Heroes Of The Week

The only superhero movies still coming out in 2020

With another round of shut downs set to take place across the country, my compound in Montana is looking more enticing every day. I’ll need to come up with a name for our cult, so if y’all have any ideas, please send them my way. In the meanwhile, Imma dish up another episode of the better and the worse that tucked itself into the news cycle.

So let’s get to it . . .

A Florida man just paid off the past dues for 114 families at risk of having their utilities shut off - CNN

Michael Esmond is the owner and operator of Gulf Breeze Pools and Spas in Pensacola, Florida, and while business has been good, he knows how fortunate he is. This meanest of seasons has not been nearly so kind to many of his friends and neighbors. So Esmond took his good fortune and he paid the past due utility bills- totaling more than $7,600- for 114 families who were about to be disconnected.

The 74 year old experienced his share of trying times in the past, and so he felt it was only right to give what he could in order to help others see their way through.

“I have been down on my luck like people are today, where I had trouble paying bills and raising three daughters,” he said. “The gas company shut the gas off and we didn’t have any heat . . . People can’t afford to pay their bills and put food on the table, so I hope doing my part and paying some bills for these folks takes a little bit of stress off of them around Christmas time,” he said.

In dark times, it’s people like Desmond who shine brightest of all.

Kyrie Irving and Nets Fined $25K! 2020-21 NBA Season - YouTube

Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving says he will make himself available to the press when he damn well feels like it and not a moment before. Seeing as how this is the same dude who insisted the world was flat and LeBron James is simply an okay player, I think he’s doing everyone a great service by not sharing his scary genius. Seriously, if you’re giving a penny for Irving’s thoughts, you’ve drastically overpaid.

Dairy Queen customer in Minnesota sparks 2-day 'pay it forward' chain - ABC13 Houston

If you’re a fan of Fargo, like me (and Joe Pesci), then Brainerd, Minnesota already holds a special place. The city the Coen Brothers once described as “Siberia, with family restaurants,” is back in the news again . . for all the right reasons. It seems the peeps of this county seat have taken the idea of paying it forward to new heights.

What began as a simple act of kindness has warmed the heart of this small town to such a degree, that Jack Frost took a weekend trip to Miami Beach until things cooled down again. I’ll let Dairy Queen manager Tina Jensen provide the what for this what?

So (a customer) pulled up and I said ‘just to let you know the gentleman in front of you paid for your order. If you like, I can pay it forward and you can pay for the order behind you and we can keep this going.’ She’s like ‘really, why would he do that?’ I said ‘we just have it every once in a while where someone will take care of the person behind them and today is your lucky day.’

The customer was duly inspired to pay for the order behind her. And then so forth became so on. And on, and on . . . until the pay it forward chain was finally broken three days, nine hundred vehicles and ten thousand dollars in sales later. Jensen says it’s not the first time her DQ has gotten all caught up in such a beautiful chain as this, and it’s not likely to be the last.

Which means Jack Frost best be taking a week in Aruba the next time.

Coach O recaps National Signing Day for LSU Tigers

It feels like I just got done ranting about the low down dirty shame of a college football program LSU has proven to be when this week happened. And with it, a hot new pile of forgettable to sink the former darlings of the sport.

The university announced it was imposing a one year bowl ban on its football team due to violations which included former Tiger Odell Beckham Jr handing out cash on the sidelines after his Alma mater beat Clemson for the national title in January. The other charges include school boosters doing the same as OBJ, albeit not quite so prominently.

Did LSU suddenly find religion? Not hardly. See, when a football factory like LSU penalizes itself, this means the violations we know about are a cupcake sale compared with the shit we do not know. But seeing as how none of the violations pertain to the multiple rapes committed by members of the football team, any right minded individual should be outraged. Too bad the school, and the NCAA for that matter, don’t much care for the safety and well being of women.

And to add further injurious insult to this bread and circuses program, with the team’s record currently at 3-5, they would have been lucky to score an invite to the Marshmallow Fluff Bowl. And any revenue they might lose because of the ban? Some booster not under investigation is sure to write that check.

And the beat goes on.

Elementary School Teacher Donates Kidney To Her School's Custodian | FaithPot

I’m not going to lie. The Christmas spirit that’s supposed to be running through my veins right about now, well . . it hasn’t shown up just yet. And I know I ain’t alone in this respect, not by a longshot. Which means that Erin Durga is right on time in this, the season of giving, with a story that would take Santa’s breath away.

