Scrubbing the Potty Mouth

When I was younger, I was known for being a quiet, gentle young lad. I was always sitting comfortably in the corner of the room, politely surveying the goings-on around me. I would only offer my comment when I felt that it would be most pertinent. This comment was always delivered calmly, and with vibrant, vivacious vocabulary. Nowadays, however, I fear that I most often draw my auditory diction from a small pool of vulgar swear words. I have become lazy. So, this week, I have begun rehab for my addiction to swearing.

Swear words to a child are like the penises of statues – they’re always around if you’re in the right sort of situation, they’re funny, and grown-ups like to hush-up the fact that they exist. Naturally, the first curse one utters in front of one’s family and friends draws significant attention, shock, and a few giggles. Little do we know when we are young that, for some, these expletives would become the most frequently-used words in their arsenal.

I have nothing against swearing in general. In some situations, all you need is a short outburst to feel better. They can be remarkably expressive. However, as someone striving to write for a living, I need to be constantly testing and growing my vocabulary. I can’t have swear words to use as a crutch for lazy speech.

In the past few months, I have seen myself drawing ever closer to becoming counted amongst this sailor-mouthed number. Anyone who has played a Dota game, Ultimate match, or game of Settlers of Catan (curse you, Robber!) with me knows that despite my generally calm demeanour, I let loose like the best of them. When I am frustrated, one-syllable words fly forth like ducks fleeing a hunter. My swearing used to be confined to these high-stress, high-stakes situations. Over the course of my time in Korea, I have caught myself swearing under my breath and in my everyday speech with increasing frequency. I have become lax in finding the perfect word for the situation, and have begun making do with the ever-versatile curses. The time has come for change.

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So, I felt the need to devise a suitable routine to combat this decay. I had to institute a punishment system: when I swear, I receive a negative stimulus that makes me not want to do it again. I needed something simple, that could be administered in nearly every scenario quickly and without causing Koreans to bring out their phones and video the funny foreigner. My perfect deterrent: tickling.

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I detest being tickled. For this fault, God was gracious enough to make nearly every inch of my body ticklish to some extent. Sometimes I can even tickle myself. It is pitiful. I may come to regret sharing this fact with the world, but it is for the best. The system is not complicated: I swear, I get tickled. Kristen is tickled pink at the new system. She draws concerning amounts of enjoyment from tickling me, and applauds the new swearing punishment system. So, if I swear in a conversation with you, feel free to invoke the right to subject me to moments of ticklish fury. *gulp*

I have high hopes. If I do not have swear words to fall back on, I will likely be more calm and able to detail exactly what I mean to say. All of the tickling torture will be worth it. My speech will hopefully mimic my writing in terms of vibrancy and diversity. Maybe, just maybe, I might even become immune to tickling. That would be fucking fantastic. Excuse me while I receive my punishment.

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