Ancient History

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i'm the big oneWhen I was about eight and she was five, I tricked my sister into saying a very bad word.

I did not know what the word meant. I just knew it was bad. I knew it was bad because there was a boy in my third grade class with the last name of Rucker. For reasons unknown, he scribbled out the “R” on the name tag taped to his desk, replacing it with an “F”. When the teacher discovered his tampering, she shrieked and yanked young Mr. Rucker down to the principal’s office. His name was Mr. Lax and he was anything but.

My favorite show at the time was “Happy Days.” Richie Cunningham often called people he didn’t like Bucko. I called my sister that name during a fight. She countered with “lucko,” I shot back “mucko,” she shouted “pucko,” I flung back an impassioned “tucko.” She, unfortunately, chose the letter “F” which I had been avoiding.

It was time to inform the authorities. I found my mother frying dinner in the kitchen.

“Is #%&$ a bad word?”

My mother had a reaction which rivaled Ralphie’s mom in “A Christmas Story.” I believe she hyperventilated for about twenty minutes before weakly nodding yes and asking me where I heard such a ghastly word.

“Alison just said it.”

Ralphie got the heady mouthful of Lifebuoy soap. My sister most likely got yellow Dial soap from the hall bathroom. I hope it was mild.

I still have a little guilt. I was the one who deserved the sudsy supper. I knew it at the time and I know it now. Children can be mean, and that was one of my meanest moments.

Today is my sister’s birthday. I’ve apologized to her about the Bucko incident. She’s forgiven me and has apologized for her own sisterly transgressions against me.

Not that I’ve kept track.

Happy Birthday, Alison.

*Photo of Alison and I, circa 1975. Any soap consumed by us at that point was purely accidental or experimental—the way it should be when you are a kid.

20 comments to Fudge

  • I remember when I was young and we were at my grandma’s house. My cousin was there, and he told me that f-word with an “er” at the end (except he said it) was a bad word. I’d never heard of it before, so it meant nothing to me, and I insisted it wasn’t a bad word. I even went to my mom, in front of my grandma, and said “D said F** is a bad word. It isn’t, is it?” I don’t remember what happened after that. I don’t remember being punished, so maybe my mom just said it was. I have no idea, but I’m sure she was mortified that I’d said that, in front of my grandma even!

  • Awww. What a timeless story! I think we have all had similar experiences.

    My eldest son came out with the “baddest word” when he was playing catch with my husband. He proclaimed, “I can’t catch the “insert baddest word here: ball!”

    My husband wisely said, “What did you say, I didn’t hear you.” John repeated it verbatim. That’s when Tom knew that John had no idea it was the “baddest word.”

    He took him aside and explained that it wasn’t a word he should use and they continued to play catch. Case closed. He handled it much better than I did–when I heard about it, I acted like Ralphie and Shultz’s mom–breathing out threats against whoever he heard it from. Tom told me to stay out of it and I did.

    Told you he was wise!

  • Can’t stop laughing……

    What a great photo.

  • And also, I see a little bit of Joel in that pic of your sister.

  • Julie

    You have that Ryley smile! What a great & funny story!

  • I was probably mean to my two sisters because I was the oldest and knew more of the big kids stuff, but I don’t remember most of it.

    Very cute picture of you and your sister. I think I’ll bring back my photo album from my parents and scan a few of them. They’re so fun to look at.

  • That is a fantastic story. I did something very similar to my little brother!

  • Great story and great photo! Gotta love those 1970s patterns and colors. Apparently I first uttered the F-Bomb at about age 2, in the car, with my mom and grandma in the back seat. My dad, who drove me to Montessori school and back every day, was a “vocal” driver and didn’t realize I would eventually parrot everything I heard him say. As we drove along one day, a car cut us off, to which I promptly responded, “*@&! you, Mister!” Oops.

  • Sister-of-Mopsy

    I remember that day as though it were yesterday… hummmmmm, yes, I do remember… 🙂

    Thanks for the b-day shout out big sis!

  • This was great and made me thingk of all the things that I did to my brother. About 10 years ago we were sitting around the dinner table. We had all decended on my Mom for the weekend. We decided to play, Let’s confess. We laughed so hard at what we had done. None the worse for wear. It’s a good thing we all love each other!

  • The best birthday post I have ever read. ROFL!

  • That’s amusing. I remember the first time I got into trouble for something like that. A friend told me to wave at the teacher with only my middle finger. I said, “Okay!”

    Luckily, my teacher talked with me about that. I told her that Lauren had told me too. I could tell by the teacher’s reaction that it was NOT a good thing to do.

    My teacher spoke to both of us about it….but just informed me not to do it agian. (Don’t think I ever did either….)But she got a paddling because she knew what it was. She had a brother in high school…..

  • Mr. Lax! Ha ha! I see you have not always been such a good little bunny, Mopsy.

  • Happy birthday to your sister. Thankfully my parents never reacted that seriously when we unwelcome words were uttered lol Although my mom did eventually give red pepper to my cousin when she would just not stop swearing lol

  • Mom-of-mopsy

    Sorry Ali! Wish we could have “do overs”. I would hopefully handle that differently now.

  • edj

    Sigh…these olders sibs are so mean! I, as the youngest child, was always sweetness and light (as no doubt your sister was), unfairly picked upon and warped by my older brothers. I feel her pain!
    As for us, raising our kids overseas mean having to learn the f-word, and others, in a foreign tongue so that we can keep an eye on our kids’ use of them. Just adds to the fun of parenting.

  • What a great story! Thanks for sharing it!

  • Sister-of-Mopsy

    Well, I wish I could say that I was innocent, but I certainly did my share of torment. Most memorable; dressing up our little bro like a girl and naming her (err him) Jenny… dad and little bro didn’t find that as funny as I did. One other torment, wearing mopsy’s clothes, she hated it when I wore her clothes! To the point she would actually break the cardinal rule ‘thou shall not acknowledge the existence of a younger sibling’ in high school and spoke to me in public ONLY to tell me how ‘dead’ I was when I got home… hehe

  • Excellent story. Enjoyable read. Glad I stopped by.

  • LOL, That is a great story. You make me think about the things I did to my sister when we were kids. It makes me step back and look at my own kids differently.

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