Crude

Crude: (adj) lacking culture, refinement, tact

The reason the Golden Rule is so glimmering is that it involves us in each situation by requesting that we consider how we would feel if we were placed in the dilemma. Of course, you don’t have to do that.

No one is being executed for breaking the Golden Rule.

(Dare I say, there are some folks who would applaud you for ignoring it.)

But it reminds me of when I was a teenager in search of adventure in a community that may once have been a one-horse town but ended up selling the nag.

I usually got the car on Saturday nights.

Gasoline was cheap. So I drove around for a long time until I picked up a friend or two. Then we went out and tried to get in just enough trouble that we could escape at the last moment, giving us the exhilaration of danger without the repercussions.

There was a lake right outside the town. I discovered a small, unpaved road that went right alongside the bank of this body of water for about a mile—with bumps, foliage and a sense of “what’s going to happen next?” in every direction.

The road was precarious and scary

After a mile it opened up to gravel, climbing an embankment and placed me onto a well-traveled highway.

We were so thrilled with our adventure that night, we decided to bring along a couple of girls the next Saturday night and do it again. Being adolescents and not having well-formed brains, we failed to recognize the ramifications of the huge rainstorm that occurred in the middle of the week.

So on Saturday night, all four of us, in my Impala, headed down toward this deserted path, only to discover that once we were about a quarter of a mile into the excursion, the region that had once been bumpy, with holes, was now flooded.

There was no way to back up, so stupidly, I decided to go forward into the watery muck.

And, you guessed it—got stuck.

This incident happened long before Triple A and cell phones existed. We realized that unless somebody was going to walk back to civilization, which was about five miles, we were going to have to get out of this predicament on our own. (This included the young ladies who had come along for a lark, and now were on the deck of the Titanic.)

It took an hour of pushing, rocking, splashing, our clothes completely mud-splattered, to get free, but finally we escaped and were safely on the highway again.

It was crude.

For you see, crude is often that pursuit of adventure or comedy that soon must go too far to provide entertainment.

Crude is failing to use your sensibility and sensitivity to provide a safe haven for your friends to come and enjoy your fellowship.

Crude is forgetting the better parts of being a human and settling for jungle fever.

Crude is when, for some reason or another, we just decide to be a rude dude.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Corsage

Corsage: (n) a small bouquet worn at the waist, on the shoulder, or the wrist of a woman

I, for one, am thoroughly convinced that the only purpose we have as individual human beings is to discover ways to avoid the humiliation that often befalls us as a collective.

I don’t know why life, Mother Nature, creation—well, take your pick—has put together systems supposedly natural, which are so unnatural when put into funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
practice.

I don’t want to get graphic, but just the means by which we dispel our waste through bowel movements, and then trying to uncover a dainty process for not appearing absolutely gross while doing it and finishing up is a good example. Remember the lesson? “Take this flimsy piece of tissue paper in your right hand and reach around into your butt crack and clean yourself but make sure you don’t use too much of it or it will clog the toilet, but just enough that your hands can be used again for interaction with other souls.”

Sometimes I think God used the Earth and human beings more or less as an experiment, or maybe even a practical joke—and that somewhere in the Universe there is a new and improved human race which doesn’t have to deal with—shall we say?—natural humiliations.

This came to mind when I saw the word “corsage.” When I was in high school, I went to a prom and purchased such a flower at our local florist, who provided two long pins along with the arrangement, so that the man (in this case, me) could pin the corsage onto the young girl’s dress when arriving to pick her up for the date.

Is there anything that I just described that seems natural or sensible to you? It especially became horrifying when I walked in the door and realized that my date was bare-shouldered, and the place to pin said corsage was up near her precious bosom, which certainly did not need probing in front of her parents, especially with two sharp objects in my hand.

But it was all part of the fantasy.

The parents were standing by with their cameras, gasping, looking for a Kodak moment. The young lady I was taking to the prom had no more experience on this issue than me, so she stood by praying, lamb-like, pre-slaughter.

Somehow or another, I was able to get the pin stuck through the dress and into a little corner of the stem of the flower, where it somewhat dangled from her dress like low-hanging fruit.

I stepped away, greatly relieved that it was attached and that I was detaching.

Fortunately, as years passed, someone came along, admitting the horror and the potential blood-letting of the moment in adolescence, and invented a corsage with Velcro, which hooks onto the wrist—did you hear me?—the wrist of the girl—and doesn’t require prickly points.

Now isn’t that smart?

Couldn’t we perhaps have skipped a step and gone to something like that to begin with instead of tempting the fates, the gods or the fumbling hands of a teenage boy?

Even though the corsage question seems to be handled, I still break out in a cold sweat every time I see one, frightened that some old person in the crowd will shout, “Hey! Just for old time’s sake, why don’t you pin it on her?”


Donate Button


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Contrite

Contrite: (adj) filled with a sense of guilt and the desire for atonement; penitent

The times in my life when I was truly sorry, I’ve been so contrite that I could barely speak.

I was afraid to utter a word. It might fail to communicate the depth of my anguish.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I simply sat, looking at the offended person and attempted to use my eyes to communicate the pain I felt inside. I had no desire to be glib and did not want to explain my position, and I certainly didn’t want to post it as a public statement on the Internet.

So great was my sadness over my actions that my contrite heart choked my words, leaving me with nothing more than gestures and tears.

Contrition is a magnificent experience in our journey. It is where we confirm that we’ve actually succeeded in graduating from being a baby, survived adolescence—becoming a full-fledged human being.

