American Vernacular: The series…of cuss words

My father was a gifted and creative man. Gifted with a dark, twisted sarcasm that he wore like a skin and creative in that he could take his immediate and oft frustration and turn it into a jaw-dropping, laugh inducing, Mama cover my ears soliloquy. Yes, these utterances were blue or adult-themed but I cannot remember him ever utilizing an F-bomb to make his point but I do remember a 5 minute monologue delivered to my siblings and I, raving about the miracle of science and the magic of plumbing and how astonishingly simple it was to flush a toilet. I recall the phrase, “beating myself in the head with a hammer made of alcohol”, which became his prophecy and a warning to me. And I’ll never forget his Carpe Diem Opus, “This is a table, this is a lunchbox and that is the front door. Don’t let it hit you in the ass on the way out and if you ever need a hand, don’t be afraid to look at the end of your wrist.”

He weaved tales of the feared Crocagator, the meanest animal on the planet, beset with the head of a crocodile on one end and the head of an alligator on the other. When asked how this beast shat, the answer was, “He doesn’t. That’s what makes him so mean.”

A declarative statement would be prefaced with, “By the 24 balls of the 12 apostles…”

A physical mistake would be matched with, “Do you know any tricks that work…”

Somebody with questionable intelligence had “all the brains of a bastard goose.”

When he was behind the wheel he was a man without peer for he invented road rage, long before it ever had a name.  My father has long passed but his verbal legacy lives on. I contend that these phrases, utterances, quips, rants, bon mots are a direct link to all of our personal histories. I would love to hear your own family’s Throat of Arms. I invite you to jot down some of the sayings you heard growing up. It by no means defines you but it certainly adds color to the canvas.


One Response to American Vernacular: The series…of cuss words

  1. KRundle says:

    Great story! My father was more to the point. One day (I was about 10) I was coming down a ladder and missed the last rung. Didn’t fall, but my father looked at me with disappointing eyes, and, to the point, stated: “Are you a fucking retard?”

    Ahhh, the good ol’ days of parenting!

    You likey? Thumb up 0

Leave a Reply to KRundle Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>