Correlate: (v) to bring into mutual or reciprocal relation

My eyes popped open as I awoke this morning.

So did my black brother’s in Harlem.

I wanted to roll over and sleep more, even though I had a full eight hours.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

My sister in China agreed nodded her head in union.

I convinced myself I felt better once I got up and around.

The young man living on the Indian reservation concluded the same.

I was hungry—but picky—and only wanted a certain something or another for breakfast.

A young boy in Mexico told his mother exactly the same thing.

I started my day wanting to be grumpy but realized I wouldn’t be able to get by with it.

My black sister in Chicago, who holds down three part-time jobs, prayed to reach the same position.

My mind was reluctant to do much of anything.

Somewhere in Japan, a young girl said amen.

But once I got going, moving around, my spirit became sweeter.

That’s what the Irish gentleman driving his taxi in New York also decided.

By the end of the day, I had accumulated enough good experiences that I was able to banish the bad experiences from my mind and be grateful that breath was still in my lungs.

On this one, the Eskimo, the Aborigine, the Aussie and the Queen of England concur.

You see?

We correlate.

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Chihuahua: (n) a small dog of a smooth-haired, large-eyed breed originating in Mexico

I will not bore you with the standard patter about how tiny and stupid looking Chihuahuas are. This has been long established by many writers preceding me.

The creature is obviously a rat that was exposed to radiation–perhaps near Los Alamos–grew in size and lost its hair. I am completely
satisfied with this explanation.

Today I would like to focus on the bark. Pardon me. It is not worthy of being called a “bark.”

  • It is a yap.
  • A yippity.
  • A yonk-yonk.
  • A vocal snap.
  • A sound conceived in the depths of hell by a satanic cherub who was trying to get people to hate dogs.

I don’t know if there’s anything more aggravating than walking through a store and coming upon some hapless soul holding one of these creatures, and being yapped at for fifteen or twenty seconds, as the owner pretends he or she has control.

Comical as it may seem–the dog thinking it has any dominion–it is still annoying that such a pretentious piece of animal flesh thinks it has any purpose or right to spark out its opinions.

If they were pleasant dogs, you could associate the word “cute” with them. When you came upon their tiny frames, you could say, “Isn’t it cute?” and it would look up at you with its little doggy mouth and oversized eyes, moist with affection.

But not the chihuahua.

It literally is a large rat on speed.

It has a bad attitude, it tries to overcompensate for its size by being obnoxious, and if I lived in Mexico in the State of Chihuahua, I would demand that they rename the dog.

As you can probably tell, I have never owned a Chihuahua.

But I will confess that I have considered accidentally letting a few of them out in traffic.



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Bon Voyage

Bon voyage: (exclam) used to express good wishes to someone about to go on a journey.

A great sense of embarrassment swept over my entire being, placing crimson in my cheeks and a chill down my spine because of my tremendous expression of Dictionary Bstupidity.

I was in Mexico. I didn’t want to come across ignorant. So deciding to avoid that, I attempted to do something ridiculous. I tried to take my two years of high school Spanish and put them to good use by experimenting with the locals.

After greeting them with “Buenos dias” and being able to ask them if they had a green pencil, I stared into their confounded faces and realized I should never have answered their question, “Habla Espanol?” (do you speak Spanish?) with the silly response of “Poco” (meaning a little).

There is perhaps no more egregious fracture of etiquette than to pretend you are able to be international because you’re on the workable end of a seven-word vocabulary.

Thus my feeling when I’m getting ready to go on a trip and someone shouts at me, “Bon voyage!”

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dictionary with letter AAntidote: (n) a medicine taken or given to counteract a specific poison.

Sometimes I do dorky things just to make sure that people don’t believe I have become divine overnight through a particularly good sleep cycle.

Actually, it is my penchant in life to attempt new things, which always opens the door to the possibility of playing the fool.

I went with my wife and children to Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico, where my mother-in-law had retired.

She did not like me.

I don’t know whether it was something actually problematic between us, or if she felt the need to act out the typical plotline for a sitcom between son-in-law and mother-in-law.

She had a house on the beach. So one morning I took the children out to enjoy the ocean, only to discover that the entire landscape was covered with dead jellyfish. Unwilling to be deterred from our sea-time pleasure, and since the jellyfish were up on the shore and not in the water, I let the kids splash around while I sat, carefully watching them,

Meanwhile, more dead and dying jellyfish were washing onto the shore. I didn’t think much about it, until one of them brushed up against me, and with his last aspiration, stung me on the leg.

It didn’t hurt. Kind of a magnified bee sting. But in no time at all, the wound began to swell and I was sick.

It was a strange sense of ill will. I knew I was in trouble.

I made my way up to the house with the kids and told my wife and mother-in-law what had happened. Being a great veteran of the region and the sea, my mother-in-law grabbed some Adolph’s meat tenderizer and spread it on my wound, telling me “that always works.”

It didn’t. I was getting sicker and sicker. My mother-in-law told my wife that I was just being a wimp.

So I finally had to bypass old mom and asked my wife to call the local doctor. He arrived about fifteen minutes later with his satchel, saw the sting and reached in and pulled out one vial of what had to be several hundred of antidote.

He explained that some people are just allergic to jellyfish. By this time I was quite frightened. He calmed me down, gave me an injection, and in a matter of about an hour, I was just fine.

It amazed me that something so small could make you that sick, and that something even smaller could make you better.

I was grateful for the antidote.

But unfortunately, my mother-in-law still thought I was a wimp.


