Croissant

Croissant: (n) a rich, buttery, crescent-shaped roll of leavened dough or puff paste.

For the sake of our little essay I shall refer to him as Martin.

This is not his real name, but perhaps if the actual individual reads this, he can come to the conclusion that he’s Martin. Then I can tell a story without people making fun of him personally.

Boy, was that a useless preamble.

So let’s pretend like I’m starting again.

***

Martin was the kind of guy who loved to come up with new things to try and insisted it was the cutting-edge practice from “the coast.” I was never sure whether he meant the East Coast, the West Coast or some other coast I might not be familiar with.

Many years ago, Martin arrived at a brunch we had put together.

(We did not call it brunch at that time because the word was not yet invented. We called it “late breakfast.”)

Martin arrived with a box—the kind you get at a bakery and usually has a cake in it. While we were laying out our eggs, bacon, biscuits, gravy, cereal boxes and a little fruit here and there, Martin exploded into the room and dropped his box on the table, pushing back a jar of homemade marmalade.

He turned to the gathered souls and said:

“Save your appetite! I have got the thing to eat today.”

Well, we were all a little suspicious. Martin was known for providing oddities and insisting they were delicacies. If you don’t know the difference, an oddity only becomes a delicacy if it tastes real good.

For instance:

He was the first to bring jalapeno peppers—with no warning on how to survive them after consumption.

He brought calamari and waited until we had chewed on it for a while before revealing it was squid.

Of course, there was the time that he offered our first box of Muesli Cereal from “over there in the Scandinavian lands,” which we all tried.

We all resembled cows chewing their cud.

But on this day, his offering was a croissant, which he pronounced with as much of a phony French accent as he could muster. He told us that croissants were better than biscuits, superior to rolls, left toast in the dust and of course, forced cornbread back to the farm.

He brought enough for everyone, so we all indulged in our first croissants—which were scrumptious. (Well, some folks took a couple bites and reverted to their primordial biscuits.)

But they were flakey.

Not that different from Martin.

(And now I jest.)

Also, they were just chewy enough that they did a fairly decent impersonation of bagels (Martin’s contribution three months earlier).

I cannot lie:

We all felt a little continental eating our croissants, imagining the French people who may have made them.

Since that day, if offered toast, biscuit, bagel or croissant, I will tell you—bagel and croissant do top my list.

So even though I may have found Martin to be pretentious, overbearing, a bit self-righteous and a social bully, he did introduce me to things I might not have found as quickly on my own but have become intricate parts of my life.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

 


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Abase

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abase: v. to behave in a way so as to belittle or degrade someone.

By the way, abase is not to slide into second on your face. I just wanted to make that clear. When I read the definition, what struck me is that “abase,” “abasing” or the action of “abasement” is considered by Old Dic to be negative.

It’s something we do to other people. I would welcome it if someone could actually and legitimately belittle me.  Fat chance.

It’s rather interesting that the Bible suggests that we learn how to be abased. How does one learn the correct procedure to be degraded? You look like a real doormat if somebody puts you down and you go, “Oh! Good one!”

It’s really stupid to anticipate rejection and be flinching in the presence of others because you are prepared for them to them to swallow up all the air your ego needs to breathe. The only thing I found successful is to point out one’s own flaws, weaknesses, quirks and oddities before other people have a chance to enjoy picking the bones on your carcass. To do this, you have to have an excellent sense of self and appreciation for the parts of you that contribute in a positive way to human life. Then you can detach those portions of your personality that have decayed and are about ready to fall off.

I guess it’s hard to go into the a-base-ment when you  haven’t really enjoyed your own living room. It’s damp down there in the a-base-ment. It smells like what you think would be the odor if a book farted.

Disgusting, huh?

So it’s not recommended for anyone to be thrown down into the cellar unless you know how to ascend  the stairs with a good sense of humor and warm yourself by the fires of your own contentment. I don’t like to ridicule people. The ones who fight back are too mean and the ones who don’t are too pitiful. I don’t like to belittle anyone. I learned a long time ago–there’s always someone better than me, and having played football for a season or two and sharing a locker room with other men, i can tell you of a certainty–we are not all created equal.

Abase is something I must do to myself in a comedic way to make certain that it’s always my idea and not yours. Otherwise, I end up looking through dirty windows surrounded by decade-old magazines, a busted washing machine and a broken bicycle–trying to get a peek at the sun.