Blessings and cursing

“Son of a BI—”

“Are you all right?”

The sound of my wife’s voice cut me off mid-swear, and I looked up at her, a little surprised.

“Uh … yeah, I’m fine. Why?”

She crossed her arms and looked down at me. “Because you’ve been swearing in progressively louder and more vile oaths for about five minutes.”

“Oh,” I said. I paused the game. “Well, there’s this blue shard I need to get, see, and it’s waaaaaayyy over on this other—”

“Wait … you’re swearing at the game?”

I swallowed. “Um … I think so, yeah.”

She huffed an exasperated sigh and dismissed me with a fanning motion. “Forget it. Never mind. Go back to your ‘fun”, I guess.”

As she turned around and walked away, it occurred to me this wasn’t the first time she mistook my frustrated cursing as rage, or legitimate anger. It happened for the first time many, many moons ago, when I first equipped and began to use my garage woodshop.

The blue streak I cursed out of that 2-1/2 car torture chamber came as I became involved in the agony and ecstasy of woodworking. I built furniture – some of it nice, good-looking stuff, if I do say so myself – and along the way, as part of that rite of passage, came the old master’s way of working wood. With much discarded mistakes and cursing.

Of course, with a woodshop, the first concern is I may have injured myself. Make sure you can still count to ten when you come in the house, the old saying goes. We shortened it to “Don’t come in with nine.” Barring that, the next concern is I’ve ruined an expensive piece of equipment, then that I’ve destroyed weeks of labor by messing up an entire piece, losing hundreds of dollars in wood, etc. But really, the craft just can’t be enjoyed to its fullest without the swearing.

“It’s like a roller coaster ride,” I told her. “It’s just not as fun if you’re not screaming your guts out, right?” I hate roller coasters. I left that off.

She understood, took my word for it, and went on, but I don’t know if my wife ever embraced the philosophy. After years of not having to deal with it, she’s hearing me in that agitated, growling bark again, shouting obscenities at the TV screen and waving my arms and leaning my body to provide the proper touch to the Wii controls. Of course it’s futile, but I do it anyway. And cursing the ancestry of my games seldom makes them more cooperative to fat, aged-slowed fingers who’ve lost some of their dexterity with time. Nevertheless, like the woodworking of years past, I curse it loud and long and violently, with a vehemence she can’t match and wouldn’t if she could.

My wife, bless her heart, doesn’t understand the blessing of the cursing.

How ‘bout you? Do you have things where, to an outsider, you’re just torturing yourself, but actually is providing you invaluable, immeasurable entertainment? Do you find you enjoy a particular something more if there’s a little steam in your stride, a little piston-driving anger or venom?

Or am I just nuts?

Don’t answer that last one.


All original content copyright 2010 DarcKnyt

6 thoughts on “Blessings and cursing

  1. Which video game were you playing?

    Spore Hero, a favorite of my son’s. 🙂 And mine, truth be told.

  2. This guy at work curses at his computer all the time. Every once and awhile, somebody takes offense to it and he gets in trouble. But eventually people get use to it and the complaints stop. That is until a new person is hired and the process starts all over again.

    Wow. He’s lucky, or you work in a VERY relaxed environment. I’d never get away with swearing in a workplace. I’d be dismissed out of hand before the end of my first week. 😀

  3. This made my morning. (:

    Yes, what game are you playing? Does she par-take in playing this game, too? Has she ever tried it? I think swearing does go along with the territory whether you’re willing to realize it or not.

    When I met Matt, he played Medal of Honor online, and between just cursing at the game, and cursing at the guys he was playing with (all good buddies, but they still chewed each other out)… you’d of sworn he was ready to kill something. I used to get so frustrated back, because I’d be reading, or working on assignments (I was in college at the time) and I was constantly being disrupted – abruptly – to a cacophony of cursing and yelling.

    son of a *****!
    mother ******!
    my god damn!
    take that *******!

    Finally, one night, Matt and his buddy, convinced me to sit down and play the game… we were all sitting around drinking, and they were playing with their buddies. They thought it would be funny for me to get in the room and shoot a couple rounds.

    And you know… maybe it was the alcohol, but I was mad. I sniped that bitch and he didn’t die!

    Then we finally picked up a Playstation 3, and oh my word. It’s a million times worse! He chats online with buddies he meets on there (and for the most part, it’s the same guys every night), and they yell, and curse, and holler at the people who come into the room who don’t know what they’re doing, how to pass the puck, play the game right (NHL 2010 and he used to play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2).

    I’ve mentioned it to him a couple of times to chill out and tone it down just to have it fall on deaf ears, and to his reply of “it’s part of the fun, Babe!”

    Yeah, sounds like fun. Sounds like anger to me!

    Then I get my DS, and I pick up a copy of Chrono Trigger, and I was hooked on this in a matter of days, I could hardly put it down! So I’m laying on the chesterfield one night playing, and it was getting pretty hard, and I kept dying and having to try and kill the boss again.

    “You ****ing *****! Damn it!” and so on and so on, but the game is too good, and I’m having too much fun, and I can’t put the stupid thing down.

    Matt’s there chuckling at me! “Stop yelling at the game!”

    So then we downloaded Peggle, and I assure you, the cursing continues. It seems so simple, but it’s so challenging in some levels, you can’t help but yell at it, but you sure as hell can’t put the damn controller down either!

    I agree with you 100%. Swearing, just goes with the territory of these things.

    Absolutely. Some say the degree of swearing multiplied by the volume gives us the product’s “fun” level. 😉

  4. Console and LAN-based multiplayer games: oh, yeah. Even though the latest console we have is an N64, and our favorite (no longer playable) network game was Duke Nukem. Every now and then The Missus and I would play while we had company, and our guests simply could not believe the foul things we were yelling at and calling each other. Especially because it’d be punctuated by lots of laughter. 🙂

    That’s funny. I DON’T do online games, though. UGH. Nothing like being cannon fodder for a bunch of glow-in-the-dark nerds who are a tiny fraction of my age.

    For me, there’s very little difference between fun and good work. Both are absorbing, and both induce calm, pleasant mental states — even if there’s a lot of shoutin’ and cussin’.

    Oh yeah!

  5. My son plays sports games and he cusses at each and every one of his players. It’s retarded, but it’s better than him punching his sister.

    HEY! I resemble that remark.

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