Wednesday, August 19, 2009


There are, what, thirty, or forty at the most, scenarios for cartoons. Let's see, you got "Guy lying on psychiatrist's couch," "clueless boss behind giant desk," "two sailors washed up on a tiny island with one palm tree," and don't forget "Guy just smashed his thumb with a hammer."

What follows Mr Hammerhead is usually the guy hopping around, tossing the hammer earthward and turning the air blue with his cursing.

By the way, did you ever slip and let fly a bad word in front of a small child, who then looks up at you and says, all disappointed, "You said a CURSE!" Makes you just wanna dig a hole and jump in it, doesn't it? Careful with that shovel now, Mordecai - mind you don't smash your thumb with it again!

Well, now we have evidence that cursing helps. To wit: It just makes sense — and eases the pain — to swear when you get hurt, researchers report.
Profane volunteers tolerated pain 50% longer than their non-cussing peers, according to a study in NeuroReport.
Richard Stephens said the findings might explain why cursing developed and persists. But he offered a caveat.
"If they want to use this pain-lessening effect to their advantage they need to do less casual swearing," he told the BBC. "Swearing is emotional language, but if you overuse it, it loses its emotional attachment."
The findings were cheered by a member of the Casual Swearing Appreciation Society, who said he thought the study was "the first time swearing's benefits had been proved," the Beeb writes.

So! You have permission to try out some of those words you learned in 4th grade when that tough new kid from Chicago moved in. Chipped tooth, corduroy pants and a leather jacket with wool sleeves, right from JC Penney out in the heartland...that's tough.

And he had older brothers with expansive vocabularies, and he was to teach the entire 4th grade terms involving procreation, biological/physiological definitions and novel methods of gratification. Only now do we learn that Spike from Chi was a man ahead of his time, purely existentialist in his lonesome keening response to pain.

It very well may help to turn the air blue after a thumbsmash, but I thunder mighty curses at the nonsense of Rush O'Hannity, and nothing. Perhaps I need to holler more casually.

No comments: