Decongestant

Decongestant: (n) a substance that relieves mucus congestion of the upper respiratory tract.

I hate colds.

I am not alone in this, but they are a hazard for my profession.

I have spent my life using my voice in various capacities, and having that altered is at least annoying, if not costly.

Over the years, I’ve learned that the sooner I treat a cold, the better off I am.

This discovery was birthed during a particularly nasty head cold I had when I was a junior in high school. Being that particular age, I took no medications and certainly would never carry Kleenex in my pocket.

So one very cold day, when the study hall at school was overly warm, my nose began to run. I had nothing at all to stop the flow.

I had not taken a decongestant to dry me out.

Kleenex was for girls.

And unfortunately, the only thing available was the fuzzy sweater my brother had loaned to me, which had big, bushy sleeves.

I resisted for a long time.

I tried to breathe in deeply, sucking the nose flow back into my head.

I did a quick reach-up with my finger to push back the lava.

But it just kept coming.

Finally, in a complete breakdown, I lifted my sweater sleeve and quickly rubbed it across my nose, allowing all the furriness to absorb the “ick.”

I immediately reached down and tried to redistribute the human glue throughout the sweater so it wouldn’t be noticeable—and fortunately for me, the bell rang. I was able to run to the bathroom to blow my nose.

Being a teenager, I forgot all about the incident until a week later, when my brother put on the sweater and asked me what the deal was with the sleeve.

I could not tell him the truth.

It would not be healthy for his heart. (I don’t think he had a heart condition, but he could develop one.)

Being an adolescent and not quick-thinking on my feet, I replied, “Wear and tear?”

My brother looked at me, perplexed, then down at his clumpy, sticky sleeve. I don’t think he really wanted to know, so he accepted my explanation.

I have since learned that the power of a decongestant is that it dries you up so much that you don’t have to do embarrassing things to your clothing.

 

Crochet

Crochet: (n) needlework done with a needle with a large hook at one end.

I know nothing about crochet.

Yet this, by the way, does not discourage my need to espouse.

I have never crocheted. I don’t think I’ve even seen someone crochet, though they could have been doing it incognito—because since I don’t know what it is, it could be done before my very eyes and fool me for sure.

But I do recall that I had a great-aunt who decided to crochet me a sweater, since I was so overweight that it was difficult to buy them in stores. (As you can see, the premise for the gift was already somewhat flawed.)

So she set out to do this sweater for me—and then, six months later it arrived in the mail.

It was huge, and the color of straw.

In other words, it wasn’t yellow, it wasn’t brown, and you couldn’t even call it brownish-yellow or yellowish-brown. Although it was brand new, the flatness of the color made it look like it had been worn for many generations. And even though it was very large, when I put it on it felt funny. It was like one shoulder was crocheted shorter than the other, and the left-arm length was about three inches too long. It also had no buttons—you know, in the front, so you could join it and turn it into a sweater instead of a human horse blanket.

But it was warm, and it was the first piece of clothing that had come my way for a while (since in my era there was no such thing as “big men’s shops.”)

I decided to wear it.

My friends tried to be nice, but finally, when the class clown walked in, unaware that everyone was attempting to be sensitive about my misshapen garment, he just burst into laughter, which caused everyone else to feel free to mock at will.

You would think that this would have cured me from wearing my crocheted sweater—but because it was mine, and warm, and because I refused to be intimidated by the foolish fashionistas, I ended up donning it quite frequently.

Matter of fact, I kept it for two years, which is quite remarkable for an adolescent.

I wore it until one day, in study hall, I was suffering from a severe head cold. I had no Kleenex and feared that my entire brain was ready to run out of my nose and into my mouth. I reached up with my sweater and ran it across my nose, trying to sop up unwelcomed mucous.

You can tell by my description of the event that my wheaty-colored sweater could not be worn again.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

 


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Crayon

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Crayon: (n) pointed stick or pencil of colored clay, chalk, wax, etc., used for drawing or coloring.

Elaborate was my plan.

Yes, many details, pieced together, far beyond my five years of life.

I loved crayons. But my mother never bought me a box that had more than twelve—and then, she never purchased the actual Crayola unit, which was so recognizable to my friends. So sometimes I showed up to play with our coloring books with my white box of eight crayons and they asked me, “Don’t you have crayons?”

It was mean. They could see that I had crayons—they just knew mine were “fake” and I was one of those kids who couldn’t afford “real” Crayolas.

I can remember like it was yesterday the first time I saw the gigantic container holding sixty-four crayons.

It was huge.

You couldn’t even use all the crayons—each hue pleaded for attention.

Fortunately for me, my friend allowed me to borrow from his pack of sixty-four, leaving me nearly teary-eyed and completely breathless. I never wanted to leave his home. After all, this was a house that contained the ultimate box of crayons, with sixty-four different opportunities.

Yet what started out as a pleasurable journey into the world of color ended up with me envious and angry.

