Decaf

Decaf: (n) decaffeinated coffee or tea.

Having had a showdown with caffeine in my early years, when taking too much No-Doze in an attempt to stay awake, I have been reluctant to drink regular coffee.

Actually, it’s much sillier than that.

I don’t like coffee at all.

But I will occasionally hold a cup in my hand when I’m forced to be with grown-ups so that I can appear to be one of them.

When I do that, I request decaf.

No matter now long I live on this Earth, it will continue to astound me how there are some people who can take the simplest, little piece of information and turn it into a full diatribe, discussing their superiority and my inadequacy.

It never fails.

If I’m at a party and request decaf, there’s always someone—who has been practicing blowing hard—who explains to me that I am drinking “kid stuff,” “brown water” or “the nursing home special.”

They go on to explain that they only drink “the real stuff,” with just as much caffeine as it possibly can hold and still remain liquid.

I stay quiet, admitting my frailty and conceding that this may eliminate me from ever being considered studly.

I don’t know why we human beings turn everything into a competition.

I am not an expert on coffee in the first place.

So truthfully, I’m not in the mood to discuss brews, roasts and grinding.

But if you are, I wish you God speed.

God speed away from me.

 

Brawl

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brawl: (n) a rough or noisy fight or quarrel.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to share this story–maybe because it drains a quart or two from my virility if I relate it in truthful detail.Dictionary B

But many, many years ago, I was walking the streets of the inner portions of a large city. I was with two friends, and we were “feeling our oats,” as they say–studly and strong.

In the process of our little jaunt, we were confronted by three other dudes, apparently residents of the neighborhood, who found our presence distasteful.

We probably should have cooled our heads, relaxed and been respectful of this trio of locals, but we just kept boppin’ along, trying to ignore them.

They didn’t want to be ignored.

So a series of insults were flung back and forth–some questioning our relationship with our mothers, others suggesting that these adversaries perhaps wore pink tennis shoes.

Long story short, it was squaring off to a fight.

We were about to have a brawl with people we did not know simply because nobody was willing to back down.

That’s what a brawl is–an unplanned fight that occurs because conversation is implausible–and violence suddenly and unexplainably seems logical.

Right before we were ready to mix it up (and by the way, I do not know what that would entail, since none of us had ever been in a fight before) I suddenly got cold feet, tingly balls, scared bowels and a chill going down my spine.

I didn’t want to scuffle.

I didn’t want to be a coward.

So I raised my hand and said, “Stop. I’m sorry. I can’t do this. I have a heart condition.”

I do not know why I did this or why I chose to claim a debilitating disorder. But for some reason it diffused the situation, and the three guys looked at me like they were eyeballing their grandpa.

They gave me permission to walk away.

And shortly after I eased by them and tiptoed down the street, the remaining five decided they had lost interest in the fight, exchanged one last round of macho bullcrap, and the two groups went their separate ways.

My friends thanked me for being so inventive in avoiding the skirmish.

I learned that night that brawls are to be avoided at all costs, even if you temporarily have to feign geriatric.

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Aka

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

 

Aka: (abbr.) also known as: e.g.John Merrick, aka the Elephant Man

J. R. Practix.

That’s the name on my birth certificate.

But during a brief season of playing football, I was aka “Big Jon.” Matter of fact, through high school, I was “just Jon, without an h”. I often joked that I selected the name because I wanted to “get the h outta there.” Some people thought that was funny.

  • A tiny handful knew me as “the music guy.”
  • There were those in my town who acquainted my personage with “deadbeat.”
  • Aka “Daddy,” which became “Dad”–and on more formal occasions is even announced, “my Father.”
  • Aka “Studly,” even though that was used so infrequently that I’m embarrassed to bring it up, but still, willing to propagate the myth.
  • Aka “Composer.”
  • Aka “Vagabond.”
  • Aka “Writer.”
  • Aka “Preacher”–though I was never actually able to embody the look or attributes of a parson.
  • Aka “Musician”–though I must bow my head in the presence of the true clerics of chords.

Then came grandchildren. So …

  • Aka “G-Pop.”
  • Three of my sons were adopted in my heart as god-children, and they chose to refer to me as “Pop.”
  • Aka “Husband.”
  • Aka “Lover” (in generous moments by forgiving females)
  • Aka “Business man” (unless you look at my books)
  • Aka “Traveler” (Just check my odometer)
  • Aka “Human being,” of which I am most proud.

I realize today that I have so many names associated with me that if I had a driver’s license to match each one, I would look like a criminal on the lam.

And speaking of lamb, I recommend it … with mint jelly.