Dealership

Dealership: (n) a sales agency or distributor

I was a full-grown man, but when our family car blew up, I was feeling a great need to do something powerful. I needed to restore my position of respect with my children.

I had three thousand dollars. It was enough to buy another car if I had shopped well and hadn’t been in a huge hurry to convey a message to my offspring that I was in control.

I wasn’t in control.

I was still reeling a bit from my all-time favorite car giving up—and also way to eager to replace it without missing a beat.

I located the place in our town where car dealerships congregated to practice their “religion on wheels.” Driving among them, I immediately saw a Grand Marquis that was just stunning.

So I stopped in and talked to Bob. I don’t know whether his name actually was Bob, but it seemed reassuring displayed on his nametag. Bob told me the Grand Marquis was thirty-five hundred dollars.

My two oldest sons were with me on the trip.

They still thought I hung the moon after God displayed the stars.

I wanted to appear omnipotent. I needed to negotiate Bob down to the mat and pin him with a price of my choosing instead of his.

So I told Bob all I had was twenty-nine hundred dollars. He rolled his eyes. He said it was “impossible.” He even walked away to talk to a boss to see if something could be done.

In the process of all this negotiating, I actually cracked through Bob’s sales pitch to a real person. I didn’t know it. I thought I was dominating and was gradually getting what I wanted.

When he finally and reluctantly agreed to sell me the car for twenty-nine hundred flat and we were in the last stages of the paperwork, Bob looked up at me and smiled.

I don’t know why. Maybe it was seeing a father with his sons, or maybe he was tired of overstating the quality of the vehicles he sold just to make a buck.

Then he did something I believe he probably had never done before.

He tried to talk me out of it.

Not aggressively. He just said, “Now, you do know the odometer reads 162,000 miles. Right?”

I was drunk on my own cleverness. I just nodded my head.

Now, Bob wasn’t a saint. He wasn’t going to push it further. He wasn’t going to be totally forthcoming. Matter of fact, it probably gave him an aching pain in the head to offer the odometer number.

But I was determined.

My sons were smiling at me. They thought the car was cool. So I drove it off the lot, pridefully believing I had struck the best deal of my life.

We had immediate problems with it.

I called Bob back. He had forgotten how wonderful our interaction had been and was back to being “Bob the Car Dealer” at his dealership.

I took the car in to have it checked out and found out the vehicle had been in a flood, and therefore the electrical system was contorted, and the engine had water in the oil.

I drove that car for exactly three months. It was a classic case of being beautiful on the outside and ugly on the inside.

One night, coming home on the freeway, it caught fire and burned up a goodly portion of the engine.

My complete stupidity and arrogance had played out.

But I always gave Bob from the dealership, grace points because some creeping spider of conscience forced him to offer a kind, but unheeded, warning.

Dark Ages

Dark Ages: (n) the whole of the Middle Ages, from about a.d. 476 to the Renaissance.

The difference between religion and the secular world is that the secular world scares the shit out of you.

Religion chooses to scare the shit into you.

Recently at a convention, a woman spoke aloud in front of one and all, and proclaimed, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live in a world where our faith, church and worship of God was in control?”

I held my tongue.

I did real well until I saw her out in the lobby, surrounded by gullible young kids, and repeated her statement.

I quietly stepped in, but resolutely pointed out, “My dear, we already had that opportunity to see what life would be like when God was worshipped and the church was honored.”

“It was called the Dark Ages.”

Much to my surprise, some of the older students started laughing.

She was upset—though I don’t know whether she caught my meaning.

“The Dark Ages” describes a time when the human race selected everything off the menu of possibility that was unnatural or unhealthy.

  • Blind devotion to God.
  • Kings and Queens in charge of lands and castles.
  • The rest of the citizens living as serfs to bless the church and the ruling class.
  • Ignorance promoted as unfaltering faith.
  • And a Bible blindly revered—even though nobody was allowed to read it.

It is easy to imagine a Dark Ages arriving upon us again.

It commences whenever we believe that one human being is better than other human beings and should be followed without question, because the church tells us that he or she is supreme.

And they know this to be true—because “God has ruled it to be so.”

Dap

Dap: (v) to dip lightly or suddenly into water

Excuse me, America.

How would you classify your philosophy of life?

Pardon me, but I seem to have bewildered you with the question. Maybe I should clarify both the term “philosophy of life” and the word “classify.”

“Classify”—as in determine a common ingredient.

And “philosophy of life?”

The motivator that motivates you–to keep you motivated.

Does that help?

I see. You don’t misunderstand the question, you just resent it. After all, why should any one person be trapped into making a distinction on what is important?

But just for little ole’ me—how would you classify your philosophy of life? Just for conversation’s sake.

If you’re still unwilling to answer the question, may I offer an observation or two:

It seems to me that many of my fellow-Americans are very interested in the dap—or dapping—which might place them in the category of being dappers.

  • A little religion.
  • A splash of science.

A post or two on social media, with a tiny splat of generosity and a splurt of opinionated tweets, which some might deem prejudice.

Just a little, if you don’t mind.

“A little off the top. A little off the sides.”

A little off the norm so we can proclaim ourselves “inventive.”

Just a dap.

Because it is ridiculous to become sold out on a show that no one may attend.

What is going to be popular?

Where can I put my toe in the water without making a foothold?

Where can I taste it on my tongue without having to swallow?

Just a little.

Then, if it doesn’t work out, I can always say I was just curious—or deep in my heart, I always knew differently, and certainly, no one ever got me to definitively sign on the dotted line.

I smile when any politician believes he or she has gained the support of America.

Do you ever reach the heart of a dapper?

One who daps? One who just grazes opportunity?

If we’re not too involved, we can always have plausible deniability. That’s why gradually, America has gone from a 93% belief in God, down into the mid-to-high 70’s. And we will continue to drop our belief in the Divine One as we discover how unpopular it is to be registered among the faithful.

It’s much easier to say, “We are spiritual. We have a sense of wonder.”

Much better than proclaiming, “I believe.”

Because the pronouncement of “I believe” is always followed by someone staring you in the eye and challenging, “Prove it.”

 

Dangerous

Dangerous: (adj) full of risk, perilous

You shouldn’t call something dangerous unless you really give a shit about people.

You shouldn’t declare some activity potentially lethal just to establish some sort of superiority over your fellow-travelers.

But every once in a while, there are dangerous things—maybe better phrased, dangerous tendencies or unhealthy trends.

I feel unqualified to speak on the subject (which I feel compelled to address) mainly because I don’t want anybody to think I’m drawing a moral equivalency or being judgmental about the issue.

I don’t drink. (I’ve established that before.)

I don’t think this does anything for me except eliminate a liquor bill from my budget and spare me a few morning headaches.

Yet I must be honest and say that there’s a dangerous complicity from entertainment all the way through religion and everything in between.

We have just made it too cool to drink.

Alcohol is too common.

It seems to have morphed from being an adult beverage into an elixir for depression, stimulation for fatigue and a truth serum to get friends and neighbors to open up.

It has also become the favored confidante of young females who portray that coming home to a glass or two of wine is the ecstasy of the day.

Unfortunately, alcohol is a drug.

Alcohol has a very bad history with humans—not that dissimilar from the Nazi Party. In the case of both, alcohol and Nazis, there is a great rally that builds up a wave of confidence, leading to faltering returns and ending up with self-destruction in a bunker of solitude.

Let me tell you what is dangerous:

  • Alcohol is an intoxicant. As long as it’s presented in that fashion, it is completely permissible and even acceptable.
  • Alcohol is not fun—that’s dangerous.
  • Alcohol is not necessary. Once again, dangerous.
  • Alcohol is not a cure for anything, but rather, the symptom of many devastating sorrows. Dangerous to the fourth power.

If I felt that young men and young women were partaking of alcohol for the purpose of social interaction, I really would have no case to make.

But alcohol is the only “spirit” I see being promoted in a faithless society.

We are heading toward forty- and fifty-year-old alcoholics, who thought they were socially drinking in their twenties and thirties until the realization of getting older drove them deeper into counseling with Jack Daniels—on a horrible cruise with Captain Morgan.

 

Damoiselle

Damoiselle: (n) a young woman or girl; a maiden

The joke is that employees at Federal Express read on a package, “Fragile, handle with care,” and toss that one even higher.

I’m sure that’s not true.

It is the instinct of the human race to rebel against the things we’re told to do.

This is especially true when we feel like someone is being picky or prissy.

So over the years, as women have been trying to establish their equality, the females have also accepted special consideration for being dainty when it suited the circumstances.

Because of this, religion, politics and business have been able to mask bigotry behind a sense of appreciation for ladies, deeming them damoiselles—because this title can place them in distress—and as we often saw in the cartoons, they were tied up and laid on railroad tracks, waiting for the hero (a man) to come and save them.

Many years ago, because I wanted equality with my “sisters in life,” I stopped phony recognition.

I hold doors open for women because I also hold them open for men, and even once, if I remember correctly, a dog or two.

I do not frantically run toward a woman carrying packages and take them from her, lest she break a sweat.

It is how women end up being handled rather than regarded.

It is why a word like “demoiselle,” though just a French translation for “woman,” brings with it the tentacles of oppression.

It’s a sinister way to make sure that women never gain the even footing their stance demands.

If I am working with a woman, I talk to her just as directly as I would her male counterpart. Amazingly enough, from time to time, some women regard this fair play as chauvinism.

Because privately, they want to plead for fairness but also want to maintain the perks of being carried along gently by men—men who are convinced they are innately weaker.

So I say to my dear friends who happen to be the “she-dom of this world,” you must make up your mind.

If you want to stand toe-to-toe, you probably should carry in your own boxes.

And if you want to be considered the same, then demand the same.

 

Damascus

Damascus: (n) the capital of Syria

I used to know this fellow who had a heart to do what’s right but no mind to sustain it.

He passed on the impression he desired to see things done well, and if necessary, to change some of his own ways to accomplish it.

When we began a project together, he always said, “Let me know if I’m doing something wrong so I don’t end up being the weak link.”

Sounded good.

And when we first labored together, I took him at his word. So if he occasionally missed a spot or failed to follow up on what we decided to do, I quietly pointed it out to him.

Then began the three-step process:

  1. He frowned at me, while wrinkling his brow.
  2. He walked over and looked carefully at the alleged mistake.
  3. And he always—and I mean always—concluded with the same verbiage: “I think it’s alright.”

Of course, you fine readers know there is no legitimate, kindly comeback to this conclusion unless you want to begin a huge fight.

So even though he pretended he favored improvement—because he thought that sounded open-minded and one of the attributes of a good leader—when “shove” knocked “push” to the ground, he stuck to his guns.

You and I have two choices:

  • We can make natural mistakes and naturally correct them.
  • Or we can make natural mistakes, fail to correct them and wait for supernatural intervention.

There was a man from Tarsus named Saul.

He thought killing Christians was a good idea because they were going against his religion. (It didn’t seem to bother him that killing was also against the tenets of his faith.) He was so invested in murdering Christians that no intervention worked—except to have his ass blown off a horse with him sprawled on the ground, blinded, waiting to be finished off by the rod of God.

Yet even at that point, the voice from heaven told him to go someplace—and just wait.

In other words, “Think long and hard about how close you came to being incinerated.”

After several days, a visitor arrived, who continued Saul’s reclamation by telling him what he needed to do:

Repent.

This happened in Damascus.

That’s why, in the old-time days of “speak,” we often referred to a “road to Damascus experience.”

It’s one of those occasions when sense, friends, failure and nature, itself, has spoken to you so many times that all that remains to deter your futility is a flash course in mortality, and a brush with elimination.

Dallas

Dallas: (n) a city in NE Texas.

If you want to lose your prejudice, travel.

I dare say it is impossible to refrain from some sort of stereotyping of other individuals and races as long as you remain in one locale, or only scuttle about a hundred miles or so.

Although you may try to be open-minded, black people seem ridiculous when you’re only around white people. And white people all look like slave owners when you are living in an urban area, surrounded by your identical color.

Travel is an amazing thing.  You immediately see two lies played out:

  1. People are different
  2. A region can reflect an attitude

In both cases, it’s just not so.

Although the South touts hospitality, it is only dribbled out based upon whether the Southern lass or gent deem you to fall into the realm of normalcy.

And people being people—possessing biological, mental, spiritual and emotional propensities—generally speaking ooze out favored sentiments.

The first time I went to Dallas, Texas, I was expecting cowboys, Southern jargon, big, thick steaks and beautiful women adorned with pumped-up hair and large smiles.

Don’t get me wrong—these are available.

The Chamber of Commerce, the churches and the politicians make sure they have representatives of this style of Dallas on call for the tourists.

But when you step a little deeper into the community, you find human beings. Most of these souls don’t have enough security, finance or agenda to be hateful or loving.

They’re just doing the best they can.

So these folks are not different at all and feel no compulsion to reflect the attitude of Dallas or any other metroplex they might need to represent.

Bigotry is kept alive by business, religion, politics and entertainment wishing to keep us separate.

We have certainly learned this year that when the same problems are thrown at people who are supposed to be different, those who survive stumble upon mutual solutions.

