Appliance

dictionary with letter A

Appliance: (n) a piece of equipment designed to do a specific task, typically a domestic one.

I have often thought it would be a very intelligent maneuver to set my mind to becoming more of a handy man.

I have a very firm conviction (though many of you would consider it a superstition): I think my appliances know that I’m ignorant.

I think secretly they hide out in the kitchen, the bathroom or the office and plot ways to make me nervous by pretending to pull up lame at the most inopportune times so they can view me fidgeting nervously, wondering how to accomplish my task without them.

If you think about it, this is the only self-worth an appliance has. No one pops the bread in the toaster, has it cook to a golden brown and then pats the chrome while saying, “Thank you, toaster for doing your job.”

The only time we actually acknowledge the toaster, or any number of appliances, is when they decide to go on the fritz or become intermittent in some disgusting pattern. It is only then that we appreciate the value they bring to the household.

Is it too far out for me to believe that these appliances might have some sort of agreement among each other, to seek approval by refusing to operate?

So I think becoming a little more handy with tools, threatening to break them open and play with their innards, might be enough to rein them into submission.

Of course, the times I’ve hung around such skillful laborers, I have quickly deterred from my passion to pursue their abilities, because within moments, their explanations and terminology leave me totally baffled. (For instance, a friend of mine talked a good ten minutes about various types of screws before I realized he wasn’t being lascivious.)

So since I’m pathetic with the implements which might be able to fix my appliances, I’ve decided to be very polite, gentle and appreciative to them. Landing somewhere between encouraging a baby to walk and a dog to retrieve a frisbee, I have developed lingo for each and every one of them to let them know how much I value their service.

  • So the dishwasher is “dear.”
  • The toaster is “cool, man.”
  • And the blender is “wow.”

I hope by using these little bursts of encouragement, I can keep them operating in tip-top shape…so they don’t feel the need to threaten me with the silent treatment or their shut-down mode.

 

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

Apartment

dictionary with letter A

Apartment: (n) a suite of rooms forming one residence typically in a building containing a number of these.

When I run across people who appear to like me as I am today, I am certainly cognizant of the fact that if they had met me decades earlier, they would have disliked me totally.

Now, I don’t mean this to be either critical of my new-found friends or myself. I have taken a journey. Because it is a journey, the road was rarely straight and certainly never free of construction.

To a certain degree I can chronicle my progress and my respectability based on just a simple review of my apartment selections.

Graduating from high school and immediately getting married, I had no money, appreciation of money or desire to make money. I was of the firm conviction that high school should continue and all groceries should be supplied, and preferably, food prepared and set before me. Since I did not go to college, where such an arrangement is possible, everyone in my small town felt that I needed to become “responsible.”

I did not agree.

So my family, in an attempt to get me on the “strait and narrow,” rented an apartment for my new wife and myself, where we could live. It was quite lovely. It sat on the second floor in the middle of town and had several large rooms, which continued to mock us due to our lack of owning furniture.

We were able to stay there exactly forty-five days, since we had no money to pay the next month’s installment of rent.

At this point we were forced to go to a cheaper location, which also ended up having previous tenets. Cockroaches.

We had so many in our apartment that they began to be incestuous, leading to mutations and even the development of an albino clan. After a while, it was the cockroaches that evicted us from our apartment, feeling that we were unsuitable roommates.

At this point some success greeted my creative efforts, and we were able to move into a better apartment, and then a better one still. Finally, on about my fourth excursion into this cave dwelling, I was able to occupy an apartment where I could pay the monthly rent. It was larger, also had a dishwasher, and as far as I was able to tell, had no previous hairy-legged dwellers.

So every time I hear the word “apartment,” both a chill goes down my spine and a giggle in my soul.

For I realize that it is a benchmark of being a citizen in this country. And lo and behold, after awhile, I was deemed worthy of escaping apartments and live in a house.

God bless America, strike up the band, John Phillip Sousa is a great composer … and apple pie is the only dessert for a true American..

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

Address

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Address: (n.) the particulars of the place where someone lives or where an organization is situated.

150 Letts Avenue.

That was my first address. It’s where I grew up. We were a family of seven living in a two-bedroom house that was less than twelve hundred square feet. In most cases, that would qualify us for subsisting in the third world.

But in Sunbury, Ohio, it was my home. And when you’re a kid, you don’t spend a lot of time considering social status, closet space or the particular drape of a curtain. You just get by.

If you do it right, you spend more time outside, where the square footage is only limited to the amount of panting you can tolerate following a sprint.

My friends had bigger houses–what you might call a “better address.” Interesting phrasing. They also lived on Letts Avenue, but their parcel of land yielded more prosperity. But we didn’t look down on each other–at least, I don’t think so. There may have been parents in the neighborhood who told their kids not to play with me because I was “Little House Johnny,” but I was not aware of the slight.

Since then I’ve had many addresses. Big, small, bathtubs, showers, dishwashers… even swimming pools.

Presently I don’t have a home address because I’m traveling. This causes some folks to shake their heads and smirk as they comment on my “gypsy lifestyle.” But all in all, home is where you hang your hat. At least, that’s what they say.

But if you can’t afford a hat, I guess home is just where you hang.

As I look back on it, I had great fun on Letts Avenue. Even though all the moms and dads were concerned about money and prestige, the kids were concerned about snacks and play. Maybe that’s what happened to me. Maybe I never grew up.

Because I am certainly, to this day, more concerned … about playing and snacking.