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Friday, July 20, 2018

Street Cleaners


Street Cleaners

I was driving home from playing golf today and two blocks away there was a dust storm such that I could not see my upcoming turn.  It was a clear day with almost no wind.

WTF?

As I got closer to the storm I could see it was caused by one of those stupid sweepy street cleaner machines.

What is it with those machines?  Why do we need them?  They only brush dirt and dust to the curb where the physics of fast moving cars will just suck the dirt and dust back to the middle of the street.

Know what will clean the street faster and better than a street cleaner?  Rain! One good thunder storm and street is clean.  Dirt and dust is down the drain.

Why is my good tax money going to waste having my street periodically buffed?  That big old machine must cost a pretty penny, and the driver could probably be doing something more constructive than moving dirt and dust around.

Street cleaners used to be pretty important I am told.  Back in the day it was not so automated.  A dude with a broom and a large dustpan would clean the streets. 

What was he cleaning?  Not dirt and dust, hell most of the streets were made of dirt and dust. 

He was cleaning up horse shit.

That is how people got around when we needed street cleaners.  By horse…horses that shit…a lot.  Street cleaners were pretty important.

I don’t know if my town administrators are aware of the fact that most people today get around by car, bike or foot.  Almost no one, make that absolutely no one in my town rides a horse. 

Never mind the street, clean out my stupid local politicians.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

E-Z Pass


E-Z Pass

Mrs. C and I both have an E-Z Pass, that thing on your windshield that lets you rip through highway tolls and the toll is charged to your account.  It is convenient, and it is a little bit cheaper than paying at the toll booth.  We don’t use toll roads that often, but on some bridges, they now only take E-Z Pass, or take a picture of your license plate and send you a bill.  Getting and paying a bill that way is annoying so we got the E-Z Pass contraptions.

I keep my E-Z Pass on the windshield so it is always there when I need it.  Mrs. C keeps hers in the house.

The other day we were using a toll road.

“Crap, I forgot the E-Z Pass.”

“This is not the first time, why don’t you keep it on the windshield like the other 2 kajillion people that use E-Z Pass?”

“Because.”

“Because why?”

“You will make fun of me if I tell.”

“No I won’t.”

“I don’t want anyone to break in to the car and steal it.”

“What? Who is going to break into a car and steal the E-Z Pass thing?  Why not just take the car? And what are they going to do, get free tolls?  The E-Z pass will track where they go?”  In the humpty-diddle years that E-Z Pass has been around I have never heard of anyone breaking into a car and stealing the E-Z Pass thing. That is just stupid!”

“See, that is why I didn’t want to tell you.”

“Why not just keep it in the glove box so no one knows you have it, but it is there if you need it.”

“Because.”

“Because why?”

“You will make fun of me if I tell.”

“No I won’t.”

“If it is in the glove box I might drive close to a toll booth and be accidently charged a toll I didn’t use.

“What?”  In the humpty-diddle years that E-Z Pass has been around I have never heard of anyone ever being accidentally charged a toll like that.”

“People don’t know, they don’t always check their statement.”

“That is ridiculous.”

“You’re a jerk.”

“I’m a jerk?”

“If the E-Z Jerk fits, stick it on the windshield.”

“That doesn’t even make any sense.”

“Maybe not, but you’re still a jerk.”

Monday, July 16, 2018

Politics (my last word)


Politics (my last word)

A quick reminder.

I enjoy political discussions.  I have often had fair and productive political conversations.  I do not believe any minds were changed, but I do believe we agreed that vindictive snarky comments about another’s preference is a worthless and infantile thing to do.

I have found that the internet in general and a blog in particular is a very poor venue for political discourse.  I’m not sure why, but it just is.  I think it is the missing facial expressions and body language that often might soften a comment which is not possible on this new medium.

Anyway, it is why I have as my header:

I intend for this blog to be non-political. If I offer a political statement, rebuttals are permitted, however this blog is not for the unsolicited political opinions of others and as such those comments will be deleted and not published. Thank you.

Recently a disparaging comment was left by a blogger friend about our President.  As the post had zero political connection, I considered this comment out of place and deleted it and unfollowed the other blogger.

