Cranch

Cranch: (v) crunch

 Every once in a while, while minding my own business and enjoying the surroundings, breathing the quality air and musing over the ingredients in the dip adorning my chip, someone will suddenly sideswipe me with a word that is tossed out with the sole intention of being disruptive or pretentious.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

This individual will have spent hours trying to find such a word—or phrase—so as to evoke admiration from a roomful of souls who are relaxing, trying to enjoy themselves in a monosyllabic world.

In such an environment, I heard the word “cranch.”

At first, I did not respond, assuming the person who had spoken perhaps had a lisp or was in a pre-stroke condition. But they continued to say it over and over again until finally I broke down and asked.

“What is cranch?”

The verbal scholar then launched into an explanation of how “cranch” was just another way to say “crunch,” but may have found its origins in blending “crash” and “crunch” together.

I made the mistake of listening. I’m sure you’ve done it before. It’s that moment when you fail to turn your head away, or are unable to doze off quickly, connoting to the person speaking that they have your permission to continue.

The seminar went on and on.

I realized, when he (yes, a male) started into another word, that it was time for me to intercede for my own sanity and stop the onslaught of the teaching binge.

So I created my own little myth. Leaping into the conversation, I explained that not only was “cranch” a blending of “crunch” and “crash,” but it was part of a breakdown of the word.

Everybody looked at me, bewildered. I continued. “Let me give you an example. I crinch. You cranch. We crunch. And the reason we don’t hear these very often,” I explained, “is that crunching is the normal pastime, since it is done mainly in a multiple-person situation.”

It was astounding. Everyone believed me—especially our initial lecturer.

Then I was stuck. Should I tell them I was kidding? I know I probably should have.

But just be prepared and not surprised if one day, someone at a party walks up to you and apologizes for “crinching” his chips too loudly.


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Commute

Commute: (v) to travel some distance between one’s home and place of work on a regular basis.

Sitting around the room at a party last night with a bunch of friends and family, a young man piped up and said, “I evaluate people on whether they voted for this President. If they did I know they’re stupid.”

Well, truthfully, this article could be read forty years from now and it would still apply to someone who felt that way because “their” person did not make the White House.

I did not condemn the young man for his judgmental attitude. I didn’t try to convince him that he was wrong.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I did explain to him that he didn’t understand the mindset, simplicity and utter joy of small-town people all over America–who don’t have to commute an hour-and-a-half to go to work.

If they want a loaf of bread, they climb into their truck, drive down to the local market, where they spend much more time jabbering with their neighbors than getting their purchase. The trip back home takes no more than two minutes. There are no frayed nerves from traffic jams. There are no attitudes that the human race is full of assholes because they got cut off at the one stoplight in town.

It is much easier for them to be genteel.

But it’s also easier for them to be suspicious of the “big city ideas” trying to come in and take over.

When you live in a city where there’s a commute, you, yourself, develop a different pathway to sanity.

You may be more defensive.

You may be more interested in the government taking over matters of social order, since you don’t grow your own corn and soybeans.

You are not worse than the man or woman who lives in Iowa and only needs five minutes to get to their job or their barn.

You’re just different. Your perspective varies from theirs.

Wise is the soul who understands the simplicity of the village folk, and the struggle of those who commute.

 

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Commotion

Commotion: (n) a state of confused and noisy disturbance.

“Turn down the noise.”

Wait! You can’t do that–because there is a holy proclamation to “make a joyful noise.”

Those who want things to be quiet and calm, in so doing, quell the spiritual party.

So what noise do we want to silence? Can we censor it?

Can we stop a commotion by hand-picking the sounds that will be allowed to mingle?

Should they be segregated?

Classical music over here, rock and roll over there? An accordion on a hill far away…?

What is a commotion? Commotion is the sound of something I don’t like. It’s a stirring and rumbling that is disconcerting.

It’s Grandma going to hear a rap artist, convinced that the entire atmosphere is a cacophony which could only be resolved by the second coming of Christ.

But it’s also a poor young eight-year-old having to sit in a room with a string quartet playing back-up at an oboe recital. That commotion causes him to create his own commotion.

If we’re going to only respond to needs in life based upon how loudly they scream at us, we will begin to have the mentality of an ambulance chaser … or the 24-hour news cycle.

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Circulate

Circulate: (v) to pass or cause to pass from place to place or person to person.

I have recently been accused of being anti-social.

The diagnosis was offered because I failed to attend a party. It was assumed that anyone who didn’t want to come to this social adventure
had to be out of his or her mind.

I was supposed to come and circulate among people whom I have known for years, and read about ever-too-frequently on my Facebook page. As a matter of fact, I know so much about these folks that I could probably write personal bios for them.

But they were convinced that I had sunk into some sort of despair because I wasn’t going to come and hear the same old stories while partaking of a dip with only subtle new inclusions.

