Crevasse

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Crevasse: (n) a deep, open crack

“It’s just about eight feet.”

God, I hated those words.

Growing up, I was the chubby, endearing, intelligent and funny friend. If you put me in a room watching Chiller Theater or listening to music or eating pizza, I was the star of the show.

But every once in a while, I got myself trapped into doing activities that blubber-boys should never participate in whatsoever.

I was thirteen years old and was asked to go on a hike.

I cannot lie—I went on the hike because at the end of the hike we were supposed to have a cookout over an open fire with marshmallows. They did not explain that there would be a five-hour death march preceding it.

I was panting within fifteen minutes, melting with sweat within a half hour—my legs so weak at the end of fifty minutes that I could barely stand.

This in itself was problematic.

But then we came to the Brave Man Crevasse.

The grown-up in charge of the expedition had mentioned it the night before with starry eyes, nearly breathless over the joy each of us would have in taking what he called “The Great Leap.” Struck by stupidity and still dreaming of marshmallows, I had failed to consider the impact of his statement.

About three hours into the hike, with me praying for death or the second coming of Christ, we arrived at The Crevasse.

Very simply stated, it was where the path ended and then resumed eight to ten feet over on the other side, with a drop of about fifty or sixty feet in the middle

The major problem was that before I could even consider what we were doing or how I personally was going to achieve it, many of my friends boldly took the jump and landed safely on the other side. Applause followed.

Pretty soon it was down to Lance and me. Lance was considered to be the coward of our troop—afraid of every type of bug, and really somewhat terrified of dirt. Lo and behold, Lance decided to choose this day for his epiphany of courage. He jumped up in the air and landed, his foot slipping at the last moment, nearly falling, but grabbed by some nearby buddies, who then alternated with pounding him on the back for his courage and clapping wildly.

So there it was—that universal turn of nine heads in my direction.

Their faces were full of encouragement, nodding as if to send good vibrations in my direction.

I thought about following Lance’s example, then realized I was not born stupid. So instead I stepped to the edge and looked over at the craggy hillside, filled with rocks and bushes beneath. My first thought was, “I wonder if I could survive a fall and get the hell out of here in an ambulance?”

But it seemed unlikely and certainly painful.

The delay was apparently unnerving to my cohorts, because they began to express verbal exhortations, which gradually became more ferocious and even challenging. That’s when the dastardly statement came to be.

“Come on! It’s just about eight feet!”

You see, they were wrong. It was a crevasse. There was no place for feet at all. If it had been just eight feet, I could just walk across. But it was eight huge spaces of nothing but air.

Spurred on by a combination of humiliation, edification and (still) the prospect of dinner, I leaped.

But I did not do it feet first. Instead I leaped with the top of my body toward the ledge, barely catching it with my hands, my feet dangling and kicking, and me ready to fall.

Blessedly, all of my friends who had made it safely to the other side grabbed me by whatever they could reach and pulled me up to safety.

My heart was pounding. It didn’t stop its thumping for a solid twenty minutes.

Every single one of the people who leaped across chose not to talk about it.

I think they were terrified that they nearly lost me in the Great Crevasse on the overly lengthy hike in pursuit of toasting a marshmallow.

 


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Ambulance

dictionary with letter A

Ambulance: (n) a vehicle equipped for taking sick or injured people to and from the hospital, especially in emergencies

I’ve only been in an ambulance once.

I’ve seen them on TV. I’ve watched shows about those who drive them and care for the injured.

But many years ago, when my son was hit by a car and they placed his dramatically injured body into the back of that howling van, the reality of its purpose, function and destiny became quite clear to me.

I didn’t know what to do.

When I get confused, frustrated or totally wacked out of my mind, I always talk too much. I probably should have sat there, silent and stunned. But somehow, as I perched by the side of my child and the attendant was working on him, trying to revive him, putting tubes into his body, I felt as if I needed to speak.

Maybe it was similar to letting the pressure off of a steam engine to keep it from blowing up. I don’t remember all of what I said–I’m sure some of it was stupid, because the technician occasionally looked up, surprised at my perception or question.,

I looked down at my son’s compound fracture in his left leg and I asked the gentleman if it would be difficult to fix it.

Without missing a beat, between checking pulse and heart rate, he replied, “They’re good with bones. What you need to pray about is the head injury.”

I felt like someone shot me with a gun.

Even though I’ve never had that experience, it is the closest way I can think of to describe how those words pierced.

I was quiet the rest of the way.

Ambulances are like so many other things in life: they should be avoided at all costs.

But mercy should be given to those who find themselves within. 

AC

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

AC: (abbr):

 

You see, here’s how I heard the story;

This guy was on his way to do AC 360–that’s with Anderson Cooper–and they called him and canceled because the AC (air conditioning) was out in the studio. The guy asked them what they thought was causing the problem and the producer replied, “It has something to do with the AC.”

The guy said, “I know that. It’s the air conditioner.”

The producer said, “No, it’s the AC. The alternating current.”

The guy was so upset about not being able to do the show that he went down to the local AC (athletic club) and started lifting some weights. In doing so, he pulled a muscle in his AC (I think that’s somewhere in the knee.)

He went to the hospital and the doctor was a bit baffled by the injury, saying that the calamity did not usually befall anyone unless they were a gladiator in the Roman coliseum, AC (before the birth of Christ).

The fellow wasn’t sure how he felt about that. On the one hand, puffed up to have a gladiatorial injury, but on the other hand, he felt that it was AC (all so common).

While sitting in the Emergency Room waiting to be discharged, lo and behold, AC came through the door–Anderson Cooper. Actually he was wheeled in on a gurney and appeared to be in some pain. Rushing up to the gurney, the gentleman asked what was wrong, and AC explained that he was working on the AC in the studio when the AC started working again and sent a shock through his whole body and threw him across the room. So he had to call an AC (ambulance carrier) to get him to the hospital to check out his AC–(all corners).

In a strange sort of way, the man felt justified about being canceled from the AC show because of faulty AC when he discovered that if he had gone TO the AC Show the AC might have shocked him.

So he went home, called his girlfriend, and told her that he had a gladiator’s injury that hadn’t been seen in the hospital since AC–before Christ.

She was confused. Actually she was AC (always confused).