Decatur

Decatur (n) a city in Eastern Indiana

 I’ve always tried to take my little and make it more.

I don’t think it was solely based on pride.

I felt a calling to make things better and more harmonious through the use of common sense and humor.

That being said, there is a danger with aspiration. To aspire often means we need to perspire, and even expire.

Putting forth effort often invites futility.

So long, long ago in our country, which seemed far away, I had a music group. We met a fellow in Detroit who was an ex-drug addict, was very clever, comical and had a good message. It occurred to me that we possibly could get him into some schools to speak on the dangers of drug addiction, and that our music group could “play him on” and “play him off.” I shared this idea with a young minister at a Christian church in Decatur, Indiana.

He was so enthralled with the idea that he enacted it.

Yes, he scheduled our group and our ex-druggie friend into three schools in the county, with a rally in the evening to be held at the City Auditorium.

It was big. At least, big for us.

It was especially promising when our friend from Detroit agreed to drive down and do the schools and the rally. He arrived, we went to the first school—and everything went pretty well.

I was a little uncomfortable with how freely he bragged about the drugs he took as a way of communicating to the students that he knew what he was talking about.

It was worse at the second school. Matter of fact, the only times he really connected with the students were when he was promoting his former drug use instead of his conversion.

I was upset.

I asked him if he could calm down the drug talk a little bit, and he explained that without him appearing hip to the students, none of them would listen.

I disagreed.

To my surprise, he became upset with my intervention, stormed out of the third high school before the program began, left and went back to Detroit.

Our little white Middle-America group was left alone, to do the third school and the evening rally.

I would like to report to you that it went great.

I would like to say that we didn’t need our Detroit friend. But when the students arrived for the rally that evening, they were greatly disappointed that Mr. Cool was not in the building and they were stuck with us.

It was a long night.

I really don’t know what the moral of this story is.

I suppose you could take away that making a stand in the middle of something that’s been pre-planned is a dangerous idea. Or you could say that objecting to something you disagree with is always necessary, no matter what the repercussions.

But I have to tell you, even as I relate the tale to you now, I sure would like to know how good it would have been if our Detroit token toker had stayed around.

 

D’oh

D’oh: (interjection) used to express dismay when one has done something stupid

It is difficult to comprehend that to most of the generations which inhabited the Earth, the name “Homer” evoked images of Achilles, the Trojan War and the adventures of Ulysses in the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Nowadays, “Homer” is only associated with a man named Simpson.

He lives in Springfield, Illinois, and is a cartoon character.

I seriously doubt if there’s anyone under the age of thirty who is much aware of the adventure-telling Homer from the past, unless in spending so much time in the library, he or she is bullied incessantly.

Just as the Greeks needed Homer, the great poet and writer, to lift their spirits about their culture, conquests and potential, we apparently required our Homer to make us feel a little less convicted and burdened by our mediocrity.

Let’s be honest.

It’s nice to know that someone is dumber than yourself.

Matter of fact, I’m going to venture a guess that each one of us has an individual—or maybe even individuals—that we keep around as friends just to make sure that we are the ones who answer the most questions watching the Jeopardy! reruns.

Not only does our “Homer of the Simpson” have a characterization of dullness and ignorance, he has a catchphrase, so we will know when even he has discovered how ridiculously inept he is.

“D’oh!” He doesn’t have to say anything else.

Marge, Bart and Lisa know that Papa Simpson has once again ruined a vacation, placed them deeper in debt, destroyed a barbecue or somehow or another put a huge hole in the roof.

While we extol the glories of education, we all must realize that we each fall short of the glory of our plans.

At that point, we need to be able to say something that is comical enough to curb the embarrassment.

 

d’Arc

d’Arc: (Prop Noun) Joan of Arc

That must have been a tough meeting.

All the town council gathering together to decide what to do.

It was a proud community, I’m sure. Matter of fact, there was even some buzz about putting out a wine from the region—one which could represent the vicinity tastefully.

Then all this “Joan” business came along.

Most of the citizens had been convinced that the young girl would be satisfied just to grow up, keep her mouth shut and have lots and lots of children, who could mature in similar ignorance, embracing the village credo.

But Joan got religious—which would have been fine if she had decided to be a nun. There are places for women who insist they love God. But there are no spots for a young girl who believes she talks to God, especially when she deems herself to be some sort of warrior who’s supposed to lead troops into battle.

At first, the community was encouraged. Joan experienced some success and there was a thrill in the air—she might actually change the history of the nation.

Matter of fact, someone suggested placing a slab of stone on the outskirts of the community, chiseled with the words “Joan Lives Here.”

Then things went astray.

She fell into disfavor.

She was deemed to be a witch, since she thought she heard the voice of God compelling her to battle.

And when they burned her at the stake, it became obvious that the town could no longer be associated with Joan d’Arc. Somehow or another, they had to calm things down, to the point that they were just “Arc” again.

There was disappointment among the leaders. It would have been wonderful to be known as the community that birthed a heroine.

But it is not quite as advantageous to be the hometown of a witch.

Maybe people would forget.

Perhaps very soon, the region could return to pursuing that “wine idea.”

But for now, it remains embarrassing.

Arc is tied to Joan. And Joan … d’Arc.

What would it take to change that?

Well, maybe it’s just as simple as making sure that Joan and d’Arc don’t appear printed side by side.

 

Crapshoot

Crapshoot: (inf) anything unpredictable or risky.

 Very few things.

It used to be that there were very few things we regarded as a “crapshoot.”

The statement was considered comical—referring to something that was obviously beyond our control—like whether it was going to rain or how many potato chips would actually be in our latest bag, since they had begun to steal them from us each and every time.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

“It’s a crapshoot.”

It was a cynical way of gently admitting that something was out of bounds and therefore wasn’t worth the amount of hair on a worry-nut.

Then something changed.

We found ourselves somewhat comforted by our depression, relieved of the responsibility of trying to solve difficult situations, and so, as time passed, more and more often events, relationships and circumstances were dubbed “crapshoots.”

Once we had stated that this is what they were, we could roll our eyes and walk away, pretending we were victims of circumstance, or swept away by trends and attitudes which had overwhelmed us.

Bullshit.

Below are five questions we should ask before we call something a crapshoot and walk away, giving up on it:

1. Is there anything I can do?

2. Is there anything I can get you to do?

3. Is there any obstacle I can throw in the way to impede the digression of a really bad idea?

4. Can I make fun of it until it goes away?

5. Can I go “over there somewhere” and start a countermovement to this foolishness?

If you ask all five of these questions and still end up helpless, then you may go ahead without condemnation, roll the dice and let the crapshoot begin.

 

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Continent

Continent: (n) one of the main landmasses of the globe, usually reckoned as seven in number

It is 25,000 miles around the Earth.

I suppose if you are accustomed to driving four blocks to the grocery store that number seems outrageously large. But when you’re thinking about a home space for nearly eight billion people, that 25,000-mile number suddenly appears limited, if not confining.

Living space within that circumference is seven continents, if you’re willing to let Antarctica slip-slide its way in. Since even polar bears and funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
penguins are reluctant to occupy that particular Southern apartment, we’re down to six living areas.

It’s not that much.

It becomes almost comical, and then, if pursued too far, dangerous to eyeball one another as foreigners when we are such closely knit next-door-neighbors.

For instance, Africa can be considered a continent, a home for black people, or one of the six pieces of turf available. Perhaps this is why we’ve become so turfy.

There’s Europe and Asia, which have little evidence of a boundary, but continue as one whopping, huge space, peppered with cultures, when really, we’re all intended to just be the salt of the Earth.

South America is also filled with Americans, even though North America, and especially the United States, insists on claiming the title.

Australia, a country, boasts being a continent, and because they are so willing to share their “shrimp on the barbie,” we see no reason to argue with the congenial folk.

We are all within 25,000 miles of one another—when it’s 238,900 miles to the moon and ninety million to the sun.

And that is all within our solar system—when we exist in a universe that scoffs at being considered a mere billion galaxies.

Perspective.

Since the water is winning the war for Earth, as land becomes a little less every year, maybe it’s time for us to work on “neighborly” instead of weapons.


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Community

Community: (n) a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.

Our little village was filled with community pride.

It was cute–a little bigger than a postage stamp, yet you could walk around the entire downtown area in less than ten minutes.

Growing up there, I was taught that community is not so much sharing a location, but rather, absorbing a basic ideology.

I’m not sure who came up with the standards or the principles which were passed down among the locals and inhaled like air, but generally speaking, you could do well in my community if you understood the mindset and the dress code.

If for some reason, you wanted to vary from the common universal brain, or clothe yourself in such a way as to gain too much attention, then you were initially viewed as comical.

If you persisted, you went from comical to being deemed confused.

And if confusion was maintained, then you would be considered dangerous and need to be dealt with by the negative approaches established by our community.

It was a very successful system.

We were able, through this system, to keep all blacks, Hispanics, gays, lesbians and long-haired rock and rollers far from our borders–without ever firing a shot.

