Crick

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Crick: (n) a sharp painful spasm of the muscles, as in the neck or back

We listen for it very carefully.

For you see, if we are not bigoted by color nor prejudiced by culture, we certainly become the Ku Klux Klan when it comes to word usage.

I have had the honor of traveling all over the United States of America many, many times. I am never ashamed of my education nor embarrassed by my lack of knowledge, but I am fully aware that if I decide to use certain terminology in certain regions of the country, I am certainly judged.

There used to be about four dialects of the American English language.

There was the Southern accent, the Midwestern homogenized version, the West Coast speed-talk, and the East Coast Brooklynese.

Of course, there were other accents you could encounter, but those four endured nearly everywhere.

And each culture, tongue and pronunciation was fully aware of itself, and could tell when any syllables or phrasings were introduced that came from a “foreign” United States.

Yes, a United States that was part of our country in map only.

For instance, if I went to the West Coast and said, “I have a crick in my neck,” all the people around me would assume I was a raging conservative, against all plans to aid poor people and that I traveled with a huge King James Bible in my suitcase.

Likewise, if I was traveling in the South, eating at a truck stop, ordering “Twelve Lookin’ At Ya’” (which is a dozen eggs sunny-side up) and then requested a Mocha Latte, I would suddenly be surrounded by whispers.

People from Brooklyn are not, generally speaking, vegan extoling the wonders of humus, but rather, talk about “picking up a slice” on the way Uptown.

In the South, “picking up a Slice” would mean resurrecting an old canned, carbonated drink and before heading toward the softball diamond.

Each culture has its own little way of saying thing,

But there are words that are certainly forbidden in nearly every quarter. Therefore, I do not know many places where discussing a “crick” in anything would be accepted—unless it was complaining backstage at the Grand Ole’ Opry while eating a pulled pork sandwich with Memphis barbecue sauce, while sippin’ your Jack Daniels.


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Apologetics

dictionary with letter A

Apologetics (n.): reasoned arguments defending a theory or belief.

Living in a world that wants to debate the power of argument and argue over the rules of debate, I find myself retreating in self-defense.

It isn’t that I’m afraid to make a stand, nor that I lack evidence of a personal nature on what I hold dear. It’s just that when I am limited to the power of mere articulation, I lose the majority of the beauty of my human emotion and faith.

We are not better people when we are convincing. For after all, Adolph Hitler was able to make a case for his Super Race.

What makes us viable and appealing is the stream of evidence which oozes from our pores as the proof of what lies within.

So a politician who is jaded and angry off-camera fails to convince me of his or her sincerity.

A corporation which revels in its slick advertising, capturing a market, is not nearly as appealing to me as one which takes responsibility for inferior products and sets in motion the research to improve.

And the religionist who mocks the simplicity of a child-like faith in favor of a theology with so many twists and turns that it produces a pretzel logic is not the mind of God to my weary ears.

Here’s what I want to know:

  • Can you tell me the truth?
  • Is it working for you?
  • What can you share with me that confirms that assertion?

Many centuries ago, a blind man who was healed by an itinerant preacher was mocked by the intellectuals of his day because the so-called miracle didn’t make any sense nor follow any acceptable form of religious practice.

His response was precious.

He said, “I don’t know about all your opinions and learned ways. All I know is that once I was blind, but now I see.”

Amen.

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Apologetic

dictionary with letter A

Apologetic (adj.) admitting and showing regret for a wrongdoing.

In my opinion, saying “I’m sorry” is only effective when it comes from the lips of an explorer instead of a captured criminal.

We live in a time when people do and say ridiculous things, and then are compelled by our media to stand in front of a microphone and mouth some sort of anemic confession of weakness, waiting for the news cycle to lose interest in them.

If they don’t do this, we assume they’re perniciously evil and should be shunned from the next barn-raising.

Yet an apology is probably the most powerful tool in human relationships. It is the glue that holds pieces together which are mismatched, but still strong because of the bond.

Still, an apology, like any other misused virtue, becomes nearly sinister when it is coerced and turned from the beauty of repentance to the aggravating death-march to compliance.

It reminds me of the parents who stand around and require their child to say “thank you” when you give the little one a candy bar. You become the victim of their insistence as the child, with chocolate dripping down his cheek, reluctantly mutters what is assumed to be words of gratitude.

How can we teach ourselves that an apology does not diminish, but rather, accentuates, our status?

I don’t know.

But there is a wise adage which states, “Except you repent, you will perish.”

To the human mind that seems unlikely. So what does perish?

What we lose in this transaction, because we have not used our own cognition to apologize, is the peace of mind and trust we have in others to be sincere–which can cause us to become angry, unforgiving souls … if we don’t believe them.

 

 

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Apolitical

dictionary with letter A

Apolitical (adj.): not interested or involved in politics.

I made the mistake of claiming to be apolitical in the midst of a group of people who were energized by the conflict we call the American election process.

They looked on me with disdain. The kinder ones began to reason with me, saying that I had no right to comment on the world around me if I was not going to participate in the quagmire.

