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21 hours ago, Steve said:

When the world throws challenges to bind you in chains, that is when the hope burning in your core will be tested, You'll be forced to make a choice: to stay down where they think you belong or rise to the height of your potential.
Chase Ketron

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Insert naughty joke about how a shirtless Chase Ketron makes me rise to all sorts of things.  *snicker* 

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blip's FAVORITE tale from HARPO SPEAKS

(blip calls it The Story of the 1 Penny Scrubbrush)


Well, word buzzed around Indianapolis, all right. The total attendance for our fourth show was a nice, round figure. Ten people. Even with the screen behind the second row, it still looked like ten people.

Now even Minnie had to face reality. We were washed up. We were stranded. We didn't have enough dough to pay our way out of a hotel. We could sneak out of the hotel, but we still didn't have train fare to any point beyond Kokomo. We didn't have enough money to pay the kids in our company the price of dinner. It was the end of the line for the Shubert unit and it looked like the end of the Marx Brothers, headliners on the Orpheum, the hit of the Palace, and the toast of London. I had seven cents in my pocket.

Her sons were afraid to say it, but Minnie said it :"We'll have to wire Al for a loan."

We knew that Uncle Al was financially good for our getaway money. He now had a new partner, a guy named Gallagher, and owned half-interest in the most popular song in the country, "Mr Gallagher and Mr. Shean." But Minnie was not exactly sure if she had sent the telegram to her brother's right address. She wouldn't admit it, but she was also afraid that even if Uncle All received the wire, he might decide that this was the last straw, and refuse to bail us out.

"Boys," she said, "we can only wait and hope."

While waiting and hoping, I went on an aimless walk in the outskirts of Indianapolis. I was drepressed and confused, and I had to be alone. I kept telling myself that something good always happened every time I hit rock bottom. But I didn't believe it. What could happen? What could I do? Groucho could go back in vaudville as a single. Zeppo could go back to Chicago with Minnie, where he would have no trouble finding a job. He was the only high-school graduate in the family. Chico could land a job as a piano player, on his own terms, anywhere.

But me? What was I trained to do besides being a Marx Brother? Well, I could play the harp on the New York City ferry-boat, for nickles and dimes. Beyond that, nothing.

As I walked, a long-forgotten voice came out of the past. Miss Flatto. Miss Flatto, wagging her finger at my nose and saying, Some day you'll realize, young man. Some day you'll realize! Okay, so now I realized. I had come to no good end, exactly as she predicted. I was a man of nearly thirty years and here I was stranded in a strange city with seven cents in my pocket and no way of earning cent number eight. Okay, Miss Flatto, I said to the voice in my memory, you've had your revenge.

It was the only time I ever felt sorry for myself.

I came out of my daze. I was startled to find I was standing watching an auction sale. The inventory of a little general store in the suburbs – groceries, notions and dry goods – was being auctioned off. There were about twenty people there. They must have been jobbers, mostly, because the auctioneer was knocking down the stocks in big lots. I was careful to keep my hands in my pockets, so I could resist any crazy impulse to make a bid, and blow my entire capital of seven cents.
The shelves were nearly emptied out and most of the crowd had left, but I still hung around, having nothing better to do with myself. Finally, everything was gone except one scrub brush, the former owner, hovering in the background, the auctioneer, myself, and an elderly Italian couple. The elderly couple had been there all the time. Either they had no money or they were too timid to make a bid on anything. Whatever it was, they exchanged sad looks now that the auction was winding up.
The auctioneer was tired. 'All right,' he said. 'Let's get it over with and not horse around. I have left here one last desirable item. One cleansing brush in A-number-one, brand-new condition, guaranteed to give you floors so clean you can eat off them. What am I offered?'
The old Italian guy and his wife looked at each other, searching for the key to the right thing to say. The auctioneer glared at them. 'All right!' he yelled. 'It's only a goddamn scrub brush!' They held on to each other like they had done something wrong.
I said, quickly, 'One cent.'
The auctioneer whacked his gavel. He sighed and said, 'Sold-thank-God-to-the-young-American-gentleman-for-one-cent.'
I picked up my brush and handed it to the old lady. She was as touched as if I had given her the entire contents of the store. The old man grabbed my hand and pumped it. They both grinned at me and poured out a river of Italian that I couldn't understand. 'Think nothing of it,' I said, and added, 'Ciao, eh?' - which was the only Italian I could remember from 93rd Street.
They thought this was pretty funny, the way I said it, and they walked away laughing. I walked away laughing too. A day that had started out like a nothing day, going nowhere except down, had turned into a something day, with a climax and a laugh for a finish. I couldn't explain it, but I hadn't felt so good in years. A lousy penny scrub brush had changed the whole complexion of life.
When I got back to the hotel the money had arrived from Uncle Al. Just as I anticipated, it had been decided that Groucho would audition as a single, Zeppo return to Chicago with Minnie, and Chico hire out as a piano player.
To all of these decisions I said: "Nuts."
It was the longest serious speech I had ever made in front of the family, and everybody listened. Then everybody started talking. We talked ourselves out, until all our self-pity was gone. What happened to us was  our fault, not the Shuberts' or anybody else's. And what was going o happen to us would also be our own doing, not the Shubert's or anyone else's.
Aboard the east-bound Pennsy. The other passangers on the coach kept complaining, so we bribed the porter a quarter and spent the night in the men's room of the nearest Pullman car. I tootled my clarinet and played pinochle with Chico. Groucho smoked his pipe and read a book. Zeppo did deep knee-bends. At the same time we were all working, throwing ideas into the kitty and putting together a show we could take back to New York. None of us stopped to think how idiotic and deluded were were. What show? For whom? We were not only exiled by the moguls, but now even the scavengers wouldn't touch us.
Absolutely idiotic. And thank God we were. The train ride from Indianapolis to New York, clacking through the blackness of nothing, was the most momentous jump we ever made. For me, it was the prologue to a new kind of life in a new kind of world.
[Within two years the Marx Brothers were the biggest hit ever to hit Broadway in years with their first show - I'll Say She is. After that, The Coconuts and then Animal Crackers. They OWNED Broadway for seven years before moving to film.]


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Some positivity to start the week 🙂 

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"All actions are led by the mind: mind is their master, mind is their maker;

Act or speak with a pure state of mind, and happiness will follow,

Like your own shadow, never departing" (The Dhammapada)


Edited by majikthis
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“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

(Jalal ad-din Rumi, 1207-1273)


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