Tag Archives: cursing

Say it like you mean it

Can we stop fake cursing? You see it online, on message boards and Facebook comments. People get animated, they want to express themselves, but instead of saying what they really want to say, they use code words to get at what they mean. But the code words are very loosely disguised. “I’m so freaking sick of the government telling me what to do!” or “When are these freaking idiots going to stop acting like such gosh darn jerks!”


You want to say fuck, you’re thinking fuck, but you type out freak. You’re not fooling anybody, and you’re not making the world a nicer place. You’re just making it a faker place. What’s the point of saying freaking? What do you think you’re accomplishing by peppering every noun in your vocabulary with the lamest of all adjectives?

I just get so fed up with the insincerity. And I hope I’m not coming across as too big of a dick here, I mean, I’m not trying to attack everyone guilty of using these unfortunately sugar-coated non-words. I get it, you might be just trying your best to be civil, to mind your manners. You probably grew up in a house where if you got caught cursing, your mom might chew you out for being a potty-mouth or whatever. And so now you’re an adult and for some reason those lessons stuck, like you can’t curse.

Or you can’t “cuss.” Again, maybe it’s just a regional thing or whatever, but whenever I hear or read someone use the word cuss, I just know that they’re probably the biggest freaking offenders. You can’t even say the word curse? You’ve got to come up with some fake word that kind of sounds like curse? You just sound like a little kid, worried about talking too loud because their mom might come over and start yelling.

And more often than not, the freaking people trying to be civil by not cursing, it’s just a big joke. You ever witness an online flame war? People hurling insults and invective across the Internet? I’ll see something like this:

“You FREAKIN idiots think you know so much better than us? Are you FREAKIN stupid? Open your FREAKIN eyes!”

I mean, maybe you technically didn’t curse, but the all caps gives it away, the sentiment is there. You’re telling somebody as strongly as you can, without actually saying it, fuck off. Fuck you, fuck your idea, go fuck yourself.

If you’re going to say fuck, just say fuck. What’s the big deal? Why are trying to cover it up? If you don’t want to curse, just find some way of saying what you want to say without saying fuck. Just replacing fuck with freak, that doesn’t count. Any sentence where you can seamlessly interchange freak for fuck or vice versa, I mean, come on, who are you kidding?

It’s like when you’re a little kid, and you don’t want to get in trouble getting caught giving someone the middle finger, so you extend the ring finger. And you do it and you make that “fuck you” face, like seriously, go fuck yourself. And then maybe you were being careless, and a parent or a teacher catches you, “Hey! What do you think you’re doing!” And you try to defend yourself, “No! No, you don’t understand! I wasn’t giving the middle finger! It was the ring finger!” You still got it trouble. The teacher was like, “I know exactly what you were getting at, and that is unacceptable.”

It’s the same online, when you write freaking instead of fucking. Don’t be a baby. You want to keep conversation civil? No fake middle fingers. No fake go-fuck-yourself. Either say it, or don’t say it. Like, here’s an example. Instead of saying, “Are you FREAKIN serious?” you could maybe say something like, “I couldn’t disagree with you more. I think your argument is crazy.” That’s pretty strong right? See, there are ways to go about expressing the same sentiment without having to succumb to fake curse words.

Or, just say, “You’re fucking crazy,” but own it. Just be an adult about it. You want to curse? Fine. Like I said, who cares? Honestly, who really cares about curse words anyway? Don’t you ever think that they’re only powerful because we give them power? If moms and dads didn’t warn their kids never to curse, do you think there’d be such a strong desire to curse? Especially when those kids then turn around and hear their parents saying stuff like freaking, or frickin, or friggin.

Friggin drives me nuts, because it’s just ridiculous, it’s not even a word at all. You’re just spewing gibberish. And when people write it out like freakin’ or friggin’ and it’s like, look, I’m not adding the g at the end of the word, but here’s an apostrophe. What’s the point? I just don’t understand.