So when my friend wasn’t looking, I reached in and took out six of my favorite colors from the pack and stuck them in the front pocket of my pants. To make sure he wouldn’t miss the crayons and there wouldn’t be a gap in the order as they stood like little soldiers in a row, I inserted some Kleenex into the slot and squished the crayons together, hoping to disguise the absence of the stolen six.

It worked.

He packed up the crayon box, put it away, and an hour later my mother came and picked me up.

Now, it was the next morning that my friend’s mother called my mother and asked if I knew anything about “missing crayons.”

I did but I wasn’t going to tell them.

The subject was dropped. They decided to take me at my word.

It would have been the perfect crime had it not been for the fact that I forgot to remove the crayons from the pocket of my pants, and my mother washed them in the machine—only to come out of the laundry room screaming over the messy, sloppy and smeary result.

I not only lost my crayons—I not only was unable to use what I had stolen—but the evidence of my guilt was now clearly melted all over my trousers.

Donate Button


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Barber

Barber: (n) a person who cuts hairDictionary B

They called it a “regular.”

When I was eleven years old, my mother made me repeat the word “regular” back to her, so I would know what kind of haircut to ask for when I went to our barber, Mr. Smythe.

I hated to go.

Mr. Smythe was a nice man–small, soft-spoken and now, as I look back on it, probably gay. In our town, it was illegal to be gay, to think about being gay, or even to mention the word “homosexual.” So Mr. Smythe was more than likely hiding out behind his scissors and clippers.

And I now realize that he was probably just as terrified when I arrived at his barbershop as I was to climb up in his big chair and have him snip at my locks.

We struggled through fifteen minutes of conversation, which deteriorated with each of his questions, which I finalized with a “yes” or “no.”

I was always glad when we got to the end of the experience and he began to brush my hair to dispel all the dislodged members.

But then he would ask the most embarrassing question of all: “Would you like me to put some smell-good on you, for the ladies?”

I was only eleven years old, and the only ladies I knew were still forcing their way into my life to wipe my nose with Kleenex.

I don’t remember what I ever mumbled back, but sometimes he smeared me with aftershave, and on other occasions we would forego the ordeal.

I had my dollar and a quarter all ready for him, and as I left, he pretended we had made an amazing connection, and told me to “stop in any time.”

I didn’t. I only went when my mother decided I needed to display more ears.

I think about him from time to time.

  • What was his story?
  • Where did he end up?
  • Was he ever able to come out of the barber’s closet?

Perhaps he just a real sweet guy who liked women and was kind to little boys like me … who had not yet learned how to correctly answer questions.

 

Donate Button

Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

*******************
Don’t let another Christmas go by without purchasing Jonathan’s bestselling Christmas book!

Mr. Kringle’s Tales … 26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Click here to read all about Mr. Kringle's Tales...26 Stories Til Christmas! Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

Click here to read all about Mr. Kringle’s Tales…26 Stories Til Christmas! Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

 

“The best Christmas stories I’ve ever read!”

From the toy shop to the manger, an advent calendar of Christmas stories, beginning on November 30th and ending on Christmas morning.

We need a good Christmas this year.

Mr. Kringle’s Tales will help you make it so.

Buy today.

"Buy

 

 

 

Antitheical:

dictionary with letter A

Antithetical: (adj) directly opposed or contrasted; mutually incompatible

The old saying is, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.”

Truthfully, that’s not the problem.

The difficulty lies in the fact that human beings, having a worshipping nature with a side of adoring, either end up revering the baby and negating the need for water, or insisting that bathing is sacred, and, and murdering the infant.

Alas, extremes tend to be the rallying cry of the human race.

Yet in an attempt to bring peace and tranquility, we force ideas that are not cohesive or even coherent to one another into a small box and insist that they came that way from the manufacturer.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work.

Just as all forms of government are not the same, all men and women have certain talents and attributes, and even a certain shipment of a box of Kleenex will have aberrations, spirituality cannot be lumped into a clump of religions proclaimed equal.

It just isn’t.

And because this is true, I look for tenets of faith that can be shared, but more importantly, I try to discover principles of God that must be enacted.

Then it becomes pretty simple. Any religion, philosophy or plan of action that believes in the revenge of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” should not only be avoided, but quickly abandoned.

Why? Because it’s anti-human, which makes it dangerous to earth, causing it to be displeasing to any God who would have created us.

So this would include a tremendous number of the religions of the world, including sects and denominations of Christianity, which claim that the Old Testament is just as viable as the New Testament.

After all, Jesus tells us it is wrong to wreak revenge on our enemies.

So everything in life is antithetical to reasonable human progress if it believes that we create fairness by inflicting similar pain on others that they have perpetrated in our direction.

So religion must go.

Avenging nations must be set aside.

And “love your neighbor as yourself” needs to be lifted up on our shoulders.

Bluntly, antithetical to Planet Earth is any notion that we “get ours” by “taking theirs.”