Things were looking bleak for Patrick Mertens inside a year that has already proven unforgiving for so many. But the sixty four year old custodian at Kimball Elementary School in Minnesota was facing a much different health crisis. Mertens was in need of a kidney, and he was running out of time.

The teachers at Kimball had pitched in with fundraisers to help pay for his dialysis treatments, but mortality was busy rapping knuckle at his door until Erin Durga- a third-grade teacher at Kimball- made certain that 2020 wasn’t going to claim someone else. Once tests confirmed that she was a match, she drove to Mertens home to deliver the news that she would be his donor.

“I felt in my heart, from the very beginning, that this was my thing,” Durga said. “Once I decided that, yes, I’m going to donate to Pat, I felt really good about it, and I was at peace with it throughout the entire thing.”

The operation was a success and both Mertens and Durga were able to return to work in August. He calls her his angel, for being the messenger who delivered him the best gift, like . . ever.

Turns out maybe I don’t need the Christmas spirit after all. Maybe the human spirit will do just fine.


71 thoughts on “Heroes Of The Week

  1. Dude, sometimes, sometimes your list just rips the bandaid off. This time you’ve done it.

    First, in light of your opening photo, I’m pretty sure the appropriate title of your Montana cult (I’ve packed my bags, by the way) is the Gal Gadot Fan Club. I mean … I went to see Wonder Woman in the theatre (remember, back in the day, when we had movie theatres), all I could do is look at her. Story, what story?

    On to your heroes…

    We need a lot more Michael Esmond’s or there is going to be a whole lot of pain in the coming months. And I’m pretty sure that Mitch McConnell is the leading candidate for the Anti-Michael Esmond Award.

    Kyrie Irving … I just wrote a post about this. I kind of agree with your quick spin on him, but I think it’s more complicated.

    I’ve heard of the pay it forward thing going around. Every once in awhile, when I went to the corner store near my office to get a snack or a soda, I’d pay for the person standing next to me in line. I think it’s time to do that again, the next time I go through the drive-thru.

    As for LSU … what kind of idiot is Beckham? To be passing around cash on the sideline. I just can’t even comprehend that.

    And Erin Durga … that story threatened to get the waterworks going. It really did.

    Well done.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wait, Wonder Woman has a story?

      Uh, I mean of course it has a story . . .

      Because the GOP is still stuck with its head up its ass and Mitch . . he’s the poster boy for how it’s done. Esmond is how things work in the day to day world when people who have the chance to help others, do just that.

      Problem is, I don’t think Kyrie deserves the benefit of the doubt any longer. Fool me once, shame on me, fool me a dozen times and nope. Kyrie is Odell is every athlete who wants to be left alone while inviting attention in any way possible.

      It’s a great feeling, having been on both sides of the equation.

      Beckham is the reason why the Browns are having a great year. He hasn’t been in the lineup . . .

      That is some story. The two knew each other for years as his wife worked at the nursery where Durga took her kids.

      Gracias King.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Outstanding, Pilgrim. I think the cult ought to be named Marco’s Merry Montana Band. We could even record music for extra cash. I couldn’t help think about that one person who said after all those 900 gestures of goodwill., “Hell no, I’m not paying shit forward. Gimme my free order.” I love all the good folks here and boo’s and hissed at the asshats. And the beat goes on. I hope you get bitten by a little spirit. Hey, wait a minute. A glass of bourbon should do it. Put on some Christmas tunes, pour three fingers, and watch the snow. It’ll come. 🎄 (You can sub any spirit you want for the bourbon.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cincy,

      You are a regular William Wordsworth, you know that? But hey, it speaks to what we are, what society is. We can believe it’s all hunky meets dory, but the truth of the matter is . . . the dark side of the moon trespasses across our sunshiny lawns, like . . all the time.

      When you said that last part . . . I immediately thought Rudy G!


  3. The Dairy Queen thing….wow. Of course, my first thought is, how does that work money wise? Do you give your credit card info? Because yeah…that’s how I think


  4. B,

    Your compound is starting to sound better every day: Marco’s Merry (and/or Motley) Mix of Miscreants, is my submission for name.