It’s like when people write ‘em instead of them. “Just pop ‘em in the oven!” Why don’t you just write them instead of ‘em? Why do you have to type out apostrophe em?

Now I’m getting off topic. It’s just, I get so sick of seeing stuff online, fake words, fake sentiment. Just own it. If you want to curse, curse. If you want to avoid cursing, don’t use fake curse words, because it’s obvious that you’re just trying to curse without getting called out on cursing.

You want to say something, say it, but say it like you mean it.

Grinds in the coffee

I make my own coffee at home. It’s nothing fancy, just plain drip coffee. And while most of the time there’s nothing to say really, because it’s just a regular coffee machine making regular pots of coffee, every once in a while I’ll screw it up. My mistake won’t be noticeable right away, I’ll pour myself a cup and everything will look OK enough. But as soon as I add some milk, it’s like one of those trick pens that reveals a secret message, that it wasn’t just coffee that I poured out of the pot, but also dozens of chunky coffee grinds floating on the surface.


It’s just such a bummer, like I don’t even know how or why it happens, but it does. Not always, and not often enough that I’d consider really trying to figure out what’s going on, but just every now and then, like oh yeah, coffee with grinds in it, I almost forgot I’ve got to deal with this on a semi-regular basis.

I’ve got a bunch of theories as to what causes the grinds to make their way into my coffee, but they’re all just kind of half-thoughts, nothing conclusive. At first I had the idea that I wasn’t grinding my coffee fine enough, that after the water gets sucked up through the base of the machine, it then sprays over the basket of grinds, and since it’s all so granular and loose, it causes everything to spill out of the filter, into the pot.

So I started grinding my coffee very finely, holding down the top of the grinder until upon examination of the results, you’d never be able to tell that this dust ever came from something remotely resembling a whole bean. And nothing changed. It was still pretty decent coffee, for the most part, except that every once in a while it would still be polluted with grinds.

I don’t know what to do, or what to think either. I looked toward my various restaurant jobs to see if maybe the professionals were doing something that I wasn’t in preparing and serving large quantities of coffee. A quick tour of our coffee prep station gave me a few insights. Like, espresso is ground very finely, and you need a big espresso machine that shoots highly pressured water capable of breaching the tightly packed grounds. Drip coffee was looser, so everything could kind of make its way through the maze of bigger sized coffee crumbs.

This didn’t help at all, because like I said, I’d already tried both methods, and neither of them prevented the inevitable dirty pot. I thought back further, to the restaurant I worked at in high school. We didn’t grind our own beans. Everything came pre-ground in these vacuum packed bags. And everything worked, for the most part. The thing about this particular machine was the glass pots. Every once in a while, you’d brew a batch and a thin layer of tan foam would accumulate at the top.

“It’s the fucking coffee grinds!” my foul-mouthed but insanely good-natured boss Marcello would scream at us from across the restaurant, “You put the fucking grinds in the wrong fucking way and now there’s grinds in the fucking coffee! Throw it away! You! What are you looking at? Do something, lazy motherfucker!”

I swear, despite Marcello’s liberal use of the f-bomb, both in private and directly in front of all of his clientele, he was one of the nicest people I’ve ever worked for in my life. But even his profanity driven work ethic was unable to prevent the occasional grindy pot of coffee.

And yeah, it’s not pleasant. But what are you going to do about it? Where I work now, you can’t see if there’s a layer of foam, and aside from sticking my fingers in each cup of boiling hot coffee, there’s no way to tell if what I’m serving is untainted liquid. Every once in a while, I’ll see a hand waving in the air from the other side of the dining room. I’ll walk over and a customer will be livid, “There’s grinds in this coffee!”

And trust me, I love my coffee, so I get it. But what are you really going to do? Because there’s no guaranteed solution. When it happens to me in my house, yeah, I used to sometimes wash out the filter and run the whole pot through the machine again. Or if I didn’t feel like going through that whole ordeal, I might skim a piece of paper towel over the surface, try to catch as much particulate without absorbing my entire cup.

