Coulter

Coulter: (n) a surname

I have made it a practice to never insert someone’s real name into one of my essays or articles. Whatever that person and I chose to do in our adult moments of living shouldn’t be regaled for all the world to read. At least I owe them that.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

But I could not help myself when I rolled across the name Coulter, and realized that a very dear friend by that name once strolled into my life and took me from a status of nearly homeless to a position in which my music and art was given the chance to be considered as viable.

Coulter was my friend. He was part of a music group I joined, and in no time at all they had me singing his vocal parts. Rather than being angry or jealous, Coulter was appreciative and supportive.

He tried many things. Coulter’s problem was that he was good at everything he attempted.

For instance, he started working at a doughnut shop and within two months, they made him manager. (I benefited from that experience, because my wife and I were without an actual place to sleep at night, nor regular food.) Coulter always provided a big box of day-old doughnuts, which he set outside the back door of the establishment with his blessing)

He always believed that underneath my neediness—and sometimes grubbiness—there was someone worthy to be heard. Eventually, because of his love of the entertainment business, he started his own agency to book acts. Completely in line with his employment history, in no time at all he had a stable of artists and was scheduling them into everything from conventions to churches to county fairs.

He helped our fledgling group along, throwing us work every now and then, and when I wrote my first musical theater piece, he became so excited that he found ten investors, who gave a thousand dollars each to fund the effort.

He not only helped me put together the cast for the production, but also got on the phone and scheduled dates in twenty-five cities around the country, so we could go and perform it.

He was so enthralled with the music from the play that he wanted to promote to large publishing concerns. All he needed from me were lead sheets and chord charts. Unfortunately, my technical knowledge of music was limited, and I ended up handing him materials which were pitiful and comical at the same time.

But he never held it against me. He never became enraged or upset about anything.

Even when we were in the midst of promoting our musical play, and a minister who believed he possessed both the knowledge of God’s will and the right to judge others who didn’t understand, attacked Coulter because he heard rumors that my friend was a homosexual (that’s back when they were homosexuals instead of gay) Coulter refused to retaliate.

Even though I was a stupid kid with a gnat’s worth of sense, I defended him and stood up against the Pharisee. It’s one of the better things I ever did in my life.

I don’t know where Coulter is today—or even if he is today.

But wherever he may be, I want him to know that his good buddy turned out okay—due in large part to a friend who arrived in the early days with a box of doughnut—just at the right time.


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Bat

Bat: (n) a mammal whose forelimbs form webbed wings, making it capable of sustained flightDictionary B

To a certain degree, everything in life seems normal until you have a chance to escape the circumstances and reflect on the weirdness.

I traveled the country with my family for a season, sharing music and ideas with audiences in coffee houses and churches. That in itself might be viewed as bizarre. But we were together, loved each other, attempted to maintain civility with the world around us–and laughed a lot.

So it didn’t seem particularly odd to arrive in rural Nebraska at a church in the middle of nowhere, which had invited us to come and share, and set us up to lodge in the fellowship hall so that we could save money on a motel (which did not exist anywhere nearby.)

We were grateful.

I should have known there was something wrong when we arrived at the location, set up our equipment, and I went to the men’s restroom to urinate. Totally preoccupied, I failed to look at where I was peeing and suddenly discovered there was a bat which was fairly upset over my splashings.

Yes, I peed on a bat.

I quickly departed, figuring it was just an aberration. But that night, as we lay on our makeshift mats on the floor, we began to hear the scratching, creaking and high-pitched squealing of creatures directly above our heads, in the ceiling.

It was very disconcerting–a soundtrack from the worst horror movie you’ve ever heard.

I suddenly realized that the bat I had pissed off–or pissed on, depending on how you look at it–had friends in high places.

We were surrounded.

Matter of fact, turning on the lights we discovered there was a hole in the ceiling where the bats were obviously finding an exit to fly around and check out the rest of the building.

We went on a frantic search to find a place where we would be safe. After careful inspection, we found that the only place in the building that was closed off and private seemed to be the nursery–and only a small portion of that room.

So we all huddled together in the midst of the bassinets, stuffed our ears with cotton, covered our heads with blankets and tried to sleep, praying for morning.

Needless to say, we checked out early … just in case the bats were getting up for continental breakfast.

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Ambiguity

dictionary with letter A

Ambiguity: (n) uncertainty or inexactness of meaning in language

Shouldn’t that be the United States of Ambiguity?

It is now a national pastime–maybe better phrased, our universal slogan. In the pursuit of finding safe language that is not offensive to anyone, we have come up with sentences filled with nouns, but absent verbs.

Politicians stand in front of audiences and list all the types of people they want to appeal to, but never come up with an action word to describe what they intend to do for these hordes of admirers.

Churches have fallen back on becoming more traditional and symbolic in their presentation of spirituality, for fear of offending those who want to have religion minus personal intervention.

And entertainment is always consulting focus groups to ensure that the material provided will garner the widest appeal to sell tickets, t-shirts and DVDs.

It’s all very interesting. And it’s all the process of taking political correctness to a new position: emotional stall.

We’re just stalled. We don’t know what to do, so we attempt to accept everything in part, without signing on the dotted line.

So in a world that prides itself on caution, the next heroes and victors will be daredevils.

The genius of the future will be the explorer who is not afraid to have an opinion and see it through to some sort of conclusion.

Ambiguity is ambiguous.

I know that’s not very articulate, but it says it very well, don’t you think? And it is absent the ambiguity of trying to find a way to describe ambiguity without offending anyone, while possibly causing the hearer to express some interest.

Here are three thoughts I share without reservation–or ambiguity:

  1. America is not exceptional in the eyes of God, but has an exceptional opportunity to do something in this day and hour which could ring true for a thousand years to come.
  2. People are not born any specific way–otherwise, God would have favorites and free will would be a joke.
  3. There is no replacement for hard work and taking personal responsibility for your own life.

You can see, these are thoughts that have both nouns and verbs. They contain very little ambiguity, and therefore open the door to discussion, debate … and hopefully some progress.

Abbacy

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter AAbbacy: (n.) the office or period of office of an abbot or abbess.

There are so many words there I don’t understand that I don’t know where to begin. So instead of beginning, let me do what most politicians do and just talk about stuff that comes to my mind that I really don’t understand.

My vision of an abbot is someone who wears robes and works in a church. That other word sounds an awful lot like Abyss, which was a really cool movie about a huge water snake coming in, staring at a girl and morphing into her face. (It’s too difficult to explain unless you’ve seen the movie.)

The other Abbot I’m aware of is Bud Abbot. He joined with Lou Costello to form, of course, Abbot and Costello.

I am dating myself to put these names into the article. Most people today would be completely unfamiliar with Abbot and Costello, so to focus in on Bud Abbot would be to double the potential for obscure and confusing knowledge. But for the record–he was the straight man–which I guess, WOULD describe an abbot,right?  Is there such a thing as a comical abbot? I suppose if YOU had to walk around all day in woolen robes, with a funny haircut, consume large portions of porridge and say prayers all day, you might feel like you were IN an abyss.

Which brings us back to where we started.

I don’t know what I’m talking about.