Cobra

Cobra: (n) a highly venomous snake

Trying to maintain my status as a man of faith, I often find myself wading through some murky swamps of religious jargon.

This has tempted me, a time or two, to drain those swamps and start building my own condos. Yet I know deep in my soul that I have felt guidance, been inspired and in some strange sense, been redeemed.

Yet when I consider the cobra, I become baffled.

I don’t like snakes. I’m not ashamed of that. I don’t feel less manly by admitting it. I think they’re creepy. I think they know they’re creepy.

After all, if your only communication is hissing, your means of transportation is slithering and you choose to bite other people, you may have proven yourself to be unworthy for planet consideration.

Just my opinion.

And this becomes truly, astronomically intolerable when it comes to the cobra. No longer will the cobra stay on the ground, but decides to lift itself up into some sort of unholy erection. Then it flares its head in anger, and spits its venom at you.

Yes–there are spitting cobras.

So even if you feel you stood back far enough, you still could be splatted by the nasty varmint.

I do not know what the purpose of the cobra is. I’m sure it could be explained to me. Maybe they eat tons and tons of rats. But if it were my choice, I would rather find a different way to be rid of the rat population than by introducing a creature which insists on being addressed as “King Cobra.”

 

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Burn

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Burn: (v) to flame while consuming

Snakes and fire.

I believe these two are natural enemies of all humankind.

I’ve always been afraid of snakes, without shame. But I realized my apprehension about fire when I found myself staying at a cheap motel called “The California.”(Yes, welcome to the Motel California…)

I was there with my family and we were occupying a room in the front corner near the office. One afternoon, we were half asleep, watching television, when there was a knock at the door. The manager was informing everyone that there was a fire.

I stepped outside, couldn’t see anything, but decided it was a good idea to get my family and some of our belongings out of the room, load them into the van and move the vehicle away from the property, just in case.

We gathered with the other patrons of the motel in the parking lot, when all at once the second floor, as if on cue, burst into flames. It was so sudden that everyone gasped. In unison, we moved back about twenty paces.

The heat was intense, the smell stung our nostrils. and our natural fear kept pushing us all further and further from the inferno.

It wasn’t a large motel, so by the time the fire trucks arrived, the entire establishment was engulfed in flames–except for the lower level near the office.

The firemen told us it would be many hours before we would be able to get back in to retrieve any belongings that might remain, so we went out to visit some friends and took advantage of a free motel room offered by a kind establishment down the road.

Over breakfast the next morning, I couldn’t keep my hands from shaking. I didn’t know what was wrong. But now I realize that I was completely terrified by the experience, and horrified by what might have happened.

An hour or two later, when we returned to the burned-out shell of the motel, we found that our room was intact, and that our belongings were a little damp, but able to be retrieved.

I don’t ever want to burn.

I guess the worst scenario for me would be to die in a fire while being bitten by snakes.

 

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Brood

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brood: (n/v) a family of animals, or to think too deeply

There are several ironies in life.Dictionary B

Well, more than several, but a couple come to mind.

The idea that politicians can actually be statesmen. (I don’t know if that’s ironic or just pathetic.)

A second irony is the assumption that religious leaders actually give a damn about human beings.

You can be accused of being a misfit by railing against organizations which have lost their mission and purpose. Matter of fact, Jesus of Nazareth was crucified for sedition. That means he objected vehemently to existing standards–to such an extent that those who promoted the agenda found a way to kill him.

Maybe it’s because he called them a “brood of vipers.” It would be difficult to take that back, wouldn’t it? You couldn’t exactly say, “You misunderstood. I like snakes.”

But when you take into consideration the double meaning of brood, that being “a clumping” and also “a downcast, sour outlook,” you have completely described organized religion.

Religion worships a God who insists He loves everyone while simultaneously being so pissed off at humanity that He establishes stringent rules and threatens damnation.

It is alarming that atheism does not thrive more in our species, considering the abuse we endure by embracing faith.

Jesus didn’t like the Pharisees.

He said they created burdens which they expected people to bear, while they were privately finding ways around lifting their share.

Many things come in broods:

  • Certainly vipers
  • Religionists
  • Politicians
  • And white collar criminals

I suppose you can have a brood of thieves, and no doubt, a brood of murderers.

