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The Perfect Crime

John W. Pinkerton


“Asshat.”  I feel certain this expression has been around for a few years, but it just caught up with me.  It's kind of a replacement for “assh***” which I've always considered too vulgar to use in mixed company.  If you call someone “asshat,” you're basically saying they're idiots.


The Urban Dictionary defines it as the following: “A complete and utter moron.  A dumbass or idiot. An individual with a very low IQ. A person(s) with nothing to offer in a legitimate conversation.”

Being a curious lad, I searched for the origin of the term.  It seems it goes back to at least 2003 when Professor Connie Eble surveyed the slang used by students at the University of North Carolina.  However, the synonym “asshead” dates back to the 16th and 17th Centuries, but that was probably related to the animal not the posterior.

Today when we hear the word “ass” we probably first think of the posterior, not the animal, but in the late 50's, I made use of the word employing both meanings.

Mrs. Miller, my high school speech teacher and a lovely lady, assigned the class the creation of an after dinner speech.  This meant that it should be humorous.

I had noticed in Sunday school that when the asses (the animals) of the Bible were mentioned, there were considerable snickers and titters that followed.  There must have been an abundance of asses in the Holy Land as they are mentioned quite often.  For example, Genesis  44:3 is written, “As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their asses.”  Well, you can understand from that one quote why the reading of it caused snickers and titters.

Sensing a weakness in the educational system's defenses against the use of vulgarities within their walls, I wrote a speech liberally sprinkled with the word “ass”…in the nicest ways.

My speech to the class was accompanied by many snickers and titters.  I even caught Mrs. Miller enjoying my little effort.  I had accomplished the perfect crime.

So, after fifty years between that speech and today, you can judge from this essay that I haven't changed much.

I hope you asshats enjoyed it.