Debbie

Debbie: (n) a female given name.

As she skipped her way into a small frat house at Cincinnati Bible Seminary, to sit around in a tiny room with about fifteen other post-high-school strangers, to listen to imitation-hippie-music with a Christian twist, she illuminated the whole surroundings with her smile, which foretold of just a pinch of naughtiness.

She never made you work hard to feel appreciated.

I don’t think she ever met a man she didn’t like.

She wasn’t easy—just uncomplicated.

She loved to laugh.

She thrived on flirting.

And she sang like singing was second nature to her soul.

I had come to the gathering that night to find a vocalist for my up-and-coming band, and by the end of the evening I left with Debbie as my new cohort.

I traveled with her for almost three years. We threatened to become romantic, whispered promises—and we sang great music.

With my tunes, her voice and our buddy, we went all over the United States, appearing on national television, hitting the religious charts and getting to sing a song on the Grand Ole’ Opry.

She has remained my friend throughout the journey.

Even though we will never recapture those thirty-six months of music and magic, we maintain a deep-rooted friendship.

I doubt if she will ever read this.

But I know if she did, she would concur.

And oh—by the way—one of my fondest memories as a young man is the first day that she arrived poolside, wearing a bikini.

She had amazing lungs.

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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