Saturday, April 21 , 2018, 12:02 am | Fair 54º


Paul Burri: The Rubber Railroad Disaster, and the Meaning of Words

A bunch of random ideas too short on their own to make up a column

I love words. Words like rumble, runnel, rundle, trundle, her uncle, wrangle, wrinkle, fumble and finagle. Onomotapoeic words like delicious, trickle, hissing, growling, gnarly and — my favorite — borborygmus.

Don’t remember onomotapoeia from your college freshman days when they tried to teach you a little poetry? It’s a long, hard-to-say and harder-to-spell word that simply means words that sound like they mean. (Doesn’t hissing sound like hissing?) Oh and what’s that word, borborygmus (boar - bah - rig - mus)? It’s that gurgling, growly sound your stomach makes when you’re hungry. (Sure sounds like that to me.)

I know someone who is what I call a weather addict. This person must watch the weather channel every night to see what the weather is like in Kansas, Vermont or Delaware. More important (perhaps), the person also must know what the weather will be like in Santa Barbara tomorrow. This makes a little more sense to me, but not much.

My feeling is, it will be what it will be. Unless I am planning a picnic or an outdoor wedding, why do I care? If it rains, I’ll wear my galoshes and raincoat and use a bumbershoot (look it up) and drive more carefully. If it’s hot, I’ll wear something light and stay indoors, air-conditioned, as much as possible.

Are entrepreneurs born or made? Can you teach someone to be an entrepreneur if it’s not in their blood, in their guts? I think there is an entrepreneurship gene that some people inherit and others don’t. I have had people ask me for advice about starting their own business and I say, “Sure, call me anytime and we can get together for coffee and talk about it.” Then, it will be three or four weeks (if ever) that I hear from them again.

In my opinion, a true entrepreneur would immediately say to me, “Great! Are you free next Monday?” Whenever I had a business idea, I wanted to start later that day.

When your pet dies (a really painful and sad experience — it just happened to us recently), you have the option of individual or group cremation. In either case, a week or so later, your vet will call you to pick up a beautiful, sealed wooden box with your pet’s cremains.

Now here’s the thing. If you choose group cremation and your pet was a little dog like a miniature poodle, you get a small box, but if it was a large one like a German shepherd, you will get a much larger box. I wonder, do they have different size scoops at the crematorium for the different size dogs?

Oh, about the title? Your guess is as good as mine.

— Paul Burri is an entrepreneur, inventor, columnist, engineer, guerrilla marketer and iconoclast. He is available to local organizations for speaking engagements and to local businesses for business consulting and/or mentoring. The opinions and comments in this column are his alone and do not reflect the opinions or policies of any outside organization. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Click here for previous Paul Burri columns. Follow Paul Burri on Twitter: @BronxPaul.

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