Decay

Decay: (v) to become decomposed; rot

 It saddens me deeply that intellectualism is incapable of delivering its promise to our humanity.

I’ve listened for decades to those who contend that education can swerve us out of our natural inclination to crash and burn.

There probably is truth to that.

Knowledge would be a wonderful thing if it did not present itself as all-knowing.  Yes.

There is knowing, and then there is all-knowing.

Knowing is when you discover something and respectfully present it, fully aware that more data is going to come along, which will either enhance your discovery or flat-out contradict it.

Knowledge requires humility.

Unfortunately, the knowledgeable do not favor a humble spirit.

Throughout my youthful times of poverty, I was completely unable to afford going to the dentist. The one or two times I found myself in the holy seat of the tooth doctor, I was told that my teeth were not straight, my wisdom teeth should be removed, and I needed a bridge put in somewhere on the Mississippi River.

All of this was impossible.

And rather than telling me what I might be able to do, the dentist criticized me for being impoverished, unable to take care of my teeth, therefore threatening them with decay.

And decay was his swear-word.

Just uttering the word decay was supposed to make me shudder to the depths of my soul, scaring me into going out and borrowing money from a bank somewhere so I could fund his “toothy project.”

I didn’t do it.

It wasn’t because I was rebellious. But every extra dollar I had went into my career—or shoelaces for my children’s footwear.

If my teeth did not hurt, I assumed they were fine.

If they did hurt, I took lots of aspirin until they stopped hurting.

What has occurred is that as I’ve gotten older, some of my teeth have decided to die and go be with Jesus before the rest of me.

I guess they decayed enough that they just fell out.

I don’t normally share this story with anyone, so if it grosses you out, I apologize.

But it’s amazing. The teeth that remain seem to have greater resolve, fill in the gaps, and I am still able to chew a good steak or bite into an ear of corn.

I don’t know whether I chose the right path.

But I have found that the people who did put thousands of dollars into avoiding decay are now wearing dentures.

I only have a small army left.

But each one of them came with the original fortifications.

 

Crunk

Crunk: (n) a type of hip-hop originating in the southern U.S. and characterized by heavy bass and call-and-response vocals.

If there are social graces, then there most certainly must be social “clumsies.”

I’m speaking of those moments when we become so frightened that we’re going to appear ill-informed that we foolishly pretend we know something about a matter that we have absolutely no connection with whatsoever.

Somebody might mention a word and rather than us asking, “What in the hell is that?” we simply nod our head.

Then someone notices our vigorous head-wagging and challenges us by asking, for instance, what our favorite crunk song is.

At this point, beads of sweat break out on our brow–though we might be a bit relieved because we now know that crunk has something to do with music. (Our first guess was probably that crunk was the past tense of crank.)

Meanwhile, rather than quickly admit that we were caught—or that we don’t have any insight whatsoever on the subject, we try to come up with a generic answer in hopes that the subject will be changed, and the integrity of our all-knowing status will remain.

So in answer to the question about our favorite crunk song, we might say, “There are so many—but I am heartened by the fact that it’s gaining notoriety, and they seem to be including more women.”

We internally smile, thinking that mentioning the addition of new female crunkers was particularly ingenious.

Then we look into the eyes of our questioner.

He knows we’re full of shit.

Now what do we do?

We try to revise the topic. But with our limited musical knowledge, it’s a bit difficult to make the jump from crunk to James Taylor.

We wish to disappear and think it might be a good idea to hasten our exit, even though we just arrived at the party and it might appear suspicious.

Then it happens.

One of those snide, beautiful, skinny women standing nearby snarls, “You don’t know what crunk is, do you?”

For some reason the whole room goes silent. Everyone’s attention is suddenly focused in our direction—people waiting for an answer.

Here are the options:

Come clean and admit that we misrepresented our knowledge on the subject.

Or faint.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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