Thursday Thunderdome: Cussin' Cougars

You all know how this works; two things enter, one thing leaves.
This week we're going with something everybody loves: Profanity.
One of the more bizarre things that I remember about my late mother from the years before she passed was the way she began using the word "fuck" all the time.

My mother could be a brash woman at times, but when I was growing up the epithets she favored were more of the "dammitall" and "Hell" variety. And while no one could say she never had a temper, looking back I find myself amazed (considering some of the shit I pulled as a youth) the amount of restraint she must have used staying clear of the "seriously" bad words that were available to her.

She loved comedians like George Carlin and Richard Pryor -- and she damn sure stuck a bar of soap in my mouth the first time I dropped an f-bomb in front of her (despite the fact that every time my little brother said "dammit" [which he did a lot] it was deemed cute) -- so I know she knew what the word was, but even when things got really crazy at the house she always seemed to steer clear of any really serious dirty words (regardless of how much she might have actually wanted to use them when I was a kid).
Which is what made it all the more shocking to hear her say it when I got older.
But say it she did, and not just when she was angry about something. Somewhere in her mid-50's My dear sweet mother turned into Andrew Dice Clay, and it didn't matter if you were a dog rooting around in her rose bushes, a jar that wouldn't open, the President of the United States, or a rookie tailback on a rival college football team playing on the television -- once she loaded up the f-gun, you were gonna get it.

You sorta didn't want to laugh at it while you were sitting right next to her in the living room, but it was hard not to let out a snicker sometimes, because when you get right down to it --
There's just something kinda cute about old ladies cussing.
I think the main reason for this is that you sorta don't expect them to do it. Growing up it was older women in grocery stores who would tell me not to take the lord's name in vain. It was my grandmother and great aunts who would put me in a corner for saying bad words that I never even realized were actually bad words.

My grandfather cussed all the time. In fact I'm pretty sure all the bad words I didn't learn from my parents came from him. He'd been through world wars, spent a number of years teaching hard-luck kids in the school system, and when I knew him was in and out of VA Hospitals on a regular basis. He said whatever the fuck he wanted, and everyone just kind of let him do it.

One of the fondest memories I have of the man is one time we were eating dinner with my grandparents, and my grandmother (who apparently used to be a good cook, but had lost her skills with age) plopped down a chunk of a greenish-yellow casserole sorta thing on my grandfather's plate, at which point he looked her dead in the eye and said,
"I ain't eatin' this shit!"
So the question before you is this: Of the two clips below -- Which grandma's dynamite made you spit your drink more, and why?

Betty White: Lake Placid

Della Reese: Harlem Nights
Here are the rules: First, you can only pick one. If you love them both, you have to pick the one that you made you laugh the most.
But here's the twist.
In order for your vote to be counted, you must also name your favorite cuss word AND describe a memorable time you used it. It doesn't have to be that word you use every day -- in fact the whole thing will probably work a lot better if you tell us about that word you save up for special occasions, that one you thought up on the spot because you were so pissed off you couldn't choose between three or four other cuss words and decided instead to just mix them all together into something entirely new and offensive

Who knows -- if we get enough salty language happening here, it might just feel a little bit like my mom and grandfather were back around for a moment, sitting at the dinner table across from one another
Bitching about my grandmother's cooking and cussing out the government.

[Listening to:  Tool"Third Eye" ]


unMuse said…
I'm going to have to go with Betty White. I love her now that she's shed the Golden Girls shawl and taken on roles like reading Peterotica and a few spots she's done on Robot Chicken.

My favorite word, by far, is the f-bomb. When I'm seriously frustrated with work and some code that should work isn't, you can hear the cries of "fuckity fuck Fuck FUCK!" for yards in all directions. Although "she thinks she's the goddamned queen whore of the cunts" is always a fun one.
unMuse said…
After I hit "publish" I thought about something else.. My 4'11", right-winged, supremely religious grandmother has started cursing in the last 4-5 years and it's down-right hilarious. Last time I visited her she was yelling at some democrat being interviewed on the tv: "Teff - come listen to this fucking nitwit!" I about fell out.
Tina (yeah, it's me, checking in on you! :) said…
Oh, by far, my shining cussword momnet happened when I was (I believe) in seventh grade. I was admittedly pretty naive, and used to sit smack dab next to one of the most profane seventh grade boys in my phyiscal science class. He used all sorts of words that I had never heard before, but there was one that was clearly his favorite. He used it so much, that I was certain it was just an adjective I had never heard of.

While visiting my grandmother's house with my family for Christmas, I was sitting around the 'grown up' table listening to various members of my family belittle various other memebers of my family when the conversation turned to one of the "in-lawed" family members who was divorcing one of our own. All sorts of insults were being hurled about him when I decided to chime in with the perfect adjective I had learned in science class from Steve Windley. "He's such a PRICK!" I had been sitting quietly up until that point, and after I piped up, you could've heard a pin drop (followed quickly by snickers all around). My dad snatched me straight out of that chair and hauled me to the next room when he proceeded to cuss me out for cussing in front of my grandmother. The beauty of it was, I had no idea it was actually a bad word! I couldn't convince my dad of that, however, because he said he wasn't buying it since I had used it oh-so-correctly. What a wonderful, wonderful day that was. Thank you, Steve Windley, for my beat down. :)
Jaeme said…
Betty White, definitely.

My mom has always had a potty mouth, but she's really kicked it up in the past few years. Sometimes she shocks me with her filthy outbursts, but I'm pretty sure it's an early sign of mental decline so I don't laugh.

I use all forms of profanity, so it's difficult to choose a favorite. I guess I lean toward compound words like fuckface and dicksmack.
Maria said…
Betty White, hands down.

My mother was raised a very strict Catholic. I remember that she would always use 'real swears' like "Merciful God!" when she was upset. There was also the "shitpissandcorruption!" quote that makes me snicker. All of it, all run together. Thanks mom.

I don't think I have ever heard either of the parents use the f word though, and I was shocked the first time I heard my dad say 'butt' even though that isn't even a bad word really.

I am with unmuse - fuckity fuck fuck fuck is a favorite, but I also like to use the term "fucking halfwit" for descriptive purposes.
Werdna said…
Della Reese...

Not that there isn't anything wrong with Betty White cursing, but Harlem Nights is pretty funny, and that particular scene is a classic.

I dunno. I've had to cut my cursing back with kids. Fuck and bitch are always favorites. But recently it has all been "motherlicker" which isn't too terrible.
Hex said…
unmuse -- Betty seems really cool. Especially considering how fully vested she is in PETA, some of the work she's done recently suggests someone with a great sense of humor (did you see her on Shatner's comedy cental roast? Classic).

The f-bomb is just so natural to sat, and it can be used so many ways -- what's not to love?

Unmuse -- Grandmother cussing is a little slice of heaven.

Tina -- Oh man, in front of the whole family!? Classic stuff. LOL

Jaeme -- Dicksmack!? I'm wondering where that one comes into play -- because I'm thinking it would be a great one to use in traffic.

Maria -- I think all parents struggle with the whole divide between "butt" and "ass" - especially with little kids. Seriously, there are times when all I want to say is "Get your ass out of that toybox NOW" but you know you just can't.

Werdna -- I'm starting to think you, me, and Eddie Murphy are the only people who loved Harlem Nights. Della Reese always makes me laugh in that one.

it's too bad the web is mainly a text-only world, because for those of you who don't know -- Wernda is the king of the "italian hand gesture" insult, which he may well have learned from his grandma (who was an all-around awesome woman).