Colloquialism

Colloquialism: (n) a word or phrase that is not formal, typically one used in ordinary or familiar conversation.

When did “fuck” become a colloquialism?

I apparently was out to dinner, and came back and there it was–all over my answering machine, Internet and television.

Was there a meeting?

Did anyone consider that trivializing such a powerful word was taking away the ability to use it when describing murders, mayhem, evil wars and genocide?

If everything is fucked then nothing is truly fucked, am I right?

If you discover that your hard-boiled egg is really soft-boiled, “fucking” that situation removes the potency to rail against some dictator who murders children.

Some words should not be colloquial. They should be saved up for special occasions when we need to rally with just the right word to rattle the room.

And it’s not just the word “fuck.”

I don’t like it when “sensitivity” is overused. Sensitivity is special. It shouldn’t be used when somebody brings you a second napkin.

And how about love? Yes, the word “love” has become a two-bit whore giving a blow job in an alley, or people explaining that even though they beat their children, they really do “love them.”

What? Did I take a really long nap? Am I Rip-van-Something-or-Other, waking up to the world going insane for no particular reason?

If I say “I love you” I want it to mean something.

If I discuss sensitivity, I want you to sense my heart and deep-rooted commitment.

And if I say “fuck,” I damn well want it to be fucked.

 

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Choir

Choir: (n) an organized group of singers

I found that being in a choir squashed my desire to be heard. Yes, you have to be willing to blend.

Matter of fact, they talk about “the blend”–that particular sound that a group of singers makes which is supposedly unique unto them.

It is fairly restrictive. Even the names are:

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir: “To sing, I have to be Mormon, get directions to the tabernacle, and then hide my voice among other song birds. I am en-caged.”

I felt this in high school.

When I quit the football team because I discovered they made fat boys run, I realized that my second-greatest interest other than tackling running backs was singing. It seemed logical to join the choir, since that was the avenue afforded to me on the thoroughfare of musical expression.

I hated choir. Nobody could hear me sing. They commented on “the blend,” or applauded the musical director, or noted how the robes looked so good.

It drove me nuts.

So in rehearsal one day, in a fit of rebellion and pending insanity, I just started singing another song from my standing position in the choir, while the rest of the parakeets tweeted out the prepared number.

My voice was strong, but certainly not powerful enough to overcome the mass musical. But it was annoying enough that the director kept tilting her head, leaning in with squinting eyes, trying to determine what was disrupting her “blend.” I just kept singing a different song–a little quieter, but with enough volume to create frustration on the face of the conductor.

After a few moments, she took her baton and tapped it violently against the music stand, stopping the proceedings.

“Is everybody singing the same song?” she bellowed to the gathered.

Those standing closest to me, who heard my little interpretation, turned in unison and gazed in my direction.

I was caught. The director peered at me intensely and said, “Were you singing a different song?”

I paused–not so much to make it seem like I was making up a story, but just to express my alarm. Then I replied, “I thought we were doing Number Eight in the program.”

I don’t think she believed me, but she played along.

“No,” she said. “It’s Number Seven. I’m sorry if I did not make that clear.”

“You’re forgiven,” I replied in my snootiest voice.

She nearly lost all sensibility. Glaring at me, she said tersely, “Thank you.”

We resumed singing, and I couldn’t help myself. Once we had gotten a chorus of the song in, I reverted back to my former tune, which was completely alternative to “the blend.”

This time she stopped and used her baton to point toward the door as she screamed, “Get outta here!”

There were giggles and whispers as I made my way out, escaping the class. Fortunately for me, she was not specific about where I should get–so since I was told to be punished, I just went early to have a leisurely lunch.

 

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Chapped

Chapped: (adj) when lips become cracked, rough, or sore

There was a seventeen-day period back when I was a sophomore in high school, totally possessed by the demon of obsession, when I was
completely insane about my lips.

I don’t know what caused it.

Early in the year, I had nearly driven myself crazy, fearing that while I was sleeping I would swallow my tongue because I overheard a conversation on the subject. But I was finally convinced that my tongue was attached, and would be unwilling to slither down my throat.

During this seventeen day period, I caught a glimpse of my lips in the mirror–and they seemed huge. They weren’t. But my perception had temporarily taken a vacation and left behind a neurosis to care for my brain.

