Larry Larkin

My grandfather and grandmother I am pretty sure never uttered a profanity word in their entire lifetime. They just didn’t do it. Grandma even got upset once when one of their nephews referred to his father as “the Old Man.”

That stated both of them did have a phase each used when something took place they didn’t understand or considered out of place. “Well, I’ll swan,” Grandpa would say, usually shaking his head side to side. When Grandma said it she usually had her hands on her hips.

My grandparents left me many wonderful loving memories. I believe my grandparents wouldn’t mind me borrowing their words of bewilderment on items I find disturbing today.

This so called political awareness is an example. Our nation in my grandparents’ time was one of freedom. During the past 100 years two world wars and a bunch of “police actions” (they were shooting bullets in all regardless what it’s called) took place to assure that freedom.

But here we are today, almost a full decade into the 21st Century, and we must not “offend” anyone.

My parents taught my sister and me to never offend or be mean toward anyone. I have never started a day out with the intent of doing so to a friend, stranger or the few individuals I may not care for.

Well I swan…how can a person’s feelings get hurt so easy?

Members of the opposite species scarce me when I don’t know her on a name basis. I don’t know how to refer to them. Woman, female, lady is a no-no. The titles are sexist because the words include ‘man’, ‘male’, and ‘lad’. Well, ‘wo’, ‘fe’ and ‘y” sure don’t sound right. Miss, Mrs. and Ms. are probably out of date, too.

If I hold a door open for a woman I don’t know at a public place, I may get a strange look or even an angry grunt from her. After all, she is just as capable opening her own door. A man doesn’t need to do it for her.

Sorry people. I was taught manners as a youngster and opening a door happen to be one. At the same time you are not going to hurt my feelings holding a door open for me.

Well, I’ll swan when it comes to men failing to remove their hats when indoors. Yes that includes ball caps also. Down through the years men wore head coverings for protection from weather and nature. Nobody wants to be on the receiving end of an overhead bird’s bombardment.

Not once can I remember a light fixture or anything less falling on a person’s head while inside a restaurant. If one did I doubt a ball cap would offer much protection.

And what is it about wearing jeans with countless holes scattered from top to bottom. The first time I saw this I felt so sorry for the wearer. It was at Wal-Mart and I offered to purchase a pair of sweat pants for her. Imagine the response that got. She then went out and drove away in a new Corvette Z06.

Well, I’ll swan when you look at the anger that rushes out when the topic of politics springs up. Red or Blue States? Really, why can’t we simply stick with Republican, Democrat, Independent, and any other party-of-the-month choice? Just because the President is GOP or DEM, there is no cause for hate.

Think about it. It really doesn’t make much difference. The Senate and Congress are made up mostly by the two major parties and when they try to form A, B and C, they usually mess up the order in at least two of the three.

This also seems like the perfect place for another “Well, I swan.” When did we all get so lazy with our words? FBI, CBS, OTC, VFW, LOL…the letters are endless. Take any combination of three letters and it probably stands for something.

Sure it takes longer to say the entire words, but so what? Unless you are reporting a fire or need an ambulance, what’s the rush? It would also end the conclusion between American Automobile Association and Alcohol Anonymous Association when you say ‘I’m going to AAA.

Another “Well, I’ll swan” comes on paying cash for purchases. I went into a hardware store last week to purchase a nut (3 cents) and a light bulb (2.99). As I attempted to hand the young clerk a $5 bill he proceeded to ask if I had a store card, if I wanted one when I said no, my address, telephone number and if I was happily married.

All this for a tiny nut and light bulb? Come on retailers. Crying out loud.

And saving my favorite “Well, I’ll swan” is for the men who shave off all the hair on top of their head and then grow full bushy beards. Somehow this seems kind of counterproductive.