Crêpe

Crêpe: (n) a thin, light delicate pancake

 Sitting here, pausing, mulling the idea and the essence of the crepe, it occurred to me that many of the transitions and outstanding moments in my life have been marked by the discovery and pursuit of some new food.

Maybe that’s why I’m overweight.

I’ve lived such a full life at the banquet table of experience.

I remember when I was about six years old and I ate pickle-pimento lunchmeat for the first time. It was so good. I liked it when it was sliced thin. I liked it when the butcher made it chunkier.

I liked pickle-pimento loaf so much that I asked for it on my twelfth birthday.

On that day, and throughout that night, I personally ate an entire pound of the stuff.

I never developed a dislike for it—just allowed it to graduate on to my next epiphany of treats.

There was a season when I discovered Chinese food. Having graduated from high school, I found myself driving my old car to downtown Columbus—that being the one in the state of Ohio—and walking around, taking in some theater, and visiting (and eventually frequenting) a little Chinese walk-in restaurant called La Toy.

I had never eaten such fare during my growing up years. I quickly developed a favorite. It was listed as Number 3 on the menu: Fried rice, Egg Foo Yung and Chicken Chow Mein.

So whether I was shopping, looking for a chance to play in a rock and roll band, trying to figure out how to flirt with a girl or going to the state theater to see the Broadway cast of Godspell, I always ended up afterwards at La Toy, munching my jaws on my favored three.

Then a few years later, when I was traveling on the road trying to scratch out a living (but actually not caring one way or the other if the electric company got their payment) I stopped in with a couple of friends at the International House of Pancakes, and posed the question:

What is a crêpe?

It was explained to me, and on a whim, I ordered some, with strawberries on top.

Crêpes are the best of pancakes. They aren’t so heavy and flour-filled. They also are the best of eggs because you don’t have to decide if you like the yolks or not. I became fond of crêpes and frequented I-Hop so often that I nearly went bankrupt from my less-than-wealthy purse.

But to this day, if I come upon a crêpe, I will order it.

Matter of fact, some day in the future, arriving in heaven, sitting before me at the Banquet Table of Life, will be pickle-pimento loaf, Number 3 from La Toy and a platter of crêpes.

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

 

 

Cruller

Cruller: (n) a rich, light cake cut from a rolled dough and deep-fried

Now I understand.

It’s taken me a while.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been in fits of denial, or even rebellion.

Perhaps I was temporarily stuck in the foolishness of, “It’s not fair.”

But I’ve been worn down. I have survived frazzled and become limp in my comprehension.

To live long, you must hate things.

It’s true. Don’t try to disagree with me.

I remember the first time I put a piece of fried bologna in my mouth.

I thought to myself:

“Yes. This is what God is like.”

But before I could even get it down my throat to land in my gullet, somebody nearby asked the two deadly questions:

“Do you know how many calories are in that?”

“Did you know they make it out of pig snouts?”

Either though neither question would truly deter me from eating fried bologna again, I realized that if I wanted to live on Planet Sensitive, Earth Mother Eat Your Vegetables, or the Third Planet from the Fun, I would have to learn to hate things that were certainly did not deserve my disdain.

Unfortunately the list just keeps growing.

Today, when the word “cruller” came up, I realized it has been many years since I’ve had one.

And they have them just down the street. But I have succeeded in avoiding them—believing them to be tasty, quick death.

But just hearing the word tore down all my defenses, shattered my prejudice and made me want to get in my car and go buy one.

What harm could one do?

Well, one atomic bomb can kill a hundred thousand people.

One bullet in your brain will leave you thoughtless.

And I’m told that one cruller can rob days, maybe weeks, from my journey.

Are we really lengthening our lives for a joyful purpose–or just adding days, focusing our souls to hate things that really, really deserve our love?

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Crowd

Crowd: (n) a large number of people

Buying a pair of shoes.

