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"Shit!" -- Writer's Poke #195

Everyone on my mom's side is Mormon, and most summers we would travel out to Idaho for a two or three week visit.

One summer, we brought our Apple II computer, and my cousins and I would play a game called "Olympic Decathlon." Since it was my game, I was pretty good at it, but after a few days, most of my cousins had developed some skills, too.

Eventually, everyone was over at the Grandparents' house at the same time, and everyone packed into the living room to see me take on the top challengers. When we were through about half of the events, I realized that there was a real chance that I might actually lose. And then it happened: on the high jump event, my thumb hit the joystick button a split second too late, and I knocked over the bar.

Thinking I was with a regular group of kids, I said, "Shit!" And the entire room immediately got quiet. My parents weren't in the room, but one of my uncles had apparently stuck his head in at that exact moment, long enough for him to hear my exclamation.

Taking me aside, he simply said, "That's a word we just don't use." Nothing more was said.

What are your thoughts on curse words? Are they really "different" than other words. Are there any words that you wouldn't say, or wouldn't say in certain situations? Why?

"If I cannot curse in heaven I shall not stay there." -- Mark Twain


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