Cinch

Cinch: (n) an extremely easy task

What are the factors?

I’m talking about the issues that go into making something work or drizzle away in failure.

I wish I could say it was all based upon the value of a good idea or merely the implementation of it.

Not so.

I can think of five things right off the bat that have to be crawled over to get to the finish line.

First, if you want something to be a cinch, it has to work out on paper. If it doesn’t, then you’re hoping for grace (if you’re spiritual) or a mutation (if you’re scientific.)

A bad start.

The second thing is resource. In other words, simply knowing what to get doesn’t get it. Can you locate what you need and once located, can you acquire it?

Third, luck. Many people do not believe in it, but there is a chaotic aspect to nature that cannot be denied. After all, the same thing we try today often doesn’t work tomorrow for no explicable reason.

How about nerves? Oh, yes–the football team was ready for the game, and then became unnerved. What causes it? When do we look at the challenge and visualize the victory, and when are our eyes affixed nervously on the adversary?

Of course, there is the fifth and final hurdle. It’s called performance.

Everyone reading this has had an occasion in their lives when everything was perfect except for one thing–and that single unit blew everything apart.

The reason most people spend their lives in lamentation is that they are burdened with the need–shall we say, expectation?–for something to be a cinch.

This writer will tell you, the only thing he has found to be a cinch–a guarantee–is that there will always be a surprise waiting for those who dare to brag about being prepared.

 

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Cigarette

Cigarette: (n) a thin cylinder of finely cut tobacco rolled in paper for smoking.

If you live long enough you will see nearly everything in your life go through the natural Earth cycle.

It begins with “interesting.”

Then it becomes “cool.”

It passes through a phase of being “plagued with some difficulty.”

Following that comes “seems dangerous.”

And of course, the final step is “lethal.”

It doesn’t matter what you’re talking about. Why don’t we take something that would seem unlikely to apply to this category–like politics?

When the idea of starting a democracy in the New World was tossed on the table for discussion, it was deemed very interesting–so much so that we wrote several documents and put together a club.

After the club got together for a few meetings over some “brews and snuff,” we were enamored with the possibility–just jazzed with its coolness.

So we started political parties. The consensus was there should be at least two so there could be discussion. But immediately each party desired to be the predominant one, which led to some nasty exchanges, false accusations, and the introduction of cheating. Election after election began to prove out that winning was more important than truth, justice and the American Way. Difficulty arrived like a “plague of congress.”

So laws had to be passed because we were in danger of losing the freedom we had hoped to achieve because we allowed the politics to steer policy.

And then, all at once, with one cracky voice, the people proclaimed, “Politics is damn lethal.”

I bring this up because the same thing happened in my lifetime–and yours–with cigarettes.

At first they were interesting. Then cool. Next, plagued with some difficulty, proclaimed dangerous, and now seen as a nasty piece of our social sappiness, murdering people with tar and nicotine.

I often wonder if it’s possible to stop, while musing over something being interesting–and jump ahead to find out if it’s deadly.

 

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Cigar

Cigar: (n) a cylinder of tobacco rolled in tobacco leaves for smoking.

I work very hard at being a man.

I thought having a penis and a beard would be sufficient, but turns out, both of those things are too common to set you apart from the herd.

“Manly things done by manly men in a manly way.”

What in the hell is that?

But you shouldn’t question it too much, because that brings up the possibility of you being gay, which is not a bad thing anymore, but might connote that you are “soft.”

You know what soft is, right? Neither team wants you.

Women think you’re nice for conversation and men keep wondering when you’re going to finally turn gay.

That’s the way I feel about cigars.

I get offered cigars a lot–and by a lot, I mean more than once. People who smoke cigars are historians. They not only know all the details of the little brown tube, but where it began, who smokes this particular brand, how illegal they are, and an absolute plethora of adjectives to describe the smoothness of the taste.

In my lifetime I have smoked two cigarettes and three cigars. (Yay! Cigars win!) Anyway, I can’t truthfully tell you that I adequately partook of either experience. I did not inhale. Just like President Clinton, my morality suddenly clicked in right before taking a deep breath. So the smoke remained in my mouth, barely escaping into my nose–where it stung really, really, really bad. I struggled not to choke. (God, please don’t let me choke! I’m sitting in front of someone I want to impress and I don’t want to be choking on the $54 cigar he just presented to me.)

