Croup

Croup: (n) any condition of the larynx characterized by a hoarse cough and difficult breathing.

One of the more annoying aspects of writing a column or posting a blog on the Internet is what seems to be the incessant need to talk about life beginning with how it relates to yourself.

I will be honest—I don’t think I am as interesting as other folks do.

I don’t know whether this is even possible, but I have often felt I was boring myself.

But when I saw the word “croup” today, I couldn’t resist relating a piece of personal identity concerning the condition.

Up until five years of age, I was sickly.

Chubby, round-faced and ill. (Very attractive for young parents.)

Every time I caught a cold, it went into my chest and I mustered a hacking cough which eventually made it difficult to breathe. So my mother often rushed me into the bathroom, turned on all the faucets with hot water, and sat there with me in the steam, hoping my croup would clear.

It was so bad one night that the town doctor was called to come to our little bungalow.

He  felt compelled to give me a shot of adrenalin in the heart to keep me among the living.

Yet somewhere along the line—about the age of six—I began to improve. It was a good thing, because on top of my croup, I was festered with an inability to master swallowing pills, and the only real treatment for my condition were these huge, white sulfa tablets, which greatly resembled horse pills.

So yes—because I could not swallow them, I had to chew them up—two at a time, every four hours.

When the reprieve came and “croup” decided to become a part of my past, I was jubilant. Later on we discovered that because my dad was a cigarette smoker, the air quality in our little home was not conducive to my fussy lungs.

So even though I shared this story with you in candor, and the years have certainly passed, and I have proven myself to be more balanced for the human environment…

I still feel like a Willy Wonka Wimp.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Cramp Someone’s Style

Cramp someone’s style: (v) to prevent someone from free action or expression

 Evil is sneaky.

Evil rarely attacks good.

Evil doesn’t necessarily criticize good.

Evil just makes good look limited—and we, as human beings, foolishly make the decision that trying to find a better way of living just ends up cramping our style.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

It’s happening every day in our world. Folks are so afraid of being vanilla that they try to come up with their own flavor, and when they find it distasteful, they discover they’re stuck with it because it’s become their trademark.

We are completely convinced that the “good boy” cannot be a dynamo in bed as a lover. No, it’s the over-drinking, under-thinking, greasy-haired, motorcycle-riding, jobless fellow who has the secret to the female orgasm.

In politics, we contend that anyone who sits around and discusses how to run the government is too boring to vote for, and we want somebody in there to shake things up—even though it may create problems of earthquake proportions.

We are just so afraid that our style is going to be cramped and we’re in danger of being boxed in that we find ourselves beckoned to an isolated corner, to be tempted by a “snake in the grass” with something that ends up fruitless.

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Compatible

Compatible: (adj) two things able to exist or occur together without conflict.

I sat patiently listening to the young psychologist try to explain to those who had gathered for what had turned into a boring lecture about what it truly means to “be compatible.”

He was well-studied (which always guarantees a certain amount of error).

He said, “It is important for a couple to find the things they share in common and to celebrate their differences.”funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I don’t know whether I was the only one in the room who thought, “Oh, my God, kill me before I ever have to be in that discussion.”

But the tepid response he received and the lack of questions let me know that the audience had moved far beyond this young man’s learning–into the actual world of doing.

Having a relationship with anyone or anything is certainly about being compatible. But it is foolish to over-complicate the scenario.

Simply stated.. do your plugs fit?

If it’s a romantic situation, it will be necessary to find out if you like each other’s lips, each other’s hands, each other’s genitals, each other’s odors, each other’s habits and each other’s…others.

There will be adjustments. After all, as in the case of plugs, two identical plugs do not hook up. They require different ends to their means.

So sexually, a woman does not have to be a dynamo, nor does a man need the largest penis in the Sahara Desert. They just have to find out how their plugs hook up and work on adaptors.

Likewise, how do your plugs hook up on finance? She spends, he’s thrifty. That is completely compatible as long as she has money that is hers and he doesn’t lament how she uses it.

How do your plugs hook up about raising kids? She’s a strong disciplinarian, he’s a wimp. So when there are wimpy issues, let him head the class. When the little turds need stronger language, let Mama do the job.

Over-complicating human relationships always makes us believe that we’re incompatible.

“Black people can’t be around white people. White people like organ music and black people like tambourines.” It is possible to play the tambourine with an organ, and it’s also historical to rock your organ out a little bit.

Compatible is not difficult: check your plugs. Wiggle them around. Find a way to make them fit.

Nothing on Earth is really natural–everything requires a bit of work.

Otherwise, we all would be perniciously lazy.

 

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Cohort

Cohort: (n) a group of people banded together

I have a son who’s convinced that I am becoming more conservative as I get older.

Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. Age has done one thing and only one thing for me–it has insisted that I be practical.

It stands over me, often in a threatening pose, barking in my ear that the plans I had made to do something beyond my physical abilities are not filled with initiative, but rather, reek of stupidity.

I become more and more astounded with the simplicity of the statement, “Those that are not against us are for us.”

Therefore, mankind is my cohort, and I, its.

