Brontosaurus

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Brontosaurus: (n) a large herbivorous dinosaur

In my silly brain, dinosaurs are like God.

What I mean is, they seem so unlikely that it’s hard to believe they actually existed.Dictionary B

I have gone to an African wildlife reserve and seen elephants and giraffes, which are quite impressive, but still plausible in size. The notion that there was a creature on Earth that covered half a city block is a little bit far-fetched.

But also like God, there is evidence that they were here and did roam about, leaving behind “bones for contention.”

But I’ve always favored the Brontosaurus.

So practical. Big long neck for reaching up in the trees to eat his fill, but never getting to the end of a maple tree luncheon and going, “Not quite full. I’d like to eat me a fat boy.”

They really stuck to that herbivore thing. Not like me–who becomes a vegetarian du jour, only to reject it at the first sniff of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

The Brontosaurus stayed with plants.

So it’s my thought that they hung around longer than the T-Rex and the raptors.

Yes, they were around on Earth by themselves, so they could enjoy their salads … and not smell meat farts.

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Anti-American

dictionary with letter A

Anti-American (adj): hostile to the interests of the United States; opposed to Americans.

If you will allow me to characterize an entire nation in the context of the growth spurt of an average human being, I would put forth that our country is presently in the midst of a seventeen-year-old, bratty, rebellious snit.

Anyone who’s had children and endured the pangs of adolescence will be familiar with the sneering comment coming from your teenage child: “It’s my life. It’s a free country. And if you love me, you’ll support me in my decisions.”

Honestly, we did not become a great country through finding a contortionist’s trickery to kiss our own ass. Our greatness is punctuated by the times we have discovered the fallacy of our own practices and pursued avenues to build a highway to better understanding.

To arrogantly insist that every suggestion that America might need to make some sort of constructive course correction is an attack against our nation is nothing short of high school insolence.

Here are three things I know about my country, I love about my country, and therefore insist that my country continue:

1. We believe in giving.

The minute we start thinking that we are too generous and therefore should take more, we will become the latest dinosaur.

2. We are a free country and therefore capable of changing our mind to better solutions.

I am sick and tired of having the Constitution presented as a docile, stagnant document. It has so far been amended twenty-seven times, and certainly shall be again.

3. We have stated on paper that we believe “all men are created equal” and that no one is better than anyone else.

Even though we’re catching up with our own high-sounding ideas through a bit of painful implementation, we have taken the bold step of declaring an eternal truth.

As long as these three principles are pursued by my nation, I will applaud and sprout a tear or two when Old Glory comes marching by.

When we retreat from them through cowardice or lethargy, I will be in the front of the protest, demanding we return to our standards … and risk being called anti-American by the lazy and ignorant riff-raff.  

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Anteroom

dictionary with letter A

Anteroom (n.): an antechamber, usually serving as a waiting room.

Of course, we never call it an anteroom.

But I’ve had my fair share of being in waiting rooms. I think most of us have. Three occasions pop into my mind immediately.

When I was seven years old, my parents found a dentist about ten miles from our town who stubbornly refused to join the modern world of pain-free tooth care, and insisted that all of the chemicals and medicines that were injected into young children to relieve the discomfort of repairing teeth were going to cause a generation of sterile adults.

Of course, he had no basis for the theory, but my parents thought he was a pioneer and a patriot so they decided to use him as our family dentist.

I have two startling memories of this experience.

Number one was sitting in the anteroom, waiting my turn, hearing the moans and groans of other children subjected to the Neanderthal treatment.

Additionally was enduring both the lecture and the pain of having my teeth drilled by a gentleman who was certainly soon to be declared a medical dinosaur.

The second waiting room experience that pops to mind was when I was a mere nineteen-year-old, waiting for the birth of my first son. Having no idea of the process, and being surrounded in the waiting room by veterans of the procedure, I remember fidgeting until I forced myself to need to pee, and therefore being out of the room when the doctor came in to tell me of the birth of my child.

The third and final memory is a rather unpleasant one of being in the Emergency Room of a hospital in Mobile, Alabama, waiting to hear the status of my son who had been hit and run by a car. Being raised in the Midwest, I was filled with optimism, believing that the medical field would be able to put my little Humpty Dumpty back together again.

That night, over and over again, I was given bad news, each time deepening in darkness. Matter of fact I was so inundated with dreary reports that I nearly ran from the room, screaming, to escape the mania.

So when I think about waiting rooms, I realize that they are a perpetual paradox. First you have “waiting”–not the best profile for any human being. And then, you have a room, which normally has four walls, increasing claustrophobia and fear.

I certainly hope there’s no waiting room in heaven.

Don’t you?

 

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Antagonist

dictionary with letter A

Antagonist: (n.) a person who opposes someone or something; an adversary.

I guess I should rate this particular column PG-13.

I am not the type who likes to use colloquial or street language just to be colorful, yet sometimes there is no word that communicates quite as clearly as one that threatens to dribble off into the gutter.

Here are the facts, at least as far as I know them:

Some people are antagonists for a good reason, and some folks are just assholes.

The difficulty lies in knowing the difference.

Because certainly, to over half of the U. S. in 1861, Abraham Lincoln was an asshole. He was making a stand against an institution that had cemented itself into the Southern culture, and even into the minds of many Northern politicians. It seemed like he was urinating on apple pie and had slapped Mom and America in the face.

Yet by the same token, in the 1960’s, Dr. Timothy Leary introduced LSD to our culture, insisting that it was equally as mind-expanding as the Emancipation Proclamation. But really, he ended up just being a weirdo and bringing grief to a lot of unfortunate, gullible souls.

There are many antagonists in our world today. With whom should we side?

  • Supposedly if you take into consideration the feelings of the Palestinians, you’re against Israel.
  • If you express your empathy for the state of Israel, you become a Zionist pig.
  • If you have misgivings about the gay lifestyle, you’re a homophobe.
  • Yet if you promote an entirely liberal, open-minded agenda, history may place you in the “leary” category.

Is there any way of knowing what is truly being motivated by an asshole and what is the necessary work of an antagonist, who’s come along to prophetically shake up our world and better mankind?

I have three ideas. (They are no better than yours, but since I have you reading, I guess you’re stuck with me for the time being:)

1. Great ideas don’t make us more dependent. They cause us to declare our independence from things that are not necessary.

2. Great ideas have a sense of the common good without making fun or humiliating the adversary.

3. Great ideas have appeared in history before. Even if they’ve been shoved to the rear, they still have a lineage in truth.

For instance, slaves being freed has always been a positive throughout mankind’s journey.

Drugs actually expanding our minds and making us more intensely involved have not proven to be such.

I believe this: we must question everything with gentleness, allowing the truth to come to the forefront, instead of just reading aloud, in unison, the press release.

I, myself, am an antagonist.

Will history find me on the right side–or a mental dinosaur?

We shall see.

Of course, I won’t really care … because I won’t be here.

 

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