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Phillies’ Secret Rubber Duck Strategy

The Allentown Morning-Call explains:

”Basically we were playing Milwaukee,” Manuel said Tuesday at Tropicana Field. ”The game wasn’t going too good and I walked out to the mound.

”After the game, Chase Utley came up to me, and said ‘Get that rubber duck out of your [butt]‘ and he meant he thought I was tight. And I thought to myself, OK, that’s good. So when we clinched over the Dodgers, I wanted our players to be loose coming into the World Series. So, I bought them rubber ducks and every time they look up in their locker and see that duck, it means for them to go play like they always have.”

Oh, and, yes, every newspaper in America treats us like we’re four years old and changed “ass” to “butt.” Only reporters like me have the journalistic integrity to print unedited Charlie Manuel quotes such as, “This motherfuckin’ buckeye! Good luck, my fuckin’ ass!” That’s the kind of quality no-holds-barred reporting you can get from a man like myself.

The rubber ducks are a fun story, but as such will probably get really tired, really fast. Possibly even by tonight, but by Game 2 at least. Jeannie Zelasko is going to say quack so many times the Mighty Ducks jokes I’ll be making at the bar won’t even be funny anymore. Or still, I guess. Yeah, still.

‘Til then, here’s more from The 700 Level. Video’s from The Fightins.

Brave Editor Comes Out Against F-Bomb

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Former Phillies pitcher Mitch Williams is now banned from his daughter’s basketball games for saying “fuck” during a game.

Overreaction? Sure. But overreaction usually comes with a nice dose of moral superiority:

The apology isn’t doing much for Ron Martin, who oversees referees as the Camden Board 34 independent assigner. He said yesterday that he called St. Mary of the Lakes to say that although the season ended last night, if Williams “is going to appear at any games next year, we will not officiate them. If he enters the gym in the middle of a game, we will stop officiating.” Martin is executive editor of the Burlington County Times. “A lot of people challenge calls, but when someone hits on one of the magic words, we can’t tolerate that stuff,” he said.

Oh, wah, wah, wah. Yeah, don’t let him see his kid play because he said “fuck.” You showed ‘em, Ron! Plus, the editor doth protest too much. I can only assume the officiating was really terrible.

What the hell kind of league is this, anyway? Kids cursed all the time when I played on JV basketball in sixth grade; I can only assume it’s greater now, with what all the kids influenced by idiots like me that cursing is cool. And it is, kids! It’s just as cool as smoking cigarettes but without any of the terrible side effects like death.

Dan Gross: Mitch Williams still a little ‘Wild’ [Daily News]

Let’s Not Talk About Sex

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The case of the woman in Scranton arrested for cursing at her toilet (which I wrote about three times, if you can believe that) is now before a judge. Wait, really? Why is this at trial?

If you’ve forgotten, the woman said fuck because her toilet was overflowing, her next door neighbor (a Scranton cop) heard her, and asked her to stop, and she cursed at him. He then called the police. I guess you can’t curse at your neighbors now.

But Dyller says for her speech to be criminal and not protected by the First Amendment, it would have to be obscene: “That has to do with sexual language and not just a curse, which may offend someone, but we’re allowed to engage in offensive speech.”

So, basically, we can’t use sexual language in public. I see how it is.

Toilet Curser Gains International Fame

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Hey, everybody! Guess what the new meme on the Internet is? That’s right, it’s the Scranton woman arrested for cursing at her toilet. Okay, it’s not so much a meme as it is a story people are passing around and laughing at.

The Times-Tribune of Scranton picks up the ball today and runs with it, getting an actual photograph of the now historic toilet — almost as good as Larry Craig’s infamous stall at the airport! — and writing about the ACLU defending the woman, who pled not guilty. Yesterday’s column included the best quote in a while: “You can’t prosecute somebody for swearing at a cop or a toilet.” I believe that’s in the Constitution, somewhere in the back.

Scranton officials, however, aren’t laughing.

Scranton Director of Public Safety Ray Hayes said he stands by the officer’s decision.

“Upon further review, many types of these incidents are not as cut and dry as they originally appear,” he said. “Freedom of speech is not an unfettered right.”

Yeah! Totally not cut and dry. For example, the toilet wasn’t overflowing that much, hardly enough to rise above the level of allowing her to say “shit.”

ACLU to defend woman cited for cursing her toilet [Times-Tribune]
Yesterday: Scranton Woman Cited For Cursing At Toilet

Scranton Woman Cited For Cursing At Toilet

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When [whoever, look up on Wikipedia before you post] wrote the Bill of Rights, he probably should have stopped after five words. But the next couple words weren’t so bad, either, since it gave us the right to freedom of speech, along with a couple of other super-cool freedoms. An American is free to say he thinks Hitler’s mustache was cute, free to worship God, Jesus or Barbaro, free to print a newspaper that says President Bush is an alien and free to have a job posting stupid jokes on a stupid blog.

Freedom of speech has its limits, though, apparently. Take the case of West Scranton’s Dawn Herb, who could face 90 days in jail and a $300 fine for cursing at her toilet.

Herb was attempting to get her toilet to stop overflowing when she called it a “fucking child rapist asshole motherfucker.” Or, rather, she didn’t call it that, but the article doesn’t say what she said, so I made something up with a bunch of curses in it. She admits saying some “choice words,” though, and her neighbor (a police officer) heard them.

