Definitions from: "The Cynic's Dictionary"

ANGST: A form of suffering caused by too much thinking; a phenomenon probably incomprehensible to anyone who owns a recreational vehicle.

ASSEMBLY LINE: The notion that if a job is worth doing, it's worth repeating 9,614 times a day.

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.

CONNOISSEUR: One who attains an obsessive knowledge of wines, audio equipment, cats or French cheeses so as to confer a sense of inadequacy on those who would simply enjoy them.

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

CULTURE: The visible evidence of a tribe of bacteria, as observed by microbiologists or cynics.

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.

FAD: A folly committed by enough of the right people to confer upon it the badge of status.

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.

HOUSEPLANTS: Vegetable companions; pleasant green pets that rarely bite or throw up on the carpet.

IDEOLOGUE: Typically an obscure humorless zealot who finds fulfillment by spouting the ideas of famous humorless zealots.

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.

MIRROR: A truthful reflector shunned by vampires, hypocrites and aging fashion models.

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.

NECKTIE: A decorative noose worn by businessmen.

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.

PROFESSIONAL MODEL: Cheekbones that sell cosmetics; hipbones that sell anorexia.

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

REPRESSED: Sitting on one's inner demon to keep it decorously immobilized, as practiced by lifelong Presbyterians or anyone who attempts to exchange pleasantries with a tyrannical boss.

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.

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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