A demon comes into the bar. In the fifteen minutes before I make him leave, he alienates every woman by whispering things in their ears, wedging himself between them and their dates, and otherwise making a spectacle of himself.

One asks me if there’s a safe word. She doesn’t want to say the word to make the man go away, but that’s what she means. Like the quit word in an S&M scenario.

The word to best describe this asshole is not a safe one, and, I’ve been told repeatedly, no longer okay to say. That word is whigger.

After he says something filthy and unwelcome to about the fifth woman in the place, I tell him he has to go. He acts outraged and can’t understand what he’s done wrong. The guy who came in with him looks embarrassed and starts apologizing. The demon unleashes a stream of curses my way before stomping out, yelling this bar is bullshit.

Banning words is a tricky thing. If one is used only to demean an oppressed class of people, I understand the intent. But the word I use to describe my bar friend defines someone of a privileged class copying the mannerism and style of a disadvantaged one. Maybe just the sound of the word is enough to doom it.

I run this story by a black friend and he can’t understand what the problem is with my usage. But his is only one opinion and you never know how someone will react.

I hope one day all banned words come back. We have to treat all kinds of people much better than we do before that happens. In the meantime, my Christmas wish is never to see that jagoff at the bar again.

I read the first few pages from Juan Rulfo’s Pedro P├íramo into a microphone and talk to Mallory about Little Otik.