“The toilet was overflowing and leaking down into the kitchen and I was yelling (for my daughter) to get the mop,” she said. “A guy is yelling, ‘Shut the fuck up,’ and I yelled back, ‘Mind your own business.’ ”

After somebody told this woman to “shut the fuck up,” neighbor Patrick Gilman (an off-duty police officer), called the cops and had her arrested for disorderly conduct! In her own house! The citation accuses Herb of cursing “with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm or recklessly (creating) a risk.”

So, if you’re wondering, apparently it’s illegal to annoy me now. Enjoy the archives of this website, ladies and gentlemen, because I am certainly going to jail for a life now.

West Side woman faces jail time for swearing at toilet [Scranton Tribune]

That John Is A Bad Murtha–Shut Your Mouth!

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John Murtha, a U.S. Representative from Western Pennsylvania, is a war hero who conservatives don’t like because he doesn’t support all wars, namely the little trillion-dollar war (that was supposed to pay for itself) going on now. He’s also one of the kings of pork projects on Congress, and is one of the members who doesn’t want transparency.

And, also, he’s totally awesome because he curses at reporters:

“After a recent House vote, [Murtha] stopped for a moment in the lobby adjacent to the House floor, just steps from his corner, to take a question from a reporter about the difficulty of piecing together which members got how much money for which projects in his bill.”

“Murtha answered abruptly before walking away. ‘So, you have to work,’ he said. ‘Tough shit.’”

Ha! You can waste as much money as you want, Johnny, as long as you keep cursing at reporters. That shit is comedy gold.

John Murtha, Soft Underbellies, and Other Pleasant Imagery [Hit & Run]
Shut up, I read it for the drug reporting

Shameless Self-Promotion 8.22

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Sorry, no Russian baseball players this week, but you had to assume that was a one-in-an-∞ story. But, anyway, how awesome is that cover? I adore the design.

Anyway, I did write about 300 words this week. Thanks to Unity of Effect, these 300 words are so pretty much the greatest (and most melancholy) ones possible.

• As usual: Cultural Report Card, where I get to make some more Ed Wade jokes I saved up after he got stuck in a tree. Also, baby tigers!

• I also did Unwrapped this week, too, and got to curse. Working at an alt-weekly is fucking awesome.

Playhouse In God Damned Big Trouble, Ass

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Students from the MaST Charter School in Somerton were appalled recently when they went to see the play Big, based on the 1988 Tom Hanks vehicle.

Anyway, the play wasn’t ruined by Peter Griffin from Family Guy or anyone else in the audience. The play was ruined because some of the actors were cursing, and the students of MaST Charter School were escorted away to prevent them from hearing one more “god damn.”

About 100 fifth-graders and 20 chaperones left after Act 1. Jenna Portnoy writes in The Intelligencer:

But the students and about 20 chaperones walked out of the Dec. 1 performance in disgust after sitting through a first act peppered with what one parent described as “expletives” and “inappropriate material and language.”

“I never would have allowed him to go had I known,” said Lisa Coyle of Northeast Philadelphia.

During the show, she exchanged worried looks with another mother and watched the six boys she was chaperoning squirm in their seats as “a suggestive hand reference to a girl’s chest was made” and actors used language such as “a—,” “son of a b——” and “god d——-.”

No! Not “a—”! For his part, Buxco Playhouse owner Ralph Miller has offered them free tickets to any other show at the Playhouse, including Babes in Toyland — which I assume is a porn of some sort — and Miracle on 34th Street. MaST principal Linda Coger says that Miller hasn’t returned here calls, as she wants refunds for the students.

Miller, though, has responded with a pair of quotes that I can’t really decide which one is better, so I’ll list ‘em both. I report, you decide.

  • “I don’t know what else they want me to do, slit my wrists on Main Street?”
  • “Bottom line, someone just wants to take a shot at the Bucks County Playhouse, and I guess we just have to take it.”

Eh, they’re both awesome, let’s call it a tie!

‘Big’ problems with play [Doylestown Intelligencer]

F-Word ‘Inquirer’ Quotes Fucking Vampire

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After discussing whether her column her column was bad for kids over the weekend, today Faye Flam asks why, in English, the words for sex and sex organs are deemed the “worst” swears.

While the Inquirer doesn’t print fuck, dick, cock, pussy, tits, twat, cunt, motherfucker, come-covered man slut or any other “sexual swear” I can’t think of off the top of my head, there are several instances of “F-word.” (”F-word” has been clinically proven to be less harmful to kids than “fuck.”) We also learn that the Inquirer has lessened its restrictions on “damn” and “hell,” yet “buggery” is banned. Well, bull feathers!

Apparently, though, cursing is good for the soul and good for society. (It’s not even a sin to say “fuck.” Yes! Fuck fuck fuck! See how fun that is?) As for society, well, Flam explains:

Overall, the scientific evidence suggests swearing is good for you, says psycholinguist Timothy Jay of Massachusetts College of the Liberal Arts and author of Cursing in America. ¶ We’re the only animal that can curse, he says, which sometimes helps us avoid physical violence. “It allows us to express our emotions symbolically and at a distance.” For example, Jay says, when a woman was weaving in front of him on the road that morning he was able to call her a “dumb ass” instead of getting out of his car and biting her.

After being cut off, Timothy Jay’s two options were (a) say “dumb ass” or (b) get out and bite her. I must say, that’s quite a clusterfuck.

Why are sex words our worst swear words? [Inquirer]

Walk Up To Your Boss Today, Shove This Story In His Face, And Say…

A headline on CNN.com yesterday:

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Wait. It gets better. An ad on the same page:

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Man, if there had been a puppy on that page I never would have been able to leave.

Court tosses ‘Friends’ lawsuit [AP/CNN.com]