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"Yo momma is so stupid..."

By Rob Bernstein   June 11, 1997

"Yo momma is so stupid it took her two hours to watch 60 minutes."

When arguments degrade into a volleying of insults, particularly among grade-school kids, Mom invariably gets pulled into the fray. Sure, we're all adults now, but we at IU still aren't above using such juvenile tactics in the office, especially during staff meetings where debate over new story ideas often results in acerbic trash talking, vicious wrestling maneuvers and/or combinations of both. Just the other day, staff tag team editors Todd Wright and Alex Gordon forced me into submission with a combination half-Nelson and figure four leg-lock--and a tongue lashing that smarts even as I write this.

So in preparation for our next meeting, I thought it would be a good idea to check out all of the insult and comeback resources on the Web. Deprived of television at a young age, I never developed the necessary insult skills other schoolmates learned from watching Sherman Hemsley and Marla Gibbs go at it on The Jeffersons. But that was then, and this is now.

Sadly, most Net users posting insult resource pages sadly lack the capacity to differentiate between clever insults and the horribly trite. Only after some experimentation with various Web pages and their indexed insults, was I able to determine which resources are worth a look.

"The only thing that would make you look good is distance."

The Insult Page is probably the best Web resource for receiving an education in the delivery of "verbal slaps." Randomized insults and a chat function allow participating users to bandy words and share indignities. While in the chat room, I practiced a few newly learned insults, and consequently, was told by an anonymous individual named Mr. Potatohead that, "The only difference between [me] and a bucket of s*** is the bucket." With Kleenex in hand, I removed my sorry self from the Insult Page chat room, not yet prepared to face-off against such powerful trash gunslingers.

"Thou errant knotty-pated pignut."

So I moved on to a classic, and somewhat classier resource: The Shakespearean Insult Server. Here, Shakespeare's best has been catalogued--insults so penetrating they'll reduce the most stolid into a quivering, dithering mute. As wonderful as this resource is however, such middle English cuts (like "Thou pribbling fat-kidneyed gudgeon") fall deafly upon the ears of those unfamiliar with pignuts or gudgeons. From this, I learned that the insult must suit the adversary's intellect and background. With the IU staff in mind, I then decided to head over to The Python Abuse Server, where an easy-to-use Web form allowed me to quickly devise and arrange obscenities that my peers could truly appreciate: "You hairy-arsed fart. You probably chew hamsters. Date a donkey. May your buttocks become spotty."

I e-mailed off the insult, and voila, a direct hit. I also did the staff the discourtesy of sending them a couple of insolent .wavs which I attached to an insulting message generated randomly by The Complaint-Letter Generator.

It may have been overkill, but it seems to have worked--perhaps all too well. Editors Todd Wright and Alex Gordon have since stopped speaking to me. At the request of other staffers, who are concerned about the magazine's solidarity, I've desisted from firing off anymore shots from my newly acquired cannonade of insults.

But I still take pleasure in jabbing my peers from time to time with a few epithets I memorized from the How to Swear In German Page, a site that actually provides .wav files that instruct users on pronunciation. What they don't know can't hurt them, I suppose.

Anyway, until next time, Ich haue Dir gleich eine in die Eier!

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