Dangerous

Dangerous: (adj) full of risk, perilous

You shouldn’t call something dangerous unless you really give a shit about people.

You shouldn’t declare some activity potentially lethal just to establish some sort of superiority over your fellow-travelers.

But every once in a while, there are dangerous things—maybe better phrased, dangerous tendencies or unhealthy trends.

I feel unqualified to speak on the subject (which I feel compelled to address) mainly because I don’t want anybody to think I’m drawing a moral equivalency or being judgmental about the issue.

I don’t drink. (I’ve established that before.)

I don’t think this does anything for me except eliminate a liquor bill from my budget and spare me a few morning headaches.

Yet I must be honest and say that there’s a dangerous complicity from entertainment all the way through religion and everything in between.

We have just made it too cool to drink.

Alcohol is too common.

It seems to have morphed from being an adult beverage into an elixir for depression, stimulation for fatigue and a truth serum to get friends and neighbors to open up.

It has also become the favored confidante of young females who portray that coming home to a glass or two of wine is the ecstasy of the day.

Unfortunately, alcohol is a drug.

Alcohol has a very bad history with humans—not that dissimilar from the Nazi Party. In the case of both, alcohol and Nazis, there is a great rally that builds up a wave of confidence, leading to faltering returns and ending up with self-destruction in a bunker of solitude.

Let me tell you what is dangerous:

  • Alcohol is an intoxicant. As long as it’s presented in that fashion, it is completely permissible and even acceptable.
  • Alcohol is not fun—that’s dangerous.
  • Alcohol is not necessary. Once again, dangerous.
  • Alcohol is not a cure for anything, but rather, the symptom of many devastating sorrows. Dangerous to the fourth power.

If I felt that young men and young women were partaking of alcohol for the purpose of social interaction, I really would have no case to make.

But alcohol is the only “spirit” I see being promoted in a faithless society.

We are heading toward forty- and fifty-year-old alcoholics, who thought they were socially drinking in their twenties and thirties until the realization of getting older drove them deeper into counseling with Jack Daniels—on a horrible cruise with Captain Morgan.

 

Chef

Chef: (n) professional cook

“Vanity, vanity, kitchen is thy name.”

You may note that I have altered the adage.

It does not matter if it’s a man or woman–if you start talking about cooking, the reaction falls into two categories:

  1. “I don’t cook, I will never cook, I will not touch a pan. Serve me.”
  2. “I’m such a good cook, people think I should start my own restaurant.”

Folks get very nasty about their ability to stir sugar in with spice to make something nice. They’re convinced they have the best recipe for any delicacy.

This is confirmed by dozens of shows on television, with chefs competing with one another for the honor of being chief cook and bottle washer.

What is it about the human race that causes us to believe that we have a passable ability to serve a meal instead of the overwrought notion that our platter of “pleasables” should be offered to wine and dine kings?

Do you really have the best barbecue sauce in the country?

Is the secret to a great turkey to deep fry it?

Are green beans better with almonds?

Does the extra thirty seconds of whipping the egg whites truly make a better meringue?

Is hot sauce the universal elixir for “delish?”

Even if we can convince all the brothers and sisters of Earth that we are alike, equal and that no one is better than anyone else, after that meeting is over, there will be someone who will insist they should cook the victory meal–because they’re a better chef.

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Champagne

Champagne: (n) a white sparkling wine associated with celebration

I’ve never convinced myself to spend more than a dollar-fifty on a bottle of drink, so imagine my shock the first time somebody gave me champagne and explained to me how expensive it was. That, along with the taste (and my inability to figure out popping the cork) has kept
me away from what most people consider to be a magical elixir.

When I hear the word “champagne,” I think of the town in Illinois where the university is housed. I know it’s not spelled the same–but that’s where my brain goes.

Being an Ohio State Buckeye fan since birth, I have always feared the word because it meant the Ohio State University team would have to play the Illini.

Illinois just always seemed to have the number of my favorite team, and even in off seasons when it seemed they couldn’t beat anyone else, they always at least threatened to “de-nut” the Buckeyes.

