Monday, July 12, 2010

"The Vom"

It's not often that the BasketCases receive a communication from the Mystics containing a word we've never seen before. In fact, it's safe to say that we could count on one hand the number of times this has happened in the past 13 years and we'd still have five fingers left over.

But, as the saying goes, there's a first time for everything, and we were totally stumped by a recent letter from the Mystics in which the following word appeared: "vomitory." Really. V-O-M-I-T-O-R-Y. We were even more stumped by the context, which made reference to a physical location in the Verizon Center called "the Game Operations Vomitory," or, as the letter affectionately called it, "the Vom."

"Game Operations Vomitory"?? Is this some place behind the scenes, we wondered, where Mystics fans can go to ralph after listening to Ralph (the Announcer) bellow "time . . . out . . . ON . . . . . . . THE . . . FLOOOOOR" for the umpteenth time during the game? Somehow, as desirable as such a refuge might be, we doubted this was it. And so we referred the matter to the BCs' Etymology Department for further study.

And what we learned from our talented staff etymologists is that "vomitory" is a synonym for "vomitorium." Aha! BC Eileen did not spend three years studying Latin under the tutelege of Mrs. Krum not to recognize a Latin root when she hears one. So perhaps this was the place in Roman amphitheatres where gladiators went to ralph in relief when Caligula gave them a thumbs-up and spared their lives. Well, as it turns out, it wasn't. Actually, the vomitorium was any place below or behind the seats of the amphitheatre where the crowds could "spew out." Spew out . . . ahhh, now we get it.

How many vomitoria (pl.) can you spot in the Colosseum?

Now, many centuries later, the backstage entrance/exit of the Verizon Center between Sections 114 and 115 where performers and other in-game entertainment folks come and go (or spew in and spew out) is known as "the Vom." And here, all along, we thought that was called a "tunnel"! Silly us.

The Verizon Center "Vom"

We have to admit that "Game Operations Vomitory" is a far more colorful a term than "Game Operations Tunnel." And so, to the unknown person (if you would let us know who you are) who came up with that term, we would love to award you an official (and highly sought after) BasketCases t-shirt . . . that is, if we had any.

And since the purpose of the letter from the Mystics was to inform us that the Johnnie Walker Coaches Club is temporarily being moved behind the Vomitory (while the current Club location is undergoing some renovation), the BCs look forward to spending many enjoyable moments vomiting ralphing imbibing refreshing beverages (as Ralph might say) BEHIND . . . THE . . . . . . VOM. We can't wait.

Photo Credits: (excluding first picture) DC BasketCases


At 9:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where did Ralph the announcer come from? Don't the know how horrible he is?

At 12:42 AM, Anonymous betsyinDC said...

and another....funny....posting....FROOOOOM....theeee....BASKETcasesssssss..........

At 10:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As always, the Basketcases are informative, as well as entertaining. Thank you for clearing up the mystery of the VOM.
How can we get rid of Ralph or ask him to tone it down? He just annoys the bejesus out of me!

At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks to Ralph, I'm incapable of saying the name of a Mystics player in a normal tone of voice. So when my husband asks me how the game went, I end up saying something like, "Great, and Moooonique Currryy is really hitting those FTs."

At 4:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Johnnie Walker has probably sent more than his fair share of people to the Vomitory.

"If you're going to spew, spew in this."- Garth, Wayne's World

At 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He drives me nuts when people are shooting free throws. Annoying! Seriously, do the Mystics organization think he is good at his job? Someone needs to say something. lol. I could do it! Half the time, I am dragging my boyfriend to these games...and with Ralph it doesn't help. :)

At 8:37 PM, Blogger fr mike said...

BasketCases, I wish I could meet you at the VOM!

At 3:52 PM, Anonymous Stewart said...

They need to quit trippin' and bring back Kevin! Ralph tries TOOOOOOOOOO hard to be part of the action. Unnecessary!


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