It’s evening. My dad calls me into his room with a tone of anxious excitement and shock. When I go in, he’s in front of the TV. This is what the two of us see:

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Sparky tells me that I was looking at the Berlin Wall. I had learned about that in school and knew of its significance. The two of us watch in awe as the people dance and cry and sing on top of the wall that just the day before was unapproachable. The TV announcers are as awed as the rest of us. Sparky tells me he never thought he would live to see this day.

I am watching history with my dad. And I gain another significant lesson in sharing important life moments with my own kids.

Share history and make it real. It matters to those you share it with.

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A teacher at school recently passed away from cancer. This particular teacher was the advisor for the Community of Caring group in which students plan and conduct various service projects throughout the year for members of the community.

Today, students at the school clad themselves in pink and the basketball team and pep band will have a “pink out” game to show their support for this teacher. As further proof that the students and administration at this school understand and care about their community, their marquee had a special message:

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Teenagers are awesome.

 

A few weeks ago, the teenagers in our church had a lesson on honesty. One topic that came up was how people will sometimes lie about their lack of knowledge regarding certain popular trends. For instance, one late night talk show has sent someone disguised as a reporter to various big events such as music galas and movie awards. This pretend reporter will then make up names of rock groups or movie titles and ask various people their opinion about them. Instead of admitting they never heard of these (nonexistent) groups or titles, the people cover their ignorance by offering praise that is just as fake as the band or movie they are promoting. (Fake reporter promoting nonexistent band: “I heard ‘Snowblast and the Ponies’ is going to perform today. What do you think of their sound?” Ignorant crowd member: “Oh, yeah. They’re sound is just so raw and real. I’m so excited to hear them live.”) I’m always amazed at the desperate measures people will go to in order to look smart, as though admitting ignorance would somehow be demoralizing for them. However, lying simultaneously proves their ignorance and makes them look bad, thus defeating their purpose for lying in the first place. The truth would have allowed them to keep their integrity.

I am not embarrassed to admit that I am not up on the current trends, and I am going to share some of my findings with you interested readers today. Maybe some of you can enlighten me, or share in my ignorance. Either way, you’ll get a good chuckle.

Over the past few months, a few marquees have displayed messages that are completely foreign to me. I do realize these are most likely advertisements for products I do not, and probably will not, use. But if their purpose is to inform and interest me in actually buying their product, they have lost me by being either too vague or just unappealing. Then again, I may just be out of the popularly desired loop and off wandering along my own paths. But after growing up watching commercials that told me to “taste the rainbow” and tried to convince me about the arbitrary rules that say rabbits can’t eat cereal, but spastic cuckoos and toucans can, I should be able to figure out a marquee, right?

Either way, here is some entertainment from advertising folks at work!

Marquee One:

“Maca What?
New Freal and Muffin”

I understand the muffin. “Freal” sounds like a product named by a Valley Girl (“Like, fer real!”). The thing I relate to most is that question mark.

Marquee Two:

“New Crodo
Try it now!”

I’m wary of trying something with a name that sounds like it came from an elementary school kid after an unfortunate science experiment.

Marquee Three:

“Meat 
the son of Baconater”

True, it’s just a typo. But you try imagining this offspring and see how disturbed you get.

None of these, however, can top the message displayed on the marquee of a popular college burger joint near the campus. This is one I do get. Yes, I think they formatted their marquee this way on purpose. Their message was so fun and popular (and gave our college student brains such a welcome relief of giggles), that it graced the marquee two years’ running at the appropriate season:

“Try our
pumpkin shake
corn dog
89 cents”

Go ahead. Giggle. After all, they fry everything else on a stick.

What have you discovered lately?