Ceiling

Ceiling: (n) the upper interior surface of a room

I offer no criticism nor judgment to those who pursue owning their own domicile where they can roam the halls as Lord or Lady of the
Manor. For about eleven years, I did it myself.

I was intrigued. I was told by those who owned homes that it was ridiculous to pay rent and have no revenue being laid up for the future.

I bought into it.

For a while it went along real well. I especially was fascinated with adding small improvements that would show my flair and style.

And then the house turned against me. It felt very personal.

I do not know what I did to offend my four walls and a roof, but one after another, grievances, complaints and near-disaster lined up to offer a rebellious tantrum.

One night it all came to a head as I was sitting in my bedroom and the ceiling began to leak.

No–that word is too passive. It actually poured water down on me and the floor below.

It didn’t stop. There was no explanation. And I will always remember my first inclination:

“Damn, somebody outghta DO something about this.”

It took me a moment, but I did eventually realize that “somebody,” in this case, was me.

The explanation for my outpouring was pretty simple. The hot water heater had exploded, pouring out all of its contents–ruining carpets, warping floors and making the house smell like a high school locker room.

After eleven years, I got rid of my home. I will never own another one.

I do not begrudge those who disagree with my assessment, but for me, when the ceiling begins to pour forth water, I want to call a landlord instead of tapping my own resources.

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Bungalow

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bungalow: (n) a low house, with a broad front porch

Words are tools, but just as in the case of a screwdriver, can be used to kill.

If placed correctly, they can make sense or communicate our thoughts. But if not, then they are dangerous or at least deceptive.

I have used the word “bungalow.” I have used the word bungalow to describe some home I was renting which was beneath my standards–or perhaps universally without any standards. I wanted to make it clear I was not living in some sort of cheap flat, but instead was inhabiting a bungalow.

I chose the word “bungalow” to explain my living situation because I knew that nobody had a grasp on what a bungalow actually was. But I was willing to take the chance that most people thought a bungalow was more ritzy than a one-bedroom/one-bath.

Nobody ever questioned me on it.

Heads would turn slightly to the left or right, as if considering what a bungalow might be–but human pride prevented them from inquiring about the exact appearance of the domicile.

Yet the description of one’s less-than-acceptable environs only works if nobody ever comes to visit.

The first visit will eliminate the impact of the word “bungalow” for all time.

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AK-47

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

AK-47: (n) a type of assault rifle, originally manufactured in the Soviet Union.

It’s a big gun. That’s what I know.

I’ve never fired one of those. I have used a shotgun. That was pretty impressive.

Impressive… What do I mean by that?

I think guns are fascinating. Otherwise we wouldn’t want to play with them as children. After all, nobody wants a squirt-monkey or a squirt-hose. No, it’s a squirt-gun.

Being able to point something at somebody and dispel ammunition–even if it’s just water–is pretty thrilling. But you see, that’s the problem.

Somewhere along the line–at about the age of eleven or twelve–the bullets change from H2O to a helluva lot more deadly.

When would I want a gun?

  • If I were in the wilderness and a bear was getting ready to attack me, I think I would rather have a gun than a bow and arrow.
  • I guess if I was trapped on a desert island and was trying to track down game, using a bullet might be more effective than setting traps or throwing rocks.
  • I think if we’re going to insist on having wars, we should give our soldiers weapons to match the enemy’s, or be prepared to be enslaved by being “out-gunned.”

But I just don’t believe that guns are the answer to everything. It’s like so many other things in our society–the solutions we come up with seem to create their own dilemmas instead of alleviating conflict.

Putting a gun into the hands of a common man who, at this moment, is rational, does not mean that this person will be logical under the influence of alcohol, anger, frustration, or just dumb stupidity.

I guess what bothers me is the idea that law-abiding citizens require guns to protect themselves from non-law-abiding citizens. It begs the questions:

  1. When should I pull a trigger and release a missile of death to terminate the life of another human being?
  2. Should I do it because they have entered my home to steal from me?
  3. Should I shoot them because they are walking on my sidewalk, speaking threats in the direction of my domicile?
  4. In my frivolous and often unpredictable nature, should I be trusted to decide who lives or dies simply because I have a weapon to determine the outcome?
  5. Or are all these questions moot–because we have a Constitution that allows us to be “gun-toting,” so that’s all the justification we need?

There’s no doubt–guns are cool. I would be greatly fascinated to look at someone’s gun collection. I just wonder how we can determine how these weapons are used, or … how we can trust one another to make that decision.