I received a couple of calls recently informing me of a new pool hall opening in Dearing.
The news seemed to be bringing quite a bit of excitement, so I went to check it out. Now, let me clarify that I do not frequent pool halls. Even though there's a pool table in the game room of my building, I'm more of a pool minnow than a pool shark.
Dearing's new billiards establishment is designed to be family friendly. I appreciated all the rules of the establishment, but was amused with the "no cussing" rule. I couldn't tell if co-owner Tony Hedgecock was serious or not. He didn't seem to know himself. Especially when I questioned the enforcement. I told him about the McDuffie County School Bus barn, where there is a room with a cussing jar. Bus drivers are not allowed to cuss on their job, either. Instead, they can go in the room, drop money in the jar and buy the privilege to let out a few in that room. All proceeds go to Relay For Life. Tony liked the idea, but confessed he might go broke himself.
I hope the rule sticks at the pool hall, and catches on in other places. Too many people are too free with their tongue these days. And there's really no sense in it. Don't worry, I'm not working up a sermon, just a possible solution. I grew up in a home with two parents who dearly love and respect each other and always try to do what is right. My father, however, has a temper. And the ways he found to express and control that temper have been downright entertaining through the years. I remember once when he and my mother were arguing, Dad suddenly walked out the back door, grabbed an axe and attacked a stump in the yard. That big stump had been there for quite a while, but in one afternoon, it was reduced to a pile of woodchips. Even when he hit his thumb with a hammer or car repairs weren't going so well, I never heard a cuss word escape my Dad's lips. There were creative alternatives, though. When my son turned 14, he went to work with my Dad on a remodeling job. Not only did he earn a paycheck that summer, but he came home with a new vocabulary. We call them "Christian Sailor" words: "bull turkey!" "ah baloney!" "dagnabbit!" - and when things are really bad - "shoot-a-dadgummed-bull-turkey!"
Since then, James has created some of his own words, and I hear "fudgemonkeys" quite often when he can't find his keys. Maybe these will work for the pool hall. If all else fails, stop by the bus barn and make a donation to Relay For Life.