I remember the first time I heard it.
I have no idea how I knew it was a bad swear word (being as how I'd never heard it before), but I knew.
I was an age that hadn't hit double digits yet, and we were visiting relatives.
The girl cousins were playing nicely in the room where the adults were talking, but all the boys were upstairs.
The girls were boring, and they most likely weren't letting me play their reindeer games, so I went upstairs to see if I could
annoy play with the boys.
At first, they said no. I wouldn't like the game they were playing.
But, I was pretty much a brat who defied just about anything you'd tell me, so I pouted and stayed.
Turns out the game they were playing was "Bank Robbers".
They'd take turns playing the parts of bank employees, police, and robbers. I thought it sounded like fun!
"Here's what you can do, Roses. You be a bank teller, and when the robbers come in, you hide in the closet, and don't come out until we tell you to. We'll tell you when the coast is clear."
I was a brilliant bank teller! When the robbers came in, I made myself very small, and I quietly slid into the closet so the bad guys wouldn't see me, and they wouldn't come after me. It was like I wasn't even there!
There was a great commotion! Crashing! Banging! Shouting! Very thrilling!
And suddenly there was that thing my cousin said.
It was a name he called a bank employee who wasn't doing what he, the bank robber, told him to do.
There was an M word and an F word.
And it didn't sound nice at all.
It was a good, long time before they told me I could come out of that closet. I think they forgot I was there. When they finally heard me lightly tapping on the door and said the coast was clear, I very definitely told them I could hear what they had said.
"Yeah. Well, we told you you wouldn't like this game."
So, I left.
That aughta teach 'em.
Fast forward to a few weekends ago...
Elder Son had written a short zombie scene that he'd been excited to shoot with a couple friends.
The Husband and I were out somewhere, so the boys had the house to themselves.
By the time we returned, they'd finished their production. They met us at the door with a tire iron and a couple baseball bats. Younger Son's face was smeared with "blood".
"Oh. You're home."
"Show your mom! Show your mom!" Elder Son's buddies demanded.
"Okay," he warned me, "We did it a couple times. We tried to do it PG-13, but it sounded stupid that way. So, there are some swear words."
I braced myself.
And there was that M word with the F word.
But, I totally "got" why it was there.
I mean really, when you're being attacked by a zombie, what would you say?
And when Elder Son showed me the version without it, I totally saw how it didn't work.
He was SO excited by the enthusiasm his friends had.
More than once he remarked how he "got them" to open up and throw themselves into it.
It was his project, and they thought it was cool. That's a huge compliment.
But here's the kicker...
All the boys wanted me to see the video.
They weren't interested in showing The Husband. Not the guy who'd be into the action and adventure.
"Show your mom!" they'd said.
Discussing this with The Husband later, he explained it very clearly.
"What's the first thing you said about that video?"
"I said it looked just the way he had described it to me when he wrote it."
"That's why they wanted you to see it. Because you'd be supportive. You'd be the mom."
Well, it beats being told to hide in the closet and don't come out until they tell me to.
To his fabulous credit, Elder Son's final version of the video features the sounds of gunshots synchronized precisely with the offending words. You knew the words were there, but you could no longer hear them.
If at all possible, I think he is even more brilliant.
Friday, May 04, 2012
I remember the first time I heard it.