insurance design

Smoking Charges Ignite

Last night, Amy took Anna, our seven-year-old, to the dress rehearsal for her 2015 dance recital. I was left in charge of Will, our nine-year-old, and Ella, our three-year-old. What follows is a litany of the kids showing me that I exist in their world as a piece of tightly-spun twine, permanently...

[ Swap Article ]

Sad Child


Our actions become our kids' reactions. Not exactly new. Not exactly Newtonian (pause while joke sinks in). But it's a truism all the same. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Car radio

Piece of Sh*t Car Reprise

When I was in high-school, a popular song named "Ode to My Car," by Adam Sandler, spun regularly on the radio. No, it didn't. All foul-mouthed teenage boys wished such happy, unfiltered radio days would appear, but that didn't stop the explicit lyrics from making an impact, even if the song's plot...

[ Swap Article ]


Advertise Here

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a fan of selective strong language (and if you don’t know me, what’s your problem? Good stuff here). Constant cursing and acerbic descriptors affect writing quality the same as water in your basement. If …...

[ Swap Article ]


Certain messes in life are unavoidable. If you get a DUI and your hair is sufficiently mussed or you manage to jam your finger into the nearest outlet just prior to the mug-shot, chances are you'll be a big-time celebrity some day. ...

[ Swap Article ]

A Reasonable Explanation

Therapist: Take me back to the beginning. Tell me how it all got started, how you eventually wound up holding the bloody knife in the aftermath of your killing spree. I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation....

[ Swap Article ]

That's a Mouthful

Waking up to the sounds of birds and (outside) insects is alluring, and when you have your second 10th cup of coffee and realize you are on vacation, and this auditory lovemaking is real, not the result of an ambitious-carpet-cleaning hallucination, you can finally relax, letting your bulk stress...

[ Swap Article ]

Stupid Piece of ... Oh, That's Right

I'm a realist. I call things like they are, and if I look stupid in the process, well, so be it. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Deadly Donuts

The morning started off good. Four eggs fluffed with a splash of milk, mixed with Parmesan and salt and black pepper and red pepper flakes and slathered with Cholula hot sauce; four ounces of Bob Evan's spicy Italian sausage (sorry for the smell, honey, luv ya) fried into the wonderful concoction;...

[ Swap Article ]

When Did I Become a Pushover?

I've never thought of myself as the Ultimate Fighter type. As a kid, whenever the possibility of bodily harm came up, I tried to avoid confrontation. But if the issue was pressed, I could stand up and issue fake threats along with the best of them and hope that my manufactured bravado was enough to...

[ Swap Article ]

As I Approach 30

I live in a small town. Colona, IL has a population of just over 5,000. As a jogger, this means I am usually only assaulted with exhaust fumes a few times whenever I decide to go outside to burn some calories. But as far as the type of people passing me on the roadside? Over this, I have no control....

[ Swap Article ]


Filed Under on May 26th, 2012

Selective Censor

By Seth Kabala

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a fan of selective strong language (and if you don’t know me, what’s your problem? Good stuff here).

Constant cursing and acerbic descriptors affect writing quality the same as water in your basement. If it stays in the water-heater, doing what it’s supposed to do, performing its duty in making the house function (no more outdoors shithouse? Check), you’re all good. If it leaks out the sump pump, if the sewer backs up, you could be literally up shit creek (trust me. Been there).

So it would seem to make sense that outside of writing, one should also strive to constrain one’s speech to those words most likely to drive the maximum impact, and if a “fuck” helps you do that, go for it. Just don’t waste these gems. They’re just as likely to get your ass kicked as win an argument, and the knowledge that you were right won’t mean a helluva lot when your face is making it to third-base with the sidewalk.

That’s my take on cursing. But my wife apparently thinks differently.

A few weekends ago, we traveled to Traer, IA for my cousin’s graduation party. After, we were getting ready to head back to Grandma JoJo’s, when Will, my six-year-old, started freaking out because he couldn’t get his door closed. As I often peel out of our driveway prior to all the doors being closed, doing my best to create human windsocks of my family, I could understand his consternation.

The pillow he’d brought along for the road trip was getting in the way, and try as he might, he couldn’t overpower that fluff (similar to a problem the majority of the US adult population has. What? I was talking about clothes that don’t fit. What did you think I was talking about?).

In rural small town America, when an eighteen-wheeler rolls through town, it obscures speech with the efficacy of jets on-board an aircraft carrier. All the buildings act like pinball bumpers, reverberating the sound, making you feel like your dentist really screwed up.

One came in for a landing during the pillow incident, so maybe I, my mom and my brother Trevor, both of whom were with us, were in the middle of the pinball effect, and maybe we heard Amy wrong, but I don’t think so. I think my wife needs a censor.

Despite admonitions that we couldn’t leave until he had closed the door, Will continued having no luck, so Amy said (so she said) tone exasperated, “Push it!”

