Crooked

Crooked: (adj) dishonest, not straightforward

 

There are certain things you remember:

The first time you rode a rollercoaster.

Your initial encounter with peanut butter.

How about the premiere kiss?

An award given in front of an applauding audience.

An orgasm.

An amount of money that crosses your hands that’s more than y you can imagine.

But I also clearly remember the first time somebody called me “crooked.”

I was so pissed. I didn’t consider myself crooked. I thought I was being thrifty. I viewed my efforts as ingenious.

For you see, I checked into a motel room with three other friends. We could only afford the single rate, so I purchased it for me alone. Then the other three arrived, scurrying around the back of the establishment to my front door, laughing that we had pulled off our little decoy.

Matter of fact, I think we were still giggling, high-fiving each other, when there was a knock at the door. I quickly silenced everyone in the room and motioned for them to go into the bathroom. I would handle whatever the intrusion happened to be.

When I opened the door, there was the front desk clerk. He demanded entrance. I acted offended. “What do you want?” I asked.

In broken English, he clearly exclaimed, “You bring more people in room! You lie! You cheat!”

Not sure what else to do, I invited him in, thinking he would walk around the beds, and see nobody else in the space—never believing he would actually open up the bathroom. So when he headed in that direction, I had to decide whether to deter him or just let it play out.

He was too fast for me. He was already opening the door. The bathroom was empty. But he was a persistent young man. He quickly pulled back the shower curtain. There were my three friends, standing in the tub, trying desperately to imitate invisibility. Finally one of my buddies burst out laughing—frightened nerves.

The young desk clerk exclaimed, “You must leave room now!”

I reached for my wallet to offer him the extra funds that would cover the four of us, but he would have none of it.

“No money,” he said, pushing my wallet away. “You lie. You cheat. You go.”

He headed toward the door, and I spoke, hoping to rationalize my actions. “Listen, man,” I said, “we were just trying to save money. We’re just kids. We’re broke. You know?”

He turned, looked me right in the eyes and said:

“You not kids. You not broke. You crooked.”

He immediately stepped out of the room and disappeared, coming back five minutes later to stand next to our van, to make sure we loaded up and left.

As is often the case with a quartet of individuals, there were four different takes on the event: one scared, one acting like he wasn’t part of it from the start, one indignant—wanting to go buy a dozen eggs and pelt the place.

And then there was me.

I was quiet, chilled to my soul.

I was bruised by being called “crooked.”

I didn’t view myself as deceitful, just clever.

But I learned that night that clever is crooked if it’s not honest.

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Contribute: (v) to give for a charitable purpose

What do I have to contribute?

Usually when this question is posed, it is anticipated that I will pull out my wallet, my checkbook or present my debit card. We are funny wisdom on words that begin with a Cthoroughly convinced that the mechanisms are in place for the success of many a venture. The only lacking seems to be a deficit in financing.

We aren’t looking for anyone to contribute a historical perspective on the proposal.

We certainly aren’t requesting travelers to contribute anecdotal examples of their personal experience in relation to the project.

And more often than not, we are unwilling to ask for the contribution of Mother Nature or Father God to enlighten us.

No, we’re all pretty well convinced that humanity is just dollars away from sense.

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Absent-minded

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Absent-minded: (adj.)  having or showing an habitually forgetful or inattentive disposition

I’ve misplaced my notes. I could have sworn I left them next to my wallet, which still may be possible because right now I can’t find my wallet. It is my style to leave my wallet on my nightstand next to my keys. But I just found my keys in the bathroom next to my razor, so I guess they are not near my wallet, unless my wallet is in there, too–which upon careful inspection, is …

Speaking of inspection, I think this year I have to have my van inspected for tags, even though I am not sure if the state of Florida demands that particular situation to acquire tags.

I was thinking about a tag I had on my window that my son and daughter-in-law purchased for me, to pay for tolls when you go through those easy tag places on the roads. It’s not on my window.

I was so glad the other day when I had a big pebble hit the front of my car off of one of those gravel trucks–you know what I mean?–it slammed against the glass and I thought, “Oh, no. I hope it doesn’t chip or leave one of those little stars on the windshield, it would have to be repaired.” But it didn’t–so I was relieved.

Speaking of relieved, it was really cool that the Louisville basketball team won, even though they lost one of their players because he broke his leg. I’ve never broken a leg, though I think I cracked a bone in my ankle once. Can you crack a bone? I never got it set or anything. Of course, now, with these emergency outposts in malls, you could get that kind of thing done quickly.

And on the subject of malls,  it’s been a while since I’ve been to one. You know what I find? The things I want are so specific that I don’t just go to shop around anymore. I just get them.

And back to getting, I need to find my notes. Where did I put them?

Well, there’s my wallet. Yep. There’s my notes. Right next to my wallet.

Let me see. Notes for absent-minded…

The phone is ringing. Perhaps another time.