Sunday, January 17, 2010

Nastiest Tetragram Known to Man

I hate to bring this up.  I really do.  But it's been on my mind and I just can't shake it.  A few evenings ago I was at Starbucks talking to my editor, Janet.  She's a great gal, I want to be clear.  I've always followed her constructive criticism and she knows her stuff.  But barely into the conversation she employs the F word.  Now, true, it fit the context of her story, and in her defense I really don't know how she could have avoided using the profane four-letter term.  She was talking about the effect of one of those jumbo burritos on her boyfriend's bowels.  The thing is,  I just freeze like a manikin when I hear it in a public setting. I'm of course talking about the word fart.

I've even tried to get rid of the phenomenon in my own life.  Over the years I've trained my rectum to forgo the emission of gaseous waste with much discipline.  At first I would starve myself or place duct tape over my poop hole.  For an entire summer I even retired to a monastery and wore a hair thong.  Nowadays I exercise a moderated form of kegeling, only instead of the pelvis, I'm constricting the muscles of my anus.  (I'm thinking of writing a book about the experience.) I've gotten to the point where I can eat just about anything without f--ting, the only exception being food with beans, cheese, fruit, and grains (including chips), or actually anything that contains fiber.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm okay with using bodily terminology.  For example, I always try to rectalfy a situation.  I coined this word and define it as "using the rectum to make the world a better place."  Fart, however, is absolutely beyond the pale.

I'm only mentioning the word here so as not to be misunderstood on what it is I'm condemning.  It repulses me, so much so that I admonish my children when they say it, scold my wife when she does it, and rebuke my dog when he wantonly sniffs it.  Other words I object to, and that are related etymologically, include farting, farted, and farts.  I don't want to see these terms on my blog.  Readers shouldn't be subjected to such puerile filth.  I suppose people think they're being funny or cute when they use these words.

To the contrary, whenever someone uses the F word or its aforementioned derivatives in the course of a conversation, I instantly lose respect for the person, irrespective of the intent.  I mean, even if they're explaining the effect that Cool Ranch Doritos have on their system, say, or if they're describing some "plumbing" issues they have from a medical point of view, I care not.  I once heard a CEO of a major company that shall remain nameless utter these strange words: "Would that my diarrhea had turned to mere farts."  I henceforth viewed him in a negative light.  So when people use the word even in a serious discussion of health-related matters they might as well be employing the term in its most common usage--as potty talk just for shits and giggles.  You see?  I'm okay with the S word.  But if you use the F word around me, I'll look at you askance and walk away.  It's the nastiest tetragram known to man.