Conversation

Conversation: (n) informal interchange of thoughts, information, etc., by spoken words; oral communication between persons

I guess I’m trying to understand Mr. Webster’s inclusion of the word “informal” in relationship to “conversation.”

I surmise that he might be thinking that a conversation is different from a discussion, because the minute it becomes a discussion it has an funny wisdom on words that begin with a Cagenda, or at least a main subject. And a discussion transforms into a debate if the two people talking are in disagreement, becoming an argument when each person is determined to stick to his or her guns, trying to convert the other person.

My problem with a conversation is that it often becomes two human beings reciting their resumes to one another, allowing time for the other one to counter with similar information. In other words, “How are your kids doing?” Space of time, space of time, space of time…

Now it’s my turn. “This is how my kids are doing.” Space of time, space of time, space of time…

Because of the social media craze in our world, even the discourses we have with each other live and in person have begun to resemble Facebook with verbal posts.

To me, that’s not a conversation. A conversation is best defined, I believe, by the idea that two people get together yearning for fellowship and hungry for fresh insight.

It’s not a series of soliloquies in which we hope the other person is listening, but rather, dialogue peppered with questions, some indecision, observations and enough incompleteness that the other party feels comfortable contributing.

Conversation is the absence of the deadly five questions:

  1. How are you?
  2. What have you been doing lately?
  3. How are the kids?
  4. Health been excellent?
  5. What’s going on with the job?

If you can avoid these five questions religiously, you can sit down and have an actual conversation, which can turn out to be truly spiritual.

 

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Constipation

Constipation: (n) a condition in which there is difficulty in emptying the bowels

I want to ask those of you who are my friends to keep watch for the “thought police” and the politically correct lawyers as I try to discuss something very human without being critiqued for addressing a vulgar topic.

It is amazing to me what we are willing to talk about, which often is profane and nasty, as opposed to the things we are unwilling to talk funny wisdom on words that begin with a Cabout, which are human and common, but we have decided are uncouth.

There isn’t a person reading this who has not farted or had constipation, yet introducing the subject seems to make people uncomfortable. (The issue of human sexuality and masturbation are similar–things we like to do but don’t want to discuss.)

Everybody enjoys a good bowel movement. Matter of fact, I would guess that each and every one of you reading this article has turned a release of your innards into a religious experience by thanking God in some way during the evacuation.

If something so sacred as sitting on the pot is a taboo subject, then where is our race headed?

I have been constipated.

I have been unconstipated.

I can recommend the latter.

And if you don’t blush over your “Number 2,” then with me…you’re “Number 1.”

 

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Conjecture

Conjecture: (n) an opinion or conclusion formed on the basis of incomplete information

The young man disagreed with me.

I gave a college concert years ago, opening it up to a Q & A with the audience afterwards. One of the male students asked me, “Since you’re afunny wisdom on words that begin with a C
Christian, when did ‘turn the other cheek’ actually ever work?”

I think he expected some sort of conjecture on my part–about the value of pursuing lost causes, even though it might not seem that they possessed immediate merit.

Maybe he just wanted to justify his passion for revenge–or his girlfriend, sitting next to him, might be greatly impressed by him challenging the guest artist.

Wanting to make sure the audience understood his question, I asked him to repeat it. He rolled his eyes to communicate that I was apparently old and deaf, and posed the question again.

“What I asked you,” he said, “was, when did ‘turn the other cheek’ ever work in history?”

“I see,” I responded. “So let me ask you a question. When did gouging out eyes, pulling teeth and counterpunching ever exactly work in history?”

He stood tall and patriotic and replied, “Well, at least we went to war and beat the shit out of them.”

A small piddling of applause.

“Well,” I objected, “apparently we left some shit in them–because they’re back again. You see, my friend, turning the other cheek is not an attempt to bring flowers to a gun fight, but rather, to buy some time to see what can be done to change the fight from guns to conversation. And that, historically, has proven, over and over again, to be effective.”

Feeling the need to be justified, he spat, “Well, that’s just your opinion.”

“That it is,” I replied. “Actually, it’s my conjecture–a conviction I hold because pursuing anything else leaves blood all over my hands.”


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Commentary

Commentary: (n) an expression of opinions about an event or situation

I will now offer my commentary:

I have a small penis.

I bring this up to you without apology, biological explanation or some silly sidebar like, “Had no complaints…”

What is interesting about my statement, and makes this commentary worthy of publication, is that the little fella has done some amazing things.

He ended up fathering four children, and from them–not many complaints.

He has survived being in a bedroom with a woman without ridicule.

He has also seen that particular human female leave with a pleasured smile. (Basically, it had little to do with him, and was courtesy of other digits and doo-dads, but he will still take the credit.)

I suppose at one time in my life I would have been embarrassed by the size of my “unit” (that’s what people who feel they are well-endowed call it).