    Michael Esmond is an amazingly generous soul. This pandemic is really bringing out the heart in those able to share. You said it. What a wonderful light.

    Irving is acting all holier than thou, isn’t it? What did he say? “I do not talk to Pawns. My attention is worth more.” My, my, my… we are high and mighty. Shut up.

    That pay it forward chain is cray-cray! In a beautiful way, of course. And, like John, I wonder who decided, fuck it, It ends here…And like LA said, just how is it done, anyway? I mean, I’m all for leaving a few bucks for the next one, but it won’t necessarily cover the mega trio, yanno? Dunno that leaving a credit card number is the wisest thing to do, either. Hmmm. Still. Wow.

    Hmmm… concerning LSU. Methinks you are right – all ’round.

    It is difficult to find that Christmas spirit this year. In an attempt to find it, some have decorated ultra early while others have decided to forego the effort. We each deal, best we can, I say. Respect to both camps. Erin Durga is definitely an angel walking this ragged and broken Earth of ours. You can’t get more generous than to give a piece of your body to save another. Best. Gift. Ever.

    Human spirit is what lifts us into appreciating the true Christmas spirit which is not filled with things. Beautiful song to go with this wonderful post.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Q

      On second thought, I say we go with something completely different. My name shouldn’t be stamped on it. We should make it cool sounding though, the way the OK Coral once did it up.

      And what’s more, Esmond remembers being in those shoe where he didn’t have the flow to keep things solvent. So his perspective is genuine, and beautiful.

      Irving behaved like a pawn when he said nothing during the Communist China boondoggle the NBA found itself in. One of the NBA GM’s had come out in support of the pro-democracy movement and was condemned by players. Why? Because Nike, that’s why. Sad.

      I said that DQ should have ended the chain by paying for a customer’s order and then saying thank you to all.

      It’s reprehensible that the safety and well being of young women does not come first at many of these schools.

      It most certainly is a ragged and broken earth right now, so thank God for the angels such as Erin that walk on the regular and teach us all what the human spirit can accomplish.

      Love this song at this time of year.

      Gracias Q.


      Liked by 1 person

      • K. I’ll put my thinking cap on. We definitely need to come up with something cool. Without your name,

        Yes. But isn’t that how it goes, usually? Once you’ve lived through something and come out the other side, you are better able to have empathy for others. Not all act on that, though so yes, genuinely beautiful.

        Very sad. We do give way more importance to what sports “stars” have to say anyway.

        That would have been a good idea for DQ to do.

        It is. Why the hell is it always a side-note, if anything at all?

        Our Earth needs some serious TLC and with inhabitants such as Erin, it is a step in the right directin.

        It is a beauty.

        My pleasure B.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Every once in a while you read stories like yours today and say, “huh, so the world isn’t a bunch of a-holes after all?” Well except for Kyrie. He’s always faithful to his bad little self-important self. Thanks for sharing some holiday goodness in this dumpster fire of a year. We can all use a lot more of the Michael Esmond’s and the good guys in Brainerd, MN in this messed up world. It’s reassuring to know not everyone is plotting to kidnap a governor or threaten a Secretary of State in the Midwest.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dude the teachers at Kimball Elementary rock. I mean c’mon they’re already trying to educate the future and then they sprinkle tris epic kindness on this man. DUDE. We need more of that and the Dairy Queen action we need more. I heard about that one on the news and was like man people are trying, I mean most of the time I see hate and crime on the news but that Dairy Queen that should have been everywhere. A definite highlight… all these small acts of kindness adding up. Plus the electric bill payoff. DUDE How amazing is that guy? Doing more for people and disaster relief than Reps and Mitch. I wish we had more of these kind folks running the country we’d be in much better shape because these folks knew about empathy. Thanks for the feel-good stories. Keep them coming 🙂 Sunshine and waves 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cali,

      The teachers, and Erin especially. How special a group of human beings to be there and to do what they did for a man they worked with and knew.

      The DQ action is fun, isn’t it? I can imagine the people getting swept up in it, and for a moment in time the year 2020 was something much better than forgettable.

      And Esmond, to come from that place, with his perspective. The need to give back, to make someone’s life better. Wow.

      Oh I will hermana, I will.

      Sunshine and waves

      Liked by 1 person

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