The Noble Art of Cussin’

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running childTrue story. When my Southern girlfriend Kim was 4, she was playing with her brother and a neighborhood girl, named Jewel, who was about 10. Kim was enamored with Jewel as the older, wiser woman of the world, so to show off, Kim decided to try out some cuss words. She tried each one on like shiny shoes, seeing how each fit and, more important, what kind of reaction she could get. Jewel obliged with deliciously satisfying shock and dismay.

Kim was thrilled. Then, things took an ugly turn.

“I’m gonna tell yer Mama that yer cussin‘.’” Jewel declared. Kim laughed wickedly, unafraid, but when Jewel took off running, fear overtook!

Kim recalls the chase vividly and says it was like one of those slow-motion nightmares where you feel like you’re running through mud. Jewel, being older, had longer legs and could easily outpace Kim. Jewel’s long, brown curls flew in the wind, taunting little Kim, who ran with all her might to overtake Jewel and take her down! Alas, Jewell arrived at the kitchen door before Kim. To Kim’s horror, she saw the door open, saw her mother standing there, hands on hips, and heard Jewel blast the dreadful accusation, “Miz Montgomry, Kim was cussin’!”

Kim gasped, horrified. She ran forward and shoved Jewel out of the way. “Nuh uh, Mama, I was not! That’s a damn lie!”

Special thanks to Kim Cullen for providing all the damn details.

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