Crosby, Bing

Crosby, Bing: A twentieth-century American singer and actor.

For about a decade, the United States was enamored with three male singers. (Of course, you could argue this point, and your three would probably be as good as the three I’m going to present.)

But for the sake of discussion, let me say that this trio of crooners was:

Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and Bing Crosby

They were very different men, and not just by having individual names, but by lifestyle. It was intriguing that for the first time in our history, Mr. Cole, a black man was included in the upper echelon of the singing triumvirate.

Bing Crosby was fascinating because he was known for comedies and light, romantic romps—and his famous baritone voice was relished by young and old alike. Matter of fact, to this day it is nearly impossible to envision a cozy seat by the fireplace at Christmas without hearing old Bing intone, “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.”

Then out come the books:

  • Accusations that he was cruel, vindictive and even abusive to his children.
  • A womanizer.
  • And assertions that he may have had more in mind than snow when he sought a “White Christmas.”

You see, this syndrome was not invented by our 24-hour news cycle.

Throughout our history, we have loved to create heroes and extol the talent in a person so that we could turn around and expose dirty details to bring the elevated champion down a notch or two.

For instance, people insist that George Washington, the father of our country—the man who suffered at Valley Forge—who persevered to win us our freedom?

Tee-hee-hee: he had wooden teeth.

Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, who held our nation together through the Civil War?

Tee-tee-hee: he might just have slept in a bed with another man.

We are incorrigible children in search of information to feed our gossip frenzy.

It’s fine if it is truthful.

But if it is not, we are still willing to consider it, to tickle our fancy.

I don’t know whether there is a celebrity or a notable who has not suffered under this microscope of mangling.

But for me, I still hear a gentle man, smoking a pipe, singing “White Christmas,” cutting up with awfully silly jokes, with Bob Hope, while they’re On the Road to somewhere or another.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Consume

Consume: (v) to eat, drink, or ingest food or drink

Last night, in the spirit of the holidays and expressing great affection, one of my sons made me a huge shrimp cocktail and regally paraded it to the table and set it down in front of me as if I were Henry VIII himself.

It was a beautiful sight. It took time to put together. It was gorgeous (if can bestow such a title upon impaled shrimp).

Yet less than ten minutes later it was consumed. The little fellows had departed, and all that was left behind were little tiny pieces of tail.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I was not sad. Matter of fact, I was quite satisfied with the offering and how it landed deep within my innards.

But it was gone.

I began to look around to see if there were friends of the shrimp which might be available for further consuming.

There were.

I soon forgot the sacrifice of the initial “little swimmers,” as I consumed more and more of their family members.

I felt no guilt whatsoever at destroying a whole generation of crustacea. Appalling.

Certainly to them, I must seem a monster, invading their safe place in the bay, lodging right next door to their pals, the scallops.

But one thing was sure–after my second, and even third, pursuit…

They were gone.

Consumed.

The only thing I took from that experience is that even though shrimp probably do not have souls (at least I hope not), I do have to be careful not to consume people–human brothers and sisters–who do possess such a gift from God.

We are all consumers.

But every once in a while, we need to realize what we’re consuming–and try to put a little back into the sea.

 

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Mr. Kringle's Tales...26 Stories 'Til Christmas

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Construct

Construct: (v) to build or erect something

Four days until Christmas.

I sit in my home and look around.

In the corner is a beautiful Christmas tree. It’s perfect for our little abode. In my earlier years I was a purist.

A tree had to be located–preferably on a farm–chopped down by my axe, brought back to the house, set into a stand, usually crooked, with two or three match boxes under the legs to make it even.

I spent hours stringing lights, hanging tinsel and arranging ornaments on the extracted fir. I did not feel successful unless I personally constructed my Christmas funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
tree.

Last year I went to the store and found one that hooked together, and when connected correctly, had all of its lights and branches perfectly formed to create a glowing mass of wonder.

I also used to think I had to have my nose in everyone’s business, so it was clear to them that I cared and also that my influence was obvious. Now I realize that getting all of my personal work done, doing my writing projects and remembering where I placed my favorite slippers is plenty of labor for me.

I do not need to construct other people’s lives to satisfy what I have deemed to be a respectable life plan.

I do admire those people who have a knack for putting things together, but I happen to be one of those individuals who’s an enthusiast about things that are already constructed, and arrive in my presence in totality–ready to be enjoyed.

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Mr. Kringle's Tales...26 Stories 'Til Christmas

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Constellation

Constellation: (n) a group of stars forming a recognizable pattern

Christmas: when the nays and yeas get together to discuss a baby born in the hay.

To me, It is the only wearisome part of the season. One group tries to convince the other group that the Christmas story from the gospels of Matthew and Luke is not only possible, but also historical.

The other contingency works really hard to dismiss the whole, ridiculous notion of a virgin birth, a Star of David and “angels we have heard on high.”funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I take a different approach.

