Davenport

Davenport: (n) a large sofa, often one convertible into a bed.

Language is made out of razor blades.

It took me a while to learn this.

If you’re not careful, you’re going to cut people.

And if not agile, you may end up slicing yourself.

Whenever you contend that a certain word is necessary in order to communicate sophistication or perhaps being a well-rounded human, you’ve grabbed the razor blade and slashed out at the world around you.

Over the past fifteen years, I have made a concerted effort to make my language out of marshmallows. Even if they occasionally bounce off someone, it produces a giggle-fest instead of a bruise.

To do this, I had to get rid of the assertion that I became a “better person” by using “better talk.”

Example:

The best way to describe a large seating place in a living room is to call it a couch.

Once you abandon the word “couch,” everything else you say is an attempt to separate yourself from the milling masses and the ignorant idiots.

Even calling it a “sofa” is filled with such pretension that people immediately know you’re trying to communicate your verbal—or even perhaps natural—superiority.

I won’t even discuss the word “divan,” because truthfully, friends, it is not divine.

Yet when I was growing up, there were those who referred to a couch as a davenport. Generally speaking, they were old, white, and held their noses a little higher than others. It was obvious they were in a constant search for obscure terms to describe common things.

Many of them said tomato and potato with a soft sound on the “a.”

“To-mah-to.”

“Po-tah-to.”

Occasionally, when using a word from foreign extract, they actually fell into an accent which they mustered for the moment.

The pastor’s wife from my church had a davenport. That’s what she called it. Now, she never corrected anybody for calling it a sofa or a couch, but she refused to join them in such lollygagging of the tongue.

So let me tell you:

If you want to find out what your profile is on Earth, see how many attempts you make to establish patterns of speech that you have decided are more “high-minded” than others.

If you have many, many of them, you are officially an Earthly asshole.

If you have a few, you’re pretentious.

The recommended number of fussy words that you dare keep around in your lingo is zero. 

Dais

Dais: (n) a raised platform, as at the front of a room, for a lectern, throne, seats of honor, etc.

 If you want to be pretentious, everything has to match.

If you’re proclaiming yourself to be “up and coming,” then you certainly shouldn’t dress “down and out.”

If you want to appear athletic, then you should avoid all situations that might induce clumsiness.

Years ago, I started a work in Shreveport, Louisiana, which mingled spirituality, artistry, feeding the hungry and trying to answer youthful misgivings.

It was a little bit of nothing—but not in the sense of its mission.

To the outside viewer, we were insignificant–and occasionally annoying because we regularly took a troop of performers into the streets in full makeup, often including dancing.

This might be odd for any community, but for Shreveport, Louisiana, it was the Abomination of Desolation.

Yet quite a few individuals flowed in our direction, some of them offering their hearts and others merely showing up to display their bills.

In the midst of this fledgling effort, a dear, old friend of mine who once had a church offered me a huge, spacious pulpit—a truly holy dais.

He was so supportive, so intrigued with our efforts as young, spiritual investigators, that he took something sacred to him and offered it into our very relaxed irreverence.

I felt compelled to use it.

I wasn’t sure how.

So in our very tiny meeting room, I inserted this huge monstrosity of wooden construction—somewhat like Noah’s Ark.

I stood behind it to share my thoughts and make announcements about the upcoming week’s adventures.

It was a Saturday Night Live sketch—but much more pitiful.

Everybody grumbled.

Matter of fact, a rebellion broke out the first night I used it, with people complaining that I had changed and become a cleric instead of a friend.

I had not changed.

But I had placed myself behind something that was not me.

I tried using it two more times (simply because I was apparently trying to increase the pain.)

Finally, I apologized to my friends, and also to my buddy. I gave him back the pulpit. (He was thrilled, because a church down the road had offered him five hundred dollars for it the day after he gave it to me, and he felt it was wrong to renege on his generosity to me—but now he could take it back without shame and pocket the profit.)

Everybody seemed happy.

I learned a lot from that experience.

Establishing your value based upon where you stand means you have not uncovered the worth of your soul or the depth of your mission.

Curt

Curt: (adj) rudely brief in speech or abrupt in manner.

“Shut up. And if you’re not speaking, get the hell out of my face.”

Every single day of my life I sit here writing these essays—pouring out words from my heart, tumbling from deep in my soul.

And what do you do? Damn it, you peruse them. Or if you do read them, you’re only interested in catching grammatical errors.

Screw you.

Yes. That’s what I said.

