Caboodle

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Caboodle: (n) a lot, a group

Nothing in the world identifies you as an old person as much as using words that are no longer in circulation.

Honestly, I’m astounded that “cool” has survived through so many generations. But don’t think that “boss, groovy” or “hip” made the journey.

I caught myself the other day, in trying to emphasize the need to use all available resources for a project, nearly saying, “Let’s include the whole kit and caboodle.

Fortunately, my radar spy sense was beaming three or four words ahead. I came to a halt–for a few seconds simulating dementia–trying to find a current terminology that equaled that ancient one.

I came up with a blank, so I said, “We need to include the…well…everything.”

It was awkward, but not nearly as devastating as having a bunch of younger folks try to figure out what “kit and caboodle” meant, while simultaneously jotting down suggestions on their I-Phones for Christmas gifts for me, which would include a tapioca maker.

Words can kill.

But in a greater sense, they can wound your fragile ego.

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Bullet

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Bullet: (n) a projectile for firing from a gun

I was thirteen years old and my dad placed a rifle in my hands.

He explained that it was a small gun. I think it was a .22. He had promised to take me out on one of his rabbit-hunting trips.

I was thrilled.

I was especially pumped up when I was allowed to go out for target practice, to shoot some cans–or at least, attempt to do so.

He loaded the rifle, told me how to hold it and laughed a little bit when I was surprised with the kick-back.

When the day of the hunting trip arrived, my dad asked me to load my own rifle. I had watched him do it. But now it was in my hand.

For about a minute, I did nothing but finger the bullet, roll it around in my hand and stare at it. It was not huge, but it was very hard and scary. I put it into the chamber, heard the click, loaded another one and another one.

All at once I realized that these pieces of metal were going to be fired at an extraordinary rate of speed, toward a living creature. It wasn’t that I was against the idea of hunting rabbits or eating them.

Suddenly it was just about the bullet.

So when we arrived in the field and scared up a few rabbits, my older brother shot one. There was a big cheer. We all ran over to the location and I looked down at the ball of fur laying in the grass. It didn’t look real. Certainly did not look alive.

My dad showed me what a good marksman my older brother was because he had struck the rabbit in the head.

I gazed at the wound. Dark red–sticky, with blackened fringes where the impact had exploded the bunny brain.

I was taken aback.

  • It didn’t make me anti-gun.
  • It didn’t make me anti-hunting.
  • It didn’t make me against “the right to bear arms.”

It just made me damn aware of what a bullet can do to anything living.

 

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Bite

Bite: (v) to use the teeth to cut into something

For the solace, comfort and sanity of all humankind, it is very important that we understand that no one is naturally good at parenting.Dictionary B

There are no books you can read which will add any permanent sense of well-being to the practice, but instead, offer divergent theories which may work for a time, and then fall into piles of ridiculous.

I had children. (I still have them–they’re just not quite as childish as they used to be.)

I remember when my two oldest were at their youngest, and only a year-and-a-half apart. The older one decided he liked to bite his little brother.

We explained to him that this was not good etiquette.

We shared how much his bites were painful to his little brother.

With his four-year-old face, he listened intently, only to turn around ten minutes later and go on a “chomp fit.”

I was at a loss.

Finally one day, immediately after he had inflicted a fresh wound on his sibling, I leaned over, grabbed his chubby leg, and bit into his fatty tissue.

He screamed out in pain and continued to holler for about ten more minutes.

After he calmed down, I came very close to his face with mine, and said, “That’s what it feels like when you bite someone.”

Even though for a season he was a little afraid to be around me for fear that I had taken up full-fledged cannibalism, he never bit his brother again.

You see, there was a time in our country when we evaluated the power of a solution by whether it worked. Now we consider if such actions are proper, appropriate, bullying or will leave a lasting neurosis.

Too bad.

Because my solution for having a son who liked to bite was convincing him, through my actions, that he had bitten off more than he could chew.

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Bandage

Bandage: (n) a strip of material used to bind a wound or to protect an injured part of the body.Dictionary B

The reason “the truth makes you free” is that you do not have to exhaust yourself finding new hiding places for your stupidity.

During a particularly stubborn point in my life, I developed an infection in my left big toe.

I didn’t think much about it. At first it just looked like athlete’s foot. (Matter of fact, that’s what I called it. I was rather proud to be athletic enough to have a corresponding foot.)

But it got worse. It festered and then spread to my nearby toe, so I had two little fellas who were now unable to go to market.

My denial increased.

I did not want to go to the doctor with it because I felt ridiculous asking a man of medicine to deal with “my little piggies.”

It began to seep pus, having to be bandaged every day by a friend of mine, who was so gracious that she pretended it wasn’t a big deal.

After a while, it stunk.

She and I pretended like it didn’t, so as to keep propriety moving along properly. Then it started turning black.

That’s not good.

So I tried more home remedies, and convinced myself on a daily basis that it appeared to be healing. I even bought some silver over the Internet because it was referred to as an “old-fashioned antibiotic” that I could pour on the wound and believe I had discovered some great medical elixir of the gods.

My toe got so sick that it finally made all of me sick. I went to the hospital, but was too late to save the two toes, so they were amputated.

I hope I haven’t grossed you out with my story, and if you’re still reading it, you must have a great constitution.

But here’s the truth about bandages:

They were created to cover a wound while it’s healing … not disguise a wound that needs treatment.

 

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