But even that is so much more of a hassle than I want to endure. Now I’ll just suck up as much of the grinds as I can into the first sip, and swallow them as fast as I can, before I have to feel them on my tongue, or stuck in between my teeth. Because whatever, sometimes you get grinds in your coffee. Am I going to get pissed off about it? Or expend a bunch of unnecessary energy trying to fix a really minor inconvenience? No, it’s not a big deal. It’s a cup of coffee. Hopefully tomorrow it’ll turn out a little better.

First words on Mars

I’m always thinking about what my first words are going to be when I step off of the shuttle that takes me to the Martian surface. “Remember Rob,” I can hear my flight trainers words echoing in my memory, “You’re about to be the first human being to ever step foot on Mars. Your words will be immortalized. I’d put some serious thought into what you want to say.”

mars astronaut

And the ship’s doors will open, I’ll walk out, my foot hitting the red soil, and I’ll shout out, “Yee-haw! I’m on Mars! Fuck yeah mothafucka! I’m on fucking Mars! Mars baby! Ho. Lee. Shit! Mo! Ther! Fu! King! Mars! Who’s on Mars? I’m on Mars! Maaaaaaaaars!”

At this point, I’m expecting my second in command to be a little confused, she’ll be worried, she’ll be like, “Captain? Are you OK? Captain?” but I’ll just be running in huge circles around the landing site, kicking up clouds of red dirt, screaming the whole time in celebration. She’ll wonder if the long journey, the months spent in isolation, if they’ve finally caught up to me somehow. Is this space madness?

“Captain!” she’ll try to get my attention, to warn me that I shouldn’t be acting so reckless, the cartwheels, the handstands, that I might puncture my space suit, that we’ve gone too far for me to jeopardize the entire mission with any accidents I might incur as a result of my laying on the ground making Martian dust-angels.

And yeah, I know, it takes something like half an hour for communications to reach the earth, and so everyone at home would be patiently awaiting the news, all of the TV stations would have gotten rid of that seven second delay that they use for other live events, because, come on, who would expect such a crazy speech from a professional astronaut? And little kids would be gathered around their living rooms, they’d hear me go, “Fuck yeah! Mars!” over and over again.

And they’d go to school the next day and they’d be going nuts, sitting in their classrooms, everybody parroting my speech, “Fuck yeah teacher!” they’d be running their own circles around the desks, “I’m Captain Rob! I’m on fucking Mars!” and what could the teachers possibly say? You’re going to stand up there and tell little kids not to curse? Why? The first person to ever step foot on Mars, he’s up there right now, he’s probably still cursing.

So she’d give up on pointlessly trying to censor everything that comes out of her students’ mouths. Everybody would, parents, the government, nobody would care about cursing anymore. They’d lift any restrictions about what you’re allowed and not allowed to say on TV. “From now on,” the chairman of the FCC would make an announcement, “You’re allowed to say whatever the fuck you want.”

And so I’ll have ushered in two new chapter of human history with one dramatic speech, and centuries from now, when human beings are living in space colonies throughout the galaxy, they’ll look back, to the first generation of astronauts. And because we’ll be so comparatively close together, they’ll look at Neil Armstrong and they’ll think, well, the moon’s not that big of a journey. But Mars. That’s huge. Also, Armstrong tried to say something big and grand, but he botched it.

And then they’ll look at me, my recording will be timeless, the whole, “Yee haw!” thing really tapping into the human spirit, and it’ll also be the first time that humans were allowed to say fuck on broadcast television. I really hope NASA accepts my application to be an astronaut.

I was a victim of road rage

People think road rage is a big joke. Maybe. I don’t really know. I didn’t really ask anybody what they thought about road rage, or about anything else really. I just thought that it would be a good way to open up this discussion about road rage. And by discussion, I mean me, talking, discussing, kind of a one-sided thing, sure. But it doesn’t matter, like I said, it was just an opening, a way for me to say something like: people think it’s a big joke, but it’s not a joke. It’s serious.


