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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Vulgarity, Friendship, and Children

For some strange reason guy friends have the tendency to address each other with insults. Dr. Metal and I have this running thing now for years where we try to come up with new epithets. Somehow it provides me a level of comfort, like 'yeah, we're still tight friends' when he uses 'Ankle Grabber' to greet me on the phone. I mean, you can't address people you hardly know this way. You can't say "Thanks, Cunt Boy" to the kid at the Burger King drive through - well, I guess you could but that would only be rude. Sometimes guys will address semi-good friends with an insult, but not so much a vulgar, obscene knickname. We may say "hey loser", "Not you again", or something like that. There are levels of friendship and the level of obscenity of the greeting raises with each.I keep my ears open at all times for a new vulgar term to use in a later conversation in Dr. Metal. My wife hears me start these conversations and always gives me the same 'grow up you vulgar, immature mongrel' look when I say "Hey Hershey Dick, give me call"

Women, so far as I can tell, do not partake in such fun-poking. The best they have come up with is "hey bitch". It is far too common and un-original. I want to hear a woman pass another in a mall and say "hey, Cum Gargler, how are the kids." Or "Hey Pussy Lip, I like those shoes!". Women, in general, are much more sophisticated and proper when it comes to social etiquette.

But to piggyback on a post by Mugwump - My son picks up on this every now and then. While talking about Dr. Metal (not even to him - mind you) with my wife I referred to him as "Donkey Balls". My son was within earshot and for whatever reason he thought the words "Donkey Balls" were hysterical. He laughed and repeated it for hours. The next day he used the term to refer to his goober after getting out of the tub (because I had explained the meaning earlier in the day - you know, to educate the lad) - it was great. I try hard to watch what I say around the kids but it's hard because I have a filthy mouth. I don't mean to be vulgar. I don't intentionally imply anything obscene or foul with my choices - it's just the way I talk. My wife always says "watch your mouth", "Don't say that", "He can hear you" etc.... I can't help it. It's ingrained in my brain.

I had a minor debate about vulgarity with my super religious neighbor. This guy is one of the best people I've ever known and I go out of my way to be proper around him but every now and then something will slip out. Nothing huge, just a "shit", "damn", "sucks" etc.. I was explaining to him that I fell the use of these words has become so common that any real, direct implications of vulgarity are really lost from them and the speaker is no less civilized than the next. He disagreed and quoted a bible verse of some sort. I reminded him that most obscenities used today did not exist at the time and the 'vulgarity' that the verses referred to were ones of context and meaning - not literal language. He disagreed again - saying they were one and the same. I let it go at that and apologized. Sometimes I do that. Sometimes.

4 Comments:

Blogger Dr. Metal said...

I don't know what I'll do about my profanity when I have children. I honestly really do enjoy profanity. I love speaking in a way that might be deemed offensive to some. But I also have extreme sensitivity to the notion of time and place. Like I never ever swear around my father. And I never use swears on the blog. Too vulgar.

I'm glad you apologized to your neighbor.

9:43 PM  
Blogger mugwump said...

I like using profanity but also can control myself when needed. I can put on the mask other females wear and fit in perfectly if I must. Like recently my husband switched jobs so his old boss/wife wanted to take our family out to dinner. Of course I behaved myself. I didn't speak much, though. I displayed impeccable table manners and laughed at all of their lame jokes.

It's hard for me at times to be myself. My extended family gets me, though, and I can say whatever around most of them. I have one girl friend, Brandy, that I have known since we were about 12 who is a lot like me. I don't get to see her much because she lives in South Carolina. Most of my other girl friends matured accordingly after having children. What the heck happened to me? Coincidentally I was reading my monthly Reader's Digest lastnight and it seems someone has written a book on this: Rejuvenile I think was the title. I'll have to check it out.

4:07 AM  
Blogger Dr. Metal said...

I call the phenomenon "arrested adolescence." I enjoy the affliction.

4:51 AM  
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5:55 PM  

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