Matter of fact, we are not sure (because my mother was living in a retirement home at the time) but it was shortly after Illinois defeated Ohio State one Saturday afternoon, that my mum had a coronary and died. I am not giving you solid evidence that the game was the cause, but I have taken the precaution to make sure that whenever I watch any game, but especially that Illinois one, that I have fully meditated and calmed my innards.

 

 

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Anoxia

dictionary with letter A

Anoxia: (n.) an absence of oxygen.

I felt like crap, if by saying that, you mean a discarded pile of useless waste lying in the corner, needing disposal.

I didn’t know why.

I knew I was sick. That doesn’t help very much. Being aware of illness only makes you clamor for a quick solution to get back to normalcy.

Sometimes that’s possible. A good night’s sleep is often the perfect elixir. But I had several opportunities to sleep and felt no better.

So I went to the doctor, who sent me to the hospital, and the first thing they did was put oxygen into my nostrils.

I felt very stupid having tubes coming out of my nose.

They explained that my oxygen level was not sufficient for me to get the air I needed to recover from my physical ailment. I tried to argue, but after a while felt silly objecting to something as simple as a breathing mechanism.

It was astounding.

Within an hour, just having oxygen put into my body and having the levels rise, made me feel so much better. It gave me the will to want to get well again instead of commiserating over a gloom of pending doom.

It was just oxygen–yet I needed it. I wasn’t getting it from the air. My lungs apparently had decided they were part-time labor.

But the introduction of the good stuff set in motion “good stuff” for my healing.

It got me thinking.

We’re so critical of people who are depressed, angry, poor or unmotivated.

  • We never consider that there’s a certain emotional oxygen required, the ability to tell the truth without fear.
  • How about spiritual oxygen? God is our God so we can find out how to be better people.
  • Certainly there’s a mental oxygen, which clears out the cobwebs in our brain, allowing fresh ideas to seep through.
  • And the simple physical oxygen of breathing, exercising and eating well can make us feel invincible.

I’m no longer afraid to be in need–because discovering the better things I can breathe in empowers me … to be made whole.

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

Al fresco

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Al fresco: (adj) in the open air: e.g. an al fresco luncheon.

Much as I enjoy the arrival of spring with the promise of coming summer, and the warmth of that experience, I also become fully aware that I am about to be inundated by many different individuals who want to take advantage of the beauty of the season … to do everything outside.

Especially difficult for me is when they suggest that I take my sound equipment and music and array it on some sort of makeshift flat-bed trailer to perform in a park situation, surrounded by so many distractions that it’s nearly impossible to get the attention of a dead squirrel.

Let me tell you what bothers me about it:

1. Good sound needs walls. Otherwise it floats out and joins with other distracting molecules and becomes distorted or dispelled.

2. Even though I work very hard to be interesting, birds and trees, supersonic jets flying overhead and children briskly running and tripping to fall and scrape their noses do tend the eliminate the possibility of an ongoing attention span.

3. Bugs. If you are a normal person who showers, uses deodorant, or God forbid, aftershave, bugs seem to approach you as if you were a saloon and they are determined to get drunk on your elixir. I’ve had them fly in my mouth, buzz my bald head and perch themselves inside my ear.

I think I’ve just described the definition of “distracting.”

It happened to me recently when some friends invited me out to dinner, and asked if I wanted to sit at a table near the lake. It was a beautiful evening, about 6:15 P.M., and apparently the exact time when the local bees come out for an evening fellowship and what appeared to be church service. They huddled together, gathering around our food, and at times it appeared they were saying grace for the bounty set before them.

We eventually (being more intelligent than the buzzers) found ways to cover up our food, our bodies and the surrounding table with napkins, plates–and I think one lady used a scarf. It was not exactly what I would call a favorable dining experience.

I think going camping is an al fresco event. When you do so, you plan on roughing it, taking on nature and trying to get away from the delicacies of life.

But every other time you go al fresco, you must realize that it’s going to turn out to be a campout–and as soon as you arrive outside, you have departed your home … and entered Nature’s back yard.