Without offering context, do you know what I am talking about or to whom I am referring?
Does the statement “Fat piece of shit” offend your sensibilities? If so, then why? You have yet to know the context. Are you even interested in knowing the context? Or have you tuned out? Perhaps you are in that mental place that does not allow you to seek clarity. What does that say about you?
On a mild spring day in April 1995 in Huntsville, Alabama, I was sitting and relaxing in the boys dormitory lobby engaging in conversation with five-to-six freshmen guys. There were also smaller and sizable pockets of intermittent chatter throughout the lobby. The guys and I were probably talking about the beautiful ladies on our college campus. At one point in the conversation, and in pure innocent exhilaration, I yelled out “Damn!”
In an instant, the large and unremarkably-adorned reception area became deafly silent. All conversations came to an abrupt stop and all eyes were turned toward me—some with deathly stares—as if I had committed the unpardonable sin. The eternal silence was at last broken by a familiar authoritative voice that inquired, “What did you say?”
He demanded to know. And like an innocent child at a zoo wanting to touch and cuddle that big, brown, nine-feet tall fuzzy looking animal that resembles his teddy bear, I politely answered the question with another utterance of, “Damn.” Hands that were once gesturing freely became frozen in their places, and those that managed to break free from the nervous tension that saturated the air, covered their mouths in an attempt to hush their judgmental audible gasps.
But an iniquitous act had been committed in the presence of witnesses and the offender needed a stern reminder that such offenses were not tolerated on a Christian campus. The authoritative voice—the resident dean—stood over me like an executioner at a chopping block. But the look of surprise on my face, like a contagious virus, quickly spread to his comely countenance, compelling him to ask another question.
“Do you know why everyone reacted the way they did?” he asked. “No sir,” I responded.
To Be Continued…
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