Cabal

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Cabal: (n) a secret political clique or faction.

It was strange.

I woke up, glanced down and it appeared that my leg had a red line going from my knee to my ankle.

Although I would not call myself a hypochondriac, if needed, I can imitate one. It spooked me.

Of course, I pulled up the Internet and found that there were several dastardly explanations. No pleasant determinations for such a mark on one’s flesh. I spent about two-and-a-half hours allowing my brain to go in and out of scenarios about this unknown “line in the flesh.”

I decided to keep it a secret. I didn’t share with anyone else. After all, if my time on Earth was nearing an end, it would be best for my loved ones to be surprised instead of having any elongated sorrow.

Then for some reason, the spirit within me made an internal suggestion to my mind.

“Did you try to wash it off?”

I was offended by my spirit. Such a childish proposal. But so as not to quell the “little fella’s” desire to be heard, I grabbed a wash cloth and simply ran it across my stripe, fully prepared for nothing to happen. It suddenly began to disappear.

It then occurred to me that the previous evening I had eaten a cherry popsicle and apparently it dripped onto my leg and had simply dried.

My problem was solved. Quickly.

So when I saw the word “cabal” today, it reminded me of that incident.

We all look for complicated, fussy, secretive and even difficult answers. That’s why we get political think tanks and theological discussions, and have seminars on this and seminars on that.

But before we go off and find a mahogany table, where we all gather and talk too deeply about shallow problems, grab a damp cloth. Do the obvious. See if the damn problem will just wash away.

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Business

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Business: (n) the practice of commerce.

“Business as usual.”

Maybe if we clarified what “usual” is, we might have a better idea of the true nature of business.

If by business we mean simply finding a way to create commerce without any real concern except profit margin, then we unleash an unruly effort on the world that doesn’t seem to answer to any higher guideline.

But if we know what the “usual” is of business, and that “usual” has productive roots, then business can be a good thing–matter of fact, the heart of every endeavor.

For even the Good Book tells us not to be slothful in business. What is slothful in business?

Anyone who starts a storefront or an Internet escapade should ask two questions:

  1. Is this needed?
  2. Can I maintain quality?

Because if it’s not needed, it not only will have a short life, but it continues to increase the cynicism about true ingenuity in the marketplace.

And if the essence of quality if sacrified to manufacturing costs, then people will cynically hold a broken piece of junk in their hands that makes them further suspicious of the world as a whole.

Slothful in business is when we’re more concerned with producing than we are with being productive.

Not every corporation needs to have a noble cause–but everyone who decides to market a product needs to be able to give a quick explanation of its purpose and value, and also a guarantee that it was put together with tender, loving care.

Anyone who thinks that’s unrealistic will probably find him or herself in a slothful profile. And anyone who asks the two magic questions–is it needed and can I maintain quality?–is helping to build the trust among humans that is necessary to keep us from self-destruction.

 

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Buckskin

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Buckskin: (n) the skin of a male deer.

I saw it on TV.

I had to have it.

Being only ten years old, my negotiating skills were undeveloped. I explained to my mother and my father that the buckskin shirtDictionary B I saw the little boy wearing on the Daniel Boone television show was so cool that I must have one right now.

This was long before the Internet or when information on such garments was readily available. My mother actually had to write to the studio in Hollywood to find out where a shirt could be purchased.

I must tell you, she was in no hurry about it. Matter of fact, it took two months to get the letter written and a response back.

The studio was so kind they actually sent her a pattern for the shirt, explaining where to acquire buckskin.

Two immediate problems came to the forefront: the buckskin was very expensive, and the shirt pattern was sized for a boy who was rather small–which was not me.

So Mother found a seamstress who agreed to make the shirt for me as a Christmas present. But she explained to my parents that we would need two-and-a-half times the amount of buckskin to cover my skin.

The project was abandoned.

My parents emphatically explained that they could not use their entire paycheck for the next week to make me look like Daniel Boone’s little nephew.

I never got my buckskin shirt.

It was the first of many disappointments in my life, which fortunately did not lead me to a life of crime.

Though as you can see, I would have had a good excuse.

 

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Bozo

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Bozo: (n) a stupid, rude, or insignificant person, especially a man

I’m not certain of this little piece of information, but since it’s on the Internet, who in the hell cares?

But I do believe that the original “Bozo the Clown” was produced and filmed in Chicago, Illinois. The reason I’m not certain is because during my growing up years, we didn’t have Bozo. In Columbus, Ohio, we had a character named Flippo.

