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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Mea Culpa

The popular thing among celebrities these days seems to be very public apologies for slurs of various kinds. I have been thinking that I owe it to my own fans to follow their example, step up to the plate, and make my own act of contrition.

In that vein, I’d first like to beg forgiveness from my second grade teacher for writing “Mrs. B. is fat”on the blackboard while she was out of the classroom. It was totally inappropriate, especially the drawing.

If I needed to refer to her size at all, I should have used a less offensive term, like “generously proportioned” or “maximized potential”. Of course, at the age of seven, I was a little handicapped in this regard. My vocabulary was limited, and I couldn’t have pronounced those words, much less spelled them. However, this does not excuse my rude behavior and I regret any distress this might have caused to those who tip the scale the wrong side of the National Institute of Health’s weight guidelines.

Second on my list of apologies goes to Dirksen Hansucker in Seventh Grade. I, along with all my other classmates, at one time or another, referred to the smell emanating from his corner of the room as a stink. This was absolutely unacceptable, and I hope that he will forgive my lapse, wherever he is, as will all the other people out there who have a distinctive personal odor. I should be more tolerant of the differences among us. I seek pardon from all those who choose not to bathe or who are naturally aromatic.

My list of apologies to family members is so long that I’m sure I cannot get through it in one writing period. Let me hit the high points: apologies to my mother for referring to her as “out of it”, “an embarrassment” and other unflattering terms. This is an affront to all mothers, who have contributed so much to the development of the human race. In my own defense, I confess that I was under the influence of adolescence at the time, and not totally responsible for my own actions. Furthermore, if it is any consolation to those I have offended, my own children have referred to me in precisely the same terms, and so I have felt the pain.

To my little sister, for referring to her as a spoiled brat. In retrospect, I’m sure it was something medicine would have cured, and it was totally inappropriate of me to denigrate her in front of her little friends. To all those who suffer from personality disorders or are the survivors of poor parenting, let me extend my sincere apologies and beg your forgiveness. Some of my best friends are psychologically or emotionally challenged and the last thing I would want to do is insult them or others like them.

I am sorry for calling my brother a dirty pig. This is an affront to all pigs everywhere, who have had to deal with prejudice for many hundreds of years. It is not acceptable in this century to stereotype any race or species – not all pigs are dirty, and they have a right to be upset with me for implying that they are. Furthermore, pigs do not resemble my brother in any fashion, and I was remiss in suggesting that there was any resemblance. I will be happy to meet with any porcine leaders and extend my personal apologies.

One would think that I would have outgrown the insensitivity of my youth, but I’m afraid using inappropriate language to describe others is a tough habit to break, and I may even be genetically disposed to foul-mouth syndrome. It’s a good day when I don’t wake up feeling like I need to offend someone. My vocabulary has developed along the way, and I now have a whole laundry list of terms that I’ve utilized over the years to describe everyone from my neighbor with the barking dog to people who double-dip.

I would publish that list, but my friends think I should charge – it’s not every day you get a whole laundry list of insults for free, although you can pick up quite a few by hanging around uncouth celebrities, if you happen to know any. For the rest of us, if you want to know what not to say, I have the list. You can order it on my website, pay through Paypal, and sign the disclaimer to the effect that you will not use any words on this roll for evil. I’ve been asked if I can justify making these terms available to the general public, including some who may not abide by the disclaimer. But my conscience is clear. After all, words don’t offend; people do. Anyway, the right of the people to possess words is protected by the First Amendment.
I update my list of politically incorrect terms periodically. Right now I’m debating “lead foot” when referring to speeding drivers who cut you off in traffic. Is that offensive to the toy industry?

Speaking of which, what village idiot designs the packaging for toys? It takes a blowtorch to get them open...

Whoops! There I go again. My apologies to all the inhabitants of small towns, who are not necessarily feeble-minded because they don’t have Universities or Museums of Art and Natural History in their back forties.

Ah, well, I see I have a way to go. I won’t be making any public appearances until I’ve completed the healing process, so my apologies to all those young people out there who looked up to me to set a good example. I am a good person, really I am, not the callous jerk that my language would indicate.

I never meant to say any of these things aloud, or at least not where they could be recorded.

Mea culpa, meal culpa, mea culpa.

3 comments:

Jim Misko said...

Well, Stephanie. I hope the judges get to hear the candor and originality in your conversation. It so amuses me that I think a black robed officer of the court should like to have the levity if the occasion presented itself. Send out more. I love it. May it go well with you. Misko in the desert

Darcy Brady said...

I love it. Keep up the excellent insights. And don't let the ordinary people in the world get you down - you are far from ordinary but that's a good thing.

Knock Knock said...

Write-on, Steph!