Because no matter what I say here, I’m going to come off as a prude.
Let’s start with full disclosure: I’ve dropped an f-bomb or two during my lifetime. My mercurial temper ensures that when I screw up home repair project, or bounce a check, I’m going to be f-ing mad. Not just mad, but f-ing mad.
That said, I don’t think I’ve ever said that word in public. Not on an open street. Never in a train car or bus. Certainly not around women (sadly, the misses excluded).
So one of the big changes I’m having to deal with is that New Yorkers f-ing love the f-word. Not all New Yorkers. Maybe not a majority. But an f-ing lot of them.
About every other day I’ll be walking along a street and overhear a couple of guys talking on the corner, and the f-bomb is anything from 10% to 40% of the dialogue. Interestingly, I don’t hear “damn” that much. Not a lot of the s-word. Even the more rare biological and scatological curse words are also not de rigueur.
But New Yorkers love the f-word.
Here was yesterday’s conversation, loudly belted out on the street corner at 39th and 5th Avenue, near Bryant Park. I noted that even when women and small children wandered by, the conversation was never hushed or halted:
“Jimmy f-ing knows that I don’t give a f-. Why he f-ing keeps going to his boss and f-ing telling him that is a f-ing mystery. Why the f- does he keep doing that? It’s f-ing p-sing me off. I mean, what the f-?”
What the f-, indeed.
I mean, I’m willing to bend to the New York way and let guys be guys, and drop the f-bomb all day if they want. I’m just one hillbilly, after all.
The least they can do is meet me half-way and not use it around women and kids, right? I let you know how my crusade works out.