When Extreme Sold His Meaning

Extreme is the second most over used word in the American vernacular. Awesome is first, totally.

Extreme Sports

Extreme! (Photo credit: tpower1978)

Once, Extreme was a proud word. He had a job that he did well. He spent his work days describing things that were outliers, far beyond what one would normally encounter. Political thought, angles, degrees of difficulty, risk… Extreme made them all, well, so much more of whatever they already were.

Extreme And The Cool Kids

A few years ago, certain higher risk sports became popular. They brought with them a need for a word that could effectively describe their difficulty and danger. When they offered him the job, Extreme jumped at the chance. The extreme sports movement was born.

Extreme found himself traveling with folks he never used to hang around with – skateboarders, sky divers, rock climbers and the like. He was with the cool kids.

Cool kids really dug Extreme because they thought he made them something more than the were. Deep down, he knew that he was just a word that was rapidly becoming overused. He understood that skydiving and extreme skydiving were not different from one another. Both are just falling out of an airplane. Extreme played the game. He gave the people what they wanted.

Extreme Cashes In

Business and marketing people took notice of Extreme. They saw how the cool kids valued the label that he provided. They started urging him to add his mark all sorts of things. Soon, Extreme was pushed so hard by his marketers that he started to become less powerful as he grew in popularity.

Extreme wanted to pull back from the spotlight a little. He tried to find a way to rebuild his image, but temptation overwhelmed him. When his handlers pointed out that the cool kids would pay ten percent more for extreme bowling or an extreme sports drink, Extreme got on board with the idea. He knew that he wasn’t doing anything to make bowling better, just more expensive. He knew he was just a word on a drink bottle’s label. He was going to get paid, and that’s all that mattered to Extreme.

Maybe I should clarify. That’s all that mattered to Extreme at that time. I saw him just the other day. He did not look well.

Extreme Goes Midget Wrestling

Extreme was hanging around outside a bar. He was letting everyone know that there was to be a midget wrestling match. An Extreme Midget Wrestling match. I told him I wasn’t sure if he was saying the midgets were extreme, or their wrestling was. The way he looked at me gave away that it bothered him that I’d asked.

When he turned away, he ran his hand thru his hair in the manner of one who knew he had some thinking to do.

He wasn’t certain if the midgets were extreme or not. I think he started to realize he’d given away his significance when he sold his meaning.


22 Comments on “When Extreme Sold His Meaning”

  1. Extreme is overused? I thought sure it was “epic.” That word annoys the heck outta me.

    Also, I posted a pic of camo pullups on my blog.

  2. AiXeLsyD13 says:

    I blame the old Mt. Dew snowboarding commercials, and Doritos.

  3. We Found Him Captain! says:

    I here wear yore cummin fruum.

  4. Debbie says:

    Ah, popularity. So fleeting. Maybe we can eliminate some more inane words through mere overuse!

  5. You’re totally right. Extreme has become iconic.

    You’re also right about the confusion created by the sign.

    And who is the market for midget wrestling, extreme or otherwise?

  6. My Odd Family says:

    I used the word “midget” not to long ago in a post-just a very short midget mention and all of sudden people were searching the word “dancing midget” or “mud wrestling midgets” and “others” and being directed to Odd. It was very interesting and one of those “who knew” moments.
    A long time ago I used the word awesome and was informed that unless I was describing Mt. Everest, or I watching someone or something give birth, it probably wasn’t awesome. Perhaps extreme could use some of the same guidelines.

    • omawarisan says:

      There was a guy who worked at the local supermarket here who would call whatever you chose – paper or plastic – awesome. He was a decent kid, but I wanted to point out to him so badly that it was just paper or plastic.

  7. dufmanno says:

    Extreme probably longs for the days where his main companion was Evel Knieval. Steam powered rocket boosters. Daredevil attempts across Snake River Canyon. 433 broken bones.
    That was a guy Extreme was proud to know.

  8. spencercourt says:

    I don’t know about wrestling, but I think it is still illegal in Florida to engage in midget tossing. A thoughtful Republican legislator wisely saw that the law infringed upon little peoples’ rights to earn a legitimate living and proposed to repeal the law but I think this critical issue of liberty got lost in more mundane issues such as budget cuts.

  9. The Hipster says:

    Oh, for the want of a well-placed hyphen. (Extreme-Midget Wrestling v. Extreme Midget-Wrestling). Alas, my pleas for punctuation awareness continue to go unheeded.

    I’m glad to see that Extreme has at least held true to his original spelling, not yet yielding to the extreme spelling: “Xtreme.” I think when it comes to that point, Extreme will have lost all credibility.

  10. Lenore Diane says:

    Extreme midget. It has a sort of oxymoron ring to it, don’t you think? Meh. Maybe not.

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