Mudcat Café message #1227819 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #71422   Message #1227819
Posted By: Don Firth
17-Jul-04 - 04:18 PM
Thread Name: BS: The end of the world is nigh.
Subject: RE: BS: The end of the world is nigh.
Right as usual, Little Hawk. Although rather than a tango, this has been, perhaps, more like (nigh unto) a fencing lesson. I used to fence years ago and, as evidenced by a case full of trophies and medals, I grew to be a swordsman of considerable skill and force.

Actually, my crossing blades with Marty has exacted minimal time, little energy, and the only emotional attention involved started with mild irritation when Marty first began responding to some of my serious posts some months back, not with contributions to a rational discussion, but toilet-oriented insults. The irritation quickly changed to a bit of fun:   a battle of wits in which I (cruelly, I admit) engaged an opponent who is poorly armed and ill-trained for such combat. This verbal fencing match involved my swift, humorous ripostes to his crude, clumsy, and easily parried thrusts.

This is essentially the method of handling hecklers that Bob Gibson (no relation to Martin Gibson, even though they are both associated with Chicago) explained to me back in 1958 when he spent a couple of weeks in Seattle. "Don't lose your cool," Gibson told me. "Turn it into an opportunity for comedy. Draw the heckler out and let him make a fool of himself." Since Marty started out by heckling me, this is the technique I adopted.

This has gradually morphed into boredom. Since Marty also heckled other people, some of whom also began responding with humorous barbs, I noticed that since Marty seems to have a compulsion to answer each one of us, it was possible for just a few of us working in relays to keep him spinning like a top. However, it has become tedious and repetitive, so I am leaving the field to others. Naturally, Marty will continue to heckle me wherever I go, but henceforth, rather than attempting to explain to him the error of his ways along thrusts of my rapier-like wit, all he will get from me now will be selections from my vast store of hilarious one-liners.

Due to my commitment to more interesting and important things, this will be my last lengthy post to or about Fartin' Gibbon. Any further responses from me to his feeble lunges with his dull sword will be to a) simply ignore him, or b) skewer him (once again) with a single swift and devastating riposte.

The mark of a great soul is to love all mankind, even the least lovable. Or, at least, to try. As Georgiansilver would say, be blessed.

Don Firth