Cooperstown

Cooperstown: (n) location of the Baseball Hall of Fame

Never was a big baseball fan.

The point should be made that I never was a little baseball fan.

But I admire baseball.

Baseball is a sport that I would have come up with to justify being involved in athletics without actually breaking a sweat very often.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

It offers the perfect balance of exercise: one minute of exertion for five minutes of sitting, standing, contemplating, waiting and practice-swinging the bat.

It’s genius.

It has all the other elements that other sports possess. I’m talking about uniforms, equipment, scoring, players, cheerleaders, hot dogs, peanuts and cracker jacks.

But if, for some reason, you forgot to show up for spring training, or your gym equipment broke down over the winter, you could still appear and participate in the game.

It truly is the Great American Pastime.

And for those who made it to Cooperstown, to the Hall of Fame, they have taught us well:

The best way to pass time is to do as little as possible.


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Claw

Claw: (n) a horny nail on the foot of a beast

“Claw your way to the top.”

Sounds dramatic, doesn’t it?

Matter of fact, if you enter the intense dialogue of a business meeting or the fevered pitch of a pre-game sermon, you might just hear that
statement presented as the best way to achieve victory.

Animals have claws.

And when we continue to portray ourselves as animalistic, we lose all the anointing of having just a teaspoon of the Divine sprinkled into our souls.

We don ‘t have claws. We have hands.

And the advantage of having a hand is that it comes with fingers which have the sensitivity of merciful touch.

We don’t have to hurt people to affect them.

We don’t have to rip into their flesh to garner their attention.

We don’t have to clasp them and violently carry them away to do our will.

We have fingers with fingertips, and the ability to reach out, caress and communicate the tenderness that’s in our minds.

Be careful with those who like to keep us in the jungle instead of allowing us the honor of using our hands and fingers to till a garden.

We are human. We don’t need to claw our way to the top.

We can gently feel our way.

 

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Chink

Chink: (n) a Chinese person.

I am prejudiced against skinny people–mainly because I’m fat.

I am intimidated by handsome men, truthfully because I’m quite plain.

I get nervous around other writers because deep in my heart, I need to be the best.

And the only reason I would ever call a Chinese person a “Chink” is because deep in my heart I know he or she is superior to me in attitude and talent, and I need
a way to degrade the prowess.

Certainly white people would never have brought black slaves from Africa unless the natives were superior to them working in the fields. Even after Emancipation, the white community was intimidated that the black work ethic would overtake them and lead to their poverty. So it’s easier to call them “niggers” and send out the signal that they are to be relegated to a lesser position.

We’ve done it for years with gender. All the terms used for women have eventually exposed a disguised prejudice.

  • “Ladies”
  • “Weaker sex”
  • “Little miss”
  • And of course, “bitch”

I’m not quite sure why the word “Chink” is in the dictionary. Perhaps it’s to remind us that there will always be people who are better at what they do than we are, and simply humiliating them with a condescending name does not take away their power.

We live in an America where there is still prejudice against the black race, even though we mimic their actions, customs, worship style and sports efforts in almost every way.

If bigots actually did think they were better than the people they prey upon, it would still be disgusting, but at least comprehensible.

But knowing that bigots are mean-spirited because they are secretly jealous and wish they possessed the abilities of those they attack may be the Earthly definition of satanic.

 

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Bait

Bait: (n) food used to entice fish or other animals as prey.Dictionary B

My dad was a fisherman.

Some folks would say my dad fancied himself to be a fisherman.

My mother might have concluded that my dad went fishing to get away from home.

Whatever the case, he had an adequate array of rods, reels, hooks, sinkers, bait and tackle to be considered worthy of the aspiration.

My dad had five sons, and he quickly assessed which ones he thought were better suited for hunting and fishing.

Being the fourth son, for some reason or another, he decided that I was not bent in the direction of the standard woodsman. I don’t know how he came to this conclusion. I was actually the only one of my brothers involved in sports, and certainly had an aptitude for floating in a boat and throwing a line in the water to snag a hapless aquatic creature.

I only went fishing with him a few times–and because I wasn’t given many opportunities, on the paltry occasions when I was with him, I acted a little squeamish.

Especially when it came to the bait. We used two kinds: night crawlers and minnows.

Night crawlers are worms and minnows are little, tiny fish-like creatures with one big eye on them. (Or I think it’s one.)

I was not real thrilled about the idea of grabbing a worm from the peat moss and putting it on my hook. It wasn’t because I was sensitive about killing the crawler, it just felt funny.

My dad thought this was hilarious.

I also did not know where to place my hook into the minnow to make it the most appealing to the creatures we were trying to trick. I did catch on, but not before my father had a chance to stereotype me as a “weinie-woman.”

So much to my chagrin, I have not fished as much during my life as I would like to, because of those run-ins with the bait.

I think it is completely permissible to be a little bit nervous around worms and minnows…until you finally get the feel for it.

