Cussing works across the generations

T. Gamble

T. Gamble

As a general rule, I do not spend much time envying what someone else has. I must admit, however, I do envy those rare guys who keep all their tools neatly aligned in their shop.

You know the guy. Everything has its place. The saws are neatly arranged on a pegboard, all in order, small to large. The socket set is actually still in the hard plastic case it came in, and there are no missing pieces. Jacks on the bottom shelf, screwdrivers in the toolbox tray and every wrench from 1/4" to 15/16" side by side.

My shop, or more accurately, shed, looks like the Unabomber tried it out.

A 15-minute project takes two hours, the first hour and 45 minutes looking for whatever it is I can't find. I haven't seen my 3/4" wrench since Nixon resigned the presidency. Flathead or Phillips screwdriver ... makes no difference, I can't find either. Vise grip pliers? You'd need two quarts of WD-40 to make 'em unfold, which, by the way, I have about 12 cans of because I buy a new one when I leave the old one wherever it is that I left it. I believe in WD-40. If my axle on my truck broke in the middle of Interstate 75, I'd first spray it with WD-40 to see what happened.

I don't really need tools anyway because I can't fix a thing. I have put mower blades on upside down, car thermostats in backwards -- which, by the way, will make a '98 Buick run hot in about 18 seconds -- and I dropped a car off of one of those new crank jacks, almost losing a hand and the left rear fender of a Ford Focus.

Because of these deficiencies, I have but one way to make malfunctioning equipment work. I cuss it out, plain and simple.

If I pull 10 times on the chainsaw cord without a crank, the chainsaw is in for a real ear burner. I normally refer to its kinship to a female dog or fatherless birth, either one will do -- sometimes both.

Unfortunately, the 8-year-old princess witnessed such an outburst recently.

My push mower, which had been working perfectly, decided, like the Greek people, to go on strike. It was hot. I was tired, sweat dripping, and I said, "Listen you son of a -----. You sorry 'fatherless' junk, etc."

The princess ran into the house, shocked at such behavior. Not so shocked, I might add, to deter her from bringing the 7-year-old hurricane boy out to watch the display.

He was, as might be expected, delighted.

As soon as they both arrived for the grand finale, the female dog of a lawn mower rose from the dead and cranked up. The princess then asked what I was doing talking so ugly to the lawnmower. I explained that sometimes you need to cuss out a piece of equipment before it will crank.

The hurricane asked if he could try that out on his teachers. The princess giggled and asked, if just once, she could say one of those bad words. She and the hurricane can't wait to get old enough to be able to do the same.

Oh, well, I guess one should never forget the importance of teaching the young generation the old generation's ways.

Contact columnist T. Gamble at tcollier@gamble.com.


waltspecht 3 years, 3 months ago

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There is many a Parent that wish they could undo something they said that was over heard by their children. However, I now see, and have heard they are exposed to far better instructors that I at School or the Mall. I can remember one soccor game where the words out of two Lady Teacher's mouths had the Marine and Submariner looking at each other in amazement. They out did the best Master Guns or Master Ciief either of us had ever heard cut loose.


mr_nobody 3 years, 3 months ago

I guess one should forget about allowing a child to grow up innocent, then. Not to mention teaching them basic rules of etiquette. I can confidently say that if "hurricane" tries it out on one of his teachers and my child learns it there, you and the teacher definitely get to teach me some words.

That said, I understand the humor of your article. I just don't find it funny.


FryarTuk 3 years, 3 months ago

It is pretty trite. Lewis Grizzard had a similar story that was absolutely a riot. It goes something like this: he overheard his two step children planning to tryout profanity they had learned on their mother when she asked them their choice of cereals for breakfast. When their mom, Lewis' 3rd or 4th wife, asked them what they wanted for breakfast, the sister replied, " I'll have some of those damned cheerios. " For which her mom slapped her hard across the face and then turned to the brother and asked " okay, now, what is your choice? " To which the surprised boy replied, " you can bet your sweet ass I won't be asking for those damned cheerios." Grizzard was one of a kind.


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