Thankfully for me, this person apologized and I re-followed…we’re good!  I have already lost several followers and quit following because of the political animosity that threatens this world. 

It upsets me that I would be afraid of being attacked verbally and or physically if I was to wear a MAGA hat in public, and how the same might apply if I wore an “I’m With Her” shirt. 

The real danger in this country is the atmosphere of unrest and pure venom the fault of which lies on both political sides.  I will not allow this blog to be a part of that hatred.

If you choose to make an unsolicited political comment denigrating any political side, you might as well just say, “Fuck You Cranky” and I will react in kind by deleting and unfriending.

Thank you, and may God bless everyone!

Since I don't know how to turn off comments on a specific post, all comments on this post will be unread and unpublished.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Butthead


Butthead

I can sometimes be easily annoyed…maybe that is why Mrs. C calls me “Cranky.”  Somethings I should let slide, but they just stick in my craw.

We are staying three weeks in a small apt. off a garage, under the main house, just off the beach.  It is not fancy, but it is still a sweet deal.  Next door to our place is a gigantic multi-million-dollar humongous house on the beach with multiple views of the ocean.  The owner of this home is very wealthy.  He has everything, including a large belly and the biggest head on the beach.

Apparently, his shit has no odor.  I call him Butthead.  That is not a term of endearment.

Butthead’s house is about four yards from our place.  He has several downspout water diverters.  He could point the diverters toward the street.  He points them directly at our house.  Periodically I readjust them.  He points them back to our place. 

Butthead!

Four times in the last two years he has parked his car in our driveway and directly behind our cars such that if we wanted, we could not get out.  He has a driveway that can park about 10 cars.  When I tracked him down the first time to move and not block us in, he did apologize and say he was only going to be there for a minute because he was expecting a work truck to come to his driveway soon.  No problem, but why does he think it is ok to inconvenience me so he would not be inconvenienced? 

Butthead!

In my whole life I have not once blocked another person’s driveway.  Four times in two years…Butthead!

Yesterday he was having some kind of sale for a charity (what a hero…with all his money, just write a check!)  Where was his stand holding the sale goods?  In front of his driveway? Why no, it was blocking our car.
Dickhead's driveway just to the right

Butthead!

I had to make him move so I could go to the store that I really didn’t want to go to.

Butthead!

At the end of our block right in front of Butthead's house but not his driveway, are racks for bicycles.  I have never seen a bicycle block his driveway.  If there was, bicycles are pretty easy to move.

Today I noticed Butthead had a large chalk circle drawn in front of his driveway with large chalk instructions in the circle, “DO not block driveway with a bicycle…EVER.”
OK, it said no bikes TY...the "ever" part is small and not seen in this picture.

So, this Butthead can block my car in with his giant SUV whenever it happens to be convenient for him, but to make sure an eight-year-old doesn’t leave a bike at the end of his driveway he leaves a message on the street.

Butthead!

Friday, July 13, 2018

FUZZY SOAP


FUZZY SOAP (Probably TMI)
OK, it was not quite this disgusting...but close.

 If you are easily disgusted, just move on, I’ll understand.

We have one shower in our shore house rental.  It gets used a lot by Mrs. C, myself and guests.

For the past few weeks, whenever I take a shower I notice there are two bars of soap.  One white bar of soap is covered with hair.  I guess it could be my hair, I don't think so, but I don’t know for sure.  I generally soap up with my hands and the soap bar does not make actual body contact so I do not think it is my hair.

I have assumed the hairy soap was from someone else, possibly a previous renter. 

I use the hairless bar of soap.  After many showers, the hairless bar was getting down to a nub and I realized that Mrs. C must assume the hairy soap was mine. 

“Just so you know, the hairy bar of soap in the shower is not mine.  It was either Sasquatch, or the ghost of Robin Williams that last used that soap.”

“Oh, thank God, I assumed it was you.  That soap is disgusting!”

“I know!  Do you think I could toss it out because I am not using it…ever.”

Mrs. C as I may have mentioned in previous posts does not like waste or I would have thrown that bar away long ago.

“OMG, please.  I don’t even like it staring at me when I shower.”

We now have a brand new clean hairless bar of soap in the shower.

