Crab

Crab: (n) a crustacean

I believed myself to be successful long before there was any evidence. I saw inklings of possibilities, and I occasionally rewarded myself with the accoutrements of someone who had achieved his goals. But most of the time, a look from the outside might have produced giggles about my inside.

For a brief season I owned a Fiesta Ghia. It was made by Ford. What is significant about this car is how small it is. What is further interesting is how large I am. There were times that I felt I was gathering a small crowd just to watch me get into it. (I am sure I was paranoid.)

But I was thrilled. It was bright red and it was mine—as long as I made the payments.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I decided to take it on a trip to play music in some nearby states, treating it as my personal limousine. Originally the excursion was planned for myself and one other guy, but soon three other fellows whined, cajoled and pleaded their way into becoming part of the entourage. So five of us—count them—five of us got into my Fiesta Ghia, with the backend hatch packed with luggage, and we took off.

We were somewhere on the back roads of Arkansas when the Fiesta Ghia developed some transmission problems. (Hard to believe, isn’t it, considering the amount of weight we were carrying).

We were able to cripple our vehicle into a very small community, and found a mechanic, who told us he could fix it and have it ready by noon the next day.

We found a cheap motel (which I’m sure was the embarrassment of the whole town) and settled into our room to await our repaired chariot. About thirty minutes after we arrived, one of our touring group came running into the motel room, breathless. He explained that there was a restaurant right next to this motel, which had a banner advertising “All the Crab Legs You Can Eat for $8.99.”

A hush fell over the room, followed by a quiver, and then a mutual scream from all the inhabitants. We were gonna go have crab.

$8.99, even at that time, was very reasonable, so even though we possessed limited funds, we believed it to be God’s will for us to use them to stuff ourselves with crab and celebrate the repair of our Ghia and the bonding we were having together as men.

We arrived at the restaurant at 7:15 P. M. and did not leave until 10:00 P. M.

Five grown, hungry crab-eating fools.

When we first entered the establishment, they were grateful to see us. When we left, there was no person in the joint who would speak to us. We had cleaned them out of their crab—not just for the night, but all they had bought for the entire weekend. (Keep in mind, it’s a little difficult to get crab on the back roads of Arkansas, since “the docks” are a thousand miles away.)

I suppose we should have felt guilty about eating too much. If we had been more temperate, we would have slowed down after the twelfth helping. But we were young, brash, self-involved, slightly traumatized by our car ordeal, a little scared of the motel we were staying in, and ferociously fond of crab.


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Consignment

Consignment: (n) agreement to pay a supplier of goods after the goods are sold.

There are three of them.

Yes, three different interactions with human beings that are disconcerting because they require a certain amount of trust in a stranger, which seems completely irrational.

May I start with a car mechanic? I don’t care who he knows, who knows you or who knows him.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

When you are bringing your vehicle in to be checked over, you are walking in the assumption that this attendant standing before you, glibly relating what has befallen your transportation, is speaking the truth.

Now why would he do that?

We don’t trust anybody else that much.

If you live in a household with children, you don’t bake three dozen chocolate chip cookies without finding a really good hiding place. Even though they’re your children and you’re supposed to trust them, you don’t.

But we take our cars–and put them in consignment–to a complete stranger under the assumption that he is going to love that four wheels as much as we do, and for some reason, give us a good, jim-dandy deal.

Secondly, a pawn shop. I suppose if you get desperate enough to go and pawn something, it may not really matter if it works out well in the end. Survival may be so important in the moment that considering future moments might be irrelevant.

But what’s to keep a pawn shop guy from tearing up your ticket, selling your thing, making some profit and then pretending he never even saw you before?

So to a certain degree, we consign to this broker virtue that just may not exist–because we are desperate to receive a financial fraction of what our item is worth.

And of course, finally and obviously, there is the actual consignment store. You bring in your clothes or your used appliances, and they agree to set them out for people to buy–and later they present you with a check. And you have no idea if it represents any fair portion of the amount for which they sold your treasure.

So please don’t come to me and say that you have difficulty putting your faith in your loved ones or your trust in God.

For any person who will believe a mechanic, a pawn shop broker or a consignment store owner, should believe everybody

 

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Chore

Chore: (n) a routine task, especially a household one.

I suddenly realized that there is no happy word to describe work.

“Labor.” That sucks.

“Effort.” Well, that takes effort

“Struggle.”

Even the word “employment” is constricting, brings a frown to one’s face.

How do we expect to ever move forward in our consciousness when everything seems to be a chore? We didn’t like chores when we were children, so are we going
to wake up one morning having accumulated enough birthdays that we will become intrigued with doing repetitious tasks?

And if we don’t like doing these “events,” what’s to guarantee that the mechanic who’s repairing the airplane doesn’t get bored and take a shortcut?

If we don’t like doing the things we’re supposed to accomplish, won’t we eventually just do them poorly?

And once mediocre becomes normal, normal is certainly dangerous.

How can we re-train ourselves to believe that work is not a chore and that chores do not need to be repetitious, but rather, gain glamor and gleam by being enhanced with new possibilities?

This is not the season to insist on tradition. The work force in America needs a revolution–a revival, if you will–of the passion that originally made us believe we wanted to do what offered us a paycheck.

Don’t ask me to do my chores.

I will rebel, go to my room and listen to the music you don’t like.

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Checkup

Checkup: (n) a thorough examination

A writer certainly knows, when he submits his material to an editor, that he or she needs to prepare for critique. You can’t keep your job as an editor if you read stuff, smile and say, “Looks good to me.”