You and your horse you rode across the wilderness…or whatever that street lingo is.

I’m a sensitive fellow.

I am in need of affirmation.

Have you ever met an artist who isn’t? Even though it is extremely pretentious to refer to oneself as an artist, I shall do it on this occasion, just to make my much-needed point.

You think you’ve earned the right to be a critic instead of basking in the warmth, the tenderness and the glory of the progression of thoughts I offer, using words as the boxcars of my train of thoughts.

Now, could YOU have come up with that previous sentence?

Your response: “Well, I wouldn’t. It’s silly. It’s affected.”

Well, screw you.

I don’t need your appreciation.

I don’t care if you ever read another thing I ever write.

Go surf the Internet.

Be a beach boy looking for the best wave.

I don’t care.

Of course, I do—but I can’t let you know.

So I have decided the best path is to follow the entire mass of present society and appear to be angry and apathetic. Or is it apathetic and angry? Which one makes you mad and which one disconnects you from the mainstream of the motherboard of life?

So this may be my last posting—though probably not because I still have time left on my WordPress contract.

But if I didn’t, you would be without ME tomorrow. So what do you think about THAT?

Too curt for you?

(The preceding was only for dramatic effect. Any feelings hurt in the process of production were unintentional.)

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

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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Copulate

Copulate: (v) to engage in sexual intercourse.

“Making love” may be the safest term.

When referring to sexual interaction, trying to find a dainty way of describing the explosion of lust that occurs, turning normally rational human beings into grunting and groaning grizzly bears, has left the human race devoid of a good term.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Most people will be honest and admit that the actual process of intercourse is not “making love.” Love may precede it and sometimes even follow it. But human sexual response is very similar to getting your back scratched—it feels so good at the one place that its being done that the rest of your back starts screaming for similar attention.

It is animalistic. This is not a slam on the action or the meaningfulness of it because I have nothing personally against animals.

So if I get in a particularly clinical mode, when I am around adults who have an understanding of the English language, and I’m trying to be careful about how I’m phrasing it, I will occasionally say that the two people are “going to copulate.”

I don’t do it very often because it’s pretentious.

Actually the word is kind of silly. It sounds like an accusation a man might make to a woman after intercourse, when she is unable to achieve orgasm:

“Cop-you-late!”

But setting that aside, let us realize that some human actions are better to participate in and enjoy, minus a whole bunch of uncomfortable discussions.


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Cohabit

Cohabit: (v) to live together

Even though, like any “Frosty poet,” I enjoy a good walk in the woods, there is something that interfaces with me as I feel pine needles under my soles: all the creatures of nature are a little bit frightened of me as a human being because I’m a horrible roommate.

I don’t honor my space. Sometimes I’m late on the rent. I cook up things and leave dishes behind.

And I spread my trash everywhere, assuming that it will be taken care of by either other beings, or time and chance.

So there is a look in the eye of the racoon and a squint from the squirrel that tells me they have no intention of relinquishing their right to the ecosystem. They will fight like hell if I attack their nest or if I suggest they should be ousted from their dens.

There is a palpable defiance mingled with a pleading in their glance.

“Come on, you dumb shit. Can’t you just get along? Can’t you co-habitate with us? Do we have to growl, bite, and escape all of your plans to eliminate our species?”

Nature is kind of pissed with human beings. Why?

  • We decide to blame God, even though there’s a natural order which was put in place billions of years before any of us urped up our first mother’s milk.
  • We are so pretentious.
  • We are so easily offended.
  • We are the Mother-Earth-children of all brattiness.

Because the truth is, we aren’t satisfied with scrunching salmon and terrifying tigers. We start doing it to each other–using a color code. Sometimes it’s based upon evaluating genitalia.

But because we can’t cohabit the Earth with the turtle, we suddenly find ourselves very intolerant of those of our own race–who like to take things a little slower.

 

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Chopsticks

Chopsticks: (n) a pair of small sticks used as eating utensils, especially by the Chinese

I’ve taken the precaution of donning my suit of armor, which, by the way, already has quite a few dents. I’ve also calmed my spirit and satisfied my soul that all is well.

I must do this every time I launch into the cultural “holy of holies” and begin to make fun of sacrificial lambs.

Chopsticks are stupid. Worse than stupid, they’re pretentious.

Unless you were born in China and have never heard of a spoon or fork, using chopsticks is your way of establishing your superiority over those around you, who
insist on eating the cuisine of another country while using God-fearing American utensils.

