There’s no need for insults unless there’s a column to write

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Goldfish choir!
I received a lot of mail this week in response to a column I wrote recently on alternatives to swear words. “My lord and Taylor, I just loved it! A woman wrote. Her favorite exclamation that sounds dirty but isn’t is “Goldfish chorus!” I like it. It has the right balance of harsh syllables and throaty turns. I’m going to try it out in church to see if I can cause gasps of horror.

Mama Mia!
Another writer insinuates that she can swear in a foreign language and included a long sentence in Italian – one that I won’t repeat here in case it gets really, REALLY dirty and accidentally causes some kind of international incident. . Again.

All have grown up
Another writer of the letter said of me that “age has softened Mark’s disposition and attitude,” an observation that plunged me into a week-long depression. Did I really soften up that much? Have the years made me polite and well-mannered like any ordinary sap? I have to go out and get some toilet paper in a house or something just to get my childish mojo back. However, I wouldn’t want to disturb anyone, so I’ll just TP my own home.

I know you are, but what am I?
Maybe next week we’ll discuss a number of delicious, semi-clean, but perfectly useful pejoratives that you can throw at people who hurt or put you under your skin. We are talking about classics such as “ringmeat” and “bonehead” and “dingus” and “doofus” and “idjit” and “schnook” and “nincompoop” and “weenie” and. . . Well I have a lot more, but they quickly come out of the semi-clean zone and get really fun.

Why are you
Or if you really want to have high eyebrows, take a lesson from Shakespeare and put a little sophistication in your slurs. Has the boss been on your back? Let him know he’s a “poisonous backpack toad”, a “muddy conger”, a “moldy thug” or, if things have really gone wrong, “a damn luxurious mountain goat”. This will fix it.

Wait a minute…
How did we come back to this subject?

Wet stuff
On the day of the big storm, I got stuck between shards of cloud and ended up riding my motorcycle in a downpour. I’m soaked, which is a lot of fun at first. However, every time I tried to change for dry misfires another big call went through the scanner and I had to run back out, crushing everywhere I went. This happened six times in a row and by the time things calmed down, hours later, I was pretty well trimmed and fungi were growing in my socks. True story.


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