davidbrucehaiku: THANK GOD!





Not all are famous —

Good! Who wants to remember

Seven billion names?



John Ford’s The Broken Heart: A Retelling


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Free eBook: YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIND: Volume 2

David Bruce’s Smashwords Bookstore: Retellings of Classic Literature, Anecdote Collections, Discussion Guides for Teachers of Literature, Collections of Good Deed Accounts, etc. Some eBooks are free.

David Bruce: Problem-Solving Anecdotes

• In 2011, the city of Troy, Michigan, suffered a severe lack of money, and to reduce expenses, it considered closing its public library unless voters approved a referendum that would raise taxes .07%. A vocal anti-tax group opposed the tax increase, and it seemed as if the tax increase would be voted down and the library would be shut down. But library supporters came up with the idea of a creative campaign to convince people to vote for the tax increase and the library: “Troy Public Library would close for good unless voters approved a tax increase. With little money, six weeks until the election, facing a well-organized anti-tax group who’d managed to get two previous library-saving tax increases to fail, we had to be bold. We posed as a clandestine group who urged people to vote to close the library so they could have a book-burning party. Public outcry over the idea drowned out the anti-tax opposition and created a ground-swell of support for the library, which won by a landslide.”They put these signs in yards: “VOTE TO CLOSE TROY LIBRARY AUG. 2nd. BOOK BURNING PARTY AUG. 15th. Facebook.com/BookBurningParty.” The citizens of Troy, Michigan, considered the book burners to be “idiotic” and voted for the tax increase and the library. The campaign to save the library was so effective that it won an Effie Award (which recognizes effectiveness in the marketing communications industry) in the non-profit category.

• Michael Wigge, a German television personality, is able to come up with good ways to make money when needed. In San Francisco, California, he wanted to raise money so that he could fly to Costa Rica. He raised the necessary $300 with pillows. He says, “I took two pillows from my couchsurfing hosts and offered pillow fighting to passersby for a little donation. San Franciscans really seem to be in need of a good pillow fight. A young man in Dolores Park took a pillow and hit me in my face as hard as he could — I didn’t even have a chance to fight back. Two businessmen opted to fight each other on their lunch break and gave me $20 to stay out of it. People started queuing up in Golden Gate Park to take part.” This worked: He raised enough money to fly to Costa Rica. Other ways that he has raised money to fund his travel is by acting as a human sofa: He gets on all fours and lets people sit on him and catch their breath. His sign said, “Relax for one dollar by sitting on the human sofa!” In addition, he has worked as a hill helper. San Francisco has steep hills, and he helps people climb up hills. He says, “As the Hill Helper, I pushed groaning tourists up the incline [of Lombard Street] by holding their back with my hands. They leaned back and put their entire weight on my hands to be pushed uphill. It was real backbreaking work (my back, not theirs).”

• George Burns often read and gave advice about scripts for the TV sitcom The People’s Choice. He was also a problem-solver. Sometimes, he read a script and realized that it had a problem. If he couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the script, he would go to Hillcrest, a club that he and many other Hollywood people frequented. He then would start talking to a TV writer who made $250,000 a year and tell the writer the story in the script and say that it was a great story. The TV writer would look at him as if he were crazy and tell him what was wrong with the script. Then Mr. Burns would tell his partner in The People’s Choicewhat was wrong with the script but not tell him how he had learned what was wrong with the script. Mr. Burns says that everyone thought that he was a genius.

• Audiences tend to think of acting as a glamorous job, but often actors have their problems on the stage. Agnes Booth played Belinda Treherne in W.S. Gilbert’s satirical play Engagedwhen it was presented at Madison Square Garden over a century ago, but her role necessitated the eating of a great many tarts, and at length she rebelled. Fortunately, a pastry cook devised a satisfactory substitute made mostly of air (no filling). In fact, Ms. Booth did not need to eat anything, as the counterfeit tart was collapsible, and with some dexterity she was able to pretend to consume the “tarts.” Theater critic John Rankin Towse wrote, “Thus the comedy went on, and the tarts were satisfactorily consumed without being eaten.”

• Girls at a middle school started to wear lipstick. Unfortunately, this caused a problem. They would put the lipstick on in the girls’ restroom and then kiss the mirror, leaving behind lipstick on the mirror. The principal decided to get the girls to stop doing that. She called all the girls into the bathroom and explained, “The lipstick on the mirror is very difficult for the janitor to get off.” The principal asked the janitor, “Will you please show the girls how difficult it is for you to get the lipstick off the mirror?” The janitor dipped a toilet brush into the water in a toilet and then used the brush to scrub the mirror. The girls stopped kissing the mirror.

• Henry Lewis was talented in more than one way. At a Catholic school, he played a recital, but he forgot the middle of a composition by George Frideric Handel. No problem. He improvised some music that sounded as if Handel could have written it, and he got through the recital. Henry’s father wanted him to go out for the football team. Henry went out for the team, made it, and immediately quit. Henry said, “I wasn’t interested, but I wanted to show him I could do it.” Later, Mr. Henry Lewis became a noted conductor.

• A man once was bothered by a constant stream of visitors at his door. However, he figured out a way to keep them away. If the visitor was rich, he asked him for a loan. If the visitor was poor, he gave him a loan. Either way, he never saw the visitor again.


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved




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