Deck Chair

Deck chair: (n) a folding chair, usually with arms and a full-length leg rest, commonly used for lounging on decks

  • Cheap rate.
  • Cheap room.
  • Cheap pool.
  • Cheap chair.

That would surmise my experience with motels as I traveled across the country.

So I remember quite well one sunny Wednesday afternoon, when I arrived at the swimming pool of our motel, and noticed that they only offered the white, plastic resin chairs that one would find aplenty at Wal-Mart.

They are really quite remarkable, considering how cheaply they’re made. Looking at them, it’s hard to imagine they would hold anyone of any weight—but they do.

Coming to the pool, I discovered a small crowd of humanity. There was a brief stoppage of time as I became the new stranger, figuring out the gate and getting inside. There was an additional length of time while several of the occupants gawked at me because of my large size.

I was used to this. You can’t walk around being obese and think someone’s not going to notice it. Maybe you wish they would ignore your status or be more merciful, but people see what they want to see and have already judged what they think about it.

The problem that arose on this day was that apparently it occurred to those in the pool that I was going to have to go over and sit down in one of the plastic deck chairs.

They were right.

I wasn’t going to stand around.

And to a small degree, it became an issue of pride.

So I chose to take it on with gusto.

I strolled over, placed my towel on the table, stepped toward one of the chairs, attempted to aim my butt to land in the center, and sat down—only to have the chair give way, with four legs going in four different directions.

I landed flat on my butt, with a broken chair beneath me.

The gathered audience could not help themselves. They laughed.

There was one person who moved toward me to see if I was okay—but overall, I provided the levity for the afternoon.

But you see, it’s always about what happens next.

It’s not about getting in the chair.

It’s not about falling.

It’s about whether you absorb the humiliation or bounce off it like a rubber ball against a wall.

I wiggled my legs, waggled my butt, and rose to my feet as well as I could. Once upright, I turned to those in the pool, did a quick bow and pretended to tap dance. This brought more laughter.

I then picked up the chair with its dangling legs and spoke to the gathered.

“You might want to stay away from this chair–it seems to have a bad leg.”

They all laughed.

This time, they felt like they were allowed to laugh—because I set up the pins and rolled the ball in their direction. After doing my little routine, I quickly made my way down the steps, into the pool, splashing as the folks giggled.

The rest of the day, there was no soul who didn’t smile and nod at me every time I swam by. I don’t think they admired my obesity, nor condoned it, for that matter.

But they had enough human juice in them to realize that the only thing we can do as people on our way to becoming better, is keep a good attitude about it.

 

Courtly

Courtly: (adj) very polite or refined, as befitting a royal court.

Avoiding hassle.

Even though I understand that hassle is often what challenges our intelligence and helps us grow, it is certainly natural to try to elude it.

One of the primary ways to do this is to plant, deep within your consciousness, the understanding that everybody in the world has an opinion on how they think they should be treated—and if your approach varies from that, you are opening the door to hassle.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

There are so many social movements discussing how men and women should treat each other, or what is considered racially insensitive, that it is time for forward-thinking people to develop a lifestyle that is purposely innocuous, to aid us in dodging conflict.

Cases in point:

Some people appreciate honesty while other people want you to lie to them profusely (especially when it comes to evaluating their appearance or deeds).

There are those who want to be encouraged, and some who require critique.

And we certainly are aware that some travelers are more emotionally sensitive than others.

I will tell you—the only safe profile is to be courtly.

Yes, if you give the same respect to every fellow-shopper at Wal-Mart that you would offer if you were in Buckingham Palace with the Queen of England, you will pretty well guarantee never offending a human being with your profile.

So, if you walk in front of someone, say “Excuse me.”

If you bump into them, remind them of how clumsy you are.

If both of you come to the checkout line at the same time, let them go first.

And if they ask you how they look in their new swimsuit, defer to someone else who has superior wisdom on fashion.

  Donate Button


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Choosy

Choosy: (adj) overly fastidious in making a choice.

Oh, there goes Webster again.

For some reason, the dictionary feels it’s important to offer a certain amount of social commentary in describing the words that are showcased.

Here is the truth of the matter as far as I know: if you are not choosy, eventually you don’t get to choose, and you’re stuck with what’s chosen for you.

Welcome to Earth.

