“Do I look like a motherfucking role model?”
– “Gangsta Gangsta,” NWA
It has been brought to my attention that my husband and I are now pillars of the community. The press has been calling. Sometimes several times a day. One of us may have given testimony at a school board meeting while the other was home tending to a sick kid and his overly-rambunctious sister.
And it has been further brought to my attention that I offended someone (eh, probably more than one person, but just one bothered to e-mail) last week with this post. My usage of the word “fuck” and “the reference to watermelons,” specifically.
Watermelon seems like an innocent enough word but really, it is not. I am aware of this and thought I made my point rather succinctly. I was merely describing the first time I figured out that white people think they are “bonding” with African-Americans when they talk loudly and state, “I, too, adore watermelon, much like your people do!”
This is not cool. You do not want to get that started.
“It ain’t that kind of party.”
Leon Dudley, former principal of Jefferson High School, North Portland, Ore.
So. You were offended. I don’t know what to tell you. “Stop reading this blog” comes to mind, but that seems so… final, to send a reader away like that. I like readers! They pay the bills! Oh, wait, no they don’t, the advertisers do. Go click on my Google ads, readers. Anyway, words are tricky. Ask Cynthia Harris about that one.
Nonetheless, I would like to stand by my reference to watermelon. And I’d like to stand by quoting the girl from my grade school who told one of the other students: Boy, you are fucking with my nerves. I cannot rewrite my own history, people, as much as I would like to sometimes. I did play mumblety peg and pitch pennies in grade school. I was excellent at both sports and won a fair amount of money.
I did begin drinking at age 10 and smoking cigarettes at age 11. And after hearing the girl say that to the guy — and he listened to her — this, too, was new in my world — a guy listening to a girl… wow. Well, at that point yes, I did learn that “sometimes black girls can be mean, but they totally fucking rock. Fuck yeah.” (To quote myself.) (Because, why not?)
I suggest that you crib from this list and substitute the following words whenever I start cussing and you get nervous:
1) Oh my heck! for Oh my GAWD!
2) Owie! for Goddammit shit motherfucker (my daughter: “Mom, you teach Sunday school now. You hafta stop cussing like that!” Me, crossing my fingers behind my back: “I’ll try.”)
3) Cheese and rice for Jesus Christ
4) Jeebus for Jesus
5) Well, you can just forget about that, buster! for screw that
6) Dagnabit! for Why don’t you stick it in my eye and then I’ll be able to see that you’re fucking me? (No, I did not make that up, I swear to you — that’s how the moms talk in my neighborhood. Could I possibly invent that expression? No, I am not that creative. Dagnabit, I wish I was.)