How Sasquatch snuck in our shower and defiled that other bar of soap remains a mystery.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Stale Cereal


Stale Cereal

Mrs. C does not like to throw things away.  She does not like to waste food.  Several years ago, youngest son Spencer stopped eating cereal when he visited.  Neither Mrs. C or I have touched cereal since... forever.

Packing up for the Shore this year, Mrs. C. took a box of Fruit Loops from the cupboard.

“Don’t bring that crap, you should probably chuck it out, no one eats cereal.”

“Cole and Conor might, if not, then I will throw it away.”

Several days after we were at the Shore, my son and his children visited.  We got up in the morning to go fishing for flounder on the Norma K out of Point Pleasant, N.J.

My son poured a bowl of the cereal.

“Akkkk, gag, urp, yuck, spit, spit, spit.  Yeoow! What is this crap? How old is it?”

“Did you eat the cereal?”

“Yes, it is awful! Holy Crap, the best by date is 12/09.”

“Yeah, you probably should not eat that…Nona (Mrs. C.) thought it would be ok.”

“I think I might throw up!”

“Ooh…sorry.”

Matt recovered and we went fishing.

The fishing was not very good.  I caught some garbage fish, Matt caught nothing, but the boys, always good patient fisherboys caught some seabass, and Cole caught a nice flounder.
Conor with a seabass

Poor fishing, but a good boat ride and a fun day.

Later in the day Matt posted on Facebook some pictures of the fish his boys caught.

Mrs. C’s friend, Brenda who had been on the beach with Mrs. C heard the story about the bad cereal.

She commented on Matts post, “Nice fish, what did you use for bait…cereal?”

Matt almost got sick and missed the fishing trip because of the old cereal, but at least with Brenda’s comment we got a good laugh.


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Supermarket Hide and Seek




Supermarket Hide and Seek

Thank God for cell phones.  Without them I would still be caught up in a game of supermarket hide and seek with Mrs. C. 

Oh, don’t act like you don’t know what I am taking about.  If you have ever shopped with someone at a supermarket, or especially if you have children, you have played supermarket hide and seek.

“I’m going to the courtesy desk to see if they have cigars.”

“Ok, I‘ll be in the ice cream section looking for toasted almonds.”

After purchasing some cigars I went hunting for Mrs. C.

What could go wrong?  How could you get lost?

Easy!

Each of us on one side of the supermarket, looking down the aisles, somehow you never are looking down the same aisle at the same time.  Cross an aisle to the other side of the supermarket and of course, Mrs. C has done the same.

Up and down the aisles…crossing over to the front and then back of the supermarket there is a law of probability that says you will never make eye contact.  You might see the same lady with the annoying three-year-old about seventeen times, or the old dude with the gigantic beer belly multiple times, but you will not see or cross paths with the person you are looking for.

“Siri, call Karen.”

“Calling Karen.”

B-ring, b-ring “Hello.”

“What aisle?”

“Ten by the tuna fish.”

“Don’t move.”

If it were not for cell phones we would be lost until closing time.


Monday, July 9, 2018

This Next Generation Scares Me




This Next Generation Scares Me

Yes, I know I am an old fart, and all old farts think younger generations are spoiled, listen to bad music and don’t have good manners.  Yes, that has been true since forever, even writings of Greek philosophers warn of the deficiencies of the younger generation.

I don’t particularly like the rap music of today.  I don’t particularly like the butchering of the English language, or the creaky voice inflection of today’s youth.  It bothers me that young people do not even know how to safely cross the street.

I can let all these things slide because…Hell, what else can I do about it.

But.

Today on the beach I saw an event that really scares me about young people and how they are being raised.

I was on the beach and a young mother who weighed maybe 110 pounds was packing up her beach wagon.  Several chairs, two umbrellas, two boogie boards and assorted beach paraphernalia.  The wagon had tiny wheels which could only be dragged across the sand, not rolled.

This 110-pound lady was pulling this weighted down cart through about fifty yards of sand like one of those power lifting champions pulling a Boing 747 on a chain.  While she was dragging the beach stuff, her at least 12-year-old son who looked to weigh about 140 pounds was walking ahead disgusted that she was taking so long.  He carried nothing.  He didn’t help push and did not volunteer to help pull.  Her about 9-year-old daughter did carry a small beach bag, but still did not offer to help, what-so-ever…in fact she also seemed disgusted that mom was taking so long.

