Deceitful

Deceitful: (adj) attribute of a person who engages in concealment or distortion of the truth for the purpose of misleading

Top Three Reasons Given for Being Deceitful—A.K.A. The Sure, Pure, Cure Dilemma

1. “I was deceitful because I was not sure I was being deceitful, having seen other people do exactly the same thing. I was fairly certain I was on solid ground—until it was obvious I wasn’t. So I do not believe it’s right for me to be punished since I wasn’t sure, when other people have gotten by with it, most assuredly.”

2. “I was not being deceitful. I was merely looking for a cure for the situation. Everybody else was standing around or sitting on their hands, so I did what was necessary in the moment to produce a solution—a cure, if you will—and set in motion some relief from the drama and tension. How was I to know the way it would be interpreted or viewed by those around me? Does it not matter that my motivations were good?”

3. “There is no doubt—and you just try to find someone who can prove that my actions were not pure. But because circumstances came about that tainted my efforts, the purity of my mission was marred by decisions that were made in the moment, which ended up being erroneous, if not erred.”

These are the three positions that are taken by scoundrels who would like to walk away from their actions by averting your attention from what literally happened to what might have occurred if things had worked out better.

Left out of the explanation is the moment of clarity—when each and every one of us knows that what we set out to do has gone awry, and if we’re going to continue it, we’re going to have to lie and cheat to make sure that no one notices how wrong it has turned out to be.

It reminds me of the first time I made a cake in the oven.

It was going to be a special one. Why?

A. Because I usually don’t bake cakes.

B. It was a special kind of cake that needed to rise at just the right moment for it to be considered cooked correctly.

C. And it was a tribute for a very kind person who was worthy of our attention.

I didn’t tell anyone I had never made a cake before, but it quickly became obvious to me that I should not be the baker. Still, that didn’t stop me from trying.

When I didn’t have some of the ingredients, I walked into the room and warned the people that the cake might taste a little different than what they were accustomed to eating.

When the cake didn’t rise high enough, I explained to those around me that it was “my rendition” of this cake—that I thought it would look better if it were not so high and mighty.

Yet when it finally burned, I stepped out and said, “I fucked up the cake.”

I suppose I could have tried to sell them on the notion that burning a cake was a tradition offering great homage to the special guest.

I didn’t.

Somewhere along the line we have to admit that what we set out to do is no longer in play.

Otherwise, we are deceitful.

And the sooner we confess, the less we look like flaming assholes.

Combine

Combine: (v) to unite; merge.

Earth is not a recipe.

Although we often consider it to be some sort of careful, articulate blending of ingredients, forming a broth or stew, it actually is nothing like that.

I think we’re a little frightened by how chaotic life actually is.

When you have a recipe, you gather your ingredients and you put in just the right amount of each one, to create something tasteful.

That’s not life. All life does is combine.

It doesn’t care if things agree and is indifferent to whether the enjoining of elements will end up being palatable.

It throws everything together, provides resources and stands back to see what will happen.

Those who pursue the comical belief that “everything has a purpose” and “God has a wonderful plan,”should go into the jungle, stand there, and just stare in every direction.

Thousands and thousands of forms of life, not to mention vegetation, combine to form what appears to be a huge single view with no apparent connection. Often the most intimacy in the jungle is burping after eating someone.

Although it frustrates the conservatives with how openly things combine, and it enrages the liberals about the inequity of the plan, favoring the fittest, the Universe doesn’t seem to care.

Matter of fact, on the day you’re born, the cosmos peers at you curiously and says, “So you’re here. Good luck. Please understand, it’s nothing personal. But we must get rid of you.”

 

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Checklist

Checklist: (n) a list of things to be done

A checklist is most effective if it is written, attached to a clipboard, with a pen or pencil nearby to cross off things that have been accomplished. Without all these ingredients, it is very similar to writing an essay on “What I Would Do If I Lived on the Moon.”

In other words, well-intentioned but impractical.

The reason people are afraid of organization is that it demands we organize. In organizing, we lose two very essential units of our egotism:

  1. The power to be completely spontaneous
  2. And the erroneous notion that we are so smart we will remember everything we need to do.

Therefore, on this issue there are three kinds of people:

  • Those who have a checklist but never use it
  • Those who refuse to make a checklist because it’s demeaning and stupid
  • And those who have a checklist who do not mind being considered stupid or find it demeaning–because they get things done.

It is completely alright to be suspicious of anyone who likes a checklist. After all, it’s weird–similar to coming into the acquaintance of a nine-year-old boy who likes wearing his bicycle helmet.

But it is very important–whether fretfully, fearfully or faithfully–for us to pursue the organization of our thoughts the very moment that inspiration is delivered to us, and use ink or pencil to memorialize them for all time.

Or at least until we have the erotic pleasure of crossing them off of our list.

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Buster

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Buster: (n) a mildly disrespectful or humorous form of address, especially to a man or boy.

Beware of an aunt who doesn’t have children of her own, and insists that she “really loves kids,” who comes to visit and in no time at all is so irritated that she starts referring to you as “buster.”

I had one.

I will not mention her name out of deference to her feelings, even though she has since passed away. We always have hope for people when they go to a proposed afterlife. For my aunt, my hope is that it is an adult-living condominium with no children allowed.

