Wild Coincidence

by Stephen Von Worley on October 30, 2009

Big Knife!On politics, we may not see eye to eye, but I’m still a fan of the Governator. What’s not to love? Arnie knows how to handle a knife. The Terminator kicks ass. And, above all, his pickup lines can’t be beat! My personal favorite is six words of pure captivation:

I want to penetrate your body.

Go low and slow, with the trademark Austro-Hungarian accent, pulling “body” into a pair of separate utterances – baw and dee – otherwise, it doesn’t translate. Also, to maximize success, win four Mr. Universe titles beforehand.

Earlier this October, Schwarzenegger and a gala of local Democrats intersected, by chance, at a San Francisco hotel. Always the prankster, the Governator crashed the party, where, inexplicably, former councilman Aaron Peskin invited him onstage. In the ensuing hell that broke loose, California Assembly member Tom Ammiano delivered assorted pleasantries, including “you lie!” as Arnold took the podium, and “kiss my gay ass!” on his way out.

A few days later, seemingly punitively, Arnie vetoed Ammiano-sponsored State Assembly Bill 1176, an inoffensive piece of legislation concerning the finances of the Port Of San Francisco. As sometimes happens, he issued a statement that explained why, a portion of which is reproduced below:

Veto Statement for AB 1176

Veto Statement for AB 1176

We’ve highlighted the letters on the left margin, that, when read from top to bottom, spell a not-so-nice phrase. Holy moly! Did the Governator really mean that?

A Schwarzenegger spokesman calls it a “weird coincidence.” But statistical experts disagree and have determined the odds of those words appearing at random: approximately one in 10,000,000. Tsk tsk, Arnold!

However, hold the phones, for the creative insulter has a variety of tools at his disposal. “FU” is great, but merely one of many pairings of Carlin’s Seven Dirty Words with pronouns. There’s the milder, classic options: Damn You, Bite Me, etc. Go homophobic, and you’ve got Fag Hag and a slew of filthier slurs. And there’s more — all together, by my rough estimates, two-hundred-or-so foul and/or demeaning phrases of seven letters or less, depending upon the context.

Given that, and the Governator’s prodigious press output, we calculate the chance of him issuing an inadvertent insult, vertically along the left margin, in some document, over the span of a year, at about one in 50. Still improbable, yes, but not one in 10 million, either.

For truly shocking levels of unintentional rudeness, go global! From the billions of paragraphs created each day, an accidental left-letter insult is born once a minute. Generalizing a bit, and counting what’s spelled in the verticals and diagonals throughout the entire text, an unplanned vulgarity enters the world every second.

Viewed as a “word search,” the Internet becomes a vast, angry sea, foaming with unpremeditated abuse and profanity! Can someone upgrade their content filters to “bleep” this kind of thing, ASAP? Please?!?!

Quick, Ammiano, draft some legislation to that effect, and Arnold, sign it this time. We’ve got to save the children!

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