What the Bleep is Wrong With Meep?

What the Bleep is Wrong With Meep?
Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk syndicate
Copyright 2009

I hate it when people bleep themselves.

No, I'm not bleeping out a bad word. I mean, I really don't like it when people say "bleep." As in "what the bleep is wrong with you?!" (If I actually had to use a bad word, I would write %#@!, which is called a "grawlix" by cartoonists.)

Don't say "bleep." It makes you sound five, or like you're trying to be funny with a really old joke, like "let there be light!" whenever you flip a light switch. If you want to say a curse word, just say the damn word. If you don't want to say the word, then say another freakin' word. Say "dang," "darn," "golly," or "goldurn." Just don't bleep yourself.

My kids don't even say "bleep." They usually say, "uh, that word you, uh, don't want us to say." Then we spend the next five minutes convincing them they won't be punished for saying it.

I appreciate that about my kids. They understand that there is a time and place for everything. The time is "not for the next 10 years," and the place is "not around me."

Still, one would hope that kids would have a little more respect for themselves than that, and would refrain from cussing, or at least practice a little self-censorship.

I could live with the word "meep," for example. But Danvers High School in Danvers, Mass. is up in arms about it.

Principal Thomas Murray was concerned because kids were saying "meep" at school. He was so concerned in fact, he sent all the parents an automated call saying if their kids said or displayed the offending word at school, they could be suspended.

Murray said students had been using it and other nonsensical words in the school, and that it was going to be a part of a planned disruption some of the students had organized online.

"It's really not about the word in particular," Murray told the Salem News. (Translation: "It's really about that word in particular.") Murray explained that the reason for his message was that students had been instructed to not use those or other words in a particular part of the building.

So he asked the students not to use the word to disrupt school and to stop other disruptive behaviors, but they didn't listen.

"Then... then..." he said, breaths coming in ragged, shuddering gasps. "Those big kids were mean to me!"

Okay, that's not really what happened. What he really said was "Students were not going along with the direction or refraining from a particular type of language."

Meep? Are you freaking kidding me?! There are all kinds of cuss words those kids could be saying, and you got your panties in a bunch because a bunch of kids said meep?! (See what I did there? I didn't use the F-word, but I didn't say "bleep" either.)

Murray said the automated call was made as a way to stop an apparent meep-in that was being planned on Facebook.

Murray says that thanks to the phone call, the "disruption" never happened, although some students were suspended, but "there were additional factors involved in their suspension unrelated to simply saying 'meep.'" But Murray insists that the word "meep" is not the problem.

"It has nothing to do with the word," Murray said. "It has to do with the conduct of the students. We wouldn't just ban a word just to ban a word."

So Murray instead blamed social networking in general and Facebook in particular for the whole thing. He thinks this should be a warning to parents about how kids are using social networking sites.

Having solved all other teen social networking problems like sexting, teenagers posting racy photos of themselves, and chatting online with complete strangers who may or may not be sex offenders, Murray is now keeping us safe from dangerous words like "meep."

"I'm not sure parents are aware of what students are getting into on the Facebook sites," Murray said.

Don't blame Facebook for this. Kids have been organizing pranks and "disruptions" to their education for centureis. Before Facebook, it was text messages, calling each other after school, passing notes in class, and chiseling out messages on stone tablets.

Learn to identify the real problem. A bunch of kids started using a silly word instead of a curse word. And you didn't want your authority threatened by this non-word, so you flexed your power over such a non-issue that Napoleon was heard clapping in his tomb.

Just man up and quit being such a meep baby.

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