Example: One day she caught me e-mailing Young Guy. With a hint of jealousy and a large measure of protection for her mother, she asked (rather, insisted) to read the e-mails. Guilty of carrying on a naughty flirtation with a man practically young enough to be my son, I refused to let her see our correspondence on the grounds that, "You know how Young Guy is, he's . . . 'playful.' " With a knowing look she quipped, "You mean he's foreplayful." Ouch.
Another fine example: In discussing details of the wedding she and her fiance are thinking about, I was trying to be generous to FT--a born sugar fiend. I started, "You know how just before the bride and groom depart for their honeymoon, people throw rice or flower petals? Well, for FT's sake, instead of throwing rice . . . " Knowing my true feelings about her true love, without the hesitation of thought, she cut me off, "What? Have them throw stones?" Again with the ouch!
But my favorite aspect of her mischievous expression is her propensity to invent alternatives to swear words. Beautiful has never been comfortable with, and never formed the habit of, punctuating her disgruntlement with profanity. Euphemisms, however, she has deemed perfectly acceptable.
It began years ago with my example. One day, desperately trying not to lose my cool in front of my innocent children, I vented my frustration by loudly exclaiming, "kerflugerhugen!" My kids were innocent. Not stupid. They knew exactly what I was saying.
I recall the first time I ever witnessed sweet, little Beautiful (at about age 11) brandishing about with a near curse. Some cooking mishap caused her to declare, "Oh dear!" Frankly, I was shocked. I had never heard her utter such strong language. I didn't know she had it in her. I was to learn much more!
Since that time, she has crafted many a creative option for the course language that best proclaims angry thoughts.
Winner for Most Frequently Used: Dermot. After hunky actor Dermot Mulroney. Doesn't his name just beg to be employed thusly?
- Mostly used when sewing.
- Used several times in a row when sewing 6 ballet costumes under a looming deadline.
- Full name used when sewing 6 ballet costumes under a looming deadline and the sewing machine stages rebellion.
- "Dermot F. Mulroney" used only during combined conditions of sewing 6 ballet costumes under looming deadline with rebellious machine and crazy-ass mother asking probing questions about questionable relationship with 'boyfriend'.
Winner for Funniest Fake Swear Word In a Children's Animated Movie: Schnitzel. First uttered by lovable but undersmart woodsman in "Hoodwinked."
- Best when used while driving and talking on the phone and realizing you've missed your turn, "Oh schnitzel!"
Winner for Cleverest Bastardization of Everyday Word: Shtuff. Use in place of that other 'sh' beginning word.
- Example: "Sorry, Mom, we can't share a ride, my car is too full of shtuff."
- Particularly handy when describing less than optimal conditions, "Will this shtuffy day never end?!"
Winner for the One That Can Go Either Way: very, very sucky! This phrase came from the movie "Elf" and was enthusiastically spoken by Buddy as he discovered the joy of the mail room vacuum tubes. Buddy meant it in a sweetly innocent descriptive way. We use it to denote happy circumstances or angrifying events. We relish its multiuseitivity.
- When shopping and finding a treasure that can't be lived without: oooooh, very, very sucky!
- When being blamed by the responding police officer for a car accident that couldn't possibly have been Beautiful's fault based on evidence, eyewitness reports and all the laws of physics on God's green earth: Very, very sucky!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Winner for the One That Grandma Would be Decidedly Appalled At: elf you! I don't have to elaborate on this one, do I?
Just My Plain Old Favorite: someone should throw a rock. This one isn't exactly a swearing phrase, but is indisputably effective in summing up all that one feels after "one of those days." Equally effective for, in one simple epithet, encapsulating all that is wrong with MTV, mimes and Paris Hilton. Yes, someone should indeed throw a rock.