Dearth

Dearth: (n) scarcity; lack

Once I realized I was stuck with three other friends on a Saturday morning landscaping project, I decided I needed a bit of frisky folly to survive the ordeal.

It’s not that I hate working with the soil—I just basically hate working—and am more honest about it than most self-conscious mortals.

I do not like to shovel.

I don’t mind paying somebody to shovel for me.

So realizing that we had to go to the local Home Depot, and for some reason or another buy big bags of dirt (which they called soil) I waited for the exact right moment.

To set up my little joke, I hid the bags of dirt in the garage. So when it came time to use them, the chap who seemed to be in charge of the Green Thumb Expedition looked down and saw only one bag of dirt at his feet.

I waited.

I needed him to say the right thing.

Finally, looking around in every direction, he asked, “Where are all the bags of dirt we bought?”

With a smile on my face, choking back laughter, I replied, “It seems we have a dearth of dirt.”

And so I remained sane.

Dawdle

Dawdle: (v) to waste time; idle; trifle; loiter

I don’t know whether to apologize to the word “dawdle” because it’s so old-fashioned that it’s already up in the attic with dust all over it, or to feel sorry for folks who never had a grandparent speak to them tersely, “Come on! Don’t dawdle!”

You see, I didn’t know what “dawdle” meant when I was a kid, but I did know the sound of my grandparents when they were pissed off.

That was an era when grandparents were very dignified and would never think of saying “fuck you,” but with the same intensity of voice would call you a “pernicious dawdler.”

“Pernicious” meaning constant and unchanging.

And “dawdler”—a lazy mofo.

We call these words “old English.” Sometimes I wonder if they’re still spoken in England or just bandied about the royal palace by aging monarchs.

I think “dawdle” would suffer anyway—even if it weren’t so stuffy-sounding.

People, in general, do not like to be hurried.

Matter of fact, one of the worst things you can do if you’re waiting in line behind someone is suggest they speed up—or dare to act upset because they’re taking too long. (This usually causes them to slow down.)

But writing this essay makes me think about when I dawdle.

I now dawdle a little bit about going to pee. It’s not a big deal—and when I get there, I really enjoy myself.

And sometimes I delay by watching another television show—putting off getting my butt up to go to bed.

I dawdle over doing chores (although I never call them chores). Chores are things you would never do yourself, but somebody has suggested you address them. Yes, I have dawdled over things that people want me to do that I don’t necessarily want to do myself.

So I am grateful you can join me here, on the final day of “dawdle’s” life on Earth.

From now on, young children, when asked what the word means, will look with a perplexed face and say, “Dawdle? Isn’t that one of Donald Duck’s nephews?”

Data

Data: (n) individual facts, statistics, or items of information

There are certainly occasions when the pursuit of truth is greatly hindered by facts.

Likewise, the beauty of possibility is just stomped to death by information.

I am temporarily many things.

  • I am temporarily lazy.
  • I am temporarily ignorant.
  • I am temporarily a liar, confused, opinionated and misguided.

Well, I could go on and on.

For you see, if you just give facts to provide the information of my status, you can present me any way you wish.

Then it would fall my lot to justify myself.

You don’t need to go dig up dirt on me.

I’ll tell you myself:

  • I have been unfaithful.
  • I have sexually harassed a woman.
  • I have cheated.
  • I have stolen, lied and misrepresented myself.
  • I have gotten angry without having a real reason.
  • Jealous.

I have been all of these things—for single moments.

Then I have repented.

  • Regretted.
  • Changed my mind.
  • Assisted.
  • Given.
  • Healed.
  • Been a peacemaker.
  • Become merciful.

Yet to claim that these virtues are continually my personality would also be false data and deceptive information.

To the average Jew in Jerusalem, Jesus was a troublemaker who didn’t follow the faith and was making himself noticeable, which was going to create problems with the Romans and unearth a dangerous environment.

The data said he was a huge problem.

The information concluded that he must die.

The truth was waiting to set us free.

You can collect your data and your information, but let it mingle with other realities, other examples and other testimonies before you become certain that you’ve gained enough input to make an honest conclusion.

Cushy

Cushy: (adj) involving little effort for ample reward

If you keep insisting that you have “nothing against hard work,” someone will eventually make you do it.

Hard work, that is.

I don’t know where we got the idea that sweating, struggling, grunting, groaning, bitching and moaning are the virtuous parts of adult life—signs that we are truly getting something done.

Without shame—minus guilt—jubilantly, I proclaim to you that I will always seek the cushy path.

