa Barton, 32

  • actress (Ashley Banks on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”) Tatyana Ali 39 (audio clip)

  • actress (“30 Rock”, “Last Man Standing”) Kristen Schaal, 40

  • actor (“The Office”, The Hangover) Ed Helms, 44

  • Actor (Without A Paddle, Scream, Scooby Doo movies) Matthew Lillard, 48

  • Former Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton, 50

  • Russian comedian Yakov Smirnoff, 67


(Music Artist Birthdays From SongFacts.com)

1829 : William Mason

1933 : Zeke Carey (The Flamingos)

1934 : Ann Cole

1936 : Jack Scott

1939 : Doug Kershaw

1939 : Ray Stevens

1941 : Neil Leslie Diamond in Brooklyn, New York.

1941 : Aaron Neville

1941 : Neil Diamond

1947 : Warren Zevon

1949 : John Belushi (The Blues Brothers)

1953 : Matthew Wilder

1955 : Jools Holland (Squeeze)

SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE (Answering questions that have plagued mankind for minutes!)

Are all “555” phone numbers in TV and movies fake?

Most telephone numbers we see in the US television shows, movies, and fiction literary start with 555. These are fictitious numbers used to prevent prank calls to real people as there are many cases of people calling the numbers seen in the movies. A demonstrative example of this situation is with the film Bruce Almighty. The makers of the movie chose not to use the prefix, and people whose phone numbers matched one mentioned in the film received many calls from callers asking for “God”. There are real numbers with prefix 555, but numbers 555-0100 through 555-0199 were specifically reserved for fictional use some years ago. Recent films, however, do not always heed the limits, and some producers even acquire actual telephone numbers solely for the purpose of using them in the movie or on TV.


(None on weekends. Want a customizable version with your specific station tag, FREE? Email me for more information! )


(Not posted on weekends and U.S. holidays.)

United Airlines says it saved 170,000 gallons of fuel by using lighter paper in its inflight magazines. ***They also cut down weight by beating up passengers and tossing them off the plane.

Last week a Montgomery, Alabama, Taco Bell burned to the ground. The closure of the fast food joint affected many residents on a personal level, apparently. A joke Facebook proposal for a candlelight vigil to mourn the restaurant spread like wildfire, and more than 100 people actually showed up. ***With what Taco Bell does to your digestive system, I’m surprised we don’t hear of Taco Bell explosions more often.

President Trump actually has two cellphones that his staff nicknamed “Trump One” and “Trump Two.”  ***He needs two phones because he found that much tweeting on a single phone caused it to overheat.

White Castle is now accepting dinner reservations for Valentine’s Day. Tables are available from 4 to 9 PM on February 14, and you’re guaranteed the “royal treatment, aka table service.”  ***It’s the perfect location for your romantic Valentine’s Day dinner if you want to portray the message that you like her, but not enough to give her an option to Super Size.

A study says that meat, donuts and soda may increase the risk of colon cancer.  ***That’s bad news for us who consider those three of the essential food groups.

In North Carolina, 27-year-old Bradley Hardison is making doughnut headlines again. Back in 2014, he was arrested just after winning the doughnut-eating contest at the Elizabeth City Police Department’s National Night Out Against Crime event. His victory made it quite easy for the officers who had been looking for him in connection with two felony burglaries. Well now Mr. Hardison has been arrested again – for allegedly robbing a doughnut shop. Police in Elizabeth City say Hardison, who became champ by eating eight glazed doughnuts in under two minutes, has been charged with felony breaking and entering and felony safe-cracking in connection with a burglary at a Dunkin’ Donuts in November. It’s not clear whether Hardison helped himself to any doughnuts during the alleged crime. (Virginia-Pilot)  ***This may cost him a spot on the U.S. Olympic Pastry Team.


(Not posted on weekends and U.S. holidays.)

A recent report shows that American kids get 12% of their calories from fast-food restaurants.  ***And the fast food giants are working 24/7 to get those numbers up doggone it!

An environmental group is pointing out that divorce is bad for the environment, as people who had been sharing resources, suddenly need their own.  ***Yeah, I’m sure THAT’S why God hates divorce.

