Thursday, October 9, 2008
Herb to Presidential Boo Birds: “Stop Now Before You Get Your Mouths Washed Out with Soap!”
What’s up with all the angry booing and name calling at the mention of the opposition during speeches and rallies for the 2008 Elections? Have you ever looked at your face in the mirror while you boo? As the “Sage of Central Florida” Herb Sr would say, “How would you like it if your face froze like that?“
I guess my aversion to booing goes back to high school in Southern Indiana. We were not allowed to boo. Nice people didn’t boo; it wasn’t very sportsmanlike. Schools that allowed booing were probably schools where students cheated on their SATS, drove over the speed limit, took French classes and smoked in the cafeteria. Boo friendly schools most likely did not host large chapters of the Future Farmers of America, have marching bands the size of Argentina or take coveted Senior Class trips to “Six Flags Over St Louis.”
If booing did break out say, during a football game, and if it did it would have to be for a serious infraction like arch rival Central whipping out an actual shotgun as part of the shotgun offense or the ankle bracelet wearing Mater Dei cheerleaders racing around the field perched on the back of a John Deere tractor and it was NOT Homecoming, the booing would quickly be squelched by one stern look from Mr. Kukendall or Mr. Henry. You especially feared Mr. Henry since this would be followed up with lengthy close range lecture during your Driver’s Ed practice and pray to God it wasn’t the session following the cafeteria lunch during “Salute to Sauerkraut” week.
When I was in college at Indiana University, booing was allowed within moderation but name calling was prohibited. In one famous incident, basketball coach Bobby Knight grabbed a microphone, stopped the game and berated us students for cursing. Although his own behavior and language was sometimes suspect he was the adult in the room so we accepted the admonition and obeyed.
So where are the adults in the room at these rallies? Why are the candidates allowing this booing, braying and shameful name calling? What are we going to do with all this anger and hate after November 4 that the candidates and their surrogates have stirred up?
Most importantly, what if your face DID freeze like that?
I admit I’ve made a few modest jokes about the campaign and especially enjoyed some fun at the expense of a certain VP candidate. But I don’t hate anyone, wish them ill will, hint at bogus terrorist ties, lie about their positions, call anyone a b*tch, hope they get cancer, die in a plane crash, pray to my God that my opposition does poorly in a debate or attempt to frighten people by the use of a middle name we were unfamiliar with many years ago in Indiana.
So what do we need to do to get some adults in the room? Since Coach Knight and Mr. Henry can’t be there at every rally, maybe the four at the top of the tickets would be a good place to start?
Let this be your warning McCain, Obama, Palin and Biden! If I don’t see immediate improvement in behavior at your rallies, I may have to pull Herb Sr out of retirement. He has plenty of soap, is a retired school principal and isn’t afraid to wash out a few mouths in the name of patriotism, unity, and good sportsmanship.