Chicken Pox

Chicken pox: (n) an infectious disease causing a mild fever and a rash of itchy inflamed blisters

The conventional wisdom of one generation is often the horror of horrors to the next.

When I was a young boy, I contracted chicken pox. I will not say it was a pleasant experience, but when you factor in the attention, ice cream
and time off from school, it balanced nicely.

But the true oddity of the whole event was how the mothers of my friends brought their children to our house and made them play with me, so the kids would all get chicken pox at once–and then it would be over.

It sounds almost medieval. But in their simple way, they realized that keeping the chicken pox alive for months and months, with each child having his day in the sun–or out of the sun, in this case–would be truly agonizing.

So in a sense, what was created was a chicken pox party.

Here were the positive aspects:

  • All the kids could play together.
  • All the kids could benefit from the treats together.
  • And all of the kids could miss school at the same time, so they could study and literally do their homework at home.

It was a simple solution from a simple people who had not yet benefitted from all the vaccinations.

And by the way, had not decided to argue about the value of vaccinations.

 

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Chicken

Chicken: (n) a domestic fowl kept for its eggs or meat

Thirteen cents less a pound.

As a boy, my father found out that he could buy chickens that were alive cheaper than he could buy them in the store. For some reason, he thought this was a good idea.

Now, it’s not like we lived on a farm–it was just a residential street with a small garage.

My father came home with four chickens in their little wooden, slatted pens. The first thing that struck me about the chickens was how damned noisy they were
.

But even though I believed these creatures were not terribly intelligent, they had some sort of sensibility, realizing they were not traveling out in their crates to visit the Lincoln Memorial. A certain doom invaded their screams–or were they clucks? Actually, it was somewhere between a cluck and a scream.

I was seven years old. My father requested I go and bring him an axe.

I will pause here for a second to remind you that we are standing in a Middle America garage and my father is ill-prepared. He has not figured out how to grab the chicken, put it down on a wooden box, take his hatchet and behead the squawker.

He discovers that he doesn’t have enough hands. After all, he needs one hand for the hatchet and the other for the chicken–which is more than a handful. So he turns to me and says, “Son, come here and hold the chicken’s neck down so I can chop it.”

There were so many things in that command that disturbed me that I wouldn’t know where to start.

I froze.

This made my father angry–mainly because the chicken was beginning to get the better of him, and its claws were reaching up, ripping into his flesh. After being yelled at two additional times, I finally made my way over and placed my small hand around the chicken’s neck.

The poor fowl bastard turned and looked at me.

My dad brought the hatchet down and I found myself holding the head of a chicken as the body flopped all over the garage, spurting blood and spewing feathers in every direction.

We repeated the process three more times.

I never got better at it–nor did my dad.

At the end of the experience, we had a garage covered in blood and feathers, and four chicken carcasses stacked on top of each other, twitching and wiggling.

My dad also failed to realize that after chopping off the heads, there was the process of removing feathers, feet, chicken butts and any number of unnecessary parts that don’t fry up well.

The butchering only happened once.

After that, my dad decided that paying a thirteen-cent-a-pound surcharge for “completed” birds was much more pleasant.

 

 

 

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Cack

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Cack: (n) a talkative, gossiping person

I have a new favorite word!

Cack!

How perfect! Does that not describe every single gossiping soul that you have encountered in your life?

They cackle–like poultry. And this stimulated me to realize that there are three types:

There’s the duck cack:

This is the person who tears another individual’s character apart, under the guise of concern and prayerful wishes, ducking away from the responsibility of being a back-biting loser.

This is followed by the chicken cack:

“Cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck” all day long, pecking at the integrity of others, only to turn chicken and deny their involvement when confronted. They’ll even tell you who started the rumor.

And finally, there’s the goose cack:

These are people who are so sure that they’re direct emissaries from the Lord God Almighty that they’ll take their long neck and beak and unapologetically stick it up your ass–goosing you.

After all, when you speak for the heavens, you’re certainly not concerned about earthly criticism.

Here’s the question:

Can I catch myself when I become a cack?

Can I keep myself from barnyard nonsense so I have the right to live in the house with other sensible human beings?

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Avocado

Avocado: (n) a fruit with tough leathery skin and a large stone

For years the avocado has taken great grief for being ugly on the outside and then having a pit or stone that is much too large for its contents.dictionary with letter A

I really sympathize.

Even though my skin does not resemble an alligator, I am not horribly attractive on the exterior, and being rather obese, I occasionally will take some teasing, or worse, inconsiderate advice from the meandering masses.

I think the avocado would probably agree with me when I say that the problem is not with the oversized pit, but rather, the undersized fruit.

In my case, I have it figured this way: I am not really fat–it’s just that I was intended to be 8 feet tall. Consider it a mistake of creation or a mutation of evolution–whichever your preference tends to be.

Also the avocado suffers from the malady of occasionally being tasteless. You will find one that is sweet and absolutely delectable, but often it is as flat as bargain-brand mayonnaise.

So the only claim to fame for the avocado, as far as I know. is that it is one of those “perfect” foods.

In other words, if you found yourself trapped on a desert island and all that grew there were avocados and bananas, you could live a full, long and healthy life. You’d probably want to kill yourself on Day Nine for want of the bacon and chicken breast to go with your avocado sandwich, but medically you would be sound.

The thing I do like about an avocado is that it draws out one of the better human attributes: looking for something good to say. 