Researchers say the level of nicotine in cigarettes has risen 10 percent over the past few years, making it much more difficult to kick the habit.  ***But that’s okay, because the cigarette companies have also promised to try 10% harder to tell people cigarettes are bad.

Ladies, if you’re like your British cohorts, then your underwear drawer is filled with bras and panties that you can’t fit into or don’t even wear. One in 10 British women are hanging on to bras and panties that are between six and 20 years old.  ***In other words, women are slowly becoming men.

Nearly 60% of Americans would like prescription drug commercials banned from TV. ***The remaining 40% are in serious need of psychiatric medication which isn’t typically advertised on television.


(Not updated on weekends and U.S. holidays.)


OPEN: And now, FancyMonkey.com, (Show Name), and (Station Call Letters) bring you As the Jungle Turns! Last time, in order to find the ultimate picnic spot for the ultimate picnic, all of the jungle animals went out together to look. Picnic spot after picnic spot have been found – each one even nicer than the next, but it seems that no matter what they find, Gruffy Bear is just never satisfied with it!

CLOSE: Well it’s about time… I would’ve rebelled three picnic spots ago! But what’s going to happen to Gruffy? And what’s going to happen to the perfect picnic? Find out next time – As the Jungle Turns!

***You may simulcast “As the Jungle Turns” on the Internet stream of your live broadcast only. Any other Internet use of “As the Jungle Turns” in whole or part including podcasting of your live broadcast is a violation of copyright law. Thank you for your cooperation on this vitally important issue. If you have any questions, please e-mail us and ask about “Jungle Jam & Friends the Radio Show” usage.

Milk DUHD?

15-year-old Luke Porto is a freshman at Father Lopez High School in Port Orange, Florida. He bit a Milk Dud in half and then made a decision that may affect the rest of his life. He threw the remaining half out the window of his mother’s moving car, hoping to get a chuckle out of his 4-year-old brother. That spawned a chain of events that has landed him in juvenile court. Diane Berring claims the Dud hit her windshield, cracked it and caused $250 in damage. At first, she offered to accept $12 for a car wash and an apology from the teen. But after he displayed a “bad attitude,” she decided to press full charges. Diane said, “I didn’t want money, I wanted a little remorse.” Now Luke’s going to court where he could be required to pay for damages, write a letter of apology and perform community service.



1. Hey! It’s my turn to sit in the front pew.

2. I was so enthralled, I never noticed your sermon went 25 minutes over time.

3. Personally I find witnessing much more enjoyable than golf.

4. I’ve decided to give our church the $500 a month I used to send to TV evangelists.

5. I volunteer to be the permanent teacher for the Junior High Sunday School class.

6. Forget the denominational minimum salary, let’s pay our pastor so he can live like we do.

7. I love it when we sing songs I’ve never heard before!

8. Since we’re all here, let’s start the service early.

9. Pastor, we’d like to send you to this Bible seminar in the Bahamas.

10. Nothing inspires me and strengthens my commitment like our annual stewardship campaign!


The car was intrepid; the driver was not.

FILE #1: Florida’s Jose Dones was on his way into Manhattan behind the wheel of a Dodge Intrepid. He might have made it had the temporary registration tag on the car’s rear window not have been expired. Jose might have overcome that little obstacle had he had some sort of proof that he actually owned the vehicle or had he not been using stolen license plates. Those are little matters you might want to take care of if you’re using that car to transport $6 million in cocaine. Dones was busted for drug possession and resisting arrest.

FILE #2: Two men in ski masks with handguns walked into Palomas Restaurant & Cantina in Bluffton, South Carolina, late Friday and took $170 as employees were cleaning up. The men fired their guns, which along with a waitress’ scream alerted a man at the adjacent bar. He attempted to sneak outside and lock the robbers in. When that didn’t work, he chased the robbers into the woods. An owner, employees and customers followed, some carrying pool cues. When one of the robbers stopped and tried to fight his pursuers, they began beating the 6-foot-3-inch man with the pool cues and tree branches. Deputies conducting a traffic stop nearby were waved down and arrested Anthony Tyrone Baker. Most of the stolen money had been dropped on the restaurant floor and in the woods.

