Cobweb

Cobweb: a spider’s web, especially when old and covered with dust

I have watched with some nervous curiosity as a confident individual handles a snake.

They always seem to feel it is hilarious to offer the snake in my direction, waiting for me to step back in horror to ​provide​ them a hideous giggle. But everyone has small “somethings” that turn us into nutty little girls, running away in terror from a bee.

The other night I was sitting in the living room with my son, who is a large, burly man, when he suddenly winced and shimmied in his chair because a fly had come close to his ear. He was adequately embarrassed so I did not tease him, though greatly tempted.

​Yet ​I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone walk through cobwebs with​out​ getting an icky face and batting with their hands in all directions to rid themselves of the sticky strings.

I once owned a house near a lake. I built a beautiful porch. Every morning there was a spider web in one corner. I took a broom and swept it away, but the next day it would be back again. I asked a friend about it and he said, “Well, the only way to get rid of the cobweb is to kill the spider. Otherwise, ​it​ will just continue to do ​its job faithfully.”

After all, a spider web is just a home for a spider, which doubles as a trap for flies so he can get good eats. It’s a rather ingenious ​invention​.

If I could figure out how to turn my house into a trap for hamburgers, steaks and fried chicken, I’d do it, too.​

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Choke

Choke: (n) an action or sound of a person or animal having or seeming to have difficulty in breathing.

Webster certainly afforded us an adequate definition for “choke,” but the one that comes to my mind has to do with the “give-up, check-out
and throw-in-the-towel” instinct which permeates our species.

Sometimes we get just as comfortable with pity cheers as congratulatory shouts.

You know pity cheers:

  • “It’s okay. You did your best.”
  • “I don’t know if anyone could have done that.”
  • “You’ll get them next time.”
  • “God sees your effort.”
  • “Who knows? Maybe you made a difference without knowing it.”

If you ever allow your ears to get used to hearing these pitiful exhortations, you might just find yourself living in a damned condition, without yet being deceased.

Choking is what human beings do when they try to swallow too much, whether it’s physical chunks of steak, lies or claims to fame.

This is a world that demands evidence, not confidence. Those who try to live off of confidence eventually choke under the pressure and end up looking like losers, even though we dress it up with bunting and invite a small brass band to cheer things along.

There’s a simple principle in life: overestimating your ability is not a sign of faith.

Faith starts with something substantial, and based upon that realization, is willing to carefully speculate on how much further things can be taken.

You don’t get many “chokes” before you die. You may not physically die, but the love, tenacity, gentleness and appreciation of your friends and loved ones is suffocated.

 

 

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Chew

Chew: (v) to bite and work (food) in the mouth with the teeth

We often insert the words “good” or “bad” in front of “idea” before we actually consider the merits or the dangers.

People just say, “That’s a good idea!”

Or they dismiss any excitement in the air and proclaim it “a bad idea.”

Here is the breakdown of the word “idea:”

Idea–good–workable.

Ideas come and go.

To find out if they’re good, we have to ask ourselves one question: will we faithfully pursue this concept without prejudice to a fair conclusion?

If we’re willing to do that, we’ll find out immediately if the idea we thought was good is workable. And we have to be honest–if it’s not workable, it’s no longer a good idea. And if it’s not a good idea, it’s no longer an idea anymore and should not be brought up again.

One day I read an article which suggested that digestion, and even consuming less food, could be better achieved by chewing each mouthful at least twenty times.

This seemed reasonable to me.

So the next time I sat down at my meal and I placed the food in my mouth, I counted how many times I chewed it. My natural inclination was to stop at about seven. If it was a piece of steak, maybe eleven. But chewing food twenty times makes it so mushy and meaningless that you want to spit it out instead of swallow it. (Maybe that’s the way you lose weight. Instead of swallowing the mess in your mouth, you expel it–therefore relieving yourself of the calories.)

Chewing is a necessary process so that we don’t choke on the food we so eagerly want to consume.

Over-chewing takes away all the pleasure of eating and enjoying slurping up our treats.

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Butter

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Butter: (n) a pale yellow edible fatty substance made by churning cream

Nothing tastes better than butter. It’s good on everything.

It makes pancakes edible.

