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Canceling the Exclamation Point!

Todo mundo sabia que isso aconteceria: o sempre exaltado Ponto de Exclamação, apesar de suas melhores intenções, acabou cancelado.
Everyone knew this would happen: the ever-vaunted Exclamation Point, despite its best intentions, was eventually cancelled.| Photo: Bigstock

Contrary to what many might expect of me at this point, I don’t intend to alleviate to the Exclamation Point. No way. After all, he misbehaved. Not for the first time. And for that, he really deserved reprimands – nothing but reprimands. But after having said what I said – and mainly as

he said – The Exclamation Point came to light, bowed his head and, for a moment, even took off his plume to reveal himself as a humble Final Point who, due to circumstances beyond the case, lost his composure. That’s why he deserves to be forgiven. How not?

I’ve known the Exclamation Point for a long, long time. Ever since we got together to read the antics of the angry Donald Duck. He was that cranky kid that neither adults nor children can tolerate, you know? But I, for some reason, liked him. So for free.

Over time, and despite its nature choleric, the Exclamation Point until she kept herself low-key. I would go so far as to say “contained”. Even because, at that time, let’s face it, the objectives of the Exclamation Point were different. Quite different. He was more interested in taking female interjections to dinner and then to that smart movie theater where they gasped at each hottest scene. The Exclamation Point was only revealed in its entirety when I went to the stadium to see Coritiba win with a goal conceded in the last minute. And against the last place in the championship.

But then there’s the Exclamation Point abandoned the maidens and their ohs and ahs. He didn’t want to know about football either. Because the Exclamation Point discovered politics and dove into it, looking like an Argentine Exclamation Point. After a troubled period in which he allied with the Question Mark to create the Indignant Questions Guerrilla Movement (known by the acronym WTF?!), he entered the world of politics and began to exalt only certainties. Always with the topknot held high. Always with that little drool running from the corner of her mouth.

Nonsense 2021

We all knew: it was a matter of time until Exclamation Point is cancelled. And there was no other. It was at the bar table, chatting animatedly in the company of some friends that I admire a lot, that I learned of what had happened. Semi-colon broached the subject while grumbling enviously how happy the Exclamation Point really was, that everyone knew what it was for. “Worse is me, I’m useless,” he said. Oh, sorry.

The whining animated the table and, before I did I could express myself, the always assertive Full Stop stepped forward, saying that the Exclamation Point was right in some things. “Especially when he rebels with the deaths of communism and the hypocrisy of the left. But do you need to talk like that?” he asked, hugging some Question Mark who, drunk and lost, for some reason came to sit at our table.

The always airy Reticences put his hand to his chin and was thinking. In the silence that hung between us, it fell to me to ask the waiter for another round of Cross Crosses With Two Points and suggest: – The problem is that he has charisma. People love him. And he knows it. This encourages him to exalt himself more and more, and thus he ends up exposed to danger. But what did he do this time?, I asked, admiring a Comma passing by and wondering if I didn’t know her from other carnivals.

I was told then that the Exclamation Point was so full of itself, as was characteristic of it, when they asked him for an analysis of any of these controversial subjects that fill the news sites, seducing the distracted or idle. He entered the scene all straight as usual, paused dramatically, looked at the camera as if he were going to swallow it – and began to unleash a whole string of profanities. Against the STF, the LGBT movement, environmental hysteria and the obligatory nature of the vaccine. I don’t know what else against.

The indignation was so great that, for vary, no one quite understood what the Exclamation Point said. Which was a good thing, because he always managed to bring people together around whatever feeling that was more likely to surface. But which was also bad, because it allowed for all sorts of interpretation. Including and mainly malicious interpretations. To complicate matters, there was even that drool running eternally from the corner of the angry Exclamation Point’s mouth. And who can pay attention to a rattling pole that produces hectoliters of saliva?

The fact is that what he said was interpreted as a mortal offense by several groups that specialized in doing politics in front of the mirror and that, knowing themselves capable of a thousand perversities, presuppose in others the same versatile perversity. And so Exclamation Point ended up cancelled, fired from all its jobs, erased from school newsrooms, and even excluded by writers who not long ago turned to it when one of its characters was desperate.

Then, realizing that I had exceeded some arbitrary limit, my friends told me that the Ponto de Exclamation went to public apologizing. In an emotional speech, he thanked the Quotations for faithfulness and said that, in the speech that disgraced him, he was being ironic. And he promised to make amends and even spend a season in one of those clinics for stressed-out men. But there was no way. Nobody forgave him.

There was silence again. To my right, Semi-colon was distracted by an Asterisk that came through the window. Full stop was glum and unreadable. And the Question Mark that no one knew who he was or where he came from looked at me as if searching my soul. Reticence was still lost, chasing invisible clouds. In that setting, all I could do was pay homage to old Exclamation Point, eternally mad and misunderstood in its damnation. – Nonsense! – he said, eating the last fried Crosses.

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