“Profanity, or Cussin’ And Other Unladylike Behaviors,” by Laura Stone
This is part of a series of blog posts cranked out by my adoring proselytes — erm, I mean, faithful readers. I’m in Utah (er, presumably — maybe the plane crashed, or maybe I was forced into white sexual slavery somewhere in Dubai), so the task of entertaining you froth-mouthed moppets falls to others.
Today’s post is by Laura Stone.
(It should go without saying, but hey, I’ll say it anyway, that this entire post is going to be filled with NSFW words.)
Is it surprising that a former good girl loves to fucking cuss like a sailor? Probably not. And when I say good girl, I mean I was a bible-carrying, pray for your soul, cry for lost kitties, casseroles for the hungry kind of good girl. Fuck all of that now, I learned the joy of expressing myself, and I owe it all to a couple of guys I worked with at a comedy club who had the most impressive collection of porn I’ve ever witnessed.
Grannies squatting in cake? They had it. Fairies with huge tits (are there any other kind of lady fairy?) getting banged by grasshoppers with giant cocks? Yep, the whole series. Perhaps you wanted to find a hairy-assed hillbilly in a Tweety-bird shirt and shower shoes getting slapped in the face with an elephantine scrotum. Issue 4 or 5? I ask because Issue 4 has the bonus pull out of a toothless hairy-assed hillbilly, and she’s sucking down a jar of pickle juice in a KOA Campground. H-O-T hot.
These guys I worked with delighted in corrupting me with this stuff. They had never encountered someone as naïve as I was back then, someone who had never developed a taste for anything salacious. I was the “oh my heck” and “gosh darnit!” kind. I eventually got over my red-faced shame for running away in tears at the first flash of a magazine I’ll just call “Granny Gash” — because that’s what it was called — and learned that this shit is hilarious.
That was your warning, by the way. We’re just going downhill from here. Oh, yes, there is always going to be a lower level to which you can sink.
There’s a great line in Sophie’s Choice, where Stingo remarks about Sophie, “She could say ‘fuck,’ but she sure couldn’t do it.” I could do it, eventually; I just couldn’t say it. Not until it became a job requirement. These guys were determined to break me out of my shell. I actually got a bonus the first time I used the word “cunt.”
And it’s not about just inserting some “fucks” and “god damns” in sentences. There’s an art to really getting this shit perverse. Anyone can make a dick joke, it’s easy to throw in a fart joke, but it takes an artist to really sell you on cunt. Chaucer popped off both a fart joke and a tale of cunnilingus while the lass hung her nethers out of an open window within ten sentences of Middle English.
And it’s not just there for the sake of being dirty, that’s no fun. These people piss, shit, fuck, and fart as character identification. How kick ass is that? The uptight priest in the Miller’s Tale likes to pretend that people don’t behave that way, and they gleefully show him what he’s missing out of life as a result of his stodgy behavior. This was one of the first times that people were shown for all of their characteristics, and not just the romanticized should-be’s or religious flaws.
It’s not easy to transform a foul-mouthed character into someone you can cheer for, but it can be done. And dammit, it should be done. If you’ve got a story about a band of misfits that come together to fight a fleet of fire-breathing dragons that are destroying the world as we know it, all of them aren’t going to have the same qualities. And we all know that dialog is how we show who these people are. You’re not going to have the cold-hearted alpha male that inevitably joins in tell people to “Hush up.”
When the whiny, skinny teenager with a handbook on weaponry (Arms and Weaponry, d20 supplemental volume 3.5) who continually interjects with “Yes, but on page forty-seven it indicates that the left armpit is the weakest point for attack,” Alpha-male is going to demand that the kid not only “shuts the fuck up” but that if he doesn’t, he’ll “jam [his] fist so far up [teen’s] ass that any spunk [he] shoots off into a lonely night will be 10W30.”
In this story the alpha male used to be an auto mechanic, you see. Dirty knuckles, because who has time for a wash up when the world is crashing around your shoulders? God, you’re prissy.
The first movie I was cast in was as a woman who was eventually named at AFI “The Most Offensive Movie Character Ever.” Thank you. And you simply cannot have a movie about vampires and the misfits left behind to fight them without some dirty words. How dirty? None of my lines were allowed in the RED BAND trailer, that’s how foul.