I am looking for reasons to enjoy the people around me instead of tagging them as enemies to be avoided.

Every time I read something, I find one little tiny nugget of valuable common sense. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the Bible or the Communist Manifesto–each document has a golden gleam which makes its writing valuable and worthy of human hearing.

But also, each document is chock-full of filler–statements thrown in, sometimes as afterthoughts and often in ignorance.

So when a Republican talks, I listen for sense. Likewise, when a Democrat shares, I probe the speech for reasonability. In the process of doing this, I find myself making more friends and being far less critical.

Recently a friend asked what I thought about a song that was being touted on the Internet. I replied, “They started on the same beat, didn’t miss a lyric and ended in pitch.”

There’s a lot to be said for that. It is a fine beginning for discussion. But often, humans will find one word within the body of the poetry which they consider distasteful, and relegate the entire presentation to being hellish nothingness.

A cohort of critics.

How boring.

How boorish.

How stubborn

How meaningless.

I found out some time ago that the world never gets anything right. Celebration occurs when the effort comes close.

 

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Cling

Cling: (v) to hold on tightly

I cannot explain the choices I make in the middle of the night, when suffering from a bit of insomnia and flipping through the channels on television.

In my conscious mind I am trying to find something that’s boring enough to put me to sleep. Therefore I often stop at religious programming.

Just a couple of evenings ago, I landed on a program with a preacher who had a Georgia drawl, explaining why he was not afraid to die. He became very emotional, citing that he knew he was going to go to heaven and spend eternity with Jesus. Surrounded by the dark room and feeling very impressionable in my nighttime skivvies, I nearly believed him.

I wondered why I didn’t feel that way.

I don’t want to die.

I don’t think it sounds interesting.

I get teary-eyed thinking of a world without me.

I can’t imagine how my friends and loved-ones will survive. (Maybe that’s why the Pharaohs locked all their cats in the tomb with them.) I digress.

I cling to life.

I am not a hypochondriac, but if one is needed, I can do a pretty damn good impersonation. Why? Because every breath, every pain, every trickle in my system makes me suspicious that it is the precursor of a wave of destruction.

I think it’s foolish to say you believe in a God who made a beautiful Earth and then to be in a hurry to get away from it, thinking that the upgrade will be an improvement.

I like Earth.

I like people–even when they’re unlikable, because then they’re a puzzle.

I like being around.

I like what happens when I’m around.

So I cling.

Whatever seems to be full of energy, vitality or just the general circulation of the blood, I support with all my heart.

It is time to admit that I am an Earthling who will need to be evicted to get me to leave my particular duplex. Perhaps my Creator has set aside a place for me in a spirit world which is beyond my comprehension. I cannot cling to that.

But I can cling to faith, hope and love.

These are the three things that matter. These are the three things that make Earth sweet.

And these are the three things that make me so glad that I’m still alive with people like you.

 

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Boring

Boring: (adj) not interesting; tedious.

I used to be deathly afraid of being boring.Dictionary B

Because of this phobia, I almost accidentally became friends to my children instead of a good parent, denied my faith rather than creating a backbone for my principles, and attempted ridiculous entertainment projects to prove I was youthful and alive.

I don’t know why “boring” scared me so badly–except in our particular American culture, it is the word that ushers in the “last rites” for misunderstood ideas.

In other words, if something is determined to be boring, it is soon abandoned and left to die in the field of forgetfulness.

But then one day it struck me–every great notion and progressive invention in the history of our race was at one time considered boring.

Can you imagine Thomas Edison explaining to all the people who deeply loved candles and gas light lamps how his incandescent bulb might be able to work better, and ultimately even be cheaper?

Boring.

Or how about Abraham Lincoln, stumping to his Cabinet and Congress, how the addition of the freed slaves to our everyday life would give us a great brotherhood to exemplify the idea of liberty?

Really boring.

Or the guy named Salk, who came along and said that just weeping over children with polio was not enough–that maybe we could come up with some sort of vaccination to protect them from the disease instead of just praying for them and telling stories about their hideous struggles.

No thanks, Jonas.

Boring is not what is truly misplaced or ill-timed. It is the piece of truth that we do not yet understand, which we decide is meaningless because it mystifies our limited reasoning.

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Bare

Bare: (v) to uncoverDictionary B

I do not believe that I could ever be a nudist simply because it would be exhausting to pretend I wasn’t looking at other people’s private parts–similar to attempting to be interested in a boring person, proclaiming that all my children’s early drawings were fantastic, struggling to stay awake during a boring speech or finding a way to avoid telling someone I love that I’m a mere mortal and therefore incapable of offering the gift unconditionally.

Being naked is never a good thing because those who feel they look good without clothing are either deceived or ridiculously attractive.

I am neither. I am fat.

I have no memory of ever standing and looking down and seeing my genitalia.

Not only is that a great comedy line, but actually ends up being true. Now, it doesn’t mean that I don’t have such an apparatus; it just means that it’s not readily available for me to peruse.

So the times in my life that I’ve found myself baring my body have only occurred through hours, days, weeks and months … of first baring my soul. 

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