Confiscate

Confiscate: (v) to take or seize someone’s property with authority.

Nasty criminals in the wicked pursuit of evil have made it their business to confiscate our country.

The ransom note has been received. We are being held hostage.

The request is simple–a demand that you and I submit to the New Order and surrender any notions of brotherhood, common good and doing what we should.

They threaten to tear apart our property, our lives and our dreams.

They are convinced that years of toleration, understanding, adjustment and patience have brought us to a place where we have lost our domination and have just funny wisdom on words that begin with a Cbecome part of Earth’s typography.

They are angry.

They are certain of their cause.

They are committed to restoring a former time, which, in its era, was proven to be ineffective and even deadly.

They have a knife to our throat, alternating with a gun to our head, interchanging all of that with a mocking laugh of anything suggesting mutuality or agreement.

We are temporarily stalled by a kidnapping of kindness and a promotion of crudeness.

Should we pay the ransom?

And if the ransom is paid, will we get our country back? Or just what’s left of it?

Perhaps we should take a moment and realize that even though these forces did confiscate our lives, we certainly were more than willing to give up–because of our bigotry and anger.

Can we rescue ourselves from ourselves?

It’s a damn good question.

Fortunately–or perhaps unfortunately–we will all be around to hear the answer.

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Concubine

Concubine: (n) a mistress.

Although we’re often critical of our ancestors and former times which seemed to be plagued by ignorance, you occasionally have to stop and give props to our forefathers, who were able to come up with very intriguing words to describe their iniquity.

Finding “whore, prostitute” and even “mistress” to be somewhat distasteful, one of them decided to start inserting the word “concubine” to funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
describe an extra-marital relationship. It conjures in the mind an image of a porcupine and a large shell from the beach.

How could that be anything but fascinating?

Matter of fact, they may be onto something. I’m musing over some possible words or phrases that could be inserted to cover a multitude of sins.

Stealing, for instance. It could be changed to “undeclared investment supply.”

Sloth: a sabbatical (Someone beat me to that one.)

Lust: romanticizing (Sounds like what a novelist does.)

Murder: population control

Bigotry: culture discovery

Arrogance: patriotism

As you can see, the possibilities are nearly endless for creating rational words to disguise our often-irrational behavior.

 

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Compare

Compare: (v) to estimate, measure, or note the similarity or dissimilarity between.

During a very brief stint of working in the motelier industry, I ran across a gentleman who owned an establishment, and took me on a journey of his array of available rooms.

Every time he entered one of the bathrooms, he took a deep, long, sniffing breath. I decided to ask him what he was trying to smell.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

He turned to me sternly, peering into my eyes, and said, “The beginnings of mold.”

Yes, this fellow was completely convinced that long before the mold showed up in the bathroom tile, it could be sniffed out, tracked down and destroyed.

I had no reason to argue with the man–even if he was wrong, a good dousing of the tiles in bleach every once in a while is a capital idea.

But I must be honest with you–even though I can’t tell mold from gold, I do have a nose for the beginnings of bigotry.

And long before it becomes prejudice which has lost control, it pops its little head up with the word “compare.”

As human beings, once we allow ourselves to compare what we do to what other people do, it is safe to say that we will rarely consider their approach to be better than ours.

So in attempting to establish our refinement–or should the word be “superiority?”–we somehow or another have to sully or taint other renditions.

As people sit on panels and compare one race to another, one country to another, one gender to another or one religion to another, they feel so goddamn intelligent–never realizing they often have the sniff of social mold.

 

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Club

Club: (n) an organization dedicated to a particular interest or activity.

It reminds me of Dickie. He was a friend of mine.

Dickie had one thing he was very proud of–he loved to dupe adults. He explained this to me one day. He said the key to tricking grown-ups
was finding out what they wanted, and then discovering a way to do it which was more fun.

For instance, Dickie had a lot of dirt clods in his back yard. We used them to throw at each other, playing war and anticipating what it might be like to be hit with a hand grenade.

Dickie’s mother came out in horror and told us to stop throwing them, saying that we would certainly destroy an eye–or at least sully our pretty shirts.

Dickie waited about thirty minutes, then went in and said to his mother, “Mom, maybe it would be a good idea if we got rid of all that dirt and those dirt clods, and dumped them in the nearby woods.”

She thought it was a grand idea, and even offered some bushel baskets that had recently held apples. So Dickie and I went out, collected dirt clods in the bushel baskets, escaped into the trees–and continued our game.

God, we felt smart.

We had our own little club which we had formed, and was built around the notion that since we were the honorary members, it confirmed that we were more intelligent than others.

From that point on, I have wondered if it is possible to separate oneself off from the mass of humanity into smaller and smaller units and clubs without promoting a sense of superiority and propagating a cloud of bigotry.

Does the Methodist feel superior to the Baptist as he drives by on the way to his church?

Does the white man feel empowered when he passes through the black neighborhood and sticks his nose up at the urban blight, touting that he’s part of the Caucasian Club?

