Ye Old Tymes

The English language is an amazing entity that lives, breathes, and grows with time. Our words are rich with meaning and our slang is expressive. Too often, however, the reasons behind a word or phrase are lost and forgotten with time. To illustrate my point, imagine what historians will make of the phrase 'I'm audi 5000, yo' (translation: good bye) once a few hundred years have passed. Who will remember THE staple of 80's thug life, the Audi 5000 turbo sedan with quattro four wheel traction control system. Sadly, we can all agree that it will reduced to nothing but a distant memory.

In the interest of helping to preserve the integrity of an important phrase we use today, I will explain its history and its origins. I've selected a phrase that in some way is related to the National Kick a Brit in the Nuts Week celebration.

Ironically, this phrase, which is the gayest of the phrases we use today, started its life as a statement of pure American Pride. 'Had a nice cry' is used today to indicate that you enjoyed oneness with your emotions while crying, usually watching a chick flick and rubbing your eyes with tissues and eating bon-bons. This phrase began life as a clever slogan for an advertising campaign in 1871. The People's Boot Bat Company of Delaware had begun manufacturing the first ever all-steel boot bat. Its creators were uncertain of the people reactions to a new type of bat, which was traditionally made from wood. As a result, they devised a leaflet ad campaign that depicted one of the brittiest Brits imaginable positioned just above bold text reading 'Have A Nice Crye, Brit!' The idea was that if you bought an all-steel boot bat from The People's Boot Bat Company, you too could enjoy the thrill of using the bat to make the Brit's cry in testicular pain.

The ad campaign was a smashing success and the new metal boot bat became a favorite of holiday participants. For years, The People's Bat, as it was commonly referred, soared in sales and a fortune was made selling them. In 1896, The People's Bat was deplared official boot bat of the Olympic games. This solidified the bat's superiority over many competitor's bats. There were bats made of brass, glass, granite, and a wealthy excentric even tried to popularize a solid gold bat. These bats, quite simply, failed to sell the way that The People's Bat had. None were as sturdy, affordable, and balanced.

Those were the glory years, however, and all good things must come to an end. The federal government had begun to crack down on monopolies, and they had set their sites on The People's Boot Bat Company. Despite having a superior product, the lack of competition was seen as un-American. In hindsight, this may have been the first crack in the armor, which eventually led to a general lack of caring for the holiday. Politics and "big government" had taken the spirit of the holiday and turned it into a grand jury hearing. Sadly, The People's Boot Bat Company was dissected. The company was no longer able to produce the finest bats, and it went under.

This, like many tales became yesterdays news, then later, became ancient history. But one thing remained. The successful ad campaign had left its mark on the people, and the slogan stuck. 'Have a Nice Crye!' was used liberally, and soon even its meaning began to blur. Fast forward to the year 2003, where the meaning is all but completely lost. It's a bastardization of a prideful history, but its history none-the-less.

Erik has been a big supporter of National Kick a Brit in the Nuts Week, writing articles this year and last. He anticipated the holiday's arrival nearly as much as I did myself. He insists that the rumors about him are widely exaggerated.