Or should I refer to it as my “package?” But if it is a package, I could send mine first-class reasonably. But call me crazy, I am too overjoyed with my life to complain about my wiener.

I would not want to be around people from the “pecker patrol,” who would stare at my small friend and find him to be disgracefully inadequate.

He has been dutiful. Every time my kidneys want to urinate, he shows up–often bright and early.

He has the good sense to stay out of neighborhoods where he does not belong.

And he’s remained clean and free of disease.

He’s a rather admirable chap.

And even though some of my family would be embarrassed at me talking about him in such a fashion, I think it’s time for us to get over the idea that men and women are going to hump their way to satisfaction because of the enormous size of the male dangling participle.

Making love is like everything else in life. It demands much more conversation than it does struggle.

Thus ends my commentary.

 

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Cognitive

Cognitive: (adj) knowing and perceiving

Thinking works best when thinking has not occurred before we decide to think.

It’s the only way to keep it fresh.

If you show up to a meeting, a counseling session, a conversation or even a family gathering having “thought out” what you’re going to say, the possibility for the event being a productive one is hampered.

To be cognitive is to be willing to arrive at a meeting with a blank slate and no pre-determined conclusion.

There’s nothing wrong with studying or having your facts in place. But if it becomes obvious that you’ve been trumped by your adversary with more thorough coverage of the subject matter, the cognitive brain relinquishes turf instead of protecting it.

There are three signs that a person has a cognitive brain:

  1. Cognitive leaves the door open for the possibility that a stone was left unturned in your investigation.
  2. Cognitive opens up two ears when others are talking, just in case there’s something to be learned.
  3. And cognitive is prepared to make the adjustments to the reality of the situation instead of merely standing by a press release which was printed long before the debate began.

Without this kind of cognitive reasoning, we always end up in war instead of the humility of admitting that we have much to learn from each other.

 

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Clamor

Clamor: (n) a loud and confused noise, especially that of people shouting vehemently.

Is it possible to object without being objectionable?

Can we raise issues without raising our blood pressure?

Can we stimulate the conversation without stimulating the anger that inhibits reasoning?

Why do we clamor?

Do we secretly think we may be wrong, and the more we shout the less likely the exposure?

Are we obsessed with the notion that our much speaking actually affects the thinking of others?

When will we comprehend that the louder we get, the less power there is in what we say?

Why is cleverness dying?

Why is diplomacy viewed as weakness?

Why would people mock the notion that “a soft answer turns away wrath?”

When did sheer brute force convince our nation to pursue its prowess?

Is it possible to make such a convincing argument that it can be delivered in a whisper?

Does the proclamation, “change the world” have to be blared, or can it be delivered with an ironic smile?

The louder we get, the less is done.

The more intense we become, the less effective.

The reason the meek inherit the Earth is because the dominant, forceful and tribal leaders kill one another off–leaving behind the inheritance of an Earth that still needs to be reformed, but would prefer it be done with some gentleness.

I’m going to stop clamoring.

I shall no longer clamor.

To clamor is to annoy.

Do I really believe that? Do you really believe that?

Maybe we could start believing it together.

 

 

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Cigar

Cigar: (n) a cylinder of tobacco rolled in tobacco leaves for smoking.

I work very hard at being a man.

I thought having a penis and a beard would be sufficient, but turns out, both of those things are too common to set you apart from the herd.

“Manly things done by manly men in a manly way.”

What in the hell is that?

But you shouldn’t question it too much, because that brings up the possibility of you being gay, which is not a bad thing anymore, but might connote that you are “soft.”

You know what soft is, right? Neither team wants you.

Women think you’re nice for conversation and men keep wondering when you’re going to finally turn gay.

That’s the way I feel about cigars.

I get offered cigars a lot–and by a lot, I mean more than once. People who smoke cigars are historians. They not only know all the details of the little brown tube, but where it began, who smokes this particular brand, how illegal they are, and an absolute plethora of adjectives to describe the smoothness of the taste.

In my lifetime I have smoked two cigarettes and three cigars. (Yay! Cigars win!) Anyway, I can’t truthfully tell you that I adequately partook of either experience. I did not inhale. Just like President Clinton, my morality suddenly clicked in right before taking a deep breath. So the smoke remained in my mouth, barely escaping into my nose–where it stung really, really, really bad. I struggled not to choke. (God, please don’t let me choke! I’m sitting in front of someone I want to impress and I don’t want to be choking on the $54 cigar he just presented to me.)

Yet it was unpleasant.

For two days, no matter how much teeth brushing or mouth-washing I did, cigar residue clung to the inside cave of my mouth.

I have nothing against cigarettes or cigars from an ethical or moral position, but if it’s going to be a symbol of manliness, please mark me down: “N for neuter.”

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