Deciduous: (adj) shedding the leaves annually, as certain trees and shrubs.

After years of consideration, mulling it over and wondering, I finally have come to a conclusion. Of all the things I might be on Planet Earth…

Human is the only one I can even come close to handling.

I would certainly hurt my back if I tried to be reptilian, making my way through the dewy morning grass.

I would never outrun the bullets of the NRA if I was a deer, moose or a bear.

I’m afraid I would be tempted too much to go for the hook—the easy prize—if I was a fish.

And then there’s deciduous.

I think I would be scared shitless if I was a tree or a bush, and my leaves fell off once a year. Can you imagine it?

Let’s say you’re just sitting around and it’s early September, and suddenly all your hair, fingernails and portions of your skin just scaled from your body and fell to the earth. You would have to assume this was a serious condition.

It wouldn’t even cross your mind that once the process was done, you would later regain fresh foliage.

No, I’m completely safe, sound, if not content…

Being Homo Sapien.


Chartreuse: (n) a color between yellow and green

Tolerance is a good thing.


Inclusion, divine.

There’s no doubt about it.

But by the same token, if you happen to be heterosexual, you don’t want to be gay. And I would assume those who are gay might be slightly offended at the notion
of being heterosexual.

Maybe it’s the remnants of prejudice–the ignorance of the masses being played out–but certain actions, choices, mannerisms and even speech patterns hint toward effeminacy.

We are still sensitive. Oh, we may march in the Gay Pride Parade, openly spouting that we don’t care if anyone thinks we’re part of the gang. But then–if someone actually does assume that we are of that persuasion, we are quick to whisper, “I’m just here to be supportive.”

With that in mind, I have been tempted from time to time to refer to something as “chartreuse.” The word nearly fell from my lips in a room filled with blue jeans, t-shirts and five o’clock shadows. Just in the nick of time, I pulled back and said, in my deepest basal tone, “You know. Kind of between yellow and green.”

In doing so, I removed any suspicion from the testosterone-driven gathering that I might be … well, gay.

You see, I don’t want to be gay. Honestly, I don’t like to think about being gay. I think it is possible to be tolerant without possessing total understanding of a situation.

So even though it may not be politically correct, I will tell you that I occasionally catch my hands on my hips and quickly remove them, am very careful at how I glance down at my fingernails, and certainly would not call a football jersey “chartreuse.”


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by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Accordion: (n.)a portable musical instrument with metal reeds blown by bellows, played by means of keys and buttons.

It’s just another thing the Beatles did.

As a young boy, I had run across traveling evangelists who usually had a wife who played the accordion because it granted them a portable musical instrument so they could go into places that did not have a permanent piano or organ. Matter of fact, I have sat through my share of hymns played on this ridiculous squeeze box, and felt, after about fifteen minutes, that I was testing the borders of my sanity.

I don’t know if it is possible to play the instrument well, but it always sounded like it was being played poorly. The combination of whine and the sound that fluctuated from rock and roll decibels to the whisper of lovers in the back seat of a car was aggravating to the human ear and made you wish for the pleasantry of fingernails on the blackboard.

But unbelievably, John, Paul, Ringo and George put together a song and used the accordion in such a way that it almost appeared to have real life and function. It was in We Can Work It Out. I remember turning to one of my friends, nearly gasping, as I asked, “Is that an accordion?”

Yes. The Beatles had taken the cursed sideways keyboard, complete with its bellows, and turned it into something cool.

What I learned from that experience is that you must never turn your back on things that seem doomed to irrelevance or obscurity. Often it’s not the instrument that is truly significant, but rather, the hands that caress it.