This would seem a more restful place if the grass was green. Alas, the drought is bad in the grave yard as much as the home lawn. Luckily, most of the flowers here are plastic.
I’m pretty good at figuring out what a word means when hearing or reading it in context. However, I can think of at least two words where I was badly wrong, cubeb and chunder. Let me explain.
Cubeb is a word I came across in a chapter of one of Jack Douglas’ books. It is the only place I have ever seen the word used. I’m not sure which book it was in, but I believe it was in either My Brother Was An Only Child, or Never Trust A Naked Bus Driver. I started reading his books when I was in high school, and had seen him on the Tonight Starring Jack Paar. Getting back to cubeb, the reference was made of someone smoking a cubeb. For some reason I decided, without looking it up, that a cubeb was a cigarette made from dried camel dung (don’t ask, I can’t explain where that came from). Needless to say, I was wrong, but it took me years to realize that I was fallible. When I finally looked it up in the dictionary I learned that cubeb is a tailed pepper grown mainly in Java and Sumatra. Now that I know, I should probably try to find it in ground form and try it.
Chunder is a word I first heard when I was in college. A friend of ours, Barry, was a psych major and a member of the rugby club. He used to say, “Chunder you a** over here,” or use it in other similar ways. I assumed that chunder meant move, walk, run, or something like that. Imagine my surprise when, years later, I found out that chunder means puke. It seems to be of Australian origin, but I don’t know anything more about it. I’ve stopped using the word since I found out that I had used it incorrectly for years.