Yes. “Flippo the Clown.”

Originally, the gentleman hired to play this part was given an inexpensive black tunic with white cotton balls sewn on it, and a silly flock of hair with cheap dime store makeup. He was commissioned to be the instigator of foolishness for children as he introduced favored cartoons and giddy newsreels.Dictionary B

But our clown, Flippo, had a much broader vision for his role. Rumor had it that he favored certain beverages before filming the kiddie show, and the more he imbibed in these intoxicants, the looser he became before the cameras, often throwing in adult references which clearly surpassed the scope of the understanding of the average child, only to be appreciated by mature ears.

He was very popular. He was also highly criticized by Ohio mothers who felt that he was not always appropriate for younger ones.

Flippo didn’t care. He made a multitude of appearances in small-town venues all across the landscape, always drawing a respectable crowd of followers and even a few female fans. Some of these clown admirers found themselves invited to Flippo’s changing room, where certain scandals began to trickle out to the public.

I’m not exactly sure what finally happened to Flippo, but about the time that people in Chicago discovered that Bozo…was, the audience that was watching Flippo suddenly flipped. 

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Blueprint

Blueprint: (n) a design plan or other technical drawing.

Dictionary BI don’t often take time with this particular essay to discuss current events or natural happenings. It’s really more a primer on what is primary.

But I find myself in an interesting dilemma.

I have set a blueprint for my life, my work, my mission, my writing and my sharing with humanity–to stay away from politics. To me, politics is taking what might be a good idea and hammering on it until it’s pleasing to as many people as possible.

But in this particular political season, I am stymied.

My blueprint is threatened.

For if I talk about kindness, courtesy, gentleness and tolerance, it will appear to my reader that I am preaching against Donald Trump.

On the other hand, if I write an essay on honesty, being forthcoming, freshness of ideas or even gaining the acumen of using the Internet and email–doggone it, it would appear that I’m striking out against Hillary Clinton.

So I find myself squeezed like a tube of toothpaste which should have been replaced four days ago.

When you can’t speak a virtue without attacking one or the other candidate, what you have is a commentary on the lack of virtue in our candidates.

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Bikini

Bikini: (n) a very brief two-piece swimsuit for women.

Dictionary B

I grew up in a time when seeing a woman in a bikini at the swimming pool was like looking at pornography.

Since we didn’t have dirty pictures on the Internet, the only time there was an opportunity to view partially exposed breasts and the majority of a female torso was at the local pool.

When bikinis became popular, girls immediately started wearing them because they thought they were “cute.”

I think deep in their consciousness, these young ladies were aware that they were torturing the boys by displaying the fruits of the flesh without offering them a chance to take a bite.

I vividly recall the first time I saw a girl in a bikini. I spontaneously had an orgasm. It wasn’t planned. It’s probably not something I should even share. But I do so because it always reminds me of the sense of humor our Creator had in constructing human beings–and also our timetable.

At the moment in life when we have the most sexual prowess, we also have the least control. And later on, when viewing a bikini is still pleasurable but no longer eruptive, our plumbing seems to be a bit clogged.

I am sure the heavens find this to be hilarious. I know God must be a gentle trickster–because He does fool us into believing that we are much more powerful than we actually are.

And then, when we scatter our efforts and end up with futility, He is there as a kindly Father, to retrieve our egos and allow us to live another day.

I will always like bikinis, but there is nothing at all as powerful and poignant as the first one I viewed at the local swimming hole…when I practically lost my head.

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Bibliography

Bibliography: (n) a list of the books referred to in a scholarly work

Dictionary B

It would seem it is necessary in the pursuit of reporting truthful statements, that we find others who agree with us, who have written down their thoughts–therefore supposedly giving these notions greater credibility.

Of course, with the inception of the Internet and freelance writers such as myself, merely finding quotes which confirm your assertion has become easier–and also more comical.

I could probably make any statement whatsoever and produce a list of essays, papers and even books that will confirm my accusations with a hearty literary “amen.”

Here’s the problem: it doesn’t make it true.

Some of the more astute and intelligent writing in American history occurred in the Antebellum period, when it was completely permissible to refer to “Nigger Jim.”

If I were to write a twisted article on my black brothers and sisters and place within the bibliography a considered number of masterful works to support my prejudice, I would have a foundation, yet find it to be constructed on the sand.

A bibliography is a way of proving that a freshman in high school actually cracked a book to crack open his or her brain.

It does not prove that what is being purported is accurate.

Just that we found enough people to concur … to have a small party.

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