FILE #3: A man in Germany broke into a shop to steal a karaoke set by ripping open his down jacket and stuffing the goods inside. However, the crime spree didn’t take flight, as he failed to notice that after ripping open his coat, feathers began leaking out. A witness notified police, who followed the trail of feathers to his home. The man was said to be astonished when police came knocking at his door shortly afterwards to arrest him.  ***MARLAR: And now he has the feathers of a jailbird!

STRANGE LAW: In Denver, Colorado, it is illegal to loan your vacuum cleaner to your neighbor.


This Is Your Brain On Drugs” is about people doing dumb things under the influence, but addiction is no laughing matter. If you or someone you know needs help, there’s a toll free number you can call 1-800-438-0380. That’s the Addiction Hope and Help Line at 1-800-438-0380.

A drunk driver calls a wrong number to get help changing his flat tire.

A drunk driver was arrested in Germany after he accidentally rang the police instead of a breakdown service when he had a flat tire.  Before he realized who he was speaking to, the 31-year-old let it slip that he had no license and was driving under the influence.  The man, who lost his license eight years ago, had a blow out while driving a car borrowed from a friend.  He had a blood alcohol level that was seven times the legal limit, and when he tried to call the German equivalent of AAA he became confused and dialed the emergency number for the police.  The drunken man phoned and said: “My car is broken and I need you to come and fix it. You better be quick because I’m really pretty drunk and I don’t have a license so it wouldn’t be good if the cops drove past.”  A police spokesman said: “He wanted us to come quickly, so we did.”


This is National Take Back Your Time Week. If you could find a way to take back some time, what would you use that newly-found time for?


QUESTION: What in the Bible is described as “clear as crystal?”
ANSWER: The river of water of life. (Revelation 22:1)


QUESTION: What animal is responsible for the most human deaths worldwide?

ANSWER: Mosquitoes


Pay attention! If our next player doesn’t answer all ten T/F questions correctly we start all over from question #1! First person to answer question #10 correctly is our winner!

1. The ad slogan for the Lava Lamp was “An Emotion For Every Emotion.” (True)

2. Actor John Travolta, a Scientologist in 2001, enrolled in a seminary when he was 14. (False, Tom Cruise)

3. The birthstone for September is the sapphire. (True)

4. In the NFL for more than 80 years, the NY Giants have had many nicknames, one of which is “G-Men.” (True)

5. There are more TV sets in America than there are people in Japan. (Sad, but TRUE)

6. At this point, only 3% of us who made a New Year’s resolution to lose eight are still biding by that resolution. (True)

7. Female armadillos have exactly two babies at a time. (False – they have four babies at a time.)

8. The longest recorded flight of a chicken is 13 minutes! (False… it only lasted 13 seconds!)

9. The electric chair was invented by a dentist! (True… that explains a lot, doesn’t it?)

10. The placement of a donkey’s eyes in its’ heads enables it to see all four of it’s feet at the same time. (True)


You have to match the blank in the tabloid headline with the word or phrase that has been removed!


ITALY – Costa Concordia cruise ship Captain, Francesco Schettino (Captain Coward) is reportedly being haunted by Titanic Captain, Edward John Smith.

They call him Captain Coward – the skipper who had no intention of going down with his ship. While the passengers of the doomed Costa Concordia cruise liner were caught up in the confusion after the ship ran aground, witnesses have told how Captain Francesco Schettino and many of his crew headed for the lifeboats.

One couple, French military officer Ophelie Gondelle and police officer David Du Pays, said they saw the captain in a lifeboat, covered by a blanket, well before all the passengers were off the ship.

Asked about the suggestion that the captain had abandoned ship, senior prosecutor Francesco Verusio said: “Unfortunately, I must confirm that circumstance.”

NOW, there are reports that Schettino, 52, who is in custody with Italian authorities, is being haunted by the brave Titanic captain, Edward John  Smith.



