October 13, 2003

my bad habit – it’s a good thing

I think I am spending too much of my time cussing on the road. Each time I take over a steering wheel, I can’t help but to cuss this and that. I cuss at people, cars, cats, dogs – just, anything that moves and affects my driving pleasure. Sometimes, I even cuss at myself for making a boner or two, that’s how crazy I am.

I cuss indiscriminately and my cuss knows no boundary. I can cuss in multiple languages and have pretty decent knowledge on various international sign language too (although I seldom use them). Sometimes, I get some company from my passengers to cuss together and get to learn new profanities. But there are also times I get complaints from them who got uncomfortable with my way of hurling cusses at innocent motorists – and of course they will always get the standard ‘go fuck yourself’ reply from me.

So, is this really a good or a bad thing?

My mom always tell me it is not nice to cuss while driving, because the opposite side of the asshole will not be able to hear me (and I will only be hearing it myself).

But that’s not really that important to me. I don’t really give a shit if the person on the opposite side hears it or not. What’s more important, is that we get to ‘release’.

You see, we humans react to threats, naturally known as ‘reflex’. And these reflexes were developed throughout our course of evolving from a single celled organism to what we are today. For example, the pain receptor. The pain will make you pull up your hands, preventing it from further damaging your tissues. The ‘angst reflex’ is exactly the same thing… although it is more of a psychological one. When you’re angry, you yell out at the top of your lungs to release your stress. When you’ve been de-stressed, your head cools down faster and that’d naturally avert any unnecessary brawl which could land your ass into trouble and stuff.

So, to see it in another aspect, cussing inside your car is part of an important evolution. A simple act that has evolved to protect mankind from getting too aggressive by releasing tension orally. So, it’s guess it’s a good thing.

For an optimistic person (like me), cussing can also be looked as a way to understand other cultural differences too. When 2 person of different ethnic origin cusses in the same car, they get to know more about the beauty of other languages and bridge the cultural gap in between.

For example:

Summer 2000 – I was driving on 183 highway east of Austin, together with an American Vietnamese friend – whom I shall call ‘Suy’ here. The following conversation took place when we were almost hit by a large pickup truck which came out of nowhere.

[Me & Suy exclaimed simultaneously]
Suy : “Fucking asshole ! ”

Me : “Tiu nia seng ! ” (cantonese)

[Suy paused for a moment]

Suy : “Hey… what was that you were saying ?”

Me : “Oh… that’s ‘tiu nia seng’. A cantonese cuss. It means ‘fuck you something’… Not quite sure about it’s exact meaning but it’s very popular… ”

Suy : “Heheh… tiu nia seng… cool. Wait till I try this out at the office… I bet those guys won’t have a clue I’m giving them a compliment… hahah. Anymore that I should know?”

And I taught him a bit of each in different Chinese dialects and some insults in Tamil. Suy had learned something so priceless in his life that would have not been possible – if we didn’t meet that asshole in the large pickup truck by surprise and cuss the hell out of him.

So, as you can see, depending on how you look at it, cussing can be a good thing. In fact, it’s detrimental to keep much of your anger within yourself. Everything has its limit. You won’t be able to keep everything within yourself for eternity. It’s going to be much worse when you snap one day, and to unleash your accumulated anger on say, your pet dog, cat or even your own girlfriend… and hurt them. So, why keep them all inside? Let it all out. They don’t need to hear you, but you need to let them out.

michaelooi  | thoughts  | 

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