The Cynic's Dictionary


by Rick Bayan



	ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION: Procreation without recreation.

	BOOKCASE:  A piece of furniture used in America to house bowling trophies and
		Elvis collectibles.

	BULIMIA: Retched excess.

	CHIC: Considered smart without the deadening implication of intelligence.

	CLIQUE: A group of insiders who greet outsiders with their backsides; a
		closed circle of asses.

	CONSULTANT: A jobless person who shows executives how to work.

	DENTURES: Two rows of artificial ivories that may be removed periodically to
		frighten one's grandchildren or provide accompaniment to Spanish 
		music.

	DNA: A complex organic molecule characterized as the building block of life
		and appropriately shaped like a spiral staircase to nowhere.

	ERUDITE: Exhibiting a degree of book learning fatal to success in any
		business or romantic enterprise.

	FIBER: Edible wood-pulp said to aid digestion and prolong life, so that we
		might enjoy another six or eight years in which to consume wood-pulp.

	FUNERAL HOME: A stately manse occupied by transients who continually receive
		visitors but lack the energy and inclination to entertain them.

	GENETIC ENGINEERING: Tampering with chromosomes so that science might develop
		a new miracle cure or a rabbit that plays the banjo.

	HIP: Smartly attuned to the latest cutting-edge cliches.

	JOB: A state of employment everyone wants but few look forward to on a Monday
		morning.

	LAWYER: A professional advocate hired to bend the law on behalf of a paying
		client; for this reason considered the most suitable background for 
		entry into politics.

	LECHER: A stud with liver spots.

	LOOTING: A public shopping spree generously sponsored by local merchants in
		the wake of a riot.

	LOTTERY: The equivalent of betting that the next pope will be from Duluth, or
		that the parrot in the pet store window speaks Flemish.

	MATH ANXIETY: An intense lifelong fear of two trains approaching each other
		at speeds of 60 and 80 mph.

	MUGGER: A benevolent citizen of the streets who frequently spares the lives
		of total strangers in exchange for any cash and valuables in their
		possession.

	NEGOTIATING: The art of persuading your opponent to take the nice shiny
		copper penny and give you the wrinkled old paper money.

	NEUROTIC: Sane but unhappy about it.

	OBITUARY: A final summation of our lives that, for most of us, occupies about
		three inches of space in what will shortly become cage liner for our
		neighbor's parakeet.

	POSITIVE THINKING: Self-improvement through self-deception.

	QUALITY OF LIFE: What an industrialized nation is said to offer when enough
		of its citizens are suffering from terminal stress.

	REVOLUTIONARY: An oppressed person wating for the opportunity to become an
		oppressor.

	SHALLOWNESS: The root cause of chronic good health, high school popularity,
		appearance on the fiction bestseller lists, and gainful employment 
		on local TV news broadcasts.

	STAR: A performer who makes more than his or her agent.  Also SUPERSTAR: A
		performer who makes more than Guatemala.

	STATE-OF-THE-ART: Soon-to-be-obsolete.

	TABOO: Any strict cultural prohibition that, when breached, causes everyone
		in the group  to gasp; e.g., cannibalism, public nudity, serving fried 
		pork rinds at a Hasidic wedding, or answering the question "How are 
		you?" in the negative.

	UNEMPLOYMENT: The usual alternative to overwork.

	URINAL: The one place where all men are peers.

	VIRGIN: A young innocent who in former times was sacrificed to the gods but
		who now merely lives in disgrace.

	WAKE: 1. A convivial soiree with a preserved corpse in the room.  2. What the
		mourners would be visibly startled to see the corpse do, especially 
		those expecting a sizable inheritance.

	X-CHROMOSOME: A genetic double-cross that empowers women with the ability to
		bear children and reserves for men the right to be color-blind 
		hemophiliacs.

	ZOMBIE: A mirthless creature beloved by teenage horror movie fans and those
		in charge of the hiring at accounting firms.






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