Corner

Corner: (n) the place at which two converging lines or surfaces meet.

Jerry was my friend. His dad was a conservative preacher who refused to own a television.

Jerry didn’t share his father’s convictions. When he was around his papa he was as silent as a mouse, and as soon as he walked out of the door of his home he turned into a roaring lion.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

He was fun.

But even though I was just a kid myself, I knew there was something a little bit mixed up with Jerry. There was a hidden rage which was not very well disguised. It was like a box sticking out from under your bed that you thought was put away, but everybody knew there was something beneath.

Jerry got angry easily. Matter of fact, one night we were at my house and went into the garage. We found a possum next to our freezer. (I share this with you because it was unusual. If we normally had possums next to our freezer, I would have left it out of the tale.)

The possum was a little surprised to see us. It acted like it was pursuing a normal routine and we had interrupted the process. It gave a quick snarl in our direction. It was enough to convince me to get the hell out of the way. If you’ve never seen a possum up close, it’s ugly enough to avoid without the snarl, but if you put a growl with it… Well, I was ready to head to the next county.

But not Jerry.

Jerry seemed upset that the possum had dared to emit disapproval. He ran over to a shelf in the garage and picked up a hammer. I know I probably should have said something, but honestly, it was my first time being in a garage with a man who was going to attack a possum.

The possum scurried over into the corner of the garage.

Bad maneuver—now it was trapped. It was either going to have to fight its way out, or it was going to face whatever verdict Jerry had chosen for it.

Jerry changed right in front of my eyes. He was breathing heavily, standing with his legs spread, hammer over his head, eyes bulging—and it became obvious to me that he planned on attacking the creature.

I did finally gain speech. “Jerry, let it go. We’ll just leave the door open and it’ll scurry away.”

Excellent advice—especially coming from a teenager whose frontal lobe was not yet complete.

Jerry did not hear a word I said. He was ready to “kill possum.”

He moved closer. The possum snarled even more ferociously.

And even though I liked Jerry, when I heard that possum, I got the hell out of there. So peeking through the window from outside the garage I watched as Jerry grasped the hammer tightly.

One, two, five, ten…twenty blows. With all his strength, he killed that possum.

I don’t think Jerry had anything personal against the possum. Jerry’s outburst was coming from somewhere else.

When he was done, he backed up, panting, with the bloody hammer in his hand.

As I slowly walked back into the garage he spoke, “I got the goddamn motherfucking thing.”

I was completely shocked, I had never seen anyone kill a possum. Matter of fact, I had never encountered a pissed-off possum. And I sure had never seen Jerry so out of control or heard him spew such profanity.

About that time, my mother arrived, came into the garage, looked into the corner and saw what remained of the smashed possum. She gazed carefully at Jerry, who was still clutching his weapon.

Honestly, my mother was not a sensitive or intuitive person, but in that moment, she knew that Jerry was not all right.

She put her hand on his shoulder, gradually reached over and took the hammer away, and then cupped her hands around his face and said, “Good job, Jerry. Why don’t you two boys go bury the possum while I clean up the corner?”

So we did.

We walked about a quarter of a mile down the road to the railroad tracks. Nothing was said. It was so quiet I could hear the shovel strike against the ground as we drug it along.

We dug a hole and buried the flattened creature beneath it and covered it up.

When we were done, Jerry returned to being Jerry.

That day I learned a very valuable lesson.

If you corner any of God’s creatures—and that includes the human variety—they will fuss, spit, growl and even snarl at you. At that point you have to decide whether you’re going to walk away or if you’re going to destroy them.

Let me tell you—there are a lot of “Jerrys” in the world.


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Continue

Continue: (v) to last or endure

He bowed his head and began his prayer.

“God, who by the way I consider to be my Father since You made me and everything. I’ve been doing some work on me lately instead of worrying about them. It seems like every time I get concerned about other people, I get bratty and start believing my efforts are sufficient and theirs are bullshit. It’s actually a lot of fun.”

(He paused his prayer, waiting for an answer. There was silence. So, he continued.)

“Well, anyway, I just wanted to stop off and talk about the fact that healthy eating is all right if you’ve got the time to think about it and can actually find the four or five foods you like which contain vitamins. Or maybe it’s minerals. I do feel better. What do You think about that?”funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

(Once again, he sat still, waiting for a divine response. There was none. He pushed on.)

“I’ve been thinking about that ‘loving my neighbor as myself’ bit and I realize that one of the problems I have pulling that off is that lots of times I secretly am so pissed off at myself that I am pissed off at everybody else. Therefore, I kind of do treat everybody the way I treat myself. I know I’m not supposed to be conceited, but if I’m not confident in where I’m going and who I’m trying to be, I will never believe that anybody else is worth the time of day.”

(Once again, he sat motionless, listening very carefully for some murmur or mumble from His Majesty. It was quieter than a mouse since they do occasionally squeak. So, he concluded:)

“I won’t hold You any longer. Just understand how I depend on Your grace, subsist on Your mercy and I’m trying, in my simple way, to imitate Your class. Thank you for your time. I hope You heard what I had to say, and I would welcome any recommendation You might have for my life.”

