Dam: (n) a barrier constructed to hold back water and raise its level

I am often surprised at my own conceit.

Perhaps some folks would not consider it conceit—to relate every word, subject and category in life to one’s own limited experience. Even though I know there is a great Hoover Dam, and these barriers are often constructed by busy beavers, and without the concrete which holds water where we want it, many human beings would never get a drink of water, I persist.

Yes, I am fully aware of all this information.

But when I hear the word “dam,” I think of necking.

Making out.


Or coming as close as possible to “going all the way.”

In my small village, one had to be careful on Friday or Saturday night to choose where to make out with your girlfriend or boyfriend.

There were eyes everywhere.

And even though all the grownups in the town knew, on good authority, that boys and girls did things that made them become men and women, they still chose to put off that metamorphosis for as long as possible, for their particular caterpillars.

So we had to have someplace to go, to find out how far we could go before falling off the edge of the Earth.

The spot favored by nearly everyone was a little dam outside our town. It was about eight miles away, located on what we referred to as the Hoover Reservoir. (As I write this article, I have no idea why they named it Hoover or how it “reservoired.”)

It was an amazing place.

There was a little roadside park, and right next to it was another road that careened down into another large parking area, which overlooked the overflow to the dam. (Forgive me if I overused the word “over.”)

On Friday and Saturday nights—and for brave souls who could slip away any night of the week, for that matter—the very young drove to the location just as nightfall was peeking around the corner. There they parked their cars and commenced to give one another tonsillectomies, followed by physical exams and searches for moles and blemishes.

Now, let me explain that there were two types of people—those who were dating, who went to the dam to do things which might make them end up damned, and those who had no significant other and chose, because of their insignificance, to go to that parking spot near the water, and flash headlights, honk horns and even get out of the car to pound on the hood of smoochers, disrupting their pleasure.

It was a nasty practice.

We called it “bushwacking.”

Truthfully, the only people in the world who thought it was humorous or clever were the few pathetic souls that found themselves doing the ugly deed out of frustration for not being able to participate in the competition.

Many a day I defended bushwackers for their light-hearted effort to have fun.

That is, until I met someone who was willing to go to the dam place and kiss me until I couldn’t breathe. Then I was infuriated for the interruption.

Now, I realize, as I warned you at the beginning, that this outlook on the word “dam” is very myopic and certainly foretells of an egocentric mindset.

Yet since I have not lied to you up to this point, I cannot do so on this day.

The word “dam” does and always will remind me of either the pursuit of happiness with my nimble fingers or being a loser, honking my horn with a giddy revenge.


Cross-legged: (adj) having the legs crossed

The greatest gift that Mother Nature and Father God can impart to you is a weakness.

Without a weakness, you begin to believe you’re self-sufficient and don’t need help from any outside source. On top of that, you might just create deceitful interpretations of the truth when its proven that you are not “all that and a bag of chips.”

A weakness gives you the ability to know where to start working every single morning.

A weakness warns you that too much confidence is blustering wind with no lightning or rain.

A weakness makes you more compassionate to other people who happen to share a “soft spot” in their abilities—just like you.

A weakness is what makes you strong.

I do not know whether I was born fat, possess a fat gene—or if I’m just caught in the middle of some metabolic paradox.

But my obesity has created a weakness in my life.

Some people may consider it a weakness of my own making, or perhaps one created by my parents “making out.”

It doesn’t make any difference. I’ve had to base my journey on working around my girth—beginning at my birth.

Therefore, I can tell when one ounce leaves and seven pounds arrive to comfort my body over the loss.

I know when I’m on a good spin and when my health is being spun.

I don’t need a mirror to observe the “battle of the bulge.”

For you see, one of the ways I have always been able to tell whether I am beginning to move toward a more normal weight or traveling into the morbid regions of obesity is:

The simple action of crossing my legs.

Now, at this point every fat person in America reading this will howl with laughter, and every skinny-ass individual will turn and look quizzically at another scrawny person as if to say, “What does he mean?”

For when you’re fat, your thighs have grown a fondness for each other and are accustomed to being close. If you think about it, crossing your legs demands that these thighs develop autonomy. Also, your joints—which are essential for convincing one leg to go above the other—are sometimes jammed up with fat globules, which makes the process of crossing one’s legs quite athletic, if not painful.

Therefore, during times of weight loss, I have celebrated my victory with a leg-crossing—occasionally only able to maneuver the “wish bone variety,” where the right foot rests upon the left knee. But a few times, I was actually able to have the legs completely crossed—where the right knee appeared to be humping the left one.

When this has happened I have actually teared up—mostly because it was such a blessing to do such a simple thing.

But partially because being foreign to me, it was as uncomfortable as hell.

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Core Gender Identity

Core gender identity: (n) a person’s inner sense of being male or female

A couple of weeks ago I woke up convinced I was handsome. It was magnificent.