One day a lady decided to call a pastor who had his own show on the radio.  The pastor was a wise, grandfatherly gentleman who has that calm reassuring voice that can melt all fear. The lady, who was obviously crying, said, “Pastor, I was born blind, and I’ve been blind all my life. I don’t mind being blind but I have some well meaning friends who tell me that if I had more faith I could be healed.”

The pastor asked her, “Tell me, do you carry one of those white canes?”

“Yes I do,” she replied.

“Then the next time someone says that hit them over the head with the cane,” He said. “Then tell them, ‘If you had more faith that wouldn’t hurt!'”


The warden, addressing the three instigators of a failed prison riot, said, “I would like to know two things. First: Why did you revolt? Second: How did you get out of your cell?”

One of the three men stepped forward, “Warden, we rebelled because the food is awful.”

“I see. And what did you use to break the bars?” The warden asked.

Replied the spokesman, “French Toast…”


A couple had been married for 45 years and had raised a brood of 11 children and were blessed with 22 grandchildren. When asked the secret for staying together all that time, the wife replies, “Many years ago we made a promise to each other: the first one to pack up and leave has to take all the kids.”


Whether you tend to sit or stand may make a difference of up to 350 calories a day, researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, report. Overweight people in the study spend about two and a half extra hours daily chair bound than did their lean counterparts. Give up your seat on the bus or rise when you answer the phone; it may mean a more fit you.  ***Eat those cookies while standing and it’s like you never ate them at all!

A recent study suggests that kids are getting fatter because lack of sleep is changing their metabolism.  ***So, kids are getting fat because they’re just not lazy enough!



At the company water cooler, John bragged about his children’s world travels: one son was teaching in Bolivia, another was working in southern Italy, and his daughter was completing a yearlong research project in India. One co-worker’s quip, however, stopped John short.  “What is it about you,” he asked, “that makes your kids want to get so far away?”


If you write a bad check to pay for your car insurance, should you still be covered if you get into an accident?  West Virginia’s Supreme Court says YES!

Back in 2001, Stephanie Conley gave an agent for West Virginia National insurance company a $174 check on August 15 for automobile coverage. She then received the “issued” policy on Aug. 30 with the effective coverage starting August 15, and on August 31 was involved in a collision resulting from her negligence. However, by then her $174 check had bounced, and the company considered the policy null and void. But, the West Virginia Supreme Court just ruled that Miss Conley was nonetheless covered on August 31 because the company had not given her 10 days’ cancellation notice.  ***MARLAR: Isn’t our judicial system wonderful?


During the waning years of the Depression in a small southeastern Idaho community, I used to stop by Brother Miller’s roadside stand for farm-fresh produce as the season made it available. Food and money were still extremely scarce and bartering was used extensively.

One particular day Brother Miller was bagging some early potatoes for me. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily appraising a basket of freshly picked green peas. I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas.

I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes. Pondering the peas, I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation between Brother Miller and the ragged boy next to me.

“Hello Barry, how are you today?”

“H’lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus’ admirin’ the peas… sure look good.”

“They are good, Barry. How’s your Ma?”

“Fine. Gittin’ stronger alla’ time.”

“Good. Anything I can help you with?”

“No, Sir. Jus’ admirin’ them peas.”

“Would you like to take some home?”

“No, Sir. Got nuthin’ to pay for ’em with.”

“Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?”

“All I got’s my prize marble here.”

“Is that right? Let me see it.”

“Here ’tis. She’s a dandy.”

“I can see that. Hmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?”

“Not ‘zackley… but, almost.”

“Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble.”

“Sure will. Thanks, Mr. Miller.”

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said: “There are two other boys like him in our community. All three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn’t like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, perhaps.”

I left the stand, smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Utah but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys and their bartering.

Several years went by each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Brother Miller had died.

They were having his viewing that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon our arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts… very professional looking.

They approached Mrs. Miller, standing smiling and composed, by her husband’s casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket.

Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary, awkwardly wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and mentioned the story she had told me about the marbles. Eyes glistening she took my hand and led me to the casket.

“Those three young men that just left were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim “traded” them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size… they came to pay their debt.

“We’ve never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,” she confided, “but, right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho.”

