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That's one 'bleep' of a big lizard

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

Godzilla lives in our garage.

Okay, so maybe it's not Godzilla, per se, but it might as well be. It is a large -- no, ginormous -- gross lizard that, I promise you, is so big I would not be the least bit surprised to find out that he gets in my car and drives around at night, probably stopping at the Quickie for a honeybun and a beer.

"What's a Quickie?" our 13-year-old asks, and I apologize for once again calling the convenience store a Quickie. Growing up, that's what the convenience store I remember was called. You ran to the Quickie to get gas. A slushie. Or a honey bun.

Like Godzilla, who (did I mention?) is living in our garage.

When I first saw him, I was looking out the kitchen window. As I stood there rinsing off dishes to put in the dishwasher, I saw something slinking around the corner into the open garage. I watched his grotesquely long tail slithering from the grass to the pavement and I couldn't help it. I said a bad word. "#%^!," I said, but nobody was around to hear me, so I don't think it counted. Kind of like a tree falling in the woods.

Swearing, or cussing, isn't something I choose to do regularly. But I would be lying if I said I never did. Oh, I'm not proud of it, but I do feel a lot better about my occasional unbecoming utterances after reading that cussing can be good for you. Literally.

It seems that research conducted at a university in England found that uttering an expletive might increase someone's tolerance for pain. Even more so if you're not someone who ordinarily cusses.

Apparently, according to the London Daily Telegraph, volunteers participating in the study stuck their hands in a pail of ice cold water and were asked to repeat a curse word. They didn't reveal what the word was, but I suspect it was something like "$%#@^^&" or "#@&^". That's really bad.

Another batch of volunteers then stuck their hands in the ice cold water, but were asked to repeat a friendly and inoffensive word. Remarkably, the volunteers who cussed were able to keep their hands in the icy water longer than those who didn't swear. One theory is that swearing causes our brains to kick off a "fight or flight" instinct, producing a physical response in the body.

I don't know how much of that I believe, and I'm not exactly willing to try it out, myself. I have, however, come across more than a few people who I'd like to pour icy cold water on because of their cussing. Like the idiot talking on his cell phone Saturday in Target, every other word he spewed beginning with the letter F. And I don't mean the F word that rhymes with Bart, in case you're wondering. Although, I did spend the better part of my single-digit childhood years believing that uttering the rhymes-with-Bart-f-word was the worst thing you could call somebody, especially when you paired it with "head" or "face." There's nothing like calling your big sister a rhymes-with-Bart-f-word face and having to run around the house as fast as your little legs will take you and hide behind the dryer to avoid her knocking the sense out of you with a majorette baton.

Good times.

Thinking about my childhood reminds me of more good times, like hopping in the car and going to the Quickie for a honeybun. Which reminds me of Godzilla, who (did I mention?) is living in our garage.

&%^# lizard. He better stay out of my car.

Contact columnist Mandy Flynn at flyn1862@bellsouth.net.