Conflict: (n) a serious disagreement or argument

When trying to rent an auditorium, I once had the proprietor of the theater say, “Hold on. We have a conflict.”

We were just discussing dates–but he was right. That is what a conflict should be.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I want something. You can’t provide it.

You explain that to me, and we make other arrangements.

But Mr. Webster seems to think that for a conflict to be legitimate, there has to be a serious disagreement.

I, for one, am opposed to serious disagreements.

I am completely uninterested in adult conflict, which lends itself to arguments, pouting and grudges.

So today, I am determined to change the definition of the word “conflict” to a first-stage discussion which is elegantly handled by two or more mature, kindly, intelligent adult people.

Long before we become entrenched and start throwing grenades across the chasm, it is possible to say, “I think, on this point, we have a conflict. ”

Then conflict becomes valuable. It tells us that the circumstances we are pursuing are not suitable for everyone until they’re renegotiated.

It isn’t standing in the mud of a political party and insisting that if the other side doesn’t comply, they are either ignorant, or elitist.

We have a conflict. It is not insurmountable, unless we want to let that conflict lay around and become aggravated.

Let’s not do that.

Let’s immediately share when something is not to our taste, with the hopes that a simple conversation might render yet another possibility.

And may I say that often that third option is proven to be much better than either yours original, or mine.


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Balcony: (n) the upstairs seats in a theater, concert hall, or auditorium.Dictionary B

In my youthful years…

Actually, there’s little that’s more disgusting than an aging author reflecting back on earlier times with a slight grimace of regret, but mostly tantalizing details of virility and prowess.

That would not be my intention in this particular article, so let me begin with the less pretentious, “When I was a teenager…”

Yes, when I was a teenager there was an old-fashioned theater near my hometown which showed movies and had a balcony. It was commonly known and notoriously reported by prudish older women that the young folks would go up in the balcony and neck during the movies instead of watching them like critics who had a deadline for the morning news.

So after a while, due to the complaining of these decrepit patrons, they put a velvet rope in front of the balcony entrance, connoting that the area was no longer available to the public.

I do not know why it failed to occur to them how easy it is to ignore a velvet rope. So the young people continued to trail upstairs and do the laboratory portion of their sex education training.

After that they hired someone to stand next to the velvet rope, in a white shirt and black bow tie, attempting to deter the young folks from entering the stairs to the heights of pleasure.

It didn’t take any of us very long to discover a curtain which dangled from the other side of the balcony, which was easily scaled, quietly placing us in the balcony area where we could enjoy ourselves with ferocious kissing and then slide back down the curtain to leave the theater.

The manager, fearing that the curtain would eventually be destroyed through this process, eliminated the guard and velvet rope, and gave in to the primeval nature of the youth.

Even the old ladies decided to ignore the iniquity happening just above their heads.

So my memory of a balcony is a place of escape from the circus and theater of life happening all around, to enjoy more personal pleasures.

Also, it’s a great place to go nowadays, even though I’m older, to sleep if I’m not that interested in the offerings of the silver screen.


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Auditorium: (n) a large building or hall used for public gatherings, typically speeches or stage performances.

dictionary with letter A

I love auditoriums.

I think anybody who performs looks forward to being on a big enough stage that it provides for a backstage.

Backstage is fun.

It’s where you sit or stand and wonder about how many people are coming to the concert, or you slide into a side room that’s been provided for dressing and make-up.

When I graduated from high school I started a music group, wrote two original songs and actually built up the courage to raise some funds to record them.

I made a 45 RPM.

I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but in that era it made me nearly a god. Having a record made you look like you were not only prosperous, but talented.

So I was able to get a gig at a large auditorium on the Ohio State Fairgrounds. I loved that building. I had been to concerts many times in the facility, and now I was going to get to play in the auditorium.

I dressed everybody up and we even hired a drummer to come in and perform with us. I thought we sounded pretty good.

Unfortunately, the gig was for a religious church group youth rally, so there was an air of stuffiness surrounding the event, and a lot of rules and regulations laid on us, which honestly, I just didn’t listen to.

I found out later that:

  • We weren’t allowed to have drums, which we had.
  • We weren’t permitted to be loud, which we were.
  • And there couldn’t be any rock and roll in the sound, which there definitely was.

So we were halfway through our song, jubilantly sharing our talents, when suddenly the curtains started to close in front of us.

At first I thought it was a mistake, so I ran forward while the band still played and tried to pull them open. But they continued to close, because there were two austere men of dark countenance pulling on ropes, making sure that our sound and appearance were terminated.

I was furious.

I demanded they reopen the curtains, but they refused.

So the young audience booed for a second, and then were rebuked by their elders.

We still sat in the lobby offering to sell our 45 record to anyone who might have enjoyed the 16 bars of the tune we were able to pump out.

Only one girl of the 728 present was brave enough to come to our table and see us. The rest of the kids avoided us like we were an unwelcome leper colony. The young lady bought our 45, told us that she thought the grown-ups were assholes, and as she left, she raised her fist and said, “Rock on.”

I did.

And I’ve never stopped.

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dictionary with letter A

Amp: (v) short for amplification. To amplify sound electrically.

“It’s all about the equipment.”

That’s what they told me.

My response was always the same. “Actually, it’s all about the money to buy the equipment.”

I was in my early twenties and had a music group which required a sound system. Lacking funds, I attempted to tap into my ingenuity, which honestly had not yet found root, let alone gained blossom.

So using my limited understanding of electronics, I acquired a beat-up guitar amp, went out and purchased speakers at Radio Shack, which I fastened in to some homemade wooden boxes I had constructed myself, but found at the end of the process that I didn’t have enough money left to cover the boxes with cloth to protect the speakers.

To say it looked homemade would be a statement of generosity.

But I hauled it in from place to place, careful not to puncture the cones of the speakers. The guitar amp was so ill-suited to power the system that feedback and buzz became part of the ambience–which I pretended did not exist.

One night after a show, a dear gentleman walked up to me and said, “You need a PA system.”

He was so kind that I decided not to be defensive and merely nodded my head in agreement. Three weeks earlier he had purchased a Shure Vocalmaster unit, complete with two column speakers, which he decided not to use because his dream of becoming a great rock star had fizzled very quickly.

In his mercy and goodness he donated this system to me.

My God, I was so overwhelmed. The Shure Vocalmaster was the top of the line of the day. Of course, compared to the systems available today, it was clunky, sounded muddy and lacked the power to cover any more than a 150-seat auditorium.

But I used that system in one way or another for the next twelve years.

Matter of fact, I wept when it finally gave up the ghost and became a part of my career history.

Amps are nice. They make what we have to offer louder.

That only leaves one responsibility to us–to make sure what is being amplified is worth hearing.

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