Crib Notes

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Crib note: (n) a translation, list of correct answers, or other illicit aid used by students while reciting, taking exams, or the like

Perhaps two of the more frightening words in the English language are “spontaneous” and “improvisation.”

Working in the theatrical community over the years, I have discovered that certain actors, directors and even writers extol the value of being spontaneous or applaud the introduction of improvisation into the set. Let me explain that the only people who think that spontaneous thought or improvisational input is clever are those who are doing it.

Most of us realize that if we’re listening to someone and we know they are going “off the cuff” or using crib notes they’ve written on their shirt sleeve, or they’re referring to an index card palmed in their hand, it’s just goddam nerve-wracking.

You have to start rooting for them, hoping they don’t implode into meaningless babbling or nonsense.

The truth is, if you have something that you want to come off with a flair of impromptu, you should memorize it.


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Cranky

Cranky: (adj) ill-tempered; grouchy; cross 

A Conversation

She: I was wondering if you were ready to write the blogs.

Me: Wouldn’t I tell you if I was ready?

She: Yes, but I just thought I would ask so I could get…well, get my things together.

Me: Yes. There you go. Why don’t you get your things together?

She: You don’t need to be cranky.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Me: I’m not cranky.

She: What would you call it?

Me: How about, “Not in the mood for any nonsense?”

She: Isn’t that a definition for cranky?

Me: No, cranky is when you’re just feeling sullen or put out and decide to dump your attitude on everybody around you.

She:  So, me asking you if you’re ready to type your blogs and you barking back at me is not dumping?

Me: No. It’s a warning.

She: What are you warning me about?

Me: I’m warning you that I’m not in the mood for nonsense.

She: So nonsense is asking you if you’re ready to type the blogs in a nice voice because I want to get ready to do so?

Me: Now you’re making me cranky.

She: Why is that?

Me: You’re taking my normal reaction and blowing it out of proportion because you are in the mood to be easily offended. There you go. Another definition for cranky. “In a mood to be easily offended.”

She: So what you’re saying is that because I asked you a question and you responded coldly, that I apparently arrived in a mood to be affronted by anything that was going to be spoken my way.

Me: Now you’ve got it.

She: Thank you for clearing up cranky for me.


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Chat

Chat: (v) to talk in a friendly and informal way.

To me, “chat” always seemed like a shortened version of another word. But it isn’t. I thought maybe it was short for “Chatterley.” But that was some lady with a lover.

I used to have a friend who tried to lessen his anger by telling me that he wanted to sit down and “have a chat.” I was always aware that this
was bad news. His definition of “chatting” was to begin quietly and end screaming. But I guess I have to give him points for trying.

What is a chat?

It is a collection of words not worthy to be called a “talk.”

It is so lacking in value that it doesn’t even get to be considered a “discussion.”

God knows it’s not an “insight.”

And certainly it isn’t an “intercourse” (which should never be used to describe a conversation. Some words only have one meaning.)

“Chat” seems to be infested with a spirit of nonsense–a sensation of insignificance.

It’s the kind of thing where someone says, “Did you see Aunt Myrtle?” and I reply, “We chatted”–to which everyone frowns and thinks, “Oh. Not much there.”

For instance, you would not refer to it as “The Gettysburg Chat.”

Or “The Chat on the Mount.”

No one goes for “marriage chatting.”

Chatting just don’t get no respect.

It is the Rodney Dangerfield of verbiage.

 

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Bunkum

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bunkum: (n) nonsense

I love this word!

Matter of fact, I shall use it all day. It has already caused me to say “shall” instead of “will.”

It is so English–like a butler rejecting a delivery of peat moss because it’s unsuitable for the household flowers.

“Bunkum.”

And believe you me, I will find many opportunities to put the word into practice, considering that I habitually listen to the news. So every time I hear a report, rather than lowering myself to the common lingo of “alternative facts” or “counter theories,” I will simply declare it “bunkum.”

  • Our present health system: bunkum.

