Tuesday, January 16, 2007

little rabbits have big ears

One of the things that always troubled me about being around babies was the question of whether or not swearing was permissible. I mean, I always try to watch my language around people’s offspring when they are large enough to speak and follow me around or just sit there and look at me, but babies, as they are less conversational, seemed a gray area.

Then all my friends began having babies and expected me to come and look at their babies. I didn’t want to ask about using foul language since they were always so quick to turn down my request to smoke around the runt, but the tension that came from trying not to scar the fragile offspring quickly made these “baby introductions” the most nerve-racking of social endeavors. Then one of my friends used the word “shit” around their baby, and it was as if a burden fell from soul. I believe in my enthusiasm I uttered something along the lines of, “That’s the most fucking goddamn beautiful bastard of a baby I’ve ever seen.”

I didn’t mean the word “bastard” in its traditional sense. I had actually forgotten that the word was intended to identify a certain type of offspring, and the gist of my compliment sadly did not come through.

Also, I think that the baby in question may have actually been a bastard.

I think my apprehension stems from one of my best friends back in middle and high schools. He had a little brother who was prone to follow us about, and any time a questionable subject was broached his mother would quickly jump in with “Little rabbits have big ears.” We would then wait for her to leave before teaching him all the foul language that our young minds had accumulated up until that point.

Anyway, I was thinking of this yesterday when I let Carl Weathers out to do his business in the back yard. It was cold and raining, and Carl took his sweet time before getting to the business at hand. He then decided to meander through every muddy patch on the way back. I stepped onto the porch and angrily prompted his return by yelling, “Get back here this instant, you fuckingly damnable bastard of a fucking dog!”

He knows this as the command to return at once, but it struck me that this particular command cannot be used if children are present when Carl has one of his days where sauntering about in the mud seems on his personal agenda. This is especially true if I happen to be wearing my clown suit. I suppose I could, but it has been my experience that children who grow up around constant streams of foul language from their adult figures turn out to be either white trash or angry hippies.
It has also been my experience that the world has a sufficient amount white trash and angry hippies as it is.


Blogger Mr. Mack said...

You will do more harm to a baby by talking to him or her in that horribly annoying high pitched "cutesy" voice, than you would by a well placed expletive. I never used that voice around my kids, (though, sadly, we all do around the damn pomeranian)Anyway, my kids heard all manner of cursewords, so they are not shocked when they hear them, in fact, I'm quite proud of their curse word prowess. It cracks me up when I hear them lay down an exasperated "shit!" when I call them to clean their rooms. I think they know the F word is the domain of grown ups or at least wayward teens, so I haven't heard it from them yet.

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clown suit? Do you have pictures?

1:53 PM  
Blogger Rex L. Camino said...

The cutesy voice always gets on my last nerve, Mackie.

It is best to leave the clown suit undocumented, Lynnster, as it preserves the anonymity the suit provides.

8:21 AM  
Blogger Peggasus said...

We knew it was time to stop swearing around our older son when the dog had taken yet another shoe or sock and gone to munch it under the dining room table and this sweet little 18-month old yelled at him with perfect inflection, "Sumbitch! Sumbitch!"

Of course, that kid is now 20 and knows many more swear words, probably some even I am not aware of.

8:34 AM  

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