Cuban Missile Crisis

Cuban Missile Crisis: (n) A confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union in 1962 over the presence of missile sites in Cuba;

I was two months from my eleventh birthday when I was informed that the world was about to blow up. I didn’t know much about what was happening on the planet.

My life was simple.

I was climbing in the bathtub every night, looking down at my pubic area for any signs of hair, since a rumor had spread that one of the guys in our class had some.

This was the most important thing to me.

But all of a sudden, my attention was temporarily nabbed by the news that those bad people over there on the other side of the world were trying to kill us good people over here—by blowing us up with bombs which seemed to be a lot more explosive than I could even imagine.

I was very angry.

Matter of fact, over dinner I expressed my rage by explaining that it was completely unfair for a bunch of old people to destroy my life just because they couldn’t get along with each other

The problem was that there were now missiles in Cuba.

I didn’t know anything about Cuba. When I heard the word “Cuba” the first thing that popped into my mind were cube steaks, which were some hybrid of hamburger and sirloin. So the way I remembered the word was to think of “Cuba Steaks.”

Therefore, people in “Cuba Steaks” were planning to fire bombs at us that turned our bodies into dust through fire.

I was not going to get to live long enough to kiss a girl or do any more hair-raising.

That’s what it meant to me.

And honestly, as I think back on it, having studied it, heard renditions of the story and considered the insanity of the times, my ten, nearly eleven-year-old objections seem quite suitable.

It would be wonderful to tell you that the Cuban Missile Crisis is a thing of the past. But now we have a whole new generation of leaders who apparently cannot remember what it was like to be terrified, living in a world of “duck and cover.”

Now they are trying to reintroduce these weapons into everyday thought.

If I had a poison in my cupboard and I knew it would kill someone if they drank it, the only sane solution would be to remove the poison from my cupboard, not expect everybody to remember that it’s lethal.

Perhaps we should all pray that logic will win the day and we will grow so weary of thinking about being destroyed that we’ll finally put the poison away for good—those weapons that snuff out all life.

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

 

Civilization

Civilization: (n) advanced human development

Sanity is when you discover what is obviously true and stop fighting it.

Too much of our Earth time is spent objecting to things which we know, in the long run, will win out because of their pedigree and posterity.
Civilization is created when any group of people honor this simple principle.

I find there are three immutable precepts. They cannot be changed; if they were, everything falls apart. Once they are accepted, a sense of civility enters the heart, overcomes the animal of our humanity, and beckons our spirit. The human race becomes plausible instead of dangerous.

  1. Human beings were ordained, created and must possess free will.

Any attempt to alter this aggravates the very chemistry of the cosmos.

  1. Judging people leads to trying to change people, which always has lethal consequences.

The reason we are not supposed to evaluate the behavior of another person is because any change that occurs must come from their own burgeoning realization. Otherwise, we become an enemy. Enemies fight.

  1. Retaliation produces retaliation–never retribution or restitution.

“An eye for an eye” just continues to steal the eyeballs of our children.

When these three principles are uplifted, human beings become permissible, the possibility for interaction plausible, and peace more than a sentiment expressed in the poem of an idealistic dreamer.

 

 

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Cigarette

Cigarette: (n) a thin cylinder of finely cut tobacco rolled in paper for smoking.

If you live long enough you will see nearly everything in your life go through the natural Earth cycle.

It begins with “interesting.”

Then it becomes “cool.”

It passes through a phase of being “plagued with some difficulty.”

Following that comes “seems dangerous.”

And of course, the final step is “lethal.”

It doesn’t matter what you’re talking about. Why don’t we take something that would seem unlikely to apply to this category–like politics?

When the idea of starting a democracy in the New World was tossed on the table for discussion, it was deemed very interesting–so much so that we wrote several documents and put together a club.

After the club got together for a few meetings over some “brews and snuff,” we were enamored with the possibility–just jazzed with its coolness.

So we started political parties. The consensus was there should be at least two so there could be discussion. But immediately each party desired to be the predominant one, which led to some nasty exchanges, false accusations, and the introduction of cheating. Election after election began to prove out that winning was more important than truth, justice and the American Way. Difficulty arrived like a “plague of congress.”

So laws had to be passed because we were in danger of losing the freedom we had hoped to achieve because we allowed the politics to steer policy.

And then, all at once, with one cracky voice, the people proclaimed, “Politics is damn lethal.”

I bring this up because the same thing happened in my lifetime–and yours–with cigarettes.

At first they were interesting. Then cool. Next, plagued with some difficulty, proclaimed dangerous, and now seen as a nasty piece of our social sappiness, murdering people with tar and nicotine.

I often wonder if it’s possible to stop, while musing over something being interesting–and jump ahead to find out if it’s deadly.

 

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Breathalyzer

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Breathalyzer: (n) a device used by police for measuring the amount of alcohol in a driver’s breath.

Intolerance always enters our lives when we fail to recognize our own weakness as being equally pathetic to the vices we condemn.

I have never been a drinker. Yet I don’t want to be a self-righteous tee-totaler.Dictionary B

It’s so easy to be critical of those who drink too much, drive, and are prosecuted because of the results of a breathalyzer. Driving while intoxicated is dangerous–often lethal.

