Coke

Coke: (n) A popular short term for the popular soft drink Coca Cola.

I had an explanation. I really did.

I did not wish to share it because it made me look wimpy. I don’t like to look wimpy. I don’t think I’m alone in this. All of us want to appear noble, brave and strong.

Yet a bit of wimpy lives inside each of us, and jumps out at the wrong moments, exposing us for the sniveling cowards we are.

For years I refused to drink Coca-Cola–or as my friends called it, Coke. Every once in a while I got challenged.

“Hey, man, what’s with you and the Coke thing?”

I would put on my face–a combination of perturbed and surprised. “What do you mean–Coke thing?”

This aggravated the questioner. He or she followed up by saying, “You know–the fact that you never drink Coke.”

It was an easy accusation to side-step. “I do. You just don’t see me.”

But the truth is, they were right. I did not drink Coke. I wanted to, but I desired a drink which could be guzzled–and only certain carbonated beverages could be consumed that way without burning your throat and making you cough. I was not about to share that Coke was too strong for me.

So one day, in a fit of determination to achieve normalcy, and having completed some exercise which left me hot, sweaty and thirsty, I grabbed a bottle of Coke, tilted it back and began to swill.

About three seconds into the process the Cola burned my throat. I choked and spit it out in all directions. This created alarm and humor from all bystanders. I was completely emasculated.

After the laughter calmed down, a friend took me to the side and said, “Listen. Between you and me–Coke is too hot. So here’s what I do. When they offer me a bottle of Coke, I hold it behind my back and shake it up, life my thumb from its place on the top and let off some of the steam and carbonation. I do that about three times, so when I put the Coke to my mouth and down it, I look like one of the guys.”

I was so relieved. I followed the idea completely. He was right. It worked. I was able to slurp my Coke with a big gulp. It was a little flat, having lost its carbonation.

Wait a second…

Maybe that’s how they came up with RC Cola.

 

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Chirpy

Chirpy: (adj) cheerful and lively.

Coming upon the dead body of the strangled prostitute, the young woman declared, “At least she’s with Jesus.”

That is classic “chirpy”–the optimistic thought which is suddenly expressed at what certainly is an inopportune time.

It reminds me of an occasion when I was traveling with my music group and our vehicle caught on fire. We were standing about a hundred
yards away from it, watching it burn so as to not endanger ourselves with a possible exploding gas tank.

We were only able to salvage our cooler from the fiasco. One of the young ladies from the group, sitting on the cooler, remarked, “I think we have Coca-Cola and Fritos in the cooler.”

I know she meant well–but it seemed that I was commanded by the heavens to scream at her over such simplistic optimism.

When is “chirpy” an expression of good cheer instead of an annoying bird sound, pecking at our aggravation? Now, there’s a good question.

My conclusion has always been, if a statement is not going to build the faith of those around you, it’s best to honor the silence.

 

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Brand

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brand: (n) a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name.

I was informed that you can clean your battery terminals by pouring a little bit of Coca-Cola on them to get rid of the excess residue.Dictionary B

Yet for some reason, the Coca-Cola bottling company does not choose to advertise this. They instead insist on punctuating their brand as a beverage which is tasty and enjoyable, especially refreshing when served over ice.

I have heard that toilet paper has been applied in a comedic way to write comical or whimsical notes. Yet I have never seen Charmin market their product as stationery. They continue to persist in believing that the best angle for promoting their brand is to insinuate how comfortable it is to the bum.

Isn’t that fascinating?

Even though there may be other uses, purposes or maybe interpretations of a certain commodity, they are not brought to the forefront, simply because they are either bizarre, aberrant or silly.

I, for instance, was drawn to be a believer in the Gospel of Jesus because his brand was “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Unfortunately, I am always inundated with those who have found other uses for the Gospel, including racism, chauvinism, self-righteousness and greed.

I feel it is my job to reject this promotion, which would try to draw people to a message of hate, instead of the intended outcome of a community of mutual understanding.

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Billion

Billion:(n) one-thousand million.

Dictionary B

I certainly feel that one of the signs of aging is beginning to pine for former times, “when things were better.”

Matter of fact, if one could avoid that nostalgia, he or she could always appear to be contemporary, therefore potentially more youthful.

But somewhere along the line, a little grump appears in the stump speech.

  • You start recalling when candy bars had more nuts in them.
  • Or Coca-Cola cost a mere fraction of what it does now.

I heard one old fellow heave a huge sigh and explain that loaves of bread used to have twenty-three slices, and now a mere nineteen. (Who has time to count bread??)

I avoid this kind of activity like the true plague it is. It is certainly the moss growing on a crumbling tombstone.

Yet…I do have to admit that I am curious about when a million dollars stopped being a lot of money.

Matter of fact, the show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” might just evoke the response from the common man, “It’s a good place to start…”

I believe this was all caused by the introduction of the word “billion.”

I remember as a kid, “billion” was something you said when referring to an idea existing somewhere beyond the stars. Matter of fact, when you said it, you’d giggle.

“Maybe we could get a billion of ’em! Ha-ha-ha.”

Now we spend a billion dollars on toothpicks in the mess hall on army bases. (Don’t hold me to that stat. I’m just attempting irony.)

We even have people who are billionaires.

This isn’t right.

I don’t mind people having money; I just don’t know if you need a billion of it.

Somewhere along the line, to cease the insane greed for more and more material goods, we have to calm down the language of covetousness.

We need to teach our children the simplicity of enjoying five dollars because they fully understand … the complexity of earning it.

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Anything

dictionary with letter A

Anything: (pron) used to refer to a thing, no matter what

If you’ve ever parented teenagers, this response is probably one of your pet peeves.

If you ask them a question of any sort, they will either ignore you or reply, “I guess anything’s OK.”

I grew weary of this.

So one night when I asked my teenage sons what they wanted to have for dinner, and they replied, “anything,” I complied.

I went out to a neighbor’s trash can and pulled out the cast-aside leftovers of their previous lunch–some half-eaten sandwiches already drawing the interest of a couple of ants, the skeleton of a fish, and believe it or not, some broken pieces of pumpkin shell.

I found two bottles of partially consumed Coca-Cola, put it all on a platter, set plates, silverware and called them to dinner.

At first they were in such a state of oblivion that they didn’t recognize the placement set before them as being basically inedible, but perched in their chairs and reached for their cell phones.

So adding to the comedy of the moment, I asked one of them to offer grace. It was at this point that the child felt the need to look at the food, in order to determine the length and intensity of the prayer. Amazingly, he did not gaze at me in horror, but rather, looked at the spread before him, perplexed, shook his heads, and began to pray:

“Thanks for the food and the hands that prepared it, and for this day. In Jesus name, amen.”

Finishing the prayer, they both stared at the food–or shall I say, the “remains of the day”–and then looked at me quizzically, asking, “What is it?”

I smiled, grabbed my fork and spoon and touted, “It’s anything. Dig in.”

 

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