Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

The Boston Yawps


Wasn’t it Albert Finney who started the trend of yelling out loud when oh so tired of it all? Seems like it was the movie Network. An outright yell he did—good old-fashioned stress relief. He was mad about non-Covid stuff, but a good yelling out loud seemed to work in that movie.

Well, Albert didn’t inspire me. Uncle Walt did. Walt. As in Walt Whitman from The Dead Poets Society featuring Robin Williams as a prep school English teacher. He introduces the word and concept of *YAWP*

YAWP yawp/yôp/noun: a harsh or hoarse cry or yelp.

Robin helped Todd to not only find his YAWP, he also helped him find his muse.

I’m fine with my muse, but the stress of Covid Coping has me finding my own stress relief: I YAWP in my car. Windows rolled up and I wait until no other cars are about before committing. There is a dandy stretch of back road that has become my YAWP zone.

The key to a proper YAWP is to take a deep breath, filling up the diaphragm, and then releasing that oh so satisfying belly yell. Screaming from the belly releases tension. Screaming from the throat releases neighborly calls to the sheriff.

So this belly yell, this need to scream because it just can’t be taken anymore, this Covid Coping strategy of just letting it go is a thing in Boston where a group of mothers scream, with some prompting and organization (traffic wands as cues, no less). I call them The Boston Yawps; however, their screaming is not very melodious. It is rather disturbing, actually. They need a coach prompting them to belly yell not a Jamie Curtis Scream Queen throat ripper.

No matter. They feel better. Maybe Yawping will catch on. I will continue to YAWP in the privacy of my car. I’m not ready for Friday Night Lights organized yelling.

Have you tried a YAWP lately? Or perhaps you have a better form of Covid Coping. Yes? Do share.

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5 thoughts on “The Boston Yawps

  1. petespringerauthor on said:

    Great film! Yawp away.

  2. And now I’m picturing you YAWPing in your car. A stray dairy farmer looks over, his face an expression of alarm.

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