- Books, Literature, and Writing»
- Commercial & Creative Writing
A Blessing Upon Your House
It is what you say or is it?
The power of words has always fascinated me. I remember some time ago watching Bill Cosby in a college gymnasium in San Diego talking about how difficult it must have been for God, every time someone called upon him to do something. It wasn’t so much what people asked for in prayer, but that unthinking act of calling upon the almighty to damn someone or something in a moment of pique.
Let’s face it, the universe is really a big place, according to some it is unending. That means, his grace is busy creating galaxies, or stars, or planets, or he may simply be putting the finishing touches on some new creation…
“Now, let’s see them come up with ‘created in his own image’ with this one,” he says while finishing the first glokmy on Erizadon.
When from somewhere in the either he hears…
“God, dam nit!”
“What! Where! Who! Now look what you made me do! And I have been working on this glokmy, for hours. Now I’m gonna have to start all over. That’s what I get for working with primordial ooze.
“Would you people give me a break? I have work to do, you’re not the only beings in the universe, you know. Sheesh!”
Now with that image in mind, Bill suggested that rather than call upon the Supreme Being, that people should call upon his friend Rudy. Instead of using God, say “Rudy, Damn it!” Rudy wasn’t doing anything important, and surely it would be just as effective.
Now I have a lot of respect for Bill, and I don’t want to cast dispersions on his friend Rudy, but I am not sure, that Rudy is exactly the right person for the job. It has nothing to do with his abundance of idleness, in fact, that probably should be a prerequisite for the job, but the over all ambience of the refrain is lost using Rudy’s name in vain. The truth of the matter is that Rudy’s name is the very essence of the problem. I mean after all who is going to be afraid of someone named Rudy.
Rudy does not inspire awe, fear, or a sense of wonder. In fact if someone were to say “Rudy damn you!” The immediate response would be “who cares,” or even worse, as you are damning someone with that particular expletive they may fall upon the ground laughing, and that surly in not the desired reaction. You want to elicit something akin to fear from you target, or at least contempt or some kind of negative reaction, not a jovial response that leaves you feeling impotent or silly.
I am not sure whose name you would use, but it must have some teeth or at least some bark behind it. You want a strong single syllable name that would convey a person who was capable of delivering upon the expletive. Something like Butch, Dirk, or Vito. I know; Vito has two syllables, but it does carry some grit with it that may make you think twice about falling upon the ground laughing. And Vito may have enough idle time to devote to the task being asked of him.
My point is that the right name or the right word in the proper context can be most effective. It may be that Bill’s friend Rudy is an imposing figure, but that name does not conjure up that image.
Suppose you are walking down the street and you in some innocent manner befoul a neighbors yard. The neighbor yells that he is going to sic his dog upon you. You pause and consider your action; to flee may come to mind. But if the threat had been he was going to set his parakeet upon you, the desired effect he was intending to instill may not have come to pass. Fleeing may not immediately come to mind. “You have got to be kidding!” May be your initial reaction followed by hysterical laughter?
But with the threat of a dog, fleeing may be fore most in you mind, unless the threat is followed with the phrase, “ Get him Fluffy!” You may trip and fall down in a thunderous chorus of laughter. Fluffy does not instill terror. Your major concern is if you stamp your foot at the attacking animal, he may pee upon you in a shaking attempt to escape being crushed. Clearly here, an unseen dog’s reputation rest’s with his name.
Words, names are truly important to make an impression. There are a number of words that society has decided are inappropriate to be used in public and yet these words are definitively the proper response in certain circumstances. One of these is on George Carlin’s list of unusable words on TV, though if you have cable that list has been obliterated depending on the channel and the time of day. Thank goodness.
However, this special word, a supposed acronym for Forbidden Understanding of Carnal Knowledge has many appropriate applications, but because of society’s mores we are forbidden to use it. As one who feels there is always a way around society’s inequities, I believe that the substitution of another word may solve this dilemma.
I studied this task at length, clearly a creative use of idle time, and I believe I have come upon a word that when substituted will provide the explitator with the satisfaction of expressing his or her self while leaving the recipient in a befuddle state of confusion. That alone will add incredibly to the satisfaction of the delivery of the expletive. The word is “bless”.
You may need some time to digest the brilliance of this solution. After all when you need to express yourself and leave your opponent perplexed, what can be more rewarding that to say “Bless You” upon your departure. Especially when your confrontation has been a particularly colorful one. You opponent, unaware of the expletive will simply stare at you in a delightful state of confusion.
“You are really one of the Blessed ones,” has a nice tone to it. And how about “…you are truly blessed”. I realize that there are phrases that may be lost, like references to mother ones, but a little creativity can lead one to many other expressions with extremely satisfying results. “Bless you and the horse you rode in on…” or “A blessing upon you and yours”. An old standby of course is “… man am I blessed.”
It has been quite a journey from that gymnasium in San Diego, to God working upon a new creature not in his image, and appropriately selecting attack animals and naming them, to casting off blessings a hundred times, but that is the power or words.
Have a nice day…and
In the words of Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act “…Bless You.”