(He finished praying, said his amen and then, in a very small, still voice, he heard, deep within his soul, “Continue.”)


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Conjure

Conjure: (v) to bring to mind

“We’ve got to stop this fussing!” he said in a fussy manner to a gathered audience which was fussy about the circumstances of a country that seemed to always be fussing.

It has been my decision to remain apolitical. I’ve also decided to become a-economical and a-religious.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

This is not because I don’t believe in America, business or even God, for that matter. I just find that fussing and worrying over such issues never conjures the right spirits.

Whether we like it or not, we do beckon emotions and energy in our direction. It’s not a spooky thing–it’s a practical principle of magnetism.

If the world around us wants to be gloomy, angry and feel forsaken, the only way you can get the attention of such a market is by conjuring this profile–doing your best imitation of being a miserable misfit.

After all, if the goal is to be famous, prosperous or well-known, you must slide into the lane presently provided, which seems to be pissed off and talkative.

Yet looking ahead to the future life of our children–or even, in a broad perspective, our grandchildren–a world that is constantly scratching imaginary itches will eventually bleed out and die.

It is my intention that by refusing to join the rabble, I might be able to conjure something rousing.

 

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Cell

Cell: (n) the smallest structural and functional unit of an organism

Mind boggling.

The human body is nearly beyond our comprehension. A great poet once said, “How fearfully and wonderfully we are made.”

Just the notion of getting all the tiny cells in the body to work in cooperation with the cells surrounding them means that the Universe was meant to be harmonious instead of disengaged.

Yet once all of our cells–the billions–the make up our singular body grant us a unity of purpose by providing blood, oxygen, nourishment and life, we decide to take the people next to us and act like they’re aliens.

Cosmic order seems to stop at the human race.

Is it the inclusion of a brain that causes us to be brainless?

Is it an emotional make-up that turns us cold?

Is it the theological notion of possessing a soul that causes us to be soulless?

I’m not sure.

But it would do us well to imitate a cell in a kidney, which does not suddenly decide to stop participating in urine expulsion, but instead, grants us the blessing … of being pissed off.

 

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Brawn

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brawn: (n) physical strength in contrast to intelligence.

When you’re sixteen years old, basically everything pisses you off.

One of the things that really drove me nuts was that the girls in my class were drawn to bad boys.Dictionary B

It seemed to me that if you were nice to a girl, she wanted to be friends. And if you were mean to her, she wanted to have sex.

Trouble was, I just didn’t have the brawn to pull off being the “dark knight of the night.”

So I had a lot of girls who wanted to be my friend. We would talk until I was sexually aroused–and they got sleepy.

I thought surely as time marched on (or crawled, depending on my disposition) that certainly these young ladies would lose their affinity for brawn and start looking for smarts.

And then along came Fifty Shades of Grey.

Even old ladies sat around and drooled over the prospect of being mauled by the stud.

I’m talking violence.

The temptation to desire being “taken” is more alluring to many women than the fulfillment of being included.

So as we speculate on what the next step may be in women’s liberation, well …  ladies might just want to free themselves from the predilection to be “over-brawned” by their prospective mate.

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Bilious

Bilious: (adj) spiteful; bad-tempered.

Dictionary B

Mack was a small child who was very easy to ignore because of his shortness of stature and wee little voice.

I liked him.

Matter of fact, it often fell my lot to defend him from being swallowed up by the mass hysteria of the elementary school horde.

I have a memory of Mack one day teaching us all a very valuable lesson. Apparently he had been trying to get everybody’s attention and was completely pushed to the side when suddenly we all noted an odor in the air, looked down and saw that around our feet was a gathering puddle of yellow liquid.

In horror, we turned in every direction to find the source of this intrusion. Eventually everyone’s eyes fell on Mack, who said with a tiny smile, “I couldn’t get anybody to listen so I peed my pants.”

Exactly.

When you live in a society where people do not listen, and indifference to the still small voice of reason is perpetrated in favor of rejecting the bilious outcries of the outrageous, then don’t be surprised if all you have left is the shit that hits the fan and the outpourings of those who are pissed off.

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Big Brother

Big Brother: (n) from George Orwell’s novel, 1984.

Dictionary B

There is a verse in the Good Book which offers some sage and practical advice: “Don’t piss against the wall.”

The reason for this is fairly obvious. Although you may think you’re relieving yourself, the blowback will still land on your person.

Such is the case with all human beings who think that productive solutions can be achieved politically or socially.

Politics has one goal: to control.

Even when they say their goal is to have less government and less control, there is still an agenda to manipulate the mores, standards and ideals of the people by making it seem like “the folks voted on it.”

And when you’re looking for social solutions, you immediately find that to make Citizen A happy, you must disrupt Citizen B, while confusing Citizen C, turning Citizen D into a raving maniac, and taking all the little Citizen Es and making them disillusioned.

Maybe there is a Big Brother out there, trying to control our every move and thoughts.

Yet if such a creature does exist, he, she or it is a wall–a barricade which will only deflect all the things we throw against it … because we’re pissed off.

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