 Donate Button


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Coach

Coach: (n) a person who teaches and trains the members of a sports team

The same tenacity and grit which is necessary to make one successful can just as easily be used to commence a life of crime.

This is the difficulty the adults in our lives face when they train us, and of course, coach us.

They certainly know that initiative, spunk and creativity are essential for forming the building blocks of a prosperous lifestyle. Yet in the moment, these particular attributes, especially when spoken from the nasally nastiness of adolescence, can be obnoxious.

So our instructors often have to find out whether our conduct, being sweet and kind, is a foretelling of goodness or brain death–and if our unwanted opinions prophesy greatness or the possibility of time spent “upstate.”

Let me give you an example.

During a football game, when we were losing 48 to nothing, I ran to the sideline and said the following to my coach: “Come on, coach! This defense you put together for us is just not working!”

I was fourteen at the time, and he was probably in his mid-twenties, trying desperately to survive the humiliation of being drummed by his rival on this field of debauchery.

I noticed that my coach’s face began to twitch. His eyes expanded. The veins in his head popped out, and his countenance became crimson as he slowly said, “Please sit down. Our defense is fine.”

I noticed that he avoided me for the rest of the game, as I avoided many tackles.

Fortunately, he did not personally address my inadequacies and focus on them because of my snippy, snarky comment. He restrained himself, and therefore, I believe I grew up using my precocious nature for good instead of joining forces with the villains to destroy Batman.

It’s not easy being a coach. You don’t always win, but end up stuck with your team, no matter what the score. You can’t blame them or you look like an idiot. You can’t accuse the referees or you appear to be a sore loser.

All you can do is teach what you know, and hope, by the grace of God, it’s enough.

 

 

Donate Button

Bump

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bump: (n) a light blow or a jolting collision.

Adolescence.

It’s when the urge arrives long before the instinct. Bluntly, the passion to do something far outweighs the available knowledge on what might happen.

When I was in high school, we had a musical group which had two goals:

  1. To sing and impress people.
  2. To get girls because we were singing and impressing people.

So one night after we had done some sort of gig, we were driving in the van that one of our members had purchased–a big, black number that looked really sinister and cool. Each one of us had a girl with him.

Let’s put together the ingredients again:

  • Teenage boys.
  • New van.
  • Just got done singing.
  • Girls in the vehicle.

Of course we had to try something crazy.

So we attempted to find out how fast the van would go. In the process of doing that, we came to a crest in the road, not realizing there was a huge drop-off at the top. There had once been a sign warning of a “bump,” but it had been knocked down many years ago and lay in the ditch, rusting. So as we climbed the hill and got to the top, the road disappeared underneath the tires and we found ourselves airborne.

I’m sure it was not a long jump, but for a short time, our van did its best impression of Air Force One.

We landed with a huge thud, throwing everybody in the air bouncing heads on the ceiling, as the van tilted form side to side, threatening to tip over.

The driver intelligently pulled to the side of the road to make sure that nobody had been killed. Confident that our bumps were well on their way to becoming bruises, we proceeded down the road giggling a little less, partying sparingly.

So the lesson of this story is simple: beware of vans who meet bumps in the night.

Donate ButtonThank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix 

 

 

Berate

Berate (v): to scold or criticize someone angrily.

Dictionary B

My wife’s parents didn’t like me.

They had good reason.

I lied, cheated, misinformed and did a bunch of crap which forced them into the role of being critical defenders of their daughter.

Yet I had the excuse of being intoxicated by adolescence. They were supposed to be mature and understand my weakness, but instead, berated me, telling me I would never be anything of quality.

Being very young, I felt it was my duty to verbally attack them also, leaving a chasm of misunderstanding, which I believed would be taken care of over time. I thought that once their daughter and I were married and had children, matters would miraculously transpire to turn us into a family, laughingly remembering former days of conflict.

It never happened.

Matter of fact, I can recite several events in my life when I was berated–or was the berator of others myself–where those relationships have never healed, but have instead settled into an uncomfortable silence of unacceptability.

We are civil.

I suppose there are even moments of kindness.

But the grudge that is still carried leaves both parties breathless, if not hopeless.

So what I have learned with each passing birthday is that the less I confront those around me, the greater the possibility of maintaining the warmth of fellowship.

I suppose we should be a race that is forgiving, gentle and free of resentment.

We are not.

Donate Button

Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix 

 

Apparition

dictionary with letter A

Apparition (n.) a remarkable thing that makes a sudden appearance, especially a ghost.

I believe in ghosts.

Not the cloudy, smoky spirits of souls who have gone on to their reward or retribution. I’m talking about the ghosts of bad ideas, inclinations and fallacies that possessed our world in the past, and now have come to haunt us in the present.

  • Sometimes I just wish we could come up with new bad ideas.
  • Sometimes I just wish there was something new.

But instead we have the poltergeist of previous ridiculous concepts rising up from the grave, where we thought we buried it, only to spook us once again.

We don’t have new scandals. We have the spirit of Richard Nixon and Watergate infesting the present bodies of our politicians, making them do the same stupid mistakes he tried to pull off, which ended up with his destruction.

We don’t have music born of the spirituality and emotions of our own generation, but rather, grave-robbers who go and dig up the tunes of those who are now decomposing.

We are continually vexed by the apparitions of past failures or the ongoing celebration of victories, where the band has already played and marched away.

We spend too much time celebrating the past, forgetting the prejudice, disease and dumbness that prevailed.

I believe in ghosts because we refuse to inter the past.

So we just keep living this stuff over and over again … like a bunch of tales from the crypt.

 Donate Button

Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix