Couching

Couching: (v) to express something in a language that is indirect or less than honest.

I have spent half my life trying to find nice ways to say things and the other half apologizing for failed experiments.

We are obsessed with the need to be coddled, even when it’s obvious that we are transgressors. We would prefer that God not refer to us as funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
sinners, but rather, “winners in training.”

We do not want our lovers to tell us that we fumble but sympathize that maybe it was a bad night and we were just tired.

When donning a new outfit of clothing, we expect praise even if the duds make us look ridiculous or over-balloon our appearance.

We are sensitive, but not to spiritual things or each other, but instead to any form of criticism.

So the entire Earth tries to couch what it says and does until it doesn’t want to do couch anymore—and then the bombs begin to fly.

We live in a world that travels from discontent to bombings, never considering that there can be conversation free of lies, deception and exaggeration, which might keep the death toll down at Ground Zero.


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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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Collar

Collar: (n) a band of material around the neck of a shirt, dress, coat, or jacket

Feeling very comfortable with my interactions with a dear young lady, I explained to her that I preferred collarless shirts. She listened intently,
coming very close to feigning interest.

I explained that the collar rubbed against my neck–itched–and when I sweat, made my skin burn.

It was further aggravated if I inserted a tie into the shirt, needing to fasten that top button. She listened and listened. She even smiled a couple of times.

At the end of the conversation, when I felt I had thoroughly explained the reasons for my preference, she walked over and looked around my neck and said, “I don’t think the collar is your problem.”

I was stupefied. (Well, at least confused.)

I said, “Okay… What is my problem?”

“You just have a really, really dirty neck,” she said.

I was offended. I suppose there were other choices available to me, but fortunately, she stepped in and offered to wash my neck for me so I would understand that my skin was soiled and therefore overly sensitive.

So she got a sudsy washcloth and gently rubbed my neck until it was clean. I was embarrassed, enticed, curious, dumbfounded and a little turned on.

She finished washing my neck, dried it with a clean towel and put some lotion on it.

She was right.

I never had another problem wearing a shirt with a collar.

The only problem was scheduling the times for her to come and wash my neck.

 

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Bouncer

Bouncer: (n) a person employed by a nightclub or similar establishment to prevent troublemakers from entering

Big Mike.Dictionary B

That really was his name.

I know it sounds kind of silly, but if you’re going to be a bouncer in a club, your tag should have a certain amount of intimidation. In other words, if the owner was dealing with a problem, asking “Lawrence” to come and help would not be nearly as frightening.

I got to know Big Mike a little bit. He was a nice guy. I suppose he might even fall into the category of “sensitive.”

But whenever the proprietor of the institution called his name, Mike suddenly turned into an attack dog. It was almost like watching the transformation of the Incredible Hulk (except he never tore his shirt.) His face became stern, furrowing his eyebrows. He lost all the joy in his eyes as he rapped his knuckles on the table and stomped off to deal with some ne’er-do-well.

At first I found it funny. Then I realized Mike was playing a dangerous game.

Because the truth is, a prize fighter can’t go into a bar without all the drunken patrons thinking they can take him on. And Big Mike was going to eventually run across someone who felt it was his duty to clean his clock–leaving him unable to tell time.

It gave me pause.

How often am I tempted to muster a nasty disposition to warn people of my superiority and prowess, setting myself up to be brought down by the thunder of a greater storm?

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Bitch

Bitch: (n) a female dog, wolf, fox, or otter.

Dictionary B

Her name was Mrs. Calvert.

She was my seventh grade science teacher.

The reason I remember her name so well is that she was constantly telling people how to pronounce it, even though it was not particularly difficult to speak.

She also had another annoying practice. She decided, since I was a fat boy, that I had limited ability. So when she took the class to the science museum, she explained to me–in front of everyone else–that there was an elevator available if I didn’t feel I could climb all the stairs.

I was not only humiliated, but was targeted by my classmates for further ridicule.

It was devastating. She was a fat bigot.

But if you had asked her, she would have merely shared her concern for my well-being.

It is exactly the same way I think America handles gender.

We “Calvert” it.

Yes, just like Mrs. Calvert, we have privately decided what men and women can do, and if anyone tries to step out of their compartment and suggest otherwise, we have names for them.

If a man selects to be more sensitive and open to the female perspective, we view him as “pre-gay.” In other words, maybe not a part of the club, but sympathetic to the rules.

If a woman chooses to compete and be more aggressive, she is deemed to be a bitch.

Let me explain the full range of the use of the word bitch:

It can be “any woman who disagrees with a man” all the way through “any woman who insists on having equal rights.”

You can always tell when you’re in the presence of stupidity.

It is a group of people who find a nasty word to describe a whole bunch of folks so they don’t have to deal with the real issues.

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Big Bang

Big Bang: (n) the supposed origin of the Universe.

“Choose your poison.”Dictionary B

I know that sounds like a cynical statement, but the truth of the matter is, if you were going to die by consuming a substance, it might be nice to be able to pick the one that was the least painful.

That’s what I feel about those who believe in Creationism, and others who assert the Big Bang theory.

Both story lines seem comically intricate and equally unlikely.

First, the faith it takes to believe in a supernatural Creator of the Universe is beyond the capacity of any living human soul. We are all perpetually in doubt that God actually exists, let alone holds a viable position.

On the other hand, the notion that some convergence of energy created an explosion which splattered matter across the darkened sky, to begin a festeringly long incubation towards life, which culminates with a kidney in a human body which knows how to regulate poisons out while maintaining blood pressure, is equally wild and wacky.

So for me it becomes a case of whether it’s all of one, a combination of both, or even the aggravating “neither.”

I do gyrate toward a belief in God simply because I am hopeful of seeing humanity grow sensitive to itself and one another, in order to prolong our stay on Earth instead of hastening our departure to unknown shorelines.

Yet I will never reject the discoveries of science, which help me to understand how our Universe came to be.

So when asked if I believe in evolution, my response is, “Evolution seems to believe in me. Thank God.”

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Archaic

dictionary with letter A

Archaic (adj): very old or old-fashioned

I am of the belief that human beings do need things in their lives that are “fashioned.”

Yes–well-constructed, organized, purposeful, sensitive, gentle, aware and involved.

Without these “fashioned” virtues, we begin to rely on our own understanding and become a prideful lot, not worthy of interaction.

Unfortunately, no one ever uses the word “fashioned” without adding the prefix “old.” So at the whim of any cynical individual lies the weapon to disembowel great ideas, emotions and courtesy.

We also can attack art because it dares to reflect a stream of intelligence from a former time.

Certainly music cannot contain any beat, lyric or sentiment that was ever expressed before, lest we become slaves to our history instead of innovators in techno-pop.

Here’s my criterion for determining whether to use something that is well-fashioned: has it survived the past, still works today and has all the signs of being universal for the future? If the answer is yes, it is not archaic, just underused.

So I am not going to be discourteous just because the tendency leans in that direction.

I’m not going to be surly in order to appear focused and stubbornly irreversible.

I’m not going to reject the beauty of poetry because a generation of numbskulls have deemed it corny.

And I’m certainly not going to follow the bigotries of my time which have been conquered–often by the blood of martyrs.

Before you call something archaic and throw it in the trash-heap labeled “old-fashioned,” just make sure we can actually live without it.

 

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