(Join in if you feel so led)

  • Leaving people hanging without recourse concerning their immigration status: bunkum.
  • Threatening old people that they might have a little less on a check that is already too less: bunkum.
  • Shooting missiles and discussing an acceptable number of civilian casualties: bunkum.
  • Having grown men and women who are more concerned about Parliamentary procedure than the power of just proceeding: bunkum.
  • Having religion as stale as four-day-old chocolate chip cookie and entertainment which tries to make comic book characters full of pathos: bunkum.

Please pardon me. I could go on and on, but then you would eventually look down at the long page of bunkum and probably think to yourself, “A-h-h-h…bunkum.

 

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Bill of Rights

Bill of Rights:(n) the first ten amendments to the US Constitution

Dictionary B

So you’re sittin’ around with your buddies and you’ve just written a Constitution for a new little country which you have dubbed “The United States of America.”

You have high hopes.

But honestly, taking a peek at history, the life expectancy of such a national prospect is very dim.

Meanwhile, you’ve gone to the pub to celebrate your endeavor, and while talking with your friends, it occurs to you that you left out guarantees for personal freedom.

You feel a little silly, right?

So almost immediately, you go in and amend your document by adding ten ideas which guarantee that no tyrant will ever again trample on the God-given personal pursuits of any individual citizen.

Man, it seems noble.

But moving ahead a couple hundred years, we have the situation where the prevention of one tyrant opens the door to over three hundred million of them, as each person determines the boundaries of his or her actions, based upon the Bill of Rights.

This places us in a powder keg of controversy, with each citizen fearing they are being set aside in favor of honoring the liberties of another.

What is missing from the Bill of Rights? Some old-fashioned, damn common sense.

For instance, freedom of speech sounds really good until you actually have to sit and listen to one which is completely filled with nonsense and vitriol.

The right to bear arms may have once been practical, when single shot muskets took a minute to load and had no potential for rapidly firing, killing dozens at a time.

It goes on and on.

Oh, wait. There’s the Fifth Amendment, which supposedly protects us against self-incrimination, while actually ending up being a confession in parenthesis.

Just as people who translate science and the Bible as being immutable and without need of edit, those who worship the Constitution and its amendments fail to realize that the Founding Fathers were really just a bunch of goofs who got tired of being pushed around by crazy King George.

What they wrote and believed is neither supreme nor self-contained.

It is up to the intelligence of each generation to find the common good of all the citizens without making it seem that America is a restaurant with only tables built for one

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Amerasian

dictionary with letter A

Amerasian: (n) a person having one American and one Asian parent

It’s time for a moratorium. At least, I’m declaring one.

I refuse to indulge anymore in the constant creation of new names to segregate people off into smaller and smaller clumps based upon minute cultural differences, separating us from a greater understanding of one another.

I am especially averse to this word, “Amerasian.”

I have a beautiful grandson named Wyeth, whose mother is from China and whose father is from Louisiana. I suppose that would make him Amerasian if I was so dumbfounded by the culture that I participated in such nonsense.

  • There are no African-Americans because none of them could actually live in Africa.
  • I am not a German-American because seven generations ago my family came over on a ship to get away from that country.
  • There are no gay-Americans.
  • There are no female-Americans.

We’re just human beings, and the more we try to promote our culture, maintaining the traditions passed down from a lineage we don’t even understand anymore, the more we will confound our own personal journey with the clutter of clatter.

I even laugh at my own children, who worry that little Wyeth won’t get enough of China–or Louisiana–to enrich the mix of his life.

Let me give you a clue: Wyeth is a person, so as long as he has purpose, food, clothing and love, he’s not going to give a crap about whether it comes from China or Louisiana.

Can we get over the childishness of “cultural integrity?”

I want to possess a philosophy that would allow me to live anywhere with anyone at any time. If I don’t have that in my possession, I will fine-tune my thinking until I acquire it.

Wyeth is not Amerasian. He is my grandson. And by the grace of God, if he continues to grow and use his talents, someday he’ll be a blessing to the whole earth.