Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Using the F-word


As a kid, I opened by mouth and uttered these fateful words…

“You’re a fool!”

That’s what I told Dad’s friend while we were all fishing.  He had just done something foolish, and I called him out.  With a smile on my face, I said, “You are a fool.”

“Hey, boy. What did you just say?”

That was the voice of my dad.

I zipped my lips.

“You are never to say that again. Do you understand me? Jesus told us, if you call someone a fool… (Dad was in sermon-mode now) … then you are in danger of hell fire. You cannot call someone a fool.”

I got the message, and I tried my best to stop saying that word. I really did. But sometimes it would sneak out, like my mouth had a mind of its own. And when Dad heard about it…

Whack. Whack. Whack.

(For those of you who might not understand this part—like maybe if you grew up somewhere in the North and had very liberal parents—“whack” is the sound of a big ol’ calloused hand hitting the backside of some cutoff blue jeans.)

Sometime later, my brother Jimmy and I were playing Nerf hoops in my bedroom. He made me mad, and I said, “YOU FOOL!”

Jimmy stopped the game and told me to go see Dad and confess. I didn’t want to go, but I did.

Whack. Whack. Whack.

I decided to stop calling people fools.

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