Sunday, December 10, 2006

A Very Special Webisode

Johnny was a Mouth-breather

I've got a touch of the crud going on, and have been gulping my food in spastic, rapid-fire fashion, then jamming it down my throat with a candy-coated ramrod, due to excessive mucus buildup (as opposed to my usual habit of gulping my food in spastic, rapid-fire fashion, then jamming it down my throat with a candy-coated ramrod, due to sheer gluttony). Having been temporarily reduced to mouth-breathing and phlegmy Bea Arthur as GollumFlash impressions, I was reminded of a question that's been vaguely niggling at me for some time: Why all the mouth-breather hate? How exactly did "mouth-breather" become synonymous with "idiot"? So I Googled, and found the following:

mouth-breather n. a stupid person; a moron, dolt, imbecile.
Related: , ,

Editorial Note: The original definition of mouth-breather referred to a person that, due to medical problems (usually with the sinuses or nose), was forced to breath via the mouth. This leaves the jaw hanging open at most times, which has a tendency to make a person look dopey or spacey.

via Double-Toungued.Org

True confessions time: I started life out as a mouth-breather. In fact, I was about ten when I first discovered that most people normally breathe through their noses. My family was driving past the scene of a senseless hit-and-run skunk slaughter, and everyone was complaining. I said what's the big deal, yo? If something smells bad, don't smell. I thought noses were just for smelling, and it took an actual effort to use them. Several doctor-appointments later and I had my adenoids and tonsils removed. End result? My mouth-breather stigma was history. (Naturally, I had to get my first pair of glasses later the same year. Buddy Holly glasses, long before they became hipster-retro chic. So that year was a wash for me, style-wise.)

So what did we learn today? "Mouth-breather" is an insensitive term for stupid people. The correct term is "retard".

Note: Be sure to click the GollumFlash link. Really.


carson said...

I like how it looks like Gollum's reading off a teleprompter. Hill airy uhs.

wendell said...

I grew up a mouthbreather too. Childhood athsma. And a deviated ceptum. Or deviant ceptum. Never could tell those two apart. After a later pulmonary incident, I had to use my nose, mouth and ears simultaneously to get adequate air. It wasn't pretty. And everything smelled like ear wax. Come to think of it, I think it was a devious ceptum.