Cute

Cute: (adj) attractive, appealing and delightful

There are many foolish things a man can do—like trying to shave while driving down the highway.

But perhaps chief among the ridiculous is espousing a great understanding of women.

I’m not saying they’re mysterious.

But women do not always share a lingo with men when it comes to certain subjects.

I’m talking about sexuality.

I dare say that most women don’t use the word “sexy” unless they’re referring to their boyfriend or husband. Men, on the other hand, award the word “sexy” like certificates of participation at a third-grade class assembly.

Women are much more diverse. For instance:

“He’s nice.”

A kind comment—but also carries the heavier realization of, “I will never sleep with him.”

“He’s funny.”

This is a positive comment from a woman, but if she begins to believe that you’re ONLY funny, how could she ever get serious?

“He’s hard-working.”

Something she admires, but to her detriment, doesn’t always pursue.

But “he’s sexy,” in the female kingdom, is usually reserved for her romantic partner or—oh, yes—some Hollywood star.

So what word will tell you that a woman could consider you viable—not just a friend?

“He’s cute.”

Believe it or not, it’s the same word she might have used when she was in high school. But it opens a door in her brain which allows you, as a man, to become more than a chum to watch Netflix with on a Tuesday night.

In the realm of the female, I think you can pretty well take it to the bank:

“Cute” is a general nod of affection and a quiet proclamation of possibilities.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Curlers

Curler: (n) rollers on which locks of hair are wound or clamped for

For most of my adult life, I have toured with women.

There are worse jobs.

I suppose at a later time, I can go into detail about the physiology, psychology and even the spirituality of being so closely entwined with all these delightful daughters of Eve.

Today I would just like to talk about curling hair.

There was a time when it was very popular. I think the favorability of women curling their hair is based upon how sick they get of straight hair dangling in their face. This creates the backlash—welcoming curls.

There was one particular young woman of my acquaintance who faithfully curled her hair before every show.

Now please understand, when I use the word “show,” I’m not speaking of huge theaters and venues with doormen. In the era of our voyaging, we performed in just as many single-room coffeehouses as concert halls.

It didn’t matter.

This devoted, divinely inspired, dedicated young damsel refused to go onstage anywhere without curling her hair.

Even when there was no stage, she still required fifteen minutes—where all she needed was an electrical outlet, her hot curlers and a chance to roll her hair up, let it set for five minutes and then remove them, leaving behind her do.

She always looked great.

Her hair appeared so beautiful when it was curled that I went to a barbershop and asked them if they could do a perm in my hair. (This was back when that hairstyle had not yet been relegated to the Kingdom of Foolishness.)

It took a lot of courage for me to decide to get a perm, and even more to ask for it. Yet without even taking a breath or missing a beat, the barber responded:

“You don’t have enough hair for a perm.”

This really hurt.

I wasn’t sure I wanted a perm, but to know that I was already bald enough—or on the path to it—that I was not permitted to even consider one, was depressing.

So unlike my traveling companion with her curlers, I just did my best with a soft hairbrush and a splat of water.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Cry

Cry: (v) to weep or shed tears

Sometimes we grumble that nothing is getting better.

It may seem that the surrounding world is out of control and we are stuck moving at about 30 miles per hour.

So it is refreshing to allow oneself to consider the things that have improved and progressed us, instead of maintaining a cave-man attitude, wearing better clothes.

One of those things is crying.

We used to believe that crying was for women and small children. Men either didn’t cry or cried so quietly that you could not tell they were actually weeping.

It was considered a sign of weakness.

Then something changed.

Maybe it was the realization that three or four dozen football players working their asses off to win a game, only to lose it by one point in the last three seconds, did evoke tears—and there was nothing to be ashamed of.

Yes, we did become a better race when we realized that men cry as much as women. They have just learned how to mask it and not completely break down sobbing.

I cry.

I like to cry.

I’m trying to learn to cry without needing the stimulus of feeling sorry for myself. There’s a certain nobility to mourning for the needs and losses of others. I mean, I know what to say when I’m around a fellow human being who’s hurt.

But I’m not satisfied with how little I feel.

For instance, I am still very much relieved that it’s not me who’s going through the trouble. I want to express my sentiments of support and hope but not turn it into an all-day affair.

Mainly, I would like to do more to remove tragedy, sadness and despair from the world around me, so I don’t have to try to work it up inside myself or fail to do so and feel like a jerk.

I cry.

Unfortunately, most of the time I cry for myself.

But every once in a while, the Spirit that lives within me breaks through, wins the day and allows me to feel what it’s like to be another—and be tragically damaged.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

I never thought of it before, but until we allow ourselves to cry, we’re not putting the troubles out of our lives.

