Clench

Clench: (n) a contraction or tightening of part of the body.

Most of the time, things work the way they’re supposed to. Just stop for a second and think about that.

Even though we might want to portray that life is bumpy, it’s really more like a pothole every hundred miles.

In our everyday existence, food goes into the mouth, is enjoyed, digested and gradually finds a normal exit. Yet every once in a while, the system is disrupted. A
little bit of chicken is left out too long. A jar of mayonnaise welcomes in unfriendly microbes.

For whatever reason, our stomachs suddenly become very upset. (Huh. I guess that’s why they call it an “upset stomach.”) At that point the human gut is single-minded: “Whatever is in me needs to get the hell out as quickly as possible.”

As you well know, there is a northern route for this process and a southern route. Sometimes it’s better to go north. Yes, regurgitation is very unnatural but very quick, and produces some immediate relief. If not, you will wait a little longer for the bowels to become completely possessed.

Now, as a typical person, I have found myself driving a car, sitting among friends or nowhere near a bathroom when one of these fits and contortions decides to invade.

At that point, I clench my buttocks.

In more merciful moments, the body sends a notice that “there is a flood coming to Johnstown, Pennsylvania,” but relents to the clenching, disappearing for a few minutes, hopefully providing enough time for me to get to an appropriate disposal.

But every once in a great while, the body has absolutely no willingness to be clenched. I guess it would be accurate to say that the bowels suddenly have a mind of their own. The brain sends an urgent message: “The dam is about to break–protect all women and children!”

If you are willing to heed the warning, you might make it to the toilet of your choice.

But if you don’t listen and you think one more clench should do it, you more than likely will find yourself religiously sitting in your own “pugh.”

 

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Cherub

Cherub: (n) a beautiful or innocent-looking child.

It takes a lot for me to become motivated to try to lose weight.

It’s similar to convincing an ant-eater that ant consumption is bad for its health. After all, you are named “ant-eater.” To suddenly stop eating ants not only removes your diet, but robs you of your identity.

I.e., if I am not a fat man, who am I?

If I’m not the guy talking about calories while lamenting my metabolism, how would I be able to find myself in a crowded mall?

My identity is wrapped up in my weaknesses just as much as my virtues. I don’t know why we take so much time to lie, cheat and cover up our frailties, when the
y are obviously going to pop up and announce their presence.

But every once in a while, I do become motivated to try to carve away some of the fat from my body. It usually takes a shock. One such occasion happened when a gentleman from a newspaper, reviewing my show and describing my face, wrote: “He is a chubby fellow with cherub-like features.”

I was appalled.

There is no man born on this Earth who wants to be a chubby cherub. Matter of fact, if you told a woman that her blind date was “chubby and cherub-like” she just might call in sick.

I became obsessed.

I went to my bathroom mirror and stood there for at least fifteen minutes, peering at my cheeks–my second chin which was thinking about adding on an addition–and eventually became convinced that I indeed was a cherub. Although that supposedly has angelic proportions, it also makes you look too child-like and too plump.

I immediately started a diet, which didn’t last long because I was motivated for all the wrong reasons.

So over the years I have tried to grow a beard, which was as successful as any other cherub, and I’ve sported a mustache–a goatee which I occasionally have to pencil in because it’s just not dark enough.

This whole story would be very pathetic except for the fact that deep in my heart, I really don’t care.

My confidence is not based on my appearance, but rather, the confidence my appearance may proffer to others.

 

 

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Cherry

Cherry: (n) a small, round stone fruit that is typically bright or dark red.

Rhonda wanted to impress me.

Traveling on the road, feeling young, my hair down to my shoulders, in a beat-up van, with a few songs I had written and dreams of
greatness, Rhonda had bought into my whole delusion and was along for the ride.

Our relationship was an interesting mingling of respect, lust, spirituality and availability.

One day Rhonda went to the store.

It was rather ironic that she was there because we didn’t really have any money. I had given her just two dollars–one to buy some bologna and one to buy some bread and mustard. (This was back when you could buy bread, mustard and bologna with two dollars.)

About forty minutes later she was back with the entrees, but also with a huge bag of cherries. It seems that she had arrived in the produce section just about the time that the manager was ready to throw away a whole bunch of cherries which he had over-ordered for the appetite of the community.

She saw him heading for the dumpster and she asked if she could have the sweet treats. I guess he must have looked at her bell-bottom jeans, hemp blouse and long, stringy hair and felt sorry for her.

He gave her the whole bag.

There were probably three hundred and twenty-eight cherries in there (not that I counted.)

We ate bologna sandwiches and cherries until we could eat no more. Some of the cherries were old and grumpy and others were soft and too mushy, but most of them were deliciously ripe and ready for consumption.

About an hour later, after eating all these cherries, a volcanic rumble began low in my belly, and crept its way up to my chest. Rhonda too.

We both were in horrific pain from a cherry juice hangover.

We needed to go to the bathroom, but there was no real indication that anything would happen.

So we rolled on our bellies all afternoon with a mixture of pain and gratitude over such a cherry experience.

 

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Beef

Beef: (n) the flesh of a cow, bull, or ox, used as food.Dictionary B

It’s always a battle over three distinctly different approaches:

  • What I know
  • What I think
  • What ends up being true

Actually, most of us don’t know much of anything for certain. What we claim to know is usually an advanced stage of belief. In other words, people will tell you they know there’s a heaven, but that’s because they believe it very strongly.

Knowing is tough. Yet if we act like we don’t know, people accuse us of being dumb. So often, we insist we know without really knowing.

Which brings us to think.