It’s not that I have anything against the American system, nor that I wish to pursue some other foreign derivation. It’s just that I decided years ago that once something does not work, the most merciful thing you can do is abandon it and give it a decent burial.

For instance, I once had a lovely clock radio. At the time it was the pride of my possessions. It was easy to read, easy to set and had a powerful speaker which enabled the AM/FM radio to ring out with almost stereo clarity.

One day it stopped working. Completely. I considered getting it fixed, but was informed that it would cost more than the instrument was worth.

Being a stubborn sort, I kept it plugged in the wall with the hopes of resurrection. Even after the third day passed, I still persisted in dreaming of its return.

It didn’t.

One day a friend came into my home, saw the clock radio and asked my why it was still plugged into the wall, considering that it was doing nothing. I explained my allegiance, preference, hopes and dreams.

He squinted at me in disbelief and commented, “Go buy yourself a damn radio that works.”

His words pierced my soul.

I don’t know whether it was the sternness or the logic that awakened a spirit of reality, but I did it.

It was so refreshing to have a working clock radio that I soon forgot my old friend.

  • I am intent on changing my world.
  • I just know that politics … is broken.

 

 

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Anima

dictionary with letter A

Anima: (adj) Jung’s term for the female part of a man’s personality; the part of a person that is directed inward and is in touch with the subconscious.

I grow bored with a culture that gyrates between religious conviction and the pursuit of science.

Recently when I suggested to a friend that God, Science and Nature were the same living Creator, he became vehement at the assertion that his deity of intellect could be permeated by any sort of religious terminology whatsoever.

But if you just look at it logically, whether from a Biblical perspective or a scientific one, both of them agree that men and women are not really that different.

We focus on subtleties and we tout the cultural conflicts that are created by our own miserable manifestations, but when you get right down to it and you’re looking across the room at a man and a woman, it isn’t exactly the typical vision of the Great Hunter carrying his spear with his woman trailing two steps behind, hauling the papoose.

Actually, we’re so much alike.

I remember the first time I went on the road with two women in a music group and we ate at a Mexican buffet and came back to lounge and watch television. One of the young ladies ripped off one of the longest, most intense farts I had ever heard in my life.

I was startled–and not just by the volume and change of odor in the atmosphere. The fact that it came from a female body was foreign to me, against all the training I had received about the delicacy of the female form.

Likewise, when I was in a locker room with a friend who had broken his toe during football practice, they took off his sock, and when he saw the bent digit pointing eastward instead of north, he started to cry, worrying about what his mom would say and whether he would be able to put on his shoe to go to the dance on Friday night. This was our rough and tumble fullback, who suddenly, right in front of my eyes, turned into Cinderella.

Yes, I feel that the more we try to be male or female instead of embracing our humanity, the more ridiculous we become. I think in future generations they will laugh at our insistence on roll-playing.

Do I have a woman living inside me? God, I sure hope so. There is so much I like about women–so even to have a few ounces of their poundage of personality would be terrific.

Do I believe there is manliness living inside the women I know?

Absolutely.

So I don’t know whether these attributes are really male and female, but rather, just human qualities that are earth-friendly.

Therefore, whatever Jung came up with is okay with me as long as it’s not portrayed as an aberration, but rather, a true discovery of how much we honor one another by possessing portions of one another.

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Agency

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Agency: (n) a business or organization established to provide transactions between two or more parties

Every time I hear the word I break out into a small surface sweat.

Maybe someone just tells me I will have to go to an agency to fill out an application or form to gain approval to acquire something I feel I should already have.

Let’s look at the source of my fear. What is the origin of an agency?

1. It was formed because someone was afraid to say yes or no.

There’s a problem right there. We all know the power in life is being able to come up with a positive or negative answer, and let the chips fall where they may. When you decide you don’t want that responsibility, and you spread it over a breadth of people so as to remove guilt from yourself, you create the kind of nasty red tape that makes people suicidal instead of overjoyed.

2. Someone likes to “play office.”

He or she is the kind of person who stacks pencils, puts the stapler in the upper right-hand corner of the desk planner and has a can of air freshener nearby which also acts as a disinfectant for the phone receiver when there is “foreign” use. This is the same person who always volunteered to help the teacher pound the erasers to remove the chalk dust and the kid who wanted to be the hall monitor, to tell on everyone for their bad deeds on the way to the cafeteria.

We didn’t like ’em then; we don’t like ’em now.

3. Lacking power, we imitate power.

Because we don’t think our decisions have much weight, we like to have an acronym behind our points to make them more pointed. It also gives us somebody to blame if there are objections.

4. And finally, it gives us a way to be mean and disappoint others while hiding behind a desk or a series of rules.

After all, we’re not allowed to punch somebody in the nose without suffering the consequences. But sending a form letter of rejection or explaining in boring detail why something cannot work out is the method that an agency promotes, turning its employees into street thugs.

Now, you may think that I’m too critical, but that’s probably because you work for an agency and would like to keep your paycheck.

So the next time someone tells me I have to go to an agency to seek approval or acquire information, I will stop to realize that the BEST I can hope for is a diluted possibility.

Because the only thing an agency can ever muster … is to water down the liquor of life.