We’re just putting them out of our minds.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Counterculture

Counterculture: (n) the culture and lifestyle of those people who reject or oppose the dominant values and behavior of society.

Take any thirty years.

Yes—look back in your history book and isolate off a thirty year period and you will realize that every group of people who was deemed to be “counterculture” was ignored for ten years, rejected for the next ten, but by the third decade had gained position, if not predominance.

It also holds true for our common values. Case in point:

Divorce used to be never spoken of—ignored, if you will. Then for a while it was rejected as unacceptable. And now, it’s not only a part of our society, but it is generally assumed that any human being over the age of thirty-five has divorced at least once.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

An obvious example is the gay community, which was at first ignored, then heavily rejected, and now appears deeply rooted in the fabric of our culture.

Yet there are two outstanding exceptions to this theory—black people and women.

Our American citizens who happen to have black skin seem to have stalled somewhere between rejection and inclusion.

And women continue to be bandied about as sexual objects instead of living, breathing sisters in our fight for sanity.

’Tis perplexing. It certainly gives some food for thought.

For when I was a young man, the war in Vietnam was a symbol of courage and American will to fight communism. Enter the counterculture of anti-war. Now, the Indochina conflict is basically a very dark joke.

I, for one, am going to be very careful to reject to anything as counterculture—because even the faith I hold dear, which proudly meets in churches every Sunday, was once condemned to be a counterculture, secretly fellowshipping in the tombs.


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Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi: (n) the body of Christ

I suppose they thought it was extremely clever, to manufacture a rubber bodysuit—bruised, beaten and bloodied.

When they made the movie, “The Passion of the Christ,” they had their actor don this monstrosity of an outfit, believing it would convey the suffering of Jesus on the cross.

It is a classic case of over-kill.

To understand the true indignity of the sacrifice of Jesus of Nazareth, you must step into an operating room in a hospital and breathe in deeply. The smell of funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
blood will rattle your nostrils. It is a nasty odor, meant to be foreign to our consciousness.

Perhaps you want to go on the scene of a horrible car wreck and see the blood still pouring out of the wounds of dying people to understand his situation—there was no time for clotting because the beating continued and the blood was pouring forth, dangerously leaving the body and threatening death long before he was nailed in the hands and feet.

Perhaps if you were around someone bleeding to death and you heard their screams of thirst and realized they were in agony just from the lack of water…

As always, Hollywood dramatizes but never actually captures the drama.

The most tender, gentle man who ever lived, who healed lepers, hugged children, granted women equality and offered love as an alternative to the futility of fear, was beat to a pulp by religious people who thought they were acting in the name of God.

May we learn from that image: Corpus Christi—the body of Christ—which was ravaged by the self-righteous.

May we quietly, humbly and reverently realize how the stupidity of hatred, lying, cheating and self-promotion continues to murder him today.


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Contentious

Contentious: (adj) containing argument or strife

There is no human being who is mature enough to recognize differences with another human being without setting up the arena for disagreement and fighting.

We think we are so damn open-minded, when what we really are is insecure enough that if we don’t surround ourselves with those who uplift our flag of opinion, we will soon, in a warlike fashion, start looking for enemies to emotionally punch.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

The only way to avoid contention is to seek all things in common, so that when variations of thought rise to the surface, it is unusual rather than expected.

Otherwise, a Baptist having lunch with a Catholic is prepared to play Bible superiority. A Republican going to a movie with a Democrat is already determining that his or her opinion must differ—otherwise, what’s the sense of being Republican? And men and women, who certainly find joy and pleasure in one another, are prodded by the entertainment industry and countless books, to find occasions to be at odds.

It is very difficult to be contentious with someone who agrees with you.

So, if you set out to find points of commonality and humanity, then, whether you think there should be a pipeline running through the middle of the country or not, it has much less possibility of turning into a bloody war of mayhem.

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Concession

Concession: (n) something that is granted

A few obvious but still needfully shared concessions:

  1. I am not nearly as smart as I think, nor even as you project.
  2. I am not a stud. I don’t know a stud. What is a stud?
  3. Diets don’t work, but when I eat less I weigh less.
  4. Talent is overrated, leaving creativity orphaned.
  5. I am not the best at anything but in a pinch can pass.
  6. There is no difference between a Republican and a Democrat when they are both blind to real human need.
  7. Church does not make people better. Just pious.
  8. As long as men are trying to be superior, women will never be able to pull themselves up to equality.
  9. Even though I like to watch it, football is a dangerous sport.
  10. I can’t taste the beer in my bratwurst.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

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Mr. Kringle's Tales...26 Stories 'Til Christmas

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