I wanted to wring these kids necks for not offering to help their tiny mom.  I wanted to ask the mother what in blazes was wrong with her that she would not demand her children help.

Instead, I just shook my head and ignored them.

I’m 72; not my problem.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Ospreys and Crows


Ospreys and Crows

I’m hanging on the beach on the beautiful Jersey Shore watching ospreys.  Ospreys, or sea eagles, are incredible fisherbirds.  They soar along the shore line and then out to sea and back looking for menhaden or small blue fish…actually any fish that they can spot and then reach with their talons.

It is difficult to tell when an osprey has caught a fish.  They turn it around in their talons for best wind resistance and it is hard to tell from the ground if they have a fish or not. 

I have pretty much figured out the tell-tail sign that the bird has grabbed a fish. 

If it is flying fast over the beach and heading to its nest on the bay, it has a fish.  I know this because the osprey will hunt until he has a catch.  He does not go home empty handed, so if he is headed home, you know he has dinner in his claws.

The other tell that the osprey has a catch, is he flies extra fast for his nest.  Over the ocean while searching, he wings slowly or glides with the wind currents saving energy.  I often wondered why, once the osprey has a fish, he races so quickly back to his nest.  Why does he still not try and conserve energy?

The other day I saw the reason why this king of the ocean sky races back to his nest.

Crows.

Crows will spot an osprey and try and make him drop his catch.  Oh, the osprey could kick the crows butt, he is bigger and faster, but to kick crow ass, he would have to drop his catch.  A catch that he may have spent several hours to spot and several attempts to grab.  The osprey is not willing to drop his catch to fight the crow, he would never recover the fish he worked so hard to catch.

I watched as the osprey rose high and then fell, changed directions left and right while a crow would not quit in its harassment.  I did not see who won this air battle, I like to think the osprey made it to his nest with dinner for his family.

It did make me think that the world outside of our human experience is not that different.  You can work your butt off, but still have to be concerned that some scumbag will try and steal from you, steal by overpowering you, steal by identity theft, steal by unfair taxing, steal by selling you bogus products.

The world is a tough place for both man and beast.  We all have our ospreys and we all have our crows. 

I guess the crows have their place, I guess they have a purpose, but I will always root for the osprey.  

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Jersey Standoff


Jersey Standoff


Mrs. C and I are at our Jersey Shore summer rental.  Two bedrooms, a bath and a kitchen/main-room combo apt off the garage of the real house.  We are feet from the beach and it is a nice summer get-a-way.

"Get-a-way from what" you may ask, “You’re retired for crispy sake.”

OK, it is not a get-a-way, it is a change of venue…don’t be so picky.

And yes, I said I was done posting for a while…It's not like I collected presents and a gold watch at a goodbye party, maybe I can still post if I feel like it, just not every friggin day.

Anyway.

The other night I was watching nothing special on TV, while browsing the internet on a laptop from my comfy Archie Bunker chair, feet up on an ottoman.  The TV remote was also on the ottoman.  Mrs. C was sitting on a loveseat tapping away on her laptop.  We were both equidistant from reaching the ottoman sitting remote.

“Can you pass me the remote?”

“Why, I have to get up to reach it, you are just as close.”

“But it is on the ottoman that you are resting your feet.”

“Still, I have to move my feet and scootch up to reach the remote, you can reach it as well with the same effort.”

“Kick it to me then.”

With a slight back-footed flip, I sent the remote sliding three feet on the floor where Mrs. C could reach out and grab it.

Standoff resolved.

We may be a little lazy.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Its Just not That Much Fun Anymore


Its Just not That Much Fun Anymore

A cranky opinion for

CRANKY OPINION SATURDAY

 

I really enjoy this blogging thing.  You are able to exchange ideas, try your hand at creative writing and meet new people. 

For me, in the beginning it was easy.  New people were joining the community every day.  There were blog-hops to meet and be met.  Commenters were nice and respectful.  I followed and was followed by bloggers from places I knew very little about, bloggers with diverse ideas and with unique viewpoints.  There were bloggers who were very old, bloggers who were very young, bloggers of means and bloggers who had little.

