Cove

Cove: (n) a small indentation or recess in the shoreline of a sea, lake, or river

 Clever will only take you so far.

This is true in any occupation, but certainly must be observed faithfully by the writer.

For you see, I am going to tell a story today about when I was sixteen. The temptation is to preface this story with an introductory sentence funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
which sounds cool, or what they might refer to as “off-the-top-of-the-head-ish.”

For instance:

  • when I young
  • back when pimples were my major problem
  • long before anybody called me Dad
  • in an era when I languished in my teens

You see what I mean?

Although at times these little scribbled affrontations are passable, they can get old very quickly, even if you’re talking about being young.

So suffice it to say, at one time in my life I decided to start a coffeehouse for the fellow-students at my high school. This was back when such an idea seemed expansive and other-worldly rather than old-timey and really out of it.

I found a small house—so tiny it was difficult to believe anybody had ever lived in it. But you could stuff about thirty-five people in, on the ground floor, if everybody agreed to inhale and exhale in unison.

It was perfect.

I covered the windows so no external lighting could come in, installed black lights and put colored bulbs around to give it a spooky effect.

We could not decide what to call the place, but one night, as we pulled up, we noticed it looked like an old fisherman’s cabin. So someone suggested we call it, “The Cove.” Actually, the suggestion was “The Fisherman’s Cove,” but as the weeks went by, the adjective was dropped, and it became known as “The Cove.”

All the students at the school jockeyed for the right to be one of the holy thirty-five to come to The Cove on a Saturday night, to sit around and eat bologna sandwiches and listen to the rock music our parents were sure would lead us to hell.

As it turned out, the rock and roll music did not take us to hell, but unfortunately, the bologna sandwiches gave us cholesterol problems.

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Cool

Cool: (adj) moderately cold; neither warm nor cold

You can tell you’re a hot-head because you sweat the small stuff. But the question remains, what must be done to make sure cooler heads prevail?

Here’s a clue: you can’t just have a cool head. Your whole persona has to be cool.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

People who are stringent, unforgiving or dogmatic will not suddenly wake up one morning and say, “You know, I need to be more forgiving.”

A cool head begins with cool feet—feet that aren’t afraid to walk the path of life, knowing that some detours and adjustment are inevitable.

It’s a good idea to have cool knees—that means when you find yourself knocked down to them, rather than melting in a pool of self-pity, you take a moment to pray before you rise again.

Certainly, cool hands are required for everyone, not just Luke—a sense that you will linger and care about people with your touch, instead of yank them, push them or strike them.

Cool eyes—looking for great possibility instead of darkness.

Cool ears—hearing the better parts of the conversation and discarding the ignorance.

Cool is when you know that being hot burns things up and being cold freezes progress. Yet, arriving lukewarm makes everybody want to vomit.

Cool is that temperature where human beings actually gain the capacity to tolerate one another.


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Cigarette

Cigarette: (n) a thin cylinder of finely cut tobacco rolled in paper for smoking.

If you live long enough you will see nearly everything in your life go through the natural Earth cycle.

It begins with “interesting.”

Then it becomes “cool.”

It passes through a phase of being “plagued with some difficulty.”

Following that comes “seems dangerous.”

And of course, the final step is “lethal.”

It doesn’t matter what you’re talking about. Why don’t we take something that would seem unlikely to apply to this category–like politics?

When the idea of starting a democracy in the New World was tossed on the table for discussion, it was deemed very interesting–so much so that we wrote several documents and put together a club.

After the club got together for a few meetings over some “brews and snuff,” we were enamored with the possibility–just jazzed with its coolness.

So we started political parties. The consensus was there should be at least two so there could be discussion. But immediately each party desired to be the predominant one, which led to some nasty exchanges, false accusations, and the introduction of cheating. Election after election began to prove out that winning was more important than truth, justice and the American Way. Difficulty arrived like a “plague of congress.”

So laws had to be passed because we were in danger of losing the freedom we had hoped to achieve because we allowed the politics to steer policy.

And then, all at once, with one cracky voice, the people proclaimed, “Politics is damn lethal.”

I bring this up because the same thing happened in my lifetime–and yours–with cigarettes.

At first they were interesting. Then cool. Next, plagued with some difficulty, proclaimed dangerous, and now seen as a nasty piece of our social sappiness, murdering people with tar and nicotine.

I often wonder if it’s possible to stop, while musing over something being interesting–and jump ahead to find out if it’s deadly.

 

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Caboodle

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Caboodle: (n) a lot, a group

Nothing in the world identifies you as an old person as much as using words that are no longer in circulation.

Honestly, I’m astounded that “cool” has survived through so many generations. But don’t think that “boss, groovy” or “hip” made the journey.

