Shushing, swearing, and sports (barely)

AlQaeda is my friend. We hang out. We talk at an unreasonable volume. We swear an unreasonable amount. We go to hockey games. These are the facts of the case, and they are indisputable.

Not long ago, we were at an Oilers game (yes, the Oilers do officially still play that game we call hockey), and we were having a lovely conversation about…well…I don’t really remember. It doesn’t really matter. The point is, that we were (at least during the period of time in question) NOT talking about baby rape or holocaust denying or some equally incendiary topic. However, as noted in the facts, we were swearing our asses off.

If you’ve ever been to CorporateSellout Coliseum in Edmonton (it used to gloriously be called “The Coliseum” until some douchebag decided to sell the name a few times–fortunately, it’s still called the right name on all transit signs), you will know that the seats are pretty close together. Even with normal sports-venue noise, moderately loud conversation can be heard from within 10 feet or so. Sitting in front of us, slightly to the right, there was a middle-aged guy (maybe later 30’s, early 40’s) with his kid (I’m bad with kid ages: somewhere between 8 and 15). I noticed this poor putz wincing whenever we swore particularly virulently, so I sort of wondered if he would say anything. At some point, he leaned back to AlQaeda and said something like, “Hey, can you watch the language? I’m here with my kid.”

Now, some of you may be concerned about the exact nature of the “shush”, but it doesn’t really matter (possibly AlQaeda will follow up with the exact-ish words). The key is that we were shushed, in public, at a HOCKEY GAME, for inappropriate language. Ok, so a couple of things jump right out at you:

1) We’re adults. You’re not our grade 4 teacher.

2) I will say it again: IT IS A HOCKEY GAME! We’re not at your daycare.

3) They serve liquor at hockey games. We didn’t happen to be drinking, but come on.

4) He chose to bring a kid to a place where there will be (among other things): yelling, swearing, possibly racist talk, drinking, and general carrying on, over which Daddy can expect to have no control.

AlQaeda, gentleman that he is, was polite and said “Sure” or something equally polite and positive. When he told me, I got immediately mad because this kind of crap really annoys me. AQ made the karma/business argument which basically goes, “You never know when you might go into a meeting where you’re hoping to land a huge contract, and the decision maker comes in, and it just happens to be the guy you yelled at for shushing you.” That’s a fair argument. Here is mine:

Daddy’s only possible argument for wanting to control the noise around his kid is with some notion of communal child rearing. Somehow, we as a community have chosen to protect our children from bad words, so he is within his rights to try to affect the words coming from my mouth. If that’s the case, then I call upon my group-parenting rights and say, “You are raising your child wrong!” I believe that the earlier kids learn about “appropriate language” the better. People need to know that while the word “juxtapose” is a useful and impressive word when you’re at a hand-ground, monkey massaged, bean smooched coffee party with a load of people wearing corduroy jackets with elbow patches, if you trot it out at, say, a hockey game, you are likely to get your ass kicked. At the very least, people may draw the wrong (or right, I suppose) conclusions about the kind of person you are based on the language you use. Hold on, I’m getting off track here. For further arguments on language, look them up yourself.

Essentially, it’s the parent’s responsibility to educate their children when it comes to language. Or anything for that matter. What if that guy is a believer in Scientology, and I’m talking to my friend about how fucking bullshit it is, is the guy going to ask me to stop or is he going to take this opportunity to tell his kid about “differing viewpoints” (also on eposidoe 11241421209602495620348234 of Sesame Street).

Words are like food, people. Some you don’t like, some you like, and some you just want to roll around in your mouth like warm chocolate sauce (the rich, velvet-y kind). I like the taste of swearing. It’s salty. No one can tell you what to eat. Eat what you want. Say what you want. Fuck that guy.

One Response to “Shushing, swearing, and sports (barely)”

  1. AlQaeda says:

    greetings sir.

    i agree that i should be able to swear in public at a hockey game, but ultimately trying to restrict my swearing at a game, which was both loud and excessive, isn’t a big deal. now if swearing were some political statement about free speech, then yes, i agree. fuck you that guy. but i’m just spouting off in public, and if he politely asks me to stop, i’m cool with that.

    if he would have said – shut your mouth. we’re trying to watch the game, then i would have said something. but the guy was polite, so i say it’s good.

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