The Profanity

Several nights ago the wife claimed that she heard the girl say "damn" or "damn it" and gave me a scowl implying the girl picked up this term from her beloved father.  Why when kids do something wrong is it always the dad's fault?!  So what if it's the dad who spends 90 percent of the time with them and influences most of what they do?  In our case, the wife has been a bit stressed at work of late and curse words broadcast from her mouth for one reason or another on a not infrequent basis.  I contend that if the girl were to learn colorful new language from me, it would be much more crude.  I'll admit I have been known to let loose with a barrage of obscenities while driving, particularly when another %*&$#@ driver pisses me off (which happens all the time).  Among other unwritten rules of the road, nobody in Minnesota understands the concept of slow drivers keeping to the right and fast drivers passing on the left.

Other instances in which I also may let slip a curse word are while viewing Michigan State football or basketball games on television (you try watching them without getting incredibly frustrated and angry!).  However, I really try to not swear around the kids.  Kids repeat things, and profane kids might be funny in the movies but not so much when you're in line at Home Depot (I may have once said something while searching for the wife and the boy may have repeated it - I plead the 5th).  I will admit that since watching the movie A Christmas Story in December, I have been quoting one of my favorite lines bellowed by the father.  I just think it's hilarious and it cracks me up every time.  If the girl has caught on, I'll take the blame.

Back when both the wife and I were working and before we left Minneapolis, we had a nanny who watched the kids during the day.  She had raised 3 kids of her own as well as operated a home daycare for many years.  So she was much more practiced than me at using faux expletives.  I almost died laughing one day when playing Yahtzee with the boy and he yelled "THUNDERBUGS!!" after a poor roll of the dice.  I asked him where he learned that word and he responded that the nanny had taught him.  Unfortunately every time I remember to say "Fiddlesticks!" or "Fudge!" or "Gosh darn it!", it's already too late.

At least when writing this blog, I have the advantage of being able to put down my thoughts and then proofread and edit before posting the final versions.  So despite sometimes initially using language that's a bit colorful, the end product should generally be pretty clean.  I've found that's not the case with the blog written by Julie of Julie & Julia movie fame.  If you haven't seen it, she's a woman who set out to cook everything in the first edition of Julia Child's book "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in only one year.  In the movie, Julie is disappointed that her idol Julia is not a fan and does not appreciate her culinary efforts.  I had heard that was the case in real life as well, and after reading some of the blog I can understand why, as Julie drops F-bombs left and right - not very lady-like.  She has quite the potty mouth.  I'm guessing that at one time she was employed as either a prison guard or a fisherman on a Russian whaling vessel.


With the Olympics upon us, I'm reminded of my final year of college when one of my roommates and I participated in a kind of Olympics ourselves, only our "competition" had to do with beer.  With about a month and a half remaining in our undergraduate careers, we made a pact to try to visit all of the bars in East Lansing that we had never before patronized.  After having gone out several nights in a row, we upped the ante and decided to see how many consecutive nights we could go to a different watering hole, new or not (apparently neither of us had very taxing course loads that last semester).  After hitting the random, lesser-known bars we had never set foot in, we moved on to MSU mainstays such as Rick's, Landshark, The Riv, etc.  And 40 days and umpteen gallons of beer later, we graduated.  To this day I'm very proud of that effort and count it as one of the greatest accomplishments of my life, ranking right behind winning the 4th grade spelling bee and leading my squirt hockey league in scoring when I was 10 years old.

The "1993 Graduation Bar Tour" as we called it was no small feat.  It spanned the Easter holiday, and we both kept up the circuit in our home towns for a couple of days, returning to campus late on Easter Sunday and stopping by Bilbo's for a couple to keep the streak alive.  Looking back, I probably had as much fun during those 40 days as I did the entire rest of that school year.  Or at least I think I did - I don't remember much about it.  One thing is certain, my GI tract would not recover until well into 1994.



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