Chewing Gum

Chewing gum: (n) flavored gum for chewing

Early on in my life, I decided there were two types of people I did not want to become: argumentative and complaining. I find that anyone who pursues these two qualities always ends up turning off anyone they know and feeling very alone.

So I am not going to be argumentative, nor do I share this story with a complaining spirit.

One night I fell asleep with a huge wad of bubble gum stuck in my mouth and woke up the next morning with it lodged in my hair. (It was
back when I had hair. Lots of it.)

The gum, for some reason or another, had managed to distribute itself all throughout my locks. When I went to a barber to ask what could be done, the suggestion was made that I shave my head and start from scratch.

I was twenty years old. This was unacceptable.

So a friend of mine decided to look up in the encyclopedia (since there was no Internet at the time) how to remove gum from hair.

There were three suggestions. Being barely out of our teens, we decided to try all of them.

The suggestions were to smear the gum with mayonnaise, peanut butter or motor oil. We divided my hair into thirds and sampled all of the solutions.

None of them worked.

Except… for some reason, the peanut butter and the mayonnaise clung to the gum, making, if possible, an even worse mess.

I did not know what to do.

Finally, another friend of mine attempted to surgically and carefully cut the gum out of my hair, leaving behind whatever part of my “do” remained.

After this process, my head looked like crab grass with dried-out places in between, apparently caused by drought.

It took six weeks–yes, six weeks–before my hair grew out and all the gum was completely dispelled from my scalp.

I still chew gum.

But never as a nocturnal practice.


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Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Against: (prep.) 1. n opposition to: e.g. the fight against crime 2. in physical contact with: e.g. her back was against the door

I hate malaise.

Malaise is when compromise has left behind a by-product that does not resemble anything we set out to achieve.

Now, I understand the need to collaborate and blend. What I don’t like is losing sight of the beauty of an idea simply to adjourn a meeting to go out for drinks with your buddies.

Occasionally I will get a very astute and intelligent agnostic or atheist, who will ask me how I can maintain belief in a Divine Being, with my level of intelligence. I know they feel they are complimenting me, but they fail to realize that there are certain precepts necessary to energize the human family which cannot be manufactured in the brain of even the most enlightened homo sapien.

Do we need a God to remind us of the god that has been breathed into us, making us aware that we need to be god to one another?

Honestly, even though the Good Book is a very large volume, there are only half a dozen or so ideas within it which set it apart from the average encyclopedia of information, making it eternal rather than a temporary addition to the Best Sellers List. One of those ideas is the concept that “those who are not against us are for us.”

I could never follow a spiritual principle that chose up sides like nasty children on the playground trying to alienate others. I can’t be part of a religion that speculates on the inferiority of others, to further uphold their own superiority.

I love the notion that life is about finding reasons for people to agree with me instead of establishing boundaries for feuds.

I can walk into any room and within ten minutes, uncover areas of mutual fellowship with almost anyone. I suppose if I want to focus on the things I have against them or they against me, we could separate ourselves from one another and be enemies. But having the heartfelt inclination to find points where strangers are the same as me is such an inspired piece of heavenly legislation that I MUST run to the polls and give it my vote.

Those who are not against us are for us.

Nothing progresses in the human circle until we sit down and decide what we want to have for dinner by finding out what we all like. Because forcing peas and carrots on the young ones never turns them into vegetable eaters. Matter of fact, it may turn them into opponents of everything that grows out of the ground.

“Against” is a popular word nowadays. It is the way we define our uniqueness.

Unfortunately, if we continue to pursue it … it may also end up being our epitaph.


by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Acari:  (n.): a large order or subclass of small arachnids that comprises the mites and ticks. They are distinguished by an apparent lack of body divisions.

I’ve had some interesting jobs in my life.

I once tried to sell encyclopedias door-to-door until I was pulled over by a policeman because the last house I went to insisted I came through their door without permission. I didn’t actually do that but, it’s hard to convince a policeman of your truthfulness when you’re an encyclopedia salesman.

I once delivered blood samples to a laboratory until one day I ran out of money to buy dry ice, and tried to get to the lab very quickly without it, and discovered the samples don’t work as well at room temperature.

I played Santa Claus, which was quite fun except for the fact that I got hungry on the job and attempted to eat the candy canes, inserting them into my mouth past my synthetic beard, only to create a hairy mess mingled in my spittle.

But today I would say that the worst job in the world would be trying to be the public relations agent for the acari. You would be at a tremendous disadvantage because most folks have no favorable rating for ticks and mites. Their percentage of appreciation would rank down with Congressmen and Senators.

Can you imagine, if that were the only job available? If it was YOUR responsibility to develop a slogan?

“Don’t be ticked off–you mite enjoy them.”

Even though that has a bit of cleverness, after the initial warmth from the hearer, the vision of nibbling ticks and mites would take over and you are back to square one.

I thought maybe you could do something like they did with Mr. Peanut–maybe a tick with a top hat and cane, doing a two-step with a mite. Underneath would be the slogan: “Yeah … but they dance!”

You see what I mean?

So as you start off your day and you’re on your way to your position of responsibility, keep in mind, there ARE jobs worse than others.

For instance, you could have the job of writing a 250-word essay of relevance … on the acari.