there's an old saying -- little pitchers have big ears -- which means kids can hear a lot more than what you would realize.
they also see a lot more than what you would realize, and say it, too.
roy was an assistant manager of a grocery store in a town where i once lived. he was outgoing, and since i went to the store about four times a week we got to know each other.
he told me that once he took his son to a local park to play, but was strongly offended by the obscene graffiti vandals had written on its fences and in a gazebo.
"dude, i don't want my kid going aaround saying fuck and shit like that,' he said.
that reminded me of a time in the early 1960s, when i was a grade-school kid and first saw the word fuck. it had been written on the side of a barn i often pass when i was playing outside.
i thought hmmm -- huck finn -- fuck hinn or something like that. i went home and asked my mother what fuck meant.
she took my upper right arm and shook me -- probably not as hard as i remember it, but she had a stronger than and told me: "DONT. YOU. EVER. SAY. THAT. WORD. AGAIN."
i'm sorry to say that i did say it -- more than once -- but definitely not around her.
in the middle 1980s, i worked at a bookstore. c.c. -- i call her that because that was her initials -- was one of my coworkers.
she was a voracious reader when she was young. when she was a little girl, she told me, she picked up a paperback novel of her mother's -- written by judity krantz or some trash hack like that -- and saw the phrase glory hole.
she asked her mother what a glory hole. and her mother was not very happy to hear her say that.