Consternation

Consternation: (n) feelings of anxiety or dismay

I agreed to go shopping with a friend. I don’t do that very often–not because I am anti-social or unwilling to get out of my house and peruse the neighborhood.

To me, shopping is a personal thing, with a personal approach.

I like to organize before I go, flow into the shopping center, pick my things up, take advantage of any sales, acquiring a surprise or two, andfunny wisdom on words that begin with a C get back home with the sense of accomplishment.

I don’t hurry but I also don’t linger.

So my decision to go shopping with this other person was carefully made, and decided in order to promote some good fellowship.

We arrived at the shopping mall and it was crowded.

My friend had to circle several times to find a parking space, and then a guy with a little car pulled in front of him and took it.

Honestly, my friend was already a little dismayed over having to search for a parking anyway, but the action of the little car turned it into consternation.

He sat there, blocking traffic, until the driver of the little car got out. My buddy yelled at him.There was no profanity, but he made it clear that he thought the dude had no upbringing and was basically “an common asshole.”

After this he sped away, looking for a space, grumbling under his breath. He peered at me and posed the question, “Have you ever seen anything like that before?”

I had, so I truthfully replied, “Yes.”

He was not satisfied, so he pursued. “Well, don’t you think that’s stupid–what that guy did?”

Also easy to answer. “Yes.”

“So,” he continued, “would you have done what I did?”

Uh-oh. Now I was trapped. I could lie and tell him I would have done the same thing, to make sure the shopping trip was more pleasant, and to take away the dark cloud brought on by the “space stealer.”

But I decided to tell him the truth. “My friend,” I said, “I don’t pursue confrontation unless the person receiving my challenge has the possibility of learning from it and becoming different.”

My friend didn’t like my answer. For the entire two hours we were at the mall he remained grumpy. He didn’t like what the stores had to offer, he hated the prices, and when we stopped at the Food Court for a delicious lunch, he was convinced his burrito was too salty and not made with actual meat.

He faithfully maintained a pious position of consternation.

I, on the other hand, was grateful to get home.

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Commode

Commode: (n) a concealed chamber pot

Unexpectedly and much to my surprise, during the news cycle recently, “shithole” became a point of discussion.

Even though I find myself to be a person of some insight, and maybe even able to offer a prediction from time to time, “shithole” sideswiped me.

It reminded me of being a young man and having to deal with the subject of the bathroom.

Since most people don’t take baths anymore, and were unwilling to call it the “shower room,” relegating that to sporting facilities, we do need a name for that very important sanctuary for our natural release.

Truthfully, lots of folks are repulsed by the word “toilet.”

“Potty,” aside from being extraordinarily pretentious, also is now tied to a potty-mouth, which means you are susceptible to using all sorts of foul language and profanity.

Yet even though it has become part of the commentating on television, “shithole” is a little strong for me. It’s the kind of thing a bully would say to you when you walked out of the restroom in highschool, to make you feel uncomfortable.

“How’d it go in the shithole?!”

Of course, there is no appropriate response to the question: “The shithole was fine!” Or, “I don’t call it a shithole. I call it a commode.”

No, I have never referred to the porcelain fixture in the water closet as either a loo or a shithole.

I’m actually without terminology.

Sometimes I try variants–to see if there might be a favored word among my friends. But I’m still confused at how to express for a significant part of my journey.

I neither “take a shit,” nor do I “poop.” Nor have I done any “loaf pinching.”

I have referred to it as porcelain, but not a throne.

And of all the terms, “dump,” for me, is the least appealing.

I think the secret code we developed as children still has some universal possibility:

Simply hold up one finger–or two–to announce one’s intention.

 

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Bleep

Bleep: (n) a short high-pitched sound

Dictionary B

Often the solution is worse than the problem.

I listen in horror as commercials on television tell me the side effects of drugs that are meant to be helpful.

I frequently find myself with my mouth agape as I try to comprehend how politicians intend to take their limited “party view” and make it expansive enough for a diverse nation.

I am baffled by a church that insists that prayer in any form is a replacement for personal touch.

And I just cannot fathom why the censors on television believe that “bleeping” profane words actually eliminates their impact.

We children of Adam and Eve certainly can be pretentious. This is probably why Adam and Eve chose the Tree of Knowledge over the Tree of Life. We would much rather present ourselves as intelligent instead of possessing a hunger for the journey.

I do not know what we should do with the slang and colloquial profanities that permeate our society. But bleeping them does not lessen their obvious content–matter of fact, it creates a game, causing those who listen to speculate.

So somewhere along the line we need to work on the human heart, which is where all speech finds its birth.

