I have no idea who Meroz was, or why he warranted such vehement cursing in the bible, as a side note I only know about Meroz because he turns up in the delightfully written series of Anne Of Green Gables, whereupon the Minister if he was bereft of ideas during the sermon would wrathfully thump the pulpit and yell “Curse Ye Meroz” at the top of his lungs.
But what brought that to mind was a very funny incident I remember from my childhood, now my Mother was not prone to swearing or using a lot of expletive deleted even when she lost her temper, I think the worst word I heard coming from my Mum was either bloody hell or at worst shit.
Which meant that I grew up blissfully unaware of the vast majority of swear words that were around until I reached High School, at which time fuck was THE worst word you could ever say and if you so much as muttered it in earshot of a teacher that would mean a trip to Mr Harrington who would just LOOK at you, until you felt the whole shame of letting him and yourself down.
He had VERY expressive eyes.
Even to this day I very rarely swear, occasionally a fuck will drop from my lips and I’ll feel ashamed and imagine I can see Mr Harrington or my Mum looking at me, usually I’ll say FUDGEBUNNY or even BUGGER or my favourite from The Dragon Riders of Pern books FARDLES.
But back to my childhood, my Sister and I used to play a lot of games from Hoyles Book Of Games; it was from there that I learned to play patience, blackjack, cribbage and about 500 other sorts of games, one of the games involved taking a random word from the dictionary and then seeing how many words you could find that rhymed, usually this was a great deal of fun, except when my Mum, getting sick of the game would pick something incredibly difficult, and tell us not to come back until we had 10 words that rhymed.
Now one day the word she chose was punt, and she told us that we needed to find 30 words that rhymed, handed us our dictionaries and went off to do something Motherly, like reading.
We didn’t think that would be that hard, however after about 20 words we ran out of inspiration, and just started, as we thought, making words up, so when Mum came back we started to read out the list, and then we got to the first made up word, which just so happened to be c*nt. (I don’t particularly like this word, I find it offensive and ignorant)
Well, you’d have thought that we’d both just killed the cat, robbed the neighbours and called our Grandmother something rude, Mum dropped the dictionary and screeched, yes screeched, I don’t think I’d ever heard my Mum screech before:
‘WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY, HOW DARE YOU SAY THAT WORD, THAT WORD IS FILTHY AND DISGUSTING, DON’T YOU EVER SAY THAT WORD AGAIN’
And then she slapped both of us, hauled us off the bathroom and washed our mouths out with soap, all the while shouting:
‘If I ever hear that word again I will smack your legs red raw, you hear me, I’ll have the jug cord to your legs quicker than you can blink’
Now by then my Sister and I were just nodding and crying and saying:
“Yes Mum, Yes Mum, Sorry Mum’”
All the while still not really sure of what we had done that was sooooo bad.
When Mum calmed down she did explain and apologise, but even now I still get that faint tang of Palmolive Gold in my mouth when, if I forget myself, and say the C word.