Cold war

Cold war: (n) a state of political hostility between countries

It happened over the summer between sixth and seventh grade.

When we returned in the fall for football practice, some of the guys in the locker room had hair on their balls. Some didn’t.

Needless to say, this developed class warfare.

Those who had been endowed with hairiness were also convinced that their “hanger” was “better hung.”

Having no follicles sprouting black shrub, the other boys were at a loss to rally much of a defense. For two weeks, it literally created a separation on our football
team…over pubes.

Supposedly not having it was hilarious to those who did.

Even though the coach sat us down and explained puberty, and that the rest of the “penile Chihuahuas” would eventually sprout some overgrowth, there was still a cold war for most of the football season, until nature took its course.

Now, you may wonder why I begin this essay talking about junior high school football. I do so because I don’t believe that we, as men, ever progress much beyond it.

Whether we’re comparing our gross national products, our armies or our missiles, there is certainly not much difference from the locker-room jabber that caused so much tension and brooding in junior high.

Maybe we should just go ahead and call it a “cock war” instead of a “cold war.” Maybe such a revelation might stir a consciousness of the futility of comparing strength and might based upon physical virility.

Is it really necessary to know how many times the world could be destroyed by nuclear weapons, or might it be intriguing to contemplate clever and inventive ways to avoid it?

If you don’t want to fight, stop comparing.

It’s that simple.

The minute you feel the need to compare what you have–especially favorably–to what others have, a chill will fill the room.

If it gets cold enough, unfortunately, somebody may want to warm it up.Donate Button



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Bonanza: (n) a sudden increase in wealth or good fortune

My parents would not allow me to watch the Beatles’ first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, but I was allowed to view episodes of Bonanza.Dictionary B

Now, many of you reading this article may not know what Bonanza was. It was a show about a father and three adult sons, the Cartwrights, who owned a huge ranch, the Ponderosa, in Nevada and their struggles in trying to maintain their opulence.

I loved the show when I was a kid, but when I started watching it as an adult, it was a little bit terrifying. Why? Because a lot of people got killed so all of the family who lived on the Ponderosa could be proven right.

It was just the mindset of the time.

In our country, once we had established that something was “an American thing,” it had to be justified. So we condoned:

  • A Cold War
  • Racial inequality
  • Killing Vietnamese
  • And even brutalizing in the press scrawny rock-and-roll singers from Britain

As I watched the reruns of Bonanza, I realized that I was required to root for Dad and the boys in every episode, no matter how faulted their motives might be.


Yes, I guess so–if your name was Pa, Little Joe, Adam or Hoss.


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by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter AAbakan: an industrial city in south central Russia, capital of the republic of Kaskaskia, population 154,000.

For me, it was my grandfather’s root cellar. Now, if you don’t know what a root cellar is, it is an unfinished basement in an old farmhouse where they used to keep potatoes and various produce to make it last longer before rotting.

It was a scary place. It had stone steps that wound around a corner into the darkness, and as a child I was frightened to death to even open the door and look within. Matter of fact, my Grandpa died and the house was sold before I ever worked up the courage to know what was around the bend in the darkness.

Likewise, being raised in America during the time of the Cold War, I have much the same feeling about Russia. It is my geopolitical root cellar.  When you mention ANYTHING in Russia–like Abakan–I immediately get visions of the Soviet Union with wild-eyed, crazed Cossacks, hunching over big, red buttons, trying to decide whether today is the day that they will murder the imperialist Americans.

Now, I now know this isn’t true. I am a fairly sophisticated, intelligent person who has read a newspaper or two, and has even occasionally perused a news magazine. I understand that Russia is not out to get James Bond, nor is it trying to murder young children–or for that matter, brainwash us through socialist media to become communists ourselves.

But still, there is a chill that goes down my spine when I hear the word “Russia.”

I feel ashamed. I think it’s time for me to give my own version of “To Russia, With Love.” But I am reluctant. I still fear that around the corner there is a dark place lurking to swallow young boys who shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

Aren’t we all silly? But after all, silliness is often just belief that has not yet been exposed.