 

Donate Button

Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

Annex

dictionary with letter A

Annex: (v) to add to one’s own, especially as relating to property or land: Ex. Moldova was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940.

You have to watch words. They’re tricky, especially when uttered from the tongues of deceivers.

Often in an effort to disguise greed, selfishness or oblivion, we use language that is vicious at its heart, but drenched in a bit of honey. Or maybe it’s not vicious at all–just misleading.

  • Can I borrow a Kleenex?
  • I don’t mean to be critical, but…
  • You know me–I like to get along…
  • Does anybody else think that Bob is …?
  • It’s just the way we do things over here…
  • It may be old-fashioned but I still think…
  • I believe women want to stay at home…
  • I’ve always found men to be stupid. How about you?
  • I think the races don’t want to mix. Birds of a feather, you know…

These and many other statements are spoken daily by people trying to hide their real intentions, while annexing huge portions of human dignity, feelings and righteous freedom.

Hitler annexed part of Austria. He called it an annexation instead of an invasion. If somebody had questioned his use of the word, who knows? We might have avoided a world war.

So even though I occasionally make people angry by insisting they use the proper term for their actions instead of “annexing” different terminology to clean up their actual motivations, I believe I will continue to do so, and perhaps by pursuing such a noble adventure … stop a war or two myself.

Donate Button

Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

Acronym

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter AAcronym: (n.) a word formed from the first letters of other words. e.g.: radar, laser

I think you have to go back to the old rotary phone. It used to be really fun to come up with acronyms  by using your telephone number, looking at the letters that were available under each numeral and coming up with a spelling for your company or organization.

Acronyms used to be so popular. It was a way of remembering answers for tests. You would select an acronym, and each letter would represent an answer for your test, and the word would stimulate your memory for the answer. (As you can see, it’s actually easier to apply than to explain…)

For a while, preachers used acronyms a lot to illustrate their sermons in an attempt to get people to remember the points past the parking lot, to where they picked up the box of chicken, to go home and watch football.

Then somewhere along the line they became hokey. They became laughable.

I think it’s based around what I refer to as my “layer theory:”

  • Things remain cool as long as cool people are doing them. it doesn’t really matter WHAT they do–just that people we have decided are really superb and special do them.
  • Then the friends of those cool people start doing the trend, creating a second layer. It still remains cool at that point, but a whole lot more common.
  • At that point, the relatives of the friends of the cool people start putting into practice this popular gizmo. Then it becomes so average and everyday that we all kind of smile when somebody does it, but we’re really hoping that soon it will stop.
  • Finally, the enemies of the relatives of the friends of the cool people start picking up on the practice. At this point, all the comedians in the country, all the sane individuals, and everybody who is sick to death of the new idea that has now become like used Kleenex, begin to mock and make fun of what was once considered to be the hippest thing in the world.

It is an American evolution–and acronyms are very near the point of being bombarded.

So if you have an acronym you still want to put forth, do it very quickly–and be prepared to remove it with just as much haste. Because I think we’re really on the verge of acronyms becoming the butt of every joke:

B.U.T.T.– Better Understand Tomorrow’s Trend.

Acclimate

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Acclimate: (n) to become accustomed to a new climate or new conditions.

When I started traveling across the country to see first-hand what CNN and Fox News only partially cover, I would arrive in a new area and finding myself stopping up in my nostrils or developing a sore throat. People explained to me that what was happening was that my body was “acclimatizing” to the climate because there was some sort of pollen, dust or air mite which I was not accustomed to, aggravating my sinus cavities.

It really sounded pussy.

Even though I am glad there is a word called “acclimate” and I sure the process does go on, still–proclaiming that we need to acclimate to anything is like announcing that “we plan on pursuing breathing today.”

I think when I finally got fed up with the notion that my nostrils were wussies and passed on the knowledge to my brain that they needed to buck up and stop being so snotty, I ceased needing to have a box of Kleenex next to me just because I landed in Albuquerque.

Yet I would have to admit that for most human beings, if you removed all dialogue, discussion and interchange about their “acclimatizing to circumstances,” most of them would appear to be deaf-mutes. It seems to be one of the more interesting topics in the human family. As we sit around and discuss things that are well beyond our control, in the purview of the natural order and usually irreversible, inserting our feelings about their existence is downright ridiculous.

For instance, I do not comprehend what a discussion about the weather achieves on any level. I am neither intrigued, frightened nor impressed with “Storm Watchers” who appear on my TV screen in some frantic mode, foretelling that rain is coming, and with that could be hail, lightning and maybe even “tornadic activity.”

Nature has been doing this for a long time, and therefore is quite professional. WE are the amateurs, and the sooner we become aware of the inevitability of rain falling on the just and the unjust, the quicker we will restore our peace of mind.

So even though I know a certain amount of acclimatizing is necessary, I would rather not discuss it.

I think the only ongoing joke in heaven is the angels and God giggling uncontrollably over human beings thinking their opinions really matter.