Cuticle

Cuticle (n) the epidermis that surrounds the edges of the fingernail or toenail.

Being healthy is a good thing.

There’s nothing particularly insightful in that statement. But may I follow with this thought?

Being worried about your health is the Suck Master of Life.

This is why I am careful not to watch too many shows on Discovery Channel or programs about bizarre medical procedures—because in no time at all, I am perfectly capable of sprouting some of the symptoms, with actual visual evidence.

I’m not normally paranoid but am willing to be flexible.

In other words, I can go pretty nuts wondering if I’m nuts.

I can get a queasy stomach just thinking about indigestion.

And I can sprout a headache at the mere mention of a brain tumor.

Yet, knowing this about myself, I accidentally watched a program on the danger signs of disease that can be found in our cuticles and fingernails.

  • What happens when they’re yellow?
  • Should we run to the doctor if they’re brittle?
  • Do white spots on your nails mean you have a calcium deficiency?

After all, human beings and other primates are the only animals who have nails.

Watching this particular documentary, I learned that men’s nails grow faster than women’s. Worse, the nail on one finger grow at a different speed than another. (It’s a little unnerving to realize that even my fingernails are competitive with each other.)

It was reassuring to learn that typing is good for your nails—except that I don’t do typing anymore. I have someone who takes my dictation and achieves the job in one-tenth the time.

Water is very helpful for healthy nails, and cuticles are there because they protect the tips of our fingers from infection.

One of the things that made me giggle was that they had a two-minute expose about the danger of cutting your nails in the dark.

Yet, when it was all said and done—and I calmed down my internal gag reflex—I realized one thing:

My nails probably won’t kill me.

And, as Kelly Clarkson once said, what doesn’t kill you helps you open packages.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Chloroform

Chloroform: (n) a sweet-smelling anesthetic.

I am a phony.

I’m hoping that if I admit it, I won’t have to be accosted by the critics who discover it.

Here is where my phoniness comes to the forefront: I often think about matters which I insist would be intriguing, but if offered the opportunity, I’d turn it down.

This came to my mind this morning when I looked at the word “chloroform.” I have watched television shows where a character has placed this chemical on a
handkerchief, covering the nose of an enemy, putting him or her into a deep sleep.

While viewing this I have thought to myself, I wonder what that’s like? Is there any pain, discomfort, hangover or headache that would accompany the experience? I am intrigued.

Yet if somebody walked into the room and asked, “Would you like to find out what it’s like to go under?” I would pass.

Any number of situations would fall into this pattern.

  • “I am interested.”
  • “Here you are.”
  • “No, thanks.”

It’s not that I’m a coward. I actually consider myself to be very adventurous. But it’s much easier to envision myself brave than it is to prove it in the courtroom of human events.

I occasionally watch people jumping out of an airplane and wonder if I would actually do it.

It’s ridiculous. Unless the plane was on fire and twelve feet from the ground, I would remain within.

I have avoided friendships, romantic encounters and probably passed up on a good deal or two simply because I could not pull the trigger at the right moment.

I don’t lack experience; I am not a novice. It’s just that in selected moments, I was a coward.

Or maybe I should call myself an “over-stater.”

Yes. That sounds better: “That fellow really over-states his interest level.”

And since I have grown weary of being quite this vulnerable, I shall stop my typing and chloroform this article.

 

 

 

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Breath

 

Breath: (n) the power of breathing; life.j-r-practix-with-border-2

The human body makes heroic attempts to warn us of the beginning of difficulties:

  • A little headache
  • A runny nose
  • A scratchy throat
  • A sore muscle
  • An achy joint

And our breath.

Sometimes we’ll have a heaviness in our breathing, or even a shortness of breath that can forewarn of difficulties.

Dictionary BIt is almost mind-boggling to consider how many breaths we take each and every day without giving it thought. So paying attention to the process to make sure it’s working with its customary ease is an intelligent way to ensure that our bodies are proceeding with great confidence–or if we’re being gently warned about weariness or an affliction that requires our attention.

God gave us the breath of life.

It is often our job to produce life through that breath.

 

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Boxer

Boxer: (n) a person who takes part in the sport of boxing

In 1976, I went out to see “Rocky” when it first came to the theaters.Dictionary B

I had never thought about boxing.

Matter of fact, I had a disdainful view of it, as some sort of practice by “ignorant folk from the poor side of town.”

But Rocky changed everything.

Watching two well-oiled men pummel each other made me wonder what it would be like to buy some boxing gloves and just goof around with them. So a friend and I picked some up at a local sporting goods store, (by the way, they were quite expensive) and cleared out an area of his garage to simulate a ring and decided to find out what it was like to “get punchy.”