Here’s a frightening and perhaps intimidating thought–we’re all part of one club, and that’s human beings.

Breaking us down any further and insisting that the differences are imperative and unique makes us just about as dumb as a bushel basket of dirt clods.

 

 

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City

City: (n) a large town.

The fear of the unknown is the beginning of bigotry. (I just came up with that. What do you think??)

This was clearly expressed to me growing up as a boy. (I started out as a lad and decided to stick with it.)

I lived in a Village of 1,500 people. This is the crowd size for a medium-famous rock band.

It’s small enough that you can eyeball everybody, size them up and make ridiculously quick decisions on who they are and who they aren’t. It’s not so much that everybody knows everybody–it’s the fact that nobody really knows anybody, but because we’re so close together, we draw conclusions anyway.

You had to drive ten miles to get to the Town. We hated them. They were our arch-rivals–because they had about 25,000 people. They beat our high school teams in every sport, and we were convinced they were all brats, strutting around their houses smirking at each other and sneering at our little Village.

Sometimes the boys from our Village would go down to the Dairy Queen and pick fights with the Town guys. We always lost. But at least we tried, right?

Now–another twelve miles from the Town was the City. Even though the Village was only twenty miles away, the City was the “Dark Side of the Moon.”

There were only certain reasons to go there.

Movies. There was only one theater in the Town, and it usually just showed Disney flicks. If you wanted to see a movie, you had to go to the City, which meant you had to listen to a fifteen-minute lecture from your mom and dad about the dangers lurking in the metropolis, which had several hundred thousand folks.

They also had restaurants instead of “Mom and Pop food.” When I went to the City, I always thought I was going to be robbed, raped or killed–maybe all three.

As a youngster, it caused me to believe that the smaller things are, the more pure they stay–that it was impossible to live in the Town and do good works, and certainly beyond imagination to dwell in the City and find favor with God.

The fear of big things caused the young people of our Village to pick up on the vices of the City without ever receiving the benefits of culture, convenience and camaraderie.

It took me years to overcome the little box that lived in my head, which was supposed to contain everything I needed–yes, a long time to go into the City, bringing what I had learned in the Town, while maintaining the heart and soul of my Village.

 

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Chopsticks

Chopsticks: (n) a pair of small sticks used as eating utensils, especially by the Chinese

I’ve taken the precaution of donning my suit of armor, which, by the way, already has quite a few dents. I’ve also calmed my spirit and satisfied my soul that all is well.

I must do this every time I launch into the cultural “holy of holies” and begin to make fun of sacrificial lambs.

Chopsticks are stupid. Worse than stupid, they’re pretentious.

Unless you were born in China and have never heard of a spoon or fork, using chopsticks is your way of establishing your superiority over those around you, who
insist on eating the cuisine of another country while using God-fearing American utensils.

I will be honest. I haven’t even tried chopsticks. What I have done is watch other people attempt to consume a meal while balancing the food on tiny wooden surfaces. Eventually what happens is, the bowl is picked up, brought close to the mouth, and the sticks are used as a shovel, to thrust the delicacy onto the tongue. So to use chopsticks, one has to break every other universal law of table etiquette. Once again, fine if you live in China, but not really required at the Main Street Chinese Buffet.

Pretension is bigotry done with a smile, and offered with over-explanation.

I don’t like chopsticks. Chinese people are fine. Chinese food is okay.

But chopsticks are Step Three in a process of ten in learning how to consume food more effectively. In other words, it began with fingers, went to hands, moved to chopsticks…

By the time you get to ten, there should be a damn fork.

 

 

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Chaplain

Chaplain: (n) a member of the clergy attached to a private chapel, institution, ship, branch of the armed forces, etc.

One of the major dangers in life is to be overwrought, which means that for some unknown reason we place greater intensity, importance
and value on some matters than others.

We certainly do this with people’s occupations.

If someone says they work at a grocery store, we probably will not launch into a statement of gratitude for providing food for the masses.

But if someone says they’re a chaplain in a prison or the military, we raise our eyebrows, impressed, thinking we’re dealing with a sacrificial individual who is doing really, really valuable work.

The distinctions we make in life cause our prejudice–because there is such a thing as a good chaplain and also a bad chaplain, just like there’s a good grocer and a bad grocer. There are people who do their job well and people who do their job poorly.

So to judge a person who is a doctor as noble and kind is absolutely foolish. Many Dr. Jekylls are actually Mr. Hyde.

I think it would be very difficult to be a chaplain in the military, for the Gospel he or she would preach would not necessarily be in line with either the stars and stripes or the red, white and blue. Jesus had his differences with capitalism, and certainly was not a great advocate of violence.

Yet I respect the chaplain who brings the hope of the Gospel to people who find themselves in the position of making decisions that have far-reaching effects.

So if we can stop our silly bigotry about occupations and start asking ourselves what makes a good person in any situation, then we will be on our way to truly grasping equality and the wisdom of understanding.

 

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