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three, magnificently shiny, red marbles.


Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. – Luke 4:1-2

Part of our human experience involves temptation. Many have said that in order for Jesus to truly be our savior, he had to experience all of our human emotions and feelings. Temptation is one of those human experiences Jesus had to experience.

The problem is that there are simply too many temptations in life. Here are a few of them: Mae West says that whenever she had to choose between two evils, she picked the one she hadn’t tried yet.

“If you’re going to do something tonight that you’ll be sorry for tomorrow morning,” said one, “sleep late.”

A lawyer and his client are sitting in the law office and the client says to the lawyer, “The question of right and wrong is very clear. I want you to cloud it up for me.”

Yes, there is temptation all around us, but we don’t have to give in to it.

Forgiving God, help me to not be led into temptation, but help me to live a holy life for you. Amen.

–Author Unknown



It looked like a job to die for – literally…

…Nick Lovegrove was hunting for a job in the classified ads when he ran across an opening that had a unique requirement. You had to be dead! The description on the card was very vague and didn’t say where the job was, how long for or what the pay was – just that you had to be dead! Lovegrove confessed, “I’d go to almost any lengths to get my foot on the career ladder but I would have to draw the line at this.” The ad actually wasn’t looking for a dead person, rather it was just a typo. The ad meant to refer to a training opportunity for disabled people. It contained the initials “DEAD”, when it should have just read “DEA” – standing for “disability employment advisors”.



No employer in the history of the world ever asked an employee, “Would you like a raise?”  If they did, we’d all drop dead.  No, we have to ask, fight, connive, back stab to get a raise.  And there are always lists that tell you how to ask for one.  But, just as importantly, is how NOT to ask.  And that’s what we’re here for.

  • Don’t Threaten to Quit.  You may just have given your boss the opening to fire you that he’s been looking for.

  • Don’t Say You Should Be Paid the Same as Good Old Bob.  He may have education and experience that you don’t.

  • Don’t Go For Overkill.  You’re meeting with the boss to have a conversation about your pay, not to make a power-point presentation. Simply sock it to him and move on.

  • Don’t Tell The Boss Why You Need More Money.  Everyone has unexpected expenses, and saying things like “Man, the price of an Extra Value Meal has just sky rocketed” sounds hollow.

  • Don’t Stamp Your Feet, Pound the Desk or Cry.  I tried that.  It flat does not work.

  • Don’t Get PersonalSaying things like, “If you ever want to see your dog again you’ll give me a salary increase” likely isn’t going to work.



In Germany you have to pass a written test and show your skills at driving to get a license! Can you believe that?!?  Oh… did I mention this is for a GOLF license?

Before you’re allowed to tee off in Germany, you must first pass a written test and then show your skills in putting, chipping, and driving! Supposedly, this is Germany’s way of keeping slow playing beginners off of the courses. ***If you’re not allowed on the course as a beginner, how are you supposed to get any better so you can qualify to get on the course?



  • “I love the Monkees” written in the dust of your coffee table
  • The dust mites have unionized
  • Several homeless people have complained about the filth and moved out
  • Instead of vacuuming, at this point it probably makes more sense to rake your rug
  • Even the cockroaches offer to help



  • Stop Ordering Specialty Drinks: Latte lovers listen up: CBS MoneyWatch points out that a daily $4 latte adds up to roughly $28 a week, which is the equivalent of about $120 a month and $1,460 a year. Think of all the things you could do with that cash. Making the switch to a simple cup of brewed coffee can cut your spending by nearly half.

  • Order a Smaller Size: Reduce your spending further by ordering a smaller serving size. You’ll still get your caffeine fix but save roughly 50 to 75 cents a day, depending on prices at your local coffee shop.

  • Use Your Own Cup: Many coffee shops, from large chains to local independents, are strutting their environmental bona fides these days. And cutting down on disposable cups is a good way to reduce waste. Starbucks, for one, encourages customers to use their own travel mug by offering a 10-cent discount — an easy way to offset that 10-cent price hike.