To me, Mom, and Trevor, it sounded like she said, “Bullshit,” but she insisted this was incorrect. Traditional safe concurrence with the wife that keeps my sex life active aside, I put it to you, dear reader, to decide which response makes more sense.

The analysis:

Scenario 1.

Will was freaking out, doing his best impression of a possessed soul–slash–electrocution victim, saying he couldn’t get the seat-belt buckled, and in response to this bullshitigans, Amy responded as deserved–”Bullshit,” which obviously implies she disbelieved he couldn’t buckle the belt, and he should do anything necessary to accomplish buckling of said buckle, up to and including pushing the pillow out the way.

Egads. Look at all the space you can save with one curse!


Scenario 2.

Will was freaking out, acting as though he’d just received the life-altering news that, yes, he must finish dinner before dessert, was insisting he couldn’t buckle the seat-belt, and Amy suggested, with healthy vigor, that he push the pillow out of the way.

Given my wife’s propensity for avoiding curses like Kirstie Alley avoids the gym (unless a paycheck is sitting just inside the door, to the left of the lipo machine) (Seth’s Happy Time the notable exception), the logical answer is scenario two.

Yeeeah. And that option is so funny, right?

“Push it!”


Leave a Reply

Seth Kabala

About: Seth Kabala
Seth is an entrepreneur, writer, musician, family man, and juggler of balls--big ones. He lives with his wife and three children in Portland, OR.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0 Comments Load Comments

Ben Comedy Main Headshot 2019 Lego Tshirt Hi Res_May 2019 Profile Piece

An Interview with Ben Rosenfeld (feature)

Acceptance and Current Events ...

[ Swap Article ]

Cartoon stick figure drawing conceptual illustration of angry man or businessman targeting with antique cannon ready to fire.

Bolt-Action Cannonball Sack

"Can you do the bolt-action cannonball sack?" Ella asked me today during bedtime. She was trying to remember the name of the move I do when I toss her over my shoulder and then flip her onto the bed. (I call it the fireman’s carry/toss.) Earlier, she was playing Fortnite with Will and must have...

[ Swap Article ]


Time Traveling Titan

At Toastmasters last week, the theme was National Velociraptor Awareness Day (a real thing). During Table Topics, one of the questions was this: describe your experience finding the first velociraptor claw. Tonight, the whole family is going to watch Avengers: Endgame. In the spirit of honoring the...

[ Swap Article ]

Grunge green accepted word round rubber seal stamp on white background

Editor's Note--TFF Issue #21

On Easter Sunday afternoon, we took our kids to a trampoline/obstacle course park, but not just any ordinary park. This wasn't a collection of four-feet-across questionable exercise equipment in the trailer park's social activities room. (If we cobble together a bunch of small trampolines, we could...

[ Swap Article ]

Mad scientist holding up a test tube

Ammo Arms (part one)


[ Swap Article ]

Set, collection of colorful socks icons with different ornaments isolated on white background.

Waiting for Sock

Think about stuff you need to get you through your day. Does coffee come to mind? Of course it does. For millions of Americans and billions of people around the world, coffee, in its various forms, is a daily ritual. Not just a daily ritual--an hourly fix, as in you need to grab more black sludge...

[ Swap Article ]


Shuffler's Luck

I never knew a card game could change my life. I'm not talking about a high-stakes poker game, where international gangsters vie for dominance in a world of chance, and if chance doesn't go their way, bullets will do as a nice substitute. I'm talking about a simple card game with suggestions for the...

[ Swap Article ]

Bully man

Meter Mensch

A co-worker of mine dropped her bus pass in the hall. Someone picked it up and handed it to her. She thanked the person, saying she was sure glad she hadn't lost it for good. I poked my head out of my office and said, "You just ruined a fare inspector's day." Got a good laugh, and it got me...

[ Swap Article ]

Chess board made of white and brown sugar with King

Sweetness and Dark

The street is dark. Cars line both sides, hugging the curbs. Streetlamps reflect off of glossy paint jobs and squeegeed windshields, creating alternative perspective art pieces from flipped aspect ratios of bent light. A breeze blows the evening fog up from the water. It lowers the ambient...

[ Swap Article ]

Holy Cow - handgezeichnete Illustration mit Pastellkreide in türkis

Couch Etymology

From where you sit, do you understand seated origin? The reason for said sitting? If not, you soon will. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Pop-art style poster with hipster deer dressed in yellow glasses and scarf, telling I am cool.

Toxic Bambi

Yesterday while I was writing, Ella, our seven-year-old, came up to me and said she had thought of a joke. "My first joke," she announced, pride streaming from her voice and face. I asked her what it was. Here's what she said, "What does [we'll say Bob] want to do for school? Me U. Get it? Me U...

[ Swap Article ]

World Map in Typography word cloud concept, names of countries

Plan for the Journey

Toastmasters is moving away from its physical manuals and static speech-making program into a dynamic program called Pathways. On January 10, 2019, I delivered my first speech in Pathways: a re-imagination of my ice-breaker speech. If you don't know me, know this: if you give me a rubric, I will...

[ Swap Article ]