Coach: (n) a person who teaches and trains the members of a sports team

The same tenacity and grit which is necessary to make one successful can just as easily be used to commence a life of crime.

This is the difficulty the adults in our lives face when they train us, and of course, coach us.

They certainly know that initiative, spunk and creativity are essential for forming the building blocks of a prosperous lifestyle. Yet in the moment, these particular attributes, especially when spoken from the nasally nastiness of adolescence, can be obnoxious.

So our instructors often have to find out whether our conduct, being sweet and kind, is a foretelling of goodness or brain death–and if our unwanted opinions prophesy greatness or the possibility of time spent “upstate.”

Let me give you an example.

During a football game, when we were losing 48 to nothing, I ran to the sideline and said the following to my coach: “Come on, coach! This defense you put together for us is just not working!”

I was fourteen at the time, and he was probably in his mid-twenties, trying desperately to survive the humiliation of being drummed by his rival on this field of debauchery.

I noticed that my coach’s face began to twitch. His eyes expanded. The veins in his head popped out, and his countenance became crimson as he slowly said, “Please sit down. Our defense is fine.”

I noticed that he avoided me for the rest of the game, as I avoided many tackles.

Fortunately, he did not personally address my inadequacies and focus on them because of my snippy, snarky comment. He restrained himself, and therefore, I believe I grew up using my precocious nature for good instead of joining forces with the villains to destroy Batman.

It’s not easy being a coach. You don’t always win, but end up stuck with your team, no matter what the score. You can’t blame them or you look like an idiot. You can’t accuse the referees or you appear to be a sore loser.

All you can do is teach what you know, and hope, by the grace of God, it’s enough.



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Bon Voyage

Bon voyage: (exclam) used to express good wishes to someone about to go on a journey.

A great sense of embarrassment swept over my entire being, placing crimson in my cheeks and a chill down my spine because of my tremendous expression of Dictionary Bstupidity.

I was in Mexico. I didn’t want to come across ignorant. So deciding to avoid that, I attempted to do something ridiculous. I tried to take my two years of high school Spanish and put them to good use by experimenting with the locals.

After greeting them with “Buenos dias” and being able to ask them if they had a green pencil, I stared into their confounded faces and realized I should never have answered their question, “Habla Espanol?” (do you speak Spanish?) with the silly response of “Poco” (meaning a little).

There is perhaps no more egregious fracture of etiquette than to pretend you are able to be international because you’re on the workable end of a seven-word vocabulary.

Thus my feeling when I’m getting ready to go on a trip and someone shouts at me, “Bon voyage!”

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by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abut: (v.) 1. to be next to an area of land or a building 2. to share a common boundary with

This word conjured a hilarious story from my past.

I once knew this lady who prided herself on being very dignified. She was dumped at the altar by a suitor who was less than scrupulous, and we invited her out to dinner to comfort her in her hour of anguish and sorrow. We all were furious with this venial chap who had treated her so badly.

Matter of fact, one of the members of our party called this fellow “an ass.”

The woman was a bit proper in her stylings, and never comfortable with the use of colorful language or colloquialisms. So even though we encouraged her to vent her anger, she could never quite come to the point of using the more appropriate terms to describe her rage.

So every time we referred to this former fiance as “an ass,” she would correct us by replying, “I don’t like that. Let’s just call him a butt.”

So as the evening wore on and she became more infuriated by him and confident in herself, her use of the phrase “a butt” became more and more intense, until finally, by the end of the evening, “a butt” sounded more ferocious and foul than “an ass.”

It was a valuable lesson to me–that often it’s not the words we choose that carry the vengeance, but rather, the spirit by which they’re flung.

But it will be impossible for me to ever think about “a butt” without remembering her crimson face spitting it out with gushers of anguish, as she pronounced the former boyfriend to be “a butt.”