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Missed by inches

[Originally published at the now defunct group blog explananda.com]

Posted on May 14, 2007
Tags: classics
It’s hard to deny that Meriones has a good point here:
But Aineias threw his bronze spear at Meriones, hoping to hit him as he came forward under his shield’s covering, but Meriones with his eyes straight on him avoided the bronze spear. For he bent forward, and behind his back the long spearshaft was driven into the ground so that the butt end was shaken on the spear. . . But Aineias was angered in his spirit, and called out to him: ‘Meriones, though you are a dancer my spear might have stopped you now and for all time, if only I could have hit you.’ Then in turn Meriones the spear-famed answered him: ‘Aineias, strong fighter though you are, it would be hard for you to quench the strength of every man who might come against you and defend himself, since you also are made as a mortal. But if I could throw and hit you with the sharp bronze in the middle, then strong as you are and confident in your hands’ work, you might give glory to me, and your soul to Hades of the horses.’ (The Iliad, Book XVI, lines 608-625 (Lattimore’s translation))

Right. It seems a basic violation of trash talking to complain after you missed someone that if you had hit them, well, then they’d have been in trouble. Coulda, shoulda, woulda, and all that.

I was washing the dishes when this little bit from Homer came up randomly on my mp3 player. The lame trash talking got me thinking about lame comebacks. As it happens, I’m responsible for one of the worst comebacks I’ve ever encountered. When I was a kid, another kid said something like “I’ll bet your penis is 2 centimeters long!” And I shot back, without thinking, “TRY INCHES!!!” Later, I made the unfortunate mistake of relating this to evil mystery commenter Kegri, who for years after would interrupt our arguments at random moments to shout “TRY INCHES!!!”


Author: Kegri
Date: 2007-05-14

Oooh. I can handle guns and knives. But when they start tossing the bronze pears around, I’m outta there.

Author: Chris
Date: 2007-05-14

Fuck, fuck, fuck! OK, fixed. Jerk.

Ummmm, TRY INCHES!!!

Author: Anne
Date: 2007-05-15

This is what happens when you start teaching children that there are other units of measure other than the imperial system. (shaking head, looking down) So sad. The schoolyard jeers of the metric-educated.

Also, did you see these two amazing responses to hecklers? First Vernon Wells was heckled by some guys in the stands, and after an inning break he threw them a ball with this message written on it:

Dear Mr. Dork, Here is your ball! Can you please tell me what gas station you work at, so when you are pumping my gas I can yell at you!!! Now sit down, shut-up and enjoy the game!

Your favorite centerfielder, Vernon Wells

The hecklers were totally happy, Wells shows he has class, excellent all around.

Then later, Ken Griffey Jr was getting heckled, at first apparently called the heckler fat, to which the heckler replied “I may be fat but at least I can play second base”, and Griffey told him he couldn’t touch the threads of Griffey’s jockstrap. Then after an inning break, Griffey comes out and throws the dude his jockstrap.

So let’s just say, Kegri should watch out, cause I’m thinking maybe Chris might turn from Wells to Griffey, without a moment’s notice…

Author: Kegri
Date: 2007-05-15

But where would explananda be without a benevolent troll?

Author: Chris
Date: 2007-05-15


Kegri, we would surely be lauded internationally for the depth, breadth, and heft of our ideas, if only we weren’t tarred by association. People would write inches of positive press about us, inches I say!