I will have to admit to you–she tried. Each time she arrived at our home, she came with a fresh, energetic approach, to relate to us kids as human beings.

She always brought books instead of toys. And these were books that were at least five years too old for us. There were no pictures, and she would always take at least ten minutes explaining the history, background and mission of the author.

She would also bring a casserole with her, ablaze with color and all kinds of ingredients, but for some reason, the taste and texture of it always reminded me of asparagus snot. (Now, I don’t personally know what asparagus snot is, but I thought it was a very descriptive way to relate my feelings about the dish.) More annoying, she stood over me and waited for me to taste it before I got the chance to scrape it into the trash can or slide it under the table for my hapless dog to slurp.

Also, this particular aunt was always on the verge of tears. Now, it didn’t take much. One day I was yelling at my little brother because he wouldn’t help me with the trash cans, and she came over to hug him in the most exorbitant way, looking up at me as she did, scolding me for failing to be sensitive to one of God’s precious creatures.

Interestingly though, it didn’t seem to bother her that when she talked to me, she was always suggesting that I lose weight, tuck in my shirt, or, on several occasions, remarking on how bad my breath was. I guess you had to be a little kid to be one of God’s creatures.

My aunt was a woman who married once, got a divorce, never had children–but was sure she would have been the best mother in the world.

Whenever I was out of line, she looked at me with her fiery eyes and said, “Buster, you should be glad I’m not your mother!”

She was right.

I was.

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Amphibious

dictionary with letter A

Amphibious: (adj.) relating to, living in or suited to both land and water.

Time is one of the three ingredients necessary to change my mind. (By the way, for your reading enjoyment, the other two would be pain and pleasure.)

I need this trio to become the Holy Trinity, to build a bridge between my feet in the sand and firmly situated on the rock.

This was true with me as a boy on the issue of swimming. Matter of fact, they called me “a little frog.”

A frog is an amphibian, right?

The problem with this name they gave to me was that I really wasn’t little. I guess “big frog” would be inappropriate.

So as a very small child, I swam and swam without fear or intimidation. But then, as I grew into my teen years and became self-conscious about my body image, I was frightened to put on swim trunks and join the other kids at the pool, often sitting on a blanket in my street clothes watching them swim.

In the process of developing this trepidation about being ridiculed for my blubber, I also gradually convinced myself that I hated swimming and despised the water. Matter of fact, if I walked next to a swimming pool and inhaled the chlorine-filled air, I grew short of breath and needed to leave to regain my composure.

I was a frog who forgot how to leap in.

I was amphibious, but completely unable to pursue my inclination.

Then one day I got sick and tired of being afraid. I waited until nobody was looking, ripped off my street clothes and leaped into the pool, hiding my conspicuous overage under the waves.

It was a brave step.

I was a frog again.

I was back in my natural habitat.

I was overjoyed.

Of course, I wasn’t completely cured. On that particular day, I had to stay in the water for about four hours until everybody else left, so that I could emerge in privacy. But over the years I have gradually become more accustomed to who I am–and a bit oblivious to an occasional peering.

Yes. What the hell.

I guess if you’re gonna be a frog–amphibious, living in the water and on the land … a little bit of “what the hell” has to be ingrained in your philosophy.

 

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Allergy

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Allergy: (n) a damaging immune response by the body to a substance, often pollen, fur, a particular food, or dust, to which it has become hypersensitive

I may be allergic to nature.

Well, not exactly. It’s more that I’m allergic to many products that people insist are ‘organic’ or ‘natural.’

Recently at a motel they offered what they refered to as “green” soap. It had the magical words of this millenium inscribed on its wrapper: “all organic ingredients.”

It made me itch.

Several years ago, a friend thought she was doing me a big favor by purchasing me a three-month supply of Herbalife. She wanted to help me lose weight the “natural way.” All it did for me was create a rash on my bum and turn my pee green.

I became curious about what causes me to react so strongly against these products which are meant to be healthy. So I looked up on the Internet the elements that make up these magical potions. In avoiding the use of preservatives or man-made chemicals, they insert emollients to hold the substance together, and these are not necessarily healthy in themselves.

For instance, I discovered that mangoes are related to poison ivy. Unfortunately, uncovering this trifle of data now makes me itch whenever I get around the fruit, even in a grocery store.

You see, that’s another problem with an allergy. Even if you sprout a symptom, people who think they are perpetually healthy or the same type who believe their farts don’t smell, will ridicule you or tell you that it’s “all in your head.”

It reminds me of the man who kept telling everyone he was sick–until he finally died. Every time he complained they told him it was all in his head. When they did the autopsy they found a tumor in his brain.

They were right.

I think the least we can do is give folks a chance to believe they are actually suffering from some malady instead of merely seeking attention and asking for their itch to be scratched.

I don’t know if I have any permanent allergies. The last time I took penicillin I did break out in hives, so I do mention that. Pure aspirin sometimes does odd things to me.

But every once in a while I get one of those hives or skin rashes, and I know there’s some sort of imbalance or natural product I’ve stumbled upon, which has inserted the “oil of cactus” into its ingredients … to advertise its earth-friendliness.