by Rick Jones, Husband of the Minister's Wife
The winner of our “Name Rick's Column” contest is Jessica Cassidy. Congratulations, and I hope you enjoy those classic Spider-Man stories and the dessert bowls. For those of you who may worry about how giving up those items may be a hardship to me, be of good cheer. I have another copy of the book, so I can still read the Spidey stories, and I made very sure that I could eat desserts in other bowls before we made them part of the prize package.
Jessica's name was randomly picked, because while there were several fine suggestions made, I decided to go with an idea of my own: “Incessant Divagation.”
I like big words. Not always, because I think we should try to communicate clearly. But sometimes it's fun to use “prevaricate” instead of “lie”; “perambulate” instead of “walk”; “trepidation” instead of “fear.” Obscurities attract me as well, because it's fun to occasionally express common ideas in uncommon ways. I enjoy using terms like “divagation” that offend spell check programs even when spelled correctly.
Some pastors greet their congregations with “God is good, all the time,” and receive the unified response, “All the time, God is good.” I like it. But I also enjoyed using my best Yoda voice to greet one minister, who is a Star Wars fan, with “God all the time good is.” I surprised the leader of a Christian blues band with “God is perpetually omnibeneficent.” He blinked twice, thought a few seconds, and said, “Amen.” Then, the first chance he got, he left the room. Either he was searching for a dictionary or calling to tell Lois I'd skipped my medication.
I'm cognizant of pleonastic redundancies and terminological obscurantism frequently contributing to obfuscation rather than advancing elucidation. And using big words doesn't mean I'm smarter than the average bipolar bear. There are worse habits. Like calling local businesses to correct the spelling on their sign messages. Yes, I've done that. Yes, I know that's weird.
The good news: I don't intend to be habitually garrulous in this column. It's supposed to be fun, not a weekly edition of “Increase Your Word Power”. Which, by the way, was one of my favorite features in Reader's Digest when I was a kid. Yes, I know that's weird.
Quick note to Dave McDougle, a friend from days when I weighed much less and had more hair, who commented on my first articles: thanks for your support. I came very close to naming this column “Incessant Divagation . . . With Cheese.” Even though I don't really know what it means. Yes, Dave, you know I'm weird.