I remember my youth growing up with Dagos, Wogs, Slopes, Wops, Aussies, Pommies and the occasional Frog.
All of course are what we called the different cultures and national countries that surrounded us in our everyday lives.
In those days no one was really offended because we all knew the context of what we were saying. One could automatically tell if someone was being seriously offensive. As a matter of fact we use to stand up for each other when we thought it was offensive to a mate.
Not anymore ya can't!
From Turban Heads to Coconuts to Shirt Lifters to White Trash or Parkeha (White Pork) we now have to be care so very careful not to offend that we may offend some one or some culture.
It seems strange to me that in this day and age we put so much emphasis on being offended that we have become offensively out of touch with reality.
An old Geezer once asked a man if he was a Shirt Lifter the man admitted he was but remarked that he was offended by such homophobic name calling.
The young man made threats to take legal action for such name calling and followed through with those threats.
The day of the hearing was quite pleasant.
The sun shining, birds singing and an old geezer in a pinstriped suit puffing on a cigarette outside the court with a wry smile on his face as he waited for his court appearance.
Now inside the court room the young man stated his case.
Exaggerating every facet of what had transpired between him an the old man.
The old man sat quietly, not flinching, not whincing, not even a shake of the head.
When the young man had finished he made his way to his chair and sat down.
His smug look and cocky attitude clearly obvious to all and sundry.
The old man sat in the box and leaned forward to sip some water before answering questions on what had occurred.
"Did you call him a Shirt Lifter?" The young mans lawyer asks?
"No" came the old mans reply?
The lawyer looked slightly confused.
"I don't understand. Your statement to police says you called him a Shirt Lifter."
"It does not!" The man states.
A flustered yet gleeful lawyer then asks the man what did he say.
"I asked if he was a Shirt Lifter?" The old mans exppression does not change.
"So you admit calling my cilent a Shirt Lifter?"
"No I do not!" came the abrupt reply.
The lawyer shakes his head.
"May I remind you there are serious consequences for perjury."
"You may." The oldman said remaining unmoved by the constant barrage fo questions.
"Your Honour. The defendants statement admits the offence, the defendant admits under oath the offence yet denies the offence. Quite clearly the defendant has some memory problems. May I suggest you make a judgement on the basis of what you have just heard? we have no need to hear anymore."
The lawyer sits down and places his pen on his note pad.
The Magistrate looks across at the old man in the box.
The Magistrate asks "What am I to do with you?"
The old Geezer in his pinstriped suit sits up right and after taking a deep breathe says.
"What are you to do with me Your Honour? You could start by listening."
The lawyer gets up to protest but the magistrate waves him away.
"Ok. I am listening."
Getting up and standing the old man starts telling the court what really happened.
"I asked if he was a Shirt Lifter I did not call him a Shirt Lifter. I have seen him in the bar that I run. He is a frequent customer. The bar is called the Hard On Inn. I was only trying to assert if he was gay or not."
The lawyer once more jumps up from his seat trying to interject and claim that this has no relevance.
The magistrate waves him away.
"Do continue." he intructs the old man.
"You see, Your Honour in my day, we poofters, pooh jabbers, fags, faggots clambusters, a fucking queer would have been beaten up had it been know of our preferences"
There is a slight pause as he wipes his eyes with his hankerchief "A polite term in those days was Shirt Lifter among those that understood what we were."
"Any offensive comment made to anyone for any reason can only be determine by the context in which it was said and not by someone taking offense and determining that it was offensive."
The old man sat down but continued speaking.
"He assumed that by me asking if he was a Shirt Lifter that I was Homophobic. Clearly this is a false assumption and it is I who should be offended."
Another deep breathe.
The court room deathly quiet.
" I will continue to use the terms and phrases that have been part of my life for over 65 years and if that offends it is those people that need to get a life. There are a lot more worst things in life to worry about than being offended by words."
With that, the old man gets up and walks back to his seat in the court room.
The old geezer walks across the steps outside the court house and lights a cigarette.
The sun is shining and the birds are still singing as the old geezer in the pinstripe suit continues his walk home.
"Those were the days my friends" He calls out over the cemetry fence.
Whitesnakes do it better .................... COT to admit that!