Crooked

Crooked: (adj) dishonest, not straightforward

 

There are certain things you remember:

The first time you rode a rollercoaster.

Your initial encounter with peanut butter.

How about the premiere kiss?

An award given in front of an applauding audience.

An orgasm.

An amount of money that crosses your hands that’s more than y you can imagine.

But I also clearly remember the first time somebody called me “crooked.”

I was so pissed. I didn’t consider myself crooked. I thought I was being thrifty. I viewed my efforts as ingenious.

For you see, I checked into a motel room with three other friends. We could only afford the single rate, so I purchased it for me alone. Then the other three arrived, scurrying around the back of the establishment to my front door, laughing that we had pulled off our little decoy.

Matter of fact, I think we were still giggling, high-fiving each other, when there was a knock at the door. I quickly silenced everyone in the room and motioned for them to go into the bathroom. I would handle whatever the intrusion happened to be.

When I opened the door, there was the front desk clerk. He demanded entrance. I acted offended. “What do you want?” I asked.

In broken English, he clearly exclaimed, “You bring more people in room! You lie! You cheat!”

Not sure what else to do, I invited him in, thinking he would walk around the beds, and see nobody else in the space—never believing he would actually open up the bathroom. So when he headed in that direction, I had to decide whether to deter him or just let it play out.

He was too fast for me. He was already opening the door. The bathroom was empty. But he was a persistent young man. He quickly pulled back the shower curtain. There were my three friends, standing in the tub, trying desperately to imitate invisibility. Finally one of my buddies burst out laughing—frightened nerves.

The young desk clerk exclaimed, “You must leave room now!”

I reached for my wallet to offer him the extra funds that would cover the four of us, but he would have none of it.

“No money,” he said, pushing my wallet away. “You lie. You cheat. You go.”

He headed toward the door, and I spoke, hoping to rationalize my actions. “Listen, man,” I said, “we were just trying to save money. We’re just kids. We’re broke. You know?”

He turned, looked me right in the eyes and said:

“You not kids. You not broke. You crooked.”

He immediately stepped out of the room and disappeared, coming back five minutes later to stand next to our van, to make sure we loaded up and left.

As is often the case with a quartet of individuals, there were four different takes on the event: one scared, one acting like he wasn’t part of it from the start, one indignant—wanting to go buy a dozen eggs and pelt the place.

And then there was me.

I was quiet, chilled to my soul.

I was bruised by being called “crooked.”

I didn’t view myself as deceitful, just clever.

But I learned that night that clever is crooked if it’s not honest.

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Cram

Cram: (v) to fill something by force

 It is impossible that all of the memories we have of another person are going to be good. Matter of fact, a good portion of the people we encounter may end up touching our lives in more negative ways than positive.

Yet it is useless for us to hold onto grudges, believing they grow more valuable over time, like a fine wine. funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Case in point:

Much of the time I spent with my mother was not particularly beneficial to my soul. I suppose this article would be more interesting if I went into the details of those unfortunate moments. But since I have sifted through them, I will spare you the unnecessary remembrance.

What I would like to do is recall one Thursday afternoon—many, many years ago—when my mom showed up to the junior high school to drive me across town to the gymnasium, where I was going to attend basketball practice. I was just thirteen—frisky, ornery and always looking to do something beyond the pale.

I had invited all my friends from the team to catch a ride with me in our family sedan. Little did my mother know, when I asked her if it was alright for some other guys to come along, was that I had invited fourteen.

Now, she was not a woman given to enjoying, enduring, and certainly never planning a prank. I don’t know why, on this particular day, she didn’t put her foot down and object. (Maybe it was because her foot was on the gas pedal.)

But one by one, my friends crawled into the trunk and the back seat, laying on top of each other, giggling like first graders, complaining and breathing heavily, until finally I inserted myself into the front seat, which now held six people including my mother, barely able to close the door behind me.

Once we all were in, she chose to take a long, dramatic pause. Now that I, too, am a parent, I’m sure her thinking was:

A. What in the hell am I doing?

B. Won’t it be just as much trouble to get them out of the car as drive them?

C. Where is the town cop this time of day? and

D. Could I actually make a stand on this without totally humiliating my son and becoming known as one of “those” adults?

She simply reached up, put the car in drive, and took us the two-and-a-half miles—very, very slowly—to our destination.

She was surrounded by adolescent laughing, gasping, spitting and snorting.

She never said a word.

She never took her eyes off the mirrors.

We arrived, and miraculously, were able to disengage from one another’s flesh, run into the building and start bouncing the balls.

I didn’t thank her, I didn’t look back, and we never spoke of it again.

But there is one day in my memory when my mother, with all her quirks, allowed me to cram fourteen friends into the Chevrolet—without yelling or fussing.

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Breastfeed

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Breastfeed: (v) to feed a baby with milk from a woman’s breast

A simple standard of maturity is when we stop giggling and laughing at somebody who’s picking his nose. If we find ourselves still chortling, then we’re probably stuck somewhere in the second semester of the fourth grade.Dictionary B

The adult solution to such a quandary, to avoid becoming a giggling fool, is to turn away and not look.

