Crumple

Crumple: (v) to give way suddenly; collapse

I love living.

I am downright silly about my enjoyment of breathing.

I am not looking forward to dying.

I am not one of those noble souls who believes I am going to a better place, but instead, have cast my lot in constructing my own “better place” here.

Along with this devotion to inhaling and exhaling comes a certain amount of hypochondria.

It’s true.

I’m not crazy. Nor do I become a nervous wreck about every sneeze or discoloration of a wart.

But I have been known, as a young father, to scream at my children because they caught colds or the stomach flu and were dangerously threatening me with them. On occasion, this reaction has flirted with irrational.

Of late, I have had some good, long talks with myself about refusing to crumple over every little symptom that might temporarily invade my body space.

I am perfectly aware that not every headache is a brain tumor.

Indigestion crops up without foretelling of a heart attack.

And having an occasional bout with bleary eyes due to fatigue does not forewarn of blindness.

You see, I know all these things.

But trying to get my “knower” to make the short journey to my “feeler” is often implausible.

So I am aware that I’m healthy, but I still often try to mimic sick.

On these occasions, I crumple—getting a few tears in my eyes while considering my demise and how sad it will be to those I love, and even mankind as a whole.

It is foolish.

It is childish.

But when I get into one of these crumple fests, it doesn’t help me to know that I’m foolish and childish.

I just need to roll over in the morning, take a deep breath, realize that my lungs are clear, my heart is beating, and God bless America:

“I gots me another day.”

 

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Croak

Croak: (slang) to die.

There is a general reluctance among the populace to admit to things deemed frailties.

I believe lots of individuals would cautiously, but freely, be tagged as “sex addicts.” Or if someone attributed the fault of “over-talented” to them, they would sheepishly hang their head but allow the assertion to remain unchallenged.

Yet I suspect a good number of human beings would be offended to accept the term “hypochondriac” if attributed to them.

Even when you’re in the presence of an admitted hypochondriac, he or she will insist that you are ill-informed and have not read up on their mysterious, unknown or unproven condition.

So I am going to step out and tell you that for most of my life I have battled being a hypochondriac.

From the time I was a nine-year-old boy, frightened to go to sleep because I thought I might swallow my tongue, to my early twenties, when I was trying to stay awake driving, and overdosed on the caffeine in No-Doze, and had to go to the hospital because I thought I was having a heart attack, to any myriad of symptoms that might stumble my way, I am frighteningly susceptible to dwelling on them longer than they deserve.

As a father of young sons, I occasionally yelled at my children for getting colds—not because I was concerned about the pain they were experiencing or the discomfort of runny noses. No, I was just pissed because I was afraid I would get their cold, too.

I am not happy to report this to you, but if you spend all of your life wondering when you’re going to croak, then, in that brief season when it actually happens, you will be quite disappointed that you squandered the non-dying time.

I realize this.

I never thought I would live as long as I have.

So rather than wondering whether I’m going to live a lot longer, I have chosen to believe that I’m on borrowed time. In other words, “playing with house money.”

This makes me happy.

Because as exciting as it is to be alive, there is an extra thrill in knowing that by the grace of God, you’re cheating death.

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

 


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Climb

Climb: (v) to ascend, especially by using the feet and sometimes the hands

Everyone understands the choice but no one discusses it. It is an unspoken piece of information that is decided in the internal workings of every human being.

You have to find out if you would like to go to a gym and sweat four times a week so that when you climb a flight of stairs, you won’t sweat.

There you go. I don’t know why nobody talks about it.

People working out in the gym are not thinking about how they’ll feel when they’re sixty-five or seventy years old. They just want to make sure that if they’re on a date and there’s a half-mile walk to the auditorium, or a two-hour wait standing in line at the restaurant, or four flights of stairs to ascend to reach the destination, that they will be able to do it without looking like they’re flirting with death.

Also, nobody wants to be the one panting the loudest in the bedroom after sex. If you’re a man and it sounds like you’re going to have a heart attack because you made love to your woman, it may just discourage her from trying again.

It is our vanity that presses us on to bench-press.

And for those who think to themselves, what do I care if it takes forty-two seconds for me to recover my breath after climbing a flight of stairs?–well, you will never catch those individuals stomping, dancing or doing a Pilate.

Do people live longer because they are aerobically able to climb without much difficulty? There’s no evidence for that. They just look prettier and healthier doing it.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s much to be said for reaching the top of a mountain with your clothes undrenched.

But unless it is a major concern, or you’re just bound and determined to convey that your tight pecs, flat abs and muscular legs make you more sexy, I think you will probably join the ranks of those who file away from the gymnasium.

 

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Cholesterol

Cholesterol: (n) a compound of the sterol type found in most body tissues

She told me my cholesterol was a little high–“she” being my doctor.

She didn’t seem terribly concerned, but she still had a pill she thought would be jim-dandy to use. I took the pill, came back for my next visit
and my cholesterol was down.

She clapped her hands. She was glad.

I, on the other hand, felt no difference whatsoever.

I’m not trying to put forth the theory that there needs to be a physical or emotional pay-off for every good deed, but it sure helps. For if your cholesterol goes from 212 to 108, you should have some sort of bell that rings.

Maybe your eyelashes get fuller. I’m not asking for much.

Effort and reward. It’s the basis of the theory of human habitation. “If I do this, then I get that. But if I do THAT, then I’ll get THIS.”

I buy into the concept like everyone else.