So portraying “choosy” as a negative attitude is the propaganda of governments, religionists, politicians and Madison Avenue agents, who would really like to plan your entire life, but feel that saying this bluntly might scare you away. So instead, they connote that you are “choosy” if you do not choose what they want you to choose on any chosen occasion.

If the dinner menu for the night is barbecued baked beans with barbecued beef and barbecued corn bread with barbecued pudding for dessert, folks might frown at you if, in a choosy way, you insist you prefer not to “go barbecue” tonight.

The problem in our world is not that people are too choosy. The difficulty lies in the fact that we’re not given enough choice.

  • Politics is divided into two major parties, with a whisker’s difference between the pair.
  • Churches insist they offer varieties of services, while simultaneously delivering the same spiritually tone-deaf message.
  • And the clothing in the department stores settles into shades that are determined to be this season’s preference, with stylings which are the “hit of the catwalk.”

What would happen if Americans actually did become choosy?

If we decided not to let the critics determine the best motion pictures?

If we didn’t leave it up to aging librarians to pick out the top books?

What if we had an open marketplace, an open discussion, an open spirit and an open mind–to give things a platform and see how they fared?

What if the whole world were a blind taste test? How would McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, Apple, Democrats, Republicans and the religious system chart?

I’m choosy–and pretty proud of it. I often disagree with other people about my choices, but never in a disagreeable way.

But I’m not about to believe that something being popular gives it any more credence than I am to think that the hula-hoop was meant to last forever.

 

Donate Button

 

Brand Name

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brand name: (n) a name given by the maker to a product

Johnson’s Baby Powder can cause cervical cancer.Dictionary B

Wow.

The brand names keep tumbling, as research proves that the products we ingest and utilize to improve our beauty and comfort have undisclosed lethal effects.

Of late I have found myself surrounded by children and grand-children who are obsessed with brand names.

Simply because someone can sew a tag with a graphic design inside a shirt does not mean the garment is legitimately tripled in worth.

I have had brand name clothes, and they fade with washing and wear out equivalent to Dollar General threads.

Did I ever find myself bragging about a pair of shoes that were made in some hamlet in Italy by little old men who had been in the trade since Leonardo di Vinci?

Probably.

But I was equally as critical of that footwear when it split out or wore out too soon, making me run to the local Wal-mart to gain a temporary replacement.

I’m not so sure that anything which makes us self-righteous, puffy, proud and arrogant has lasting value. And once a brand name loses its pungency because of scandal or lack of quality, it is very difficult to hang your hat on it anymore.

Take the brand name “Christian,” for example…

Donate ButtonThank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix 


 Don’t let another Christmas season go by without owning Jonathan’s book of Christmas stories

Mr. Kringle’s Tales …26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling!

An advent calendar of stories, designed to enchant readers of all ages

“Quite literally the best Christmas stories I have ever read.” — Arthur Holland, Shelby, North Carolina

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

"Buy

 

 

 

August

August (n): the eighth month of the year, in the northern hemisphere usually considered the last month of summer.

dictionary with letter A

It would be a toss-up between August and January.

These are the two months that are desperately in need of a good public relations agent, January being the let-down month after Christmas and the New Year, when the weather is miserable and people begin to get their credit card bills from Nativity celebrations.

But I still would have to say that August is the odd month out.

  • It foretells of the winding down of summer.
  • It’s when all swimsuits and inner tubes are discounted at your local Wal-Mart.
  • It’s also proclaimed to be the hottest month of the year, so therefore utility bills go up, fostering cranky consumers.
  • It also dangles on the precipice of the fall, which is full of the promise of football, whereas the month of August only offers a few measly exhibition games.

August is supposed to be august with regality but ends up producing the whining of young kids, complaining about the forthcoming of another school year, as they already begin to pine for better months with better holidays, like Halloween and Thanksgiving.

I don’t know whether you could promote August.

I have a dear friend who was born in August, so that makes it a little more pleasant.

But other than that, it’s kind of a let-down after July 4th, waiting for Saturday Game Day … for college football.

 

Donate Button

Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

*******************

NEW BOOK RELEASE BY JONATHAN RICHARD CRING

WITHIN

A meeting place for folks who know they’re human

 $3.99 plus $2.00 S&H

$3.99 plus $2.00 Shipping  & Handling

$3.99 plus $2.00 Shipping & Handling

Buy Now Button