October 24, 2018

the church of the f-bomb

temple (tem-pel) / noun / a building devoted to the worship, or regarded as the dwelling place, of a god or gods or other objects of religious reverence

He stopped me in the hall at work.  A furtive glance in each direction to ensure we were alone.  And then:  "What the fuck did you do that to me for?"

I slammed against the wall on my side, clutching my ribs, laughing hysterically.

"Naw, man, I'm serious!  Do you know she fuckin' talked for, like, an hour and forty-five god-damned minutes?  I thought I was going to die right there in my chair.  Good.  God.  Don't you ever do that to me again!"

I'd referred this unsuspecting co-worker to another co-worker who can be, at times, verbose and a bit thorough in her didactic ministrations.  She knew how to use the software he needed.  She was the expert.  I hooked them up, and I won't say I didn't smile quietly to myself as I heard them settling into a conversation destined for duration.  I'm not sure he'll ever forgive me.  I hope he doesn't.

The F-bomb is the key to a kingdom.

Those of us who habitually employ it like to say it's good stress relief.  Some of us shuffle our feet and say you really shouldn't, but sometimes you just have to, you know?  Not many of us admit that we just fucking like to say it.  Far fewer of us consider it an outright virtue.

I go a step beyond that, because I believe there is so much more here.  I think about church, what a person gets out of attending.  Not the religious reinforcement, but the acceptance, the belonging to a tribe, the pure hindbrain drug of I-belong.  They agree upon values and beliefs and behaviors, they feel a bond and a safety when they congregate.  They wear the cross as a symbol of their tribe.

I posit that cursing like a sailor on a three-day bender provides the same belonging, especially in the closed society of a workplace, an office building.  You find each other.  A gentle probe here, an approving smirk there, a slip and an apology and then gauging the reaction ... you find each other, and you congregate in small groups safely, and you let it fly.  You agree upon values, a worldview, and behaviors in doing so.  That's never explicitly stated, yet through employing gratuitous profanity, you agree on what matters and what truly does not.  It draws some of the best people I have known in my life.  Teachers and social workers and food bank volunteers and devoted parents and doctors and nurses and even ministers.  It draws some of the best co-workers I have, the hard-working, the conscientious, the ethical, the ones who care and care hard about what really counts.

I meet with the best of them, and sometimes we close the door and partake of the sacrament of being ourselves.

I told him one day that I could out-curse him without breaking a sweat.  He said there might have to be a contest.  I gave him an angelic smile.


  1. Hell, I've been a fervent devotee and disciple since my brother taught me how to say fuck and properly flip people off -- right around seven years old! I still want a shirt like The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo wore to wear under my business attire -- you know the t-sirt that says, "Fuck You, You Fucking Fuck" on it? Yep, that would be my superpower cape/ costume that would get me through boring people and meetings and dealing with stupidity and assholes! Anyway that's what I'm asking this year on the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus! Amen, Sister Lille!

    1. Well, I've already got the 'Fuck This Shit' socks featured on Bloggess, so P.J. will have to reach for a stocking stuffer that's even cooler - and yes, they're out there! A friend who is a constant victim of mansplaining in an Ivy League school has a pair of socks that says "I Was Fucking Talking". So instead of wafers and crosses and such symbols, we can have ... socks! And shirts. And, apparently, a cape? *grin* I fucking love this church.