Croissant

Croissant: (n) a rich, buttery, crescent-shaped roll of leavened dough or puff paste.

For the sake of our little essay I shall refer to him as Martin.

This is not his real name, but perhaps if the actual individual reads this, he can come to the conclusion that he’s Martin. Then I can tell a story without people making fun of him personally.

Boy, was that a useless preamble.

So let’s pretend like I’m starting again.

***

Martin was the kind of guy who loved to come up with new things to try and insisted it was the cutting-edge practice from “the coast.” I was never sure whether he meant the East Coast, the West Coast or some other coast I might not be familiar with.

Many years ago, Martin arrived at a brunch we had put together.

(We did not call it brunch at that time because the word was not yet invented. We called it “late breakfast.”)

Martin arrived with a box—the kind you get at a bakery and usually has a cake in it. While we were laying out our eggs, bacon, biscuits, gravy, cereal boxes and a little fruit here and there, Martin exploded into the room and dropped his box on the table, pushing back a jar of homemade marmalade.

He turned to the gathered souls and said:

“Save your appetite! I have got the thing to eat today.”

Well, we were all a little suspicious. Martin was known for providing oddities and insisting they were delicacies. If you don’t know the difference, an oddity only becomes a delicacy if it tastes real good.

For instance:

He was the first to bring jalapeno peppers—with no warning on how to survive them after consumption.

He brought calamari and waited until we had chewed on it for a while before revealing it was squid.

Of course, there was the time that he offered our first box of Muesli Cereal from “over there in the Scandinavian lands,” which we all tried.

We all resembled cows chewing their cud.

But on this day, his offering was a croissant, which he pronounced with as much of a phony French accent as he could muster. He told us that croissants were better than biscuits, superior to rolls, left toast in the dust and of course, forced cornbread back to the farm.

He brought enough for everyone, so we all indulged in our first croissants—which were scrumptious. (Well, some folks took a couple bites and reverted to their primordial biscuits.)

But they were flakey.

Not that different from Martin.

(And now I jest.)

Also, they were just chewy enough that they did a fairly decent impersonation of bagels (Martin’s contribution three months earlier).

I cannot lie:

We all felt a little continental eating our croissants, imagining the French people who may have made them.

Since that day, if offered toast, biscuit, bagel or croissant, I will tell you—bagel and croissant do top my list.

So even though I may have found Martin to be pretentious, overbearing, a bit self-righteous and a social bully, he did introduce me to things I might not have found as quickly on my own but have become intricate parts of my life.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

 


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American Dream

dictionary with letter A

American dream: (n) the traditional social ideals of the U.S., such as equality, democracy and material prosperity.

I think the American dream has been over-analyzed by Freudian pundits and politicians who plan on using their own interpretation to bring about the enactment of their particular will.

I’m not so sure I agree with the Republicans that every American wants a gun.

Likewise, the more liberal view of the Democrats concerning giving people license to do whatever they want to under the guise of civil rights doesn’t achieve much more than an emotional traffic jam.

I’ll tell you what I think the American dream is: Hunk, Chunk, Junk.

I think the power of freedom in this country, with the intelligent use of capitalism, enables me to go out and get my hunk. I should have every right to do that. If it doesn’t infringe on the needs of others or hurt my fellow-man and woman, I should be applauded for my efforts and be given a barn to store my bounty.

Then from that hunk, I should get my chunk. This is probably where people will disagree with me. Lots of folks think they need every single dime they earn to cover their own personal indebtedness. If that’s the case, you’ll spend your life pretty miserable. I should be able to break off a chunk from my hunk that will make me happy and keep me in grits, gravy, gravel and glee.

What remains from my hunk actually becomes my junk. Things I don’t need. Things I don’t want anymore. It’s a startling but true statement that if everybody in America emptied their attics and garages of all the things they haven’t used in the past six months, and gave them to their neighbors, 75% of the personal needs of others would be fulfilled.

It’s not treasure if moths and rust are corrupting it and it’s being stolen by time and depreciation.

Get rid of your junk.

Bless someone else. They won’t think it’s junk.

They will treasure it as their hunktheir American dream.

 

 

Ad infinitum

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Ad infinitum: (adv.) again and again in the same way forever. e.g.: registration is for seven years and may be renewed ad infinitum.

I’ve never been particularly impressed with the word “forever.”

To me, the weakness of eternal life is that it’s eternal. I guess the miracle of God will be His ability to explain how something that goes on and on can escape being repetitive, and therefore, boring.

This has caused me to be able to do my occupation as a vagabond artist. While others in my human family find it comforting to know where they’re going to be a year from now, I feel no sense of compulsion to dance about in the ballroom of security.

Insecurity seems to be a bad word, when actually, life itself is geared to be such. Guarantees are few, promises are many, sameness is unusual, but pursuit of identical results is universal.

Somehow or another, the key to life is not in looking for anything that lasts forever but to forever look for things that are lasting, but changing.

That seems to be a contradiction, doesn’t it? How could something be lasting AND changing?

There’s a little phrase in the Good Book that says, Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.” Kind of makes him sound like a Grandpa, clinging to his Beatles albums.

But actually, the way Jesus is the same is that he’s constantly and faithfully evolving toward meeting human need.  And since we are going through a similar process, being creatures of the earth, he has to have a lot of mercy and a lot of good humor in order to embrace our foibles.

I don’t need forever.

Matter of fact, sometimes I think the things we want to last for a lifetime are unrealistic.

  • I don’t require a lifetime guarantee on my muffler.
  • And perhaps even marriage would be better if we renewed it every ten years.

I don’t know–such decisions are reserved for individuals much more intelligent than me.

But ad infinitum is not necessary for this pilgrim. All this pilgrim needs is some turkey, dressing, a little gravy … and some cranberry sauce.