 

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Atmosphere

Atmosphere: (n) the pervading tone or mood of a place, situation, or work of art.dictionary with letter A

As our earth cannot exist and sustain life without oxygen and water, so the following ideas, organizations and gatherings require a certain atmosphere in order to generate life:

  • Movies–inspired entertainment
  • Government–cooperation and service
  • School–a focused relaxation
  • Church–a joyful noise
  • Business–eager integrity
  • Parenting–detached awareness
  • Sexuality–mutual respect
  • Racial relations–no one is better than anyone else
  • Conversation–breathing and speaking
  • Exercise–to one’s ability
  • Creativity–simple and daily
  • Eating–tasty fuel
  • Friendship–encouraging confrontation
  • Laughter–frequently and often at oneself
  • Confidence–inside more than outside
  • Music–heart journeying to soul
  • Sports–fair-minded competition
  • Religion–humbly helpful

These are the necessary atmospheres.

When you don’t provide the atmosphere for the challenge … you suck the air out of the room.

 

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Archer

dictionary with letter A

Archer: (n) a person who shoots with a bow and arrows, especially at a target for sport.

When I was growing up, the pursuit of sports in my home was very seasonal–not in the sense of baseball in the summer and football in the fall, but rather, attention span.

My father and brothers developed interests in activities, and always would find a “good deal” on equipment relating to this endeavor, which they would purchase, only to discover that the materials were inferior, which made it impossible to adequately perform the task.

  • We bought a canoe that leaked.
  • We had some water skis that were cracked and fell apart the first time someone got on them in the water.
  • We had a basketball hoop that was supposed to be easy to set up in your driveway which never got higher than four feet.

Likewise, while watching Robin Hood one day on the television set, my older brother wanted to purchase a bow and arrows. My father thought it was “a champion idea.”

So with no understanding whatsoever of archery, they set out to the local hardware store, where the proprietor sold them one of his old bows and six arrows for “a really good deal.”

Without exaggerating, I will tell you that it took them two weeks to learn how to string the bow. The amount of energy it took to bend the bow for stringing nearly crippled their comprehension. The power required to pull the bow back, to shoot the arrow even two feet, was also extraordinarily daunting.

But after a couple of months, they convinced themselves they were experts on the subject and took me out to the woods to try my hand at shooting at a target.

I hated it immediately.

It took too much energy to pull the string, and because the bow was bent from the numerous attempts to manipulate it to our will, the arrows flew crooked, more resembling boomerangs.

After about the sixth attempt, they were ready to have a competition, to see who could hit the target the most often.

My dad stood ten feet to the side, away from the target, so he could give instruction to my brother and myself to make the competition more interesting.

I pulled back the bow and was ready to shoot it when my dad piped up and said, “No, Jonathan! Use more of your thumb!”

Not understanding what he said, I turned towards him in order to be respectful to his instruction, and as I did I slipped and released the arrow, which flew through the air, knocking his hat off.

It was William Tell without the apple.

My dad never said anything about it, but we quickly packed up the gear and it was stored from that point on, in the garage … next to the half-water ski.

 

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Anti-climax

dictionary with letter A

 

Anti-climax: (n) a disappointing end to an impressive, exciting series of events

I have giggled my way through many a drama class and theatrical discussion as people have tossed the word “climax” in the mix, forgetting that it is a double entendre. If it weren’t for the word “orgasm,” I would not be able to pursue creative adventures without constantly chortling like a schoolboy.

That said, I will tell you that the actual definition of anti-climax gives you the source of the despondency and lack of faith that has begun to creep into our social structure.

I have never thought agnosticism to be a vice, but rather, an obvious pouting which occurs from disappointed dreamers. Let’s just look at the things in our society which are anti-climactic:

1. Our election of public officials.

We spend so much money electing officials and then basically end up with what we started with–except those elected become arrogant because they won.

2. Sports.

I don’t want to be the old guy walking around hiking up my pants, talking about “how good it used to be.” But we certainly have lost the ability to field teams which have consistency, humility and the capacity to evolve instead of merely seeking out a new sneaker deal.

3. Church.

It has now become like some great-aunt who is constantly complaining because “you don’t call or write.”

Rather than offering a dynamic platform for lifestyle and vision, it heaps tons of guilt onto people who are ill-prepared to deal with their inadequacies.

4. Sex.

Speaking of climax, we seem to have gone back to an era of sexual embarrassment, wherein we promote the struggle between men and women instead of the pleasure that can be derived by enjoying each other’s company.

5. Music.

Songs are being recorded and performed, with staging and production becoming much more important than message and heart. I have nothing against adding dancers to a song, but when I find myself discussing the choreography instead of the musicology, I think we may have gone a little too far.

Honestly I could go on all day and by the end of that time you would hate me for being such a nudge.

I think the key to avoiding anti-climax is what every young man eventually learns if he’s going to function in the world of romance:

Don’t make too many promises, show up eager, learn from the experience, and get better.

 

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