Truth of the matter is, picking one’s nose is common to us all. Though some people will probably insist that they never do such a thing, the reality is that most of us, at one time or another, do a little mining for nasal gold.

Likewise, I become a bit confused when people are affronted, concerned or put off by a woman baring her breast and feeding her young one. Since we all have spent some time on the teat, it might be good to recognize that a sign of maturity is accepting this as common human effort and behavior instead of frowning or gossiping to the “teacher.”

Just look away.

Breast-feeding is here to stay–just like picking your nose.

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Bottom

Bottom: (n) the buttocks

Perhaps one of the more unnerving parts of the human journey is deciding to admit one’s silly inner thoughts, hoping that others will be equally as candid–thus creating a giggling fellowship.Dictionary B

Of course, there always is the chance that people will button up their collars and look on you as a freak.

For instance, when I was ten years old, I saw a television program where a doctor proclaimed a man died because he swallowed his tongue.

This scared the uvula out of me. Matter of fact, I stayed awake all night, afraid that if I went to sleep, my tongue would no longer be in my cheek.

I also had a brief period when I was convinced that my lips were too big. I don’t know what brought this on, but I was certain that everyone who met me thought that I had some African-American in my bloodline and that my lips were much too large for Caucasian consideration.

And of course, then there was my bottom. My bottom has annoyed me in many ways. Being a big man, I often thought it was huge. Then I decided it was too flat. Overall, I was concerned about its natural aroma.

Human behavior is so bizarre.

We want to be unique–except for the majority of the time, when we want to blend Because being too different makes us appear an outsider. If for some reason, we fit in, we might become invisible.

So since I never swallowed my tongue, and my lips proved to be quite average, I guess, in the long run, nobody really cares about my posterior.

But I am relieved that we got to the bottom of this.

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Bosom

Bosom: (n) a woman’s chest

Chuckles.Dictionary B

Yes, fond memories of giggling at church camp every time we sang the song, “Rock-a my soul in the bosom of Abraham.”

Three or four of us guys would purposely sing the word “bosom” louder–until a couple of the preachers would move to sit on our row, threatening us with some form of pending damnation.

I was so young that the mention of the word “bosom” could arouse my Southern Hemisphere. And I wasn’t even around girls who had bosoms. But I knew they were in training–bras, that is.

I also found myself staring at the full-fledged bosoms of women who were a little older, but not so old that you felt like a pervert thinking about them. I was twelve years old and I was under the spell of the bosom.

The female bosom is still a symbol of great passion, focus and exaggerated attention.

Maybe it’s because none of us were particularly ready to stop sucking on them when they stuck a bottle in our mouth.

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Beaver

Beaver: (n) a large semiaquatic broad-tailed rodentDictionary B

The word “beaver” torments me–mainly because I have no personal experience with the creature. But it has entered my life through story, myth and even double-entendre.

It is so unfair.

Truthfully, I can’t hear the word “beaver” without considering the sexual implication, which has been placed upon it by a generation of goofballs.

I do feel I would have great empathy with the beaver (if I actually knew one) because I, too, would occasionally like to “dam it all.”

Yes–rumor has it that beavers build dams.

I don’t know if these structures are required, and I’m not quite sure why the beaver wants to do so, and certainly totally unmotivated to find out–even for the purpose of adding some credence and intelligence to this essay.

I know there’s a football team in Oregon called the Beavers.

If memory serves, beavers have large, protruding front teeth (I assume for gnawing wood in the process of building their dams.)

And of course, I have memories of a television show called “Leave It To Beaver,” which had nothing at all to do with building anything and had no purposeful double entendres.

So if I happened to run across a forest agent who identified himself as a “beaver inspector,” I’m afraid it would be difficult for me to carry on a conversation…without giggling. 

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Austere

Austere: (adj) severe or strict in manner, attitude, or appearance.

I call it the “Granble Face.”dictionary with letter A

It’s that look blending the countenance of Grandma or Grandpa with the attitude to grumble.

Somewhere along the line, we gave up on the idea of giggling, smirking, laughing and running around looking for ways to be mischievous.

Maybe it’s because it finally registered in our brain that our parents wanted us to be as miserable as they were, and we feel the responsibility to honor our father and mother so that our days might be long and filled with anguish on the Earth.

I don’t know.

But I do know this–the austere facial expression that greets me daily as I look at my peers and fellow-humans leaves me caught between despair and hilarity.

They look so funny trying to be so grownup, and they tend to get so angry with me because I maintain my childish chortle.

  • What is the power of being austere?
  • Why are we supposed to be quiet when we enter a church or a funeral home? Is it really going to bother the dead?
  • Why is it necessary to sit in traffic, roll down your window to save on air conditioning, and sweat and curse at the holdup? Why not just turn up the radio and rock out to Queen?

Austere is the profile that proves we’ve had enough birthdays to be defeated.

It is the universal complexion of those of any color who have reached a certain status, where despondency is a badge of honor.

It is often accompanied by words like mature, holy, focused and adult.

Even though we were told for our spiritual journey it’s best for us to “become as little children,” we would rather develop the “Granble Face” …Grandpa grumbling about the price hike on his medication.

 

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