I caught myself the other day, in trying to emphasize the need to use all available resources for a project, nearly saying, “Let’s include the whole kit and caboodle.

Fortunately, my radar spy sense was beaming three or four words ahead. I came to a halt–for a few seconds simulating dementia–trying to find a current terminology that equaled that ancient one.

I came up with a blank, so I said, “We need to include the…well…everything.”

It was awkward, but not nearly as devastating as having a bunch of younger folks try to figure out what “kit and caboodle” meant, while simultaneously jotting down suggestions on their I-Phones for Christmas gifts for me, which would include a tapioca maker.

Words can kill.

But in a greater sense, they can wound your fragile ego.

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Bummer

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Bummer: (n) word describing the misfortune of something or someone

It is the misfortune of the average man or woman to be cursed to a status of being out-of-step simply because by the time cool words, cool clothes and cool ideas float down to the masses where they’re accepted by the common populace, they are already passé.

So if you find yourself, for instance, using the word “bummer” in an attempt to be “cool with the kids,” you will be at least fifteen years behind the times.

I don’t know if it’s even possible to escape this lingering tragedy without developing your own hip language and trying to sell it to your friends and family in your everyday conversations.

For instance, a bummer could become a “squat.”

When asked by those surrounding you, “What’s a squat?” you could reply, “Oh, that’s just my new groovy word for what used to be boss, which was bummer.”

So in one sentence you develop a reputation for being cutting-edge by having your own vernacular, and also letting them know that the word bummer is somewhere in the “Street Jargon Hall of Fame.”

If this scenario seems unlikely or perhaps cumbersome, you probably will be one of those people who goes to the shoe store and notices that the Crocs that are so popular are on sale, so you picked up four pair–never realizing that the reason they were marked down is because they are now out of style.

 

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Brie

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Brie: (n) a kind of soft, mild, creamy cheese with a firm white skin

I’m as guilty as the next person in finding practices, methods and terminologies that are considered to be preferred, and then promoting them to let folks know how cool I am.Dictionary B

I will drop a brand name at just the right moment to confirm that I am aware of fashion.

I will mention a particular book I read or movie I saw to explain the depth of my current affairs.

So recently when I was planning a party and I brought up the word “cheese,” what came to my mind was Swiss, mozzarella, provolone or cheddar. If there were budget constraints I would even consider Velveeta. I inadvertently mentioned everything (except Velveeta) and a friend lurched back in horror, explaining that these were not cheeses–merely marketable molds.

I was told that Brie was the only acceptable variety that could be served at a party for “know-about-its.” Anything else placed on a platter would appear to either have been an accident or an affrontation.

I was especially startled when I discovered the price of this cheese, and realized that someone had succeeded in marketing their particular sour milk product as “refined”–to the detriment of other Wisconsin standards.

I have to admit to you that I took a risk.

I bought a cheese that looked like Brie and put it on the plate, assuming that no one knew what the product was–just desired confirmation that it was “the good stuff.”

Comically, they ate the “cheese food” product all night long, content that they were among the elite, consuming Brie. Donate ButtonThank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix 


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Barn

Barn: (n) a large farm building used for storing grain, hay, straw or for housing livestock.Dictionary B

I grew up in a small town of 1,500 people.

One of the nice things about living in a village is that if you own one thing that others don’t, you are cool–and if by some miracle you have two, then you are rich.

I was on the junior high school basketball team.

A friend of mine lived right outside town and had a barn adjacent to his house. His parents had built, in the hayloft, a basketball court, complete with two hoops and a lovely wood floor.

It was magnificent.

I’m sure if I saw it today, it would appear rustic and dank. But to us, born in a little burg, it was Madison Square Haygarden.

My friend had never invited me up to play basketball. Other members of the team had been numerous times, but I was never included.

It hurt my feelings.

So one day when I was at his house, I just popped off with the question. “Hey, why don’t we go out to the barn and play some basketball?”

My friend was nervous but agreed. So we climbed up the steps, onto the court, and were bouncing and shooting away, when suddenly the floor just beneath my feet broke through and I fell straight down through the hole, catching myself by my armpits.

There I was, legs dangling to the floor beneath, wedged into a small opening, unable to get myself out.

Finally my friend was able to gather three or four other guys, along with his dad, to pull me out of the crevice and set me back onto firm lumber.

My friend then explained that this was why he had never invited me to the basketball court–he knew I was too heavy and might break through, but kept praying the whole time that everything would be okay.

It wasn’t.

I learned two valuable lessons that day:

  1. If you’re going to be fat, sometimes you’ll be left out of the skinny games.
  2. Prayer doesn’t always keep you from falling through the cracks…and dangling by your pits.

 

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