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.

 

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Credibility

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Credibility: (n) the quality of being believable or worthy of trust

I suppose the most logical suggestion for gaining credibility is just refusing to lie.

Seems sensible. Here’s the problem:

You can’t get anyone to believe that you’re not lying.

And the more you insist you’re telling the truth or emotionally distraught you become, the more you look like an even worse liar.

Credibility is achieved by allowing the ideas you’ve fostered to prove themselves.

To have this happen, you must be willing to silently let time pass. That way, when it ends up that the things you spoke were accurate, faithful and honest, the human race around you can slow up long enough to respond, “Hey—you were right.”

If you don’t gloat over your veracity, they will gradually—and I say, very gradually—begin to assume that you are some strange alien who has come to Earth to expose the poison of “fibbing.”

But gaining credibility is never something that can be claimed, insisted upon, lobbied for or voted into office. When people realize that your “yes” actually means yes, and your “no” holds firm at no, then maybe—yes, maybe—they will start giving you points for credibility.

 

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Coy

Coy: (adj) slyly hesitant.

 Impersonation or imitation?

The two words are basically synonyms, yet many folks would insist that an impersonation is clever or entertaining, whereas an imitation might be insulting.

At least, that’s my take on it. I wonder why.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Because certainly there are things that can be impersonated or imitated which are humorous or even necessary. For instance, if we have to take a test, we have to impersonate someone who’s knowledgeable.

Yet impersonations or imitations are not always flattering, and worse, they can be downright deceiving.

I found this to be very true, especially when dealing with the subject of humility. I will say that try as you will, you will never be able to impersonate a humble person nor imitate humility and still maintain sincerity.

This is mainly because we choose to be humble when we are flirting with disgrace instead when of celebrating victory.

This is what makes us coy.

I get nervous around people who think they’re being coy. I feel cheated. I think they are trying to avoid presenting their real selves, and instead, substituting what might resemble honest.

I don’t like it when parents tell me their children are shy. Can I question that? They don’t appear shy to me. They seem sheltered. They often have the whiff of conceited. And occasionally, one might even pick up some judgment in their distracted stare.

Coy is a tough one for me.

I am always afraid that someone who is trying to visually present him or herself as humble is merely waiting for an opportunity to dominate me when I least expect it. Donate Button


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Concoct

Concoct: (v) to create or devise

I have discovered that I don’t need to concoct as often when I’m not afraid of being honest.

When I am afraid–terrified of reality–I will concoct a scheme to explain my actions, which I certainly hope is plausible to those who hear, or at least is so uninteresting that they will choose not to challenge it.

I believe that concocting is a covenant we make with one another, promising that if you will believe my concoction, I will not question yours.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Therefore, we will leave it all to luck–to establish whether we survive fiasco, or whether the plans we’ve made will get their just desserts and play out to a dark conclusion.

This does not sound interesting to me.

I don’t like to lose, but the best way to keep from losing is to fail small, so you don’t screw up big.

And if you fail small and catch it while it still has a pacifier in its mouth, you can keep it a baby problem instead of turning it into an adolescent rage.

But it does demand that you keep your “concoct” to yourself.

 

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Caustic

Caustic (adj) sarcastic in a scathing and bitter way.

Being negative to another human being when positive energy could be beneficial is a great offense.

But equally as caustic is to piously tell folks they can do things that they can’t. It is cruel, mean-spirited and to a large degree, self-righteous
–simply because we want to be known for giving flowers instead of stopping and working with people’s soil, and teaching them how to get something to grow.

Life is not about me. Rather, it’s about me learning to be honest with myself, and then gradually sharing with the world around me.

Yet I will tell you–it is sarcastic, bitter, childish and ridiculous to take humans who have chosen mediocrity and insist that they are just as valuable as those who are laying their lives down to discover greater purpose.

If the truth makes us free, then anything short of that freedom is bondage.

For after all, you can tie people up with fuzzy bows just as easily as you can with barbed wire.

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Broom

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Broom: (n) a long-handled brush of bristles or twigs used for sweeping.

I know what a broom is.

I have seen one.Dictionary B

I could even identify one at a distance.

If sent into a large room to find it, I would be successful in no time at all.

Yet I really don’t know anything about a broom.

I’ve had one thrust in my direction with belligerent orders to “help clean up.” But I’ve always been a little bit of a loss as to what the correct process is in “brooming.”

I’ve seen people take short, brusque strokes–like they were angry at the floor or infuriated with the dirt.

Then I’ve seen people take long, easy passing with the broom, sweeping up the dirt gently in front of them.

There are brooms that work sideways.

There are brooms that work up and down.

(I guess that’s it.)

But I am a little embarrassed to admit that my “broomsmanship” has been lacking, partially because I’m lazy, but mostly because when I tried to use one, a nearby competitor (normally a female) would snatch it from my hands because I was failing to be reverent.

She’d demonstrate and then hand it back to me, and rapscallion that I am, I would realize that if I could simulate an additional failure, in no time at all she would insist I was incompetent and do the job herself.

It always worked.

I’m embarrassed to share it with you.

But I must be honest–I have no great stories about “brooming”–only being able to tell you that I can identify one.

 

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Blunt

Blunt: (adj) uncompromisingly forthright

Dictionary B

I am recommending a divorce.

I think it is time to create a Splitsville between the words “blunt” and “honest.”

No human being has the authority, integrity or history to be blunt.

We can’t afford it. It’s too easy for other folks to find the skeletons in our closets–which, by the way, are still so fresh they’re covered with rotting skin.

And “honest,” although an improvement in temperament, is subject to our present comprehension.

So when people tell me they want to be blunt and honest with me, I request that they refrain. I am not confident that my burgeoning human spirit of consolation has grown enough to endure the “hard rain” of their critique.

I prefer honesty tempered with mercy. How would that manifest itself? I will give an example.

Blunt–“You are way too fat.”

Honest–“Don’t you think your obesity is hurting your health?”

Merciful–“I’m thinking about losing a few pounds myself. Have you ever tried and do you have any suggestions?”

Some individuals would consider this misleading or disingenuous.

I just consider it the only acceptable way to affect the world around you without crumbling it.

 

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