Commie

Commie:(n) a communist

Growing up, there were three great insults we used repeatedly to decimate the character of those around us, while greatly inflating our own sense of self-importance: retard, gay and Commie

Although they were often used interchangeably for all seasons and all reasons, there were specific times when “retard” was applied. Whenever anyone did anything that inconvenienced us he or she was a retard.

When anyone did anything the least bit unusual, and we were afraid they would ask us to do it, too, they were gay.

And when our parents told us that certain children had mothers and fathers who were questionable in their politics–well, those kids were Commies.

You could probably survive being a retard, as long as you didn’t get too upset.

You could flee from being gay.

But once you were identified as a Commie–an enemy of the state–a Ruskie–a member of the Soviet Union–a sympathizer with killers–well, it was just a little hard to shake that off.

I remember once when two friends and I refused to listen to a girl who came to school wearing jeans and a t-shirt (which was unheard of at the time) and spouted opinions on such things as ecology, civil rights, and even, God forbid, anti-war. She was especially upset with the war in Viet Nam.

In our freshman year, we had one view of this girl–but by the time we were seniors, the national opinion on civil rights had changed, ecology had been honored by the creation of Earth Day, and because of the Pentagon Papers, the Viet Nam War had been exposed as an unnecessary exercise in futility.

We were uncomfortable about it. The Commie had been proven correct.

So to compensate, we just started calling her gay.

 

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Brawl

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brawl: (n) a rough or noisy fight or quarrel.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to share this story–maybe because it drains a quart or two from my virility if I relate it in truthful detail.Dictionary B

But many, many years ago, I was walking the streets of the inner portions of a large city. I was with two friends, and we were “feeling our oats,” as they say–studly and strong.

In the process of our little jaunt, we were confronted by three other dudes, apparently residents of the neighborhood, who found our presence distasteful.

We probably should have cooled our heads, relaxed and been respectful of this trio of locals, but we just kept boppin’ along, trying to ignore them.

They didn’t want to be ignored.

So a series of insults were flung back and forth–some questioning our relationship with our mothers, others suggesting that these adversaries perhaps wore pink tennis shoes.

Long story short, it was squaring off to a fight.

We were about to have a brawl with people we did not know simply because nobody was willing to back down.

That’s what a brawl is–an unplanned fight that occurs because conversation is implausible–and violence suddenly and unexplainably seems logical.

Right before we were ready to mix it up (and by the way, I do not know what that would entail, since none of us had ever been in a fight before) I suddenly got cold feet, tingly balls, scared bowels and a chill going down my spine.

I didn’t want to scuffle.

I didn’t want to be a coward.

So I raised my hand and said, “Stop. I’m sorry. I can’t do this. I have a heart condition.”

I do not know why I did this or why I chose to claim a debilitating disorder. But for some reason it diffused the situation, and the three guys looked at me like they were eyeballing their grandpa.

They gave me permission to walk away.

And shortly after I eased by them and tiptoed down the street, the remaining five decided they had lost interest in the fight, exchanged one last round of macho bullcrap, and the two groups went their separate ways.

My friends thanked me for being so inventive in avoiding the skirmish.

I learned that night that brawls are to be avoided at all costs, even if you temporarily have to feign geriatric.

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Abo

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter AAbo: AUSTRAL, INFORMAL, OFFENSIVE 1. n. an Aborigine. 2. adj. Aboriginal.

Words.

Sometimes we think if we make them “cuter” they don’t sound quite as mean. You always have the standard insults–the really nasty words which communicate anger, frustration, bigotry and rage.

But sometimes we like to just communicate that we’re better than other people in a merely condescending tone. So normally at that point we fall back on words that end in “o.” It sweetens them up enough that people can’t become TOO offended, but at the same time, we can still establish our supremacy.

I think that’s what abo is. If you live in Australia, you don’t want to completely attack the natives by referring to their skin color or the size of their lips or nose, so you come up with a “cute” put-down, like abo.

Of course, there are many others:
How about weirdo? If you tell somebody he’s a weirdo and then you smile afterwards, you can be sure they are stung by your criticism without any real ability to strike back in anger.
Same thing would be true of retardo.
In the sixties, Negro. We all know what the good ole’ Southern boys wanted to say.
How about this one–el stupido? (Now you’re showing off that you know another language.)
And of course, a favorite one–fatso. At least you aren’t using that “Fat A” word, right?

The most dangerous part of bigotry is when it becomes common and develops respectable language. So I don’t know what the purpose is of the “o” at the end of the insult. Maybe it’s not an “o.” Maybe it’s a zero–to connote the IQ of the speaker.

Yet, I imagine even in Nazi Germany, at first somebody called them “Jew-os”–long before they marched them to the gas chamber.