We started slowly.

It went along pretty well. I punched him in the arm, he punched me back in the mid-section, and I was thinking, this is really no big deal.

All at once he took a swing at my face. His glove made contact right in the middle of my nose. I could have sworn that it was driven back into my brain, where it lodged and refused to return. It stung, it burned, I couldn’t open my eyes, and blood started pouring out.

My friend was horrified, apologizing in every manner he had learned during his very proper upbringing.

I finally got the bleeding stopped, but it was two days before I got rid of the headache.

I don’t know why people want to punch each other in the face.

But I will tell you that it is not pleasant–and is not recommended for anyone who might discover he’s a wimp.

 

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Aspirin

Aspirin: (n) a tablet containing aspirin.dictionary with letter A

Since life can sometimes be a headache and such discomfort is a real pain…well, in the head, I have occasionally pursued the consumption and absorption of aspirin into my body to try to alleviate the malady.

Sometimes it has worked. And when it has, it nearly seems to be a “Jesus-moment-of-miracle-healing-the-blind-man.”

Then there are times when the pain is so severe–such as an abscessed tooth–that the aspirin doesn’t do much except to dull the agony and give you a minor LSD trip.

Also the problem with aspirin is that it can make your stomach bleed.

Several years ago, when I was younger than I am now (which is customary) I went through an eight-day period when I wasn’t getting much sleep and was achy, so I started popping aspirin like they were Skittles. A few days later, I started getting light-headed, weak and my vision was impaired to the point that I couldn’t stand to be in bright lights. My heart raced.

So I finally cruised off to the hospital–to discover that I had lost a lot of blood. The volume was so low that they feared I had some form of cancer. I explained that I had been taking a lot of aspirin, but they were convinced there was more to it than that. But after a very brief stay, I got better.

They examined all of my internal stuff and decided that I had just taken too much aspirin, and nearly used up all my blood.

So since that day, I have told people that I am allergic to aspirin. I’m probably not.

I am probably the typical human being who is, and always will be, allergic to way too much of a good thing.

 

 

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Apathy

dictionary with letter A

Apathy: (n) lack of interest or enthusiasm

When does an itch become a rash?

Likewise, when does a bump on the skin become a dangerous lump?

When does a headache become a migraine?

When does a sore tooth become a toothache?

When does sadness turn into depression?

When does motivation transform into selfishness?

When does opinion become stubbornness?

When does anger turn into rage?

When does concern digress to fear?

When does skirmish blow up into war?

When does faith degrade to religion?

When does government prostitute itself into politics?

When does happiness turn into acceptance?

There is a point in each one of these situations when a very silent intrusion changes the circumstances from one thing to another. The key to life is knowing when the line is crossed, and knowing what to do to rectify the deteriorating situation.

Apathy is when we go to sleep … and are no longer concerned about the dangerous crossing.

 

 

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Abysmal

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abysmal: (adj.) extremely bad; appalling

I was always glad it was pink. I think there’s something nice about it being pink. Blue would be weird. Certainly not green. I guess yellow would have been a possibility.

I’m talking about Pepto-abysmal.

I took it as a kid. Somewhere along the line in my childhood–about eight years of age–my parents made the transition from the old-time use of castor oil to Pepto-abysmal. Now caster oil tasted like what I imagine licking tar off of hot pavement on a summer day would be like.

Horrible.

And for some reason, they wanted you to drink it straight down, which always led to gagging and sometimes throwing up, which would convince your parents that the stuff worked, because you would feel better after vomiting, and caster oil would get the props for the cure.

I was so glad when Pepto-abysmal made its introduction.

Am I weird? I kind of liked the stuff. Matter of fact, every once in a while I would go to the medicine cabinet and take a swig. (You had to be careful, because it would leave a tell-tale pink chalk residue on your lips–a little difficult to explain to your over-scrutinizing mother why you’re “hitting the pink stuff.”)

I think my mother once gave me Pepto-abysmal because I had a headache. For a season it was the magic cure–so common in the average household that they developed this big quart-sized version. It was huge.

But if there was something aggravating, dastardly or nasty stirring in your gut, Pepto was well-prepared to go down there and do battle. My mother was convinced that she saved the life of my young nephew, who had an appendicitis attack, by giving him Pepto-abysmal. She insisted  that when they removed the appendix, they found it encased in a pink fluid. Being a kid, I never realized this was impossible. And it further increased the mystique of the magical fluid.

Now I’m not stupid–I know that it’s really Pepto-Bismol, but I thought it was cute to call it Pepto–abysmal, considering that it takes care of things–gut-wrenching things–that are abysmal.

If you didn’t find it cute, I am sorry. Maybe you need to be “Pepto’d up.”