Cucumber

Cucumber: (n) a long, green-skinned fruit with watery flesh, usually eaten raw in salads

There are times I feel that the only thing I have available to show off is my ignorance. It is rather annoying.

Because sometimes I don’t know I’m ignorant.

The world is filled with so much information that it is completely impossible to be up to date on everything, leaving one and all with a spotty perspective.

One day I was at a luncheon with four dear women, and the waiter asked the ladies if they wanted cucumber on their salads.

On cue, they all giggled vigorously.

I joined them, not knowing what I was laughing about. (I hate it when I do that, because then people assume I’m in on the joke, and for the next terrifying minutes I have to listen carefully for context clues in the conversation, to try and figure out what has brought about the hilarity.)

These women were very tricky. They actually began to carry on a conversation about cucumbers that was so mystical and laced with code that I was unable to ascertain any true insight.

They started to discuss the smell. This brought on more comic relief. (At least I had the sense to stop laughing and just listen.)

One girl said she enjoyed the texture, which made everybody burst into rolls of levity.

One of the young ladies asked if anybody else had a preference with the size. Did they like their cucumbers short and round, or long and lean? There was not much discussion or disagreement on this one. Short and round won the day.

It became really frustrating to me when the salads arrived and as they nipped and chewed at their cucumbers, they looked at one another and moaned.

I realized they must be playing with me, but there was no hint of deception from any of them. They seemed to be lost in their world of cucumbers, without me knowing how to get to their location.

Wanting to join in, and chomping on my salad, I remarked, “I like cucumbers, too.”

My comment won the laughter fest of the day—although I felt it was directed more in the realm of humiliation than appreciation.

 

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

 

Crackers

Crackers: (n) thin, crisp biscuits

 I think I was forty years old before I discovered crackers.

I was well aware they existed—as a boy we would buy a box, and I’d see my parents nibbling on the little pieces of crunch-crunch. I remember trying one and nearly spitting it out because of its lack of…Well, its lack of everything—flavor, texture, color, will…

The only time I ever ate crackers before the age of forty was when I had an upset stomach and people said to me, “You should try eating some soda crackers. They’ll settle your stomach.”funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

So I did exactly that. I tried eating soda crackers.

The queasy stomach passed before I was able to eat more than two. Crackers have a great similarity to carbon dioxide—they are colorless, odorless and tasteless. Matter of fact, we once kept a box in our cupboard for so long without eating them that they turned green with mold—which is difficult to achieve since they have no yeast to promote such a misadventure.

Then one day, shortly after my fortieth birthday, someone brought over a delicious dip. It was in that era when everyone was trying to outdo each other with the number of layers in their concoction. They started out with five, and then there were nine. On this particular night, I think it was an eleven-layer dip.

There were no potato chips available and the bringer of the multi-layer phenomenon had only provided crackers. I thought I might be considered a little bit gauche if I sunk only my fingers in the dip to gain the flavor.

So I tried the crackers.

It was astounding how well they worked and how good they tasted under the circumstances of being completely mounted and controlled by the dip.

I learned a lot that night.

I guess I could sum it up best by saying that even “crackers” seem to have value when you have enough “dips” hanging around them.


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Correction Fluid

Correction fluid: (n) an opaque, quick-drying fluid for obliterating handwritten or typewritten matter.

As I read the definition, I smile a bit over the word “obliterating.”

If you didn’t live through the liquid paper or white-out phase of office business done with a typewriter, you missed a juncture in time when creative effort was often made to try to cover a mistake, when typing the entire letter over again might have been quicker.

First and foremost—for a long time, it was just white correction fluid. This meant if you were typing on paper that was white, and by the way, preferably twenty funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
pound, you might have a chance, if you used the brush sparingly, of covering up your typing mistake and having the letter look as if it had never been sullied.

But unfortunately, if you worked at a business where stationery was used, with a higher quality paper which sometimes had a tint, then you had a carnival of difficulties.

First, the heavier paper took your typed letter or word deeper into the texture, which made it much more difficult to cover it up with correction fluid.

Then—guess what? White correction fluid on pale blue stationery does not avoid the appearance of a mistake, but rather, advertises it.

So, they came up with colored correction fluid. But as you probably would guess, matching the color was extremely tricky.

I had a friend who was so adept that she could mingle two different colors of correction fluid to get the exact color of her company’s stationery. Then, after twenty or twenty-five minutes of fussing with the “cover-up,” passing the letter around the office to see if anybody noticed the use of the correction fluid, you would tentatively fold it up, put it in an envelope and send it off.  Then the next time you talked to the recipient of your correspondence, they would make some sort of joke about how the correction fluid had not totally dried—so the letter stuck together.

It was one of those ideas that seemed really smart until it was actually put into practice and it became very complicated to pull it off and still look professional and error-free.

Thank God for the arrival of the computer, where you can hit the back space, and nobody ever need know your office-place iniquity.


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Condiment

Condiment: (n) a substance such as salt or ketchup that is used to add flavor to food.

I eat imitation crabmeat.

Real crab refuses to come to my neck of the woods–rents are too low, streets are not cared for enough and my yearly financial intake is unimpressive.

