The Norman Transcript

Columns

December 15, 2012

Fatherhood brings language adjustment

NORMAN — I swear that I am not a profane person. However, good football games and bad drivers foul up my language. I am not alone in letting a few swear words fly.

Novelist Samuel Butler called profanity “a kind of prayer.”

Literary critic Cyril Connolly said vulgarity is “the garlic in the salad of taste.”

It’s also been said that swearing is “what is said when one doesn’t know what to say.”

Then along came our daughter — my little potty-mouth defuser.

Whoever said television is a passive experience never watched football at our house.

Far from an armchair quarterback, I follow my team up and down the field — literally.

If it’s fourth and inches, I’m millimeters from the TV screen.

Then there is all the yelling at players, coaches, refs, game announcers; no one is safe from my verbal onslaught.

Then along came our daughter — my little mute button.

Now I must chagrin and bear it when the Detroit Lions fumble at the goal line.

I desperately want to blurt out grammatically incorrect obscenities, but I bite my tongue.

I’ve actually drawn blood.

Driving can also make me veer into curse-word tirades.

Overall, my behind-the-wheel attitude is more avenue annoyance than road rage.

My driving posture changes, however, when I merge onto a busy expressway. Mr. Nice Guy takes a backseat.

My defensive driving turns offensive in nature. I am not above vindictive horn honking and sardonic hand gestures.

Then along came the driving life force buckled up behind me.

Now I curb my tongue when oblivious Reginald Van Dough cuts me off in his fancy SUV.

I simply put the car on cruise control and mumble a verse of “Found a Peanut.”

Another little thing that fatherhood changed is my tolerance of insects. Ants, flies, aphids, beetles — they all bugged me.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Congress should close gaps

    Of all of Edward Snowden’s revelations about electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency, the most unsettling was that the government was accumulating vast numbers of records about the telephone calls of American citizens. In ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Border obsession overlooks trade

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry made headlines recently by ordering 1,000 National Guard troops to the border. This bravado comes at a price: $12 million a month. Perry plans to send the bill the federal government. That’s one way to finance your ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Intercession badly needed in this world

    Yesterday was my feast day, or as the Italians call it, my “onomastico.” Since I live in the United States, it went completely unnoticed. If I lived in Italy, however, I would have been showered with cards and phone calls. That’s because ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Porch leap looked muchbigger as a kid

    It’s no secret that porch designs have changed over the years. Drive through new Norman developments and look at the porches. Most only have room for a potted plant and a spot to drop those UPS packages, no place for a porch swing or ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Keeping the war buried

    International outrage over the downing of a Malaysian passenger plane over Ukraine on July 17 does not appear to have affected either the actions of pro-Russia forces in that country or the material support Russia is offering the rebels. ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Gaza’s victims: civilians and peace

    After more than two weeks of fighting between Hamas and Israel, there is no question which side has the upper hand. Thursday’s strike on a U.N.-run school for Palestinian children increased the Palestinian death toll to more than 760. By ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Make gun safety a health issue

    Quick, are you more likely to die by a bullet or in a car crash? Common sense would seem to suggest the latter. Cars are everywhere. We are an auto-obsessed nation. To be American is to drive — everywhere. Teenagers itch to get behind the ...

    July 20, 2014

  • They just want to be free ... maybe

    Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan region, rattled many cages this month when he announced in parliament that the KRG would be moving ahead soon on a referendum on independence from Iraq. If Kurdistan goes ahead ...

    July 20, 2014