I was convinced that my lips were too large–and since I was raised in a prejudiced Midwest community, I asked my mother if we “had any Negro in our family.” (That’s what we called people of color at the time–Negroes.)

My mother was not only shocked at the question, but sent me to my room until I could come out and “be a decent fellow.”

While I was in my room, I decided to stare at my lips some more. This second viewing caused me to realize that they were not only huge, but they were chapped. I was positive I saw little white flakes trying to surface and take over my mouth.

What was I going to do?

Now please understand–it’s not like I was in some relationship with a girl and my lips were in constant demand. But optimist that I was, I thought it could happen soon, or that some young lady might just take a dare and kiss me. In doing so, would she comment on the acreage of my pucker–how dry and cracked it was?

It was the only thing I thought about. I flunked a pop quiz in chemistry class because I sat there the whole time looking at the beakers of fluid displayed against the wall, wondering if there was something in there that would shrink and smooth out my smooch.

As I don’t know how it began, I also do not know what ceased this madness.

But after seventeen days, I transferred my strange pursuit of lip shrinkage and mouth softening over to a stretch mark. You see, I found one right underneath my left armpit, barely able to be covered by me squeezing my shoulder tightly against my body.

 

 

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Aquiline

dictionary with letter A

Aquiline: (adj) like an eagle, esp. referring to the nose. EX: “hooked like an eagle’s beak.”

It arrives at about age twelve, and hopefully, by the grace of God, disappears on one’s eighteenth birthday. Honestly, it will not disappear if we allow its friends to come and shack up.

“It” is insecurity.

When I was twelve years old, I was convinced of the following:

I believed my nose was aquiline because my dad was German and had a hooked nose. I failed to realize that my mother’s genes were also in there, so my hook was not as pronounced. (I once referred to my nose as a “hooker” until my Aunt Minnie explained that the term was inappropriate.)

I also believed that my lips were very large and that I possibly was the love child of my mother with a black man. (There was no basis for this since there were no black people within thirty miles of our community. But I chose to believe my mother had made some sort of journey.)

I also thought my eyes were crooked, and began to tilt my head to the left to compensate for the poor horizon of my peepers.

Keeping up this craziness was the notion that my B were “pinned to my head,” which I assumed was the sign of some sort of mental retardation.

Moving along, I totally was possessed with the frustration that I had horribly chubby cheeks, so I tried to elongate my face by holding my mouth in the shape of a small “O” all the time.

This insecurity is present in all adolescents, and is only dangerous if it’s allowed to link up with intensity, culminating in a bit of insanity, which in adulthood can lead to plastic surgery, therapy sessions and late-night heart-wrenching honesty with your mate, drenched in tears.

I know we think the answer to this question is to convince people that “we are all beautiful just the way we are.”

But since none of us really believe that deep in our hearts, wouldn’t it be more logical for us to come to the conclusion that we’re all ugly in our own way?

 

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Anytown, U. S. A.

dictionary with letter A

Anytown, U.S.A.: (n) any real or fantasy place regarded as being typical of American small-town appearance or values.

As a verified vagabond who has done my share of stopping at the local convenience store to inquire about the best diner in town, I will tell you that the similarities which exist among these little burgs are few and far between.

I know we would like, for the sake of political or spiritual agendas, to categorize certain locales as possessing the true crust of the American apple pie, but just as in the case of that delicacy, the fruits that fill them are varied.

I grow weary of listening to pundits portraying America as a conservative nestling of Puritanical, family oriented souls huddling over a common fire, exchanging “favorite scriptures.”

Likewise, America is not a bustling metropolis of cosmopolitan, creative beings on their way to the next cocktail party to discuss the brush-strokes of a new, controversial artist.

People are magnificent as long as you understand them. And here are three things I have learned which reflect the only commonality in the human family. They bring me both comfort and a bit of comic relief:

1. We are obliviously self-centered.

Even though we would be offended by the notion that we are highly focused on our own thoughts and lifestyle, it is just the way we survive. Without it, we probably would spend too much time correcting mistakes or being hit by buses.

2. Our values change as our problems mount.

It amazes me that someone who insists they are against some particular vice will suddenly become more forgiving when one of their children commits it. You can call that hypocrisy if you want to, but to a certain extent it is a necessary blending of survival, mercy and inconsistency.

