Crisp

Crisp: (adj) primarily food which is firm and fresh; not soft or wilted:

Bends but does not snap.

If you bought some celery from the store and a stalk bends but does not snap in the center, it is officially not crisp.

Yet in everyday life, normally that which is bendable, flexible, pliant is considered more usable than anything that would snap in the middle when challenged.

What do we really want to be crisp?

Oh, sometimes we throw it in as a descriptive word. It doesn’t really mean anything.

“That was a really crisp dance routine.”

“The delivery of his speech was articulate and crisp.”

We probably should have abandoned the word long ago.

Although we extol the beauty of something being crisp, we don’t necessarily like crisp things.

I’ve heard people say, “There’s nothing like a large, crisp apple.” But I’ve also walked into a party and seen apples laying on tables with one bite out of them—because they were too crisp.

Then there are foolers.

Somebody offers you an “apple crisp.”

But it isn’t crisp. It’s deliciously moist and gooey.

We don’t even want our cereal to be crisp. Some people insist they want it crunchy but that gets annoying after a while. Can we be candid? One of the better parts of a bowl of cereal is lifting it up to your lips and slurping down the last little bit of milk—accompanied by some soggy pieces of corn flake or Captain Crunch.

I would not want to be an agent assigned to promote “crisp.” Candidly, I think it comes off a little self-righteous. You might even be frightened to be around “crisp” because its standards are so high that you would fear you would never be able to measure up.

After all, celery that isn’t crisp can still be chopped up and thrown into a stew or Thanksgiving dressing. You may not want to smear it with peanut butter—but how often does that really come up? Only when you’ve run out of chips, dips and buffalo wings and you gratefully discover a jar of peanut butter and some normally ignored crisp celery.

 

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Chewing Gum

Chewing gum: (n) flavored gum for chewing

Early on in my life, I decided there were two types of people I did not want to become: argumentative and complaining. I find that anyone who pursues these two qualities always ends up turning off anyone they know and feeling very alone.

So I am not going to be argumentative, nor do I share this story with a complaining spirit.

One night I fell asleep with a huge wad of bubble gum stuck in my mouth and woke up the next morning with it lodged in my hair. (It was
back when I had hair. Lots of it.)

The gum, for some reason or another, had managed to distribute itself all throughout my locks. When I went to a barber to ask what could be done, the suggestion was made that I shave my head and start from scratch.

I was twenty years old. This was unacceptable.

So a friend of mine decided to look up in the encyclopedia (since there was no Internet at the time) how to remove gum from hair.

There were three suggestions. Being barely out of our teens, we decided to try all of them.

The suggestions were to smear the gum with mayonnaise, peanut butter or motor oil. We divided my hair into thirds and sampled all of the solutions.

None of them worked.

Except… for some reason, the peanut butter and the mayonnaise clung to the gum, making, if possible, an even worse mess.

I did not know what to do.

Finally, another friend of mine attempted to surgically and carefully cut the gum out of my hair, leaving behind whatever part of my “do” remained.

After this process, my head looked like crab grass with dried-out places in between, apparently caused by drought.

It took six weeks–yes, six weeks–before my hair grew out and all the gum was completely dispelled from my scalp.

I still chew gum.

But never as a nocturnal practice.

 

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Celery

Celery: (n) a cultivated plant of the parsley family

An ounce of consecration yields a pound of cure.

As human beings we spend an awful lot of time complaining about how much effort it takes to get results. Nothing is further from the truth.

Every once in a while, I build up such consecration to lose weight. There are two actions that tell me I’m serious about the endeavor:

  • I start quoting the calories in the food set before me, and
  • I develop an almost mystical interest in celery

Yes, I literally hypnotize myself into believing it makes a great snack, and since it really has no calories, it is able to trick my body into thinking that we are dining without actually plumping.

I think my record is four days.

Yes–four glorious days when I consumed celery, acting as if it were potato chips. Then came Day 5.

It was a very simple fall from grace. It began with a statement: “You know what would be good with this celery?”

At first I showed great restraint. I merely dipped my green stalk into some low-calorie ranch dressing. But that was a little too watery and didn’t cling well. So I switched to regular ranch dressing, trying to be careful about how much I used.

After about two days, I grew tired of the taste of ranch and discovered that cheese whip was delicious on the celery. Now, I was cautious not to put too much of the goo into the provided groove. (After all, if the celery did not want me to have a condiment with it, why did it make that slot?)

By Day 10, I discovered that the most excellent filler was peanut butter.

Peanut butter and celery.

My God, I felt righteous! I had the “no calories” of celery mingled with the protein of peanut butter, which would certainly counteract all the fat included.

Imagine how discouraged I was, after a week, to realize that I had gained weight on celery and peanut butter.

Celery is a trickster. It offers great promise, but has no ability to fulfill unless it brings along its blubbery friends.

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Ahoy

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Ahoy: (exclam.) a call used in announcing the sighting of land from a ship.

Perhaps if I had lived during the time of the Spanish Armada, I would have appreciated the word much more.

Even if I had been an extra in a Gilbert and Sullivan opera, like the H.M.S. Pinafore, this term would have had great significance.

But the word “ahoy” to me, only conjures an association with chips–a delicious cookie I never purchase anymore for fear of overdosing, and being found dead in a puddle of my own milk.

Yes. “Ahoy” has been ruined by Nabisco. Chips Ahoy.

It is not a word of salty brine and billowing sails, but rather, cookies lined up, carefully broken in half to create dipping possibilities in my every-clumping milk products.

It hardly seems fair. And I really can’t recommend it.

I think we have to stop with the word “ahoy” and cease to taint perfectly good units of the language by limiting them to the consumption of food products.

  • For instance, I’m against “Alleluia Crackers.”
  • I don’t think we should manufacture “Jesus Hotdogs.”
  • And it is completely out of the question to put on tap “Loyalty Beer.”

Is there nothing sacred?

So my apologies to those who have sailed the seven seas, but my “ahoy” has to come in chocolate bits … or maybe even peanut butter.