  • Make Your Own: Making coffee at home is an even better way to save money. Need proof? An analysis conducted by Daily Finance that pitted a $2.29 Starbucks “grande” (medium) regular coffee against the (approximate) 17-cent cost of brewing a cup at home found the annual savings amounted to $835.85.

  • Quit the Habit Altogether:  If you’re really serious about saving, forget all these suggestions on how to cut coffee costs. The best way to curb spending is to quit coffee for good.  ***MARLAR: Pfft… yeah, right!!


(Not posted on weekends and U.S. holidays.)

If you like ice cream we have some good news. MSN food has put together a guide to the best ice cream parlors in each state based on customer reviews. Check out the top in your state.

IT’S COFFEE TIME! (YET ANOTHER STUDY ON COFFEE!) Your morning cup of coffee may slow the biological aging process, according to researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine. How? The caffeine appears to counter age-related inflammation, which occurs in many (but not all) of us over time. This type of inflammation can make you very sick, causing heart disease, many types of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, osteoarthritis and even depression. What causes chronic inflammation? Blame it on metabolites (or breakdown products) of nucleic acids (the molecules that serve as building blocks for our genes) that circulate in the blood. A study found that caffeine — with its own metabolites — appears to block the harmful action of the nucleic acid metabolites. In other words, the caffeine in coffee helps keep the inflammation at bay, which may explain why coffee drinkers live longer than others. Translation: While this isn’t the fountain of youth, coffee appears to be very good for your heart and long-term health.

A man riding the Chicago Transit Authority gave a homeless man the shoes off his own feet, and the act of kindness is getting a ton of attention on social media. Jessica Bell took a picture of a homeless man taking off worn, holy sneakers and putting on a pair of warm winter boots, which were given to him by a stranger. Maurice Anderson was on his way to visit family in Chicago when he saw a homeless man with raggedy gym shoes. Anderson says “He was bleeding through his socks.” When he found they both wear size 12 Anderson gave him the boots off his feet.

Missouri State Representative J. Eggleston was in surgery all day in order to help a complete stranger, and to secure an organ donation for his wife, Cathie. For years, Cathie Eggleston has suffered from kidney failure. Rep. Eggleston has a different blood type than his wife, so he’s not able to donate his kidney directly to Cathie. Instead he agreed to a ‘kidney swap.’ The exchange involves three families whose relative or friend is not compatible with their recipient.  It’s an amazing idea!

During a house fire 16 years ago, 6-year-old Anissa Cruz remembers a tall man in heavy fire gear, lifting her up and carrying her out of the Bronx apartment where she lived with her mother and father. Some 16 years after New York City firefighter Stephen McNally saved Cruz and her mother, the now 21-year-old was reunited with the retired lieutenant in an emotional meeting. And she had a surprise for McNally. Because of him, she is now a firefighter in Florida, where she lives.


(Feel-good stories! Only posted as new stories come available. Not posted on weekends and U.S. holidays.)

An Albuquerque police officer’s encounter with a heroin-addicted woman affected him so much, he was compelled to help in an extraordinary way. Albuquerque Police Officer Ryan Holets found Crystal Champ and her companion, Tom, shooting up heroin behind a convenience store in September. Then the father of four realized that Crystal was pregnant. Three weeks later, Crystal Champ gave birth and Ryan Holets and his wife agreed to adopt the baby. They named her “Hope.” Hope suffered through withdrawals during weeks of medical treatment, but she’s gaining weight and doing well. https://fb.me/DKycVtAf


(Only posted as stories come available. Not posted on weekends and U.S. holidays.)

In Boston, 41-year-old self-proclaimed psychic Sally Ann Johnson got herself 26 months in prison after admitting that she tried to avoid paying taxes on over $3.5 million that she received from an elderly Massachusetts woman seeking to cleanse herself of demons. Johnson was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Denise Casper who said the evidence suggested the psychic took advantage of an elderly woman suffering from dementia. Along with the prison sentence, Johnson must repay the victim nearly $3.57 million she received from 2007 to 2014 and to pay $725,912 in restitution to the U.S. government for the taxes she avoided paying. Johnson, who never passed the second grade and calls herself a Romani “spiritual consultant,” denied that she took advantage of anyone. Her attorneys called the elderly woman intelligent if not eccentric and fully competent when she employed Johnson. Court papers refer to the victim only as “V.P.” and say she attended Radcliffe College and Harvard University, was independently wealthy and was more than 70 years old in 2007. She is a resident of Martha’s Vineyard, a favorite vacation spot for the rich and famous. (Reuters)


