How goes it, my friends? I took today off from work, and am operating at a decidedly casual pace. I just polished off a Moe’s burrito. I hadn’t been inside that place in years, possibly five or more. I’m not a huge fan. I believe Chipotle is roughly a million times better. But, on a whim, I decided to return. It was alright, not great. I noticed they don’t have the ridiculous names for their offerings anymore. Like “Joey Bag o’ Donuts” and stuff like that. That’s better. And it’s all remodeled and semi-fancy in there. It’s been a long time. But the food tasted exactly like I remember it. Like I said… alright, not great.
Also, the rosy-cheek nerd who was taking my order was trying to rush me through my choices, which I didn’t appreciate. Every time I asked for another component he’d bark — before I’d even finished speaking — “Anything else?!” There was nobody behind me, no need for the extra pressure. I wanted to tell him to calm his tits and not get his Rosacea in an uproar, but was able to maintain somehow. It might be a few years before I go back. We’ll see.
Today I wanted to get your feedback on profanity. I have a few questions on the subject I jotted down in the ol’ notebook. What say we start powering through them?
How much cursing was there in your house while you were growing up?
My folks would let some words fly, on a semi-regular basis. But only the lower-caliber ones like shit and damn and hell, and things like that. I’ve NEVER heard either of them use the f-word, not once in my entire life. It might’ve happened when we were not around, but never in front of me or my brother. My grandmother, who lived directly across the street from us, never used any profanity whatsoever. She might be the only person I’ve spent a considerable amount of time with that I could say that about. Her husband, my grandfather, made up for it, though. He was cussing for two. Heh.
At what age did your parents first hear you say a swear word?
I was probably seven or eight and my dad overheard me and my friend Doug repeatedly use the word shit. Inexplicably, there was some spelling of it too. I remember him bringing it up, and kinda laughing about us hollering S-H-I-T! S-H-I-T! He was both amused and confused, but also wanted me to know he’d heard it and we should probably tread lightly. I was embarrassed, so it worked. I still don’t curse (much) around my parents. It’s a respect thing.
How do you feel about cussing in front of kids?
I take the same approach as my folks did. However, my kids have definitely heard me drop a few f-bombs. Not many, it’s not a word I use all the time. But it’s definitely part of the repertoire, especially as the boys got older. We’ve never been the types to fill every sentence with swear words, but the potential for an outburst is always there. Sometimes I hear people spewing the crassest, trashiest language in front of young children and don’t care for it. I know they’re only words, and all that. But at some point it causes me to furrow my brow in a judgmental manner.
Who are the most prolific swearers you’ve met?
It’s mostly co-workers for me. I’ve known people through the years who seemingly can’t communicate without the word fuck. It’s in every sentence, and used as a verb, adverb, noun, adjective, modifier, etc. If some of those guys (almost always guys) were forced to stop using the word, it would be like asking you or me to stop using the letter e. I’ve worked in and around warehouses for many years, and also in the music industry. I know profanity, and sometimes it takes over a person’s life. Like kudzu on an outbuilding.
What are your favorite swear-word substitutes you’ve heard?
These usually come from women, I notice. Here are a few that jump immediately to mind:
- I don’t give a kitty
- cheese and rice
- cheese and crackers
- son of a B
- oh, sugar
- fiddle sticks
- bull butter
- quit fiddle-farting around
What do you have on this subject? Please feel free to answer any or all of the questions. Use the comments section.
I also remember, when I was young, being over at a kid’s house (a blue ribbon weirdo, btw) who told his sister to stop “bugging” him. And his mother flew off the handle and told him she doesn’t tolerate profanity in her house. I was totally confused, and still am. He said, “stop bugging me.” Nothing else. Profanity?? What the? And I had a boss who didn’t like when I described somebody as “cocky.” She said the root word is “cock,” which is something I’d never considered. Not once in my entire life. To this day I kinda self-edit when the word “cocky” jumps into my mind. And my grandmother on my dad’s side HATED the word “fart.” She had a giant problem with it. So we had to say things like “let one fly.” Hilarious.
Please let me know your thoughts, and have a great weekend.
I’ll see you guys again soon.
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