Beaver

Beaver: (n) a large semiaquatic broad-tailed rodentDictionary B

The word “beaver” torments me–mainly because I have no personal experience with the creature. But it has entered my life through story, myth and even double-entendre.

It is so unfair.

Truthfully, I can’t hear the word “beaver” without considering the sexual implication, which has been placed upon it by a generation of goofballs.

I do feel I would have great empathy with the beaver (if I actually knew one) because I, too, would occasionally like to “dam it all.”

Yes–rumor has it that beavers build dams.

I don’t know if these structures are required, and I’m not quite sure why the beaver wants to do so, and certainly totally unmotivated to find out–even for the purpose of adding some credence and intelligence to this essay.

I know there’s a football team in Oregon called the Beavers.

If memory serves, beavers have large, protruding front teeth (I assume for gnawing wood in the process of building their dams.)

And of course, I have memories of a television show called “Leave It To Beaver,” which had nothing at all to do with building anything and had no purposeful double entendres.

So if I happened to run across a forest agent who identified himself as a “beaver inspector,” I’m afraid it would be difficult for me to carry on a conversation…without giggling. 

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Anthrax

dictionary with letter A

Anthrax: (n) a notifiable bacterial disease of sheep and cattle, which can be transmitted to humans, causing severe skin ulcerations or a form of pneumonia.

 

People often demand that sensibility requires a certain amount of fear.

Matter of fact, one of the easiest ways to portray yourself as an idiot is to suggest to a roomful of people that they stop all worrying, relax and enjoy the journey.

There are just certain words that evoke terror in the human spirit and cause us to reject all common sense in deference to abstract horror.

Anthrax is one of those.

It’s not really clear to me what happens when you have anthrax, but it is the substance of theatrical tale and myth, which leads us to believe that an outbreak of this disease could wipe out the planet, and more importantly, harm us.

I do not know what is adequate apprehension to make sure that you do not accidentally kill yourself with a condition or calamity that smacks you in the head during your season of unawareness.

But I grow weary of being warned more than enlightened, cursed more than blessed, alerted more than informed and frightened more than loved.

Is there a balance?

Is there a correct amount of information imparted to us which allows us to be knowledgeable without becoming irrational?

Here’s the approach:

1. Explain to me what the danger is.

2. Freshen my mind with ideas of how to avoid the danger.

3. Balance it by letting me know what power I have to prevent, alleviate or eliminate the pending doom.

To me, if you don’t include all three of these in your announcement of Armageddon, you will find yourself failing to really enjoy the days leading up to the end of the world.

(By the way, the most dangerous condition passed on by sheep and cattle is heart disease…)

 

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Antelope

dictionary with letter A

Antelope: (n) a swift-running deerlike ruminant with smooth hair and upward pointing horns, native to Africa and Asia.

Another childhood myth, shattered before my eyes: I now realize the improbability of deer and antelope playing together.

I’ve sung the song. I’ve not only sung the song, I have intoned it with complete confidence.

Home, home on the range

Where the deer and the antelope play

And now, unless this “home on the range” is somewhere in the Serengeti, and some deer got transferred there, the likelihood of such a playtime is miniscule.

Why do they do that to us? Why isn’t there a disclaimer at the beginning of this song that says, “Locales for creatures are greatly exaggerated.”

Did they think that “where the deer and the buffalo play” would have been out of the question?

And just for the record, I’m not so sure antelope would want to play with deer. I think with the presence of those little horns on the top, the antelope would feel superior and would think they were slumming it by playing with the deer clan.

Of course, maybe there is no bigotry in the animal kingdom. Basically they don’t shun one another. If there’s some form of displeasure, they usually just eat each other.

Maybe that’s what we should do. Rather than telling prejudiced jokes, we should just turn cannibal and be more obvious. Of course, I jest.

Similar to the dude who wrote Home on the Range.

 

 

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Aka

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

 

Aka: (abbr.) also known as: e.g.John Merrick, aka the Elephant Man

J. R. Practix.

That’s the name on my birth certificate.

But during a brief season of playing football, I was aka “Big Jon.” Matter of fact, through high school, I was “just Jon, without an h”. I often joked that I selected the name because I wanted to “get the h outta there.” Some people thought that was funny.

  • A tiny handful knew me as “the music guy.”
  • There were those in my town who acquainted my personage with “deadbeat.”
  • Aka “Daddy,” which became “Dad”–and on more formal occasions is even announced, “my Father.”
  • Aka “Studly,” even though that was used so infrequently that I’m embarrassed to bring it up, but still, willing to propagate the myth.
  • Aka “Composer.”
  • Aka “Vagabond.”
  • Aka “Writer.”
  • Aka “Preacher”–though I was never actually able to embody the look or attributes of a parson.
  • Aka “Musician”–though I must bow my head in the presence of the true clerics of chords.

Then came grandchildren. So …

  • Aka “G-Pop.”
  • Three of my sons were adopted in my heart as god-children, and they chose to refer to me as “Pop.”
  • Aka “Husband.”
  • Aka “Lover” (in generous moments by forgiving females)
  • Aka “Business man” (unless you look at my books)
  • Aka “Traveler” (Just check my odometer)
  • Aka “Human being,” of which I am most proud.

I realize today that I have so many names associated with me that if I had a driver’s license to match each one, I would look like a criminal on the lam.

And speaking of lamb, I recommend it … with mint jelly.