Cursed be he who stealeth this one away…2
August 1, 2016 by Whispering Smith
Whispering Smith Column published in the Littlehampton Gazette July 14th 2016
NO muckspout I, swearing is not a habit of mine and yet, when stubbing my toe on the bed leg as I frequently do, I let out a loud yell followed by a one-off expletive, a once in a while comforting word that has been stolen and is now used, irritatingly, by practically everyone as part of their everyday vocabulary. Television drama and ‘comedic’ shows, sporting personalities, Facebook, the High Street, and in public houses, it flies about anywhere stealing away every bit of comfort my lone curse gave me. In fact it is now so commonplace that it has lost all remedial meaning and my toe still pains me. I mentioned this to my son and he suggested the solution might be to settle upon a much less used expletive, one seldom heard but may, once upon a time, have had some therapeutic toe healing qualities. This meant digging back in time to a childhood where swearing was never deemed appropriate even in the toe banging arena and there I found it. An archaic word seldom heard these days but acceptable I believe in the privacy of my own bedroom. It is a medieval word in origin, a comforting substitute for that other over used cuss word when staggering around the bedroom with tear filled eyes and I shall keep this one myself lest it be stolen!
If you want to hear hundreds of ukuleles then visit the Stage by The Sea on the 17th of this month from I – 8pm when groups from all over the region will be performing. A free event so no excuse for not turning up. If ukuleles are not to your liking then the Littlehampton Concert Band will be giving a concert in Mewsbrook Park from 3 -5pm on that same afternoon. Support our local musicians and have a great time, bring a picnic, a blanket and sunshine – I am torn between the two.
Back in about 1953 when he stubbed his toe, my closest friend used to say several words all at once – ‘Bigs, wee wee, atree, burps!’ I still find this most satisfying and it is a collection of expletives I resort to when I’m most put out. My everyday favourite is, ‘Bricks!’ That works too.
Today’s commonplace use of a certain expletive took me back to my teenage days in the ’60s, when I was in awe of a certain local lad who seemed to be so very cool. While working on the liners out of Southampton, he’d been to New York a couple of times when Bob Dylan and Joan Baez were playing in clubs there, imagine the prestige this gave him. So when he told me that I would only be a cool chick if I used said expletive with ease, I felt I should give it a try on the quiet … With hindsight I imagine that this was perhaps part of a trend, but for what purpose? As a matter of fact, I rather ike “Bricks” recommended by “xeniesmum” 😀