Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Tuesday Report from the No-Swearing Zone

You might not realize this from reading my blog, but I swear a lot. Ten years of single-sex education does that to a girl. After all, there's no point in acting all dainty around other girls, so we let it rip, and by senior year, a lot of us could make a sailor blush.

Now, I try to behave myself. And I often succeed. I tend not to say "fuck" or "shit" around children, or old ladies, or ladies-who-lunch, or people at screenings of Lady and the Tramp, or My Fair Lady, or while someone is whistling "Luck Be a Lady, " or ... well, you get the point. Lady Be Good; that's me.

The thing is, there's a time and place for swearing. And the older I get, the more I realize that not only is this not the time, this is also not the place.

Now this afternoon I'm running a committee meeting. It's for a fundraiser that will take place next June. And the meeting will be at a ladies' club, and the committee, mostly ladies, but also some gentlemen, will be behaving in a nice, civilized fashion. Imagine my chagrin. I mean, someone will say "Oh, good news--I've secured a free week in a palazzo on the Grand Canal in Venice, plus round-trip airfare from Chicago--would you like to add that to the live auction?" My natural response would be:


but I'm much more likely to say something like:

Oh, that would be just lovely. Thanks so much!

So please indulge me while I get a few swears out of my system.

1) I read two excellent editorials this morning in the Chicago Tribune. Really excellent. This one was the shit. Worth registering for, in case you have to do it. (BTW I'm a leftie, so proceed with caution.)
2) Excuse me? What's with all the fucking rain? Does Mother Nature want Poppy to become mildewed?
3) Oh my God, I totally need to get my roots taken care of; I look like shit!

There. That was fucking lovely. Thanks so much!


  1. That is exactly why you can't take me anywhere.

  2. I thought it was because you slag Wodehouse so Poppy faints and, when she's comatose with shock, you make out with her, as is your necrosapphic wont.

    I mean, that's what I heard.


  3. She can't be necrosapphic if it's just a faint. Syncopesapphic, maybe.

    I swear way more on my blog than I do in real life.

  4. hell fucking yeah .... get it out of your system :)

  5. Of course she can. Badger is a very imaginative necrosapphisticate. I, myself, couldn't get past the fact someone still has the slightest pulse and a 98.6, but to one of the luminaries of our necrosapphist community, I expect that to be pretty easy sledding.


  6. I read the - er - ahem - "manure" Chicage Tribune editorial leftie or no. Punchy stuff. So Septuagent went off and looked at the Iraq Body Count, feeling guilty becuase he had not done so for some time, and he sees that as of 9.35 pm Green Witch Mean Time it lies between 41,639 and 46,307.

  7. Now see, this is how nasty rumours get started. Just for the record, I only make out with dead MEN. I save my sapphic tendencies for unconscious Wodehouse fans ONLY. I mean, I've got some fucking standards over here.

  8. Well, that's just as well. With my luck that lip plumping stuff you use would make my lips swell up like eggplants and suffocate me. (If I wasn't already dead, that is.)

  9. Poppy, I feel your fucking pain, believe me!

    Working in theatre has apparently inured me to the offensiveness of my good friend Profanity. I, too, am usually concientious enough not to curse when there are children present, unless for some unknown reason, they're at the theater during a tech rehearsal--where no one in their right mind would expect me to censor myself.

    Apparently, the profanity in scripts tends not to register with me. So, I occasionally forget to warn our more delicate patrons of the potential offensiveness of the material. On more than one occasion, a patron has asked during the post-play discussion if we really have to use the f-word or curse so much-- the show would be so much better, if we didn't. I explain that it's our position to honor the playwright's intention and perform the scripts as written.

    Three years ago, I was seated behind two ladies-who-lunch during the preview matinee of a show, and was surprised to see them wince repeatedly. When the loud, drunk, rude character died at the end of Act I, one l-w-l turned to the other and whispered loudly, "Thank goodness! He was such an animal!" They cringed when he made a ghostly re-appearance in Act II, which made me giggle.

    In last May's show, an early scene was not only laced with profanity, but it also featured *gasp!* two men having sex! Quelle dommage! Even though I warned people about the strong language before the performance started, one patron got up and left in a big huff, halfway through the scene. She wrote a letter of complaint expressing her dismay and wondering what any of it had to do with 9/11, for some unknown reason.

    Although the play was set in NYC, it was about the impact of losing someone in a plane crash like Lockerbie, and how people were still struggling, seven years later. The script was written in 1999, and none of the press or marketing materials said anything about 9/11, so go figure!

    The thing that really shocked me was that she didn't believe there are people who do, in fact, talk like that. Whatever. Fuck that shit.

    At any rate, I am hopeless when it comes to determining the age-appropriateness of the scripts we do, since I seem to gloss over the profanity. I'm aware of sex or violence on stage, but not the stupid, fucking cursing! Now, I leave it up to the co-founder, who has two daughters and has always been much more genteel than I.

    Like you, I try to be more couth when I must, but it really takes a surprising amount of fucking effort. "Holy cow!" and "Good lord!" tie as my favored substitues, and if anyone is offended by either, it's really too fucking bad for them.

  10. Poppy,

    Shush! You're just getting her all worked up.



Gentle Readers:

For the time being, I've turned off comment moderation. Please don't spam; it's not nice.

xxx, Poppy.