Friday, November 12, 2010

I solemnly swear.

Warning: The following post is intended for mature audiences. Okay, actually, it's intended for immature audiences.



What is it about swearing? Forbidden, yet alluring. Crass, yet liberating. Easy, yet sometimes difficult to sculpt into a perfect delivery.

In some situations, swearing is acceptable or even expected, as in the  animated example above. Coaches, athletes, tavern stool sitters or any other manifestation of pure testosterone demands a firm grip on the profane. You can't punctuate a good fishing story without a few expletives. You're not going to win over the dudes in the locker room if you comment that the chick on the Stairmaster had "some beautiful gosh darn skin." Nope, you've got to go for broke, and preferably with a few of George Carlin's seven words.

As kids, most of us were warned against using foul language, even though we frequently heard our parents spew their vitriol, most notably while driving or immediately after a holiday with the in-laws. We knew that one day, we would also enter that forbidden land.

And therefore, cussing is one of the first vices most people adopt. It's possible, as a youngster, to pilfer a couple of smokes out of your mom's purse or top off the vodka bottle with tap water, but swearing out of parental earshot presents far fewer risks.

I'll never forget my inaugural sailing on the SS Potty Mouth. I was around eight or nine years old, playing in my room with a couple of friends. They'd already begun their foray into vulgar verbiage and were highly encouraging, so I dipped my feet into the water, tossing out a quiet F-bomb.

That's when my life changed forever, as I realized what a truly victimless crime I had committed. I swore loudly and I swore proudly. From that moment forward, I've embraced blue language more tightly than Robin hugs Batman on the way down the Bat Cave pole.

Sure, some don't swear because they prefer to be more "folksy." I'm speaking of people like Donald Rumsfeld, former U.S. Defense Secretary, who used to say things like, "Jiminy Christmas, gee willikers and dad gummit! Stop whining about serving one more year in Iraq, folks!" He reminds me of my grandpa telling me to go back down to the basement and finish removing that rabid wolverine's teeth, and then we'll have some nice oatmeal.

There are also people who refuse to swear, but they're willing to come ridiculously close. Seriously, what's a "gosh" or a "freakin'" or a "darn" or a "geez," other than a nasty word in Donny Osmond clothing? Come on, either say it or don't say it. Don't be like those weird people who go swimming but won't get their hair wet.

There are a lot of colorful, versatile words out there, and they're just itching to drive your point home. Put a few in your shopping cart, load them in the trunk and bring them out when you need them. You won't be sorry for a f*(_^&g second, you g@%^&*n @$$*0)e.

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