Jewish World Review July 11, 2002 / 2 Menachem-Av, 5762

David Grimes

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Consumer Reports

Decline in trash-talking is harming our mental health? Well, #@%&! | Are you feeling anxious or depressed?

The solution might be to walk up to your boss and call him or her a @#!&* boneheaded walking piece of camel @&*@!.

Your feelings of anxiety of depression will instantly disappear and be replaced by the pain of a broken nose and/or the panic of no longer having a job.

But you will feel better! At least that's the thinking of Dr. Matt Schweitzer as quoted in Weekly World News, America's most respected supermarket tabloid dealing in totally made-up stuff.

According to Dr. Schweitzer, the author of "What the $%&* Is Wrong With Cursing?," we are suffering from a nationwide epidemic of Acute Depressive Verbal Repression Syndrome, or ADVRS. (I don't think that's a cuss word, but if it is I'm sure you'll let me know. Judging by the melted earpiece of my telephone, few of my readers suffer from ADVRS.)

"Swearing and cussing people out is one our primary release mechanisms," Dr. Schweitzer is said to have said.

Dr. Schweitzer is concerned by what he perceives to be a decline in trash-talking, leading one to believe that the good doctor does not get WWF Smackdown as part of his cable package. He also claims he's not hearing the F-word bandied about in public like he used to, which seems to indicate he does not have a driver's license, has never been to a bar and has never attended a major sporting event.

Nonetheless, let us assume, for the sake of argument, that Dr. Schweitzer's brain has not been permanently damaged by New York subway fumes and that we really are making ourselves sick by being too nice. (Dr. Schweitzer said he actually overheard a New York cabbie having a polite conversation with a tourist. If that is indeed true, we've got a major problem on our hands.)

The doctor says it is not enough for us to merely return to our old crude, lewd, rude, profane ways. He says our pipes are so clogged that nothing short of a cussin' extravaganza will undo the damage. He suggests that we engage in as much cursing and foul language as possible for the next three to six months, screaming invectives wherever we go.

"Construct compound curses," he suggests. "Refer often to a person's mother or sister. If someone takes offense, remind them that you're simply practicing good mental hygiene." (Apparently running a piece of dental floss back and forth between your ears does not accomplish the same thing.)

As intriguing as the image is of millions of people running around calling each other dirty, rotten, blankety-blank-blanks, I worry that the cure for this disease may be worse than the disease itself. People will be in a constant state of exhaustion from yelling so much and the mental energy needed to construct ever more imaginative compound curses will also be draining. In three to six months, I foresee a nation so spent from constant cussin' that New York cabbies will no longer have the energy to speak to tourists, let alone offer them helpful directions.

So I recommend we just stick with our current flawed but workable system of cussin' out only those people who deserve it, and only in those situations that will not result in us getting fired or shot.

But those pro wrestlers, they really do need to amp up the trash talking a bit. A lot of their stuff is pretty $%&*@! lame.

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JWR contributor David Grimes is a columnist for The Sarasota Herald Tribune. Comment by clicking here.


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05/08/02 Hey, Mom, could you spare a dime?: Parents' obligations unending

© 2002, Sarasota Herald Tribune