There were also bloggers who only followed as a means to get more followers for themselves, and bloggers who thought they could make money from blogging.  Perhaps that worked for some, I doubt for very many as I seldom see these people anymore.

It seems to me that this blogging thing has lost its luster.  Fewer people seem to be joining, many seem to be dropping out.  Posting regularly is not easy.  Those first bunch of posts might be, but as the years go by you run out of interesting things to say.

With the current animosity in American politics, it also seems necessary to take sides whether you want to or not.  Post about almost any innocent thing and you are liable to get snarky political jabs inserted into some comments.

I have had people stop following because they don’t like my perceived positions, and I have unfollowed some very nice people because they continually pluck nerves that I prefer to have the media pluck or not pluck.  I’d like my casual reading be casual reading.  I like discussing some topics, but this blogging venue is not really well designed for conversations; it mostly works for those who wish to sing with the choir.

Anyway, for whatever reason, this blogging thing is not that much fun anymore.  That and I've pretty much run out of material.

Time for a sabbatical.  I reserve the right to post something if I damn well feel like it, but probably will slowly drift away.

I might be lurking…probably not.

I don’t expect to make a comeback; you won’t have Cranky to kick around anymore.
Keypad drop!

 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Shopping With Mrs. C


Shopping With Mrs. C




I own four suits, two sports jackets, three casual slacks, two nice slacks, a bunch of shorts, a couple of bum-around pants, eight dress shirts and a bunch of casual shirts. 

I wear a suit maybe twice a year, nice slacks once or twice, dress shirts three or four times maybe.

I wear shorts, or bum-around pants almost always with a tee shirt or golf shirt.  I should not need to clothes shop ever again.  I have clothes I will probably never wear, but I have them “just in case.”

I do wear a pair of casual pants as often as once a week.  I wear them when we go out to eat at a restaurant fancier than “Red Lobster.”  Of the three pair, one doesn’t fit correctly, and the other two I can never find.  They are usually somewhere in the guest closet mashed in-between the suits I never wear. 

A typical night before going out to dinner goes like this,

“Gad Damn it, where are my nice casual pants?”

“In the guest closet.”

“I can’t find them, all I find are the pants that fit funny and I am not wearing them…ever!”

“Oh for crap sake, I’ll get them…here, right on the bed, not put away from after our vacation.”

“Damn it, I need several more pair, just so I can find the dang things the few times I need them!”

The other night we went to Kohls to shop for two pair of casual slacks.

We weren’t sure of the length I take so Mrs. C picked out slacks in 30 and 32 length.  She picked out four styles so that was eight pair.

“Go try them on.”

I went to the try-on area and every door was closed.

“For crap sake, all the changing rooms are closed, I know they are not all used, why don’t people leave the door open when they are done?”

“Just look for one with no feet.”

“I’m not crawling around looking for feet!  Why do people close the doors?  It’s like at a party I stand outside a bathroom door for 15 minutes because the last idiot who used the toilet left and closed the door!”

“Here, this one is open.”

That changing room was a mess.  The cardboard and tissue innards of several shirts were all over the floor and several un-purchased shirts just hung up and left.

I'm shopping with pigs.

I determined I was a 30 length and modeled a pair for Mrs. C.

“The right length is 30, let’s just get a pair of the tan and a pair of the black.”

“Let me see the 32 length.”

“They’re too long.”

“Just put them on, and let me see the other styles also.”

“I’m not trying on another 8 pair!  These two are fine.”

“Just let me see them and I also found a few that are similar but cheaper.”

The problem is, women love shopping for clothes.  Men have a limit of maybe 6 minutes and I had gone five minutes over my limit.

“Just try them on.”

“You know how you get when I suggest throwing anything away?  That’s how I am right now, I’m done lets just buy these two and get out of this place, it is giving me the heebie-jeebies.”

“You’re a big baby…and a jerk”

“Guilty, now let’s get outta here!”

The black pair fit funny, they pull up in my butt cheeks a bit…I will probably never wear them…I will also never tell Mrs. C.




