Friday, June 27, 2008

The three words you can never say in front of children

In memory of George...

I have never considered myself to be a foul-mouthed person. I mean, sure I play golf, and drive a car, and occasionally have been known to break out in song from the South Park Christmas CD. But for the most part, my speech is tasteful and very much family and kid friendly.

Or so I thought.

A couple of weeks ago, I was over at Kywana's (their celebrity couple name) playing Mario Kart on the Wii. But that's another issue for another day. There were a couple of children present. I think we can all see where this is headed.

Well, as is bound to happen, I ran my kart off the road pretty quick. And without thinking, I dropped a c-bomb.

Instantaneously, I heard a motherly voice from the next room admonishing me. "Uh, we don't say that around here."

I managed a befuddled "What?"

"We don't say that around here."

Then a child chimed in, "Yeah, that's a bad word. We say carp instead."

"Carp?" As in the large Asian freshwater fish? Yes, apparently. "Fine, I'll say carp. But you'll all know what I really mean!"

Laughter ensued, or so I imagined. And for the rest of the night, crap became carp. Or more accurately it became, "Crap! I mean carp!"

The racing continued for awhile without incident. Then some person with pure evil in their heart selected the track known as Rainbow Road. It's this wee little narrow winding road with huge drop offs on both sides, into a canyon, river, or some other such abyss. If you run off the road, your chance to win is pretty much shot.

"I hate this frickin' track," I uttered innocently.

"Um, we don't say that, either," came the motherly voice again.


"That's another bad word."

I didn't know whether to go stand in the corner or write my name on the board. I felt like I was in first grade. And much like first grade, I talked back.

"I've never heard of such. What am I supposed to say then?"

"Try heavens to Betsy."

"Yeah. Or oopsy daisy."

Laughter ensued, only this time for real. Finally, after I ran my kart off Rainbow Road for the fifth time still on the first lap, I let another expletive fly.


The room fell silent. (Not really, but it's more dramatic that way.) Nothing needed to be said. I'd hit rock bottom, and knew I needed help. I hung my head and wondered if I'd be asked to leave. Or if they were gonna call my mother. Fortunately, the answer to both was no. Well, I was asked to leave, but that was because it was 9 PM and I'm always asked to leave at 9 PM.

I was one of the lucky ones. I got another chance. And even though it's only been a couple of weeks, my rehab is going well. I'm already starting to see some progress. Just this past weekend I was playing Trivial Pursuit with a girl. (If only that were a euphemism for something else.) I dropped a box of cards (or that), spilling them on the floor. Instinctively, and with the tone of a kindergarten teacher, I said, "Oopsy daisy."

That illicited an odd and slightly fearful look. And needless to say, we didn't wind up "playing Trivial Pursuit" that night, if you know what I mean.

Hmm, perhaps "carp" would have been a better choice there?

"Courtney Cox. I love you. You're so hot. On that show..."


  1. wow! Tough house you went to.

    In our house you can say crap. Although we don't say your other two words.

    Sorry that you didn't get to play triva with that girl. I bet you "let the expletives fly" after that.

    ya know it's a pretty good idea to try to stop using expletives long before you have any kiddos. It makes it so much easier. I know a gal whos hubby quite frequently drops the F-bomb and now their 2y/o uses it frequently too. I told the mom to charge dad $5 for each bomb from him and $10 for each from the kiddo. She's getting a new purse. LOL!

  2. We can't say s#ut up. But crap Bone, you can't say frickin anything at that house. That suck(s).

    oopsy daisy, I shouldn't have said that.

  3. I know how you feel. I have a big potty mouth and I'm constantly dropping words around my friends' kids. One of my friends (also a big potty mouth) doesn't use the F word around his kids but instead says "effin" as in, "I effin' hate when drivers don't use their turn signals." His young daughter then thought that "the e-word" was the bad word!

  4. Spend a day with me, you'll learn all sorts of substitute words. Working for 8 families who ALL have different rules as far as what is a bad word vs. what is an okay substitute has basically made me say some really ridiculous things. Carp, now I have to blog about all my ridiculous words.

  5. Renee - Yes, kids repeat everything, or so I hear. I requested that a list be posted of what I can and can't say for my next visit :)

    Oh, I like the five dollar fine idea much better than washing my mouth out with soap, which was the principle on which I was raised.

    Charlotta - Heaven's to Betsy, am I gonna have to start censoring your comments? :)

    Xinh - Well, I've always thought my speech was pretty tame. I just wasn't aware the alternative words I was using were also considered offensive. Oops.

    Jen - I think a post like that would be most helpful as I try to expand my kid-friendly vocabulary. Maybe you could focus on words that would be acceptable among single girls and golfing buddies, as well.

  6. Well, that is a load of beep. Who the beep are you hanging out with, Martha beeping Washington?

  7. I do have a foul mouth. I cus like a sailor. I do try to clean my language up when I'm around some folks. Present company included!! However, I notoriously develop a really bad case of Tourette's Syndrome when I'm playing pool, tennis, darts, whatever. Thankfully I've only taught one child to swear. That was on the way to the beach when I encouraged my friend (via walkie-talkie) to not let the f'n f'ers cut in front of her. Seconds later, her toddler is exclaiming f'ers, f'ers, f'ers from the back seat. Ah, a living role model!

