Posted by: cordy74 | April 29, 2009


Almost everyone has dropped one.  The dreaded F-bomb.  I’m no different.  I have been striving to be a better person and curtail my use of the F-bomb but I have two kids aged 4 and 1  so it’s hard, dontcha know.  Since most people have dropped them odds are you’ve heard a few of them over the years.  Ever heard your parents drop it?  I have and I remember the first times.

More on that later.  Let me tell you the first time I dropped the Big One in my daughter’s presence.  Luckily there were extenuating circumstances and I don’t think she even realized what I had said.

We were driving in the metropolis of Lexington, KY one fine Saturday.  N was in her carseat in the third row of the van.  She had been banished to the third row due to the impending arrival of our son.  We wanted to leave the second seat in the second row open for my wife or I to minister to the Boy if he were to get fussy or just plain lonely.

I turned left  onto one of the main “shopping district” streets, Nicholasville Road, from a green light and pulled into the far right lane in preparation to turn onto another of Lexington’s great thoroughfares, New Circle Road.  Once on Nicholasville I was only able go about one block before I was brought up short by a stopped city bus.

I was stopped behind the bus for about 5 seconds when I heard the screech of tires from somewhere around me.  This screech was quickly followed by a thump and the feel of our van rocking slightly.  Without even thinking I blurted out, “WHAT THE F*** WAS THAT!?!”  My ever-vigilant 3-year old promptly followed up with, “Are we okay?”  After I gathered my wits, realized we had been rear-ended and recognized that there was probably very little damage I assured her that we were indeed “okay.”

It didn’t really occur to me until I had gotten out of the van and traded insurance information with the other driver what I had said in the van in the presence of my precious little sponge.  As with most of my more glamorous moments in life I decided to pretend I hadn’t said anything untoward.  Luckily she didn’t mention it and never repeated that little verbal nugget…to my knowledge.

I firmly believe that something changes in the way a child views their parents after hearing them drop the F-bomb.  The parents become somehow more human in the eyes of their children once this bridge has been crossed.  I think I’m still safe in this case because N was so young and there was some other stuff going on at the time that caught her attention…you know, like our van getting hit.

As I said, I still remember the first time I heard both of my parents drop the F-bomb.  With my mom it was hilarious; with my dad it was almost something I didn’t even recognize he had said.

When I was 16 my mom was driving a ’78 Pontiac Gran Prix.  This was a big car with big, heavy doors.  At this time the car was 12 years old and the doors had a little bit of sag to them.  If you were outside the car and wanted to close the doors you had to kind of lean into them and push up at the same time.  Otherwise the latch post would just bang against the door and you’d have to try it again.  It was even harder from the inside, especially if you were a woman with limited upper body strength.

We were headed to town one day when I settled into the driver’s seat and manhandled the door shut on the first try.  Mom got in on the passenger side, grabbed the door pull and gave it a yank.  BANG! The door struck the post and rebounded.  She reached out again for another try.  BANG! Once again, no dice.  Mom reached out for the third, and what she decided would be the final, try.  As she gave that door a mighty yank I clearly heard her say, “Come on, you motherf***er!”  CHUNK!  The door came closed and finally latched as I let out a mighty guffaw.  Mom looked at me out of the side of her eye and muttered, “Let’s just go.  And don’t you DARE tell your dad I said that.”

Unlike a lot of what I write about my dad here the incident where I first heard him drop the F-bomb was not really that funny.  It just made me realize that my dad was “one of the guys.”

We lived outside of town in an area that actually used to be a town in its own right back in the 1800s.  We were on the county water system (put away your banjos) and were only responsible for leaks between the main water line and our house.  The main water line just happened to run between our sidewalk and the road so, depending on where we spotted a leak, it could be difficult to determine who was responsible for paying for the repair.

This happened to be one of the times when the leak was on the main line so the county was called and a crew was dispatched to our yard.  They had already dug a pretty good sized hole around the leak by the time I got home from school.  After heading inside to leave my books in the house I decided to go outside where Dad was “supervising” the work.  I don’t think he heard me walk up while he was shooting the breeze with the repair guys.  I had been standing there a few seconds when I heard him drop it.

I don’t remember the exact context of this one.  After I realized what he had said it surprised me a little since I had never heard Dad say that before.  Sure, he said all your standard swear words.  Still does.  But that was THE swear word, so to speak.  I never mentioned that one to him nor he to me.  That’s the way we handled uncomfortable situations in my family.

As I said before, hearing your parents drop the F-bomb when you’ve never heard them use it has to change the way you view them.  My mom hardly ever swore so hearing it come roaring out of her mouth was a pretty good shock.  And quite humorous, too.  Shit, hell and damn were a fairly common staple of Dad’s language so the F-bomb wasn’t as big a shock coming from him.  It was still something new.

Now that the Boy is starting to repeat sounds and sylables I have to be a lot more careful around him.  The Girl has been an audio sponge for several years now so I’ve been watching my step around her for quite some time.  Dear God, please just let me wait a little while longer before making this particular impression on my children.

When was the last time you swore at, because of  or in front of your children?


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