Think is a dangerous combination of prejudice, upbringing and bad experience which we have equated with certainty as being valid. Of course, it can be good experience which leaves us idealistic.

But here’s the kicker: most people blend what they think and what they know and call it truth.

That’s why we fight all the time. Because what you think and know is not what I think and know.

So we have to be extremely humble about what we know, and mighty careful about what we think. Otherwise we will soon miss what ends up being true.

Thus…beef.

From year to year, the opinion on beef has gone from being an excellent source of protein to a murderer of the human heart.

If you bring the subject up, some folks will tell you they’re vegetarians because they want to be healthy, and other folks will never eat a vegetable unless steak has become one.

So once again, we’re stuck on this “think” and “know”–in danger of failing to find out what is true.

Beef is actually no different from prunes. You know the old saying about prunes: Are two enough? Are six too many?

Because if you eat just the right number of prunes, you will have happy times in the bathroom. If you eat too many, you will experience frequent toilet miles.

The same is true with beef.

Eat it every once in a while, and it is an immense builder of protein and strength for your body.

Eat too much beef and it turns into all sorts of heartfelt problems.

So take the time to be careful about what you know. And always be cautious to preface what you think with those glorious words, “In my opinion…”

Because truth eventually stumbles along. And the truth of the matter is, beef is like everything else:

It’s good until it becomes bad.

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Bedroom

Bedroom: (n/adj) a room for sleeping in; relating to sexual relationsDictionary B

If you realize how silly we human beings are, it actually will make you become more merciful of the thoughts and actions of others.

This is evident to me with the word “bedroom.”

Even the dictionary can’t decide whether it’s a place of sleep or a launching pad for pleasure.

The bedroom itself, with all of its elements, is divided up equally as confusing.

For instance, the word “pillow” does not conjugate to any kind of sexual inference at all, but if you say “sheets,” then thoughts of what happens between them might cross your mind.

No one seems to get horny at the mention of a “blanket.”

And certainly, the word “dresser” does not rise up the blood pressure–unless you change it to “un-dress-her.”

How about the closet? I guess you could come out of it.

The accompanying bathroom does not evoke much passion.

But the word “mattress” does conjure visions of a high school fling or two.

I don’t think we are turned on by “box springs.”

But “night stand” might make us think about special implements and lotions located within.

We are so hilarious and uptight in our actions, yet often lascivious in our thoughts.

Yet if you did a chart on the amount of time you spend in the bedroom having sex, even reading and watching television would soar high above the antics.

Bedroom–another example of how childish we remain … while still insisting we are worthy of a mortgage.

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Bathroom

Bathroom: (n) a room containing a toilet, a sink and typically also a bathtub or shower.Dictionary B

It is often about choosing the right word.

Calling it a “restroom” is deceiving. Unless you plan on lounging in a bubble bath, there’s very little rest that occurs within its four walls. Yet referring to it as a “toilet” does limit its scope.

This came to my mind yesterday when someone rose to their feet and announced that they were going to go “take a dump.”

Honest to God, I try not to be prejudiced about what comes off the lips of fellow-travelers, but certain phrases were never meant for general hearing, and may not have been necessary for coining and phrasing in the first place.

I am not going to gross you out by discussing these options.

Yet I’m not certain why I need to announce my bathroom agenda to the room anyway.

And certainly referring to the process as “dumping” lacks, shall we say, some charm.

That is the beauty of the word “bathroom.”

Since it contains a bath, which is the least offensive part of the enclosure, honoring that purpose is kind and considerate.

I suppose that’s how we came up with “living room.”

I don’t know what the source of “den” would be.

And I do think “bedroom” is more practical than “sleep or sex chamber.”

Do you see what I mean?

Some people feel very liberated by saying the first thing that comes off the top of their head. But I have always found it much more pleasant to procure verbiage … from several deeper layers. 

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Baptism

Baptism: (n) in the Christian Church, the religious rite of sprinkling water onto a person’s forehead or of immersion in water, symbolizing purification or regeneration and admission to the Christian Church Dictionary B

It is very difficult to recognize arrogance when perched in the permeating presence of arrogance.

Arrogance often appears to be good judgment, sound doctrine, faithful thinking and maturity when not examined for its elements of pious snobbery.

I grew up in a church that believed you were supposed to dunk people in water to baptize them. They not only believed it–they thought that any other form of baptism was errant, and would not be accepted at the Great Judgment Day, when the Holy God of All came to check out our baptismal certificate.

I developed an arrogance about it to match the arrogance of those around me who arrogantly thought they were following an arrogant message from an arrogant God.

In the process, the significance and symbolism of baptism mostly escaped me.

Baptism is really simple. To me, it’s similar to acknowledging that since I’ve gone into the bathroom and used the toilet, there’s a great possibility I might need to wash my hands.

For you must know that human life not only sullies our efforts, but also dirties our souls.

The symbolism of baptism washing us from the foolishness of the past to allow us newness of life is breathtaking–especially when you consider that the One we place our confidence in was baptized himself.

Yes, Jesus felt it was necessary to be baptized.

And since we have deemed him “perfect,” then it is a good idea for us to consider the significance of what can truly be a fulfilling cleansing.

 

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Mr. Kringle’s Tales … 26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Click here to read all about Mr. Kringle's Tales...26 Stories Til Christmas! Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

Click here to read all about Mr. Kringle’s Tales…26 Stories Til Christmas! Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

 

“The best Christmas stories I’ve ever read!”

From the toy shop to the manger, an advent calendar of Christmas stories, beginning on November 30th and ending on Christmas morning.

We need a good Christmas this year.

Mr. Kringle’s Tales will help you make it so.

Buy today.

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