Cousin

Cousin: (n) a child of one’s uncle or aunt.

Family setups and things like lineage always confuse the hell out of me.

After mother, father, sister and brother, it all gets a little blurry.

It begins with aunts and uncles. And then, when we start talking about “aunt on your mother’s side” or “uncle on your father’s side,” honest to God, I need to take out paper and pencil and draw a map.

Or should it be a graph? Because then, the children of those aunts and uncles become my cousins.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

So in a weird way, I am kind of related to them, which makes it very strange that when I was a child, over summer vacation, we often played doctor.

That means I was touching family members—experimenting and discovering my sexuality—with people who would be my brothers and sisters if they weren’t separated by one other person.

I’m not even going to talk about second cousins. I honestly don’t even know what that is. I never admit I don’t know, because there is always someone ready to explain it, and then I must pretend to comprehend so as to get him or her to shut up.

I must stop and think about these family arrangements because they don’t come naturally to me.

Maybe they’re not supposed to.

Perhaps the hippie philosophy is the best one for us as human beings. You know—where we’re all brothers and sisters.

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Cosigner

Cosigner: (n) a joint signer of a promissory note.

The definition of greatness, and perhaps even the best description of faith, is possessing a vision greater than your substance.

Very few of us arrive on Earth with enough substance to match our vision.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I found this to be true in my early years of adulthood. I knew what I wanted to do. I wasn’t sure how to do it, so I was very susceptible to the lame-brain plans of others—or even of my own making—which might be shortcuts for achieving my goals.

All of these ideas that were hatched in front of me and inside me always entailed the need for money. It was the idea that money needed to come before I could do the work.

Whenever someone suggested that I could do the work without needing money, I rejected it because it extended my waiting period and therefore discouraged my faithfulness.

I cannot tell you how many times I went to family, friends or even strangers, asking them to cosign on a loan, a car, a motor home, or even sound equipment, because I was convinced that my need for the substance was inhibiting my faith.

Most of the time, very wise people said, “Absolutely not.”

I did not like them. I thought they were selfish, unfeeling, perhaps anti-Christ.

On three occasions, when people gave into my “pitch” and signed on a piece of paper for money or goods on my behalf, they were left holding the bag—which I believe contained turds.

Later on in my life, when I got substance, I came back and reimbursed these people. But at the time, I am sure they felt very used—and their faith was damaged because I stole their substance.

Family and friends come to me sometimes, asking me to cosign a loan or a contract. I just pull out my wallet, peer into it, and figure out which President, with his face on the paper money, I can impeach from my ownership and give to them. If I can’t afford to give it, I don’t offer it.

Cosigning always seems like a great idea—sometimes even to two people. But if you really believe that substance is needed more than faith, your lack of faith will make it impossible to please either God or Earth.


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Cornhusker

Cornhusker: (n) a Nebraskan

It would be much easier to claim that you’re a cow if you’re able to chew your cud and moo. Producing milk would also be a positive.

When I graduated from high school and opted not to go to college because my wife and I were pregnant with possibilities, I realized that I did funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
not want to be the kind of guy who didn’t go to college and worked at the kind of job this kind of guy is forced to take.

I liked music. I thought I had some talent.

No one ever actually sat down with me and made suggestions on how to use my ability or guided me in a direction of turning my existing efforts into some sort of cash flow.

I was told that I was not allowed to do anything but get a job and take care of my family.

I didn’t want to do that.

Now, I’m not asking you to side with me on this issue, nor am I desiring your cultural rebuke. I’m just explaining that if I were claiming to be a singer and a musician, I needed to go “music” somewhere.

So discovering in a very obscure newspaper a notice that there was a coffeehouse opening up in Kearney, Nebraska, I contacted the fellow beginning it on the phone, told him about my little group, and said that we would love to come and share at his new venue. He was thrilled (since we were from Ohio and he was all the way in Nebraska.)

It didn’t even cross my mind to look at a map. Before I knew it, the gentleman invited us to come and sing at the coffeehouse with the promise that he would “help out with gas.”

At that point in my life I had a van which creaked and squeaked just driving around town, threatening to break down at a moment’s notice. I didn’t care. Nor did my three other comrades.

We set out for Kearney, Nebraska. Matter of fact, when I began this essay today, I had to look up how far it was from Columbus, Ohio, to Kearney, Nebraska. I am so glad I didn’t have the Internet back then, because the distance one way is 968.4 miles.

We packed in some soft drinks, made some sandwiches, gathered as much money as we could borrow and pull out of couch cushions, and took off. We joked about “touring to the Cornhusker State,” never realizing that it would be many, many hours—twelve to be exact—before we would be anywhere near those who were traditionally proclaimed “huskers of corn.”

I’m happy to report that we actually made it there.

As is often the case, the opportunity was even smaller than I could have imagined. But the fourteen people who showed up said they were really impressed with our songs and happy we had made the trip. They gave us thirty dollars for our gasoline, a bushel of sweet corn and a peck of apples.

It was my first payday.

The round trip, as you can imagine, ended up being nearly two thousand miles.

