“…profanity and obscenity entitle people who don’t want unpleasant information to close their ears and eyes to you,” said Kurt Vonnegut.
She timed them perfectly. As it happens, recent research shows that in certain cases, cursing like a sailor is what the BBC calls “a sensible policy:” it helps deal with physical pain. While the mechanism of this isn’t yet clear, participants proved to be more resistant when muttering or shouting their favorite swear words while being subjected to it. Ladies, this means that giving birth naturally becomes more bearable if you have a foul mouth. That’s right. Let it all out. Normal people everywhere: 1, imbecilic scientologists: 0.
But no one ever needed medical justification to know that swearing feels good. And everyone understands that it’s a sure way of getting a quick reaction when you really need one. Granted, in some instances, it will make you lose all credibility. Plus there is no point in pushing it: the more you swear, the less effect it’s going to have.
What I mean to say is that most of us, sooner or later, will end up in situations where we won’t be able to shut the fuck up. So let’s be practical for a second: if you’re going to do it, do it well. Like Amy Spurway writes in this essay:
“A well-placed piece of profanity can be an empowering expression of creativity, and we all know that nothing says catharsis like a good expletive-laced rant. So why do we teach our kids that curse words are so wrong? (…) I plan to make sure my kids know the forms and appropriate usage of each “bad” word. Turning swearing in to an English lesson will strip away the allure of the forbidden. With luck, my children will develop an ear and an appreciation for swearing.”
“My mother curses to celebrate the joy of language, or occasionally to make a point. Most importantly, she sees swear words for what they really are: just words, marvellously effective and versatile when used properly.”
To this, I say: language is a joy and it is YOURS to love and delight in. Expletives are toys and they are tools. They’re there for a reason. Don’t apologize for their existence. Learn them, use them wisely and just have fun.
Your reference book: English as a Second Fucking Language.
— From London, amused.
You’ll always remember the first time you hear your kid say the f-word. Like the Space Shuttle Challenger exploding or the falling of the Berlin Wall or the morning of 9/11, it leaves something permanent pressed into the soft tissue between the two ears that apprehend it.
The first of my offspring to dip his toe into the profane end of the language pool was the middle child. (It’s always the middle child.) We were watching a football game and, after a dazzling and suspenseful pass reception, I jumped up and cheered. “Yes! That was amazing!” Jack jumped up too, like father like son, and added, “That was fucking amazing!” I must have turned my head toward him kind of slowly, because by the time my gaze found his, he had his eyebrows up and jaw dropped too, in astonishment, it seemed, equal to mine. The apology was instantaneous. He had just turned three.
From my first post on Medium. Enjoy.
So far, so awful. I ran a half marathon yesterday but apparently EVERYONE DOES THAT NOW so I was just another fat guy sweating into a personalized t-shirt and begging horrified onlookers to give me high-fives. I bookended the race with two binge eating and drinking sessions so my net weight loss for my fun fitness weekend was a nine pound GAIN. All I need to do is stop drinking so much beer, eat healthier food, eat smaller portions, stop drinking so much wine, run more than twice a week, stop drinking so much whiskey, add in some strength training and think about getting some kind of weight-loss surgery. I am not going to write my novel until I can do it SHIRTLESS.
My spirit animal.
Between May 1 and July 1, I’m going to try to lose 10% of my body weight. Jason says he is too, but we’ll see about that.
My starting weight was 178 lbs on April 30. If I’m “overweight” at all, it’s only by a few pounds, and I’m not trying to be a waif. But I do want to be in better physical condition and feel healthier, and the healthiest I remember feeling was when I weighed about 160 lbs and ate a shitload of spinach instead of a shitload of cheeseburgers. That was maybe six or seven years ago.
To meet the numerical goal, I need to lose 2.2lbs per week. As far as I know, that’s quite a clip to sustain for eight weeks. To do it, I’m going to be exercising vigorously for an hour per day - both aerobic and anaerobic each day. That probably means running (which I hate and/because I am terrible at) or riding a bike for 45 minutes and lifting weights for 15 minutes four weekdays per week, then doing some type of strenuous physical activity for at least an hour on the weekends. Hiking with the dog, throwing mulch, that sort of thing.
I’ve never been a dieter, per se, and I don’t intend to change that now. But I am a fairly mindful eater, and I’m going to be tending toward more fibrous foods for a couple of months. (In my experience, that change will stick beyond the intentional period ahead because it’s a subtle shift and ought to easily become habit.) I’ll also cut back on alcohol consumption because of the relationship between liver function, sugar, fat, and metabolism.
My bet is that these changes will cause me to come to weigh ~160 lbs by the end of June, just in time to carouse around the neighborhood shirtless and drunk on July 4th, showing off my handiwork to the incomprehensibly stand-offish moms down on the borough parade route. And if I don’t make the goal, well, at least my habits will have become more conducive to affording me a long and healthy life with my family.
Here’s the thing: I used to have a gym partner, but he moved to San Francisco to work for some ailing computer company, so I go alone. These things are more fun with a little camaraderie, though, and the more the merrier. So if you would like to join in and make this a social thing, come on and do it. You can use the magic of tagging to telegraph your involvement, and help others track and support your progress. Once a week, I’ll probably write a “notice what you notice” kind of post, tracking my own venture, and I’ll use the tag “#10percentchallenge” to make them identifiable/searchable. Hopefully, you’ll do something similar. I mean, if you want to. The other thing is fine too. Anyway.
Okay! That’s it for now! As Beatrix Potter taught me to say:
To your very good health!