Custer’s Last Stand

Custer’s Last Stand: The defeat of Colonel George A. Custer and his cavalry detachment by a large force of Native Americans at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876.

It was Franklin Roosevelt who changed the game.

Since FDR, our Presidents have more or less taken on the appearance of being the CEO for a large corporation. Now granted, we’ve had some rotten pickles in the barrel.

But generally speaking, the job of President of the United States changed as of Franklin Roosevelt—because he found himself in a situation where for the second time, like the Civil War, our country was on the verge of collapse—this time by poverty.

Stability was needed.

A bit of tenderness.

And certainly a vision for all the people.

I share this with you because before President Roosevelt, the men who served in the executive office were a rag-tag mixture of renegades, scoundrels, bookworms and inefficient scholars.

Into such an atmosphere arrived a young gent named George Armstrong Custer.

He came in a season when being overbearing, irreverent and unable to take orders was helpful. We were in the middle of a war and the country was desperately in need of heroes to step out of the shadows and defeat the Confederacy.

Born in Monroe, Michigan, General Custer was a study in flamboyance and narcissism.

Known for his bravery—which by the end of his life had exposed itself as foolhardiness—he rose to the rank of General, where he believed that from his military might, he could easily run for President and win.

His disregard for the Native Americans was certainly bigoted, if not fringing on genocidal.

But because George Armstrong Custer was unable to listen to anyone else’s counsel or follow any advice but his own, he eventually ran up against a battle which was far beyond his control.

He was soundly defeated and killed when many tribes united at the Little Big Horn under the spiritual guidance of Sitting Bull and the field command of Crazy Horse.

There is only one thing you can learn from General Custer:

Believing you can do something may be considered a virtue, but it rarely, by itself, will take you to the finish line—unless by finish line, you mean you’re finished.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Custard Pie

Custard pie: (n) a pie made with custard

Some time ago, back when the only thing open in the middle of the night on a freeway was a truck stop, I was traveling—so sleepy that I decided I should stop at one of these establishments with my friends and get something to eat.

We were in the middle of Dixie.

Apparently had not received the notification that the Civil War had ended—because when we walked in with our long hair—a bit grimy and road-weary—the whole place fell silent.

Just in case you do not understand my meaning, this profile was not selected out of respect, but rather, to communicate shock at seeing “a bunch of hippies,” as they would have called us, stroll into the restaurant.

When I have encountered this kind of prejudice, I’ve always found that the best choice is to stay positive, don’t frown back at them, and keep your conversation within your group. Pretty soon, everybody is eager to get back to their own grits and corn beef hash.

This night was no different.

Except all I really wanted to have was just a piece of pie.

When I think of pie, I have visions of blueberry, cherry, maybe apple—but none of these were available because it was the middle of the night at a truck stop, when most people have turned off all their pie-eating instincts.

The waitress explained that all they had left was “custard pie,” which she said remained because “nobody ever orders it.”

I did. I wanted a piece of pie.

It came, and it was a rather feckless confection—a creamy, white color with just a bit of cinnamon dancing on the top.

I ate it and I loved it.

I treasured it so much that for the next several weeks, I ordered custard pie everywhere I went.

I bought one at a store. It was delicious. Some of these pies were not as good as others, but such is the travail of life. But overall, they had that gentle custard taste, with a hint of vanilla and great sweetness.

I was so enamored with custard pie, I decided to study up on how to make one for myself. I got all the ingredients, put them together, did everything according to the recipe, and ended up with a pie pan that never became solid. It still tasted all right, but it was runny.

I was so disappointed.

I never made nor did I really ever eat custard pie again.

Perhaps that’s a formula for life I should consider.

If I have a vice or if I know of a vice, if I try to do it myself and end up doing it poorly, maybe it will cure me of desiring the vice.

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Curse Word

Curse word: (n) a profane word, especially as used in anger or for emphasis

I just can’t keep up with the current scrutiny that determines what we have decided is profane.

For instance, early during the Civil War, should Admiral Farragut, during the Civil War, have said, “Darn the torpedoes!” instead of damning them? Or do we give him license because he was in the heat of battle and it’s our way of supporting the troops?

When the old-time revival preachers kept using the word “damned,” cursing people to “hell”—was that profane? Or was it merely offering a suggested punishment and potential destination?

Was it profane when Southerners for generations referred to the black race as “niggers?” (I even did it as a little kid. “Eeny-meeny-miney-moe, catch a nigger by his toe.” I was surprised when it was rewritten a few years later, and “nigger” was replaced with “tiger.” Nowadays I wonder if PETA would object to us tugging on the toes of tigers. Is that profane?)

Is it profane to sit in a health class with junior high school students and tell them about the vagina, the penis and explain the power of masturbation?

In speaking forth the level of disgust for something we don’t care about, is it all right to say, “Don’t give a shit?” Or should we change it to “don’t give a bumble-bee?”

I just really don’t know anymore.

When I was much younger, you weren’t allowed to say “God.”

Now we live in a world of “OMG.”

Somebody once corrected me for using the word “crap.” When I asked how they would finish the phrase “I don’t give a…” they piously offered the word “hoot.”

We know why we use profane words.

We know how this ceases to make them profane.

There are times when what we are saying is more important than being proper in our wording.

It’s why the word “ain’t” hangs around—for just the right slang moment.

Here are the five curse words or phrases I think should be eliminated:

  1. You will never…

That is pronouncing a curse on someone by limiting their possibilities.

