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but since you asked....
 About Cussin'

"Why do you guys do that?"

Cussin' saves thinking time. Especially in America, where there are only a few choice words available, and you don't even have to pronounce them properly. Everybody knows it was one or the other of only a half dozen phrases, and it doesn't make any difference which one anyway. Cussin' in pantheistic societies presents a much greater challenge as there is greater range and flexibility involved.

Cussin' helps thumbs heal faster. It encourages fingernail growth. It enhances scabbing on skinned knees and scraped shins. It is a measurement of the severity of an incident. Stubbed toes usually take more cussin' than shaving nicks.

In order for this to work properly, one must develop a string of blue lightning that can be carefully timed to coincide with the duration of the pain or frustration inflicted upon ones self. This can be accomplished in either of two ways. By controlling the speed of the outburst, or by using more or fewer cuss words. Either method is acceptable. Sometimes volume control is also necessary for proper effect.

Some cussin' serves as a generic thesaurus, allowing each individual recipient to negotiate the meaning conveyed according to his own interpretation, which may then be either more or less intense than the opinion of the cusser. This prevents semantic confrontations and allows one to get on with the meat of the story at hand.

Cussin' helps keep the arteries clear and saves wear and tear on limited resources such as brain cells. Without cuss words, a person would have to remember some two or three thousand extra nouns to be used appropriately in their stead. Things to be "full of..." would just barely begin to cover the necessities. And then there are the adjectives to consider, and other parts of speech. One's memory block could be overloaded simply by the sheer number of things that could be dangled from a participle if it weren't for cuss words.

In order to be truly effective, cussin' has to be properly done under strict social conventions. The younger generation doesn't understand this, and the result is the same as the over prescription of antibiotics. Loss of effectiveness.

A prime example of this is the dialog of today's bromidic movies that sound as though they were fleshed out by a team of middle school script writers. By the time today's kids grow up there won't be a word left with enough power to shock the plaque off a carotid, and everybody will be on Lipitor!

Cussin' should never be done in the presence of elders, because they think they have an exclusive right to it. Cussin' should never be done in the presence of children, because one never wants to embarrass ones self in front of people who know more cuss words than they do.

Cussin' is for special occasions. Like when your new drill bit slips and ruins a $40 piece of Italian tile; not for when your secretary simply misfiles a piece of paper. Unless it's a check. Your check.

The latter situation requires tact and sensitivity to inform the person that she has her head up her...and doesn't know .... But the former indicates an awareness and appreciation of fine material and craftsmanship. Or at least it offers temporary consolation at the loss of $40.

Cussin' at some thing has a more beneficial effect than say, kicking it with your bare foot. Bedsteads and shop anvils come to mind.

But cussin' at people can get one into a heap more trouble then one bargained for. Upset secretaries with dead-eye aim come to mind. This is known as "being in deep...."

And so, properly done, cussin' has a propitious effect on humanity. Improperly done, cussin' just makes one a foul mouthed boor with a limited vocabulary. Sometimes, to the untrained ear, it is difficult to tell the difference.

Which is why the sign over my doorway reads...

"Cussin' In This Household Is Positively Prohibited
Not That I Give A Damn, But
It Sounds Like Hell Before Strangers"

... of course, maybe we do it because there is an OU game on TV we'd rather be watching...


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