Wednesday, July 15, 2009

James Bovard

One of the writers I enjoy reading for the clarity of thought, precision of language, and for the defense of the reasonable (aka "liberty") is James Bovard. I was turned onto him during a week long seminar at the Institute for Humane Studies more than a decade ago, and have enjoyed much of his writing since.

All of which is simply a brief introduction to a very humorous post from Bovard here:

While not central, nor even representative of his areas of focus, it is delightfully amusing, and to anyone who has ever worked on cars, houses, or other mechanical devices, completely unsurprising..

Read the article, then this anecdote will make more sense:

Many years ago, some friends were renting a room from me, and as a favor I did some work on the car of the girlfriend of one of these guys. (She was sharing a room with the guy.. ) At that time in my life, I swore very rarely. So rarely that most folks who knew me would have told you that I simply never swore. So while working on her car, I apparently let loose with a string of explicatives after some bolt slipped for the umpteenth time, or some part would not go into place.. She came out the door and to her credit asked if I was alright. Puzzled, I said, "yeah I am fine. Why do you ask?" It was then that she commented on my use of profanity, which she rightfully understood to be out of character.

In a rare moment of perfect clarity and timing, I responded that profanity is an essential tool in car repair..

While I may have loosened my tongue a bit when it comes to explicatives, I do still hold that the maxim is not merely true but absolute. Vehicle repair necessitates profanity!

That said, I will add one addendum: Or a damn fine mechanic!

To tell the truth, I prefer the latter to the former.

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