Mar 282014 7 Responses

On Changing Barbers and the First Time I Cussed

Since I last did a Funny Friday, the number of subscribers to the blog has nearly doubled  so I feel a need to explain myself. On occasion, I take a Friday to simply tell a funny (or at least what I think is humorous) story regarding the sometimes odd life of being a pastor in the middle of the central US. If it’s not your favorite, the real stuff will be back Monday. For a deeper explanation of Funny Friday see Warning: Objects in the Pulpit Often Appear Holier Than They Actually Are.

I’ve gone to the same barber since I was in my early teens. He cuts my dad’s hair, my hair, and my son’s hair.

But he wasn’t my first barber.

My current barber, who always sang in the front row of the church choir, was chosen by my mother after declaring I could no longer see my original barber who was chosen by my father.

I remember exactly where I was when it happened. Our family was out of town for a sports event for my sister. I was in the backseat and my parents were in the front seat. We were discussing something when my mom asked a very mom question, “How did that make you feel?”

So I responded, “It really pissed me off.”

I’ll never forget the look my dad gave me through the rearview mirror. It wasn’t a look of “Why did you say that? You are in so much trouble.” It was a look of “Why did you say that? I’m in so much trouble.” (See: And After the Funeral She Hit Him in the Nuts)

Our home was a typical Baptist home when it came to language—one was never allowed to admit they cursed. I’m sure my parents cursed, but I never heard it. It was important for us to appear too holy for that. It’s still true in my house. The only person who regularly curses at my house is my dog. Of course since my dog doesn’t speak, I regularly have to interpret what she is thinking and communicate that to my wife. Jenny thinks it is very funny that Ruby has a foul mouth.

While being pissed off is not 2014 cursing, it was 1988 cursing, especially in the Bible Belt and definitely in our car that day. My mother’s head spun around faster than a Cubs pitcher giving up another home run.

“Where did you hear that?” my mom asked in her third grade teacher tone. (See: How to Break-up a Drug Deal in the Church Parking Lot)

I was confused. I knew I had done something but I had no idea what. (It was like I was already married. I would’ve apologized for everything at that moment.)

“That word. Where did you learn that word?” she pressed.

My dad was staring at me through the rearview mirror as we raced down the interstate.

I was paralyzed. Her words demanded truth; his eyes were begging for a lie. Finally, I broke and told the truth. “I heard it from Mr. ______ (name retracted to protect the guilty).”

“What did he use that word to describe,” she asked.

“Everything,” I answered. (For a reminder of the first time Silas cursed, see: Silas on the Sybil War, Col. Sanders, and Peeing Crooked)

I never saw my barber after that day. His shop is empty now and I have no idea what happened to him.

What I do know is that as far as my mother knows, I have never been pissed about anything since that day.

As for my dad, you might ask if he was happy I told the truth?

Heck no, he wasn’t. He was pissed.

Happy Friday.

I’d love to hear your child’s first curse word. Tell the story in the comment section.

7 Responses to On Changing Barbers and the First Time I Cussed
  1. legerag Reply

    This post made me laugh. One of our favorite memories are the times our kids led us to believe that they had heard THEIR friends cuss words for the first time. Our daughter came home from first grade at First Lutheran and announced that a boy in the class had said the S-H word. We were astounded, especially since the first grade teacher was a rather strict, serious teacher. We said, “What did they say?” To which she replied, “They said shut up!”
    A similar story came from our son in kindergarten. He got in the car after school and announced that his friend had said the F word. I was shocked! In Kindergarten? “What did he say?

    With a shocked expression, he turned to me and said, “He said fart!”

  2. Ada Reply

    My oldest has some difficulty with pronouncing certain words as a toddler. One word was freckle. He pointed out my freckle to my brand new mother-in-law and told her “mommy fu__er.” Yup.

  3. Lorrie Runion Reply

    Beau was about 3 and he was was trying to stab peas with his fork and all we heard at the dinner table was a quiet “dammit, dammit, dammit”…It was terribly hard to hide the laughter and I did not have to look far to figure that one out either…

    Thanks for the laugh.

  4. Brenda Palmer Reply

    This brought one of my fave memories of oldest son, Jer, who is 40, when he was in Kindergarten. I can still see him sitting in a chair, waiting for the bus, happily humming, when he stops and says “Mommy…F you means thank you, doesn’t it?” Once I got past the gasp (you see, I was raised Assembly of God and that certainly was NO CUSSING) and got my breath again, I very UNcalmly asked….where did you hear that word? He looked at me puzzled and said, but all the big kids on the bus say it to each other all the time, and I know it means thank you! We discussed this the best we could…..for months I lived in dread of having our pastor or some company over, and Jer using his new Thank you word!

  5. Keely West Reply

    I grew up largely southern Baptist and certainly we were raised not to cuss but if something does come out – especially from my mother or my Baptist Sunday School teacher grandmother – it’s invariably the harsher variation of “crap”. After my divorce I was living with my grandmother on a farm south of Fort Smith and working for the first time since my daughter’s birth. Working late one evening I called home to talk to my three year old daughter since she would be in bed before I got there. When I asked her how her day went she informed me, “Fine, but I got cow sh– on my new boots.” One of my favorite stories…

  6. […] It’s an odd scenario to pastor in your hometown. My second-grade teacher attends the church. M... kevinathompson.com/dont-know
  7. Teresa Eccles Reply

    My children are such pleasers, just a couple of years ago I had my teenage daughter ask me when she would be able to say, “crap.” True story.

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