But I was young, looking for an adventure, and especially trying to find a way to escape—for one week—from hearing all the town cronies telling me what a deadbeat I was.


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Connotation

Connotation: (n) an idea a word invokes in addition to its primary meaning.

Love makes me think about kissing.

Maybe a little bit about the love of God. Both are rather pleasant.

Politics connotes younger folks arguing about subjects they just read about, pretending they’re experts. Unpleasant.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Religion conjures organ music in a dismal atmosphere. Recently it’s added the connotation of beheadings.

Prayer makes me sleepy.

Maybe that’s because I do most of my praying right before I go to sleep, or it’s just a great sleep-inducer.

Money brings a smile.

It’s not because I love money–it’s just that having it relieves one carnal infraction against our living. It also opens the door to being generous.

Family is a fairly decent word. But candidly, most of the grimaces and growls that may come our way are attached to those who share some of the D in our NA.

Life is not a series of definitions. It is an accumulation of feelings, which means we have the chance to take shitty words and crappy experiences, and reshape them by offering more enlightened endeavors.

 

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Connive

Connive: (v) to secretly allow bad things to occur

Do you want to live a happier life?

That may sound like the beginning of an infomercial, but there is a way to live a more powerful existence.

Simply make sure you do the things you want to do, not the things other people are doing–and don’t sit around acting discouraged because the world is a mess.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Let’s start off with a cleansing principle:

Your children are your children as long as they live in your house and receive an allowance. Once they leave the house, they may love you dearly, but they yearn to be their own person.

If you follow their careers, their actions and their whims too closely, you will find yourself conniving to either justify what they do or imitate it.

Or take this into consideration:

We may have a government in Washington, D.C. that is corrupt. This does not give us a free pass to come up with our own rendition of corruption. We do not have permission to connive deals and lie to our friends, families and working associates because it appears to be the popular pastime.

Happiness is when you find what you want to do and you do it, even if you’re the only person who has found it.

I want to make it clear–I do love my family, but not enough to follow their ways nor to stall my life to gain their approval.

 

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Concern

Concern: (n) anxiety; worry.

Concern is the word we use when we want to establish that we are way too mature to be worried. After all, we are mentally balanced, funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
spiritually enhanced and emotionally stabilized to such an extent that we are able to express concern without, shall we say, losing our shit.

But this week, I have taken inventory of what should truly be concerning and what is merely passing rumor, attempting to generate fear.

I am concerned about my apathy.

It causes me to do ill-advised things for my health and also not be sensitive enough to the health and feelings of others.

I have a concern about my ego.

I’m not always certain when it shows up or if it’s the good guy of my motivation is in control.

I don’t have a concern for my family.

I took my best shot. And if that wasn’t good enough, they have had plenty of time to acquire other shots.

I do have a concern for my country.

Historically, every nation that ceases to have a world vision for the human family becomes obstructive to good will and has to be exterminated.

I have no concern for tomorrow.

There is no tomorrow until I make it.

I do have a concern for death.

I am not one of those verbose, fearless individuals who claims he is not afraid to die. If a vote were taken, I think it’s a horrible idea. Death, that is. But since my vote does not count, let me try to scare it away instead of vice versa.

I have no concern about the existence of God.

If He exists, His comprehension is so far beyond my grasp that any attempt on my part to ascertain His will must come across as a roaring farce at the Pearly Gates.

If He doesn’t exist, I will handle those “grave concerns” when they unearth.

 

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Communion

Communion: (n) the service of Christian worship at which bread and wine are consecrated and shared.

I get the same sensation when I go to Red Lobster with a friend and he or she insists, with a giggle, as the cheddar bay biscuits arrive, and they gleefully take one from the basket, that, “This is what Red Lobster is all about!”

I nod (knowing that soon I will probably nod off.)

Red Lobster is not about the cheddar bay biscuits. It’s about the seafood.

Just like baseball games are not about the peanuts and the Cracker Jacks. There’s a ball, a bat and a game.

And marriage is not about starting a family. It’s really about how much you enjoy having sex with this one person and hope you can keep it up for the rest of your life while you have a family.

I find myself going to church from time to time–reluctantly.

I don’t like that about me. It seems jaded. In this season of agnosticism it smacks of the predictable.

But you see, in church there’s just too much emphasis on the cheddar bay biscuits, the Cracker Jacks and the family.

Many of them center their whole agenda around communion–a symbolistic representation of the blood and body of Jesus Christ, which he gave for the sins of mankind.

It’s disconcerting to me.

First there’s the thought that I am such a piece of shit that God had to kill His own kid to try to make up for my buffoonery.

Then there’s the notion that a dynamic spirit which walked in the flesh among us for thirty-three years only gained significance in the last few hours that he hung, as an alleged criminal, on a cross.

What an insult to all things loving and eternal.

Yet if you lodge an objection, somehow or another you become apostate–which, if you don’t know what that means, is the religious system’s way of telling you that you don’t belong.

The truth of the matter is, I admire the hell out of Jesus.

Long before he bled, he led me into an understanding of how we might begin to see God’s will done on Earth as it is in heaven.

 

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