I cuss. I do. I have wanted to write this post for a while, but honestly I am embarrassed that I use some coarse language on an almost daily basis. I didn't grow up in a home where cursing was a regular occurrence. In fact, it was rarely heard, even though many a situation could have justified it. Based on my memory, my mother rarely used a swear word that I know of, and my father was the same. I remember my dad "dropping the f-bomb" maybe 2 or 3 times ever in my whole life and it only flew immediately after banging his thumb with a hammer, or something equally painful or blood boiling. The best I can do to retrace my start with cursing is back to the many years I worked in the restaurant business and then again during my stint as a long-haul trucker (only one of these occupations is true) to put myself through college. Since then, I have tried to clean up my language, once going so far as to give up swearing for Lent, but as God as my witness, I broke out in shingles at the same time as I tried to quit cursing. All my unspoken cusses manifesting themselves as tiny, painful sores across my midsection. I took it as a sign. A sign from something or someone bigger than myself that my cursing actually did good in the world and that I should go forth among the people...kinda sorta. It could be said that I take a certain amount of quiet pleasure in lacing together a particularly colorful thread of profanity. I like words of all ilk. Maybe it's a talent I was born with, maybe it is all the practice, but whatever the reasons, and whenever it took hold, I've got a potty mouth. I also have a toddler now and this family ain't big enough for the both of them. In fact one of my mom-friends, who has a teenage daughter, told me that if my boy brought any colorful language to school or to play groups, that other parents would be pretty darn unhappy with me. And at a recent parent-teacher conference, I had another friend who was confronted by her son's teacher for his heavy usage of the word, "crap" to which I replied to her, "Crap is a bad word?" I should add, because my own mother is likely to read this and because it is the truth, that I only really cuss in cuss-friendly company and I don't fly my swearing all loud and proud in public. I personally dislike overhearing strangers swear around me. My ears actually choke on public profanity. I also turn it to mute it when I am around my sweet boy, taking the "GOD BLESS AMERICA" or "Holy Fritz" route, which are two of my mom's favorites. Sometimes I mess up, either by calling something "stupid" or worse, letting something a little more stiff slip. When I do, I catch myself quickly, throw up a diversion ("Hey look at that pony!") and promise to do better. I might have a long way to go, and I might not ever have entirely unblemished language again, but I figure getting creative would help me make the transition to side of the righteous that much easier. No cold turkey, no quarters in the jar, but focusing my efforts on using creative and equally satisfying words that I would be happy to have come tumbling out my son's angelic little head.
So here goes nothing. I'll lead with some family favorites and toss in others as they come to me from friends or desperate times, but you will find that with the right emphasis and enthusiasm, pretty much anything will do the trick.
Son of a Biscuit Eater! Bull Pucky! Holy Fritz! Cheese and Rice! Judas Priest! Dangnabit! Malarkey! Porkchop! Fudgesicle! Mother Trucker! GAL durnit! Squash Monkey! Cheesus Chrysler drives a Dodge! Holy To-ledo! Sugar Snaps! Jumped-up Judas on a Pogo Stick! Shut the Front Door! Nuts! Shiitake! Crab Bass! Holy Cheese! Snit Cakes! Cheesy Weasels! Pizzle Fits! Grass Monkey! Holy Moly! Jeez O Petes! Mother Father! Frackity Frack! Oh Shneikes! Fungoola! Peanut Butter! Shakalaka! Road Apples! Son of a Gun! Chicken Dirt! Zippity Do Dah! Onomatopoeia! Jimmy Cracked Corn!