Charming: (adj) pleasant or attractive.

Mr. Webster, please make up your mind.

Is it pleasant, or attractive? Truthfully, the two rarely run races together.

Those who are attractive don’t necessarily feel the need to be pleasant. The absence of pimples and the presence of dimples grants them
license to be just as snooty as they deem necessary.

And those who are not attractive often don the apparel of “pleasant,” to clothe themselves in a righteousness that should be suitable for the runway of life.

So which is it?

I suppose there might be a tiny handful of humans who are attractive and pleasant–which enables them to go into a bar and get a date without buying her a drink.

So I disagree that charming has anything to do with pleasant or attractive. Charming is just damn smart. It’s the realization that not everyone will find you attractive, no matter how much you primp, and being pleasant may be suspicious rather than advantageous.

My definition for charming is finding a way to be sensitive to the moment.

Weep with those who are weeping, rejoice with those who are rejoicing. And stop thinking that God has voted you to be in charge of all moods.

If you are able to sensitize yourself to the situations around you, granting a bit of grace to the emotions that crop up, you will bear fruit in the human family.



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Brevity: (n) shortness of time.

Brevity is not only the soul of wit, it is also the heart of smart.Dictionary B

It is very important that all the sons and daughters of Earth learn at an early age about the dangers of boredom and how little attention span most people can offer.

When I first started traveling, I assumed that my presentations could last an hour-and-a-half. Even though I was careful to keep things interesting, and even surprising, I quickly discovered that with distraction and a bladder, the human being has limited tolerance for sitting patiently and “receiving.”

Matter of fact, I am frightened to the core of coming across repetitive. I look for any sign that I’ve lost the attention of nearby hearers.

I have even stopped in the middle of a sentence–and no one noticed.

I had to giggle inside, realizing that several paragraphs earlier they had obviously bailed out of the conversation (probably without a parachute).

Are there guidelines to help us avoid being overly talkative?

Here’s a clue: tell a part of the story. Leave it dangling on a cliff. See if anybody demands you continue.

Then create another cliffhanger–always providing an open door for the listener to be satisfied … and move on.

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Brain: (n) intellectual capacity

A friend of mine bought a German shepherd. He did so as a means of protecting his house.

He named the dog Rugby.Dictionary B

Rugby was probably one of the sweetest animals I’ve ever encountered in my life. I was absolutely enthralled with the kindness of this creature, but certainly convinced that Rugby was incapable of guarding anything. He was even patient with the four-year-old child who lived in the house, who was enamored with the animal’s nose, and continually tried to pluck it from his face.

I laughed at my friend when he insisted that Rugby was a replacement for a burglar alarm.

Then one day we went off on a brief shopping trip. As we returned, pulling into the driveway, we heard barking and growling. It sounded very aggressive–frightening to the ears.

Stepping into the house, we discovered a terrified gentleman penned in the corner, held prisoner by a very intimidating Rugby.

Apparently the man had decided to come into the house to steal some items to sell at the pawn shop–only to discover that the house was well protected by a deceptively dutiful German shepherd.

The man begged to have the dog called off.

As soon as my friend called the police, he motioned to Rugby to come to his side, and the family pet returned–with a wagging tail and a panting tongue.

You may ask me what this story has to do with the brain. Here it is:

The brain is like Rugby.

It doesn’t have any natural inclinations of its own, but only brings forth its training when the situation arises.

  • If you think being smart makes you generous, you are sadly mistaken.
  • If you believe that a formal education causes you to be ingenious, you will be disappointed.

A brain is merely a “thing” until something breaks in, and it does what it was trained to do.


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Axle: (n) a rod or spindle (either fixed or rotating) passing through the center of a wheel or group of wheels.dictionary with letter A

If I weren’t stupid, I would have no stories to tell. Smart people have a list of accomplishments instead of tales of mayhem.

I was a mere 24 years old and driving along in an airport limousine that looked like it should have been used in a 1940 Clark Gable movie. It had six seats in it, dual air conditioning units, and even had a metal cage in the rear to protect the luggage.

It was the most unpredictable vehicle I have ever driven.

First and foremost, you could not drive over 55 miles per hour because of some sort of “governor” they had placed on the engine.

But I was grateful to have it so that my singing group could travel across the country and annoy people with our increasing prowess.

One night as we were leaving Jacksonville, Florida, we noticed that the back passenger-side wheel was wobbling a bit. These are things a normal adult would be concerned about, but not a 24-year-old vagabond.

