Monthly Archives: December 2018

What a Douche_bag…

Do you realize how vulgar that is?

The above title and subtitle were taken from a dialog between my wife and I, a few years back. I was admonishing someone who had wronged me (pro’ly while driving) and wifey responded. I still repeat both phrases to myself, at random times. It always give me a chuckle.

The term ‘Douche_bag’ is about as New Jersey as a taylor ham and egg sandwich.

Here in the NJ/NY Metropolitan area we are not known for our patience or politeness. Not by a long shot. Nor will we ever score high on our defensive driving skills or our ability to give others the benefit of a doubt.

No. Offense and blind accusations are the norm in these parts.

There are a lot of people who fit the loose definition of a douche_bag around here.

A lot.

I say ‘loose’ because we are not talking about a feminine hygene product here, we’re talking about people’s behavior and as such any number of words, deeds, looks, glances, real or imagined slights; questionable driving, parking or¬†other motor vehicle skils;¬†general disposition and/or impatience can get you slapped with the ‘douche_bag’ tag.

I recall hanging out with some friends from the South and describing someone from my past as a ‘douche_bag’.

A marked silence fell about the room.
“Really?” Drawled one of guests. “You mean they looked like one, or they clean feminine…”
“Wait a sec, dude.” I interrupted. “I don’t know what one looks like, nor am I broaching the subject of cleanliness ‘down under’ as it were. I’m simply stating how this person was acting.”
“So he was squishy, spurting warm water and smell…”
“Stop. I beg of you. I think we’re experiencing some kind of a disconnect here. Maybe it’s a Mason-Dixon dialect issue or perhaps the term ‘douche_bag has fallen out of the vernacular.”

“It’s a Jersey thing.” My friend, who relocated from up here to down there, explained, much to the relief of everyone. “He means ‘an impolite, self-centered, rude asshole.”

“Ohhhh…” Serveral others exclaimed. “Now I get it.”

I wasn’t so sure. But what I did understand was that folks down South tend to use much kinder words to describe their antagonists than we here in the Tri-state area. Then again, they might not have the same density of douche_bags per square mile as we do.

#douche_bag (Say it out loud, like this: ‘hashtag douche bag’).

The underscore?
Funny you should ask.
I was partaking in a week-long computer class with a friend of mine. At the time we threw the term ‘douche bag’ around quite freely, as mates ’round these parts tend to do.

The instructor was emphasing, at length, the fact that the underscore character ( _ ) was (and still is) an acceptable character to use in your password.
“Butter_dish, coffee_cup, drive_way…” He illustrated needlessly, including the word ‘underscore’ in his lesson.
I looked at my friend and said, (once again in my life, louder than was appropriate), “Douche_bag.”
It actually brought the class to a halt. Not only was the instructor looking at me, but a good deal of my classmates were, as well.
“What?” Said I, not sure if I had violated the rules of politeness (there were only guys in the room). “He’s my friend.”
“Do you always talk to your friend like that?” Someone queried.
“Yeah.” Both my friend and I replied at the same time. “Don’t you?”

And ever since that day, when I key, type or otherwise spell ‘douche_bag’ I insert the underscore character. It’s sort of a tip of the hat, if you will, to that friend and that time.

Again, typical Jersey guy stuff.

Your atypical douche_bag has a lot in common with your garden variety asshole in that they are only concerned with themselves. But I think a douche_bag is more narcissistic than an asshole. (or maybe it’s the other way around?)

Douche_bags are somewhat blind to others, they can only see as far as their own needs. Assholes know what they’re doing and do it anyway. Douche_bags can’t see beyond their own immediate selves. Assholes do things out of malice.

#asshole

Neither tag is desireable, to say the least, but we have all worn the hat (asshat). Wrongly accussed or not, people throw both terms around quite freely. So you shouldn’t be too greatly offended when one or the other is hurled at you, although that is easier said than done. No one likes to be called either.

There is, however, a certain solace in calling someone else a douche_bag. Not much, but enough to take the edge off of whatever offense you have suffered. Just slightly.

I have also noticed that when I call someone else a douche_bag. I say it with a noted measure of disgust in my tone, which must harken back to the feminie hygene reference.

How vulgar, indeed.

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