Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Sapphire's Venal Vocabulary

For those of you unable to read Seven Year Old Supertext, the message on the left reads:
'Hey Helen,
Adam is a crude, piggish, mean-hearted, brutal, selfish cockroach!
We'll get the sound tape.
Love, (Rose)'

The picture on the upper right is a fly-swatter about to thud down shudderingly hard on the cockroach and, fairly obviously, she's added a pig on the bottom left as a fetching kind of letterhead logo.

'Rose' is her character's film name, for which our mate Helen knows her best. You see Helen is a good mate of ours, and has just made her very first film as a director. All of the actors (a Mum, Dad, older brother and our Sapphire as the younger sister) did it for free, as did the crew. If you refer to my blog
'Slapper with the Clapper' you'll get a clearer idea as to what today's wordy waffle is about.

Unfortunately, Helen's 'Executive Producer' has since thrown several hissy fits and refuses to return the sound tape to the film. All that Sapphire knows is that her Mum and Dad think it is very unfair and would do anything to help out Helen if they could (even though she reacted rather unenthusiastically to my helpful suggestion that we drive over to his place and staple gun his loose testicle and elbow skin to the living room wall) and she wrote the above note unaided and unrequested.

Call me twisted, but I'm pretty heck-darn-gosh-golly-hooly-dooly-whackadoo proud of my little child. Sure, it 'aint going to give Shaky or Byron any sleepless nights on the romantic prose front but she's adopting a lesson that my father taught me years ago: Don't use swear words if you can help it. Swearing shows that you don't have the imagination to think of a better way to retort or express yourself. Sure, these words of wisdom come from a man who once said (out loud) that he wanted to die with his mouth open under the chocolate mousse tap at Sizzler's, but it's still a very valid piece of advice.

Yes, she knows we don't live in a sanitised 1950s world (despite John Howard's best efforts) and that yes, occasionally Mum or Dad will let slip with a profanity or three when we are under pressure. Occasions she's witnessed so far include the time when Love Chunks was trying to put together a flat-pack desk from OfficeWorks; when someone swerved suddenly in front of Mum's car in peak-hour traffic; when birds' crap turned our freshly-washed sheets into a Jackson Pollock painting; and when I or LC step on the scales and see where the needle really lands.

Sapphire also appreciates that there are some non-swear words that fit within the unacceptable category. These include
  • Stupid - only to be used if a toe is stubbed on an inanimate object or if the aforementioned John Howard is sighted on the TV;
  • Dumb or Idiot - again, only to be used if some particularly tragic or hilarious fashion victim sashays past whilst we're having coffee or if John Howard opens his mouth;
  • FAT - the biggest F word of them all, bar the classic one that tends to be used with 'you' or 'off'. No-one is ever to be described, depicted or called FAT. This word has the power to hurt someone forever. Instead, a person may be described as big, jolly, stocky or nuggety, or - if desperate - via their hair colour, model of car owned or sexual orientation.
  • Smelly, Stinky, Pongy - also on the taboo list. There are simply too many folk out there with irritable bowels, dodgy pelvic walls, glued to their birkenstocks or bending over far too quickly in yoga classes for this word to be adopted. The only exception to this rule is when Mum/MillyMoo needs to persuade Sapphire to jump into the shower or put her socks into the dirty clothes basket; give Dogadoo her weekly bath; or when faced with morning breath from any member of the family.
  • Old, wrinkly and What are those Lines on your Forehead- Sapphire realises now that these ones have the ability to make Mummy cry, so they're best left alone.

Never fear, that still leaves several million words available for use to describe any cardigan, dim-wit, bureaucratic boob or fool that enters your life, however briefly. Use them wisely.

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