Do you remember this commercial from the 80’s?
Picture of an egg: “This is your brain.”
Picture of an egg frying in a pan: “This is your brain on drugs.”
Well, I’m feeling a real affinity for that commercial this morning. and I’m thinking that I could revive that ad campaign by making my own, updated version of that commercial. Only mine would not be about substance abuse. Mine would say, “This is my brain after four days of an extremely inflamed shoulder muscle, which was then poked with what felt like really sharp sticks, but was actually a licensed health care professional using medically approved health care tools.” