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OUT TO PASTOR: What’s so bad about a knucklehead?

As I get older, the least little thing brought back memories from a lifetime ago.

For some reason, I remembered the word “knucklehead.” I’m not sure if it’s still being used today, but it was back when I was young.

One memory I have is my mother saying, “Are you acting like a knucklehead or what?”

One time, I asked her what a knucklehead was. She stared at me as usual and said, “Go into the bathroom and look in the mirror.”

I was afraid to do that because I did not understand what she meant and was fearful of what I might find.

My mother and father often would say, “Would you stop acting like a knucklehead?”

Not knowing what they meant and not knowing what a knucklehead was, how can I stop what I don’t know I’ve started?

At the time, I thought my parents were making this up. I thought it was their way of manipulating me to do what they wanted.

When they started calling me this, I had some negative feelings. But the more they called me this, the happier I became.

What’s so bad about being a knucklehead?

I learned quite a lot about being a knucklehead when I was young, which has enabled me to have more fun than I did then. I don’t think being a knucklehead is that bad. There are some good aspects to it.

Watching the news and seeing what’s happening in our country today, being a knucklehead would be several steps up the ladder of sanity.

Most politicians today do not rise to the level of being a knucklehead. And I’m unanimous in this. A knucklehead would sure be an improvement.

I don’t remember what I was doing the other day because my day was all over the place, and nothing seemed to work. No matter what I did, the more my day fell apart. I was about to retire for the day and call it quits when The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage approached and said, “Are you acting like your mama’s knucklehead?”

I am surprised The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage saw all those thespian skills in me that my parents did. It’s not that I’ve been trying to keep it a secret; I didn’t think she was noticing.

How can you get through life the way it is today if you don’t have some level of knucklehead-itis?

I had a few days to think about this and concluded that acting like a knucklehead does great good in a person’s life. For example, if somebody thinks I’m “acting like a knucklehead,” they don’t think I’m as bad as I am.

After all, it is just an act. Right?

I was out for lunch the other day, and looking at my menu, I couldn’t think of what I wanted. Usually, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage does the choosing. Everything looked great, but I wasn’t hungry and needed to decide what to order.

The waitress asked if she could help me and what she could get me for lunch. I just stared at her.

Looking at me in confusion, she asked, “Is everything all right? Is there anything I can do to help?”

“No,” I said, looking back at my menu, “I’m just having a knucklehead spasm.”

“I don’t know what that is. Do you have them often?”

Looking back at her with a smile, I replied, “Only when I’m awake.”

At the time, she didn’t know if I was joking or falling off my rocker. That is the best way I found to keep a person who’s serving you at attention.

It seemed like I was getting away with it for a while, and then The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage came. She asked if I could go with her to the shopping mall.

I responded, “I can’t right now because I’m acting like a knucklehead and I need the time.”

Then she sparked, “I don’t think you are acting right now.” That’s all she said. Believe me, I wasn’t sure how to take that.

She says I’m acting like a knucklehead at one time, and then the next time, she tells me I’m not acting. Oh boy. If I wasn’t a knucklehead, I really wouldn’t be able to handle this.

As I thought about this, a Bible verse came to mind. Provers 3:5-7, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.”

When I try to solve my problems my way, it never works out. Sooner or later, it falls apart. Learning to trust God in all things is the way to victory in all things.


Dr. James L. Snyder lives in Ocala, FL with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Telephone is (352) 216-3025, e-mail is, and website is

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