So I am stuck–or blessed–with the imitation (depending on what mood I’m in).

Unlike real crab, imitation crab is a substance with texture and very little flavor. That’s because it’s mostly egg whites, which could easily be classified as tasteless.

So when I sit down to eat my imitation crab, I need some sort of sauce, condiment or dip to give it gumption. A case could be made that I would lessen my calorie intake just by spooning the dip into my mouth. But there is enough texture, “fishiness” and girth to make the use of the imitation crab of some meaning.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

My favorite condiment is cocktail sauce. It has that little bit of horseradish in it that tickles my tongue (and my fancy, by the way.)

Yet the other night I found myself with imitation crab and no cocktail sauce. For some inexplicable reason I could not wrap my mind around using catsup or barbecue sauce.

In the corner of my refrigerator, standing tall but unused, was a container of honey mustard. Desperate to put my imitation crab to digestive conclusions, I squeezed some honey mustard on my plate–and dipped. It had just enough of a zing to give me my horseradish, and I had enough imagination to pretend that the mustard was really “the good red stuff.”

I was overjoyed.

I was so thankful that I lifted up my honey mustard container and complimented my condiment.

 

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Complexion

Complexion: (n) the natural color, texture, and appearance of a person’s skin

Sometimes I want to laugh, and I’m told it’s not permissible. They connote it would be disrespectful or place me out of step with the times.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

But I find it very difficult to take one matter seriously–after tens of thousands of years of habitation on the Earth, human beings are still evaluating one another by complexion–and not only evaluating, but feeling the need to live out a personality, a lifestyle, and a culture because of the hue of their skin.

But on this, the liberals and conservatives agree: there are many different cultures with many different customs unique unto them, which are often initiated simply due to the color of skin.

So if you’re a black person you don’t just have a darker complexion–you also need to be in agreement with your ancestors, going all the way back to Africa, which many Americans who have black skin might not even be able to identify on a map.

And if you’re a rosy-cheeked person who has relatives who were once Vikings, you must surely have an affinity for hard work, brats and beer (while denying rape and pillaging.)

I’m a mess. Ends up that I do have a color to my complexion, but enjoy perks from all different cultures and styles.

When will the Earth be able to solve its problems?

When our thinking has a deeper tone than our complexion.

 

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Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar: (n) dark, sweet Italian vinegar that has been matured in wooden barrels.Dictionary B

I guess it was around age 35 when I stopped trying to be enticed and instead, allowed myself to be convinced.

Up to that point, everything needed to have a sensuality, an obvious value or a pleasure related to it in order to grab my interest.

To put it bluntly, a stick had to come along a poke my lust–whether a lust for food, romance, power or even work–to get me revved up and ready to go.

Yes, I needed to be enticed.

So in that time–those “salad days”–when I ordered a salad, I always got a mix of Thousand Island and Blue Cheese dressing. Why?

  • Because I loved the taste.
  • I loved the rich, thick texture.
  • And I think, secretly, I was enthralled by the number of calories.

But then when I reached 35, I started thinking about my mortality. Death is highly unlikely when you’re a kid. But death lurks in your late thirties, and even though it’s not prominent, it is still evident.

It was at that point that I realized my choice of salad dressings was contrary to my good health. So I investigated other choices.

The one suggested to me more often than any other was balsamic vinegar. “Low in calories, good for your tummy and a promoter of excellent digestion.”

When I tasted it, I wanted to run out of the room. It was not creamy. It was not delicious. It was intrusive. Yes, that’s the word.

But since I was trying to move out of a climate of enticement, I allowed myself to be convinced that this dressing was to my betterment.

To this day, when I go to a restaurant and they don’t have lower calorie options, I will order it–not because it’s enticing, but because I finally am convinced.

 

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Anus

dictionary with letter A

Anus: (n) the opening at the end of the alimentary canal through which waste matter leaves the body.

There are many standards used for friendship.

Actually, the word “friend” is used quite loosely in our daily lexicon to refer to anyone who is present in our midst and whom we don’t want to offend by calling an “acquaintance.”

But I have one major criterion for true friendship. I know that I am finally in the presence of someone who is my lasting comrade when we are able to discuss bowel movements with each other.

It’s not something you can force (pardon the expression).

But most relationships are somewhat constipated until you feel the freedom to, shall we say, “let it all hang out.” There is something liberating about being able to discuss one of the more tangible evidences of one’s daily life and progress with another human being without fear of ridicule or grossing them out.

I can honestly tell you that I’ve only been able to achieve this with less than a handful of people. I have attempted it with other folks, only to see our interaction quickly go from friendship to stranger.

Yes, they considered me very strange because I took one of the more important bodily functions which produces some of the greatest relief and attempted to make it a common topic.

I have an anus.

I have never used it for anything other than relieving my bowels. Well, I guess I do sit on it. But it is ridiculous for us to be nervous about discussing the dispelling of waste or the clogging up thereof.

Yes, an anal definition of friendship would be the ability to discuss the anus and its production level without fear of being incriminated or considered gauche.

And of course, you know you’re in deep levels of intimacy when color, texture, frequency and flow are free game for your profitable dialogue.

 

 

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