Choose

Choose: (v) to pick out, select or decide on a course of action

I could be kind or I could be mean. I can choose.

Being mean is touted. Being kind is lifted up as virtuous, as it is also mocked as valueless. Is there something in between? How about “keen?”

I could be alert, or I could be dull. It’s for me to choose. Alert is what we applaud and dull is what we observe.

I can be selfish, or look for opportunities to be giving. Is it true that if I give I actually get more, or is that just promotional talk from those who desperately need me to give?

I can choose to enjoy the holidays, or complain about how hectic they are. I do seem to be more grown-up when I bitch. Isn’t that ironic?

I can choose to believe in God, or don the garments of the intelligentsia and sneer at the notion. Do I really want to tie myself into a bunch of hillbilly religionists? Yet do I want to choose to be part of the obnoxiously over-educated?

I can insist I’m a man with no knowledge of women, or scream like a woman who says she is unfairly treated by a man. I suppose I could choose to be a man who understands that a woman is just a human. But it would be a very unpopular position.

That’s the problem. The things I feel I need to choose, which are full of spirit and life, are often relegated to being “buddied up” with the ridiculous and superstitious.

How will I choose?

Can I keep my choice to myself, or must my light shine before all men?

How will we choose?

How can we choose and satisfy the disgruntled masses, while pursuing the glory and advantage of simply believing there’s more?

 

 

 

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Chocolate

Chocolate: (n) a food preparation made from roasted and ground cacao seeds, typically sweetened.

Obesity is a bitch, because it bitches at you because you’re obese.

It forces you to think about food more than you need to, which can eventually cause you to rebel about being confined.

After all, I’ve never seen a prisoner who’s grateful for being locked up because it made him eat more vegetables.

Likewise, even though being fat does require some disciplinary action, removing the finer parts of life–for instance, chocolate– is what the constitution may have meant by “cruel and unusual punishment.”

So sometimes the prisoner locked within the fatty walls must break out and be free.

Matter of fact, it happened to me last night.

I wanted some chocolate.

Realizing that a Milky Way candy bar is in the hundreds of calories, and even a pack of M & M’s has way too much sugar, I did discover a tiny piece of delight called the Candy Kiss, which ended up being just 22 calories and 2.6 grams of sugar.

Now obviously, one Candy Kiss is not enough, especially if you’ve been locked up in solitary for a long period of time, devoid of the pleasure. But sometimes you can convince yourself to hold it to three.

Three Candy Kisses, bitten in half, creating six bites of chocolate, is a mind-boggling, soul-altering spiritual revival, with a good shout of “Hallelujah” followed by a creamy “A-men.”

Sometimes nothing will replace chocolate.

I certainly enjoy my asparagus, but I cannot truthfully say that it is related, coordinated, conjoined or entwined with the marvelous miracle of chocolate.

 

 

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Chink

Chink: (n) a Chinese person.

I am prejudiced against skinny people–mainly because I’m fat.

I am intimidated by handsome men, truthfully because I’m quite plain.

I get nervous around other writers because deep in my heart, I need to be the best.

And the only reason I would ever call a Chinese person a “Chink” is because deep in my heart I know he or she is superior to me in attitude and talent, and I need
a way to degrade the prowess.

Certainly white people would never have brought black slaves from Africa unless the natives were superior to them working in the fields. Even after Emancipation, the white community was intimidated that the black work ethic would overtake them and lead to their poverty. So it’s easier to call them “niggers” and send out the signal that they are to be relegated to a lesser position.

We’ve done it for years with gender. All the terms used for women have eventually exposed a disguised prejudice.

  • “Ladies”
  • “Weaker sex”
  • “Little miss”
  • And of course, “bitch”

I’m not quite sure why the word “Chink” is in the dictionary. Perhaps it’s to remind us that there will always be people who are better at what they do than we are, and simply humiliating them with a condescending name does not take away their power.

We live in an America where there is still prejudice against the black race, even though we mimic their actions, customs, worship style and sports efforts in almost every way.

If bigots actually did think they were better than the people they prey upon, it would still be disgusting, but at least comprehensible.

But knowing that bigots are mean-spirited because they are secretly jealous and wish they possessed the abilities of those they attack may be the Earthly definition of satanic.

 

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Chick

Chick: (n) a young woman.

The battlefield of my human journey is riddled with foxholes where I’ve made stands, only to find myself retreating–often in humiliation.

It makes me wonder if there’s any purpose at all for being obstinate.

Ten or fifteen years ago, I raised an objection over the word “chick.” I was offended on behalf of all women. Matter of fact, I opened up the
discussion several times in a roomful of people of all generations.

