Most of the time mom and John talk about things I don’t understand. But when they start talking about my testicles at the table I understand perfectly.

Cuss Word Combo

Most of the time mom and John talk about things I don’t understand. But when they start talking about my testicles at the table I understand perfectly. Mine haven’t dropped yet, and everyone is deeply concerned. During the last couple of weeks, I’ve had to show them to mom and John and doctors and nurses and interns and trainees. Apparently, my father and John are exchanging letters on the topic. Both of them are accomplished writers and I’m sure the tone is professional and subversive.

“All I’m saying is that Tommy inherited his lack-of-descending-testicles from his father. Therefore, he’s obligated to pay for the operation.”

“Maybe he’s just a late bloomer. They could drop at any time.”

“Please pass the salt,” I say, hoping to God they’ll change the topic.

“Keep checking on him regularly.”

I was so sick about them talking about my nuts I wanted to pull down my pants and set them right on the table for the whole family to see. Of course, I didn’t have the balls to do that.

After dinner one evening, John tells us to stay at the table because he wants to talk. Of course, we’re shaking in our seats while Mom clears the table and leaves the room. I’m sure we’re in for a lecture or maybe another whipping, but John doesn’t look the least bit upset.

“Do you know any bad words?” he asks. We shake our heads no, all of us thinking the same thing; it’s a trick question“It’s not a trick question,” he says. “I want you to say any so-called ‘bad words’ you know out loud for me right now.”

Yeah, right. Total silence. He keeps encouraging us.

“I’m not going to punish any of you. I’m trying to teach you something.”

“So, we can say any bad word we want right now and not get in trouble?” Chris says.


“Out loud?” asks Shelley.


We giggle. This is our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to cuss in front of John! Little does he know that one of our favorite hobbies is inventing cuss-word combinations with our god family. We all look at Chris. She’s the bravest and can deliver it the best. She clears her throat, sits up taller in her seat and proudly spews our latest and greatest verse…

“Cool-sucking-mother-fucking-blue-ball-bastard-got-a-ping-pong-pussy-like-a-son-of-a-bitch.” It rolls off her tongue beautifully. It’s pretty good, a group effort we consider our gift to mankind.

“Wow,” he says, lifting a brow. To our shock and amusement, John begins nodding his approval. He was expecting one word, so our combination must have really impressed him. He smiles. Barely. This is fun. But then John goes into dissertation mode. He yaks on and on groaning about how words, the sounds we form with our throats and mouths, are both powerful and worthless. Blah. Blah. Blah. “The cognitive process in our minds requires shared meaning to be effective…” He continues speaking over our heads and all I want is to have my turn to cuss in front of him. The more he tries to make his point, the more confused we become. He’s terrible with kids. Sure, he can write a paper on gravitational orbit, but can he teach a kid how to ride a bike? No. When he’s finally finished, Chris asks the question that’s on all of our minds.

“So, are we allowed to use bad words now?”

His reply is also confusing: “There are no such things as bad words. And, if you use any of them in this house, I’ll beat the tar out of you!”

Written by : Tom Bross

Tom Bross looks familiar, doesn’t he? Could it be that you recognize the 1968 San Francisco Hula Hoop Champion? Or, do you remember him as ‘the mustard stain kid’ from a Clorox bleach ad he appeared in back in 1969? Either way, Tom peaked at an early age and it’s been downhill ever since.

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One Comment

  1. Jacqui Trautt March 12, 2021 at 10:39 pm

    I loved this hilarious and heartbreakingly tragic book, and could not put it down.

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