Yet it was unpleasant.

For two days, no matter how much teeth brushing or mouth-washing I did, cigar residue clung to the inside cave of my mouth.

I have nothing against cigarettes or cigars from an ethical or moral position, but if it’s going to be a symbol of manliness, please mark me down: “N for neuter.”

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Cider

Cider: (n) an unfermented drink made by crushing fruit, typically apples.

It was less than two miles outside of our town.

There was a family with a farm who had apple trees and a press.

A cider press.

It was delicious.

Looking back, the climate that surrounded apple cider during my upbringing was transcendent of anything that I later or even now experience.

The trees were filled with colorful leaves, the air was brisk and made you want to leap a little when you walked, and the cider was glob-in-your-throat sweet.

Every once in a while my mother accidentally left some in the refrigerator too long and it would get zippy. Some zing.

I did not realize that it had slightly fermented (I’m not sure how anything can slightly ferment) but I desperately enjoyed it.

I remember going to Halloween parties. The menu was so simple: cider, caramel apples, doughnuts and candy corn. (One kid in our class said it was well-balanced because the candy corn was a vegetable.)

Sugar, sugar, sugar.

I don’t know how we ever worked it off–and maybe we didn’t. It would literally kill me today if I had a doughnut with cider and a side of candy corn. I would be rushed to the hospital.

But hopefully the Emergency Room would be nearby, on a brisk day, with the leaves about to fall.

 

 

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-cide

-cide: (combining form) denoting a person or substance that kills.

Sitting here leisurely in my comfortable chair being allowed the luxury of thought, I am suddenly and completely overwhelmed with the futility of killing.

I don’t know why it struck me that way this morning. I didn’t have any trouble eating my breakfast sausage, which certainly required the life
of a pig (or was it a turkey?)

But overall, I am bewildered.

It seems to me that as long as we live in a world where an insult from our neighbor causes us to close down communication, and further intimidation coming from this newly found enemy pushes us to contemplate violence, won’t we always just be two steps away from murder–especially when those portions of life which are supposed to soften our hearts–moments like spirituality–are mysteriously fueled by feuds and sensations of supremacy? What will ever drag us away from the “killing fields?”

I shall not continue sharing much more because I fear that I’m waxing eloquent instead of relevant.

Are there people, creatures, causes, nations or even religions that deserve to be eliminated?

I don’t know.

I guess, this morning, all I’m telling you is, I sure as hell don’t want to be the one to de-“cide.”

 

 

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Ciao

Ciao: (exclam) used as a greeting at meeting or parting.

I really don’t want to say anything. I’m sure it’s not my right to intervene, but something must be done.

An insanity is penetrating every facet of our daily life and putrefying our communication. It must be highlighted and deleted from the
motherboard of our efforts.

There are several examples:

If you’re around someone from Israel or the Middle East, please don’t say “shalom.” It is not only predictable, it is insidious because it lets everyone know that this is the extent of your knowledge of Hebrew or Aramaic, yet you still flaunt it as if you’re bilingual.

Also, don’t say “Buenos Dias” to someone who is Hispanic. People who actually speak the language say that phrase much differently, so when you insert it, to them it sounds like you think they are deaf and you’re trying to speak slowly.

“G-o-o-o-d m-o-o-r-n-i-n-g…”

Also knowing that “oiu” is the French word for “yes,” and “nein” is the German word for “no” does not mean you can “parlezĀ -vous francais” or “sprechen sie deutsche.”

I conclude this little rant by bringing out in cuffs the chief suspect of them all. You are not Paris Hilton. You are not Italian.

So please, for the love of God, stop saying “ciao.”

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CIA

CIA: (n) Central Intelligence Agency

It makes for good television. I suppose a movie or two has sprouted from the subject matter.

Yet having an independent organization set aside in our government for the purpose of spying, deceiving and maybe even doing illegal crap
around the world is not comforting to my soul.

I know I live in a society that tolerates some evil as long as it produces our good. Matter of fact, we don’t even call it evil unless it detracts from us.

But even though I would do nothing to stand in the way of the CIA, I am not terribly interested in knowing all the details of the subterfuge. Honestly, I feel my mission is attempting to make cheating and lying a little bit less necessary–at least in my own surroundings.

So I can be a good American by shutting my mouth and allowing the CIA to “see its way.”

 

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