I should know. I’ve been the victim of road rage several times. What I mean to say is, road rage has hijacked my mind on a number of occasions, leaving me completely vulnerable to wild mood swings while on the road. And to be slightly more literal, if it’s even possible to be more or less literal, one time for example, and I’m just going to get the punch line out of the way here early so you don’t think I’m wasting your time, it turned out that I was driving next to this giant truck, a giant polished steel truck, it was like cruising next to a huge mirror.

And so I had a big case of road rage against myself. I was both the perpetrator and the victim, which is really like double victimhood, because I happen to think that if you’re in the grips of a bad case of road rage, it’s out of your hands entirely, you’re just another victim of your own angry driving. But this time, with the mirrors, it was twice as bad. I looked to my right, again, it was me, my reflection, but I didn’t know this at the time, not yet, I was just minding my own and I just saw this joker staring back at me.

“Why don’t you keep your eyes on the road buddy!” I screamed out the window, but he (me) was screaming something back. You know where this is going to go right? Yeah, it was me. I was working myself up into a real frenzy. But somewhere in the middle of the rage, a rational part of my head kicked in, it said, Rob, what are you going to solve by screaming at this doofus? Why not try killing him with kindness?

I thought, yeah, I’ll smile and wave, give a really big exaggerated thumbs-up. That’ll show this asshole. So I did it, and I keep saying this over and over again, but it was my own reflection, so as I saw me try to kill myself with kindness, my fury came roaring back, I think I became more violent than ever. I started honking, I swerved a little closer to the right. No luck, because, seeing as how it was just me, it looked like this guy was trying the same trick.

Wow, I thought, this guy doesn’t fuck around. Maybe it was time to cool it off a little bit before something dangerous happened. I put my foot on the brakes and the mirror truck took off in front of me. I instantly realized what was going on, and I’d never felt more stupid. I looked at my reflection in the rearview mirror. My face was beet red, the veins by my temples bulging and pulsating.

I made a promise to myself right there that I’d turn my attitude around, for real this time, for good. Whatever it is that’s the opposite of road rage, I’d do that starting right that minute. It was time for a whole new outlook on motorized transportation. So I stopped at the light and turned my blinker on to make the next right. But I looked to the side and, to the right of me was another car, it wanted to go left. Huh, that was funny, we were in different lanes, he needed to make a left, I needed to make a right. We’d have to cross.

Normally something like this would have instantly caused me to start revving my engine, inching up closer to ensure that, the exact second that the light turns green, maybe even just before, that I’d be the one to turn first, me. But that was the old me. The new me wanted to be friendly, compassionate, so I waved the car on to go first.

Again, I don’t want to beat around the bush, but it wound up being another mirror truck. I’m not sure if it was the same one or if there was some sort of a mirror truck convoy going on, but you can imagine what happened next. No you go. No, you go. No, I insist. Seriously, I’m not moving. Well I’m not either. Well who the hell do you think you …

And then the mirror truck moved and I realized what was going on, again, I couldn’t believe it. So I started laughing. You’ve just got to let things go sometimes, right? You’ve just got to bow to the absurd and let it all roll off your shoulders.

But then the cop behind me hit his lights. “Pull over.” I pulled over. “What seems to be the problem officer?”

“Are you serious? I’ve been watching you for ten minutes, screaming, laughing, and now you’re just stopped here at this green light. What are you drunk?”

And I know I shouldn’t have resisted, but that cop just got me so pissed off, I got into a pulled-over rage, which, I’d like to make the distinction between road rage. If anything, it was curb rage, because, yeah, I pulled over. That dumb cop. I was the victim here! We were both victims! But he wouldn’t listen. He made me get out of the car and walk the line and blow into the breathalyzer, and when it came out clean, when I stood on one foot while counting backwards from fifty, he still wrote me a ticket, five hundred dollars and a four-point violation for road rage. It wasn’t road rage! I’m getting so angry just thinking about it! I’m a fucking victim here, goddamn it! And why the hell would a truck be covered by totally polished mirrors on the sides? What kind of a purpose does that serve?