Earmuffs

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter “F.”

Ok.  The word.  The word F.  The F Word.  There.  I said it.  Or didn’t quite say it.

By way of introduction, I am not in the least opposed to the F word, when it is used properly.  I, personally, believe in saving that and all other curse words for when you need them.  If you are the girl who uses blue language all day long, nobody will take you seriously when you roll that particular word out.  If, on the other hand, you went to an all-girls high school, can recite Keats sonnets, and rarely even attempt to sit through a movie above a pg-13 rating, and THEN you drop an F-bomb when you’re angry?  People abandon whatever they’re doing and pay attention.  Planets realign.  Waters part.

I once witnessed a heated discussion with my Life-List girls.  Someone who shall remain nameless decided to remove that word from her vocabulary; not because she was uppity about it, but because she felt it was a conversational crutch, a catch-all word that kept her from being specific and articulate when she was upset.  Someone else in the group felt that we should all be free to use whatever language we like; they’re both right.  Given that the friend dropping the word from daily use was a coworker at the time, and we were experiencing all the same daily frustrations, I fell into the habit of using The Word for her.  I still use it too often, but in select company, and only when Certain People have driven me to it. Also, of course, I curse like a filthy drunken sailor when I watch basketball, but only if one of my teams is playing,  so that doesn’t count.

All of that is to say, I’m not judging.  Say whatever you like, as long as it’s not in front of any of my small people.  So I have been snickering at my desk all day, and chuckled out loud twice, over what happened last night:

The Filthiest Conversation I Have Ever Heard.

It was elegantly, acutely, beautifully specific and descriptive.  Every third word was the F word, and the words in between were mostly even less printable than that.

Was I at a sailor bar?  No.

Was I at a strip club?  No.

Was I working on an oil rig? No.

I was at Slim’s, and the Filthiest Conversation I Have Ever Heard was about ACC Basketball.

I was there with a couple of lovely ladies, for the BJ Barham solo show.  Tiny stage, one guy, one guitar. Acoustic, Springsteen-esque folk-ish rock.  That guy fronts American Aquarium, but if you haven’t heard him solo, he’s a gifted songwriter, and will make you weep when he plays the guitar.  And he curses fluently.  He’s pretty funny, in between songs.  There’s “effin’ Springsteen,” and “I know Tuesday’s not the most effin’ rock and roll night of the week, so thanks for coming,” and then the “Best effin’ Western motel chain, and eff you if you haven’t tried it since they remodeled, because it’s effin’ awesome,” and “effin’ Slim’s is the only place you can go drink in downtown Raleigh without being surround by a bunch of effin’… ” I think we’re all up to speed here.

Loved the set.  Seriously, go hear the man sing sometime.  After the show, BJ came over to thank Tracy for coming. She thanked him for the show, and wow, somehow he knew she was a Carolina fan, and that’s when things got exciting.  This guy knows every player, every basket, every high school senior in the state; I’ll bet he could write a treatise about ACC recruiting, and I’m 100% sure he’ll win next year’s ESPN bracket and we’ll see him on the news.  But I hope nobody lets him near a microphone.

The first topic was which coach was going to hit which other coach with which body part, and there was discussion of things swinging, with a visual re-enactment, and then what serious of illegal and graphic acts the point guards were to perform on the other team’s point guards.  I saw gestures I have never before seen, but I’m pretty sure I got the gist, and there were a few others I had to call parents about, back in the days when I was teaching middle school.  There was talk of things that I’m certain are banned under the Geneva Convention, which apparently the number two high school player in the country is going to do to the entire UNC team as soon as basketball starts up again next year.

Thank goodness he’s a State fan.

The whole conversation lasted five or ten minutes; I’m not sure, because I was laughing so hard my stomach is sore today.   I contributed nothing, even though I’m a State fan too, because I didn’t know any of the vocabulary, and I couldn’t catch my breath. Poor Tracy; it’s painful enough that her team lost on Sunday, but she took it all with good grace.  When we left, the rant had ratcheted up to the next level.

I do not want to know what that level entails.

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