Bruise: (n) an injury appearing as an area of discolored skin on the body

He had an unusual name: Page.

He was a boy. So he took a lot of crap for it.

I think his parents thought they were clever–because his whole name was Page Unus McCloy.Dictionary B

In other words, “Page One McCloy.”

I liked him.

He was a simple little fella. He tried really hard to do everything that everybody else did, but he was sickly–that’s what the teacher said–had a difficult time keeping up.

He also had a problem when playing, because the slightest little bump could cause a bruise. So you can imagine, there were times that Page came from home black and blue. The cops would be called and then everyone would realize it was just due to his…you know. Sickly.

So physical games were pretty much impossible because he always ended up looking like he had been beat up in a bar fight.

One day we found some crab apples in his backyard, rotting on the ground. We decided to throw them at each other. Apparently one of them wasn’t quite rotted enough, and it hit him square in the middle of his forehead, knocked him down and left a huge bruise.

His mother was really mad at me, so I wasn’t allowed to play with Page for a couple of weeks.

But when I returned the friendship was as sweet as ever, and we continued to carefully carry on as young boys do–dodging injury.

Christmas vacation arrived, and I told Page that I would call him over the holidays and that I was looking forward to seeing him “next year.”

When January 7th arrived and we returned to school, I couldn’t find Page. A teacher took me to the side and explained that he had passed away over the holidays, from complications due to something called leukemia.

My first thought was that I must have killed him with the crab apple. That idea haunted me for months.

Matter of fact, it wasn’t until we were in biology class two years later that I understood the type of disease that caused Page to bruise.

Whenever I think of bruises, I think of Page.

Then I think about how important it is, if you love someone, to be tender to their condition … and try not to leave any kind of bruise.


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Bandage: (n) a strip of material used to bind a wound or to protect an injured part of the body.Dictionary B

The reason “the truth makes you free” is that you do not have to exhaust yourself finding new hiding places for your stupidity.

During a particularly stubborn point in my life, I developed an infection in my left big toe.

I didn’t think much about it. At first it just looked like athlete’s foot. (Matter of fact, that’s what I called it. I was rather proud to be athletic enough to have a corresponding foot.)

But it got worse. It festered and then spread to my nearby toe, so I had two little fellas who were now unable to go to market.

My denial increased.

I did not want to go to the doctor with it because I felt ridiculous asking a man of medicine to deal with “my little piggies.”

It began to seep pus, having to be bandaged every day by a friend of mine, who was so gracious that she pretended it wasn’t a big deal.

After a while, it stunk.

She and I pretended like it didn’t, so as to keep propriety moving along properly. Then it started turning black.

That’s not good.

So I tried more home remedies, and convinced myself on a daily basis that it appeared to be healing. I even bought some silver over the Internet because it was referred to as an “old-fashioned antibiotic” that I could pour on the wound and believe I had discovered some great medical elixir of the gods.

My toe got so sick that it finally made all of me sick. I went to the hospital, but was too late to save the two toes, so they were amputated.

I hope I haven’t grossed you out with my story, and if you’re still reading it, you must have a great constitution.

But here’s the truth about bandages:

They were created to cover a wound while it’s healing … not disguise a wound that needs treatment.


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by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

AC: (abbr):


You see, here’s how I heard the story;

This guy was on his way to do AC 360–that’s with Anderson Cooper–and they called him and canceled because the AC (air conditioning) was out in the studio. The guy asked them what they thought was causing the problem and the producer replied, “It has something to do with the AC.”

The guy said, “I know that. It’s the air conditioner.”

The producer said, “No, it’s the AC. The alternating current.”

The guy was so upset about not being able to do the show that he went down to the local AC (athletic club) and started lifting some weights. In doing so, he pulled a muscle in his AC (I think that’s somewhere in the knee.)

He went to the hospital and the doctor was a bit baffled by the injury, saying that the calamity did not usually befall anyone unless they were a gladiator in the Roman coliseum, AC (before the birth of Christ).

The fellow wasn’t sure how he felt about that. On the one hand, puffed up to have a gladiatorial injury, but on the other hand, he felt that it was AC (all so common).

While sitting in the Emergency Room waiting to be discharged, lo and behold, AC came through the door–Anderson Cooper. Actually he was wheeled in on a gurney and appeared to be in some pain. Rushing up to the gurney, the gentleman asked what was wrong, and AC explained that he was working on the AC in the studio when the AC started working again and sent a shock through his whole body and threw him across the room. So he had to call an AC (ambulance carrier) to get him to the hospital to check out his AC–(all corners).

In a strange sort of way, the man felt justified about being canceled from the AC show because of faulty AC when he discovered that if he had gone TO the AC Show the AC might have shocked him.

So he went home, called his girlfriend, and told her that he had a gladiator’s injury that hadn’t been seen in the hospital since AC–before Christ.

She was confused. Actually she was AC (always confused).


by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abide: 1. v.  accept or act in accordance with a rule, decision or recommendation 2. unable to tolerate: “I cannot abide…” 3. of a feeling or memory–continue without fading or being lost

As is often the situation when I hear the definitions for these words, I realize that I have created my own mental dictionary of what things mean, frequently having absolutely no basis.

I always thought “abide” meant to hang around, like three guys on a Saturday afternoon sprawled across the room, telling stories about what they wish they could do, will probably never do, but will insist someday when they’re old that they did.

I thought abiding was what faith, hope and love did because they were built into the woodwork and history of the framework.

Abiding is NOT hanging around. Abiding is hanging in there.

I realize that’s what’s missing from my life, and maybe the lives of many Americans. As long as you want us to just “hang around,” we’re fine. But the minute you define the cause, point out a specific direction or demand a commitment, we put into practice our well-rehearsed list of excuses and go “splitsville.”

Hanging in there is a tough thing.

I remember once playing a football game, and at the end of the first quarter our team was down 32-0. The prospects of victory were slim. We were unable to stop the other team from scoring and only felt satisfaction that we were bolstering their egos and padding their stats. But you see, it was the end of the first quarter. There were three more of them to come. The danger in football is that if you play the game halfway, you’re much more likely to get injured. So it was definite that even though we were going to get smeared, we would have to see the game through to the end.

So we set some small goals. For instance, hiking the ball and handing it off without fumbling. Another one was tackling the opponent before he gained twenty yards. And certainly the most important aspiration that kept us “hanging in there” was to make sure the final score was not 128-0.

We lost the game 64-0, having held them to 32 points in the final three quarters.

Although humiliating, we left the field uninjured and just a little bit tickled that we survived such an absolute cataclysmic event without committing suicide.

Abiding is hanging in there–which only gives us one major goal: find something worthy of our hanging.