Elevated Discourse

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It has been, in the words of playwright John Guare, a day for surprises. YG, with whom I was supposed to leave tonight for the Winterfest Camporee (a Girl Scout event the planning and staging of which was supposed to earn the kid her Bronze Award–this is a big deal in GS land) went to sleep at 4:30 yesterday and slept until 7 this morning with time out only to take her temperature (102.5 last night). Though she woke up fever-free this morning, I couldn’t in good conscience let her go to the Camporee.

Then Sarcasm Girl called from school with a migraine. She came home.

Then the Insurance Appraiser called. The car needs at least $6700 worth of repairs, and it’s only worth $5500. So we get a check for the $5500 (less deductible) and go hunting for a new car…at a time when buying a new car was not, shall we say, on the short list of things we were budgeting for.

So when, about half an hour ago, the full import of the No Camporee dictum finally lodged in YG’s formerly-fevered mind, she came out swinging. Actually, she came out weeping with outrage. In the process of getting her into a more Zen mind-space, she asked piteously if she could swear. I told her that I would not only permit her five minutes of foul language, but I would participate. Sarcasm Girl, wrenched from her migrainous misery by the sight of her sister’s woe, decided to help out too. I think we scandalized the dog with the blue air that was hovering over our heads. The favorite curse, by acclaimation, was “Fuck a bunny.” Although “Fuck a puppy” came close. And “Apple-knocking pig fucker” (a phrase I picked up at Harvard when I was working there) was popular.

The five minutes of foulness completed, everyone felt better. Except perhaps for the dog. And maybe the bunny.

9 thoughts on “Elevated Discourse

  1. Morgan, in the immortal words of Lina Lamont, “If we bring a little joy into your humdrum lives, it makes us feel as though our hard work ain’t been in vain for nothin'”

  2. Excellent post!

    Without fully realizing it, I used to pretty commonly swear at people who cut me off in the hyper-competitive Houston traffic.

    One day, when Rachael (who is Awesome) was a year into learning how to speak, she was riding with me, strapped into her baby seat.

    A car passed us on the right, going fast. Without a pause, in her high-pitched baby voice she clearly pronounced ‘Asshole!’

    It was one of the early great father-daughter bonding experiences we’ve had.

  3. Madeleine, you must be one of the Coolest Moms ever. Many was the time, while growing up, that I wished I could have shouted “Fuck a bunny!” in the presence of my Parental Units — although if I had, I’d probably still be dangling by my ankles from a barn rafter.

    But I never would have said “Apple-knocking pig fucker” in any case. That would’ve just been mean, given the habits of some of our neighbors.

  4. Both of the girls have gone through phases where they asked permission to swear. I figure as long as they understand that this is not the usual mode of discourse, why not? At least I (sorta) control the vertical and horizontal. Of course Sarcasm Girl (being all of 16 1/2) swears like a sailor when among her friends.

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