“Cryin’ won’t help ya; prayer won’t do ya no good…”






“Guess what it is.”


His military experience makes the words sound like an order yet his omnipresent affability soften them to a palatable level.


Especially for a knee-jerk iconoclast such as myself.




It’s whiskey, I can recognize that much.


Lord and liver know I’m intimately familiar with that delightful poison.


But just seeing it in the glass is obviously insufficient.


So, upon his cue, we toast and sip our respective drinks.






This time it’s an outright question, if not necessarily stated.


I reply:


Maker’s Mark.


He laughs with only mildly exaggerated exasperation, saying:


“Damn! I can’t fool the oinomancer on anything!”


I smirk and laugh along with him.




For the next few hours, I’m blessed with good conversation and a fine meal.


My friend’s ample affability is outclassed only by his generosity, I’m lucky to mention.


Yet, something has bothered me about the exchange ever since that evening.


It was nothing he said or did.


It was my reply.




Yes, I guessed correctly.


As I said, I know my whiskey.


But it was the way I responded.


I almost asked as much as I guessed.


Not quite.


But close enough to bother me.




The unintentional reluctance to own my supposition irks me more than it would most.


Hell, most would’ve forgotten it already.


Not I.


See, nothing in my uncertain tone would’ve bought me a reprieve, were I wrong.


My answer would be correct or incorrect.


The lack of faith in my course would be of no help whatsoever.


In fact, it may have made me look less knowledgeable than I really am.




Thus, I’ve taken a lesson from that brief moment.


Weigh the evidence.


Use a reasonable amount of time to draw a conclusion.


Make the best decision possible.


Then act.


And realize:


By the time action is a necessity, uncertainty is a poor ally.




7 Responses to ““Cryin’ won’t help ya; prayer won’t do ya no good…””

  1. I pray daily for God to grant me the ability to to respond to the world rather than react. Great post Ace. Thank you.

    • Excellent comment with excellent choice of words illustrating two very different comments often conflated at best or intentionally miscontrued at worst.


    • Red,

      Very well said.

      Although I’m sure you understand the nuance, I’ll state this to clarify my title choice for others:

      I do believe prayer does good.

      But, as the saying goes:

      “The Lord helps those who help themselves.”

      Also, as an aside you may appreciate:

      The song chosen for the post “There ain’t no companion…” is about the vocalist and his dog on a nature walk.

      In fact, the rest of the line is “… like a blue eyed merle”.

      Stay well,


  2. Good solid advice for all parts of life, Ace. Men must do more than simply act, they must commit.

  3. A♠,

    Being decisive – avoiding being that uncertain trumpet – takes as much mindfulness and discipline as anything else in life.

    It’s a good lesson, because you caught yourself and it was a minour affair. Wish they were all so benign.


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