It lasted until I stood in front of the mirror in the bathroom. Then I was conflicted. Should I believe what I woke up with? Or should I deal with funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
what I see? And is what I see what is really true, or rather, my perception of what I think truth should be?

After all, maybe I am handsome and my inner thinking about being handsome has been tainted by years of being deemed average.

Which notion in my brain should I follow?

Which path seems to have the most promise?

I remember when I was a young boy, just eight years old, I heard a performance by a man playing piano. After the concert hall cleared, I slipped back in, walked up onstage, sat down at the instrument and began to move my fingers the way I had seen the man perform. It didn’t sound a thing like what he produced. At first, I was angry. I wanted to be a piano player. (At least, right at that moment I did.) But it seemed that nature, or God, had favored this man over me.

I remember the first time I asked a girl out on a date. She said no. As did the next three in a row. It crossed my mind, “I wonder if they think I’m gay? Am I gay? If I can’t get a date with a girl, maybe that’s just Earth’s way of telling me that I’m gay.”

This thought quickly disappeared when the fourth girl said yes, and we went and made out like two fish swimming in the bayou.

Turns out I wasn’t gy—but maybe I was gay until I wasn’t.

I saw a man lift weights. He grunted and groaned but was very successful at it. I thought, how hard can this be? I walked over and tried to lift one end of the bar. Could not budge it. Does that mean I’m weak? That I should go out and buy protein powder to build up my muscles, or else I will be overcome by an enemy?

In the process of one day, the human brain of every person alive goes through so many contortions, so many questions, so many different ideas, that it is very difficult to land on true identity.

I don’t think we should ever deny, ignore or reject someone’s core gender identity, faith proclamation or personal belief.

But I also think if we are to be kind to one another, we will allow each other the chance to be dreaming, wondering or even confused—without holding each other to the present whim.

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Chaperone: (n) a person who accompanies and looks after another person

Back in the day before phones told us where the hell to go, there was a yearly event called the hayride.

It was a rather simple principle–young people who were somewhat infatuated with one another, with raging hormones, were placed at
dusk–nearly dark–onto the back of a wagon covered with hay and driven around for a while to supposedly conjure the memory of former days.

Matter of fact, even now I can remember the odor of the mingling of hay, sweat, apple cider and teenage urges filling my nostrils.

Here was the goal: it would be a fun time for the kids–and a chaperone, or maybe two, would ride on the hay to make sure things didn’t get out of hand.

The one time I went on such an excursion, I had no young lady with me (similar to going to a chili cook-off without your jalapeno).

Also, the minister who planed this particular hayride selected chaperones who happened to be recently married. So rather than watching to see what the kids did, they started making out in the front of the wagon, hiding themselves by covering up with hay.

This opened the door to a Biblical orgy. People were kissing and touching as I was…

Well, I was watching.

Little did I know that I would become the chaperone by default. Except, of course, I had no authority to stop anything, but instead, sat there and lusted in silence.

After the hayride, we arrived back–all the boys, girls and chaperones–with flushed faces and watery eyes.

When the minister asked if everybody enjoyed the hayride he received the enthusiastic “amen” that he rarely heard on a Sunday morning.

Later on, when it was revealed that our hayride was just a makeout buggy, the minister was reproved by the congregation, and as far as I know, no hayrides were ever held again.

The moral of my story is, chaperones should not be horny.


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Asexual: (adj) without sexual feelings or associationsdictionary with letter A

Tommy was a dynamo.

He was one of my friends from high school, who was constantly interested in making out with girls, and was willing to go almost anywhere to do so.

Compared to the other guys in my class, he was a firecracker, and to some degree or another, the rest of us–fizzles.

He had boundless energy for any romantic activity with women.

I, on the other hand, was poised among the emotions of terror, intrigue, lust and intimidation. If you’re wondering what you get when you stir those together, the best term would be “stalled.”

Matter of fact, I wondered if I would ever actually have physical contact with a woman. What made it worse was that I frequently drove along in the car with Tommy, to have him pull over at some park where there would be a young lady waiting for him. He told me that he was going to fe back in a few minutes. They would spread a blanket not even forty yards away and I sat there for fifty minutes watching them make out.

There’s nothing sexy about that at all.

Truth of the matter is that human sexuality is not nearly so simple as “gay” or “straight.”

Some people seem to have huge libidos, which they use at will.

Other people are anxious to get married so they can carry on a once-a-year sexual calendar.

I suppose those who are hungry for love think the other people are asexual–but actually, we all, in our own way, have an interest in sexuality, and it varies so much that it certainly should not be a matter of debate or scrutiny.

As it turns out, I wasn’t asexual at all–just lacking in opportunity.

Tommy also settled down and married the least likely woman you would have thought such a Don Juan would pluck.

Sex is weird stuff.

Not so weird that we want to avoid it–just weird enough that we need the mercy of understanding from ourselves and others.



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