I don’t care if you think that makes me lazy or if you feel me less trustworthy because I will not trudge along with the weary.

I have worked for many years to be speedy, efficient and good at what I do in my particular lane on the human highway. So when the need for other labor comes up, I can reach in my pocket and pull out good, cold, hard cash to give to someone who is willing to do the jobs that I am not.

I never plan on mowing a lawn again. You can explain to me that it’s good exercise, or there’s a sense of satisfaction when you complete the ordeal. I am ecstatic for you.

But somewhere there’s a young man who wants to go to college who can use my cash for his adventure—and all he has to do is trim my green.

I understand there may be some merit in knowing how to change your oil, fix your toilet or go into the wilderness and live off the land for three days.

But I do believe if I dug up my ancestors and they were suddenly given body and breath, they would tell me, “If you don’t have to dig, plant, hoe and harvest…go for it.”

I will never bitch to you.

I will never complain.

Because I will sit over here, really cushy, admiring you as you struggle.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Compatible

Compatible: (adj) two things able to exist or occur together without conflict.

I sat patiently listening to the young psychologist try to explain to those who had gathered for what had turned into a boring lecture about what it truly means to “be compatible.”

He was well-studied (which always guarantees a certain amount of error).

He said, “It is important for a couple to find the things they share in common and to celebrate their differences.”funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I don’t know whether I was the only one in the room who thought, “Oh, my God, kill me before I ever have to be in that discussion.”

But the tepid response he received and the lack of questions let me know that the audience had moved far beyond this young man’s learning–into the actual world of doing.

Having a relationship with anyone or anything is certainly about being compatible. But it is foolish to over-complicate the scenario.

Simply stated.. do your plugs fit?

If it’s a romantic situation, it will be necessary to find out if you like each other’s lips, each other’s hands, each other’s genitals, each other’s odors, each other’s habits and each other’s…others.

There will be adjustments. After all, as in the case of plugs, two identical plugs do not hook up. They require different ends to their means.

So sexually, a woman does not have to be a dynamo, nor does a man need the largest penis in the Sahara Desert. They just have to find out how their plugs hook up and work on adaptors.

Likewise, how do your plugs hook up on finance? She spends, he’s thrifty. That is completely compatible as long as she has money that is hers and he doesn’t lament how she uses it.

How do your plugs hook up about raising kids? She’s a strong disciplinarian, he’s a wimp. So when there are wimpy issues, let him head the class. When the little turds need stronger language, let Mama do the job.

Over-complicating human relationships always makes us believe that we’re incompatible.

“Black people can’t be around white people. White people like organ music and black people like tambourines.” It is possible to play the tambourine with an organ, and it’s also historical to rock your organ out a little bit.

Compatible is not difficult: check your plugs. Wiggle them around. Find a way to make them fit.

Nothing on Earth is really natural–everything requires a bit of work.

Otherwise, we all would be perniciously lazy.

 

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Communism

Communism: (n) a political theory derived from Karl Marx advocating a society in which all property is publicly owned

Perhaps the most amazing part of life on Earth is that notions, ideas, religions, philosophies and promotional campaigns can spring forth, and need never establish their validity as long as they’re well-funded.

It’s a bit unnerving.

One might have a tendency to go chasing after the brass band that plays the loudest, because there is no monitoring system to determine where the band is going or if it has any future.

If you want to evaluate the intelligence and ultimate worth of an idea, measure it against three undeniable truths:

  1. Human beings like to lie
  2. Human beings are lazy
  3. Human beings are finicky

I suppose you could argue with these assertions, but in the long run, our race does not like to.

Race, that is.

We want things easy. We want our portion and half of yours. We want to vote on everything, even if it has already been decided by nature.

So it doesn’t take long to realize that communism, and even socialism, have absolutely no chance of ever working as long as the mission is undertaken by human beings.

What you will end up doing is making an exciting start, notice disappointing returns and have to either kill the people who are the laziest, or abandon the foolishness of thinking that any of us are able to share everything in common.

Karl may have made his Marx on Earth, but unfortunately, the system he conjured has a sympathetic edge, and no real ability to cut through the problems.

 

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Caveat

Caveat: (n) a stipulation, condition, or limitation

A caveat is when we add honesty to a thought.

We come up with something to say, but rather than allowing ourselves to be misleading, we add a phrase–usually on the end–which better
clarifies our position.

It is what makes human beings human, and therefore powerful. We are only foolish when we try to be gods or wallow in the jungle, pretending we are mere animals.

It is hope mingled with the reality that presents who we really are.

