Welcome to Big Old Goofy World . . . a place where I can share my thoughts, hopes, and dreams about this rock that we live on and call home.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Oh, Shoot!

George Carlin used to say that “shoot” was just “sh*t” spelled with two O’s . . . and, in my experience, when I have used that expression or heard others use that expression, they have lengthen the word to include the letter “o” times two.  When people use the expression . . . such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid jumping off a cliff to avoid the advancing posse, they are using George Carlin’s understanding of the phrase more often than not.  I know because I am speaking from personal experience.  If I utter the phrase, “Oh, shoot” . . . it could easily be translated to “Oh, sh*t!”

Recently my seventeen month old granddaughter . . . the purest of all children . . . has begun uttering the phrase, “Oh, shoot!”  Of course, in my opinion, it is the cutest thing in the world.  According to the daughter and son-in-law she just started doing it, and they are not sure where she picked that phrase up from.  I can assure you that it was not me.

Now I am not going to proclaim that because I am a minister that I have a “holier than anyone else” attitude . . . nor will I claim that I would not swear.  I was raised on military bases . . . the bastion of swearing . . . and, I picked up a healthy array of swearing . . . I can swear with the best of them; but, I did not teach my granddaughter how to paraphrase a swear phrase.

Granted, I have taught my granddaughter a lot of things that her parents are not yet sure they appreciate.  I have her how to lick a finger, put it on another person, and go, “Ssssssssssssss.”  Then I tell her she is “hot” . . . she particularly likes to do that to her father and grandpa (me).  I have taught her how to say “whoa” . . . we are working on the “whoa, dude” part now.  But, I have never taught her to say, “Oh, shoot!” 
As a grandparent I have invoked my right to be myself around my granddaughter . . . for the most part.  That is the privilege of being a grandparent . . . you get to be yourself . . . for better or for worse.  At least that is how my daughter and son-in-law see it . . . I think they cringe whenever “grandpa” gets the granddaughter . . . what is he going to teach her this time!  I assure you that I pretty well keep it on the more conservative side.  Because of that, I can assure you that I did not teach my granddaughter, as cute as it is, to say, “Oh, shoot!”  Besides, that is too much work . . . if you are going to say it, say it right!  I guess if she picks up that phrase, I will have to claim that it is my fault.

Thankfully, I have not been blamed for the newly found phrase in my granddaughter’s limited vocabulary.  The daughter and son-in-law are looking at other relatives to blame. As much of a relieve that that is, I am sure that I am going to get more than my fair share of credit for the unsavory vocabulary and habits of my grandchildren through the years . . . that is a grandparent’s pride and joy . . . teaching our grandchildren the things their parents don’t want them to know.  Better a family member than some stranger on the street!

If my granddaughter begins to use sign language—in particular the Hawaiian sign for “good luck”—while in the car . . . that was probably me.  If she starts using sarcasm . . . that was probably me.  If she begins to call Box Elder bugs “democrats” . . . that was probably me.  If she starts rooting for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, yelling, “Go Big Red” . . . that was probably me and a couple of uncles and her mother.  If she starts rolling her eyes while other people are talking . . . me.  As much as I would like to take credit in the future for the phrase of “You betcha” . . . that is most of Montana.  The bottom line is that the little squirt is going to pick up things from her grandpa . . . that is the joy of being related to an old coot! 

So . . . I want to apologize to my daughter and her wonderful husband now.  I want to apologize for anything that I might rub off on my granddaughter that might be embarrassing to them in a public place . . . especially if she learns the actual terms instead of the Carlin versions of the words.  C’est la vie . . . that is what the old folks say.  Such is the circle of life . . . it all goes round and round.  My parents survived it . . . the wife and I survived it . . . and, so will my daughter and son-in-law.  The granddaughter will too.

Bonding with a grandchild takes many forms . . . there are many forms of connecting between a grandchild and a grandparent.  Some are in actions that are imitated, others are in the words that are mimicked . . . all are grounded in love.  Love is the key.  I do not think that any grandparent sets out to corrupt his or her grandchild . . . no, I just think that links are formed in the strangest places between the young and the old.  It is the link that matters . . .

Years from now, I am certain, that my granddaughter will utter the phrase, “Oh, shoot”, and she will remember . . . she will remember the laughter . . . she will remember the smiles . . . and, she will remember the person from which she learned that phrase.  That, my friends, is what matters the most.  I did not teach my granddaughter to paraphrase swearing . . . but, I did teach her to love.  The greatest form of love is imitation . . . oh, shoot . . . I mean, oh sh*t . . . there is a tear in my eyes!  I sure do love that little shoot!

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