It’s no big secret that mommy curses as much as she drinks. Or, wait. Is that right? Maybe it’s drinks as much as she curses. You know what, I don’t even know for sure, but let’s just say the hag has a penchant for f-bombs and indiscriminate happy hours, and it’s likely she came out of the womb that way. So it should come as no surprise that I have been known to say a naughty word here and there. My first big one was “shit.” Back when my time-outs were really starting to kick into gear around age two and a half, the parental unit couldn’t set a kitchen timer without an earful of shit! berating them all the way across the room. Eventually, they started to ignore me. I got louder and more aggressive for a while, but then got bored with the whole thing and just kept my mouth shut. It became more fun to run from my time-outs and watch mommy try to chase me with a straight face around the kitchen island.
Along the way, I’ve learned which words I’m not allowed to say out loud, and which words I can say out loud to really piss them off without actually being in direct violation of the No Profanity Clause that my hypocritical mother and father have set into play. Allow me to explain further. I know the basics: shit, fuck, dammit, damn, and I’ve pretty much learned them in that order. “Shit” came from Gramma Jett at a young age, “fuck” is clearly a gift from mommy the English major, “dammit” is well, also mommy, and “damn” was only learned last week. We were at The Jungle, and one of the games upstairs was not working. A man’s robotic voice kept repeating, “Oh damn, oh damn,” and so on the way to the bathroom, I heard him, and started sing-songing along with him. Mommy glared at me as we walked into the stall and said, that is NOT what he’s saying. He’s saying ball jam, ball jam. We don’t say ‘Oh damn.’ That’s potty talk. Like I actually knew. My point is, I know not to curse, and I don’t do it often in front of the parents anymore. It’s much more proficient to repeat their own smart-ass remarks back to them when they are irritated with me.
Mommy: Gus, knock it off.
Me: You knock it off.
Mommy: Watch your tone, young man.
Me: You watch your tone.
Mommy: Do you want a time-out right now?
Me: Do you want a time-out?
And so on and so forth. This gets under their skin way faster, and besides, I have dropped an f-bomb once or twice in my life just to see what it felt like, and they struggled not to laugh. Why would I want to make them laugh? So, you see, cursing is not all it’s cracked up to be. With my twisted parents anyway who talk like sailors, it’s more entertaining for them than maddening, and that’s no fucking fun.
With the exception of the “B” word.
And this, I learned today.
In a nutshell, I was over-tired and probably so was the hag; she was busy playing Cinderella all day, mopping, dusting, vacuuming, pissing and moaning about crumbs on the couch, Take your shoes off NOW!, blah fucking blah. I clocked Leona in the head with a pillow after a direct order not to, so I was dragged to the hairy time-out rug, which, pleasantly enough, was not so hairy after a good bi-annual cleaning. I went down swinging. Mommy set the timer for 3 minutes and told me I was going to bed right after, which, let’s be honest, is just stupid. Don’t make me sit in a fucking time-out if I just have to take my nap right when the microwave beeps! So in one fell verbal swoop, I shouted, you’re-a-mean-mommy-SHIT! No response. SHIT! SHIT! She actually yawned. I thought I’d get innovative. Bitch! I saw her straighten up even though her back was turned to me. What a bitch! I pressed on. I could see her standing there, deliberating, sizing me up, wondering how far I should be allowed to take this new word.
Oh yeah, I went all the way, people:
You’re a bitch!
In the next moments, I saw my life flash before my eyes. It was like a scene out of a sci-fi movie where you get stuck in a room with a freakishly fast, vampire-esque alien monster, thrown into the air, tossed against walls, bitten, mauled, trampled, terrorized…and when it’s over, you don’t know your nostrils from your asshole but you’re out of breath, weeping, screaming, and everything hurts. It wasn’t good. And to be honest, I might not have even remembered what had triggered the attack had the attacker not gotten down on both knees in front of me, looked at me with acid simmering in her eyes, and grabbed me not-so-gently by my shoulders to say to me in a very low, very tense voice: Listen to me verrry carefully, Augusten. You will never, ever, ever say that to mommy or anyone again for the rest of your life, do you understand me? EH-VER. She spoke at me slowly, like maybe I rode the short bus, but whatever, I didn’t care. I hysterically agreed through chokes and sobs, and I have to say, I wasn’t fucking lying. I had opened Pandora’s box, and now it was shut again–that shit ain’t getting opened on my shift ever again.
So. Today I lay low. I almost feel like you should all do the same. Stay OFF mommy’s block, at least until the first wine bottle hits the recycle bin.