Area Man Called Bastard, Was Not Born Out Of Wedlock

When Harold Sykes, an employee at Papertech Technologies TechnoTech in New York City, called coworker James McCormik a "bastard" on Friday, he had "no idea" that he was opening up a "can of lies".

"I was...angry," Sykes recalled, "It was the first thing to pop into my head, and so I said it. But little did I know that I was calling someone something that just wasn't accurate at all."

The day began normally, according to Sykes; he was in the midst of making several trips to the copier to copy some copies that needed copying, much like he does every day of the week. But on this particular day, McCormik was at the copier already, forcing Sykes to wait a few seconds to begin copying one of his documents.

"I was irritated that he couldn't use some other copier," Sykes said. "That was the first thing. Because even though that particular copier isn't mine, it might as well be, because everyone knows that only I and like nine other people use it."

The injustices didn't stop there, however.

"Then, when he was gathering up his copies to walk away, I noticed that the 'Paper' light was flashing, indicating that the copier needed paper," Sykes recounted. "The paper is kept a mere five hundred feet away in a cabinet. It would not take much effort to retrieve some and reload the copier. But because of the way McCormik was walking and the look on his face, I just knew he wasn't going to go get it."

This, combined with Sykes suddenly becoming sure somehow that McCormik secretly used the copier at night "to make hundreds of copies of his ass", was enough to send him into a temporary -- yet intense -- rage.

"'McCormik, you're a bastard,' I said. I wasn't thinking, and by the time I did, it was too late."

Sykes had called McCormik a bastard without first considering the likelihood of his mother giving birth to him before his parents were married -- in other words, the very meaning of the word.

"I saw the confused look in his eyes, and I thought to myself, 'Harold, you don't know what kind of circumstances this man's parents were in when they brought him into this world,'" he said. "As it turns out, they were happily married."

McCormik explained this to Sykes, and detailed to him why his insult did not work, something that Sykes is "very grateful" for.

"I appreciate when someone lets me know that I flubbed up, and McCormik patiently explained to me why I technically could not refer to him as a bastard," Sykes said with a smile. "It was a real eye-opener."

Later, on their lunchbreak, the two obtained some coffee at a nearby Starbucks, where they recounted the experience with fondness.

"It was just a really silly situation, once we got to thinking about it," Sykes laughed. "Jim [McCormik] jokingly called me an asshole. At first I almost smashed his head through my car's window, but then when I realized the point he was trying to make, I laughed all over the place. Imagine me as the exterior of an internal canal from which feces is deposited! I can't even begin to tell you why that doesn't make any sense!"

Sykes says that he and McCormik are now the best of friends, and that more importantly, he has learned something from the experience.

"Jim taught me that I should think about things before I say them," he said. "I guess I owe my wife an apology for calling her a female dog! Oh, what a silly man I was!"

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