Bronze Medal

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Bronze medal: (n) a medal made of bronze, customarily awarded for third place in a race or competition

It is easy to be cynical if you’ve never done anything. You can make an assumption that you would be great.

But I have a question–what is the value of third place?Dictionary B

Look at it logically:

  • You decide to go to the Olympics.
  • You get funding.
  • You get up every morning at 5:30 and do your workout.
  • You win at some local competitions.
  • You decide you’re ready to go international.
  • You bolster your confidence.
  • You keep a positive attitude.

The day of the race arrives in the foreign land and you’re suddenly standing side by side with some of the greatest athletes in the world. They do not resemble your local competitors.

They are strong, sleek and more confident than you could even have imagined possible.

More importantly, they’re relaxed.

You aren’t.

You’ve just realized you’re out of your league.

Further complicating your situation is that your nerves are scrunching your bowels and nausea has landed in the pit of your stomach. You throw up, depleting your fluids.

It’s time to race.

You are not going to win.

You try to remember how to be positive, but it’s been scared away.

They sound the gun and you’re off.

At this point, you have given up on gold, mocking the concept of silver, and you’re wondering if you can beat the scrawny fellow to your left, to get bronze.

You are suddenly struggling for the worst medal.

And then, on top of all that, your legs fail you and you come in fourth.

So your story from the Olympics is that you almost got a bronze medal.

See?

The power of the bronze medal is that it complements your ability if you’ve already won gold. In other words, “Bobby won two gold medals, a silver and two bronze.”

Then you have those people who will tell you that second place is just the first loser.

So I guess that means that third place–the bronze medal–is the punchline for the first loser.

 

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Breathalyzer

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Breathalyzer: (n) a device used by police for measuring the amount of alcohol in a driver’s breath.

Intolerance always enters our lives when we fail to recognize our own weakness as being equally pathetic to the vices we condemn.

I have never been a drinker. Yet I don’t want to be a self-righteous tee-totaler.Dictionary B

It’s so easy to be critical of those who drink too much, drive, and are prosecuted because of the results of a breathalyzer. Driving while intoxicated is dangerous–often lethal.

Yet by the same token, I find myself somewhat bewitched by food.

They do not have a breathalyzer test for pork chops–but I have driven home from a buffet many times having eaten to the point of nausea, getting sleepy behind the wheel because my blood sugar was soaring to the stars. But no policeman would ever insinuate I was endangering the lives of others.

Please don’t misunderstand my point. Alcohol is dangerous.

Yet there are many people who can eat three-and-a half ounces of meat and be completely satisfied without becoming intoxicated by a caloric binge.

I just want to keep my tolerance available to me when I run across those who fall victim to vice and depravity.

I, too, am weak.

The fact that my consumption does not end up in a courtroom does not alter the situation.

Thank God for breathalyzers because they do keep people off the road who are primed for an accident.

But the piece of humanity we need to always keep in mind is that each one of us has peccadilloes–which if we pick at the wrong moment, can end up being anything from a sin to a crime.

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Abscess

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abscess: n. a swollen area within body tissue, containing an accumulation of pus.

I was trying to figure out an acceptable–dare I say pleasant?–way to present the concept of pus. Absent any constructive idea, I was reminded of a time when I was infected with the nasty goo.

I was twenty-two years old, traveling around the country without very much money and no health insurance. One day my face started to swell up. It is a frightening thing when you are fairly homely, to realize that it is possible to become even more unattractive. At first I didn’t worry about it, which was stupid, but then on top of the swelling came great pain, light-headedness, a sensation that I had been beaten up and humiliated by a gang of aggressive nuns, and a little nausea.

I was sick.

I went to a doctor who was gracious enough to offer free service. It was good that it was free, because he thought I had a “cold in my jaw” and suggested antihistamines. I am sure that the medication did kill all my histamines, but they did not seem to be the source of the great swelling.

Finally, near the point of passing out from my affliction, my friends drove me to a dentist in Jacksonville, Florida, who looked inside my mouth, and with a bit of horror etched across his face, announced, “You have a severely abscessed tooth.”

No part of that sounded good. He suggested a treatment of antibiotics for two weeks to reduce the swelling, and then he would pull the troublesome tooth. I laughed through my pain and explained that I would not be in town in two weeks, and that I needed something done today.

He paused. I don’t know what was crossing his mind, but I imagine it had something to do with disposing the body in the Atlantic Ocean if the big, fat boy sitting in his chair died from the treatment given in his office. Actually, I will never know why he did it, but on the spot he chose to give me oral surgery, which included five shots of Novocaine, which did not deaden the anguish. Then he cut inside my mouth and squeezed out all the poison and pus from the swelling.

It was gross, sickening, painful, ugly and all the time he was doing it, he was saying little oaths and curses under his breath because he realized that he was in the midst of a great malpractice suit.

He squeezed and he squeezed, and I cringed and I cringed. After about fifteen minutes, he was satisfied that he had drained the well. He sewed me up, handed me some antibiotics and after about a week, I was well again.

Oh, did I mention that in the same sitting, he reached in and yanked out the tooth? I think he was convinced that if I left his office, I would never try to get help again.

That was my experience with an abscess. Sometimes you just have to cut into it and squeeze out the guck.

It is never pleasant, but if you don’t, all the poison ends up winning.