Tuesday, June 25, 2002 – Page A22
How to heckle the ump
Better oral critiquing
at the game is the aim of Baseball Heckle Depot (http://www.heckledepot.com/), a Website
with hundreds of barbs, compiled by Michael Tolley of Toronto.
A few gibes to hurl at an offending umpire:
"If you're just gonna watch the game, get a ticket!"
"The French judge says it's a strike!"
"We know you're blind, we've seen your wife!"
"When your dog barks twice, it's a strike!"
Today is the anniversary of the death
in 1988 of Mildred Gillars. This American-born actress with a
sultry voice moved to Berlin in 1935 and ended up broadcasting
to U.S. troops as Axis Sally. She was one of several U.S.-born
Axis propagandists (including Lord Haw Haw, Ezra Pound and a
score of young women sometimes called Tokyo Rose by Americans)
who amused and enraged the Allies during the Second World
What is it like to be heckled by the enemy?
Axis Sally (on her Home Sweet Home program):
"And what are your girls doing tonight, fellows? You really
can't blame them for going out to have some fun, could you? .
. . You may dislike my repeating this to you, but it's the
truth, especially if you boys get all mutilated and do not
return in one piece."
Orphan Ann (Iva Toguri, one of the Tokyo Roses):
"Greetings, everybody! This is your No. 1 enemy, your
favourite playmate, Orphan Ann on Radio Tokyo -- the little
sunbeam whose throat you'd like to cut! Get ready for a
vicious assault on your morale, 75 minutes of music and news
for our friends -- I mean, our enemies! -- in the South
Baghdad Betty (an anonymous Iraqi, during the 1990
Gulf War): "GI, you should be home . . . while you're away,
movie stars are taking your women. Robert Redford is dating
your girlfriend. Tom Selleck is kissing your lady. Bart
Simpson is making love to your wife."
Heckling in the
In 2000, Argentine tenor Jose Cura outraged Spanish opera
buffs during a performance of Il Trovatore at the
Teatro Real in Madrid. After seven days of being booed by
audiences, Mr. Cura launched into a four-minute
mid-performance outburst, saying: "I sing for all of you, not
just for the part of the audience that smells." Fans thought
he had gone too far and he later apologized.
Last December, toward the end of an Atlanta production of
Romeo and Juliet,the actor playing Romeo stopped the
"Get the [intercourse] out!" he yelled at two
women in the audience who had been talking and laughing
inappropriately throughout the evening. "Either shut up or
The crowd cheered, writes Wendell Brock on The
Atlanta Journal-Constitution. However, he adds, the extreme
reaction raises questions, such as: Is it ever appropriate for
an actor or manager to stop a performance? Shouldn't
playhouses expect extra noise when they sell alcohol to
U.S. soccer heckling
In 2000, Rutgers University undergraduate Yuval Silberman
and his brother, a law student, filed a complaint against
campus police over they way they were ejected from a college
They had been singing a rude version of
Camptown Races, in a sexually explicit gibe at the the
opposing coach, and shouting "Sucks!" after each name in the
opposing lineup was announced.
Police, the brothers say,
shoved them and twisted Yuval's arm behind his back. "We were
making fun of [Boston College] . . . We're not about being
vulgar, we're about getting into the other team's head," he
Last August, a dozen or so American soccer fans calling
themselves Project Mayhem turned up at Washington's Dulles
International Airport to heckle the Honduran national team
when it arrived. Their action was intended to be revenge for
the way the U.S. team was treated in Central America; American
soccer officials report their players are frequently pelted
with fruit, batteries and worse, including bags of urine. In
Guatemala, bands were hired to play outside the U.S. team's
hotel all night.
However, Spanish-language radio stations
in the Washington area alerted Honduran fans to the planned
protest. More than 800 people flooded the airport arrival area
and Project Mayhem's chant "U-S-A!" was drowned out by
"Hon-DUR-as!" Chris Hummer, the Mayhem organizer, told The
Washington Post: "What a crappy turnout. It kind of
Thought du jour
usually more firmly convinced that their opinions are precious
than that they are true." -- George Santayana.