To counteract the wobbly wheel, I tried to drive faster. Suddenly I looked in my rear-view mirror and noticed that the back of the limousine was lighting up.

This seemed unusual.

So I pulled over and discovered that the rear of the vehicle was on fire.

I did have enough mechanical understanding to recognize that this fire was very near the gas tank, so I got the members of the group out, and we ran about a hundred yards away and watched it burn.

I thought about doing something brave, like taking off my shirt and beating out the flames, or trying to acquire some water from a nearby ditch to extinguish the blaze–but I didn’t.

We watched it like it was the latest release from Hollywood.

“Hmmm,” I thought. “The axle of my limousine is on fire…”

This was the end of my reasoning.

Fortunately for us, a truck driver arrived with a fire extinguisher and put out the flames as we gradually, but bravely, inched forward.

He was also kind enough to take his “breaker-breaker” radio and get us a tow truck.

The whole back axle was destroyed.

I guess someone felt sorry for us, and the man who worked on the vehicle replaced the whole axle, put on a new tire and only charged us $150. We even found a family to stay with while it was being repaired.

It was a remarkable event.

But still, every time I hear the word “axle,” I have the instinct to run like a little schoolgirl.


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dictionary with letter A

Anagram: (n) a word or name formed by rearranging the letters of another word, such as cinema, formed from iceman.

The reason I am reluctant to have anyone refer to me as “smart” is that it is so easy for me to come along and disprove their assertion.

It’s not that I want to be counted amongst the ignorant or ill-informed. I don’t wish to be perceived as a dolt, but by the same token, there is a great pending tragedy in allowing oneself to be considered hyper-intelligent.

There are things I do well. For instance:

  • I can write.
  • I can sing.
  • I can play piano.
  • I can compose.

But there are things that demand thinking, intellect and reasoning which for some reason, totally escape me and thrust me to the back of the pack–to the disappointed glances of those who were once my promoters.

So on those occasions when I’m watching television right before prime time, and Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune come on, back to back, I am always humbled by the fact that both of these shows make me feel like an alien to my own species.

Jeopardy!–because there are always questions they call “general knowledge,” which make me look like a major fool in a private arena for dunces.

Wheel of Fortune–because I get so nervous about solving the puzzles but never can beat the people on the show, and end up either making excuses or switching the channel to reruns of Law and Order.

Anagrams are that way with me. Some people can look at them and see words leaping out, forming themselves in mid-air. They have determined the hidden idea within the collection of letters–while I’m still waiting for a “vowel movement.”

I know it’s good to try to learn new things and increase one’s perspective and insight by collective experiences, but I think somewhere along the line you have to determine the aptitude of your own brain, the ability that exists in your gray matter and pursue those adventures with greater zeal–and allow the experts in other fields to surpass you, and hopefully teach and protect you.

It’s not shameful to be dumb sometimes.

The shame only comes when you insist that you really knew the answer … or “somebody cheated.”


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dictionary with letter AAbdicate: v. renounce one’s throne. 

I decided not to look up the actual names, because if I start being too accurate in my daily writings, I might get mistaken for an educational source or a fountain of knowledge. But memory serves me that some prince in England a long time ago fell in love with a commoner and because he wasn’t allowed to marry her because she . . . I don’t know . . . maybe was common? . . . they made him give up his throne for love.

It’s so silly. First of all, there’s nothing common about love. It’s a rarity–difficult to trap in a bottle and certainly should not be ignored to pursue some “crowning achievement.” And the question I have is this: what kind of dude would he have been if he had passed over the chick to wear the golden hat? I mean, I’m not trying to take away his props, but when you flip things and look at them from the other direction, some of the noble things we say we do are really just you and I, every once in a while, actually being smart and demanding they build a memorial on the site in honor of the special occasion.

So what’s he gonna do? Walk up to his babe and say, “Listen, dear. I just found out how common you are. I had no idea. Perhaps it would have been good of YOU to let me know the lacking you have in rarities. So here’s the scoop. Mum says I can’t have you and still eat caviar with the kings of the earth. You surely understand. We’ve had some good times, and in the future, as I boff my ugly queen of choice, I will remember your face.”

You see what I mean? We often think that we abdicate things we never actually had in the first place or weren’t that big of a deal compared to what we did pursue, which brought both some immediate pleasure and lasting satisfaction.

Just remember–there are two things that are ugly when touted by human beings: being pious and being stupid.

And generally speaking, they arrive in the same car.