Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Eldest Son Unleashes the F-Bomb (and the Kraken!)

Eldest Son (age 8) is enrolled in a special creative writing workshop at his school, which meets on Fridays. When I arrived home tonight he told me he had completed his short story for the week, and would I like to read it? Then he leaned over and whispered in my ear: "It's sort of inappropriate."

I was expecting a panoply of farts and poo talk, so I took the paper he handed me and started to read it out loud. The story was titled "How The Kraken Learned to Hate Bad Words." It starred a sailor named "Sdrowdab" ("Bad Words" spelled backwards) who gets into some hijinks on the high seas with the infamous Kraken. The Kraken and Sdrowdab get into a tussle, at which point ol' Sdrowdab unleashes some language that would make a sailor blush:

'"Fuck Fuck Fucky Fuck!" yelled Sdrowdab. "You're one slimy ass Kraken! Oh, Fuckity Fuck Fuck!"'

"Profanity offends my finer sensibilities," said Geoffrey Q. Kraken. "I'll take a double espresso, sir."
I did a double take, stopped reading, and gaped. Eldest Son smiled meaningfully.

"Ah, yes, what you said about inappropriate? Um, well..." And then I searched for a delicate way to put it. "Your teacher might be a bit...surprised. Shocked, even."

He burst into tears and snatched the paper from my hands.

"I knew it!" he screamed. "I'm gonna recycle this!"

Middle Son got very excited and managed to get his hands on the paper. He has just learned to read and is very proud of his skills. So he sounded out the word: "Fuck-tee? Fuck-tee? Fuck-tee!" He looked to me for approval.

Littlest Son said "Fuck-tee! Fuck-tee!" and laughed with great gusto.

"That's kind of a...bad word," I said.

Eldest Son burst into tears again and displayed his uvula.

"Wait, wait!" I said. "It's not like you have to scrap this story. How about you change the 'F' word to 'Fart'?"

"You know that will ruin it!" he wailed.

Well, he was right. Sometimes the F bomb just can't be replaced with a tame little replacement like "Fartity Pants" or "Farty Fart." Would Go the F to Sleep have become a bestseller? I don't think so. "Aw, sugar!" a coworker said recently. I cringed. Let's call a shit a shit, after all.

I asked him, "Where did you hear this word?" (Had he been reading mother's blog?) He shrugged his shoulders.

"You know, Eldest Son," I said. "It's just a word. Words can't hurt us. We shouldn't be afraid of words. Did you know that some people have banned books because they have bad words or thoughts in them that people don't like? I think you ought to bring that story in. Just be prepared. Your teacher's eyebrows will go up."

Why was I saying this? I don't know. I didn't want him to feel censored.

It was no use. He tore the story into little bits and ran off crying, saying things like "I wrote a banned story. I wrote a story that's gonna get banned." I gathered the bits and saved them. The pencil marks had faded from his grubby, angsty clutch. I could barely read the end, where the Kraken, deeply offended by the slew of bad language from the potty-mouthed sailor Sdrowdab, sinks beneath the waves "never ever to be seen again."

Fuckity fuck fuck, it was a pretty good story! But he made me promise not to tell a soul about it.

I lied very sweetly.

13 comments:

Truike said...

Well, my daughter Bloeme ( who is in the same writing class) told me last Friday) that Winston does not want to share his writing out loud in class. Now I understand!!!!!

Kate said...

I'm impressed with Winston's use of the word "inappropriate." Pretty sophisticated for an eight-year-old, or perhaps the word 'inappropriate' was thrown around a lot less when I was eight.
Great story. His and yours.

Unknown said...

That was fucking great.

The Rake said...

this is HAnn from awesomeSinks!

I love fuck! I love sinks! Krakcn never seen agin in our sinks.

we have krckin sinks and fuck sinks!

please to see them:
http://awesomesinks.com/fuck/

awesome! Fuck sinks!!!

Hann!

Jenny Phresh said...

@Hann, Your Spam has reached a new nadir of fucking awesomeness. Everyone buy some sinks from this man!

Angela V. Cook said...

That was too cute . . . My husband and I don't swear around the kids, so my six-year-old daughter is in the habit of accidently "stumbling" across bad words. For example:
DD- "What does p-i-s-s spell?"
Me- "It's a bad word. Don't say it?"
DD- "Piss?"
Me- "Don't say it!" *supresses laughter*
DD- "What, Piss?" *giggles*

We had a similiar conversation with the word "damn", lol. You'd think she would be upset after being chastised for saying such words, but she thinks it's hilarious! Yep, I'm in trouble with that one ;o)

Tara said...

Hilarious!

Anita Grace Howard said...

ROFL. I love your children. They are going to be witty, irreverent, and endearing, just like their mommy (and daddy, according to what The Rake's told us 'round here). HEH

GAR. That sounded like a spectacular story. So glad you shared it w/us. You know WE'D never ban anyone. Except maybe rapture clowns. A person's gotta have their standards.

Give that child a HUGE hug!!

P.S. Who knew Kraken was such a prude?

LisaAnn said...

Pretty fucking powerful.

Suzanne Payne said...

Well...the writer side of me says...that's pretty cool...the teacher side of me says..glad he didn't read it out loud at school and get in trouble..;)

Write Eat Repeat said...

I literally just spit my coffee, then had to clean it up before I could finish this. I want to be a fly on the wall in YOUR HOUSE. LOOOOOOOL.

Catherine Stine said...

Awww, that's really touching. I feel for the little guy. Especially a budding storyteller. He must be turned around quickly so that he knows he's awesome. I'm sure you'll do a good job of that.

Maureen said...

And such a find mannered kraken, too!