Crass Helmets

  • user warning: Table 'tuttles.date_format_types' doesn't exist query: SELECT dft.type, dft.title, dft.locked FROM date_format_types dft ORDER BY dft.title in /home/public/sites/all/modules/date/date_api.module on line 2098.
  • user warning: Table 'tuttles.date_format_locale' doesn't exist query: SELECT format, type, language FROM date_format_locale in /home/public/sites/all/modules/date/date_api.module on line 2227.

I have long been under the impression that swear words were for people who weren’t bright enough to use a better word. Nothing in my years of experience has led me to be disabused of that notion.

This past Saturday I had the great misfortune to find myself umpiring a charity softball tournament. Those were the first three softball games I have umpired and—if all goes well—the last three games I will ever umpire in my life. I like playing baseball and I like watching baseball (and I’ll lump softball in with those statements) but I have found one perspective from which I don’t like watching softball (and probably wouldn’t enjoy watching baseball, either): behind the plate.

Not those good seats right behind the plate where you’re right on top of the action (and, if you’re in Houston, you’re sitting next to Barbara Bush!), but that spot that’s right behind the catcher.

In some cases. One of the catchers on Saturday was afraid of the ball and kept trying to line up behind ME. I tried to coax her up closer but she wasn’t going for it. In fact, for some innings, I’m not even certain she ever came out of the dugout. I mean, I was the one having to throw the ball back to the pitcher (on the rare occasion it wasn’t sailing into the outfield, this was a hitter’s day). Strangely, though, she could hit. So it wasn’t like she was just some poor schlep who got shoved into the catcher’s spot because she had never played the game and they needed another female for the coed team.

Anyway, my ears were treated to an afternoon of moronic profanity.

What struck me as strange was how little of it was directed at me. This is just how the modern moron talks. And they were morons. Never mind that the teams were made up of college students, they thought nothing of throwing around phrases such as this actual statement from the game: “D***! You sons-of-b****es can hit the s*** out of the f***in’ ball!”

For starters, let me point out that the speaker did not appear to be mad. What was said was, according to the tone, complimentary. This was meant as a statement of encouragement.

So let’s break it down.

First, it began with an exclamation of damnation. You know what that means, right? An eternity of torment in hell (or, according to some more liberal theologians, annihilation upon the time of death). The speaker, then, is beginning the compliment by wishing that someone—possibly either the person at whom the “compliment” was directed or maybe upon his own person—would spend eternity suffering.

Next, the speaker continued the compliment by saying that the batter’s mother (and, indeed, the wording could be construed to mean “the mothers of everyone on the batting team”) was a dog. Where I come from, calling a woman a dog is not complimentary, let alone calling someone’s mother that.

Now, I will admit that by the end of the tournament the softballs were not in the best shape. We were using the best ball we had left by that time—the others having been knocked lop-sided or severely scuffed—but that the speaker was implying that the ball used in the game was stuffed with fecal matter I find somewhat offensive. An old croquet ball maybe, based on the sound, but not feces!

And then, the speaker completed his uplifting proclamation by declaring that the softballs—which, as umpire I was required to check periodically and can verify that they were inanimate objects—were at some point in the speaker’s experience found to be engaging in procreation. See what I mean about people who talk this way being morons? This young man—and several of his teammates—actually believe that inanimate objects are capable of engaging in carnal activities.

And I’m the dumb umpire? I don’t think so.