Must be time to get my white robes out of storage

By Matt Perryman

When you talk the way I talk, you can’t help but attract a certain kind of banter. A Southern accent comes with a freight train of cultural baggage, no way around it.

I’ve had Kiwis and Ozzies ask me if I’m Irish, which isn’t far from the mark if you know the Scots and Irish history of the Southern settlers.

Meanwhile in America, cross-burning jokes are part of the banter.

It’s all good fun provided the bantzer can tolerate the return fire from the bantzee. My unflinching tolerance and playful good humor is, sadly, not a universal quality. Even less so today when being offended is a status symbol.

Imagine my surprise when the other day a little birdie whispered in my ear about a former reader who became, how do you say, gat-dang apoplectic about an email I wrote a couple weeks ago.

The source of the gripe lay not in form or substance of that email, as you might think. No, the emotional aneurysm resulted from a single, throwaway turn of phrase.

You might think I’d dropped the N-word itself (without securing a pass in advance). Not so. I used a different, more powerful word that I don’t dare repeat.

That’s what it must be, since it resulted in Yours Truly being slandered as a prejudiced bigot.

This shocked me.

Usually I have to pull the white robes and hood out of the storage unit, play a few bars of Dixie on the bugle, before those charges start flying.

These days, you’ve got to expect anything from anyone. People who seem balanced, friendly, reasonable, decent human beings can and will fly into a frothing rabies-like rage over absolute trivia.

It’s like people are putting everything under a microscope, looking for any reason to indulge in over-the-top rage.

I don’t know why it’s happening, but it’s happening.

Lessons abound.

Anyone that demands that you walk on eggshells around them, at the risk an unhinged blow-up, is someone to think twice about having in your life.

I do not, will not, and flat-out refuse to police my thoughts and words in order to satisfy the unpredictable emotional tantrums of grown adults.

If you don’t like what I say, that’s perfectly fine. Expected, even.

I understand full well that I grate some people the wrong way. Furthermore, it’s by design. I aim to agitate emotionally incontinent tantrum-throwers.

I want them to unmask themselves and reveal their true character.

Here’s why:

If a person is so lacking in integrity and honor that they’ll melt down and start in with gossipy back-biting over made-up infractions, own it.

Make it known.

Be clear.

Drop the pretences so I can get on with blocking you from anything I ever create.

If you pretend to be my friend while searching for reasons to explode at me, I want to know ASAP. I like a clean and tidy house.

There’s a catch though. People of low integrity don’t have the decency to take responsibility for who they are or the results of their actions. They just complain.

It’s sad, but that’s where we are.

Anyway, I’m sure you’re not like that. This is a cautionary tale about letting the worst parts of yourself rule your mind.

Matt Perryman 

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