What is necessary for this task? Me, shoes and a good fit.

Like every human child born on the Earth, I have bought shoes because they looked good, hoping that I would be able to tolerate how they felt on my feet. It was always a huge mistake. No—shoes are about the fit.

Food.

It needs to taste good—and it needs to taste good to me. I always take into consideration whether it’s healthy or not—but only in determining how much of it to eat.

Car.

I want every car I own to do three things for me:

  1. Drive
  2. Be able to be maintained without developing terminal problems in its crankcase or transmission
  3. And finally, it should look decent enough that it’s at least ignored.

What do I look for in a friend?

Someone I can trust. Because I don’t know about you—I use my friends to help me learn how to become friendlier. So they’re going to find all my dumb spots, and I would rather they wouldn’t post these flaws on social media.

My passion? Maybe it’s my mission?

That thing that rings my bell.

I want to be able to do my thing without having people wonder why I’m not getting rich from it or haven’t received an award.

When I used to travel on the road, performing, the first question people asked after the show was how many people attended.

“How big was the crowd?”

When I told the truth, they would quietly back off—thinking it must not be that good, or more people would have been there.

We can’t judge our efforts by the crowd we draw.

If you think about the most important things you do in your life—parenting, being generous, lovemaking, praying, education, exercising—do any of those draw crowds? I don’t think so.

There will always be crowds.

There were crowds in the Coliseum to watch the animals rip apart the flesh of the early Christians.

There were huge crowds in Germany in 1935 to cheer for Chancellor Hitler.

Massive crowds of soldiers gathered on the battlefields in the Civil War, fighting to keep black people in slavery.

There have been crowds associated with every disaster.

Crowds for every tyrant.

Crowds for every fad that came along, and within a short period of time, found themselves embarrassed because they got so worked up over such a stupid idea.

Don’t look for the crowd. Look for the good cheer in your heart.

Don’t look for the crowd. Look for the benefit to humanity.

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Crackhead

Crackhead: (n) a habitual user of cocaine in the form of crack.

Let me start off by saying that what I’m about to write on is not like I’ve invented the wheel. It has been a topic of conversation for some time.

But I do feel it is my duty to roll that wheel along.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

We are a society that despises outward evidence of bigotry while encouraging—and even in many cases, promoting—internal methods. We mainly propagate these misrepresentations through our art.

The Law & Order series on television will happily and continually distinguish between its affluent and impoverished characters by assessing wealth and position to the use of cocaine, and denigration and crime to the crackhead. But as the definition has already told you, both substances are derivations of the same poison.

But cocaine is a “phase” that rich people go through, while crack is evidence of urban blight and proof that the inner city is perniciously flawed—and therefore continually dangerous.

It is a racism that continues because we feel that if we don’t have some release for our fears of color and culture, we might just go back to wanting to lynch again. So we become party to socially acceptable principles that have no basis in anything but bigotry.

If you take crack, it affects your head. That’s why we insist you’re a “crackhead.” But there is no such thing as a “cocaine head,” or a cocaine user who is going to break into your house and steal your television to support his or her habit.

Bizarre.

You fight racism by noticing the little places it crops up, and confronting them as simply as possible. If you wait until racism is actually in your presence, it’s too late.

I remember when I was renting my first apartment and I discovered cockroaches, I hired an exterminator, and when some of the cockroaches were still hanging around two weeks later, I angrily called and asked him to come back and “do his extermination right.”

After spraying one more time, he patiently turned to me and said, “I am more than happy to spray your place, but I must ask you to do something on your part.”

He walked over and pointed out dirt on the counter and food that was laying out. He looked me in the eyes and said, “If you want the cockroaches to go, you’ve got to stop feeding them.”

I will tell you—likewise, if you want the cockroaches of racism to go, you’ve got to stop feeding them with your quick smirk, your nervous titter or your frightened silence.

