e-mail us


Sic ponders success, which, let’s face it, has everthing to do with money

“Always end anything as soon after too much of it as possible.” This Sic motto has been in the family for generations. We intend to put it on our tombstone, if we ever get a tomb. Then we plan to add, because it sounds snappy and mysterious, “Horseman, pass by.”

* * *

“We’re not called to be successful; we’re called to be faithful.” This has been attributed to the late Mother Teresa, Dorothy Day and Jacques Maritain and, for all we know, Bill Clinton.

So what’s so bad about success? Wouldn’t you rather be Bill Gates or a loaded sultan of Bahrain than a poor person like yourself? And don’t tell Sic success is not about money. Just go to your Mercedes Benz dealer, flex your moral muscle and see if it’ll get you a shiny new car.

But we digress. In the go-go ’90s, we need a new inspirational motto, as in, “We’re not called to be successful; we’re called to be thin.” Or the less ambitious “we’re called to be unsuccessful.” This Space invites all who have nothing better to do — nah, better not bother.

* * *

Sic doesn’t think first grade teachers would lie, yet we get suspicious at the answers their kids give to finish off a few proverbs:

Better be safe than ... punch a 5th grader.

You can lead a horse to water but ... how?

Don’t bite the hand that ... looks dirty.

You can’t teach an old dog ... math.

If you lie down with dogs, you ... will stink in the morning.

Love all, trust ... me.

A penny saved is ... not much.

When the blind lead the blind ... get out of the way.

There is no fool like ... Aunt Edie.

* * *

Don’t let anyone pretend there’s no weird stuff happening for the millennium. Phenomena and things like that. If you haven’t seen a UFO this year, where have you been?

We need an institute to track these crazy antics. We’ll call it the Wacky Way People Are Behaving Institute. If any reader’s friends or dear ones are acting paranormally, write to Sic right now.

* * *

The bad news is Dennis Rodman, basketball star with Technicolor hair, has been dumped by the L.A. Lakers for lack of civility on and off the court. The good news, he has agreed to write a column for NCR called “In the Pond.”

* * *

Everyone remembers Plato galloping out of that cave chased by his shadow and yelling “Eureka! Cogito ergo sum” and corny stuff like that.

Which reminds Sic: Yahoo! News reports that the monks at Buddhist Purple Lotus University in Union City say, “What looks like an image of Jesus has appeared on a bumpy concrete wall on their campus.” The monks say it’s a miracle and call it “the mysterious face of compassion.”

* * *

When Sic recently listed some creative evaluations from the workplace, no one cared. So here are others:

He doesn’t have ulcers, but he’s a carrier.

He’s been working with glue too much.

He would argue with a signpost.

He brings a lot of joy whenever he leaves the room.

He has the knack for making strangers immediately.

When his IQ reaches 50, he should sell.

Gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn’t coming.

If he were any more stupid, he’d have to be watered twice a week.

Some drink from the fountain of knowledge; he only gargled.

* * *

The March newsletter of the Fraternal Order of St. Odo the Lesser includes this announcement: “EWTN cashes in on the cooking show mania with its own delightful comedy. Sister Mary Ginseng stars as The Frying Nun.”

* * *

Hey, drop whatever you’re doing and take another look at the picture in the April 16 NCR of Pope John Paul putting his hand in Cardinal Ratzinger’s pocket. One hopes there’s some rubric or canon covering this.

* * *

Joseph Martos has always been blessed with creative students in his classes. The following are from recent papers:

“The rich and middle class generally have fewer children than the lover class.”

“I feel that if the pope does not make it into the 20th century, there is no way he will ever make it into the 21st century.”

“In areas such as burials, weddings and morality, the church should always remain an important authoritarian.”

“Sometimes I wish God could just send down a note to me, when I am boggled about things.”

* * *

News flash: Spokesman Joaquín Navarro-Valls has announced that Vatican officials are forbidden to sport tattoos because of the indelible mark.

National Catholic Reporter, April 30, 1999