The arrival of Lent has already brought a bit of hilarity into my life. Which I suppose is a contradiction in terms considering that Lent is not MEANT to be a time for fun. But I guess as someone who has become not so much a lapsed Catholic as a col-lapsed Catholic in recent years (just don't tell my mum!), it's fun to watch other people partake in the activities which accompany Lent.
Like two of my flatmates deciding to make a swear-box for Lent last night. Basically, everytime they swear? Money is going in the box. When they returned from Ash Wednesday mass last night (no, I didn't go to that either!) they set about making their list of swear words and the prices each one would cost them. For example, the "c" word has the highest value of one pound. As neither of them say this, they're fairly safe. Luckily I'm refusing to participate. Because I would owe at least a tenner just based on usage of that particular word by now.
It's safe to say my swearing is off the scale in terms of frequency. I barely even notice I am doing it anymore. Which is why I bloody well couldn't afford to be getting into this "no swearing during Lent" resolution.
As they wrote out their list, painstakingly spelling the words aloud rather than saying them, I helpfully summed up the word for them afterwards, like a spelling contest in reverse. "How about B-A-W-B-A-G?" asked one of them. "Bawbag," I intoned proudly, rubbing it in their face that I was still able to say the word, even if they couldn't. Despite the fact that I could probably count on one hand the amount of times I HAVE used that particular word.
As she wrote down "balls" (I'm not sure I would call this a swear word myself, but they agreed on it, and they are the ones participating, so I'll trust their judgement), she said the word aloud by accident. Then, realising what she had done, said "shit!" Which obviously was already on the list. Ooops. She already owed the swear box two words and they hadn't even finished writing the list yet!!!
I think it's harder than you think to stop swearing, even if you DON'T do it often. I'm certainly glad I'm not having to do it. I have to spend long enough thinking of what I should and shouldn't say at the best of times without worrying about a swear word slipping out too.
Today on the way home, one of my flatmates spelled out the word "gobshite" in the conversation. I have always confused people's ways of saying "G" and "J" aloud and therefore was very puzzled when she finished spelling. "JOBshite?" I asked. "What's that?" It took me a couple of seconds delayed reaction for her to start laughing and me to realise I can be a bit of an idiot sometimes.
Both of us then agreed that Lent had never been so entertaining before . . .
Oh, and then I couldn't resist playing them another popular song from the Australia Day party, at the most inappropriate point - after all this song uses the one pound word rather a lot . . .
By the way, CAN you say that word in Canada? Just wondering.