Monday, April 11, 2016


I was payback time, many years ago.

Although Dad was the model for all my good habits, or fun ones anyway, he occasionally slipped and I would pick up on it! Fongoola was not the only misnomer I learned from him. When Dad drove, he had another word that he directed at fellow drivers who: drove too slow, erratically, too fast, tailgated and or other high crimes on the highways and byways of America.

“SON-OF-A-BITCH! Did you see that?” “That SON-OF-A-BITCH just cut me off!” It was the standard he set for driver’s education, it worked because there was no road rage per se, just an exclamation of deep appreciation for human mistakes.

Once I had children, sitting in car seats behind me, I started to incorporate the ‘expression of appreciation’ in my vehicular vocabulary: “SON-OF-A-BITCH! He cut me off” or “SON-OF-A-BITCH! He nearly hit me!” Of course I intoned other vernacular to supplement my language but will not use it here. Mostly about the driver’s body part being prominent. I was oblivious of small children in the car! Shame on me!

It was a beautiful Sunday morning, I was feeling chipper as I loaded my two little children into their car seats for the customary trip to church, where my wife hoped and prayed to turn my language around on the road and off. She was going where Mom trod and never succeeded.

Into church we go, sit and about 20 minutes into things, the priest up on the pulpit leaving me in a trance, a beautiful breeze humming by and the promise of a great day ahead, my son decided to take up where Grandpa and daddy left off.

I’m holding him and he suddenly decided to say for the first time, his first curse word, and where? Why in a church, next to his mother no less.


My wife looks at me, a cold shiver runs over my body as I look at the seriousness of her eyes in disbelief and the message that infers: “LOOK WHAT YOU’VE DONE!”

A little kid in front of us hears it and giggles. This is not good for me.

“Bitch” he says again, the kid enjoying the side sermon my little kid is employing.

Mamma looks at me again, steam was coming from her ears, nose and daggers from her eyes! If only I could have a heart attack at that moment, then she might, and I say ‘might’ feel sorry for me, but then again the look in her eyes suggested otherwise.

Now my kid is smiling, he’s making some kid laugh with my bad usage of the Kings English.

“BITCH!” Once again, my wife grabs my daughter and I take Big Mouth. She doesn’t say a word, complete silence as we put the kids in the car seats leaving in the middle of Mass. I’m not afraid of Jesus as much as I am Mamma, oh, I’m gonna get it!

I get in the car and don’t dare look at her, head straight ahead, this will be the most quiet and curse free drive I have ever been associated with, that is until the $#!+ hits the fan!

“Now you see what you’ve done? You taught this child how to swear, IN CHURCH NO LESS! How many times have I told you to watch your language around the kids? Why do you think I go to my mother’s when you work around the house, how many times have I reminded you to watch what you say in front of the kids in the car? Why is it I take the kids with me on Sunday afternoons shopping when you watch the Jets?”

I guess she really didn’t do a good job raising me, just like Mom didn’t.


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