Bon Voyage

Bon voyage: (exclam) used to express good wishes to someone about to go on a journey.

A great sense of embarrassment swept over my entire being, placing crimson in my cheeks and a chill down my spine because of my tremendous expression of Dictionary Bstupidity.

I was in Mexico. I didn’t want to come across ignorant. So deciding to avoid that, I attempted to do something ridiculous. I tried to take my two years of high school Spanish and put them to good use by experimenting with the locals.

After greeting them with “Buenos dias” and being able to ask them if they had a green pencil, I stared into their confounded faces and realized I should never have answered their question, “Habla Espanol?” (do you speak Spanish?) with the silly response of “Poco” (meaning a little).

There is perhaps no more egregious fracture of etiquette than to pretend you are able to be international because you’re on the workable end of a seven-word vocabulary.

Thus my feeling when I’m getting ready to go on a trip and someone shouts at me, “Bon voyage!”

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Amputate

dictionary with letter A

Amputate: (v): to cut off a limb, typically by surgical operation.

I have eight toes.

I started out with ten–a full complement. But when I got an infection in the big toe on my left foot and it spread to the next toe and threatened to become equally as evangelistic to all the surrounding little piggies, it became necessary for the doctor to come in and snatch two of ’em.

I was not favorable to this.

Even though the infection was threatening to go into gangrene, I had grown fond of having ten toes and considered it to be beneath me, as an intelligent individual, to trim down to eight.

It was explained to me that I didn’t really need ten toes–a similar conversation that young mothers have with their homely daughters when trying to point out the positive aspects of being plain.

I knew I didn’t need ten toes. (Well, I didn’t know, but I assumed that my feet would still work with eight.)

It’s just that I didn’t want to be weird.

I didn’t want to be that guy who was physically debilitated or weakened, making him seem a bit pitiful instead of powerful.

It’s not that a lot of people see your toes. Matter of fact, there are only certain occasions when such a revealing is even plausible.

But I saw–and my opinion matters to me.

But when it came down to a choice between dying or losing my two toes, I chose to bid farewell and bon voyage to the fellas.

It reminds me of an idea put forth in the Good Book: “If your right hand offends you, cut it off.” For it’s better to make it to heaven without a hand than to show up someplace else with a diseased appendage.

Interesting.

Of course, there are spiritual applications across the board–but I think one of the signs of maturity is knowing when to give up on things that are not working and cut them away before they taint and destroy everything else.

It’s never easy. After all, we grow accustomed to the face of our circumstance.

But as I sit here today–with eight toes–writing to you, I realize that it does not make a lot of difference.

Because even with eight … you can still keep your toes in the water.

 

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