George Carlin was one of the great comedians, and not only because he survived more heart attacks than Richard Pryor. His best stuff still holds up, and you won’t find yourself listening for disturbing “clues” like you do when you’re brave enough to put on an old comedy album by He Who Shall Remain Nameless.
Carlin died eight years ago, but since then, he’s published his autobiography and released at least one pretty good album’s worth of career-spanning monologues. That makes him superhuman in my book.
Speaking of, the man wrote several smart and funny books late in his career. He remained one of the great smutsters of the ages until the end, but it was Carlin’s fascination for language that really captured my fancy.
Which, four paragraphs in, brings me to my point. I love most of the cuss words, excluding the ones that are racist, homophobic and generally intolerant. But there is one word, as a writer, that I find particularly offensive to the point I want to pull out my scalp when I see or hear it.
And that dreaded word is…
Yes, I can feel you cringing, fellow scribes. Trust me, that word will never again appear in the pages of Beachcomber as long as I have any say-so. Okay, maybe a couple more times in this piece (which is not a bloody write-up), and that’s it.
I sweat over every piece that I write for this publication, even the stuff that I half-ass. I don’t like to have something that I created from scratch and Wikipedia searches diminished by some knucklehead referring to it the same way you would a slacking employee at a (gasp) regular job, as in, “I’m going to write you up if you’re late again, Marvin.” (Apologies to Marvin, who related that anecdote in the strictest of confidence.)
Call it a story. An article. An essay. Even a meaningless string of ill-chosen thoughts and comments masquerading as good reading (see also James Joyce’s Ulysses). Or, do like I do, and call it “my baby.” Just don’t call it a write-up.
Would you walk up to an artist and compliment him or her on a great “paint-up” or “draw-up”? Commend a songwriter on a really catchy “sing-up”? Go backstage at the theater and offer congratulations to the cast on their latest “act-up”? Rave about an architect’s stunning “build-up”?
Or throw an “Attaboy” (or “Attagirl”) to a sex worker for a really fine… ?
Never mind, the politicians have already claimed that one.
- Editor Manson
THIS JUST IN… Our friends at LuLu’s, located at the base of the Mid-Bay Bridge in Destin, are now hiring kitchen staff. Fulltime and part-time positions are available for cooks, prep, dishwashers, expeditors and kitchen management. It’s a fast, fun and friendly environment, and you get to hear live music every night of the week. Apply in person or online at jobs.lulubuffett.com.
Musician Bryan Bludworth took us up on our suggestion that he parody Beachcomber for one of his gig-promoting social media posts, in which Bludworth inserts himself into well-known places and products. Our apologies to Andi and Ken Johnson (whose lovely faces are obscured here) and photographer Kellie Pickler.