(WARNING: THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS BAD, BAD WORDS.)
The recessed lights in our kitchen are on a dimmer switch. Turning them on full throttle throws out enough lumens to actually guide planes and causes the dial on our electric meter to spin at terrifying speeds. I have a switch too…we’ll call it my cursing switch (or swear-switch…not sure what I like better.) I am confounded as to how I can dial this around the spectrum as needed. While there are some variations, here are the levels:
LEVEL 1 CURSING (or, no cursing) - This is used around my parents, specifically my mom. Also, used in business meetings where I don’t know the other person (there is always a feeling out period in business, and hence, the cursing can be dialed up appropriately.) Basically, things like “What da heck!”
LEVEL 2 CURSING – This is the stage where I introduce the “H” word and the “S” word and occasionally the “D” word. Casual conversation around my wife is a good example. “Hey honey, where the hell are my keys?” I also bring in some of these words around the kids, “Find the damned remote!”
LEVEL 3 CURSING – This is where I bring out the big guns, most notable the “F” bomb. Used mostly around casual friends and co-workers where I know I can get away with it. “Are you fucking kidding me?”
LEVEL 4 CURSING (double down!) – Mostly reserved for the core friends group. This is where I do my best work and start to get creative, as all good potty mouths must. When you are with someone who could care less about your language, you can start to let the “motherfuckers” and “cocksuckers” fly with reckless abandon. Let me tell you, it’s fucking liberating.
LEVEL 5 CURSING (inflection based swearing) - When I am at Level 5 cursing, I am not so much introducing new words as much as I am using the Level 4 litany for emphasis when I am angry. Though the tone is hard to judge in the written word, I think we all know there is a huge difference between calling a friend a “stupid motherfucker” and calling an enemy one…the difference is striking.
It’s fun to curse…and like that dimmer switch, easy to slide up and down through these levels. Now, If you have one of your own favorites, please share it with me…you no good cocksucking motherfucker.
(First, I do apologize for the curse words above…luckily mom will not be reading this anytime soon. Second, the word motherfucker does not get pinged in Word Spell-check.)