Decaf

Decaf: (n) decaffeinated coffee or tea.

Having had a showdown with caffeine in my early years, when taking too much No-Doze in an attempt to stay awake, I have been reluctant to drink regular coffee.

Actually, it’s much sillier than that.

I don’t like coffee at all.

But I will occasionally hold a cup in my hand when I’m forced to be with grown-ups so that I can appear to be one of them.

When I do that, I request decaf.

No matter now long I live on this Earth, it will continue to astound me how there are some people who can take the simplest, little piece of information and turn it into a full diatribe, discussing their superiority and my inadequacy.

It never fails.

If I’m at a party and request decaf, there’s always someone—who has been practicing blowing hard—who explains to me that I am drinking “kid stuff,” “brown water” or “the nursing home special.”

They go on to explain that they only drink “the real stuff,” with just as much caffeine as it possibly can hold and still remain liquid.

I stay quiet, admitting my frailty and conceding that this may eliminate me from ever being considered studly.

I don’t know why we human beings turn everything into a competition.

I am not an expert on coffee in the first place.

So truthfully, I’m not in the mood to discuss brews, roasts and grinding.

But if you are, I wish you God speed.

God speed away from me.

 

Croak

Croak: (slang) to die.

There is a general reluctance among the populace to admit to things deemed frailties.

I believe lots of individuals would cautiously, but freely, be tagged as “sex addicts.” Or if someone attributed the fault of “over-talented” to them, they would sheepishly hang their head but allow the assertion to remain unchallenged.

Yet I suspect a good number of human beings would be offended to accept the term “hypochondriac” if attributed to them.

Even when you’re in the presence of an admitted hypochondriac, he or she will insist that you are ill-informed and have not read up on their mysterious, unknown or unproven condition.

So I am going to step out and tell you that for most of my life I have battled being a hypochondriac.

From the time I was a nine-year-old boy, frightened to go to sleep because I thought I might swallow my tongue, to my early twenties, when I was trying to stay awake driving, and overdosed on the caffeine in No-Doze, and had to go to the hospital because I thought I was having a heart attack, to any myriad of symptoms that might stumble my way, I am frighteningly susceptible to dwelling on them longer than they deserve.

As a father of young sons, I occasionally yelled at my children for getting colds—not because I was concerned about the pain they were experiencing or the discomfort of runny noses. No, I was just pissed because I was afraid I would get their cold, too.

I am not happy to report this to you, but if you spend all of your life wondering when you’re going to croak, then, in that brief season when it actually happens, you will be quite disappointed that you squandered the non-dying time.

I realize this.

I never thought I would live as long as I have.

So rather than wondering whether I’m going to live a lot longer, I have chosen to believe that I’m on borrowed time. In other words, “playing with house money.”

This makes me happy.

Because as exciting as it is to be alive, there is an extra thrill in knowing that by the grace of God, you’re cheating death.

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

 


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Caffeine

Caffeine: (n) a crystalline stimulant that is found especially in tea and coffee

I was twenty years old and was thoroughly convinced that every idea that popped into my head was granted by the supreme fairies of genius notions. I was in the midst of the seduction of a particular inspiration, working feverishly, with pen in hand, when I realized I was getting
sleepy.

Successful people don’t sleep, I thought. A budding impresario does not yearn for the pillow.

So I went down to the local drugstore and bought a product called “No Doze. ” I didn’t even read the instructions. (You have to be twenty-five years old to consider such a mature move.)

I just took two. Nothing happened.

So I chased it with two more, waited half and hour and took two more.

Within the span of two hours, I ended up taking eight No Doze, when I finally decided to read the instructions, which explained that each tablet contained the caffeine equivalent to fifteen cups of coffee.

Shortly after reading this warning, my heart started to palpitate. My face blanched, Sweat burst out on every part of my body. I thought I was going to die.

For the first time in my life, I went to the emergency room of the hospital and explained to them what I had done.

The doctor quipped, “You shouldn’t have taken so many.”

True, but not poignant.

By this time my chest was cramping and my legs were twitching. The doctor reached over into his magical cabinet and pulled out a shot of something, which I later learned was a tranquilizer.

I slept in that examination room for six hours. I awoke drained, embarrassed, and desperately trying to explain how I planned to pay for the late-night visit.

So over the years I have convinced myself that I am allergic to caffeine–so as not to accidentally stimulate any reaction similar to the one I had that night so many years ago.

 

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