The forgotten art of profanity and cursing

I miss the old days when cursing someone or yelling profanities at someone actually meant something….or if not, at least it was innovative. People today are just not up to the mark when it comes to either of these. Let’s take profanities for example. The most common word is the F word, and I don’t need to even point out how boring the word has become. Personally, I don’t see the point of the word. For example, you’re mad at someone and you yell “f**k you!”, isn’t that in some weird sense an open invitation to you-know-what? And the F word is probably the most f**ked up word and is used in every possible context…verb, adjective, noun… Will Shakespeare is probably going bonkers in his grave thinking, “Of all the messed up words I created, I did not think of this one word that has such global appeal.” Any country you go to, whether people can speak English or not, they know the F word. That and ‘Baywatch’. I don’t want to even get started on some people who think it’s cool to use the F word in every sentence…even if it is not required. And if it has no place, just generally say” Oh f**k!”. I’m personally having a hangover from the ‘Eminem 8-mile’ stage where I still use the word and then wonder why I needed to use it, so I’m no angel.

Another common word among the auto-driver, bus-driver and other folks in Bangalore, heard mostly when someone is driving like a lunatic is a word that is the equivalent of pubic hair. How is that even an insult? It’s about as corny as Russell Peter’s ‘ya f**king blowjob’ profanity. Every now and then, I like to live on the edge and drive my Activa a little crazy, darting between trucks, cars and autos….hey, us Activa-ians can be daredeveils too, just that we do at the speed of 60, and every now and then I hear some bus driver yell this at me. I probably find it the most confusing profanity ever. Since when did parts of one’s anatomy become cuss words? Imagine this, “you’re the hairy mole under my armpit.” Or “you’re the rash I have which I can’t itch in public!” or “you’re that stupid wisdom tooth that needs a root canal”….how are these even supposed to be insulting? If you want to look at it, it’s probably not an insult at all, the guy screaming it is associating you with something really personal…which is erm…kinda sweet if you think about it. You cut the guy off in traffic and nearly scratch his car and he screams,” You’re the diaper rash on my baby’s butt”. If it came to profanities, the best person yet is Captain Haddock! Bashi bazouks! Caterpillars! Sea-gherkins! Carpet-sellers! Pithecanthropuses! Slubberdegullions! Doryphores! Miserable earthworms! Bougainvillea! Ectoplasmic Byproduct! Logarithm! Pickled herrings! Fancy-dress freebooters! Breathalyser!....oh I could go on for hours! Now these are examples of great ways to scream at people. My new personal favourite , when I see some crazy people driving in a fashion that is guaranteed to get themselves killed and maybe a few others along with them has been ‘Suicide Bomber!!!’.

And when it comes to cursing people, I am talking about ‘curse’ as in Harry Potter type curse…you know, “May warts grow on your face” type curse, people have just forgotten how to do it. The most common curse is to wish death upon someone. And quite frankly, death is boring. It’s quick and the person around just does not suffer enough to see the point. How about the ‘ I curse you that someone treats you like a dog’ ? Dogs today get treated better than people. Ever seen those up-market Paris Hilton type dogs that wear jewelry whose worth is my study-loan about 3 times over? Dogs today, have it made. People to care for you, clean up after you, take you for walks….so how is that bad? How about the ‘May you die like a dog’ curse? Do dogs have some special cool way of dying….cigar in one paw, chardonnay on the other with Luciano Pavorati singing in the background while a firing squad aims at them?

Allow me to take a real life example. Now I’m not saying that my curses actually work, or that they are any good, but I would like to think that they are innovative. After my recent Tirupati trip, where I got a tonsure done, my colleague has been hurling abuses at me regarding how hideous I look and all that. Now, normally, I don’t care too much for all these, but this time it was getting too much. Counter curse –“ May you marry a man with long locks and 6 pack abs, and a year after the wedding…may he go bald and get a paunch belly”. People thought I would curse her to lose hair, but where is the fun in that? Imagine this, you marry a guy for a few superficial things like hair and abs…and then when he loses all that, a bald fat man is the last thing you’re going to see every night before you go to sleep, and the first thing you see in the morning when you wake up, the hand you’ll have to hold at the movies and the dinners you’ll have to have sitting right across the table. Excellent curse???? You tell me.

One of the most innovative curses I’ve heard till date was, “May you get a windows operating system based PC with the ctrl, alt, del keys removed on the keyboard” (Non IT folks…I pity you for not knowing this). And that’s how curses should be. Something like a toned down version of all the ‘Saw’ movies….no physical torture, but visual torture. Someone cursing an MBA grad, “May you make ppts and excel sheets forver!” Du-uh….we do that for a living! We can do it with our eyes closed. You want to curse an MBA grad, “Tell them they can’t use Wikipedia or Google to get answers and must make a presentation without MS Powerpoint” and watch us shit bricks.