Bad Grammar Jesus

Anyone here remember Sister Redempta – the one who’d take a ruler to your knuckles whenever you so much as missed a comma?  Well, I do.  And I’m pretty certain that if she A) had access to your Facebook account and B) caught you grunting this out…

bad grammar jesus

…she would have taken a 2’x4’ to your face.

Yes, the above is from Facebook, and yes, starting a sentence with a period is a uniquely bold grammatical maneuver.  Also – a little English major pro tip here – there is a point where “and” ceases acting as a conjunction and instead changes into an indicator that the author has no idea where his/her sentence is going – or, for that matter, what it might do when it gets there.  Also, the individual who cobbled together the above (read: took a literary number two) seems to have something of a vendetta against apostrophes when used to indicate possession (“In Jesus name”) or a contraction (“Stop what your doing”).

So yes, let’s keep this going.  Specifically, let’s keep it going to the nearest grammatically inclined nun with sufficient upper body strength to take action.  I will air mail the 2’x4’.

And while she’s at it, Facebook has made me aware of a couple other pictorial theological attempts that should, in the words of the Book of Fife, be good and properly nipped.

In the bud.

barney fife

This next one is entitled, “Do you believe in angels?”

bad grammar angels

In my opinion, to get the full effect of the “do you believe in angels” schtick, you need to read it with a Brooklyn accent.  I’m also not entirely convinced that “angels” isn’t some sort of euphemism for the mob:

“Hey!  Hey, you!  Benny ‘n me – we heard ‘bout those problems you’ve been havin’.  An’ we jus’ came by to let you know, we’re gonna take care o’ them.  We gonna take care o’ them real good.  Now, just so we’re clear, we ain’ doin’ this for nothin’.  Someday, and that day may never come , we might be callin’ you to do us a little favor.  Know what I mean?  But for now, you can jus’ fuhgeddaboudit.  …So who we whackin’ again?”

Our last exhibit doesn’t so much fail the grammar test of Facebook spirituality as it does the test of logical thought.

bible cell phones

And here are the answers:

1. We’d have sore arms.

2. We’d be late.

3. We’d be issued a tinfoil hat.

4. We’d turn some heads at the ER.

5. We’d find a way to make it play Angry Birds.

If nothing else, all of this has given me a new understanding of history.  Romulus did not, in fact, slay Remus for jumping over his wall.  He slayed him for posting crap like this on his wall.  Not only was it the first documented homicide, it was, in the court of proper grammar (i.e., the only court that matters), the first documented justifiable homicide.

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Playing Rugby with Morgan Freeman

Note to self: There is such a thing as truth in advertising.  For example, if the box art for a movie is made up of approximately 75% Matt Damon’s gaping maw and 25% Morgan Freeman’s profile, you’re going to get more Damon than Freeman.

Invictus

You’re also going to learn a whole lot of things about rugby you did not know previously.  Things like:

  1. It exists.
  2. People play it.
  3. And “Roller Derby Queen” would make a strangely appropriate soundtrack.

Now, in honesty, I knew of rugby prior to this.  It is the surprise staple of collegiate intramural sports the world over, including those hosted by my dear alma mater.  Unlike many intramural athletes, rugby participants were always easy to recognize on account of being built like Maytag products and struggling to manifest in class with four functional limbs and a minimum of facial scarring.

Yes, we’re talking coed intramurals, mind you.

But having confessed that, four years in an environment that existed parallel to such savagery, in addition to 120 minutes of Matt Damon’s glorious jawline, have not brought me any closer to understanding how the !@#$in’ thing is played.  Furthermore, the more I watch, the more I grow convinced rugby is loosely based on Fizzbin.

Take these, for example:

Rugby Great Grunting Pile

I call this the Great Grunting Pile, which is approximately 9/10ths as disappointing as Linus’s Great Pumpkin from which it takes its name.  For the record, I have no idea what they’re doing here.  I just know there’s a heap of men in tight shorts having a good ol’ fashioned grunt off, and every now and again a ball flies out.  Where the ball comes from, I’m not sure, and I’m not entirely unconvinced that the ball does not start in someone’s rectum, and what I’m witnessing is some sort of communal cavity search.

…ew…

Rugby Man Tower

I call this the Man Tower, and if the picture is any indication, it is approximately the worst idea since the Scots started throwing whole trees in the air and calling it a sport.  On that note, is this a bad time to have a discussion to the effect of what, precisely, is wrong with the British Islands?  They couldn’t all make it as literary giants, and so everyone that was left met up at the pub, knocked down a few pints, and proceeded to come up with the most bat!@#$ insane sports they could concoct.

Cricket – I’m looking at you.