Daisy Chain

Daisy Chain: (n) a series of interconnected or related things or events

 Bigotry doesn’t appear just because human beings are placed on the same planet together.

We don’t naturally hate each other.

Bigotry, intolerance and emotional mayhem are the conclusion of a daisy chain of unfortunate connections.

Since we know where this ends up—a random hatred—how does it begin?

What are the links that lead us to acting like the Missing Link?

When do we lose all our humanity and turn animal, emulating our jungle roots?

There is an unholy six.

When placed side-by-side and linked with false premises, these six generate the kind of treachery that assumes a national need to kill six million Jews or to steal the land of the native population.

It begins with insecurity.

Insecurity is a nasty itch inside us, making us believe we cannot be heralded for our good deeds if others are also being appreciated.

Insecurity loves to link up with jealousy.

Jealousy is foolish because it limits the value of what we do and overestimates the success of those around us.

After insecurity links with jealousy, then jealousy welcomes gossip.

Seemingly, the most civil way to destroy our competition is to verbally discredit them by making all seem abnormal.

When gossip has fully spewed into the atmosphere, it finds a settling place in allegiance.

The allegiance can be religious to God, patriotic to a country, political to a party, or even an exaggerated devotion to one’s family.

After allegiance has been established (on shaky ground) it embraces paranoia.

Paranoia compel us to commit irrational acts, forewarning of treacherous deeds.

We are looking for the villain behind every plot and the enemy around the corner.

Once we are fully paranoid, it is a simple step to allow our bigotry to control every decision.

This daisy chain is strewn throughout history.

But rather than allowing the historians to be the prophets who frighten us away from such foolishness and encourage us to gain security without hurting others, we continue to take all the timidity in our fearful souls and set the daisy chain of destruction in motion.

Cymbals

Cymbals: (n) concave plates of brass or bronze that produces a sharp, ringing sound when struck by a drumstick

The Book of Psalms refers to “high sounding cymbals.”

It’s part of an impressive list of instruments that were recommended to be used in the process of worshipping God. If this particular Psalm were read aloud in front of the average church-goer, he or she would be greatly discomforted by the description of music that is meant to create as much volume possible, to offer a parallel to the magnitude of the blessings of the Almighty.

It is fascinating how we as a people get stuck in a certain place, a certain time, a certain atmosphere and sometimes even a certain collection of individuals, and lock ourselves there, mentally insisting that nothing can ever surpass that particular organization.

When I first traveled on the road, drums were not permitted in churches.

Matter of fact, the first drum set I ever carried into a church was toted right back out the door by two deacons who were summoned to remove the “demon instruments.”

But deep in my soul, each and every day, there is the reassurance that for every religious objection or social limitation placed on the human race, there is at least one verse of Holy scripture that not only contradicts the delusional commandment, but demands a total freedom of expression.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Cyclothymia

Cyclothymia: (n) bipolar disorder characterized by instability of mood and a tendency to swing between mild euphorias and depressions.

Now you finally have an answer.

Whether you’re asking yourself or fielding an inquiry from someone else concerning why America is so screwed up, you can studiously present the diagnosis:

“It appears the entire nation is cyclothymic.”

We have fallen into a mood where we’re not certain how to feel about anything, so we often find ourselves laughing at absurd intervals and inexplicably weeping over seemingly nothing—so imbalanced that we have forgotten what has value and what is meaningless.

Therefore, many times we find ourselves crying buckets over public service announcements concerning the mistreatment of dogs in kennels, while we can’t come up with the solution for protecting our children from gun violence in school—even when their bodies are stacked next to the monkey bars on the playground.

We become offended by the deaths of unborn children, while we’re seemingly untouched by starving, abused and caged young humans all over the world—even at our own border.

We will mourn over our religion and never shed a tear for the human beings it is poised to serve.

Since we have no control over our emotions and they are liable to sprout at bizarre intervals, we become aggravated with one another for being maudlin or failing to care enough for something that should be deemed tragic.

Even as we lament climate change, we’re angry at humans for the dilemma, never realizing that the reason for preventing planet destruction is to bless and honor our fellow Earthlings.

Insanity is any time we insist that what we hold to be important and essential should be universally accepted as holy.

Some people just don’t bow their heads when they see a cross.

And other folks don’t wince and blink back tears when a dog is scrounging in the wilderness.

It will take a concerted effort for us to once again be able to come up with a clear vision for what is truly significant.

But we might start with: Is it hurting others?

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C