I will be honest. I haven’t even tried chopsticks. What I have done is watch other people attempt to consume a meal while balancing the food on tiny wooden surfaces. Eventually what happens is, the bowl is picked up, brought close to the mouth, and the sticks are used as a shovel, to thrust the delicacy onto the tongue. So to use chopsticks, one has to break every other universal law of table etiquette. Once again, fine if you live in China, but not really required at the Main Street Chinese Buffet.

Pretension is bigotry done with a smile, and offered with over-explanation.

I don’t like chopsticks. Chinese people are fine. Chinese food is okay.

But chopsticks are Step Three in a process of ten in learning how to consume food more effectively. In other words, it began with fingers, went to hands, moved to chopsticks…

By the time you get to ten, there should be a damn fork.

 

 

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Chihuahua

Chihuahua: (n) a small dog of a smooth-haired, large-eyed breed originating in Mexico

I will not bore you with the standard patter about how tiny and stupid looking Chihuahuas are. This has been long established by many writers preceding me.

The creature is obviously a rat that was exposed to radiation–perhaps near Los Alamos–grew in size and lost its hair. I am completely
satisfied with this explanation.

Today I would like to focus on the bark. Pardon me. It is not worthy of being called a “bark.”

  • It is a yap.
  • A yippity.
  • A yonk-yonk.
  • A vocal snap.
  • A sound conceived in the depths of hell by a satanic cherub who was trying to get people to hate dogs.

I don’t know if there’s anything more aggravating than walking through a store and coming upon some hapless soul holding one of these creatures, and being yapped at for fifteen or twenty seconds, as the owner pretends he or she has control.

Comical as it may seem–the dog thinking it has any dominion–it is still annoying that such a pretentious piece of animal flesh thinks it has any purpose or right to spark out its opinions.

If they were pleasant dogs, you could associate the word “cute” with them. When you came upon their tiny frames, you could say, “Isn’t it cute?” and it would look up at you with its little doggy mouth and oversized eyes, moist with affection.

But not the chihuahua.

It literally is a large rat on speed.

It has a bad attitude, it tries to overcompensate for its size by being obnoxious, and if I lived in Mexico in the State of Chihuahua, I would demand that they rename the dog.

As you can probably tell, I have never owned a Chihuahua.

But I will confess that I have considered accidentally letting a few of them out in traffic.

 

 

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Café

 

Ca: (n) a small restaurant selling light meals and drinks.

All of my life I have been surrounded by friends who enjoy discovering out-of-the-way, little cafes.

I won’t even mention the fact that these establishments usually last about six months before someone finds one down the street that’s
“cuter.”

I am a big person. (By big, I’m referring to the size of my body, not necessarily my soul.)

So these little places are tedious, if not arduous, for me to negotiate. The tables are tiny and the chairs provide a landing area for only one of my butt-cheeks.

Then there are the toy meals:

Croissants–which can be consumed with three bites.

A Danish–which doesn’t really taste that much better than the one I once ate at a flea-bag motel off their free Continental breakfast.

And of course, the over-emphasis on the coffee and tea.

My friends sit there, cross their legs and chat with one another, munching on the tiny provisions as if they have found a precursor to heavenly bliss.

I am uncomfortable. I am misplaced. I am a dog at a cat rodeo. I am an apolitical advocate who finds himself at a get-out-the-vote rally.

Over the years, I have learned ways to excuse myself from such awkward pretense.

So now when I hear the word “café ,” my brain just naturally translates it into “caf-nay.

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Bureaucracy

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Bureaucracy: (n) a state in which a few decide for the many

I find it extremely audacious and perhaps even pretentious to believe that I have any idea what’s best for me.

I may rail and scream, demanding the right to make poor decisions for my own life, but in my saner moments, free from vanity, I’m completely aware that I am inept at planning my own peace.

And it becomes nefarious to think that I, as a mere mortal, would have any goddamned idea what would be best for you. Yet for some reason, like early Spanish explorers who apparently believed that the world was created for them to pillage, when we get finished screwing up our lives, we feel mission-driven to spread that message of disarray into the affairs of others.

That is bureaucracy: malcontents determined to make other people just as miserable as they are–whether they do it in politics, by passing numbskull laws which are ill-suited to solve the aching need; or in religion, where they preach a God of love who is more picky than your Aunt Myrtle.

Bureaucracy is where we discover we are impotent… but decide to hide it under seven pairs of pants.

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