After a lengthy discussion, I found that I was the only person who objected. The much older women remembered when girls were called “chicks” and it was a kind of a hip, Beach Boys thing. The younger girls felt it was a kindly, gentle alternative to “bitch.”

The case I made about the word being chauvinistic or degrading was met with a sympathetic nod but not much approval.

Here’s what I learned from the exercise:

If people aren’t upset about something they experience every day, I will do them no benefit by stirring them up and making them upset.

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Caftan

Caftan: (n) a long, full robe with wide sleeves

A budget is either an open door to an adventure in thrift or a perfectly good excuse to begin to bitch. The choice is really ours.

Back in my early days, when fifty cents caught in a couch cushion was considered a treasure, I was traveling with a music group and we
found the need to purchase stage clothing. Stage clothing is best defined as something you wouldn’t wear to the mall, but still short of circus attire.

I was touring with two lovely young ladies who certainly deserved to be dressed in better fashion than we were able to afford. So we went to a local glorified thrift store, and found some colorfully-designed caftans.

Truthfully, they were not caftans. They were actually nightgowns for aging, heavy-set women. But after about five minutes, we were able to convince ourselves that the manufacturers were short-sighted, and did not see how glorious these billowing dresses could become.

The ladies tried them on and immediately found that the material was too thin, and over-exposed some of their more womanly virtues. But one of them, having an industrious mind, suggested we buy some cheap cotton material and line the garments so they would have a bit more–shall we say?–heft.

As it turned out, each caftan cost $3.28 and the lining set us back another two dollars. So for less than ten dollars, my band mates got an outfit that we not only wore all over the country, but was even displayed on the cover of our premiere album.

Now I know this doesn’t make much difference in your world, and you may have considered this story to be a bit of a yawn fest, but it reminds me of the fact that appreciation and gratitude, mingled with some creativity, go a long way to making a dollar bill seem like a miracle.

 

 

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Boycott

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Boycott: (v) to withdraw from commercial or social relations

“Don’t make waves.”

I heard this all the time as a young person. Since I was raised in land-locked Ohio, it was very simple to comply.

It was also made easier by the fact that anyone who stepped beyond the boundaries of acceptability was quickly ostracized from the general flow. Yet issues always arrived which demanded immediate attention, consideration, deliberation and action.

Sometimes we must boycott stupidity. Otherwise, it grows faster than weeds.Dictionary B

Growing up in my town, prejudice was accepted, gossip was honored, chauvinism was the household norm and music was deemed raucous and evil until it gained a great respectability through financial solvency.

I had to make decisions:

What did I think about civil rights?

What did I think about the war in Viet Nam?

What did I think about the notion that “a woman’s place was in the home?”

These were dangerous questions. If they were posed in public, you were viewed as a troublemaker. If you offered an opinion other than the standard fare, you were basically dubbed “anti-American.”

It took me many years to learn how to boycott the inhibiting doctrines and platitudes which permeated my little town.

Today it’s easier for me. Matter of fact, I can suggest several things we should boycott immediately:

  • The word “bitch”
  • “Baby Mama”
  • Disinformation
  • Racial stubbornness
  • Too much violence
  • Chauvinism in all its forms
  • Gender wars
  • Talk of “culture”

For after all, culture is just another way to introduce stereotypes, which invite prejudice.

I wish I had been more brave when I was a “Buckeye Boy.”

But I guess I can do my penance … by learning what to boycott around me today.

 

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Bitch

Bitch: (n) a female dog, wolf, fox, or otter.

Dictionary B

Her name was Mrs. Calvert.

She was my seventh grade science teacher.

The reason I remember her name so well is that she was constantly telling people how to pronounce it, even though it was not particularly difficult to speak.

She also had another annoying practice. She decided, since I was a fat boy, that I had limited ability. So when she took the class to the science museum, she explained to me–in front of everyone else–that there was an elevator available if I didn’t feel I could climb all the stairs.

I was not only humiliated, but was targeted by my classmates for further ridicule.

It was devastating. She was a fat bigot.

But if you had asked her, she would have merely shared her concern for my well-being.

It is exactly the same way I think America handles gender.

We “Calvert” it.

Yes, just like Mrs. Calvert, we have privately decided what men and women can do, and if anyone tries to step out of their compartment and suggest otherwise, we have names for them.

If a man selects to be more sensitive and open to the female perspective, we view him as “pre-gay.” In other words, maybe not a part of the club, but sympathetic to the rules.

If a woman chooses to compete and be more aggressive, she is deemed to be a bitch.

Let me explain the full range of the use of the word bitch:

It can be “any woman who disagrees with a man” all the way through “any woman who insists on having equal rights.”

You can always tell when you’re in the presence of stupidity.

It is a group of people who find a nasty word to describe a whole bunch of folks so they don’t have to deal with the real issues.

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