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Them’s Fightin’ Words

by Robert Adcox

Yesterday evening I was on YouTube chasing down rumors of an engine explosion (How many opportunities do you get to see something like that?), and was all set to add my comment when I noticed that a couple of other motorheads were engaged in a battle of words.

Now, I’m all for civility and order. So when “your mom’s hairy knuckles drag when she walks” was met with “well, your sister models for ugly” I was taken out of the mood to chime in.

Pardon me. I’m not sure what engines going kaput has to do with attacking one’s genetic makeup. Seems to me that there should be a rumpus room set aside for hotheads to vent so the rest of us can engage in such adult dialogue as “What, are you crazy? A pentroof cylinder head is a far cry from a hemi OR a wedge!”

It’s as though the whole site has been overrun with net nerds -all of whom harbor insatiable grudges against life since the class bully issued wedgies to them during eighth grade. Destined to seek vengeance, these giants of the gigabyte gridiron stop at nothing to express contempt for any who dare oppose them. One person -somewhere in the “how to build straw bale homes” section- suggested to a rival that he should put some straw in his pipe and smoke it.


What is the world coming to when a person can’t even watch straw bale building construction without being treated to such hostility, however mild? I never did see the part where Verna finally got to applying the stucco, what with the ensuing heated debate drawing my attention away from the finishing touches to Prairie County’s finest new home.

By now, I was in a mood to exercise a little schadenfreude of my own. Since all the great comments seemed to be taken, I was determined to respond with originality, precision, and brevity. That meant one thing: I’d have to consult the dictionary of obscure words. Indeed, amassing an arsenal of altiloquent verbiage would thus afford me the opportunity to inform Jason (on a football page) that he’s a boanthrope. Now, like you I’d have expected more than a little cachinnation. None, however, was forthcoming. What was forthcoming, of course, were responses like “u r a idiot” and “your an ignorant looser.”

Pretty soon things got heated. Jason et al started to make fun of my ancestry while I made vague references to their then-current state of gambrinousness. In no time at all both of my enemy combatants accused me of witzelsucht.

Who, I ask, would take THAT lying down?

I wasn’t born yesterday, I’ll tell you. The battle of words escalated, and in no time I was wheepling past the graveyard. What had I gotten myself into? I never expected to find myself agroof amidst so much vitriol. In mere moments I had gone from looking for a good internet fight to experiencing allodoxaphobia. I had to get back on my feet and tell these two what was what.

Just in time, I found my inspiration: I would show them who was the more churlish. Having issued such knockout punches as “you’re a coccydynamic wonder” and “your hircismus is making my eyes water,” I had clearly dominated the battlefield of words, albeit with my share of linguistic cicatrices.

But I must confesss that prevailing in such battles is more than a little tiring. In my case, it was utterly dyspnaeic. Still, I have no regrets. I had joined the battle and I had endured, with my cache of terms utterly spent.

And them was fightin’ words.

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