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Heckle and Jekyll

I hope you'll pardon me for a more general, not specifically A's-related, baseball issue.

Monkeyball, you SUCK! Go back to your tree!

I myself have never really understood the impulse to heckle players at the ballpark.

Hey, JUNKYball! Yeah, you, FUR-FACE! Haw haw haw!

To boo, sure -- to add one's vocal thrum to the Great Wordless Chorus of Disapprobation for the Opposition; that I can understand.

Unnuhstan THIS, you suckin' monkey suck sucker!

But to go to the ballpark and yodel imprecations at players on the field or in the bullpens? That I just. Don't. Get.

Get BENT, you person not of my ethnic heritage!

Now, to be fair, there is certainly in anyone's (especially, say, my) posting at AN an element of the class clown making armpit-fart noises: the self-aggrandizement of the bon mot, the mal mot, the witty or witless rejoinder -- even the nerdy, numerate natterings of the Sabermetric Sporks among us have at their most base impulse a degree of this.


And one could also argue that my privileging of the literate, literary, and logical modes of expression itself represents a sort of prejudicial classism, a sort of poll tax on ballyard enfranchisement.

Hey Professor! Can you spell 'shit'?

There's also the fact that, while heckling is rude both to the recipients of the opprobrium and to the fellow fans in the vicinity, it's a mostly victimless act and one that is certainly less harmful than other traditional demonstrations of (mostly male) catharsis (such as, say, kicking one's dog).

Kick THIS, you epicene, late-imperial Sybarite!

Nonetheless, I personally find heckling to be an activity entirely outside of my worldview.

So I open it up to y'all:

  • Do you heckle? If so, why? If not, why not?
  • Is heckling acceptable ballpark behavior? If so, why is it acceptable at the game but not elsewhere in society?
  • Do you enjoy/appreciate other folks' clever and/or scatological heckling?
  • Do you heckle hecklers?
  • Do you heckle heckler-hecklers?