I’ve never taken my car to a mechanic without this technician finding something wrong with the vehicle. There’s no money, work or future for a mechanic who admires your car.

If you go to an investment banker, he or she will certainly explain to you why your present rate of consumption and your lack of a retirement plan is jeopardizing
life and limb.

Likewise, arriving at a doctor’s office is an invitation to be dissected–sometimes literally. Although you may insist to yourself that you’re merely going in for a checkup, after they have fully analyzed all your numbers, they will most assuredly recommend some sort of tune-up.

Sometimes if you don’t take them seriously, they will foretell your doom and gloom if you ignore the diagnosis.

Between you, me and the fencepost (and I’m not so sure I trust that piece of wood stickin’ out of the ground) it’s a racket. The American health system is in the business of putting us through tests that we most certainly will fail.

Because without us failing, medication cannot be prescribed, drug companies will lose their profit margins, and financial institutions–where we have invested our money–will not make much dividend.

So in a strange sense, we give $100 to the medical field so that the drug companies and Wall Street can prosper through ailments, and at the end we receive $2.20 of our original money back in dividends in our IRAs.

Is this a good deal?

Of course not.

But welcome to the glories of capitalism.

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

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Blockage

Blockage: (n) an obstruction that makes movement or flow difficult or impossible.

Dictionary B

Sometimes I forget how it works.

I mean, I understand when I take my car to the repair shop, that there will be a whole list of things presented to me, that need to be done to the vehicle because the mechanic is:

A. Trying to restore the car to good shape, and

B. Attempting to make as much money as possible.

But when it comes to the doctor’s office, I can’t seem to convince myself that they, too, are practitioners who want to make things perfect–while also acquiring a profit.

Every human being needs to be aware–especially males–that eventually you will go into your doctor’s office and be told that you have a blockage. Yes, there’s some buildup in your arteries that forewarns of a heart attack.

You see, the first time I was told this, I freaked out. Matter of fact, I had a minor anxiety attack, which simulated the heart attack they promised would eventually come due to my blockage. Then, when it turned out to be nothing, they kind of treated me like I was stupid for getting so upset.

So what you have in the medical field are people who will make extreme statements, assuming you know how to filter them to realistic interpretation.

If you do not know how to do that, you will listen to them and be afraid to leave the parking lot … because you are convinced that you’re very near to having a stroke.

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Abnegate

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abnegate: v. to renounce or reject something desired or valuable: he attempted to abnegate personal responsibility.

So I get it.

It’s really not a sequester we’re going through now. Like so many things in life, it’s mis-named. It’s an abnegation.

All the people who were elected to go to Washington, D.C. to make laws which will pay for the needs of our government and its people have decided to abnegate their responsibility and pretend that they never understood the job description in the first place.

Of course, it happens all the time.

I go to the store to purchase some lunch meat and my butcher refuses to slice it for me–because there is a danger of cutting off one of his fingers or that I won’t be satisfied with the width he selected for my lunch meat. What do I think he IS? A butcher??

Then there’s the mechanic who will NOT work on my car–because the grease that ends up on his hands is so very difficult to get rid of at the end of the day, and he plans to go out with his wife in the evening, and it would be a real romance killer if his hands were not pristine. What do I think he IS? A mechanic??

And every time I call my doctor with some sort of physical problem, she explains to me that she studied medicine, but in no way was prepared to put it into practice or get her hands dirty by touching people’s sickly bodies. What do I think she IS? A doctor??

So I don’t know why we are so disappointed in our politicians–when they’ve made it clear that what they are is “politickers”–not lawmakers.

What fools we are to be shocked that they have abnegated their responsibility for progressing the great notion of American freedom, and like the butcher, refused to carve up the problem, and the mechanic, would not dirty his hands, and the doctor who didn’t realize how sick things were.

It is not a sequester.

It is an abnegation.

You think I could sell that to Fox News, MSNBC and CNN?

Abnegate

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abnegate: v. to renounce or reject something desired or valuable: he attempted to abnegate personal responsibility.

So I get it.

It’s really not a sequester we’re going through now. Like so many things in life, it’s mis-named. It’s an abnegation.

All the people who were elected to go to Washington, D.C. to make laws which will pay for the needs of our government and its people have decided to abnegate their responsibility and pretend that they never understood the job description in the first place.

Of course, it happens all the time.

I go to the store to purchase some lunch meat and my butcher refuses to slice it for me–because there is a danger of cutting off one of his fingers or that I won’t be satisfied with the width he selected for my lunch meat. What do I think he IS? A butcher??

Then there’s the mechanic who will NOT work on my car–because the grease that ends up on his hands is so very difficult to get rid of at the end of the day, and he plans to go out with his wife in the evening, and it would be a real romance killer if his hands were not pristine. What do I think he IS? A mechanic??

And every time I call my doctor with some sort of physical problem, she explains to me that she studied medicine, but in no way was prepared to put it into practice or get her hands dirty by touching people’s sickly bodies. What do I think she IS? A doctor??

So I don’t know why we are so disappointed in our politicians–when they’ve made it clear that what they are is “politickers”–not lawmakers.

What fools we are to be shocked that they have abnegated their responsibility for progressing the great notion of American freedom, and like the butcher, refused to carve up the problem, and the mechanic, would not dirty his hands, and the doctor who didn’t realize how sick things were.

It is not a sequester.

It is an abnegation.

You think I could sell that to Fox News, MSNBC and CNN?