One of the many, many reasons that I love baseball is the cultural acceptance of the fecal fit thrown by a manager on behalf of a call against his team. Yeah, he might be “ejected” to direct the game by telephone a room away, but he’s made his point and clearly delineated his line in the sand. The profanity, the brilliant one-liners, the dance around the One Term That Will Positively Get You Ejected, even the flight of usually stationary items such as bases, home plates, jackets, and turf shoes all add to the excitement. The team for whom this peacock-like performance is displayed is honored as a suitor brings his date a flower: I recognize that you are special and I will make every effort to protect you. A baseball manager’s tantrum is perhaps an exaggerated form of mother-child protection. Maybe.
We lack an appreciation for this type of behavior nowadays. Sure, we’ll watch strangers act like angry fools on Cops and laugh, but the type of fecal fit I’m talking about happens to be years and IQ points beyond the reality show. Instead of imitating some cud-chewing bovine when confronted with some aspect of absolute sheer stupidity, embedded in bureaucracy, and administered imperiously by an idiot we can only hope has been sterilized, we need to stop this ridiculous belief that we must be “polite beyond reasonableness.” This article is the adult equivalent of “If Johnny jumped off a cliff, would you?” Well, stop giving a damn about Johnny and whoever is wasting their time watching him, you, or you both.
I am not advocating rudeness. I am not suggesting bullying. I am suggesting that there absolutely no shame in reaching the end of one’s tolerance to withstand some particular insult or stupidity, and it is at this point, that one has fully earned all rights to throw a fecal fit. For instance, my controlled communication in this direction with my physician’s office allowed me an 8-minute appointment from start to finish. And no, I didn’t pay the co-pay because I was objecting to have to drive to his office in my pajamas in the first place and my purse doesn’t fit with my paisley pajama bottoms.
A meltdown that would have made Bobby Cox proud, allowed me to finally leave the country despite the Korean officials’ attempts to shake me down at the airport. My recent refusal to work with a micromanaging woman who was actually driving some co-workers batty before it pinged on my radar, has allowed me to work freely in that environment without asking Ms. Know It All whether or not I should remove my underclothes before urination.
Fecal fits can be controlled hysteria or an out-and-out meltdown. But the real power in the activity is that not only is it used very, very rarely, it is also completely your call. Your power is others’ erroneous belief that you are out of control.