Censoring My Sailor Mouth
I appreciate a well-placed curse word. I really do. As a writer, of course I believe it best to make the creative choice. To find the word that most accurately and originally sums up how the sky looks, or the bonfire smells, or you feel. Sometimes, that word happens to be shit. Neither shoot, shucks nor any other namby-pamby substitution will do. Especially not frick. Too similar. Just say the damn word.
Unless you have a young child. Roy is a total parrot right now, and no utterance goes unnoticed. So to save ourselves the embarrassment of having to lay claim to the adorable tow-headed one-year-old littering the playground with profanities like a mini Gordon Ramsay after a couple of shots of Jameson, Clint and I have tamed the trash talk, at least until our kids are able to comprehend the difference between “adult” language and “kid” language. In moments of sudden pain or disappointment we substitute toned-down versions of our old, reliable profanities. No problem. Totally worth it. Done.
Except. The other day, Roy’s fumbling around, trying to pick up one of those unwieldy over-sized cardboard picture books and I hear him mutter, “Crap!”
Sure, it was the substitute. But is crap really an acceptable word for a pre-preschooler?
And then today, after we get done running errands:
Me: Aw. I forgot to pick up grapes.
Yeah, our toned-down versions don’t exactly sound like toned-down versions when hurtled out of the mouth of a 1-year-old.
And so the hunt for effective, satisfying, yet totally G Rated expletives is on. Wouldn’t I already be using such pseudo-cursewords if they existed? I may well have to make some up.
Photo credit: “Fancy” Auntie Libby