Wednesday, June 13, 2018

What a Deal


What a Deal

I am always looking for a good deal.  I am about to purchase a new 12 string guitar…Happy Birthday to me.

The guitar I want is not cheap.  It would be nice to find a bargain.  I got very excited when I received this email form the friendly neighborhood guitar store:

Hi Joe,

Just a reminder—there are still a few days left to use your coupon for 16% off a single, non-sale item. Visit your local 
Guitar Centerguitarcenter.com or give us a call at 732-257-8500 and we'll be glad to help you get the gear you need at a great price.

Michael Depko
Manager
Guitar Center East Brunswick

16% on the guitar I am looking at would result in significant savings.

It seems there are a few exclusions:

Exclusions and limitations: $500 maximum discount. Not to be used in conjunction with other coupons, promotions or offers. No cash value. Excludes discounted and clearance items, price matches, used/vintage, tax/shipping charges, scratch and dent, Gift Cards, String/Stick Club and musician services (Pro Coverage, Repairs, Rentals and Lessons).

Products from the following manufacturers are excluded: A Designs, ADAM, Aguilar, Allen & Heath, Alvarez, Ampeg, Antelope Audio, Apogee, Apple, Arturia, Ashdown, Ashly Audio, Avantone, Avid, BAE, Beetronics FX, Blackstar, Bose, Boss, Burl Audio, Catalinbread, Chapman, Crate, Cusack Music, D.W. Fearn, Dangerous Music, Dave Smith Instruments, Dean Markley, Earthquaker Devices, Earthworks, Electro-Harmonix, Elysia, Empress Effects, Epiphone, Ernie Ball Music Man, EVH, Fender, Fender Custom Shop, Focal, Focusrite, Fostex, Friedman, Fulltone, Fulltone Custom Shop, Gallien-Krueger, Gibson, Gibson Custom, Golden Age Project, GoPro, Heritage Audio, ISP Technologies, JHS Pedals, Keeley, Kemper, Korg, Kurzweil, Kush Audio, LaChapell Audio, Lag Guitars, Lewitt Audio Microphones, Lindell Audio, Mackie, Manley, Meinl, Metric Halo, Millennia, Mojave Audio, Moog, MOTU, Native Instruments, Neumann, Nord, Novation, Orange Amplifiers, Pettyjohn Electronics, Phoenix Audio, Radial Engineering, Randall, Rane, Reloop, Reverend, RME, Rockett Pedals, Roland, Royer, Ruach Music, se Electronics, Serato, Shure, Slate Digital, Slate Pro Audio, Slate Media Technology, Softube, Soundbrenner, Squier, Steven Slate Drums, Studiologic, Suzuki, Taylor, Teenage Engineering, Telefunken, Teletronix, Toft Audio Designs, Tube-Tech, Voodoo Lab, Vox, Walrus Audio, Wampler, Warm Audio, Westone, Xotic Effects, Yamaha, ZT.

The guitar I want is a Taylor.

Damn!


Monday, June 11, 2018

CUSSIN

CUSSIN
This re-run is from July 2011, it is also from my little read or seldom purchased second book, (possibly little read and seldom purchased because of my first book) "I Used To Be Stupid." I thought it might be appropriate following my recent "Saturday Opinion" post.

I received a comment from a lovely lady from Utah asking me to eliminate the bad words in my blog as her children also read blogs she follows.  My sister-in-law editor once questioned my language and I responded with the following on "CUSSIN" which is part of the yet unpublished "I Used To Be Stupid."  I do try and use my cursing for comic value and doubt I can change.  Perhaps The Cranky Old Man should be off base to children.  I don't think words are evil, the intent of words is what can be hurtful.

When did cursing become an acceptable part of our culture?  I remember the movie “Saving Private Ryan”.  Reviewers credited the film with its abundant use of “bad words” as finally accurately depicting a war scenario.  Seemingly the stress of a brutal war such as WWII would have brought out uncensored language from hungry, sleep deprived, un-showered men, pained from seeing their friends and comrades being shot or blown up, but was this depiction really accurate?
The WWII generation I knew never cursed.  They did not even call it cursing; bad words were “cussin”.  Even the word curse was a curse.

Growing up, I never once heard my father, any of my uncles, or my grandfather use a “bad word”.  I never heard a neighbor or teacher use a “bad word”.

