Committee

Committee: (n) a group of people appointed for a specific function

As the years have passed, I have selected to remain silent when hearing ideas which are doomed.

When younger, I often voiced my opinion and even offered prophetic utterances of the gigantic failure which lay in the future of these ideas. It made me a nasty bastard, especially when the words ended up being true.

There are things people get excited about.

Voting–even though we continue to discover that the American public can vote for a candidate and prefer that individual by the popular vote, and a handful of elitists will go into a back room and change the will of the people.

Some folks get excited over new discoveries–an ingenious, creative way to use your toilet paper.

And truthfully, many, many of my fellow-delightful-humans are completely enamored with the idea of committees.

It seems so right: “Why don’t we all get together, discuss this and come up with a suitable compromise?”

I have perched myself in committees. I have watched them–and often been the victim of their anemic passivity.

Because after all, what a committee does is trim the edges off a knife until it looks sleek, is safer, but won’t cut a goddamn thing.

That’s what discussion does. We decide to become inclusive of every opinion, when honest to God, sometimes our opinions don’t matter.

Having a committee to discuss gender bias, racism, personal freedom–and voting, for that matter–is absolutely useless.

But yet:

We learn Parliamentary Procedure.

So we can have our committee.

And obviously pretend that we live in England.

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Basket

Basket: (n) a container used to hold or carry thingsDictionary B

I have never been particularly fond of work.

I do prefer work that I make up instead of chores that are made up for me. But like every other God-fearing American, I enjoy money.

So when I was a kid–about twelve–my dad, for a very brief time, grew strawberries on our little farm, with the intent of picking them, selling them and procuring an extra income.

Nobody in our family knew how difficult it was to pick strawberries. The plants do not have the decency to grow tall enough to reach up to you. No, you have to go down to get them on the ground.

My dad wanted to sell a pint of strawberries for a quarter. He offered me a nickel for every pint of strawberries I picked.

So I picked and I picked and I picked–and every time I brought him a pint to examine, he said it was not quite full.

At the end of the first day, I had only picked two pints, earning a dime. So overnight, practically in my dreams, I came up with a plan.

Unknown to my father, I carried a roll of toilet paper with me into the strawberry patch, and filled the bottom of my basket halfway with toilet paper, making sure that when I picked the strawberries, they covered the toilet paper so that it would take half as much to achieve a pint.

That night I not only received great praise for picking more baskets–eight in all–but proudly walked away with 40 cents.

I pulled this off for two days until people who were purchasing the strawberries began to complain to my parent about being cheated out of product by being given bathroom issue.

My father was furious.

I don’t know whether he was more unhappy because of the complaints of the people or because I was such a cheat.

But I learned that day that a basket is a basket and never will cease to be a basket.

If you find the basket is too small, then you need to get a larger basket.

And, as in the case of my strawberry picking, if you find the basket is too big, rather than cheating, you must acquire a smaller basket.

 

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Barracuda

Barracuda: (n) a large, predatory tropical marine fish with a slender body and large jaws and teeth.Dictionary B

Some things are creepy:

  • Rough toilet paper
  • Bratty babies
  • And big fish with teeth

As intimidated as I may be by a shark, a barracuda is really bone-chilling.

I guess it’s because I like the idea of fish who gum their worms instead of fish who bite my leg.

Matter of fact, I almost refuse to think about it.

If it weren’t for the Wilson sisters and the rock band, Heart, I would never have allowed my brain to think about “barracuda.” And the word only became tolerable as Ann Wilson cooed it out as a seductive come-on in their hit song.

I don’t know why it sounds sexy to me–that a woman would be a barracuda–but I guess there’s just enough perversion within my being that having a lady chomp on me seems erotic.

I know.

I’m crazy.

But I don’t think I’m alone, because they sold … a lot of records. 

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Ample

dictionary with letter A

Ample (adj): enough or more than enough; plentiful.

I refer to it as the “Nancy regret.”

She was a girl I knew who just never could quite allow herself to be grateful, appreciative or satisfied with anything.

If we got a sandwich at a restaurant and everybody was talking about how ample the serving was and delicious the flavor, Nancy would point out to one and all that it was “pretty good but could have been improved by some brown mustard.”

We once took a field trip to an amusement park. The whole class was abuzz about the exciting rides, sweet-tasting corn dogs and fluffy cotton candy. Nancy inserted that the public restrooms didn’t have toilet paper in all the stalls.

When we graduated from high school, we donned our caps and gowns, and with tears in our eyes, bid each other a fond farewell, only to have Nancy close with the lament that she believed the choice of pink for the female gowns was “a bit startling.”

I never forgot Nancy. I’ve often wondered what her wedding night was like, as her poor, helpless husband attempted to pull off the best miracle of romance he could with the accommodations provided, and then, lying there in the dark afterglow, to receive Nancy’s critique.

Sometimes things are ample.

And any additional comment beyond the appreciation of having what you need at the time you need it is not only bratty, but as I pointed out … will turn you into a real Nancy.

 

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Abacus

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter AAbacus:  An oblong frame with rows of wires or grooves, along which beads are slid, used for calculating.abacus

I’ve heard of these things. I’m not so sure I’ve ever actually been in the presence of one. Listen to me go on. . . “Presence of one…”

It’s not exactly an alligator or the Queen of England. I always thought the Chinese used it for calculating–and since my society universally believes the Chinese are good calculators, I guess an abacus is quite efficient.

It looks complicated. It looks like one of those games advertised by Milton Bradley, with moving pieces that have seven pages of directions and you find yourself baffled by the second paragraph.

Can I be the first one to say that I think the calculator may be one of the greatest inventions ever known to man? It comes in second behind the fork. Never underestimate the power of that utensil.

Boy, that got me thinking. I gave such an importance to the fork, and left out toilet paper. I sometimes get picky about toilet tissue. It’s amazing how valuable it is, though,  even if it’s a second cousin to sand paper.

Anyway, back to the abacus. I was never good in math. I mean, I did great with long addition, subtraction, division, multiplication. But then, when it had to be explained instead of ciphered, with algebra, geometry, and we shall not even mention calculus, I started feeling like the last monkey staring across the plain at a group of humans building a fire. In other words, I saw the need, appreciated the effort, but had no way of fathoming the process.

I probably should go out, find an abacus and enlighten myself on its value, but instead, I think I’ll just go to the store and purchase a calculator.