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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Chest of Drawers

Chest of drawers: (n) a piece of furniture with drawers set into a frame

The reason that ignorance is often bliss is that information does not always enlighten–sometimes it just frightens.

I was twenty years old before I had my own chest of drawers–this being defined as a wooden structure that was all mine and only contained
my clothing.

When I finally had such a gift, while realizing how special it was, I was still not particularly overwhelmed with enthusiasm.

I was raised in a 900-square-foot home with two bedrooms, two parents and four brothers. I did not know we were cramped. I occasionally would nearly pee my pants waiting for the single bathroom, but I assumed that was just part of the game we call life.

There was not enough space in the tiny bungalow to have multiple chests of drawers. So we shared.

It was up to my mother, who did the laundry, to remember which drawer belonged to which kid, and to place the clothes carefully. Some drawers were even divided in half. That meant my underwear often sat side-by-side with Bill’s and Danny’s.

I didn’t give this much thought. It was the advantage I had by being plump–no one was going to accidentally grab a pair of my drawers from my drawer.

Actually, everybody seemed completely satisfied that since the system worked, it was no social catastrophe that we did not possess our own unique chest of drawers.

Matter of fact, to this day, when I’m traveling on the road and find my motel room to have limited storage, I don’t give it much of a thought. For after all, it’s just clothes.

And I never met a pair of shorts that got fussy with my pants.

 

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Aquamarine

dictionary with letter A

Aquamarine (n): a light bluish-green color.

This may sound very selfish, but one of the fringe benefits of the recent civil rights afforded to the gay community (aside from the fact that we live in a free country and it was basically inevitable once the belly-aching ceased) is that we no longer have to be threatened by other men saying “that’s gay.”

It has become a taboo.

It used to be a perpetual, common horror.

I remember many years ago when leisure suits were both leisurely and in fashion, I found one at a discount store, marked down, which happened to be my size. It was aquamarine.

You see, the problem was that even though it was a much more colorful era, certain hues were still looked upon as being suspect of your sexual orientation. Add to the fact that I was a piano player, and you had the makings of a San Francisco gay parade.

Not only did I get an occasional sneer and sidewise comment, like, “Nice color, big boy,” but I also began to envision that I was being stared at by the entire world, viewed as a “man lover.”

So paranoid was I that I started prancing around like John Wayne and using the deepest timbre my voice could muster. When wearing the aquamarine garment, I was always quick to point out that I was married and had fathered children from my own manly source.

It was crazy.

Finally, even though I loved the outfit, I purposefully “accidentally” forgot it at a motel. (What I mean is, I actually did forget it, but remembered it by the time I got to the elevator and decided not to go back for it.)

So somewhere in Yuma, Arizona, there is a big fat man wearing an aquamarine leisure suit … who obviously has much more confidence than I do.

 

 

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

Aloha

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Aloha: (exclam.) a Hawaiian word used when greeting or parting from someone.

I made a decision to tour in Hawaii. I picked up a really good deal for tickets, complete with car rental, motel and the works when I was traveling through Las Vegas. I spent ten days in Honolulu.

One of the more embarrassing parts of my trip was when I deplaned and there were girls in hula skirts putting plastic leis over the heads of arriving passengers, welcoming them, saying “Aloha.”

I looked at the girls. They were about eighteen to twenty-one years of age, and certainly had aspirations beyond being greeters in an airport. Worse, some of the guys getting off the plane ahead of me were goofy, and tried to flirt with them, which made me nervous and not certain about how to respond. After all, they were young enough to be my daughters.

So in a moment of awkwardness, when they placed the lei around my neck and said “Aloha,” I replied, “Aloha. I hope you get a better job soon.”

I meant it as a compliment, but as often happens with me, it was as awkward as Grandma falling down the stairs.

 

Allergy

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Allergy: (n) a damaging immune response by the body to a substance, often pollen, fur, a particular food, or dust, to which it has become hypersensitive

I may be allergic to nature.

Well, not exactly. It’s more that I’m allergic to many products that people insist are ‘organic’ or ‘natural.’

Recently at a motel they offered what they refered to as “green” soap. It had the magical words of this millenium inscribed on its wrapper: “all organic ingredients.”

It made me itch.

Several years ago, a friend thought she was doing me a big favor by purchasing me a three-month supply of Herbalife. She wanted to help me lose weight the “natural way.” All it did for me was create a rash on my bum and turn my pee green.

I became curious about what causes me to react so strongly against these products which are meant to be healthy. So I looked up on the Internet the elements that make up these magical potions. In avoiding the use of preservatives or man-made chemicals, they insert emollients to hold the substance together, and these are not necessarily healthy in themselves.

For instance, I discovered that mangoes are related to poison ivy. Unfortunately, uncovering this trifle of data now makes me itch whenever I get around the fruit, even in a grocery store.

You see, that’s another problem with an allergy. Even if you sprout a symptom, people who think they are perpetually healthy or the same type who believe their farts don’t smell, will ridicule you or tell you that it’s “all in your head.”

It reminds me of the man who kept telling everyone he was sick–until he finally died. Every time he complained they told him it was all in his head. When they did the autopsy they found a tumor in his brain.

They were right.

I think the least we can do is give folks a chance to believe they are actually suffering from some malady instead of merely seeking attention and asking for their itch to be scratched.

I don’t know if I have any permanent allergies. The last time I took penicillin I did break out in hives, so I do mention that. Pure aspirin sometimes does odd things to me.

But every once in a while I get one of those hives or skin rashes, and I know there’s some sort of imbalance or natural product I’ve stumbled upon, which has inserted the “oil of cactus” into its ingredients … to advertise its earth-friendliness.