the revised devil's dictionary

C c

callous adj Anyone who can sit through an entire showing of Love Story without projectile vomiting.

cancer n 1: A multitude of dread diseases that kill thousands of human beings and healthy laboratory animals each year. 2: A sign of the zodiac; the Crab. The nicest person born under this sign was Leona Helmsley. 3: The parallel of latitude 23 degrees 27 minutes North, which signifies the beginning of the  tropics. The area from this latitude to the corresponding 23 degrees, 27 minutes South latitude, is called the Torrid Zone, because people in this belt spend entirely too much time in bed.

carcinogenic adj Having the property of causing or augmenting the formation of cancer. Since there are only two things that don’t, castor oil and library paste, it’s hardly a useful adjective.

Case’s Criticism obs Plastic is the teak of our time. (David Case)

Cassandra’s Complaint maxim Remote controls don’t work on lecturing parents or pets.

catpa n Any incomplete, inconsistent, possibly incoherent framework of disparate beliefs, such as a political party platform. The mirror image of dogma. Works the same way, though.

celibate adj One who celibates. See celibates.

celibates vi Not what it sounds like, believe me. Basically, to not go forth and multiply, divide, etc. (Ignore the split infinitive, please. Any other construction is silly.)

cell phone n An electronic gizmo designed by brain researchers to investigate the effect of quantum civility, a newly discovered property of nature that, so far, appears to disappear whenever a cryptic series of beeps occurs. New York City, while not the site of the original cell phone invention (which of course occurred in New Jersey), has the highest ratio of cell phone to brain cell usage (4 to 1) in the world. See civility.

CEO abbr Business abbreviation for the head of a corporation. Stands for Chief Economic Outlay.

Chad, Saint pers The patron saint of disputed elections, Chad was appointed to be the bishop of York even though the current bishop was alive and well, though living in Gaul. Unlike many who run for office, Chad being humble, gladly gave up the job and took over as bishop of Mersia. It should be noted that the weather was much better in Mersia than York.

Charleston n Port city of South Carolina, Charleston is a beautiful city with some of the world’s largest, best educated, and most polite cockroaches. Leash laws are in effect.

chaste adj Untried virtue.

checklist n A facile and usually quixotic listing of related items, often with some sort of haphazard precedence thrown in the general direction of perceived and arbitrary progress. Quite popular with media-lite magazines like Reader’s Digest, Grit and The Midnight Star. One important common denominator of checklists besides brevity is simplicity, such as in the following example checklist, which comes from the noted new age publication: Home, Health and Hemorrhoids:

           The Seven Warning Signs of Death

1: Partial or complete loss of hearing.
2: Extreme stiffness in the joints.
3: Difficulty with complex verbal concepts such as pronouns or verbs.
4: Difficulty in breathing.
5: Loss of appetite.
6: Loss of verbal skills involving the vocal chords or tongue.
Difficulty in making decisions.

If you or anyone you know answers yes or sometimes to four or more of these questions, the advice and services of a mortician are indicated.

childhood n That portion of one’s lifetime in which one can enjoy uncomplicated, straightforward pursuits such as slander, ridicule, petty persecution, petty theft & lying, gluttony and sheer stupidity. See adulthood.

chiropractic n A medical theory based on manipulation of the skeletal structure and pocketbook.

Christmas Tree folklore The preferred sacrifice for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. It is said that if your Christmas Tree crowns during the holidays, you will have an eventful holiday with many visitors, many of whom will be dressed in colorful costumes, wielding water hoses and axes.

citizen n Any person over the age of 18 and gullible enough to believe that the main purpose of government is to govern, not tax.

civility n 1: Either total silence or solitude or an number of other “S” words that indicate little or no contact with civilization. See solitary confinement. 2: A characteristic, hypothetical in groups of ten or more people, currently under investigation by quantum mechanics. One current hypothesis holds that two people can be civil to each other at the same time only if both are silent. If one is speaking, the physical laws of the universe appear to require that the other interrupts. In groups larger than two the probability of civility decreases arithmetically until the quantum number of 9, at which point civility cuts and runs for cover. See boom box. See cell phone.

civilization n An edifice built upon the four cornerstones of treachery, deceit, hypocrisy, and greed.

clemency n The dispensation of mercy by authority when money is tight. See pardon. The difference between a pardon and clemency is about $400,000.

classified adj Pre-publication rumors. Post-publication rumors are called an indictment or embezzlement if the current administration is Republican, impeachment or a civil lawsuit if Democratic.

clone n What you get when Nature stutters.

cloture n 1: A parliamentary device used to end meaningless and endless debate. It must not work very well; the Congressional Record is still being published. 2: The functional equivalent  to a parliamentary orgasm.  That is, something rarely achieved without sustained and coordinated activity.

coalition n A fusion of disparate odds and ends, welded together by three things: fear, greed, and hate. Those that last, anyway.

