Friday, May 18, 2012

Road Word-iors

A friend of mine was involved in a road rage incident the other day. It was really just a verbal confrontation with no physical violence but "road rage" is such a sexy phrase that I will always try to use it whenever possible.
This particular incident happened on Wednesday, a rainy day here on the west coast of Florida, and my friend was picking her daughter up at school. My friend was reluctant to drive through a large puddle at high speed (which is always a good idea) and was honked at for it. What followed was a brief insult battle. Who won? Who lost? I'll let you be the judge...and by that, I mean I'll be the judge but I'll let you watch.
My Friend: Hey, my car isn't a hovercraft.
Other person: But your broom is.
My Friend: No, that would be your mom.
WINNER: My Friend
At first glance, My Friend's opponent seems to score a point with the broom comment. But on further review, it doesn't hold up. The opponent was so quick to break out with a witch reference that they didn't bother to have it make any sense. How is a broom similar in any way to a hovercraft? Is this person completely unfamiliar with Harry Potter or even more traditional witch broom usage? Regardless, the comment is waved off and the point does not stand.
My Friend responds by dropping a "your mom" bomb. It doesn't make any sense either (is the other person's mom a hovercraft or a broom?), but it doesn't have to. Referencing someones mom escalates the conflict to a deeply personal level. It is, quite simply, the nuclear weapon of verbal warfare. It effectively ends the conflict because there is no defense for it nor is there an effective counter strategy. Whoever deploys it first wins (the exception being, of course, when it's a "yo' mama" battle, during which insults directed at the opponents' mothers are the only weapons used and a winner isn't determined until somebody gets angry enough to start crying). 
The moral of the story is don't honk at people unless you're willing to risk them talking about your mom. 

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