Origins of the F-Bomb

I was in the laundry room last weekend, folding the mountain of laundry and half-listening to David and Kate talk to one another. From three rooms away, I heard something hit the floor followed by Kate jabbering something in her Kate way. I heard David ask, “What did you just say?”

She obliged him and repeated her word. “Fuck.”

David’s footsteps were suddenly coming in my direction. He pushed through the laundry room doors and looked at me with raised eyebrows. “I just dropped something on the floor and Kate said fuck!”

“No she didn’t.” I responded. “She said walk, it just comes out sounding like fuck.”

“No. She said fuck.” His eyebrows were climbing dangerously higher as he shot me a look of silent blame, then turned and left doors swinging in his wake.

It’s my fault. I’ll take the blame on this one, although, he isn’t immune to dropping the F-Bomb…let’s just make that clear. But the truth of the matter is that Kate spends the majority of her time in my presence. Who else would she have learned that filthy word from? Plus, her timing and usage of the F Word reeks of my frustrated responses to a dropped object. You know when you’re trying to rush three children out the door and you’re running slightly behind then a snack cup of Cheerios that you’re struggling to fill implodes all over the floor? Well, I might not realize it in the moment, but I’m quite sure that my response to the Cheerios rolling across the floor is a hearty, “FUCK!”

Can I share something else with you? I’m ashamed of my foul mouth. I am. Really. I’ve dug into the deep dark recesses of my brain, attempting to recover the memory of exactly who it was that swore like a sailor in my childhood. In that very Generation X way, I want to blame someone else for causing my foul mouthed outbursts. But who? I don’t remember anyone swearing quite as much as I do. Maybe it was my brother’s fault. He was five years older and I emulated him. I followed him and his friends around when they didn’t know I was following them. Pre-teen boys swear a lot, don’t they?

Once, I spied my brother and our neighbor sitting in a truck at our farm. Their heads bent over something that was out of my line of sight. I watched from the horse barn until my curiosity got the best of me, then meandered in their direction, dragging a stick through the dirt, I pretended to stumble upon them purely by accident. They were so engrossed in their magazine that they had no idea I was there until it was too late to hide the outdated issue of Hustler. “Whatcha doin’?”

I’ll never forget the look of guilty surprise on my brother’s face. As if they had been delivered an electrical shock, those two boys jumped and let out a startled sound that sounded a bit like a tiny yipping dog, courtesy of their changing voices. “NOTHING! GET OUT OF HERE!” Of course, being the annoying little sister, I completely ignored his seemingly harsh response to my perfectly reasonable query. “Whatcha lookin’ at?”

courtesy Google image search

“Get the FUCK OUTTA HERE!” He yelled in his high-pitched cracky changing voice. Okay, I don’t remember if that’s exactly what he said, but I do remember him yelling at me and his voice cracked. As he was yelling, he stuffed the red, dog-eared magazine under his leg. I shrugged and went on my merry way. I walked off nonchalantly dragging my stick through the dirt and acting as though I hadn’t seen a thing. I feigned complete disinterest in their smut and I allowed him to believe that I was stupid. But I went back. Yes, sir I sure did! After they had gone off to do some weird boy stuff, I went back and snooped in that old truck by the chicken coop. I found what I was looking for behind the driver’s seat. It was filled with the F Word, in every sense of the word.

Yeah, it’s totally my brother’s fault.