Case in point:

  • I love you, but it’s not easy.
  • I will be there, if I don’t get lazy
  • I worship God until He confuses the hell out of me.
  • I am happy until I decide I’m not.
  • I am color blind–except when I accidentally see color.
  • I am reliable as long as you check up on me.
  • I am selfish, but every once in a while, escape the prison.
  • I am getting older, but still have a few steps left.
  • I wish you the best, and I hope I’ll be there to help you get it.

Perhaps a caveat is what we should lead with in explaining our true situation, but I certainly contend that a nice little jolt of optimism sweetens the deal before we have to tell the whole truth.

 

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Cabinet

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Cabinet: (n) a cupboard with drawers or shelves for storing or displaying articles.

It was my first apartment.

I point that out so you will not think I continue to be stupid or am perpetually lazy.

When I rented it, the landlord explained that the cabinet on the wall, wherein were kept the dishes, was loose, and he would be more than happy to send
somebody to fix it.

I was young, impetuous and wanted to come across looking like I had some ability, so I said, “Don’t worry about it. I think I can take care of this one.”

We will never know if my statement was true–because I never found the time to work on that cabinet, which was determined to come unhinged.

After a while, it began jutting out more and more and dipping. (Basically, I never had to reach in to get the dishes–just opened the door and they fell out.)

I actually became adept at putting a hand on the middle of the cabinet, getting it to latch enough to look as if it was repaired.

It was not. Repaired, that is.

It did cling for a while, but then one day, when I was loading dishes and all of them were stacked, it gave way and fell from the wall, scattering plates in every direction–of course, breaking each and every one.

Being the mental giant I was and the essence of true wisdom, I yelled at the cabinet.

I told it where to go.

It did not care. It had given sufficient warning of its dismal intention.

I could have fixed it, but then I would have lost all those days of procrastinating enjoyment.

For you see, procrastination is very fulfilling until it catches up with reality–where payment is demanded.

 

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Busybody

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Busybody: (n) a meddling or prying person.

There is a danger in turning vice, immorality or even sin into charactures so as to escape any referrence to these pieces of nastiness being associated with our actions. So we tend to make sexual immorality broad-stroked–as prostitues, whores and gigolos–and lying as gangsters or Congressmen.

But when am I immoral? When am I a liar?

I’m immoral when I don’t follow the morality that is healthy for humans and I’m a liar when I don’t tell the truth.

God, I don’t like that definition.

I do not like being lumped in with the more decrepit and deceitful members of the human race. It’s much easier for me to believe that a busybody is an old woman sitting around her house frowning at all the joy of the young people around her, secretly jealous because they continue to be optimistic, and she is now old, dried-out and bitter.

I wouldn’t want to think that my personal jealousies, which cause me to throw a little bit of a negative comment about other people, to diminish their character, would have anything to do with being a busybody.

Certainly the member of a political party who sideswipes a person from an opposing political party is not a busybody. Right?

Refusing to understand the changing trends in society and insisting on trying to preserve the old ways doesn’t make me a busybody–even if I tend to criticize those who disagree with me.

A busybody is someone who’s old. And as long as I don’t think I’m old, I couldn’t be a busybody.

Actually, the name is rather ironic–because those who gossip,. refuse to change, are inflexible, judgmental or selfish tend to have very lazy bodies.

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Broom

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Broom: (n) a long-handled brush of bristles or twigs used for sweeping.

I know what a broom is.

I have seen one.Dictionary B

I could even identify one at a distance.

If sent into a large room to find it, I would be successful in no time at all.

Yet I really don’t know anything about a broom.

I’ve had one thrust in my direction with belligerent orders to “help clean up.” But I’ve always been a little bit of a loss as to what the correct process is in “brooming.”

I’ve seen people take short, brusque strokes–like they were angry at the floor or infuriated with the dirt.

Then I’ve seen people take long, easy passing with the broom, sweeping up the dirt gently in front of them.

There are brooms that work sideways.

There are brooms that work up and down.

(I guess that’s it.)

But I am a little embarrassed to admit that my “broomsmanship” has been lacking, partially because I’m lazy, but mostly because when I tried to use one, a nearby competitor (normally a female) would snatch it from my hands because I was failing to be reverent.

She’d demonstrate and then hand it back to me, and rapscallion that I am, I would realize that if I could simulate an additional failure, in no time at all she would insist I was incompetent and do the job herself.

It always worked.

I’m embarrassed to share it with you.

But I must be honest–I have no great stories about “brooming”–only being able to tell you that I can identify one.

 

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