The DCO was pained to learn this morning that highly talented, yet highly troubled, new Nationals centerfielder Elijah Dukes is again having trouble with the law, again a result of women-friend problems, and again involving his cellphone. This time, Dukes was cited for sending threatening text messages. While the DCO would never condone domestic abuse (we have had some issues with condoning certain types of abuse in the past), we are condoning a man's right to be innocent until proven guilty, and in this case, we believe Mr. Dukes was the victim. The actual perpetrator: automatic word-fillers on your cellphone's text messaging service.
Now that we all do most of our communicating via instant three-word messages, punctuated by l33t sp33k and acronyms most seven year olds spout out ad nauseum (omg), the proper interpretation of sent and received texts is oftentimes up in the air. I know you have gotten that text from that special lady-friend that reads like, "Last night was OK," and since you do not have the proper sarcastic tone to interpret, you assume that last night really WAS OK, and not that this chick really hates you and thinks you need to start swabbing your ears with q-tips every other morning. Now, with cellphones having new features that make texting easier, more mistakes become apparent. The feature of automatic word-filling rears its head when your cellphone, attempting to shorten the time taken to properly spell out a word, automatically finishes up the word it thinks you are writing. In Elijah's case, the "threatening text message" likely resembled this:
Dukes, in an attempt to tell this lady that she should be 'totally dif' tonight ('dif' meaning different), was overwritten by the cell's inability to recognize this ttly recognizable abbrev that all the kids are using. If we change the 'threatening word' back to it's original context, everything is just fine, right? My guess is that Dukes was attempting to text while driving, an unfortunate, yet oft-occurring problem of this generation. Sure you can keep the phone up around the steering wheel level and dance your eyes from the screen to the road, and now that he had moved to one of the traffic meccas of the world, this becomes more and more permissible. Maybe he was in the midst of traversing the dreaded 'mixing bowl' whilst cellphoning his lady friend, slightly frustrated at taking a half-hour to move 12 feet, and thus, not properly paying attention to his text message syntax. There are so many likely scenarios that we cannot immediately call his character into question.
So there is no need to admonish Mr. Dukes for his cellular phone usage, nor should we admonish the Nationals for their attempts to utilize his baseball talents while trying to curb his offseason issues. Maybe the Nats should have disabled his cellphone usage, writing it into both his baseball contract and his contract with Cingular. But we think there is no need to curb his anytime minutes nor his unlimited texts. In fact, we have another theory regarding Dukes' past cellphone problems, where he was allegedly sending pictures of a gun to lady-friends. He was merely showing off his new cellphone.
UPDATE: Quickest DCO resolution evar?