It makes a delicious steak heavenly.

And it turns toast into something worthwhile to consume instead of dried-out bread for making dressing.

But it will also kill you.

High in cholesterol, high in calories, high in death toll.

Sometimes people make me laugh when I mention that butter is something I need to avoid. They say, “Why don’t you just eat a little?”

I always find it amusing when humans think they can pursue moderation. Because of the nature of our appetites, we really have two options: excess or abstinence.

Sometimes we can pull off abstinence if we get convicted or determined enough to become bratty about our decision to abstain. And of course, excess is merely allowing the human animal to rule the cage.

I’ve tried artificial butter. Surprisingly, very artificial.

I’ve tried butter substitutes. They were no substitute, by the way.

I’ve tried margarine, which is like convincing yourself that using three baby wipes to clean up is the same thing as taking a bath.

Butter is a blessing–but for me, it is one that God will have to supply in eternity, or otherwise, I will get there too soon.blished its seat of power.

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Barbecue

Barbecue: (v) to cook meat, fish, or other food on a barbecue.Dictionary B

Annoying.

What is the definition of annoying? Annoying is anything that makes me grouchy instead of allowing me to enjoy the pleasure that was intended for the moment.

  • Barbecues are annoying.
  • Barbecuing, even more annoying.
  • Those who barbecue–annoying most of all.

Am I the only person who wants somebody to fix me a steak, put it on a plate and let me eat it instead of having to listen to the evolution of the whole process or hear the cook explain the tedious measures necessary to garner just the right sauce and tenderness for the meat?

There is more discussion of food at a barbecue than there is unabated joy in devouring it.

And God forbid that you should find yourself standing at the grill next to the Master Chef. By the time you get done listening to a recitation of recipes, mystery ingredients and correct temperatures for the best flavor, you will want to run from the premises and go out and eat a salad.

That’s how serious it is.

Everybody thinks they are an expert on almost everything–but most people eventually admit some weakness.

But not barbecuers.

They are the best, or nothing at all.

That’s why they make silly hats and aprons for the process, as a uniform to go along with the insanity.

So when I find myself invited to one of these escapades, I sit at the furthest table until I am sure that the food is thoroughly cooked, and then, when most people are being bored by the giver of the feast with a lecture on charcoal, I slip in, steal my portion from the platters, and run into the woods to eat … like a scalded bear.

 

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Acupuncture

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Acupuncture: (n.) a system of complementary medicine that involves pricking the skin or tissues with needles, used to alleviate pain or treat various physical, mental and emotional conditions. Originating in ancient China, it is now a widely-accepted practice all over the world. 

“Widely accepted practice.” What does that mean?

Sometimes I think books like the dictionary or magazines—or even newscasts—want to appear hip and cool by portraying that oddities are actually not quite as odd as we might first think.

Recently I watched a report on television about how over half the world considers eating grasshoppers to be a great source of nutrition. Grasshoppers, they reported, have even more protein than steak. I must be candid. I had absolutely no inkling to go out, fire up the grill and barbecue myself twelve ounces of locusts.

It’s the same way I feel about acupuncture. I realize that I risk coming across ignorant—maybe inflexible.

About three years ago my daughter-in-law suggested that I go to one of those locations where they perform acupuncture, to alleviate some of the pain in my knee. She had a coupon.

That’s the first thing that struck me as humorous. How does one acquire an acupuncture coupon? But I digress…

She explained that really normal people have begun to have needles stuck into their skin at very intricate places, so as to stimulate healing and relief of pain. Here’s what I think: I think one of the most uncomfortable things in the world is anxiety, and the idea of having someone from China putting needles in my skin makes me a bit anxious. So through my fits of terror, how would I know if I was any better??

Now, I realize this is not a very enlightened view, and I’m sure as time goes on, we will discover that acupuncture has great benefit.

But in the barnyard of life, I would rather cower in the stables or chicken out in the coop than be one of the initial guinea pigs.

See what I mean? I’m going to wait for all the recommendations to come in, and probably for them to come up with an ACME Home Acupuncture kit before I participate.

I think I hurt my daughter-in-law’s feelings. She probably thinks I’m a stubborn old man. But make that a stubborn old man MINUS needles in his skin.