My Mom did have a potty mouth.  Faced with a minor inconvenience such as a dropped egg she would sometimes exclaim “Hell’s Bells”.  We would not even flinch.  Something major like a burnt and ruined pot roast would elicit a “Dammit to Hell!”  The entire Hagy clan would become scarce over this outburst until we heard the downgraded “Hell’s Bells” when we knew the coast was clear.  Other than those rare outbursts I never heard a “cuss” while growing up.  

The Lord’s name was never taken in vain.  Damn, Dammit, or God Dammit were substituted with Darn, Dang it, Gosh Darn, Gol Darn it, or Dad Burn it.  “Jesus Christ”, was “Cheese and Rice”.

All “cussin” was watered down.  Shit! Was Shoot! Phooey replaced Fuck and Shucks was a combo.  Crap became Crud, Piss was Pee and you stepped in dog doo, doody, poop, or poo.  People who you did not like were not assholes, they were horse’s asses, or the even more watered down horse’s patoots.  My Dad would never directly call anyone an ass; he would just comment,

“You know there are more horse’s asses in this world than there are horses”. 

Apparently sailors regularly used “bad” words as I always heard the expression “He curses like a sailor”.  I never heard a sailor curse, but I’m guessing they did.  I’m not as sure about the soldiers as depicted in today’s movies.  

I think the non use of these words was firmly ingrained in this generation and they were avoided by most, even under the greatest stress imaginable.  Before this generation would holler “Die you mother fucking German asshole”, they would remember that bar of soap Grandma made them eat when caught saying “Damn you!” and they would revert to, “Phooey on you, you flipping Kraut!” 

WWII graffiti would confirm the above assertion.  I’ve never seen pictures of war torn walls with “Fuck you Hitler” or “Mussolini sucks cock” written on them, only the scrawling's of a man peering over a wall with the caption “Kilroy was here”.  Pretty nasty stuff don’t cha think?   

My high school football coach, Gary Kehler, never cursed.  The worst word he ever used was “piddle”.  “Hagy that block was piddle”.  I never really knew what piddle meant, but when I heard it in conjunction with my name I just nodded my head and ran a lap.  He might have once hollered “Dag Blast It”, but that was leveled at our fullback Leroy Gallman, so I ignored it.

Piddle means CRAP you dumb bunny.  Now take a lap!

You got it coach.

I believe it was comedians who first pushed the envelope with words.  Curse words added punctuation to a story and the shock factor made people laugh.  Lenny Bruce was the first to openly use curse words, and he was publicly ostracized and jailed for his use of unacceptable language.  Privately his humor was legendary.

George Carlin’s brilliant routine on the seven words you can’t say on television finally opened the floodgates on profanity.  A master wordsmith, Carlin brilliantly exposed the hypocrisy of the banning of “shit, piss, fuck, cunt, mother-fucker, cock-sucker, and tit”.  His logical dissertations on the use of words were genius.  

“You can prick your finger…... but you can’t finger your prick!!"

Once acceptable as humor, profanity seeped into books, movies and cable TV.  So common did this speech become in the media, it worked its way into our everyday lexicon. Previously limited to back alleys, seedy bars, or stag parties, profanity is now common on crowded streets, public transportation and cocktail parties.  Once never uttered in the presence of a Lady, these words are now often initiated by ladies.

The use of profanity does have a place in humor, and I am in fact guilty of using it in an attempt at humor in my writing, but the world might be better off if we limited these words in our normal everyday life.  How many knife stabbings, gun shots or incidents of road rage would be eliminated if “Phooey on you, you big stupid head” replaced, “Fuck you, you fucking asshole!”?

Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can cut like a knife!  “Ugly,” can hurt. “Fatso” can be painful.  “Nigger,” “Faggot,” or “Honkey” can be lethal.  “Old fat bald guy,” is also not very nice (trust me).  

All words have a time and a place, but they can be used with the intent to hurt.  When used to hurt, curse words are the weapons of mass destruction in our verbal arsenal.

God Dammit, did I just write something profound?

Let me read that again………Shit, I think that’s profound!

I’ll read it again in ten years, I’m sure by then it will just be stupid.