And where do they get these names anyway?  Even rugby, in a desperate attempt to return to the topic at hand, sounds like something I’d ask for at my local carpet outlet.

Rugby Tackle

Of course, when not confirming that gravity is working more or less as designed, and presuming one can somehow extract the ball from the Great Grunting Pile, I can pretty much promise this is going to happen to you.  Immediately.  Some guy who looks like a Fitch Barrel with legs is going to apply several principles of Newtonian physics to an uncomfortable point in your torso.  Should he, for whatever reason, not be successful at doing so, there are fourteen other men with contempt for your life ready, willing, and eager to take his place.  And unlike in, say, Invictus, you will not get a handshake with Nelson Mandela/Morgan Freeman out of it.

Listeners like You

Public radio has its merits.  As an example, it’s one of very few options one can tune into for long periods of time without being subjected to lethal doses of what is oft described, with a disturbing lack of irony, as “the best new music.”*

*To further clarify what constitutes a lethal dose, I submit the following: Individuals of average cognitive ability (average, in this instance, meaning beyond the age of sixteen and at a point in life where one no longer buttresses their every utterances with “like” and “so”) can withstand about four doses of the Dave Matthews Band per day, two doses of the entire R&B genre per week, and seven seconds of any songstress who could conceivably be confused with Britney Spears over the course of a decade.

Guys!  I have an idea – let’s play “The Quiet Game.”

Guys! I have an idea – let’s play “The Quiet Game.”

But to return to public radio, which ostensibly offers an escape from the above horrors, this freedom from sonic molestation does come at a price – the fund drive.

The fund drive, for the uninitiated, is a week-long aural assault that, thankfully, only rolls around once or twice a year.  And it is during this time public radio will rally the dark powers, namely its legion of hosts with excellent speaking voices, and try every manner of persuasion legal under the Geneva Convention to get you to send them money.  However, and for the sake of summarization, their methods can be distilled to the three Gs – or “gifts, gimmicks, and guilt.”  For educational purposes, examples of each are provided below.

Gifts

Jane: “Welcome back to public radio where we’re in the midst of our semi-annual fund drive!”

Tom: “If you contribute now, at the ten dollar a month tightwad level, we’ll send you…” There’s rattling in the background.  “We’ll send you…this authentic…one-of-a-kind….screw.”

Jane: “That’s a beautiful screw, Tom.”

Tom: “Yes it is, and it can be yours when you pledge ten bucks a month to public radio.”

Gimmicks

Tom: “If you contribute now, a generous benefactor has offered to match what we receive dollar for dollar.”

Jane: “So what better time to cash in that stupid 401K and send the proceeds to us?  It won’t be nearly enough to retire on.  So, why don’t you admit that you’ll be distributing carts down at the mega mart until they prop you up in a corner and call the funeral home to do a pick-up, and send your retirement earnings to public radio?”

Tom: “Well, Jane, I’m sold.”

Guilt

Jane: “Alright people, we need to raise twenty thousand dollars in the next thirty minutes, and so if you good-for-nothing listeners don’t get on the phone and contribute, Tom and I are going to eat this puppy.”

Puppy: “Ruff!”

Tom: “You know, Jane, I hope the bums don’t contribute.  This puppy looks mighty tasty, and I didn’t get breakfast.”

Jane: “I know what you mean, and he’s so cute.  Aren’t you, boy – aren’t you, boy?”

Puppy: “Ruff!”

Tom: “Oh, and what’s this?  I just heard several members of our generous staff have offered to eat a puppy as well.  That means if we don’t raise the twenty thousand in the next thirty minutes, we here at public radio will eat this entire litter of Sheltie puppies.”

Jane: “They look cute and tasty.  Don’t call us.  See if we care.”

Puppy: “Ruff!”

Puppy: “Ruff!”

All right, so that last one was a combination of guilt and gimmick.  The point remains the same.  But in defense of public radio, it does provide some necessary and socially responsible programming.  And what I mean by that is that it keeps a not inconsiderable population of lunatics safely indoors where they cannot do substantial amounts of damage via the expression of their opinions.  Those curious as to my particular meaning here have obviously never listened to a show that invites listeners to call in and add their own tiny fragments of genius to what otherwise might have been an interesting discussion.

Then again, their ignorance is not without humor value – there is very little more amusing than a major politician, coaxed on to one of these call-in shows against his or her better judgment, attempting to seriously address a rogue caller’s concerns about that moon-based death ray the Chinese are so obviously building.  Those moments are almost as good as when, during a discussion about immigrant worker rights with a well-known labor leader, someone calls in to let the world, or rather the microcosm of it that listens to public radio, know that they love their dog and do not know what they would do without him/her.  You’d think dead air couldn’t be funny.  You’d be wrong.