Wednesday, December 03, 2014

$#IT Happens

Opinions differ in the religious realm on the use of expletives .  There's the famous commandment about not taking the LORD's name in vain; yet, technically unless one uses the word God or Jesus Christ in the phrase this commandment is not applicable.

There is the Bible verse about unwholesome words (Ephesians 4:29), which has also been translated and interpreted as foul language, corrupt speech, and abusive talk to name a few.  But foul is "in the ear of the beholder" and one person's swearing can be another person's normal manner of speech.

Me, I take the middle ground.  I was raised to not swear.  If I had, my dad would probably have cussed me out! The use of some crude language does not phase or offend me and I admit that certain words have passed my lips.  You see, there are times "Darn!" and "Son of a GUN!" do not adequately express my true feelings of the moment.

Last week, I was running with Lucy when calamity struck.  I've run hundreds of miles with my dogs and this was the first time anything like this happened.  About halfway through our two-mile run the "waste" bag exploded on me.  And it's (uh) contents were not in their usual (ahem) compact form (I'm trying to be genteel here, folks).  Needless to say, my immediate reaction was shock and surprise, with a bit of disgust thrown in for good measure.  But at a time when a certain expletive would have been very appropriate; undeniably a statement of fact I said "Oh shoot" instead.

Lucy and I immediately reversed course and headed home.  It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon and my neighbors were out in full force. Sun shining brightly, they all walked with heads held high, wide awake and aware, taking in their surroundings, especially the lady in the red t-shirt walking her dog.  I was hard to miss.  Dog leash in one hand, half full blue plastic bag in the other, strange brown splotches staining the front of my t-shirt as well as the cuffs of the sleeves. I was trying too hard to be unnoticed, walking surreptitiously, avoiding all eye contact. I walked bent over a bit, trying to cover the brown stains, but I couldn't bend over too much lest I spread the damage. Besides, I didn't want my face anywhere near my shirt.  It stunk!

As we walked towards people, I found myself again muttering "Oh, shoot".  Neighborhood dogs, attracted to my new scent approached me with glee and I thought "Oh, shoot!"  When I saw people I knew, I groaned this epithet, adding additional syllables "Oh, shoooooot".

Somehow we made it the mile home without me being overcome by fumes, embarrassment or a bout of retching. Once in the safety of the my house, I threw my clothes in to the washer and threw myself in to a hot shower.  Lucy and Dora were a bit disappointed, hoping they could roll around in my dirty laundry a bit.  After the decontamination process, I calmed myself by telling myself no one had gotten close enough to know what was on my shirt (except for maybe the neighborhood dogs) and filed the incident in the back of my brain.

But that is not the end of the story.  I think my guardian angel has a side job as the Patron Saint of Irony.

At work a few days later, we received shipment of a statue for the chapel (I work at a church-sponsored organization).  The order had been placed 8 weeks prior and was complicated.  The statue, a 4-foot tall wooden carving of the Risen Christ, was pricey and had been shipped all the way from Italy.

When the Receiving staff told me the order had come in I asked how it looked.  They said it was fine but one woman thought one arm looked odd.  My shoulders and my countenance sagged.  And there, in a church-run organization, in reference to a statue of the Savior of the universe what words do you think fell out of my mouth?  "Oh Sh*t!"

I give up trying to make sense of me.
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