Crab Apple

Crab apple: (n) a small, sour, wild apple

His name was Page McClain.

It really was.

I will further strain your belief by telling you that his middle name was Unus, which you may not know is the Latin word for “one.”funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Page One McClain.

As you can imagine, his parents were quite colorful. They were hippies living in a town which didn’t believe in hippies.

Page was unique. He was the most intellectual ten-year-old boy I’ve ever met. I think he liked me because I was the only person in the school who liked him. Everyone else thought he was too small, too odd or that his parents were probably Communists, which made him too dangerous.

My parents were reluctant to have me play with him, and it took me a solid two weeks to convince them to permit me a sleepover at his house. But one night I caught them in a good mood, asked them in just the right tone of voice, and had just finished mowing the lawn (which was such a rare occurrence that it always brought tears to their eyes).

They agreed to let me go.

Page did not have much to play with at his house. His parents were poor (which may surprise you since they were hippies and all). When it was time for lunch, he opened up a can of kidney beans and handed me a spoon. (I had often complained about kidney beans in a bowl of chili. Now, coming face-to-face with their point of origin, I was shell-shocked and nearly immobile. But since Page ate them, I ate them, too.)

The only thing Page had available at his house was an apple tree with crab apples on it. They were tiny, red and just perfect for throwing. Many of them had fallen to the ground and were fairly soft. So we picked them up and started aiming them at tree-trunks and, to my embarrassment, passing cats and dogs.

We soon grew tired of this and began throwing them at each other. It turned into a full-fledged crab apple battle. Soon the ones on the ground were used up as ammunition, so we started pulling them off the tree. These were harder. When they hit you in the face, it not only smarted, but also left a red residue from the crab apple itself.

Later that day, when my mother picked me up, she was convinced that my face had been attacked by a chain saw. She actually drove me to the doctor. He was our family doctor—old, sometimes grumpy, but often a bit whimsical. After carefully examining me, he turned to my mother and said, “I think your son has been hit by an apple pie, but somebody forgot to peel the apples.”

The doctor thought this was hilarious. My mother was baffled.

And I was busy in thought…wondering if I had been the winner at the great crab apple war.


Donate Button


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Advertisements

Courage

Courage: (n) a quality enabling one to face danger without fear

This simple traveler will tell you there are only three things that produce courage:

  1. Very few things are actually dangerous

Some are scary; many are intimidating. But danger is much rarer than you think.

  1. Since danger is not prevalent, the fear of dire consequences does not have to strangle us from prudently attempting new things which will open up our horizons.
  2. It only takes two seconds of courage to invite others to join in the quest.

Some people are just waiting to be led in the direction of heroism.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


Donate Button


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Core

Core: (n) the center of anything.

“At the core…”

I’ve used this phrase all my life.

To me, the core has always represented the purity—the genesis—of an idea or substance.

Yet an apple core is tossed away.

The core of the Earth is ablaze with fire and molten rock.

But without the core of the apple, you have no seeds for future apples. And from my understanding, without the molten core of the Earth, the whole balance of our ecosystem is upset.

I’ve heard people talk about core values. What are core values? Are they things I think are important, that you might not? Or are they things that are important to everybody? And what would those be? And if they do exist, why aren’t we talking more about them?funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

For instance, are there a variety of ways to tell the truth?

Is there a core approach to being accepting of others?

I would love to sit down and chat about what produces the seeds of life inside us and keeps the fires burning.

I have two core values—two cores to my center, two central intelligence agencies within me, which are irrefutable and cannot be changed.

The first one is that I am often wrong.

Without this core, I naturally begin to believe I am right. This is not only obnoxious but has historically proven to be dangerous.

The second core is no one is better than anyone else.

I have been around people who argue this point. They believe some people are born evil, others blessed.

But I contend that allowing ourselves this piece of nonsense always leads to bigotry, anger and war.

Yeah—I guess those are my two core values:

I’m often wrong.

And we’re all the same.


Donate Button


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Contraception

Contraception: (n) the deliberate prevention of conception or impregnation by any of various drugs, techniques, or devices; birth control

The purpose of contraception is to prevent babies.

The other two options—coming up with no form of preventing babies, or killing babies—are not quite as appealing.

If you’re going to love babies, children or your offspring, you must be adept at preventing them.

An unwanted baby cries louder.

An unwanted baby seems to have more problems with teething.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

An unwanted baby interferes with your life.

An unwanted baby seems to be maliciously determined to make you angry.

An unwanted baby doesn’t know it’s unwanted and feels it should be treated like the king or queen of the world.

Throughout history, there have been many attempts to figure out ways to prevent children, so that the status of being unwanted will not turn them into depressed, angry adolescents.

So, to my Catholic brothers and sisters, I will explain that the era when no contraception was being taught, and having an additional child meant merely placing another potato on the dinner platter, is long gone.

Children are expensive and very opinionated, and if they’re not wanted, they begin to resemble the clutter of trash. But by the same token, once they’ve been placed in their mother’s body and life begins to flow through them, they are not disposable.

We should constantly be working on contraception for both men and women. It provides the option of preventing children from being born who become angry and dangerous because they never felt that they were desired.


Donate Button


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

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.


Donate Button


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

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.

 

Donate Button

Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

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.

 

Donate Button