Coldwell’s Law maxim A house divided cannot sell.

collective noun n A wonderful and quixotic aspect of the English language, collective nouns are nouns that refer to an aggregate of individuals. Some examples of collective nouns are a ‘murder of crows’, a ‘riot of radicals’, a ‘disgruntlement of llamas’, a ‘fusillade of reactionaries’, and a ‘miasma of journalists’.

commitment 1: arch adj Papers assigning an individual to a lunatic asylum. 2: adj Any person who is successful in convincing others around him of the fiction that he works far harder than they do.

concentrate v To focus upon, employing the massive bludgeon of one’s mental rigidity.

conceptipation n Common mental condition recently recognized by the American Academy of Fuzzy Logic as a disease, characterized by difficulty in conceiving three or more what-if conditions. Presidential elections appear to be a factor in the spread of this disease. See Hainesian.

consensus n 1: General agreement within a group, especially after protracted, lengthy, bitter debate and loss of life. 2: Opinion obtained by straw polling when the opposition is not present. See team building. 3: The current thinking of the team supervisor.

conservative n One who has raised selfishness to the level of an art form. See liberal.

conspiracy n 1: Any set of random events that can be hammered into a semblance of order. 2: For fascists, any series of random events. Ordering is not necessary.

convention n Any large gathering of people for a purpose other than sex, useful for the forging of uninformed opinion or the selling of straw hats. If sex is involved, it’s called a congress, rather than a convention.

conventional adj 1: Successfully pigeon-holed. 2: Conforming to existing standards, however hopelessly archaic. 3: An individual who can spout the party line without being awake. See ant.

cost effective n 1: Anything that one does not have to pay for. This includes all government endeavors, which no one pays for by definition. 2: Failed ideas, methods or services whose previous witnesses have all died or let the patent expire.

country potatoes n Potatoes flavored with dirt.

coward n One whose avoidance of danger is typically last minute. People who plan ahead to avoid danger are called either cautious or psychic, depending upon whether the speaker has a fifth grade or higher education.

crab n 1: Marine arthropod. 2: Any individual that is unconvinced of the total wisdom of management.

Crayton’s Law of Business Ethics maxim While appearances can be deceiving, to be effective, they must be.

creationist n A person who believes that the universe was created under a seven day contract awarded to the lowest bidder.

Creiten’s Commandment maxim Never count on being at the top of the food chain.

cricket n Extremely popular British sport with no discernible rules, beginning, end, or point. It’s not clear that there ever is a winner

CRM abbr <Short for Customer Relationship Management> v To sue before being sued.

crosswalk n From transportation, a structure of paint about thirty mils thick that physically protects pedestrians from oncoming trucks.

crystal healing n In new age philosophy, the process of relieving chronic symptoms (headaches, muscle aches, eczema, psoriasis, etc.) by placing the ailing portion of the body in close contact with a crystal. Differing crystals are believed to cure differing ailments, though all of them seem to have the quality of relieving the user of a certain amount of money. At the present time, no crystals are said to be able to cure either broken bones or stupidity.

cuisine n A characteristic manner in serving or preparing something to be used as food. In the case of the French, for example, the food must be heavily disguised, declared unfit for eating in most civilized countries, be microbial in origin or provide its own gravy upon heating. Mexican cuisine must be derived from a legume, grown in the Mexican state of Tabasco or taste exactly the same before and after the application of pepper. German cuisine requires sharpened corners and stands at attention if anyone of the rank of Captain or higher enters the room. Russian cuisine is much less formal than the previously named food regimes and merely requires that it go okay with both cabbage and vodka and be served cold. Neither the United States or Canada have established cuisines as yet, for which the rest of the world is sincerely grateful.

cultural adj Anything that requires formal clothes, lasts longer than two hours, and is boring.

Cumberland’s Quote obs Flatulence is the last refuge of the incontinent.

Cuthbert’s Conjecture obs In the beginning there was the Word and the word was Booooorring.

customer n 1: Any individual who, through no fault of his own, is forced to do business with you. 2: In current government management theory, a convenient ideal that always agrees with management about policy.

customer service n Goods, services, and treatment rendered to a customer, regardless of whether said customer requires it, wishes it, or will tolerate it.

cynic n 1: Someone further down the road than an idealist. Generally, past the first blind curve. 2: One who persists in seeing the world as it is rather than as it should be.