Well, after more than a decade of heavy use and pushing their certified load limits, it's finally happened: I've broken the backs on all my expletives. They're in traction, up at Lingua Franca University Hospital, in Esperanto.
I blame the current GOP-created-and-sponsored government shutdown as much as I do the amount of overwork my profane and explicit oaths and exclamations have been subjected to, ever since Reagan slipped through the cracks of the founding fathers' notions of a wise and informed populace, and a watchdog press, keeping a close and good eye on its leaders and their use of power.
Doctors of Etymology had been providing me steady warnings about the possibility of buckled expletives ever since I sprained my tongue back in late 2000, when the U.S. Supreme Court drove a stake through the heart of the U.S. Constitution on December 12th and ended democracy here.
As is usually the case in such situations, I am told, their medical warnings fell on non-working auditory inputs. I thought my invectives were immortal, I guess, back when I was younger and even more reckless with, and hard on, my opinions than I am today.
Oh, I gave my diatribes some half-hearted lip service, of a sort, during the reign of terror that has long been cutsied up, neutered, and shoved out in front of the TeeBee cameras to be consumed in one long, hard swallow by Americans as the "Dubya" years.
(It did go down easier, I suppose, than using the more accurate "Unimaginably Insane, Power-Drunk, Self-Serving, War-jiggering, Economy-Wrecking Greed Toads." Plus, "Dubya" was a lot shorter and easier to use for the press, who, sleeves rolled up, were always anxious to print the latest administration handout and then get back to their drinking.)
Yes, those were the acid-test, battleground years for my linguistic currency and verbal trauma. Those years pushed the country, and me -- well, OK, those whose minds still carried a trickle charge of democratic principles and national awareness -- into judo-style speech posturings, if only out of self defense.
More than once, I had to drag my embattled expletives out from under the burning wreckage and brick-jumbled rubble of various heated discussions and rants, and provide them some fumbling tries at CPR.
However, my best real attempt at the time to let those expletives rest a bit easier, was to conjure a new word that attempted to contain within its boundaries of definition the mind-boggling extent of the power abuses and treacherous activities of that Machiavellian administration and its infernal, Inferno-bound players.
(This was, you might remember, right around the time that "heinous" pulled a hamstring -- being hamstrung was always the administration's head's Achilles' heel -- and was completely out of commission from 2000 to 2008. This was also when both "abominable" and "shameless" were down with a very bad case of "Washingtonia Invisiblitis Pressus Noseeum."
To further refresh your memory, this was during the 8-year occupancy of the White House when rooms were heavily draped in "swagger" and "sneer," and the hallways were steeped in "rodomontade," "gasconade," and "ya'll want some lemonade?"
In the White House back then, ignorance was applied to the surroundings with fire hoses and restraint was spread around using only with the most petite, albeit diamond-studded, cheese knife one might be able to imagine on this side of the lactose-tolerant hereafter.)
Anyway: My newly-minted word -- cobbled from what I had lying around the place at the time -- was a hybrid of "debacle" and "fiasco," which I mostly called "debaco" (DEB-uh-co).
I have to think it never really caught on because I would, in my urgent frustration, mentally reaching for tip-of-the-tongue verbal ammunition, searching my figurative verbal fingertips for same, sometimes resort to using the new construct as "fiascle" (fee-ASS-kull), which only tended to confuse things and cloud the issues at hand.
There, I sometimes blame my come-and-go case of lysdexia. I mean, dyslexia.
But, that was then, and this is now -- and I'm still having trouble with tinkered constructions. Take "Retardlican," for example -- it's an attempt to much more accurately label members of the Grand Obstructionist Party, rather than using creations like "Rethuglican" or "Retraitorkins."
Oh, sure -- both of those descriptors have plenty to offer in providing a fair assessment, definition, and meaning for members of the Greedy Ol' Piggy party, or, as some prefer, the Gawdawful Outrageous Party. But both lack the descriptive oomph to really convey the sense of hindering, slowing, and delaying the advance of progress in doing the People's business.
You know, that thing Retardlicans were sent to Washington to do, and have not done, not since their very first moment of arrival in office.
(Retardlicans always have dozens, if not hundreds, of serpentine personal advancement-and-self-aggrandizement deals already in the bag, way before they've picked up their suitcases from the snaking airport baggage carousels.)
Retardlicans do have a stellar rack record in some surprising areas, though, such as in Olympic arm-folding, breath-holding (the non-blue, neo-competitive, freestyle method), and in voter-deception and, later on, in constituent-hoaxing.
"Retardlican," even if it doesn't catch on, still has the dictionary on its side in conveying the most current, common, and glaringly obvious elements and traits for that hubris-laden tribe: hindering, slowing, and delaying the advance of progress in doing the People's business.
In any event, I hope to have my expletives back soon, good as new, after some time-out for their mending and healing. It looks like I can hold out for a while using the curses of my pre-teen youth, back when age was carried in single digits and "dang" was pushing the envelope on the red line of outboard speech.
But, shucks, I harbor no illusions that this will, by any means, hack the load for too much more gol-durned time. I mean, shoot -- you know?
And I sure as heck don't want to get into the subject, for goodness sake, of my expletives taking a turn for the worse, and having to consider giving any of them their last rites.
See, I've long ago ripped through the Judeo-Christian deity availabilities there, and then powered on through the Anglo-Roman entities and mythologies, too. The only thing left, then, aside from that poor substitute of random phrase invention, would be the Greek playbook of gods and goddesses, and, frankly, that part of the world, except for Zeus and a couple key players?
All Greek to me.