Quite a few years back, a friend of mine who was a career U.S. Marine got selected for duty as a Drill Instructor. This is one of the ultimate ambitions of any enlisted Marine. I was amazed when he told me that the new Marine Corps policy absolutely forbade use of the “f-bomb” within the earshot of recruits. I had a vision of 50,000 Marines about to storm Iwo Jima in 1945 being told they were not allowed to swear upon pain of being sent home. After which, a chorus of 50,000 would be heard saying, “F*** this s***.” I hung out with this guy enough to come to the conclusion that he was onto something. There are some words that you save for special occasions, otherwise, they lose their effect.
For instance, I got in the habit of saying “shoot,” “shucks,” or “shuckydarn,” which I got from Garfield, but who’s going to get offended. Several years later, while I was working as a public defender in Bethel, Alaska. My coworker’s two-year-old was bounding around the office. I had been having trouble with my printer. When I got back to my office, I found papers sticking askew from the printer, and the machine was making an ominous buzzing noise. I shouted, “Shucks!” at the top of my lungs. Half a second later, a two-year-old voice behind me shouted, “Shucks!” That night, I called my friend, the First Sergeant, in San Diego, to thank him for the good example he set for me. I know that little girl is going to learn to use all kinds of language, but she didn’t learn it from me on that particular evening. I learned to clean up my language from a Marine Corps Drill Instructor. Who would have thought it?
As a small tribute to that fine gentleman, I think it would be both fitting and fun to take the most profanity-laced story I’ve ever heard in my life and create a G-rated version:
A soldier gets back from a weekend pass. When a friend asked him how it went, he said, “Well, first freaking thing I did after I get off the freaking base was I go to this freaking bar. I sit down on a freaking chair and I see this freaking broad and I go over and we start freaking talking and I buy her a couple of freaking drinks, and the next thing you freaking know, we go back to her freaking place.” When his friend asked what happened next, he replies, “What the freak do you freaking think we freaking did? We had intimate relations!”