“This whole town’s locked up tighter’n a five year old’s poonany.”
“You only swing on the vine? Or do you lay on the rug? Cuz honey I got a clit like a thumb and a tongue like a lasso that can rope and wrangle your sweet little cunt button.”
It’s a family movie, is what I’m saying. When you talk about pushing your colon inside out as a pick up line, that’s just something that Grandma can enjoy alongside you, you know?
Now, those lines were there to shock, obviously, but the real trick was getting people to stop groaning long enough to actually care for this filthy trailer whore. Spoiler Alert! When she done gets herself kilt, the survivors take a moment to reflect on how nice that skeevy trailer whore was. Lonely tear, then back to staking some vamps, yee haw!
(Blood on the Highway, on Blu-ray in Europe, US release by Time Warner in March. Buy three! If only to marvel at my ginormous rack and impressive gun collection.)
Instead of describing your character as “a whore,” why not make her a “cock gobbler?” Instead of calling some guy a jerk, and douchebag doesn’t seem to apply, how about “choad-licking spunk bucket?” I’m just giving examples here, use your own words. Especially if they’re “that felching meat curtain of a dickhole jizzcup.”
When I’m talking with people about “LOST” I don’t refer to a certain Season One character by his name or features, it’s too run of the mill. But if I say “the dirty rotten sisterfucker,” you know I’m talking about Boone.
Well, now I feel like I’m twelve years old, and not really putting any intellect in this. We need to get Shakespearean on this ass, am I right? Sanctimonious pricks, sodding arse buckets, leaking scullions, pyhoreic cuckolds! Nothing like being able to insult someone without them really knowing if you have, and I’m assuming here that the person you’re insulting isn’t as smart as you. Never get into a verbal sparring match with someone smarter than you, trust me.
Verbal sparring is an old traditions called “flyting.” You’re a dirty rotten, turkey trotting, egg sucking, blah blah blah. That was my dad’s favorite. But this ain’t your daddy’s blog, is it? We’re not going to go soft (yet brilliant) like Oscar Wilde with his ‘A dowdy girl, with one of those characteristic British faces, that, once seen are never remembered.’ That shit won’t help you in a street fight. As soon as you get your handkerchief to your nose to sniff at your opponent, you’re getting an elbow to the eye.
Modern flyting is all about the yo mama joke. The “let’s just get off of mothers, yo, I mean, I just got off of yours.” And please, don’t pull out the old ones, the wheat thicks, the sat around the house, get creative with that shit. “Yo mama’s so ugly they press her face in dough to make gorilla cookies.” You don’t just come back from that, it takes at least a minute to recover. A good response can be low belt, like mother-fucking and scatological triumphs, or high brow with character assassination. And if your opponent has actually fucked horses, all the better. [ed: the “gorilla cookies” line is one of my favorites — rah-rah Sanford and Son!]
I’m getting a bit off track here, so let me wrap this up before I devolve into a steaming, corpulent, pulsating mat of spooge and pubes. I like profanities. I like it when people can slip in some clever or just truly sick words into something. Everything is so PC, so calculated in the media these days, it’s just delightful to find some truly rank shit out there.
A loving tale of Bert and Ernie fisting where the author has no idea that they’re fucking nuts for writing that in the first place. The blog of a German woman who believes herself to be married to the Berlin Wall (no, really, it’s a true story) and reveals her first love in explicit detail. (A fence near the house where she grew up. A whole new way to look at “riding fences.”) Or when someone on Saturday Night Live messes up and lets a muttered “fuck” slip out on national television. God, I love that shit.
Those little releases of tension we let fly are not just hilarious at times, they’re necessary. Saying “Gosh darnit!” when you stub your toe just doesn’t help heal your hurt like a string of “mother fucking toe jamming cock ring bull shitting CHAIR!” will.
Remember, Ned Flanders ended up in the psych ward for not swearing.
And if my love of dirty words makes me perpetually 12, then I say pass the head gear and join me at the bus stop with your Trapper Keepers, kids.
Mark Twain said it best: “If I cannot swear in heaven, then I shall not stay there.” A-fucking-men.