Yet by the same token, I find myself somewhat bewitched by food.

They do not have a breathalyzer test for pork chops–but I have driven home from a buffet many times having eaten to the point of nausea, getting sleepy behind the wheel because my blood sugar was soaring to the stars. But no policeman would ever insinuate I was endangering the lives of others.

Please don’t misunderstand my point. Alcohol is dangerous.

Yet there are many people who can eat three-and-a half ounces of meat and be completely satisfied without becoming intoxicated by a caloric binge.

I just want to keep my tolerance available to me when I run across those who fall victim to vice and depravity.

I, too, am weak.

The fact that my consumption does not end up in a courtroom does not alter the situation.

Thank God for breathalyzers because they do keep people off the road who are primed for an accident.

But the piece of humanity we need to always keep in mind is that each one of us has peccadilloes–which if we pick at the wrong moment, can end up being anything from a sin to a crime.

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Brand Name

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Brand name: (n) a name given by the maker to a product

Johnson’s Baby Powder can cause cervical cancer.Dictionary B

Wow.

The brand names keep tumbling, as research proves that the products we ingest and utilize to improve our beauty and comfort have undisclosed lethal effects.

Of late I have found myself surrounded by children and grand-children who are obsessed with brand names.

Simply because someone can sew a tag with a graphic design inside a shirt does not mean the garment is legitimately tripled in worth.

I have had brand name clothes, and they fade with washing and wear out equivalent to Dollar General threads.

Did I ever find myself bragging about a pair of shoes that were made in some hamlet in Italy by little old men who had been in the trade since Leonardo di Vinci?

Probably.

But I was equally as critical of that footwear when it split out or wore out too soon, making me run to the local Wal-mart to gain a temporary replacement.

I’m not so sure that anything which makes us self-righteous, puffy, proud and arrogant has lasting value. And once a brand name loses its pungency because of scandal or lack of quality, it is very difficult to hang your hat on it anymore.

Take the brand name “Christian,” for example…

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Bowie Knife

Bowie knife: (n) a long knife with a blade double-edged at the point.

His name was Jim Bowie.Dictionary B

If he lived in your town, you would look at him as the guy who doesn’t have a job–always working a scheme, and you certainly wouldn’t want him dating your sister.

He probably wouldn’t even have made the pages of history had he not ended up in a little mission in San Antonio, Texas, called the Alamo. He arrived there defeated, rejected, running from the law and sick as a dog.

He was known for the big intimidating knife he carried–gaining a reputation by some lethal use.

Jim was with a bunch of other misfits who decided to make a stand in a poorly defended and somewhat meaningless piece of property. History has deemed this to be brave, but if you take a close look, it was just a bunch of macho stupidity. They could easily have fallen back, joined Sam Houston and been part of the victory instead of finding themselves burned up on a mass grave.

Sometimes I don’t know why Americans think that doing “bold maneuvers” is the definition of patriotic manliness. Discretion is not only the better part of valor, but it also enables you to do more things in life … so you’re known for something other than dying and carrying a big, bad-ass knife.

 

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Ambrosia

dictionary with letter A

Ambrosia: (n) something very pleasing to taste or smell: e.g. the tea was ambrosia.

It was about 750 square feet from kitchen to front door and located directly across from the State Capitol in Columbus, Ohio.

It was a Chinese restaurant–the first of its kind in our area, and I was quite uncertain whether to go in and eat, because being raised provincially, I had some sensation that it might be un-American.

But it smelled good and I was a teenager–adventurous and rebellious to the notion that I should forbid my taste buds an opportunity, based upon politics.

I didn’t know what to order, so the dear young girl who waited on me suggested sweet and sour pork. I didn’t ask her to explain what it was, because I didn’t want to come across as if this was the first Chinese restaurant I had ever been in–but when it arrived it was beautiful: fried, golden-brown chunks of juicy pork, covered with a red sauce that was sticky like cake, sweet like candy and just a little bit sour, like lemon. On the side was fried rice, which still contained some of the grease left over from the pork tanned over the flames.

I put a bite in my mouth and I was transported to every religious expression of heaven known to the human thinking.

It was delicious: sweet, sour, some salty from the fried rice, juicy fat from the pork.

There is not and never will be any flavor to surpass it.

I have eaten other foods which I enjoy immensely and which do flirt with competing and jockey for position, but sweet and sour pork at that little store-front across from the Capitol in Columbus, Ohio, is still the ambrosia to my palate.

Of course, over the years I have learned that it’s also an overnight delivery system for death. There isn’t anything in it that’s good for you and everything is a greasy slide to Valhalla (I used the Viking heaven in respect to the pork).

So the truth of the matter is, when we actually find our ambrosia, we must be willing, as mature and healthy adults, to walk away from it and pretend that other foods which are not nearly as lethal are actually as flavorful.

Even though I’m convinced that neither Meryl Streep nor Tom Hanks could pull off such a performance, I will learn my lines and deliver them on cue in the great play … acting the part of a more balanced eater.