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    Foul mouths

    “Profanity is the common crutch of the conversational cripple.”

    David Kueck

    As my little family arrived at our favourite river-swimming hole, we were greeted with the sound of boisterous male voices having a conversation that was punctuated with profanity.  They were across the river from us, but their voices carried as though they were sitting a meter away.  I first assumed that they were partying teenagers, oblivious to anyone’s existence but their own.  I considered yelling a friendly, “Hey guys, we’ve got kids here, could you please watch your language?”  (It’s the teacher in me.)

    Then I studied the figures more closely.  They were middle-aged men, and the most vocal of the lot was carrying a young child in his arms.  In the time it took me to count three young kids, an equal number of  ‘f-bombs’ were dropped.

    I felt more sad than aggravated.   I decided not to yell across the water.  These were my peers.  They obviously weren’t concerned about their own kids being exposed to such foul language, so why would they consider the impressionable young minds of my children?

    Thankfully, my daughters weren’t paying attention to the men across the river; they were more interested in wading into the water, spotting colourful rocks and visiting a little dog named Roxy.  We swam, played, and splashed, but the background sound of profanity was inescapable.  We didn’t linger.

    Upon reflection, I find myself wondering why I didn’t speak up.  If I was respectful about my request to the men, perhaps they would’ve been equally respectful toward me and apologized.  Alternately, they might have hurled a few derogatory comments in my direction.  I could’ve handled that.  I suppose I feared the possible confrontation.

    What would you have done?

    3 comments to Foul mouths

    • Audrey Engstrom

      I would have done exactly what you did —–leave. At times children need to be insulated, not isolated. Also, I feel there are times when silence speaks louder than words.

    • Aurora

      I have spoken up when it’s younger people using the language and it’s the parent in me speaking. I don’t think about it, I just do it because I am offended by it. I’m sure my comments do not influence the choices they make once they are out of my sight. I wouldn’t say anything to adults. They know what they are doing and I certainly won’t change them. Besides, they could retaliate and I don’t run as fast as I used to…

    • Karen

      Thanks Audrey. I like the way you phrased the ‘insulated, not isolated’ comment. Mind if I use that sometime? I’ll give you all the credit!

      And Aurora, your legs serve you well chasing your grandkids around! I’m sure you could outrun a few drunken River-men!

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