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Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Alien: (adj.) belonging to a foreign country or nation

People are funny. (But it is a good idea not to laugh at them to their face.)

What I mean is, the boundaries we establish for personal contact and acceptability within the human race are not only bizarre, but always prove to be irrelevant.

Even though people from Africa didn’t decide to emigrate to the United States, but instead were brought over on a “Kidnap Carnival Cruise,” complete with chains and beatings, we still decided to insult them while they picked our cotton by continuing the mistreatment and relegating them to less-than-human status.

We did the same thing with the Chinese when we were building the railroad. We welcomed them to the country so they could lay our tracks, work cheap and receive a good old-fashioned American dose of abuse.

Matter of fact, every nationality which has come to this land has gone through a season of being rejected as tourists, beaten up as neighbors and eventually absorbed due to the passage of time and proving their usefulness to our general welfare.

I think what some Americans would like is to have the Mexicans come in, clean the houses, work the menial jobs, pick the fruit and lettuce–and then somehow or another, be transported back to their homes in Mexico nightly, so as not to interfere with our present “preferred mix.”

Yes, if the Southern plantation owners could have had the black folks pick cotton by day, and then jam them into a space ship to go back to the Dark Continent to sleep at night–only to return at dawn to work, we would have called that the Great American Ideal.

But doggone it, those foreigners who come here and work for us for pennies on the dollar start desiring things like citizenship, consideration and worst of all, equality.

I learned a long time ago in that what betrays me more than anything else are my needs that vary from my wants.

  • America needs cheap labor and souls who have been raised in a culture with a great work ethic.
  • The fact that we don’t want them to live next door to us creates the conflict.

So I guess the only choice is to either lessen our need or change our wants.

Yes … that will truly be an alien concept to us all.



Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A


Alamo: (the Alamo) a mission in San Antonio, Texas, site of a siege in 1836 by Mexican forces in which all 180 defenders were killed.

Reality, think and hope.

These are the three elements that go into telling the story of history. Nowhere is this any more evident than in the tale of the Alamo.

Our great hope is that 180 human souls gave their lives for freedom, making a last-ditch stand against the tyranny of Santa Ana.

We think we understand their motivations–and we also have thoughts that perhaps things could have been handled better so that such a death toll was unnecessary.

Rarely do we arrive at reality.

The truth of the matter is, the “big three” of the Alamo–Travis, Bowie and Crockett–were at the end of their careers and escaped to Texas to start over again–or perhaps, end it all. They had failed relationships, diminishing careers, and a bit of mischief and malfeasance trailing them.

They arrived together in a little mission right between the army of Mexico and an ever-growing infantry of settlers and frontiersmen under the leadership of Sam Houston.

Actually,  it was completely unnecessary to defend the Alamo.

  • We hope that they were buying time for Sam Houston to build up an army to defeat Santa Ana.
  • We think that was on their minds.
  • But in reality, we don’t know.

For after all, when the Alamo was taken over and all occupants killed, Sam Houston intelligently scooted away, avoiding his enemy, until he could choose just the right time–when they were exhausted and he had the best ground.

General Houston finished them off in no time at all, without losing many troops.

So what happened at the Alamo is a typical piece of American history. It had some nobility, some ulterior motives and certainly … a bit of stupidity.



by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Acculturate: (v.) to assimilate or cause to assimilate to a different culture, typically the dominate one: e.g. an acculturated Cherokee.

What IS a dominate culture?

I guess in this day and age it would be the loudest one–or maybe it’s the one that can get the most votes.

Perhaps the dominate culture would be the one that has the most money to buy commercials on television to promote its cause.

Could the dominate culture be the local color of choice?

Is the dominate culture what we feel in the moment, because we are wracked with guilt, teeming with vengeance or overwhelmed with responsibility?

Perhaps the dominate culture is just the one we learned around the kitchen table with those folks who sprouted the seed which became our lives.

Maybe when we use terms like “dominate culture” we are setting a bit of nastiness in motion which can only be resisted by those who object to such foolish wording. I am not suggesting that “acculturate” should be removed from the dictionary, but truly, the only acculturating we all do is the knowledge that we have arrived on a planet called Earth instead of a three-square-foot  space dubbed “me.”

So I can’t acculturate without recognizing the preferences of my Chinese brothers and sisters. And merely calling some nations our “enemies” does not eliminate them from consideration when we’re trying to find ways to cohabit a planet which is shrinking with each and every new advancement in speed.

This is why I’ve discovered that the only viable principle of acculturation which transfers from one border to another, is the statement: “NoOne is better than anyone else.”

Of course, that particular premise may eliminate the need for a personally devised culture in the first place. Since my ideas and your ideas have equal footing, there is no need to act like your ways are slippery and mine are on solid rock.

Do we really want people from Mexico, Central America, Europe or China to come over here and learn how to speak our language with a mid-western accent so we’ll be comforted by their willingness to be “truly American?”

Would I be willing to go to China, learn the language and imitate the local dialect? Of course not–because I’m American and believe that everybody should acculturate to me. And even though the Chinese outnumber us about four to one, it becomes their duty to be more like us rather than we like them.

It’s not just conceit, it’s just unrealistic.

The more we can find things that are free of taste and preference and are brimming with commonality, the better the chance that we will be able to talk with one another–or at least not blow up each other’s lives

Acculturate–I guess it’s finding the dominate culture by first realizing that it won’t be just ours.

It’s going to be what is earth-friendly.