Sunday, February 05, 2012


I try not to swear. First and foremost, I have a parrot that repeats most everything we say. Someone jokingly said to him, "Come here big boy," once and it's now one of his favourite expressions. The second reason I try not to curse is that swearing shows a decided lack of imagination. Or a limited vocabulary which is horrifying to a writer.

So the other night when my phone rang at 1:30 in the morning, my first thought after concern for family was relieved by caller ID was "inconsiderate assholes". The caller was a 20-something male looking for a family member who was sleeping. Some verbal abuse followed my refusal to wake them. I was quiet and polite when I took them to task for calling so late and being rude. Then I hung up.

For the next half hour, I stewed and cursed them out. Lowlife, piece-of-shit, pond scum. But pond scum is superficial and can be skimmed off the top of the water. I usually toss it into the garden to become fertilizer. That didn't seem vile enough for my opinion of the caller (whose late night call merely underscored my already bad impression of his character) I also didn't like that I'd been reduced to cursing in the dark. Scum of the earth can't be scraped off, it's internal and runs deep. Lowlife, piece-of-shit, scum of earth doesn't have the same rhythm. I played around with it, substituted lying for piece-of-shit, which made me happier about losing the swear word. Too many syllables.

It amused me greatly that my bad mood was overwritten by word play. Two AM and I'm fighting the good fight. The pen is indeed mightier than the sword. Just as I decided that lowlife, lying scum-of-the-earth packed a nice punch even with the extra syllable, the phone rang. The little shit miscreant had called again. Other than trying out my expanded vocabulary, I didn't see any point in picking up the phone. So I didn't.

Instead I thought of new descriptions:

rascal (too mild)

I could have spent hours adding to the list but that wasn't bad for a sleep-deprived middle of the night instant thesaurus. Feel free to use any of the afore-mentioned titles. I only hope you don't need them at the same God-awful hour I did.

1 comment:

  1. You are never going to forgive me for saying that are you?

    You're lucky he didn't pick up some of my other favourite sayings!

    You were much more polite than I would have been.