Supposedly, cholesterol gums up your arteries and increases the possibility of a heart attack. But in a moment of true candor, may we state that what the medical field insists is beneficial in this particular season, will be completely out of fashion by the time autumn arrives.

Being a veteran of “oat bran,” and more recently, “gluten free,” I realize there are things that may be good, but not necessarily essential, and their worth is not equal for all humans.

I wonder why more doctors don’t encourage good cheer. It certainly does give immediate results, and may very well be good for your health

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Chilblain

Chilblain: (n) a painful, itching swelling on the skin, typically on a hand or foot, caused by poor circulation in the skin when exposed to cold.

A series of the number 24:

I was 24 years old.

It was 24 miles.

It was 24 degrees.

And I had been up for 24 hours.

I was desperately trying to start a music group that possessed enough solvency that the aggravated adults around me would stop bitching about my lack of a job.

I was failing.

Every time I got twelve dollars at a coffeehouse gig, I had fifteen dollars of bills.

I also had begun a family–mainly because my wife and I had not yet figured out the intricacies of birth control. Delaying this education led to two very quick
pregnancies.

I had not been home for five days, and even though there was a blizzard going on, I decided to take my old beat-up 1958 Chevy, with bald tires, and drive the 24 miles from Westerville, Ohio, to Centerburg, my home.

As I drove north, the weather got worse and I couldn’t see the road, which had disappeared under a blanket of white-carpeting ice.

Suddenly I felt a pain in my chest, then in my head, an itching in my leg (could have been a chilblain, right?) and the deep abiding notion that I was in trouble. Yes, I was only 24 years old, but thought I was having a heart attack, a stroke and a physical collapse, all at the same moment.

There was no place to stop, no houses to drive up to, seeking help–just more road and more and more snow bullets bouncing off my windshield.

I was scared.

I didn’t want to die.

I felt I was conjuring many of the symptoms due to my fatigue, loneliness and apprehension. Still, that didn’t make them go away.

As if on cue, the heater in my car, which had been offering some comfort, stopped working. Now all it was doing was blowing cold air on my frigid body.

Was I going to succumb on the 3-C Highway somewhere between Westerville and Centerburg, to be discovered tomorrow by a snow plow driver?

At that point, I did something I have done thousands of time since. I talked to myself.

“Buck up. If you’re gonna die, make it overtake you. Don’t give into it. Keep your eyes on the road. Be grateful that nobody else is traveling, so you can swerve around a little bit. And get yourself home.”

When I finished my little speech–my soliloquy, if you will–I immediately felt better.

I had calmed the storm in my own soul.

I had rested my own anxieties by admitting I was scared shitless.

A half hour later I pulled up in front of our old apartment, cautiously inched my way up the stairs, took off my clothes and climbed into bed with my wife, who had not seem me for some time.

I was so grateful.

Even my chilblain was gone.

I was humbled.

I never want to forget that sensation.

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Brussels Sprout

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Brussels sprout: (n) a vegetable consisting of the small compact bud of a variety of cabbage.

I was thinking about tough jobs:

Being the promotion agent for O. J. Simpson.

How about this?

Social media guru for the Facebook page of Adolph Hitler.

Or …

The marketing representative for Brussels sprouts.

This is a vegetable that has a public relations problem at nearly every turn. (Or turnip, for that matter…)Dictionary B

It is often described as a very small cabbage–not that cabbage has a great following itself. So being deemed a smaller rendition of an “also-planted” vegetable is not a “heady” proposition.

Brussels sprouts are fussy about being cooked. Some people like to keep them crisp and others, well-done. For those who like them kind of soggy, crisp is inedible. Likewise, the crispers choke on the “softies.”

Brussels sprouts also suffer under the dubious honor of being healthy. It would be a wonderful world if people were actually concerned about their health. Most people become interested in their well-being just about the time they grab their chest with a heart attack.

So it becomes an issue of taste. It’s gotta taste good. To accomplish that, we cover them in butter. Butter can make almost anything taste good, including snails.

But the problem is, when you put butter on Brussels sprouts, it’s like sending a choir boy to a maximum security prison to hang out. That which was good will certainly be tainted. The butter turns the Brussels sprouts into liquid death.

Do I like Brussels sprouts? Yes.

Would I serve them at a party? No.

Why?

Because deep in my soul, I really like people.

 

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Broken-hearted

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Broken-hearted: (adj) overwhelmed by grief or disappointment.

Research.

It is something every writer should learn how to do, and if pursuing the profession, it might need to become a favorite side-bar.Dictionary B

I wrote a book on the life of Jesus. I think indirectly every author writes his or her “Christ” book–a volume where the novelist pens thoughts about the sacrificial nature of love.

I entitled mine “I’M…the legend of the son of man.”

I did some research on the crucifixion–the execution, as it were, of Jesus of Nazareth.

Even though the Gospel writers knew nothing about the circulation of blood, which was hundreds of years from being discovered by a guy named Harvey, they described the fluids which drained out of the deceased, hanging corpse of Christ, as the sword pierced his side, confirming his death.

“Water and blood.”

That was their report.

The writers had no idea what that meant. Only in modern-day medicine do we understand that this particular gathering of fluids is a sign of a major heart attack.

As I sat back and read the information on the physical condition of the human heart of Jesus, I concluded that after all the strain, the pain, the disappointment, the betrayal and the denial he suffered–that the Prince of Peace, the lover of humanity and the Son of Man … literally died of a broken heart.

 

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