Curses! Foiled Again

September 14, 2008

On one of the days when Mrs. Random and I were taking care of Random Granddaughter, I took a break to use the computer while my wife played with RG. Grandma was helping RG with some jigsaw puzzles.

I concentrated on my computer screen for a few minutes, and then looked up to see RG with a very shocked look on her face, staring at Grandma. After a minute, she broke into hysterical laughter which lasted for several minutes.

Later, I asked my wife what had sent RG into peals of laughter.

“After we finished a puzzle, I was putting the pieces away into the puzzle box. The box slipped from my hand, and spilled most of the pieces to the floor. Frustrated, I exclaimed, ‘Oh, poop! I dropped the puzzle pieces again.’

“RG apparently thought that I was the kind of Grandma who would never say something as awful as ‘Poop.’ She’s still coming to terms with having a grandma who talks that way.”

As you know, I’ve been considering opening a line of comedy clubs for pre-schoolers. However, I think we will have to have a rating system, and space the different shows out at appropriate times.

Before nap time, the three-year olds would attend the “PG-rated shows.” We could probably get away with using a joke about “Going Potty,” without the censors cracking down on us. While the three-year-olds were taking their naps, the four-year-olds would go the P-rated shows. In the evening, the five-year-olds would learn what words not to use when they go to kindergarten.


12 Responses to “Curses! Foiled Again”

  1. Chas Says:

    I thought you said that she said a bad word.
    Some words, like “screwed up” have become so common that people use them not knowing where they came from.
    I do not use them, however.

  2. truce Says:

    Kids are fascinated by anything remotely scatalogical and subversive. I have no idea why!

  3. modestypress Says:


    That’s true. I could give you a list of other words that have snuk in under the radar, but as you don’t use them, I won’t.


    I think it’s part of establishing their own identity separate from adults. As they come to recognize that certain activities and words shock adults, forbidden words and deeds are kind of little declarations of independence.

  4. pandemonic Says:

    I think “poop” is a particularly funny notion for most preschoolers, along the same line as “fart” – you just can’t get them to get over it. It has nothing to do with swearing, really, it’s just the word that elicits such giddiness.

    Hopefully she will grow out of it. Keep your fingers crossed; mine did not. 🙂

  5. Bodily functions are always a staple of comedy … when you’re RG’s age, poop is hilarious; when you’re an adult, sex is hilarious.

    Well. Maybe not so much, actually.

  6. modestypress Says:

    Brian Aldiss is another very avant-garde British science fiction writer (along with J G Ballard whom I once directed you to). He wrote a science fiction novel The Dark Light-Years in which…

    Well read the first two paragraphs of this review:

    In my more introspective moments, I find myself wondering how anyone could possibly not love a novel with dialogue like, “I pronounce all this to be land belonging to the Triple Suns. Let defecation commence.” Lest you think this is some sort of put-on, rest assured that The Dark Light-Years is, forty years after it was first published, still one of the most biting and hilarious satirical SF novels ever written. You might not know that from the horror-novelish cover of this ancient edition pictured here (the original 1964 Signet first US printing), but if you can find this book in any edition at a second-hand store anywhere, you’re in for both a dazzlingly original approach to a well-worn premise, and wit worthy of Douglas Adams into the bargain.

    Harlan Ellison, in his inimitable way, remarked glibly that this book was “all about shit.” There is of course a little more to it than that. In The Dark Light-Years Aldiss became one of the very first SF writers to explore what it really, really might mean to be alien. What if the human race encountered an extraterrestrial species that was clearly advanced, in many ways beyond anything we could possibly imagine — and yet what if their ways and customs contravened everything we considered to be endemic to a civilized, sapient culture? The Utods are just such a species. Both philosophically and technologically advanced beyond our understanding (their spaceships are made of wood!), they literally wallow in their own filth. Defecation is tied into everything — religious ritual, family bonding, even basic communication.

    Rest of review at:

  7. Hee. I bet you could make those comedy spots happen — parents could pay a cover charge for 3 hours or so, you could serve non-dairy, non-legume snacks, and there could be a two-juice minimum. And the floors could be nap-friendly.

    I would have used one, I know that.

  8. Karen O Says:

    This isn’t actually the same thing, but kinda similar…

    One day I was making instant pudding, as my 15-yr. old daughter looked on. Realizing I was a half cup short of milk, I paused & pondered what to do.

    Then I grabbed the can of RediWhip whipped cream we had on hand & squirted that into the measuring cup.

    My daughter’s eyes grew big, her mouth dropped open, & she exclaimed, “I can’t believe you did that!” Then we both proceeded to laugh uproariously.

    Using the whipped cream instead of milk (for 1/2 cup out of 4), wasn’t that big a deal, but she sure thought it was funny.

  9. modestypress Says:

    Karen, it really is the same thing. I hope Random Granddaughter is as easily and appropriately amused when she is 15 years old. I suspect she will be spraying the entire city with whipped cream or whatever the equivalent will be in 2018.

  10. LazyBuddhist Says:

    I’m not big on children – I’m a notorious cat/rabbit lady – but I’m big on cussing. However, at work I have some colleagues with rather delicate sensibilities so I have to find substitutes for my usual colorful vocabulary. So, I, a professional middle-aged woman have been known to exclaim with much frustration “poop poop POOP!” much to the amusement of my colleagues. My other child (or prudish colleague) safe expression is “son of a fruitcake!” For whatever reason, parents really like that one.

  11. Karen O Says:

    Random – (Sorry I’ve taken quite a while to get around to this comment.)

    The daughter I mentioned, Chrissy, is now 16, but she seems more “little girl-ish” in her behavior. Her best friend is 2 years younger than she, but they get along great.

    Chrissy may be a late-bloomer in growing up, but she’s quite bright intellectually.

    From what you’ve shared about RG, she seems more like my older daughter, Emily, now 19. Emily was always in a hurry to grow up, & was/is very strong-willed & stubborn.

    So, as RG grows – good luck. If she is like my Emily, you’re gonna need it!

    (BTW, both my daughters are my “favorite”. They each have their own delightful personalities, & I am very close to each one.)

  12. modestypress Says:


    I suspect you are correct. RG will be in a hurry to grow up and will be very strong-willed and stubborn. She exercises those muscles every day at the age of four and she will look like a body-builder in terms of those traits when she is 16.

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