I do need to circulate–but I need to do it among people who are not necessarily related to me or benefit from me personally or financially.

A great man once said that if you only love those who love you, what in the hell is so special about that?

For instance, I just came back from the grocery store. I encountered at least twenty-five people I have never met before.

I circulated.

I conversed.

I opened up my heart to the possibility that these were good folks and I would benefit from the exchanges. I suspect about half of them thought I was crazy for being so talkative. But the other half took a risk, jumped in and, well…circulated.

We do not circulate when we only hang around those who resemble us or are friends because we buy presents for them on birthdays or Christmas.

We circulate when we allow the blood of human relationship to mingle among castes, races, genders and ideologies.

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Chablis

Chablis: (adj) a dry white wine from Chablis, France.

Warning to all innocents and those easily influenced by the ramblings of raging writers. I am about to spew from my storage bins of persona
l prejudice, based upon my own experience. It is not racial, ethnic or gender-based.

It is an abiding distaste for wine. Or really, any alcoholic beverages.

When I was a young boy, I had bronchitis all the time–something my parents referred to as “the croup.” It produced this horrible hacking cough that sounded like I had run out of mucous and was banging the back of my throat with a ball-peen hammer.

The only medication the doctor recommended for my condition was Pertussin Cough Syrup.

It tasted terrible. It gagged me. Every time my mother threatened me with a spoon, bottle in hand, I tried to wrestle it from her, spilling the contents, in hopes that the family funds were too depleted to purchase another bottle.

So you can imagine how surprised I was when I went to a party with friends, and they asked, “Would you like a glass of wine?” I had seen people drinking wine in movies, and they seemed pleased with the taste, so I agreed.

Just imagine how shocked my friends were when I started to gag on the wine, insisting it was my old nemesis cough syrup.

They comforted me, saying that some people found red wine to be a bit strong, but that I would certainly like a white wine–a Chablis.

I didn’t.

Finally, at one party, somebody gave me orange juice with a little bit of wine and said, “Try this! It’s a spritzer!”

It was somewhat better–but still tasted like someone had left the orange juice in the sun for three days and was trying to pass it off as freshly squeezed.

Let us just say, I am not a drinker of wine, nor any kind of alcohol. I feel no self-righteousness about it; I don’t even think it makes me unique.

I just feel, if you’re going to taste something that rancid and foul, you better damn well be sick.

 

 

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Census

Census: (n) an official count or survey of a population

Every census is shortly thereafter followed by a tax. This began with Caesar Augustus in the Christmas story and continues today.

We want to find out how many people there are so we have some idea on how we should divide up the horrific amount of expense that’s involved in the process of us being people.

It’s a fussy way of reminding small towns that they’re shrinking and becoming less important.

The government can also determine where to send its money, and where the census tells them there aren’t as many voters, so no need to be nice.

It begins at an early age, when you plan a party at your house. The following Monday morning, after the party, the normal question is, how many people showed up?

Did you do a head count? Was the party successful because people had nothing else to do so they came to it?

No one asks if the chip dip turned out tasty. What flavors of pizza did you select? Was the discussion lively?

No. It all has to do with numbers.

We are a society obsessed with proving the value of our concept by collecting statistics on how many people are aware that we had a concept in the first place. We fear obscurity.

Yet no one enters the tomb with a companion–no census in the grave.

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Brussels Sprout

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brussels sprout: (n) a vegetable consisting of the small compact bud of a variety of cabbage.

I was thinking about tough jobs:

Being the promotion agent for O. J. Simpson.

How about this?

Social media guru for the Facebook page of Adolph Hitler.

Or …

The marketing representative for Brussels sprouts.

This is a vegetable that has a public relations problem at nearly every turn. (Or turnip, for that matter…)Dictionary B

It is often described as a very small cabbage–not that cabbage has a great following itself. So being deemed a smaller rendition of an “also-planted” vegetable is not a “heady” proposition.

Brussels sprouts are fussy about being cooked. Some people like to keep them crisp and others, well-done. For those who like them kind of soggy, crisp is inedible. Likewise, the crispers choke on the “softies.”

Brussels sprouts also suffer under the dubious honor of being healthy. It would be a wonderful world if people were actually concerned about their health. Most people become interested in their well-being just about the time they grab their chest with a heart attack.

So it becomes an issue of taste. It’s gotta taste good. To accomplish that, we cover them in butter. Butter can make almost anything taste good, including snails.

But the problem is, when you put butter on Brussels sprouts, it’s like sending a choir boy to a maximum security prison to hang out. That which was good will certainly be tainted. The butter turns the Brussels sprouts into liquid death.

Do I like Brussels sprouts? Yes.

Would I serve them at a party? No.

Why?

Because deep in my soul, I really like people.

 

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