But whenever a gathering of souls completes their meeting and the departing participants have a smug grimace, you have unearthed something venomous instead of healthy.

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Beheld

Beheld: (v) past tense of behold: to see, look upon or gaze at

Dictionary B

You will always find plenty of what you’re really looking for.

Once you set your mind to believe that the world is filled with a certain substance or the absence of a precious virtue, you will convince yourself that your notions and convictions are accurate.

You will behold exactly what you want to see and then you will go off and proclaim what you beheld.

  • The racist always finds examples of stupidity among those he deems inferior.
  • The pessimist never lacks evidence that his or her philosophy is well-grounded.
  • The misogynist is never lacking a dumb blond joke.
  • And the angry feminist can tell you story after story about the abusive results of testosterone-driven maniacs.

There’s an old saying: to the pure all things are pure and to those who are defiled, everything is defiled.

It’s not an issue of optimism. Life is more or less like the zoo–even though the park offers snakes, lions, tigers, elephants and bears, if your favorite is the monkeys, you don’t ever have to encounter the other creatures.

Some people would call this ignorance.

I would disagree.

I would call it bliss.

 

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Anti-septic

dictionary with letter A

Anti-septic: (adj) of or relating to substances that prevent disease-causing micro-organisms.

They put a sign on my door.

Apparently, my condition was common enough that these signs were readily available for ordering from some medical supply house.

The sign read, “This patient is septic.”

Nurses and doctors started walking into my room wearing gloves and masks. I felt like I was in a horror flick and had unfortunately been cast in the role of “the horror.”

What they discovered was that I had an infection which had spread throughout my bloodstream, and therefore every excretion from my body, including my sweat and spit, was toxic.

It was weird.

It made me appreciate the term “anti-septic.” Because when I was anti-septic–completely against the concept–people liked me a lot more and didn’t have to bundle up like mummies to be in my presence.

They put me on a treatment and within a couple of days they were able to remove the sign and my practitioners stripped themselves of all necessary protection.

Now…without becoming too philosophical, we can be septic in many ways, including emotionally, spiritually and mentally. All “septic” really means is that we are poisonous to those around us. It would be good to engage an anti-septic at that point, don’t you think?

So when I am emotionally septic–in such a bad mood that I’m not fit to be a caretaker of snakes–I quarantine myself so as not to spew unrighteous feelings into the air to infect the general populace.

When I’m spiritually septic i spend some time thinking about how blessed I am, and then, with tears in my eyes, apologize to a generous Father in heaven, who is waiting for me to come to my senses.

And when I’m mentally septic–promoting my own prejudices instead of truth–I allow myself the grace of shutting my mouth until some healing can happen in my thoughts.

Anti-septic is a good thing. Because septic kills.

And we certainly have too much of that going around, don’t we? 

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Adder

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Adder: (n.) a small venomous Eurasian snake that has a dark zigzag pattern on its back and bears live young. Also called VIPER.

I just think it’s rather weird.

I am pretty sure that we are taught–or maybe a stalwart portion of our culture is instructed–that most people are deathly afraid of snakes. Even folks who will pick up a cockroach or fiddle around with a praying mantis will usually shirk at the possibility of handling an adder.

Don’t you think that’s curious? I suppose if there was a nine-month-old baby crawling along, the little tyke might go over and try to pull on the tail of the reptile, but I’m not quite positive THAT’S true. We seem to have some sort of innate dislike for snakes.

Does it have anything to do with some of the spiritual tales told in holy books? Is it just the way they look, as they slither from side to side?

I’m not sure.

But even when I see them in the zoo, which is often in a rather dark environment, I don’t really desire to stay too long, peering at them, especially if they’re moving behind the glass. Certainly there is a small handful of human souls who are in charge of taking care of these creatures, who have developed the ability to come across as functional, if not fearless.

But there is something mystifying. It seems that the more prehistoric a creature appears, the more frightening it is to us. I guess we’re more accustomed to those specimens which have evolved in our span of time.

It’s not that I’m saying that lions, tigers and bears are not equally as intimidating–it’s just that those animals don’t make our skin crawl as much.

I would love to join in a discussion on this with some people who are smarter than me, to see if there are any sociological, psychological or even spiritual aspects to this trepidation.

But I probably won’t do that.

I probably will just choose to keep my distance from the adder … even though I think being called a viper is really cool.