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Friday, June 20, 2014

Insulting

We all have those moments. Someone says or does something that just strikes us as so rude or idiotic that we feel an overwhelming urge to lash out and say something awful. Yes, it could be referred to as cursing. You know, I think it is called cursing because that's what it originally started out as. I can picture a scenario taking place thousands of years ago with a group of Stone Age hunters. They are trying to hunt down a woolly mammoth; the preserved meat will feed their family group through the winter, and the hide, bones, sinews, and other parts will serve many purposes. Dorg throws the spear to start bringing down the majestic beast...and hits Grod in the leg instead. Grod, naturally, yells out in pain, frightening away the mammoth and ruining the chance for a feast of fresh mammoth tonight. One of the hungry hunters turns to Dorg in disgust and says, "May all of your teeth fall out so that you can never chew mammoth again!"

Over the years, of course, these curses have evolved into many different forms that compare those on the receiving end to various bodily excretions, multiple words for different animals, and creative terms for body parts and things that we do with them. Depending on your sensibilities, or the thickness of your skin, what's okay to someone else may be horribly vulgar to you. And sometimes we might try to be vulgar and totally strike out. My sister told me a story about her friend's grandchildren and how they would drive each other crazy. One of these boys was a few years older than the other, and had the nickname of Stinky. Don't ask; I have no idea why. The younger boy was still at the age when some words were difficult to pronounce. You know what I mean - the age when kids say things like fank you instead of thank you. One day, Stinky was really making Little Guy angry, so Little Guy decided to use the worst swear words he knew. "Fudge, you, Tinky!" he shouted. Needless to say, Stinky started laughing hysterically, and Little Guy ended up crying because instead of shock and awe, all he got was disrespectful laughter.

I will be honest - I have a fairly rich vocabulary which includes both curse and non-curse words. Sometimes a succinct d--n seems in order, whereas other occasions require a more verbose or creative approach. (See what I did there?) The other day, we were on our way home from church (Yes, I go to church. This does not make me any worse or better than anyone else, nor does it make me preachy or judgey, or whatever-y. 'Kay?) when someone pulled one of those incredibly stupid driver moments on us. We really wanted to say something awful, but Trent said it was probably wrong to do so on the way home from church, so maybe we should think of something different to say. It took me all of five seconds. "Nice work, Deliverance!" If you've seen the movie, you'll get it. I'll pause while Dueling Banjos plays in your head...

Back? Okay. I know it's silly. But it's just too easy, sometimes, to lash out when other people make mistakes. It's a small step to try and soften my words, and maybe my meanest-woman-in-the-world heart. I make mistakes all of the time. Who knows how many times I have been so focused on what I am doing that I have accidentally stepped on someone else's toes, figuratively speaking? So I'm going to try to find softer words and a softer attitude, and think before my anonymous insulting. But woe be to the person who willfully hurts my family or friends. Or kids. Or their spouse or partner. Or dogs or cats. Or other nice critters. Oh, I forgot elder persons. And...and...and...