  1. You are just like…

That is cursing someone with an identity they may very well be trying to escape.

  1. If you don’t believe, you can’t be saved.

Maybe I would believe if I saw that your belief did anything positive for you.

  1. You’re just a…

Anything that follows that phrase is a curse to limit the person you are speaking with, to a very small corner in a very tiny world.

  1. I don’t forgive you.

There is the ultimate curse.

So there are my curse words.

What in the fuck do you think?

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Crowd

Crowd: (n) a large number of people

Buying a pair of shoes.

What is necessary for this task? Me, shoes and a good fit.

Like every human child born on the Earth, I have bought shoes because they looked good, hoping that I would be able to tolerate how they felt on my feet. It was always a huge mistake. No—shoes are about the fit.

Food.

It needs to taste good—and it needs to taste good to me. I always take into consideration whether it’s healthy or not—but only in determining how much of it to eat.

Car.

I want every car I own to do three things for me:

  1. Drive
  2. Be able to be maintained without developing terminal problems in its crankcase or transmission
  3. And finally, it should look decent enough that it’s at least ignored.

What do I look for in a friend?

Someone I can trust. Because I don’t know about you—I use my friends to help me learn how to become friendlier. So they’re going to find all my dumb spots, and I would rather they wouldn’t post these flaws on social media.

My passion? Maybe it’s my mission?

That thing that rings my bell.

I want to be able to do my thing without having people wonder why I’m not getting rich from it or haven’t received an award.

When I used to travel on the road, performing, the first question people asked after the show was how many people attended.

“How big was the crowd?”

When I told the truth, they would quietly back off—thinking it must not be that good, or more people would have been there.

We can’t judge our efforts by the crowd we draw.

If you think about the most important things you do in your life—parenting, being generous, lovemaking, praying, education, exercising—do any of those draw crowds? I don’t think so.

There will always be crowds.

There were crowds in the Coliseum to watch the animals rip apart the flesh of the early Christians.

There were huge crowds in Germany in 1935 to cheer for Chancellor Hitler.

Massive crowds of soldiers gathered on the battlefields in the Civil War, fighting to keep black people in slavery.

There have been crowds associated with every disaster.

Crowds for every tyrant.

Crowds for every fad that came along, and within a short period of time, found themselves embarrassed because they got so worked up over such a stupid idea.

Don’t look for the crowd. Look for the good cheer in your heart.

Don’t look for the crowd. Look for the benefit to humanity.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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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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Complicate

Complicate: (v) to make something more difficult by causing it to be more complex.

It is very sinister that men have succeeded in attributing feminine qualities and responsibility to negative emotions.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

For instance, a worry-wart rarely has hairy armpits.

“Picky” is associated with those who smell like flowers.

And of course, “nagging” could never be done by the sons of Adam.

Men, as a gender, roll their eyes to make it clear that women are the culprits who complicate matters.

Even though the federal government is predominately inhabited by those familiar with the urinal, and there is no other group that complicates matters more through this alleged check-and-balances among the executive, legislative and judicial branches–even though this is true–women are still portrayed as the villains for insisting on working from a check list before going on vacation.

It may surprise you that red tape has no female origin. It is a term that came about by the minutia generated by the army during the Civil War in order to accumulate useless information.

“Complicate” has no gender. It is a nasty vice which always tries to remove the hope from faith so love will die.

 

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Cold sore

Cold sore: (n) an inflamed blister near the mouth, caused by infection with the herpes simplex virus.

Treating a cold sore is an example of a microcosm of all human self-improvement.

  1. First, you have to be willing to admit you have one.

No–it’s not dry crusty “corner-mouth.”

You didn’t burn yourself on jalapeno juice.

And it’s not because you haven’t had the chance for a big yawn.

There is actually something growing there, threatening to take over all lip service.

  1. It doesn’t get better because you pick at it.

Yes, we’re human beings so we pick at our problems instead of addressing them and trying to heal them. Picking off the top layer of dead skin only leaves the underlying layer of bright red, infected skin.

And as unbelievable as it may sound, some people find it a little gross to see you pick at your cold sore.

  1. The cold sore has an agenda–so you’d better get one as well.


Yes, most cold sores sign a lease. They feel they have an absolute right to the location for the entire time they desire to stay.

To evict them demands that you use extreme measures.

Some folks try the septic pencil. (Not only does this hurt like hell, sting and often make the sores bleed, but it has have never been proven to be effective.)

  1. Antibiotics do not kill viruses.

Yes, a cold sore is a virus. We’re just going to leave out the whole discussion of the word “herpes.”

As a virus it cannot be treated with antibiotics, though people often rush to the doctor to get a scrip of the anti-bios.

  1. It’s almost impossible to cover a cold sore with make-up.

Actually, you might want to say the cold sores sport make-up. They accentuate that you have a well-made-up mountain at the corner of your mouth.

  1. The truth is, if you increase your fluids, get a little more rest, don’t pick at it, and try not to draw too much attention, it normally will depart within a week to ten days.

Having a cold sore is not a pleasant experience (and every once in a while, one will occupy both corners of your mouth, as if going North and South to fight in the Civil War.)

Be patient, child of God. You are not alone.

The only guarantee for making yourself socially unacceptable is to lose your cool and run through your office complex, screaming and begging for somebody to cut the little boogers off your face.

This is extreme.

There is no cold sore that has not found a human face it does not like.

Coming soon to a crevice near you…

 

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