Ive never liked obscenity. Recently my wife and I tried a
new cable TV series that had gotten good advance reviews. Two couples and their
young children were having dinner together. Every other word of dialogue was an
obscenity. What was especially objectionable was that the parents referred to
their kids as aholes. After five minutes we turned it off.
Nevertheless, as Ive become an old guy, Im in my
eighties, Ive begun to use more and more obscenities. The one I use most
frequently is MFSOB; I dont use the actual words. Hint: the M is for
Mother and Im sure the reader can figure out the rest. Also,
I dont say this or any other curse out loud; I say it to myself. I guess
you could say Im a secret swearer.
Lets take a typical day. I wake up and get out of bed. I
have a sharp pain in my right knee. MFSOB. I hobble to the bathroom. I look at
myself in the mirror and I could say MFSOB but I dont.
Ive become used to the way I look. I brush my teeth and the toothbrush
suddenly jumps out of my hands and clatters behind the toilet. MFSOB. This time
I nearly say it out loud.
Breakfast. My wife Sally has gotten up, made coffee and poured
our orange juice. I pour cereal into a bowl and close the cereal box. The box
top refuses to close. Those danged flaps keep coming open. Its a
While eating my cereal I have my first sneeze of the day, then
the second. MFSOB. After finishing my cereal I take my coffee out to the patio
and start reading the morning paper. The paper itself is barely half its former
size but the stories, especially those about government activities and the
election, which is still a year and a half away, certainly merit cursing at. I
have my morning coughing fit, which ruins my enjoyment of having a leisurely
cup of coffee. MFSOB.
I get dressed. Used to be a simple operation which I didnt
have to think about. Now the sleeves are hard to get into, the buttons are hard
to button and its a major exercise to get into my pants. MFSOB.
I sit down at my computer and look at the stock market figures.
Most days, a definite MFSOB.
Before lunch I go out to get the mail. I have six pieces, four
of them asking for donations and two bills. MFSOB.
I make a sandwich for lunch. While eating I sneeze again and
then my nose starts to run. This ruins any enjoyment I might have of eating my
I spend the afternoon doing various things, reading, listening
to music, taking a nap. At least three times during the afternoon I drop
something or something drops to the floor and I have to laboriously bend down
to retrieve it. MFSOB.
Dinner. Sally and I are quietly eating. The phone rings.
Its dinner time so I suspect its a nuisance call. I pick up the
phone and say Hello and a voice says Hello, and then my first name. I ask who
this is and the voice says its some survey or some organization wanting
something. Im tempted to say that since you called my by my first name we
must be buddies and when can Sally and I come over for dinner. I dont say
this. I say, Sorry and hang up. MFSOB.
After dinner we watch television. Were interrupted twice
by nuisance calls, both by computers so I dont get the satisfaction of
hanging up on a person. MFSOB.
Time for bed. Another day over. Why have I become a secret
swearer? I guess its because Im mad. Im mad at getting old.
Im mad at all the infirmities that come with being old. Im mad at
not being able to do all those things I used to be able to do. I suppose
swearing makes me feel better, a little better. I wonder if when the time comes
my final words, maybe even said out loud, will be MFSOB.