Swears words, Permanent Markers and Substitute teachers.


Growing up I seemed to gather a lot more information on the adult world compared to my prepubescent peers. This was not because I was maturing faster or was able to comprehend the immenseness of the “real world”, but more to do with the parental guidance I had reserved from my father and mother. Both not bad parents, pretty good actually, however their equal ambivalence towards child suitable content was not troublesome or horrific, but possibly mildly scarring.

In one occasion, this happening to my sibling brother Tom not to myself, catching mother in the act of placing festive chocolate eggs for Easter. Instead of a normal pantomime and fictional spiel about how the Easter Bunny had given her the duties of confectionary concealer, she told him the Easter Bunny wasn’t real and was a figment of cultural creation. He was 5 at the time.5.jpg

This continuous collection of forcing reality with a mixture of adult parties, in which my brother and I were allowed to join in conversations. One such occasion I told a heavily pregnant female friend of the family she looked like a Teletubby most likely the one by the name of Tinky Winky. My brother and I managed to assemble a large dialect of swear words, which was used to amaze and amuse our separate friends. Everything from the A word to the Y word, no rude imaginable words begin with Z unfortunately. Even the C word, I had picked up on one of mother and father’s social drunken bash, however believing it began with Q, I ended up calling the majority of my brethren “massive qunts.”


On a loud obnoxious afternoon at school, my teacher ill so was replaced with a shaking, partially deaf, older version of herself. Substitutes of course are either strict or totally oblivious to everything and everyone around them. We were fortunate to have the latter, this culminating in paper airplanes, spit balls and heavily dramatized kung fu fights at the back of the class room.

The only issue with this was after a full 3 hours of screaming hectic disorder, when it came to around 2 pm we were all tuckered out. Suddenly in my drowsy state, I had the brilliant idea to rekindle the lull that had loomed over us all. Grabbing a thick felt tip pen, flicking the lid off pinging upwards summersaulting, clutching onto my friend next to me’s arm, the ink scratching his skin. In a flash I had created my first piece of art work, my first piece of contemporary culture, my first Sistine chapel. Scrowled across my colleague’s arm, John’s arm, was in large black letters the word S H I T.

This was clearly immediately hilarious to me, sketching such profound provocative words into the sleeve of my associate and the word being S H I T, is of course titillating. However, to a 12-year old’s arm, this is not a funny matter, this is in fact hellish environment to be placed in. Instead of the hairless skin of youth is the tattooed letters that make up a horrific bad word. John looked up from his arm, eyes pained by the act I had just completed. He slightly got up, mouthing hate filled words, placing his hands behind his back sidled up towards the substitute teacher. He was granted leave to use the facilities spinning a suspicious fiction about needing the toilet, he left the class slowly closing the door behind him. Time slowed down, questions of all maker pens are permanent filled my tiny head. Hours went by, in that no more than 20-minute time period, John finally returning holding his S H I T covered arm.3

Him turning to me, walking towards the table I had buried myself in. He slowly reviled the tricky forearm. It was clean, bright red, but washed of all language and toner.

This is normally where my stories would normally end, in a somewhat bleak note, but not today. This story continues about 4 hours after the initial incident. I was home, the sky darkened one due to the cloudy weather, second because it was night time, my mother asked me to retrieve some left over shopping from the car. I stepped outside, bare foot placing onto the cold paved floor. A figure moved quickly towards me, inaudibly wailing in my direction. It was Mike’s mother, Mike another friend from school. Not knowing or understanding the rage and heated maternal fury that was coming towards me, I welcomed her politely. Instead of the normal, hello or nod, she grabbed my arm howling into my face about “writing”, “arms”, “the word S H I T”. Forgetting about today’s event I was confused, grasping to relieve my arm. My mother noticing the commotion outside ran to my side, a small back and forth shouting and screaming between the two women began, myself in the middle unfazed.4

Apparently, by a strange coincident Mike had also had the word S H I T, written across his arm, this time in highly permanent ink. This of course came back to me as the course of the initial incident, even though I had not seen Mike in over 3 hours and wouldn’t repeat my signature after the first failing effort. Although I convinced Mike’s mother I wasn’t the graffiti artist for her son’s forearm, but I was grounded still for writing profanities onto others body parts, by my mother and my laughing father.


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