Over at Husband’s place,
Decrepit Old Fool talks about a guy cussing.
Having been raised in a house where my dad was almost 5 years in the navy, then 30-some years working in a steel mill, I know how a man can turn the air blue right there in the living room. I learned early not to say a cuss word in English class or a job interview.
Cuss words, as in 4-letter “bad” words, are what gets most folks all upset. But swearing takes so many forms. I loved the guy on Superman’s tv show saying “Great Shades of Elvis!” whenever he came upon some weird situation.
Somebody talking about swear words usually calls forth in my mind a scene from, um, it’s been 10 years ago now.
Pardon me if you’ve heard the story before, but it’s one of my life’s favorites, so I’ll probably be boring the staff at the nursing home when I get to the ramblings age.
When I worked at a daycare center, we had great restrictions on cussing. One gal lost her job for saying a cuss word in front of the kids (even though she had good reason to swear!) We were supposed to set a good example, use positive reinforcements during teachable moments.
One morning, I was in the 3 year olds class trying to get the knot out of a string and bead toy, all the while trying to keep an eye on other students in the room. A little girl with dark and curly hair who wanted to use the string was waiting nearby, watching anxiously.
“Oh puddelfrickits!” I muttered.
What does that mean? she asked.
“It’s a swear word.” was my answer.
Her dark eyes grew thoughtful.
“You are not supposed to swear!” she told me reprovingly.
Puddelfrickits is a word you can say at school I told her, just as the knot came loose at last.
The day moved along, and I had forgotten our conversation.
Next morning, when her dad brought the girl to school, he called me aside, asking me about “the P swear word allowed to say at school”
So I had to explain about swearing when the situation is not going well, and yes, puddelfrickits is approved word use.
She looked up at him triumphantly.
“I Told You I can swear!”
he shook his head at me like I’m crazy, then again, a teacher in a room full of 3 and 4 year olds has to be a little bit nutty to stay sane.
Well, the other kids wanted to know what all the discussion was about, so Miss Curly Dark Hair set about telling everybody they could cuss when they got mad, so long as they said “Puddelfrickits!”
By the end of the day, every student in the class found opportunity to say the word at least once.
I thought the other teacher was going to club me over the head with the plastic bowling pin.
By the end of the week, we heard it less often, and I would say by now none of the children even remember. They are in Junior High these days.
If you are wondering how the Mister and I manage to live in the same house, partly it’s because we have blogs to express our different ways of thinking.
~~love and Huggs, Diane