  8. As a first grade teacher, may I simply say, "Welcome to my world."

  9. Big Carppers indeed my friend! You know the old saying... while the cat is away the mice will play! Whatever that means. I just like a F-bomb fly up here (frickin' I said). I never had been around kids before and it's a big adjustment watching what I say, as you can probably imagine... with me being the huge South Park fanatic that I use to be. Dead dead dead... someday we'll be dead. I did find myself singing that in the car with the family last night. And also the "don't die. don't die. don't die. don't die. there's a fish. there's a rock. don't die. let's live and breathe and live. Cause living is good... dying, not as good.

  10. well honey,, we DO talk like that over here.. so don't you be shy....

  11. George (George Ca and George Co, I think) would be proud.

    Me like this post. Bone kinda sorta almost curses :)

    My mom used to say "sh, sh, sh, sugar," and when i was finally old enough to realize what she wanted to say would ask her why she didn't

    In my house cursing was every sin combined. It was the biggest--I think you could have killed a parent and pleaded the half orphan defense but never ever curse

  12. And what's wrong with frickin though I say frigging--it's my absolute favorite word almost

    Bone I think we have to talk about your love of Courtney :) David says sorry, she's a one man girl

  13. HotPink - Is it beeping or bleeping?

    Carnealian - You clean up your language for me? Aww, how sweet! Well, the kids have to learn the proper way to drive sooner or later :)

    Scarlet Hip - Yes you may. If you need me to come speak to the class sometime, just let me know.

    Do they still make kids stand in the corner? Or has it all just gone to time-out? Or is time-out even outdated by now?

    Java - I just had an idea. Maybe we should be implanted with V-Chips like Cartman was in that one episode, to shock us when we utter our pseudo curse words.

    Paisley - Well, frickin' a. I'll be right over then.

    Pia - Yeah, cursing was never heard in our house, either. It was a huge no no. Right up there with bringing home a B on the report card.

    I think I had a dream about Courtney a couple of weeks ago. I wish I could record certain dreams and just play them back any night I wanted.

  14. Wow, definitely a tough household. No crap?!?! I can see the other two, but no crap? Sheesh!

    I say "oopsy daisy" all the time though. I think it comes from hanging out with kids. :)

    But honestly, any girl worthy of "playing Trivial Pursuit" with you shouldn't be scared off by that phrase. She should be glad she won't have to teach you somewhere down the road.

  15. If those were the rules at my house, I'd be banned. I have to watch myself around our friends' kids. I've already polluted my own kids' mouths. :(

  16. The trouble I've always seen with replacing bad words with less offensive words is that the meaning is always the same. You say "carp" instead of "crap", it's still a bad word!

    Not that any of that has any bearing on my life. I have another "C-word" that I like to use. And CRAP isn't it.

  17. my mom told me not to say crap. but I do. say it.

    frickin' i don't really like, but what are ya gonna do.

    suck?! I haven't used that one. I like shucks instead.

    My dad says shucks all the time. But he doesn't think he does. I told him one time he says it, and he said, no I don't.


    my faves are 'lord have mercy' and if it's really bad, 'lord have mercy on my soul.'

    or 'la la la la la' or how 'bout sh---.

    That one always works.

  18. TC - Yeah, I thought crap was definitely the most innocuous of the three.

    Lass - Well, just as long as other parents don't start intentionally keeping their kids away from you, I'm sure it's fine :)

    Blondie - What if you mentally picture a fish as you're saying "carp"? Is it still a bad word then? :)

    Shelby - Yeah, I've used "Lord help us all" before. I had a teacher in high school who was fond of saying "For crying out loud."

  19. Wow - When you said the "c" word - 'crap' was not at all what I thought you said... which also surprised me.

  20. Lately I've been saying, "Son of a mama." I have no idea why, other than it sort of just rolls out that way. I always feel pretty stupid about it, but I can't help myself. :-)

  21. I'm a big fan of "wtf" and sh*t was my first four-letter word of that variety, otherwise, I'm not much on cursing. wtf is such a useful phrase, though.

  22. Holy Shiite. That is too funny. Interesting, isn't it: parents don't want words like crap said, yet they'll replace it with another, seemingly harmless word, yet it's just that -- a substitution. Any linguist will tell you it has the same connotation. It's like saying 'shit' in's still 'shit' in the end. LOL!

  23. I'm glad to know there is another guy who "kind of" curses... I enjoyed reading this.

  24. Actually I just threaten to beat my students with wet noodles and tissue paper. That usually does the trick.

  25. what a cute story Bone! I remember those days when we didn't curse in front of our kids! Now! Geeezzz 'Crap' is kids play!

  26. regular potty mouth here! I guess it is part of dealing with construction workers all day dishing it out and dishing it back!
    kids are a tough crowd, but their parents are even tougher!

  27. I'm pretty good around my kid. The only thing I probably let slip on a regular basis is that still a curse word?

    I spent a weekend with one of my girlfriends that doesn't have kids and does have a potty mouth, and it took me a couple of days to retrain myself not to say F*** around my kid.

    Although I think all rules should be off when it's Rainbow Road. Hate that course!