Cops and Robbers

Cops and robbers: (n) a children’s game in which a group of players imitate the behavior of police and of thieves, as in pursuing and capturing.

I quickly ran through my mind a list of friends from my youth, with whom I played cops and robbers on a regular basis.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

There were many derivations to the game. But as I think back on it, all the guys who ended up being straight arrows chose to be cops. And all the dudes who ended up with a twist in their fate were robbers.

There was never any argument. Definitely, everyone had already decided whether they wanted to be a cop or a robber.

At the time, I didn’t consider that we were possibly making permanent life choices. But as it turns out, “cop buddies” tried very hard to be the equivalent peace-keeping individuals when they reached adulthood, while the “robber boys” took chances, failed, crunched cars and had an occasional scrap, which led to a scrape with the law.

Which group ended up happier?

As it turned out, the kids who chose “cops” played it safer, but life, being an aggressive and angry force from time to time, still tracked them down and plagued them with divorces, bankruptcies and odd diseases.

The “robbers,” who were prepared to be rebellious, actually, in many cases, took these attacks more in stride, and viewed them as challenges rather than curses.

It’s difficult to say.

I suppose you might wonder whether I chose to be a cop or a robber. Whenever the game was played, to satisfy both parties, I volunteered to go on the donut run.


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Coot

Coot: (n) a foolish or crotchety person, especially one who is old

I have officially become old enough to become a coot. I’m not sure what age qualifies you, but age is certainly a factor.

There are other considerations:

Coots always talk about “how good things used to be.”

Coots tend to refer to society as using a “handbasket on their way to hell.”

Coots pine for a time when they were younger and full of energy.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I honestly don’t feel any of that whatsoever.

Many of my growing-up years were filled with ignorance, prejudice, anger, self-righteousness and bloodshed in an unrighteous war. So I don’t yearn to go back—I just insist that there are two things the human race can’t live without, and we should cease deleting them from our browser.

Human beings must have empathy and self-deprecation. If you don’t like the idea of self-deprecation, then insert humility.

When we stop feeling empathy for the man or woman next to us, we become enemies to our own species, similar to a bee who plots with the flies to steal the honey.

And when we don’t produce adequate humility, the obnoxious odor that comes off our being chases people from the room.

I’m not an old coot.  I don’t care who you sleep with. I don’t care what your political party is. I don’t care what your faith or lack of faith might be.

But when you mess with empathy and humility, I will dig my heels in, because then you’re plotting the destruction of the human race—of which I am proudly a member.


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Bush

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bush: (n) a shrub or clump of shrubs

One of the more comical things to pursue is a return visit to the homestead of your youth, to discover that everything is half the size, half the beauty, half the value and therefore, half the blessing.

I did it.

I went back to my home and just had to giggle all through the process, peering at the lawn I was convinced was twenty acres in size when I had to mow it, but now seemed barely large enough for three children to play.

The brick home I remembered as being hugely sufficient was now a postage stamp for a very tiny letter.

But there, next to the driveway, was the bush–still remaining–always a great paradox to me, or maybe even a metaphor. Because every year this bush sprouted little red berries, which looked so tantalizing, but my mother insisted were poison. And every time I reached over to pick them, or even touch them, she screamed her warning about their danger.

Yet in all the years we lived there, nobody ever tried to remove the damn bush so little fingers wouldn’t be tempted. It just sat there, being beautifully red with fruit, crying to me to disobey my mother and pursue the wonder of the unknown.

Yes, now I know how Eve felt.

 

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Blab

Blab: (v) to reveal secrets by indiscreet talk.

Dictionary B

It has taken me too many years to learn to shut up.

All through my youth, I was enamored with the power of my own speech and the intelligence of the insights I possessed.

I was prepared, at the drop of a hat, to comment on hat dropping.

I felt it was my duty.

I thought it asserted my individuality.

Yet too much talk is a premature revelation of the limit of one’s intelligence.

It also quickly reveals hidden prejudices.

And it fills the room with the fragrance of one’s verbiage–overwhelming those all around with the noxious fumes.

I was guilty of blabbing.

I got too comfortable, shared secrets that were meant to be holy and made them common.

  • I wanted to be smart.
  • I yearned for acceptance.

And then one day, I discovered the power of well-selected silence.

I could still have the thoughts bouncing around.

I could have an inner giggle over a humorous idea that popped into my head.

But I didn’t need to make it public domain.

There’s too much blabbing in America … and unfortunately, all the speaking does not seem to increase the hearing.

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Badminton

Badminton: (n) a game with rackets in which a shuttlecock is played back and forth across a net.Dictionary B

My parents were so conservative that they didn’t allow us to refer to it as a “shuttlecock.”

They felt that was inappropriate.

Although they certainly wanted me to play badminton (which I found out later was due to the fact that it was so cheap to buy and maintain, and that no net was really necessary–you could just hit it over a clothes line) they were not pleased with the name given to the..well, what they called the “birdie.”

Of course by the time I got into high school, the word birdie made us giggle.

Without reservation, I will tell you that I basically hated the game. There was no skill involved in it unless you weighed about thirty pounds and were willing to run great distances brought about by the erratic flying of the shuttlecock. (Now I’m just saying it to rebel against my training.)

And it was very difficult to hit the thing right on its little nose, where it would fly straight. And then, upon striking it with all your might it would barely ascend five feet into the air before crashing onto the ground to avoid further abuse.

I was a big boy, so I normally found myself taking the tiny racquet and flailing in the air, and then making contact with the birdie sideways, on its wings, therefore having it fall. useless and dead.

I once saw a badminton tournament, and people seemed to know how to hit the thing and make it soar a great distance. But I must be honest–I had no curiosity whatsoever to ask them how they achieved this feat.

Badminton, like so many other things from my youth, was soon abandoned … and even more quickly forgotten.

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Abubble

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abubble: (adj.) with great happiness and enthusiasm.

Gosh, I wish I could use that word. Wouldn’t that be fun, if you could walk into your house and turn to your family or friends and proclaim that “everyone seems abubble tonight?”

I certainly don’t want to begin this Monday with a lamentation; it’s just that sometimes it seems to me that if you use really colorful words or intelligent expressions, people look at you like you’re hoity-toity or maybe even a little fruity. Or worse–perhaps British.

Abubble is a great term.

There are certain occasions that should be abubble. People walking out of a movie theater should be abubble if they’ve seen a comedy, bouncing around from one foot to another, excitedly talking to their friends about what they’ve just viewed.

When the doors of a church open to release the congregants into the parking lot, there should be folks abubble with excitement, blessing and a celebration of God’s wonderful grace.

I think husbands and wives should be abubble. I know there are serious times and difficulties, but generally speaking, if we’re working out our problems instead of tabling them like we’re at the United Nations, the by-product of glee and gladness should seep forth.

But some words are deemed to be overwrought or old-fashioned. For instance, I told a group of people yesterday that they were proclaimed to be “contemporary” because they were laid-back, unmoved by the circumstances around them. When did the evidence of youth become a countenance unaffected? I don’t get it.

Even though we may never be able to return to commonly using the word “abubble” to describe the happiness coming from our hearts, we do need to find some word that allows us to celebrate the beauty of surviving difficult moments of humanity and coming out the other side …  victorious.