These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


there's a funny story behind those initials. perhaps some of you have figured ut what they stand for. either way, here's the story.

i talked to my sister today. we chatted and as i was about to hang up, rena came in. i said "hey." and then hung up. later linda called me back with something funny to tell me.

to back up, my mom had some sort of falling out with the priest at the parish where she attends mass. i guess it happened this weekend. also this weekend, rena served as altar server for the first time.

so linda and arnold asked rena how it went being an altar server.

"it was the first and last time," she replied. (she's 10 years old)

my sister and arnold inquired as to why it was the first and last time. after some prodding and talking, rena finally said the priest was not very nice.

"he's an A H," she said. i can almost picture her saying this, face squinted up in a look of disgust.

linda didn't get it. she mulled over the initials but they made no sense to her. so she asked, "a h?"

"he's an asshole."

now, i've never heard my niece cuss, mainly because over the past three and a half years, i see her only once or twice a year. so there isn't much opportunity. what i would have given to have heard this, though.

i think linda laughed, but she told her not to be saying that, that her parents would be upset with her if they heard her saying that word.

also, though, linda told me that a few months ago, rena was there and some comment was made and she ended up using the word, "bitch."

i don't condone the use of bad language from children. god nows i cuss, but when it comes out of the mouths of babes, we got a problem. i'd like to think rena doesn't cuss, she simply knows the words, tucks them away after making a mental note of them when she hears them.

will i excuse her for saying asshole? sure i will. as long as it isn't a habit we're ok.

thinking back, i don't think i used any bad word until i was well out of high school, maybe my third year of college. well...ok, middle school.

but as to the priest thing...well, if the collar fits, then the collar fits.


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