She Who Must Be Obeyed will sometimes threaten to get on my case for lobbing too many F-bombs into random conversation. I guess I don’t blame her. Even I can tell when I’m getting a little too salty-tongued...probably thanks to the lovely blue glow the air around me starts to give off when I’ve ionized enough of it.
But I come by my profanity honestly. My earliest memory of having eaten of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil - of knowing that there were “bad” words out there that were not to be used - involves my Grandma Ann (of blessed memory).
Ann and her husband Abe - my maternal grandparents - lived in North Miami Beach beginning in the mid-1950’s. We would make the trek down there every year for our annual Florida Vacation, prized by snowbirds such as ourselves. Of course, we’d stay with the grandparents. Who the hell could afford a hotel for three or four weeks?
And it was on one such visit that I found myself riding in Grandma Ann’s car on 163rd Street, while she ranted at a guy in a panel truck in front of us. Yes: I still remember that panel truck!
“You hunk of shit!”
Poetry. Sheer poetry.
My little five- or six-year-old mind could discern the beauty of well-crafted invective even then. Not “piece,” mind you. Not “chunk.” No, the word Grandma used was “hunk.” The perfect epithet.
I was suitably impressed. So much so, that the very next day, I took a piece of posterboard and made a sign, in my youthful (but quite legible, alas) scrawl.
“SHIT is my Favorite Word.”
And when my parents found it (I was pretty proud of it and may actually have shown it to them), they knocked the shit out of me.
But not entirely. Some 46 years later, I can still appreciate the subtle beauty of the salty bon mot.
There are a few bloggers and commenters out there who can, too. Ricky (BottleofBlog) enraptures me with his fine blend of vitriol, venom, and piss, and Anntichrist S. Coulter (a frequent commenter on World o’ Crap) has contributed a few choice phrases to my profane lexicon. Then, of course, there’s the ASB.
Hey, not everyone is prissy like Jerry “Mr. Clean” Seinfeld. Sometimes, only a right proper fuckbomb will do!