3. If given the chance, we really don’t want to hurt anyone.

The trouble is, there is so much animosity in the air that we are continually tempted to be assholes. But if you can separate people from the media, politics and religious arrogance, they generally have enough heart that they want to make sure to give the other guy a chance.

If you comprehend these three things, you will find them anywhere you go, with anyone you meet, at any time.

If you have a mission to separate the “good people” from the “bad people,” to create a superior chosen race which is more “American,” then you will be a contributor to the insanity that divides us … instead of the understanding that unites us.

 

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Anti-type

dictionary with letter A

Anti-type: (n) a person or thing which represents the opposite of someone or something else.

  • Everybody has sex, but not everybody’s allowed to be considered sexy.
  • Everybody should learn the politics of our generation, but not everybody is comfortable being political.
  • Everybody’s a human being, but not everybody is treated as human.

Everybody is loved by God, but not everybody is ushered into the ranks of the religious.

Perhaps the most unseemly part of our human race is our penchant for wanting to “box things up” and label them, only to end up stacking them on the shelves for storage.

So whenever I hear the words “can’t,” “shouldn’t” or even “won’t,” I have the tendency to want to challenge them. I am fearful of leaving my brothers or sisters out simply because they don’t fall within the boundaries of the prototype.

Yes, they are anti-type.

For instance, I am a big, fat guy who is bald and aging, who happens to like to sing. When I do this vocalizing, I am always astounded that it often takes me much longer to get an audience’s attention simply because I don’t fulfill the stereotype of the typical crooner.

It sucks. But that fact that it sucks does very little to stop the insanity of the prejudice. So I sing without permission, becoming the anti-type of the pop world.

For I’m not so sure that without anti-types we will be able to progress the Adam’s big family much further.

  • We need people with enough confidence to know they are sexy but who are not runway models or six-pack studs.
  • We need politicians who escape the garble of glib and instead, simply impart their message with a bit of candor.
  • And we are certainly desperately in need of people who love one another and God without ever sniffing of religion.

It takes courage.

It also takes a sense of humor.

And I do believe … it will take time. 

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Antepartum

dictionary with letter A

Antepartum (adj.): occurring before childbirth.

Pregnancy.

No male of the species should probably ever postulate on this issue, even if stimulated by curiosity to offer insights or opinions on the process by which a female conceives, carries and eventually “unshells” a human being. It is beyond the scope of the average man.

Yet it is a source of fascination.

Having been around numerous pregnant women in my life, I first of all realize that many of them do not like to be referred to as “pregnant.” So the first thing a male should acquire is a Thesaurus, to discover different terms for a woman impregnated. (Once again, another dubious word.)

Truthfully, during that nine-month period of gestation, words and wording become very important. To some degree, true candor must be abandoned in favor of cautionary terminology.

For instance, one should never have an opinion on whether a woman with child looks good. It is a foregone conclusion that they are “blooming, glowing, transcendant” and nearly “immortal.”

So at my own peril, I will be honest about my take on this situation of what is referred to as “antepartum.”

1. It’s too bad that the baby can’t be passed from parent to parent like a basketball.

When one got tired the other could take over for a while. I suppose this might create its own set of discussions, but at least one would not be suffering while the other desperately scrambles to alleviate it.

2. Telling a person that is normally attractive and small that they are still extremely desirable, when they realize by looking in the mirror that they are suddenly humongous, is not very comforting.

I don’t know what the right decision would be in this situation, but it is a fruitless task to try to tell a balloon that it is not blown up.

3. It is ironic that the romance, chemistry and lust that produced the condition suddenly runs away in terror at the conclusion.

“Chicken!” That’s what I yell at the retreating emotions as they scurry away in horror, leaving the pair to wonder if any attraction remains.

4. And finally, because this is going to be a journey, pack a bag and make sure you include lots of money, a first-aid kit, games, trinkets and a list of the reasons why you love her.

it’s not that women are silly. I imagine if men were carrying a child, they would be even more prone to bursts of temporary insanity.

It’s just that the idea of growing something in your body that weighs nearly ten pounds is normally treated with radiation and surgery. In other words, a cancer.

So I think trying to find the balance between honesty and tenderness is the best profile.

But of course, in doing so, wear a helmet and a cup. 

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