From Dallas Doctor’s “World Without Love ~ A Collection of Short Stories that Together Tell a Story” (page 75):
by Dallas Doctor
It was our secret password.
It was our salutation.
It was almost the name of our first band.
Well okay, “… almost the band name” is a bit of a stretch; we did discuss it, but we knew we were never going to say it out loud in front of any adults.
And that was the magic of ShitButtAssBiteHellFuck – it was just for us.
It was something adults and squares had no access to. It seems juvenile and stupid now, of course, but for a bunch of pre-teen, mostly-Mormon boys starting a rock group in Oregon in the mid-sixties, it was edgy, even dangerous.
And we used it every chance we got – when we greeted each other – when we counted off a song at band practice – when we slammed the car door after being dropped off at church – when we walked out of any room with any adult authority figure in it – “ShitButtAssBiteHellFuck!”
We’d say it real fast, or just under our breath (or shout it out loud when there was nobody else around). A big part of the fun, of course, was constantly testing how close we could come to getting caught.
And we got braver with practice. It wasn’t long before we could almost go wild with it, because as it turned out, the adults around us had no idea what was going on.
I first noticed the extent of collective cluelessness of grown-ups right after our very first gig.
It was Sherry Lisonbee’s birthday party. We set up our amps in the basement where Sherry’s mother had hung streamers and replaced the regular light bulbs with black lights for atmosphere – which was nice.
But the really nice – really big – uber cool – thing that Sherry’s mother did for us was that she made all of the adults go upstairs when the party started.
Several wonderful hours later, when Twinkie’s mother picked us up after the party(Twinkie was our drummer), we threw his drums, along with our amps and guitars, in the back of her station wagon and all piled together into the back seat, still giddy and excited.
“How was the party?” Twinkie’s mother backed out of the driveway.
“Fun,” I volunteered.
We all grinned at each other.
“How did you boys do?” She asked.
“Well let’s see,” Roger took over, “first we played every song we knew, then we made out with the girls in the dark until Sherry’s mom turned the lights back on.”
“Oh, you boys are so funny,” Twinkie’s mom laughed.
I quickly reached over the seat and turned the car radio up loud, pretending I wanted to hear the song that was playing. I glared at Roger. I gave him my best silent look. So did Twinkie. Roger was the only non-Mormon in the band, so maybe he didn’t fully understand how much trouble he could have got us into.
Using only our eyes, with no words at all, Twinkie and I together told Roger, in no uncertain terms, to keep his big mouth shut. Because what had really happened at the party was that we had played every song we knew and then made out with the girls in the dark until Sherry’s mom turned the lights on.
Roger grinned back at us. He understood just fine. He just liked to flirt with getting us in trouble.
I watched Twinkie’s mom very closely, as she drove, for any telltale sign that she had caught on to Roger’s daring stunt.
She didn’t show any sign at all. She was just driving and humming along with the song on the radio. It was obvious to me that she didn’t really know the song, though. She was just pretending, so we would think she was young and cool. But she wasn’t young and cool. She was old and clueless.
I told myself right then and there that I was never, ever going to grow up to be one of those clueless old grownup fools.
Thank you for reading.
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