The teeny tiny handful of those who remained were simply ostracized–or maybe just received really poor mail service.

None of the people in our community considered themselves prejudiced–just enamored by a preference. After all, if you wanted varying behaviors, you could drive twenty miles down the road to the Big City, where there were all sorts of options available, complete with rape, murder and a variety of other crimes. We were thoroughly frightened of the outside world, without ever being officially indoctrinated into a cult.

But our community was a cult.

I found this out when I wanted to stray from the daily routine and pursue my own ideas. No one struck me, no one physically attacked me, and no one even openly rebuked me. They just left me out of everything.

The system works to this day. All across America little towns have a network of gossipers who warn of suspicious arrivals, allowing the community a chance to provide the inconsideration to drive good folks away.

 

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Chihuahua

Chihuahua: (n) a small dog of a smooth-haired, large-eyed breed originating in Mexico

I will not bore you with the standard patter about how tiny and stupid looking Chihuahuas are. This has been long established by many writers preceding me.

The creature is obviously a rat that was exposed to radiation–perhaps near Los Alamos–grew in size and lost its hair. I am completely
satisfied with this explanation.

Today I would like to focus on the bark. Pardon me. It is not worthy of being called a “bark.”

  • It is a yap.
  • A yippity.
  • A yonk-yonk.
  • A vocal snap.
  • A sound conceived in the depths of hell by a satanic cherub who was trying to get people to hate dogs.

I don’t know if there’s anything more aggravating than walking through a store and coming upon some hapless soul holding one of these creatures, and being yapped at for fifteen or twenty seconds, as the owner pretends he or she has control.

Comical as it may seem–the dog thinking it has any dominion–it is still annoying that such a pretentious piece of animal flesh thinks it has any purpose or right to spark out its opinions.

If they were pleasant dogs, you could associate the word “cute” with them. When you came upon their tiny frames, you could say, “Isn’t it cute?” and it would look up at you with its little doggy mouth and oversized eyes, moist with affection.

But not the chihuahua.

It literally is a large rat on speed.

It has a bad attitude, it tries to overcompensate for its size by being obnoxious, and if I lived in Mexico in the State of Chihuahua, I would demand that they rename the dog.

As you can probably tell, I have never owned a Chihuahua.

But I will confess that I have considered accidentally letting a few of them out in traffic.

 

 

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Caulk

Caulk: (n) a waterproof filler and sealant, used in building work

Not everything is a parable.

Truthfully, you have to be careful with metaphors. You can slice them as thin as the cheese at Subway.

But I will tell you on this Independence Day–I am caulk.

I realized this early on in my life. I am not wood, iron, steel, or as the song says, titanium.

I am caulk. I find the holes and I fill them with my gentle, sweet, comical but purposeful, passages.

I am not here to tear down, nor am I here to be a building inspector, informing you about what parts of life should be condemned.

There are dear, brave souls who do such reconstruction. They free slaves, liberate nations and find actual cures for disease instead of just bizarre treatments.

I am caulk. I come across cracks in the concrete and I fill them in with wit and good cheer.

It buys time. It keeps us from leaking like sieves.

It holds things together–waiting for the hour when common sense can sit down and have dinner with wisdom … and let tolerance pick up the check.

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Bucket

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Bucket: (n) a roughly cylindrical open container

I set my mind in a twirl this morning thinking about drinking fountains.

If you pause to consider this apparatus, it’s really quite comical. If you’re really thirsty, a drinkingDictionary B fountain is nearly meaningless–plus the fact that they don’t have a napkin dispenser nearby, so you stroll away wiping your mouth on your sleeve.

There’s just enough water that comes out of a drinking fountain to wet your whistle (though I’m sure nobody says “wet your whistle” anymore).

That’s why we invented the bottle–for those occasions when we want more water. Also available is a gallon container if you’ve just done an episode of a Western and have been working in the desert.

And then there’s the bucket.

It is that wonderful container to transfer large quantities of liquid–usually water–very quickly.

It’s the reason that when a house catches fire, nobody requests a Dixie cup brigade. How many Dixie cups of water does it take to put out a fire? No one knows, because no one uses Dixie cups for that purpose. (Once again, I’m not sure anybody still uses Dixie cups…)

I like buckets.

When I see someone walk in carrying a bucket, I know they’re going to do some serious stuff. Otherwise they wouldn’t need a bucket.

They could use a teaspoon.

Or a little bowl.

The presence of a bucket tells me there’s going to be an abundance.

I like abundance … especially when it appears to be coming my way.

 

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Brand

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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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