“Mom? Mom? Can I ASSssssk you something? Get it? Get it? I said ASSSkk you. Like ASS? Like a swear?”
It’s all about the swears around here these days, the ASSking for things and the SHITzhu dogs and the riDICKulous and did you know what the word for seal is in French, Mom?
(Go ahead, look it up. Google “French word for seal.” I’ll wait. I wait for lots of things these days.)
There is an A a-word, and a B-word — making it increasingly difficult to leave our copies of Bitch magazine lying around, and this is a shame — and a C-word and, “Mom? If I’m making up a song, is it okay if it has the H-word in it?” And I concede that it is okay, if it’s a truly necessary for the song and you’re careful about where you’re singing it. Because creativity shall trump and anyway have you seen the things I’ve written? There’s the constant guffawing about Regina, Saskatchewan, and Spadina Avenue in Toronto and “Would you like an almond?” “An almond! Isn’t that a kind of nut? Get it? NUTS? Mom, you just asked me if I wanted a NUT!”
ha ha ha ha ha
I remember being oh, maybe seven, and saying fuck out loud, quietly but decisively, in the middle of an abandoned playground. Just me, and that word. I didn’t even know what it meant, then — at least, I think I didn’t. I just knew that it was powerful, and taboo. It felt like a secret, like maybe I was one of a select handful of people in the world who knew that word, who had said it aloud.
And I remember being about the same age and screaming, “Fuck off!” at my brother. Screaming it out loud, in front of my parents, in the middle of the front hall foyer, because I was angry and I reached for it and it was there and who knew what it meant, anyway? And I remember the way my father tried to be angry but how he laughed instead before almost wiping the smirk off his own face and telling me with as much seriousness as he could muster, to never, ever, use that word again.
And how I did, how I do, anyway.