Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Curse of Big Al

I was watching Bob Saget on HBO the other night and he was cursing a lot in his act. His act seemed to hinge on his cursing a lot. I guess so people will know that ‘Full House’ and ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’ wasn’t the real Bob Saget. Denis Leary on the other hand seems to use cursing as a first language. He uses cursing almost like punctuation. In fact if he didn’t drop the ‘F’ bomb into almost every sentence I’m not sure we would even understand what he was saying.

Potty mouths run in my family. I truly try not to use vulgarities when speaking in public, but sometimes a situation just calls for it.
At home however when confronted with a frustrating moment, a string of horrible words can come streaming out. It’s not that the words have never been heard before, it’s the way I might use them. The wrong people will have the wrong parts shoved up the wrong orifices. Peoples parents will be of questionable lineage species-wise. Where did I learn this? Well like in ‘A Christmas Story’ it wasn’t from some kid I hung out with fifty years ago. No I heard it every day from my dad. He was a master at cursing. He cursed at us. He cursed at people in other cars. He cursed at inanimate objects. I assume he learned it from being in the military during WWII, because I never heard words like that from his mother.

Now my mother also cursed. Sometimes you would have thought the fleet had come into town and the sailors were in our house. My mom swore differently from my dad. She could let loose with a short string of goddamn this and sonofabitch that when she was angry with you, but this was understandable having to raise eleven children. The best was when she was truly frustrated. That’s when she would let loose with her patented "SHIT, SHIT , SHIT, SHIT , SHIT, SHIT , SHIT, SHIT , SHIT, SHIT , SHIT, SHIT , SHIT, SHIT , SHIT, SHIT ". When you heard that you either hid, ran, or were the target of her wrath in which case she would come after you with her ‘balloon stick’. It was probably better to get whipped with the balloon stick right then and there. If you managed to escape, the alternative was when dad came home and my mom would sic him and his magic belt on you. By magic I mean because it would come flying out of his belt loops at you faster than you could realize what was happening. This was the law of the land when we were growing up. If you fucked up, you got smacked. If you were good, things were nice and dad would do that turn into the Tastee Freeze and we’d all get nickle ice cream cones.

No my parents weren’t perfect but they had eleven kids to worry about. I’m sure if it weren’t for the fear of ‘Big Al’ I would have got into a lot more trouble as I grew up.


  1. And so, we do turn into our parents as we grow older.

    It's comforting to know they will always be with us in one way or another throughout the rest of our lives.

    It's not really a curse but a way to honor and remember them. Each time you swear, I believe you are honoring your dad's legacy.

    He would be so proud of you! :-)

    Oh by the way, did he every swear at you for swearing? hehe

  2. garet made repulsive language sound endearing...respectful even. impressive.

    I know that I didn't grow up in the same house as big Al, but my mother definitely inherited that mouth...and now I'm going to forward your blog to dustin so that he might understand my creative potty mouth better...

    (by the way my mom does the same shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit thing...she calls it her mantra)

  3. It seems that instead of using creative content these days, everyone inserts as much profanity as possible. I'm sure initially it was intended to provide a bit of shock value. Well, it is so prevalent now, that it has just become old.

    You don't look at all like your dad. Perhaps a bit like mom. Maybe it's the hair.

    How many kids had she popped out already at the time of this picture. She looks as if she wanted to say a few choice words at that moment. Why didn't they just go for an even dozen for god's sake??????

  4. Laura,
    Tell your mom she owes your grandma a royalty for every time she uses her 'mantra'. After all it is patented and copyrighted by Lila.

  5. Russell,
    We don't refer to our births as "popping out".
    I believe my mom was not happy with me for taking that picture.

  6. on the subject of the mantra. I first heard it come from Peg when she stepped in dog poop in the back yard in her bare feet while heading for the pool.She has obviously embraced it.

    I would like to remind you that Dad was a great public speaker. I was facinated by the way he could speak up at the podium at church.Not one of those curse words ever slipped out.School board meetings....nothing. When he stood with me in front of the judge and promised I would never do what ever it was I did, not a peep...
    However I will say that when I got to work with him on the truck docks I found out the dock workers and the truckers all believed his choice of descriptives were second to none. No one could compete with him.
    My friends feared and respected him.

  7. Okay, swear words were the norm in our house. Imagine my surprise when my good friend Barbara almost had a heart attack when I used the word "fart" in front of Dad! I was trully surprised to hear that it was not to be used in front of a parent...where did she think I learned that...and worse! And then I met Rick, who really hated swearing....I did clean up my act for a while... and I learned the power of using swear words sparingly when my kids eyes popped out of their heads when Rick said "Damn it!!" in front of them! It is still talked about as "THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL" when they reminisce!