Yesterday I saw one of those truck weigh-in stations on the highway – with a back-up of trucks waiting in line. You know, I think that if I were a truck driver, during one of my vacations I would fill my trailer with helium balloons and drive around looking for one of those police truck inspections, just to see the look on their faces when they put THAT baby on the scales. And then they’d want to open up the doors, and I’d beg and plead them not to do so – which, of course, would make them want to open it even more… and then I’d panic when they opened the doors, watch the balloons fly into the air, and then start screaming about how they’re going to make me lose my job.


Marie Asner has been reviewing films for over 35 years. Her outlets include radio, print and Internet. For more in-depth movie reviews of the following films, visit www.Tollbooth.org. Ratings from 1 (Low) to 5 (High).

JANUARY 19, 2018…

Forever My Girl—Here is a story with a country music theme. It is about a successful country western singer, who decides he has had enough of travel and wants to come home again. Will home be the same? The cast has Alex Roe, Jessica Rothe and Tyler Riggs. “Forever My Girl” is rated PG. No rating.

12 Strong—Chris Hemsworth stars in this story of a military operation in Afghanistan that pits American soldiers against native tribesmen bent on civil war. What happens when the soldiers become stranded without help? Big problem. Also in the cast are Michael Shannon (“The Shape of Water,”) William Fichtner, Michael Pena and Taylor Sheridan. “12 Strong” is rated R. Rating of 2 for fans.

Den Of Thieves—Los Angeles County has a special law force to deal with special problems. Here comes one. Someone wants to rob a bank and they have it planned down to the finest detail. What to do? Gerard Butler is the star, along with Jordan Bridges, Pablo Schreiber, 50 Cent and Eric Braden (soap opera fame.) “Den of Thieves” is rated R. No rating.

Maze Runner: Death Cure—Another film in the series from the popular books. This time, the youth have to find a cure for a deadly disease called “Flare.” This science fiction series pits young people against an establishment with Patricia Clarkson in the mix. The cast also has Rosa Salazar, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Dylan O’Brien, Barry Pepper and Walton Goggins. “Maze Runner: Death Cure” is rated PG 13. No rating.

JANUARY 26, 2018…

Call Me By My Name, which should have opened earlier in 2017, is now opening in select cities. The film stars Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer about the closeness of a young college student and a guest.

Hostiles, which should have opened in December 2017, is now opening widely. The film has Christian Bale in a western about returning Native American Indians to their home territory. Great story and scenery.

# # # # #

Best and Worst Films of 2017 compiled by Marie Asner
Arranged in Alphabetical Order

Ten Best Films of 2017—
Blade Runner
Darkest Hour
Phantom Thread
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards in Ebbing, Missouri
Wind River
Wonder Woman

I. Tonya
Jane (documentary)
Lady Macbeth
The Man Who Invented Christmas

Ten Worst Films of 2017—
Group One: Basic Plot Horror Film
Book of Henry
The Bad Batch

Group Two: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Alien Covenant
Get Out
Guardians Of The Galaxy: Part Two
King Arthur
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Group Three: The Rest
Pitch Perfect 3
The Disaster Artist
The Florida Project
The Snowman
Trip to Spain

WARNING: Don’t believe anything you read on the Internet or email (including stuff you read here) unless you can confirm it with another source, and/or it is consistent with what you already know to be true. The opinions in this publication are not necessarily those of Darren Marlar, Marlar House Productions, or any company or organization affiliated with aforementioned. (Regardless of how stupid you may think those opinions are. So there – nyah!)

Darren Marlar credits all non-original material to the author whenever possible. All other material is original, used with permission, or author unknown. We welcome all comments, questions, and suggestions. Darren can be reached via his website at www.DarrenMarlar.com.