Profanity

I’ve been getting in trouble for swearing since pre-school.

One of my first memories is standing in front of my mother in the middle of summer, and I must have been…three? Four? Something like that. And I was sweating. And I wanted to say ‘I’m sweating like a pig.’ But I was a stupid little kid and my brain was still mostly packed away in the IKEA boxes it came in and nothing was wired right and no one could find the right Allen wrench, so what I said instead of ‘pig’ was ‘bitch.’ A four year old looking her mom dead in the eye and saying, ‘I’m sweating like a bitch.’

Yeah, it ended the way you’re imagining.

I guess I don’t look like the type who would cuss, and I know this because every time I cuss for the first time in front of new people you’d think I was a French poodle that just medaled in the biathlon. ‘Oh, you do that? I didn’t think you’d do that. Wow, you do not look like someone who would do that.’ Yeah, no shit. You think I don’t know I look like Model UN Barbie? Like the mild-mannered alter ego of some mild-mannered superhero with reading-based super powers? Like if you looked up ‘white’ in the dictionary there I would be, doofy grin on my face, hand waving frantically, while I just repeated ‘Gee golly gosh!’ over and over again? I have a mirror I know that’s what I look like thanks.

Okay, part of it is my fault. Whenever I get into a new situation, like a new job, I’m always super quiet at first while my social anxiety goes to war on itself so, really, nobody expects me to do anything. Then after, say, three months, I loosen up and I start to show people my real self (Well, not my real real self. Not at work, anyway. The closest I ever came to showing people at work my real real self was after I did seven night shifts in a row. The shitty IKEA furniture that is your brain has a tendency to start popping screws after that much sleep deprivation.). The hardest heel turn I ever did was about six months into my first nursing job when I had been waiting for the pharmacy to send me an antibiotic drip I needed for close to two hours. I went up to my charge nurse and very casually asked, “Who’s dick do I have to suck to get some Zosyn around here?”

I just like swearing! All these people trotting out excuses about how swearing is a sign of this or shows someone has that and brain things and whatever. I like swearing. It’s fun. It sounds good. Seriously, it sounds so good. I want a ring tone that’s just someone booming, ‘motherFUCKER’ over and over again. I’d want that as my alarm. I want that played at my funeral. There’s just this nice, crisp sound to the word ‘fuck’ that makes it sound so much better than ‘hell’ or ‘screw’ in most situations. ‘Fuck’ is like a cuss explosion. 

And they’re so fucking versatile. You could put ‘fuck’ and ‘shit’ into every sentence you uttered, it’s fucking GREAT. ‘Oh, you don’t want to do that, you’ll diminish the impact of swearing if you swear all the time!’ Yeah, don’t fucking care. I’m not looking to make an impact, I just want to swear a lot. Swearing to make an impact doesn’t work because swearing is constantly progressing and what used to make people clutch their pearls doesn’t even register today. They had to update all the profanity in Deadwood to make it sound better to us, because a bunch of hardened, grizzled outlaws living in the filth of South Dakota and shouting ‘goldarn’ and ‘tarnation’ at each other is some Monty Python shit. ‘Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.’ That shit caused riots. Little old ladies in fucking East Asshole, Alabama were ripping the seats out of the floor and running into the street with their ankles showing when they heard that.

‘Oh, you don’t need swearing to be funny!’ Who cares! I’m not funny anyway, I might as well swear about it.

I’m not even making a big fucking statement! People my age swear all the time. And it doesn’t matter! Once I ordered delivery from a sandwich shop and when it showed up I was missing my sandwich. I called the restaurant to let them know, and do you know what this minimum wage Shakespeare said to me? ‘Oh…oh balls.’ Customer service! Middle of the afternoon! On a Sunday! ‘Oh balls.’ The calling of a revolution.

Because there’s too much actual stuff to care about right now. We’re headed for a recession and for fascism and even if we avoid all that global warming is still getting worse and won’t get better until we can curb corporate greed no matter how much recycling and composting you do because the people who are in charge are sociopaths with no object permanence, but yeah, you get mad because I dropped an F-bomb, Deborah.

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