I like to consider what the world needs and what the Earth craves, and then find things in the perimeter which feed that urgency.

The world desperately needs all of us to become human instead of men, women, gay, straight, family, country and culture.

So I flip to Christmas: “We bring you tidings of great joy. Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men.”

The Earth also desires respect. Yes, we are a bratty species which thinks the environment is our personal roll of toilet paper.

And then we have the story of the Star of Bethlehem. Somewhere out there in the constellations there emerged a star. The popular belief is that this would have to be a huge star–not necessarily true since the people who followed it were star-gazers, and would not need to be “star-struck” in order to be intrigued with a particular heavenly body.

The elements of the Christmas story are concepts that we, as humans, would have to pursue even if there was no God. For example:

  1. Be prepared to do what is unusual, or expect the usual results.
  2. Don’t expect everything to come the way you predicted it. Maybe a woman will be the hero of the tale.
  3. Look to the stars. Look for some light. Look for some hope. Follow it.
  4. Listen for the better angels, who tell us to try to get along.

My only regret at Christmas time, as an author, is that Matthew and Luke beat me to the publisher.

Because I’ll tell ya’–I would write that story any day of the week, knowing that it was not only needful, but destined to be a hit.

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Mr. Kringle's Tales...26 Stories 'Til Christmas

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Conservation

Conservation: (n) the action of conserving something

There are many noble causes, but each is ill-served by advocates who are bratty and self-righteous.

I am more than willing to listen to anyone explain the importance of a rain forest or even why it is good to keep the glaciers frozen. What I will funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
not tolerate is an individual who thinks I am ignorant because I don’t already know it, or judges my reaction as being insufficient to the need.

It is actually quite possible to plant more trees without hugging the existing ones.

It is certainly powerful to enjoy Christmas without insisting that everyone react to it and celebrate it exactly the same way you do.

Conservation always puts our eyes too much on the affairs and lifestyle of others. We begin to believe that our cause is so significant that anyone who might suggest we are a trifle overwrought is an enemy of life or God.

Perspective.

Here is the perspective, and order of importance, for Planet Earth:

  • People
  • Animals
  • Trees
  • And video games (I’m just trying to gear this to the Millennials.)

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Mr. Kringle's Tales...26 Stories 'Til Christmas

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Circulate

Circulate: (v) to pass or cause to pass from place to place or person to person.

I have recently been accused of being anti-social.

The diagnosis was offered because I failed to attend a party. It was assumed that anyone who didn’t want to come to this social adventure
had to be out of his or her mind.

I was supposed to come and circulate among people whom I have known for years, and read about ever-too-frequently on my Facebook page. As a matter of fact, I know so much about these folks that I could probably write personal bios for them.

But they were convinced that I had sunk into some sort of despair because I wasn’t going to come and hear the same old stories while partaking of a dip with only subtle new inclusions.

I do need to circulate–but I need to do it among people who are not necessarily related to me or benefit from me personally or financially.

A great man once said that if you only love those who love you, what in the hell is so special about that?

For instance, I just came back from the grocery store. I encountered at least twenty-five people I have never met before.

I circulated.

I conversed.

I opened up my heart to the possibility that these were good folks and I would benefit from the exchanges. I suspect about half of them thought I was crazy for being so talkative. But the other half took a risk, jumped in and, well…circulated.

We do not circulate when we only hang around those who resemble us or are friends because we buy presents for them on birthdays or Christmas.

We circulate when we allow the blood of human relationship to mingle among castes, races, genders and ideologies.

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Chanukkah

Chanukkah: (n) a lesser Jewish festival, lasting eight days

America is apparently doped up, and the drug of choice is freedom. Yes, it is possible to have so much freedom that there is no restraint.

We need to learn the difference between giving respect and giving attention.

For instance, anyone who is struggling with gender identification should be given the respect and space to make that journey. But when such
a group of people is less than one percent of our country, giving them too much attention is flat-out ridiculous.

The same thing is true with Christmas and Chanukkah. At last count, there were eight million Jews in the world. God bless them. (Or Jehovah bless them, depending on which one is more appropriate.) They have a celebration which falls near Christmas. It should be given respect.

But it cannot be given equal attention to Christmas.

It is absolutely ludicrous. You do not make things fair by making everything equally as important. Chanukkah is a holiday for fewer than eight million people. Christmas, on the other hand, is celebrated by three-and-a-half billion.

Numbers do make a difference. Otherwise, we don’t have Democracy. The more votes a candidate gets, the better chance they have of being elected.

So in my opinion, it’s “Merry Christmas to one and all,” and to our Jewish friends, “Happy Chanukkah.” It is NOT “Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukkah.”

They are not equivalent and it is an irrational idea to presume that both should be given equal attention.

I’m glad I live in a country that gives respect to all participants, but I do not want to live in a comical environment, where we attempt to achieve equal attention.

 

 

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