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Compulsion

Compulsion: (n) forced to do something through an irresistible urge

At one time I had a compulsion to be noticed. Now I like to notice.

I had a compulsion to be sexy. Now I’m extremely grateful if anyone is willing to have sex with me.

Also, there was a great compulsion in me to have money. Now I like to high-five myself when I find a clever way to use leftovers.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I had a compulsion to be famous. Now it’s exciting to be well-thought-of.

I had a compulsion to yell at other people I felt were idiots daring to drive cars around me. Now I ignore my horn–we haven’t interacted for weeks.

I had a compulsion to be spiritual. Now I’m lavishing in the joy of being real.

I had a compulsion to see my children do well. I woke up and realized it’s their lives.

I had a compulsion to participate in politics. Now I pop some corn and watch it.

I had a compulsion to be thinner. Now I work on trying not to be fatter.

I had a compulsion to be healthy. Now I cross my fingers and thank God for His grace.

I had a compulsion to be compulsive. Now I’ve learned the victory, the peace of mind and the utter bliss of “taking no thought.”

 

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Citrus

Citrus: (n) a fruit from a citrus tree

Ignorance is the life of the party, bringing a full keg of beer, until knowledge shows up with pizza.

Most of us are completely satisfied to sip on the beer of ignorance. Why? Because the initial explanation is very satisfying to us.

To push beyond that would mean we might discover something that is less fulfilling–which we have to consider because it’s right.

Some years back I got a cold. I was doing a concert in 72 hours, so I needed a quick remedy to get rid of my common malady. This was during the phase in our society when we believed that Vitamin C was the secret to overcoming the “snoots.”

I decided I was going to be very aggressive in my treatment. I went out and bought nearly a bushel of citrus: oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, tangeloes–everything that had an orange or yellow peel on it. I ate one of these things after another, insisting to myself that I was treating my condition and improving my situation.

After several hours of consuming citrus, I started feeling more sick and logy. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I thought perhaps I wasn’t eating enough citrus, so I chomped more.

My limited understanding of Vitamin C prompted me to eat so much citrus that I just didn’t want to get out of bed.

Now, years later, I understand that all the sweet from the citrus raised my blood sugar, and in the process actually made me feel more ill. (You see, cold germs like sweet things, too.)

It actually took me longer to get over that cold because I aggravated it with a sugar rush. A little knowledge arriving at the right time might have convinced me to change my diet, limit my sugar intake and thereby increase my possibility of recuperating.

But honest to God, if the truth had walked in the door wearing a crown of righteousness, I just might have chased it away.

 

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Chopsticks

Chopsticks: (n) a pair of small sticks used as eating utensils, especially by the Chinese

I’ve taken the precaution of donning my suit of armor, which, by the way, already has quite a few dents. I’ve also calmed my spirit and satisfied my soul that all is well.

I must do this every time I launch into the cultural “holy of holies” and begin to make fun of sacrificial lambs.

Chopsticks are stupid. Worse than stupid, they’re pretentious.

Unless you were born in China and have never heard of a spoon or fork, using chopsticks is your way of establishing your superiority over those around you, who
insist on eating the cuisine of another country while using God-fearing American utensils.

I will be honest. I haven’t even tried chopsticks. What I have done is watch other people attempt to consume a meal while balancing the food on tiny wooden surfaces. Eventually what happens is, the bowl is picked up, brought close to the mouth, and the sticks are used as a shovel, to thrust the delicacy onto the tongue. So to use chopsticks, one has to break every other universal law of table etiquette. Once again, fine if you live in China, but not really required at the Main Street Chinese Buffet.

Pretension is bigotry done with a smile, and offered with over-explanation.

I don’t like chopsticks. Chinese people are fine. Chinese food is okay.

But chopsticks are Step Three in a process of ten in learning how to consume food more effectively. In other words, it began with fingers, went to hands, moved to chopsticks…

By the time you get to ten, there should be a damn fork.

 

 

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