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Yo! Spearchucker! (And Other Enlivening Maledicta)

Patricia Neill

It was hot last July, so hot I watered the cats regularly, and they appreciated it. Now, that's hot. That's hell hot.

One boiling, muggy Saturday afternoon, I'm sitting on my front porch trying to find relief. I'd just mowed the lawn, and I was stewing in my own juices, streaming sweat, and slugging down a cold beer as my reward.

Fred came out into his yard--for those of you new to my palaverin' Irish ways, Fred's my black neighbor and a good buddy. He's a big guy, a year or so older than me. He used to be "in the life," as it's called in my neighborhood, dealing, ah, contraband. He'd been shot a couple of times back in those wild days, spent a bit of time as a guest of the state, shall we say. Later he met his lovely Barbara, married her, and got a job driving backhoe. He's a good neighbor and watches out for me, too. We've been known to get real mad at each other--but that's par for the course.

So, I'm sitting around with my work done, and more out of boredom than anything else, I yell over to Fred, "Yo! Spearchucker!"

He stopped, turned, and glared at me with a look of purest murder on his face. You just don't say things like that to Fred, not if you want to see sunrise.

I burst out laughing so hard I had to spit my beer out, splattering my car parked next to the porch. God, what a look. Priceless!

"You talkin' to me, you crazy Irish redhead Nazi?" One time Fred got mad and called me a Nazi, which got me mad back. Now he always calls me that.

"Porchmonkey! Bones-in-nose! Nigger-lips!" I managed to strangle out as I keeled over, nearly dying in a fit of giggles.

For a second there, Fred honestly looked like he was either gonna shoot me or take his belt to me, but we both collapsed snortin' and laughin' when he said, "What kinda shit problem you got with your head, woman? You want me to shoot it off for you, you dumbass honkey bitch?"

"Yes, Fred. Please. It's damn hot. C'mon over and have a cold one on me."

"You a cold one. Spearchucker get your white ass cold at the morgue, you dumb shit! Nigger-lips--you asshole white girl. I oughta shoot your ass, you crazy redhead Nazi."

And so it went, that whole lazy afternoon of sloshing down beers and insulting each other and just about everyone else on the planet. We did good! Y'all should feel insulted because we reamed just about everyone and anything we could think of.

Barbara, the ever sweet and long-suffering, came out of their house, heard us laughing like maniacs and yelling out nigger, faggot, whore, kike, mick, coon, wop, jap, spudeaters, spic, hebe, polack, "yo mommas," stared at us in disbelief, and got in her car. She rolled down the window and yelled over, "I don't even want to know! I ain't going bail for either of you."

Which, of course, made us laugh all the harder. Oh what fun it was to say all those words that we hadn't said in so long. And actually, for Fred and me, these insults were very mild. I can't write what we say when we really get rolling.

Creative maledicta

What we were feeling that hot afternoon was the freedom of the insult and the curse. We were outside the control of the brain-deadening stultification of political correctness, that most boringly Soviet concept. PC, of course, is nothing more than thought control, done totally by intimidation, force, and punishment. And did I mention it is boring?

And the only way to break free of such ugly coercion is to ... break free. Do it. Insult whomever you want to. Might there be repercussions? Well then, simply use your brain, evaluate the risks, and live like humans are meant to live--by taking chances. Should your insult be witty and funny, chances are you'll be fine. Borrow some good phrases from others--our literature is full of choices of wonderful, keen, abusive, funny insults. All that barbed wit could probably have fenced Texas--just take advantage of it and cut loose.

Insults and curses are as old as the hills. Shakespeare's plays are full of them: "I never can see him but I am heart-burned an hour after." "Let worse follow worse, till the worst of all follow him laughing to his grave." "There's no more faith in thee than in a stewed prune." "You heedless joltheads and unmanner'd slaves!" "Away you scullion! you rampallian! you fustilarian! I'll tickle your catastrophe." There's a ton of them, and all available for the asking. Or if you want to make up your own, visit the Elizabethan insult page.

If Shakespeare doesn't appeal to you, there's always Stan's Insult Generator. You put in a few categories (female, Democrat, overweight, whatever)--and the insult pops up on your screen. Here's what I got: "You crud-infested Hillary-lovin' brain-dead portly barforic hog-humping tramp!" Not bad! Barforic is a new one on me. Next time I need a good insult for a fat statist (Rosie O'Donnell comes to mind), and can't come up with one myself, I'll head on back to Stan's [you do need to accept cookies to access this page--Eds.].

Benjamin Disraeli, who, as he said, "climbed the greasy pole" to become Prime Minister of England, was a very witty man, and his invective to his opponent Gladstone brought delight to many in the House of Commons. Gladstone: "Sir, you will come to your end either upon the gallows or of a venereal disease." Disraeli: "I should say, Mr. Gladstone, that depends on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." That's a tough one to top! When asked the difference between misfortune and calamity, Disraeli said, "Well, if Gladstone fell into the Thames, that would be a misfortune, and if anyone pulled him out, that, I suppose, would be a calamity."

I'm gonna feel free as well to borrow from Reinhold Aman's marvelous Opus Maledictorum (at Amazon for $14.95). Here's some juicy insults:

"May all you ecological bastards freeze to death in the dark." Or how about "He's so ugly he could open up a branch face." Or in the venerable "yo momma" tradition of ritual insult, "Your father got fruit flies--his banana died!" Or "I could have been your father, but a dog beat me over the fence." Gads--some of these have got to be ancient. Here's one that's a bit newer: So and so "is one of the vilest maggots to ever bore holes in carrion." Or, from a Lee Marvin flick, "The best part of you ran down your momma's leg." How about, "He's got a nose like somebody's elbow ..." This is a terrific book!

And finally, speaking of noses, another example of supreme creative maledictum, Cyrano's terrific nose speech. In the play, some little wimp had set himself up by calling Cyrano's nose "rather large." And so comes Cyrano's wonderful riff:

This is my all-time favorite example of seeming to poke fun at yourself whilst skewering your opponent, using mankind's finest rapier.

Occasionally, I resort to out and out cussin' out the political crud infesting Washington DC. When I do, to be on the safe side, I blame it on Tourette's syndrome. And in these hard days, when you might get in as much hot water as John Rocker for merely speaking your mind, Tourette's can come in real handy! An interesting contribution to Aman's Opus Maledictorum speculates that Mozart, who was also known for breaking out in obscenities in his speech and writings, also may have suffered from this most (in)convenient syndrome.

Here's a wee bit from something I wrote called The Real News, For Pete's Sake People!:

"To attend to the continuing Saga of the Presidential Member is Mere Prurience, and we Americans are better than that lowdown slutwhore dog of a mafiaso dickbrained sumbitch hellborn scumsucking .... oh excuse me. I am suffering from a minor problem with Tourette's Syndrome these days. I am extremely embarrassed ... please forgive me. I'm also having a problem with Scandalous Capitalization, a disorder not yet discovered by the Institutional Discoverers of Disorders Where There Aren't Really Any, aka, the American Psychiatric asshole fuckdicks who just make all that shit up anyway in order to earn a whole fuck of a lot of money from a bunch of really stupid people who just need a good spanking and to go to church on Sundays as .... oh excuse me. Tourette's again."

One of the best parts of all this, is that it could hardly be easier to pick on our statist foes. Or any foes--be they merely bores, annoying bureaucrats, or cranky old farts who give you a hard time. Allow no cages to be set upon your mind or tongue.

One of the even better parts of creative maledicta is that it is fun, as is true of all freedom. So have fun out there and exercise your right to say what you think.

(c) 2000

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