Thursday, November 02, 2006

I don't like that kind of talk!

What's the matter with you? Do you cuss like that all the time? I don't like that kind of talk in my house!

I can't believe, god forbid you could go more than five minutes without cursing. Always, with cusswords. You know, that everytime you you curse it makes you look cheap and stupid? And what if a child had heard you say that? Pray tell, what they might think. They would repeat what you said, because that's what children do. Why can't you have a smidge of politeness and watch your cursewords? I don't like that kind of talk around here!

We live in a civilized world where people have decency towards each other, and you walk into this place with your... foul language. All the nice young ladies are never going to give you a second look if you use that kind of language around them, for pete's sake!

I'm of a mind to give you a slap for that cussword. I swear, I think that's the only way you'd learn. Stringent parenting... I used to give my own kids a heaping dose of guidance whenever they would slip up and use a curseword they learned in school, whether it was at the dinner table or in front of the TV.

First, I'd work little Stevie over with the rubber plumber's mallet, pounding his knees and elbows until he screamed and begged me to stop. Afterwards, Stevie couldn't walk or move his arms for a few days, which was just as well, because more often than not he'd be locked up in the crude hot-box my late husband -- god rest his soul -- built in the backyard out of aluminum and timber. After three days in that sweltering pit of hades, Stevie wasn't one to cuss in front of his mother and father, that's for sure!

If Alex, our oldest, acted up with any attitude that he'd brought home from those little urchins he called friends, I left it to my husband Peter to take care of him. Peter never let me see what he did to Alex, because he wanted to share equally in the child-rearing, which you have to understand was very unusual in those days. Now, all the families do that, but back then, we were among the first. You kids think you invented gender equality. Anyway, if Alex ever gave any lip, Peter would start by binding his wrists with piano wire, hoisting him up on a hook, and dunking his feet five times in a pot of boiling water. He always did this same thing first, time after time, before he'd move the parenting into the toolshed behind the house. That was was the part Peter kept separate, and I think that Alex was all the better for it. That boy knew there were consequences to using that coarse talk in the home, and by gum, he'd pay for it.

Our children learned manners, young man! They grew up to be polite citizens... why, I bet you don't even hold the door open young ladies, do you? You're so far gone, I don't know how your parents lost you!