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Avert

Avert: (v) turn away one’s eyes or thoughts.

I like breasts.dictionary with letter A

I’m not talking about those that are dipped in egg and fried in a skillet which come from the hen-house. They have their appeal.

I’m talking about the breasts on the female of our species.

I suppose sharing that out loud makes one seem a little perverted or at least overly vulnerable. I don’t care. To deny it would make me a moralistic liar.

I especially enjoyed breasts in my twenties.

Matter of fact, I was traveling with a young lady who had a pair which particularly piqued my intrigue.

I tried to take the normal path that might lead one to revelation. In other words, I expressed interest in her, hoping that such a courtesy would eventually lead to full disclosure. But it didn’t.

She cursedly liked me “as a friend.” Friends don’t usually share their bosoms. (Just something I’ve discovered.)

So if I was going to feed the lustful monster which habitated somewhere deep in the cellar of my thoughts, it became necessary for me to come up with an angle from which to view the breasts of this young girl without going through medical school and becoming her gynecologist.

We were staying at a motel. Motels have a very sneaky system. The mirror that is on the wall–usually directly behind the television set–just happens to give you an excellent viewing angle into the nearby bathroom.

Now, I’m not certain if my friend, who happened to be a girl, was just naive, or if she was a little vixen who knew how to quickly escape into her foxhole. But one night she took a shower and decided not to close the bathroom door all the way. So sitting on my bed and gazing into that magical mirror, I was able to catch a vision of her womanhood.

At first it was hazy from the shower steam. But I persisted–and gradually, there they were.

Her breasts. They were beautiful.

She lingered and I joined her.

I became so excited that I nearly felt the need to take the situation in hand. But I maintained my dignity just in case she would emerge and catch me.

It was amazing.

I did not avert my glance.

I do not know what I would have been, to be so responsible. But whoever that person was, I personally was not acquainted with him.

I still like breasts. I am no longer a Peeping Tom, nor do I look for magical ways to see them, but I’m sure there are other things that I should avoid seeing … but I fail to avert my eyes.

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Avarice

Avarice: (n) extreme greed for wealth or material gain.dictionary with letter A

It often leaves me baffled that we humans are completely aware of a truth which eludes us as we pursue our present fantasy.

Even though every mortal breathing air is fully aware that they won’t be able to take wealth and possessions with them. they still pursue it with such ferocity that they often become a cartoon version of themselves.

Maybe this humble writer can offer a 4-step process which might aid us all in discovering a more rational path:

  1. Once you have covered what you need, what you’re left with is what you want. And since our whim is so fickle, it’s probably a good idea to wait twenty-four hours before acquiring the present desire of our hearts. After that period has passed, we normally find that we don’t really want it quite as much, and certainly don’t need it.
  2. Even if you accumulate enough cash flow to get what you want, then you will be tempted to try to acquire what other people think you should want. If you become foolish enough to pursue this path, you will find that other people are actually spending your money for you. What a horrible sensation.
  3. So you should pause at this juncture, take a deep breath and realize that lobster costs more than chicken, therefore never meant to be eaten at all three square meals.
  4. Which leads to:
  • Meet your need
  • Plant a seed
  • Avoid greed

We should have what we need.

Maybe a little extra to invest in good ideas.

But never buy something because somebody thinks you should or to maintain the appearance of your status. 

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Antepartum

dictionary with letter A

Antepartum (adj.): occurring before childbirth.

Pregnancy.

No male of the species should probably ever postulate on this issue, even if stimulated by curiosity to offer insights or opinions on the process by which a female conceives, carries and eventually “unshells” a human being. It is beyond the scope of the average man.

Yet it is a source of fascination.

Having been around numerous pregnant women in my life, I first of all realize that many of them do not like to be referred to as “pregnant.” So the first thing a male should acquire is a Thesaurus, to discover different terms for a woman impregnated. (Once again, another dubious word.)

Truthfully, during that nine-month period of gestation, words and wording become very important. To some degree, true candor must be abandoned in favor of cautionary terminology.

For instance, one should never have an opinion on whether a woman with child looks good. It is a foregone conclusion that they are “blooming, glowing, transcendant” and nearly “immortal.”

So at my own peril, I will be honest about my take on this situation of what is referred to as “antepartum.”

1. It’s too bad that the baby can’t be passed from parent to parent like a basketball.

When one got tired the other could take over for a while. I suppose this might create its own set of discussions, but at least one would not be suffering while the other desperately scrambles to alleviate it.

2. Telling a person that is normally attractive and small that they are still extremely desirable, when they realize by looking in the mirror that they are suddenly humongous, is not very comforting.

I don’t know what the right decision would be in this situation, but it is a fruitless task to try to tell a balloon that it is not blown up.

3. It is ironic that the romance, chemistry and lust that produced the condition suddenly runs away in terror at the conclusion.

“Chicken!” That’s what I yell at the retreating emotions as they scurry away in horror, leaving the pair to wonder if any attraction remains.

4. And finally, because this is going to be a journey, pack a bag and make sure you include lots of money, a first-aid kit, games, trinkets and a list of the reasons why you love her.

it’s not that women are silly. I imagine if men were carrying a child, they would be even more prone to bursts of temporary insanity.

It’s just that the idea of growing something in your body that weighs nearly ten pounds is normally treated with radiation and surgery. In other words, a cancer.

So I think trying to find the balance between honesty and tenderness is the best profile.

But of course, in doing so, wear a helmet and a cup. 

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