[anzac] THE STRANGER - bit of a classic

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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 2010 23:01:21 +1300
NOTE:  An old classic...

-author unknown.

Years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our 
small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this 
enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family.  
The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on. 

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my 
young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were 
complementary instructors: Mum taught me good from evil, and 
Dad taught me to obey. But the stranger... he was our storyteller. 
He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures,
mysteries and comedies.

If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he 
always knew the answers about the past, understood the present 
and even seemed able to predict the future!  He took my family to 
the first major league ball game.  He made me laugh, and he made 
me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind. 

Sometimes, Mum would get up quietly while the rest of us were 
shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she 
would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet. (I wonder now if she 
ever prayed for the stranger to leave.) 

Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the 
stranger never felt obligated to honour them.  Profanity, for example, 
was not allowed in our home - not from us, our friends or any 
visitors.  Our long time visitor, however, got away with four-letter 
words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my 
mother blush.  My Dad didn't permit the liberal use of alcohol but 
the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis.  He made 
cigarettes look cool, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He
talked freely (much too freely!) about sex.  His comments were 
sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing.. 

I now know that my early concepts about relationships were 
influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed 
the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked... And 
NEVER asked to leave. 

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with 
our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating 
as he was at first. Still, if you could walk into my parents' den 
today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for 
someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

His name???

We just call him "TV." I really fear what his grandkids will be like.

(Note: He has a wife now... we call her "Computer." 
Their first child is "Cell Phone." 
Second child "I Pod."

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