Otherwise, we’re going to need someone to constantly follow us around, bleeping as we go.

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Antiquated

dictionary with letter AAntiquated: (adj) old-fashioned or out-dated.

I have never drunk alcoholic beverages nor viewed pornography.

It doesn’t mean I haven’t taken fluids into my body nor that I haven’t pleasurably released them.

It just means that I don’t like substitutes.

That’s what I think about alcohol, pornography, drug use, profanity and any number of imitators of joy, which fail to deliver the true impact of the experience.

Of course, my tee-totaling and puritanical attitudes are viewed as antiquated in this era of libertarian domination.

Old-fashioned it is, my friend.

But see, what I find antiquated is the assertion that after thousands of years of pursuing carnal futility, we still persist in advertising actions, vices, and practices that leave us, in the end, deserted and unfulfilled.

  • Why is it antiquated to try to find inebriation in life instead of a decanter?
  • Why is it antiquated to have a real flesh-and-blood lover instead of one darting across a computer screen?
  • Why is it old-fashioned to want to inhale the beauty of nature and life instead of the smoke from one plant?
  • What makes this so meaningless?

I am very suspicious of those who want me to give up some aspect of my choice and freedom in order to attain a more expansive expression.

I like being free.

It’s why, after all these years, I continue to battle obesity, even though the deck is stacked against me and it seems that I am no longer able to bluff with a poker face.

The absence of dependence is the presence of independence.

I don’t think it’s antiquated to want to be free.

I don’t think it’s old-fashioned to believe in life.

And I don’t think it makes me a grumpy old man to tell you that I, for one, am not going to bottle up my feelings and then try to find the answer … in a bottle.

 

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Affectionate

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

 

Affectionate: (adj.) readily feeling or showing fondness or tenderness: e.g. a happy and affectionate family.

You gotta BE there.

It’s true, you know. There are some things in life that cannot be viewed, read, perused, discussed, debated or downloaded.

Affection is one of them.

In a climate where “lukewarm” has begun to feel “heated,” we lack such closeness and intimacy that it has caused us to become defensive with one another because we privately feel cheated of the tenderness we need to satisfy our souls, yet at the same time we push away personal overtures from those who try to get too close too quickly.

A lady warned me the other day, saying, “Watch out! I’m a hugger.”

I do remember attending a rock concert many years ago where complete strangers–thousands of them–came up to each other, hugging in groups of five and ten without explanation or apology. Yet to promote such an idea in our day and age would be cynically mocked as a “hippie philosophy,” a throw-back to olden times or impractical due to the spread of disease.

This culminated for me when I saw churches offering hand sanitizer to folks after they had the “passing of the peace.” I wish I had a profanity to express how upsetting that is to me. And please, spare me the explanation on why it is needed. I am fed up with the notion of what is needful and anxious for the pursuit of what is helpful.

  • I need affection.
  • I need to be affectionate.

Now, it doesn’t have to always be demonstrative, but it does have to be spontaneous and real. It can be reaching across a table and cutting up the banana of a friend who is making you coffee, or coring an apple for another friend so she doesn’t have to deal with stems and seeds.

When you lose affection in a society, you promote the idea of isolation. Once humans are isolated, there’s only one thing that takes hold–survival.

Is it possible that in the next decade we will begin to treat each other–all the time–like we do when we’re in a traffic jam?

Aargh

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter Aaargh: exclamation used as an expression of anguish, horror, rage or other strong emotion, often with humorous intent. late 18th C: imitative, lengthened form of AH, to express a prolonged cry.

I do love a spontaneous expression of surprised emotion.

I remember once watching my Grandma, as she inadvertently dropped the yolk of an egg into her cake batter in the midst of separating the white. An unexpected expression of her true feeling slipped past her lips, surprising her greatly–especially when she saw me looking up at her. She was so embarrassed.

I was a kid. I thought it was cool.

I don’t really know what constitutes the definition of “bad language.” But I do know that there are some words–which for some reason tend to have four letters–that you aren’t supposed to take out in public.

But how about those words we use as substitutes? Do they really work?

I, myself,  really hate the word “darn.”  And then there’s “shoot”. I never heard anyone use it but Charlie Brown. Forgive me if I prefer to cuss with more ferocity than Charlie Brown. I once knew a minister who used the phrase Jimminy Cricket. Gee whiz…

Sometime human beings just do human things and don’t need other human beings to criticize them for it. After all, don’t we just sometimes need God to … damn something? And sometimes the crap in the world around insists that it be called by its Bible name. And doesn’t the use of the “f” word sometimes resemble a “play-by-play?”

It’s confusing.

Aargh.

I’m sorry. It just doesn’t do it for me…