Is it bad manners to give the moutza to a dead man who killed himself by cockroach?
This is not a philosophical question. Today is the day we hand out the venerable Moutza of the Month award, this time for October.
As loyal readers know, the moutza is a hand signal of disgust of the Hellenic people, although two Turkish guys I just ran into on Michigan Avenue say they use it too, perhaps having adopted it from my ancient Greek ancestors. The palm is directed at the offender and the fingers spread wide as you say "Nah!" (here, take it), or even better, "Feesa etho" (blow on this).
It is more civilized than the sexually provocative American "finger," and the nominations have generated heated debate on my Facebook pages. It's just the thing for politicians, especially those who make excuses for U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Bud Light; or the Obama "Like a Virgin" Voter Girl; or those three journalists who kissed the convicted behind of Illinois Republican boss Big Bill Cellini.
Nothing says moutza like journalists writing letters asking a federal judge to show mercy when he's about to sentence a guy like Cellini, who made a fortune in Illinois politics through government deals, but who flew under the media radar in this state for decades.
Or you could hand it to the angry driver in the SUV who just cut you off in traffic, or to Edward Archbold, famed cockroach eater.
"He ate cockroaches and died?" asked one of the Turkish guys.
"Nah to him!" said his friend. "A man eats cockroaches, all you can do is say Nah!"
Archbold, 32, of Florida, died Oct. 5 after winning a bug-eating contest sponsored by the Ben Siegel Reptiles store. The grand prize was a large python. He consumed more than 60 grams of mealworms, 35 3-inch-long "superworms" and a half bucket of cockroaches.
After he consumed his feast, eager to enjoy quality time with his python, he became ill and died.
"Very few (human) cultures tend to eat cockroaches," said Bill Kern, a University of Florida bugologist quoted in The Miami Herald. "Because they store large amounts of uric acid and nitrogenous waste. And they tend to be scavengers and feed on things most people wouldn't consider to be desirable."
Like waste matter and dead things. Nah!
You might need two hands and two feet for a quadruple moutza for two Illinois Democrats, U.S. Reps. Bobby Rush and Danny Davis. They held a news conference to defend their colleague, Jackson, who hasn't been seen publicly in his district for months but expects to be elected anyway from his Democratic district.
Some see Jackson as 100 percent derelict — a weasel trying to hold on to power while making fools of his constituents. The Jackson camp says he's being treated for bipolar disorder, although the illness struck about the time that the feds were crawling all over his congressional expense accounts.
"He has not been derelict in his duties," said Rush, who said Jackson was "the Derrick Rose of the Illinois delegation. … No one is clamoring for Derrick Rose to come back (to the Bulls) before he should."
D-Rose is working hard to come back from a knee injury, and if the Bulls allow him back too soon, all of Chicago will give them a moutza. Comparing D-Rose to a political hack who was angling with former Gov. Dead Meat to become a U.S. senator is just plain stupid, even for a congressman from Illinois.
Let's take our shoes off, too: Nah! Nah! Nah! Nah!
Now let's consider actress Lena Dunham, star and creator of the HBO series "Girls," which is a hit among young American women. Dunham also stars in a commercial for President Barack Obama's re-election drive, in which she seems to compare a vote for Obama with losing one's virginity.
"Your first time shouldn't be with just anybody," Dunham purrs, playing what I call the Obama "Like a Virgin" Voter Girl. "You should do it with a great guy. … My first time voting was amazing. ... Before I was a girl, now I was a woman."
The president of the United States approved this message. Nice. Would he let his daughters do the same for some other candidate? No. I've already promised never to moutza the president, but I said nothing about Lena Dunham's parents. Nah! And Nah!
Others deserving of the moutza include pollsters (aren't you sick of presidential polls?) and "Boss" star Kelsey Grammer for bringing his newborn daughter to a Playboy Mansion party.
What about those three journalists who wrote to U.S. District Judge James Zagel on behalf of Cellini? On Oct. 4, Zagel sentenced Republican Cellini, 77, to a year and a day in federal prison for a conspiracy to extort a $1.5 million campaign contribution from a Hollywood producer for then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat. Zagel's laughably light sentence was bad enough. But he said "three prominent journalists" wrote him to ask mercy for the Combine boss.
Those names remain under seal. Here's hoping that all three stand up proudly and take a bow and explain how they helped Cellini stay under the media radar all these years.
There aren't enough hands on all of us chumbolone taxpayers in Illinois for the moutzas those "three prominent journalists" deserve.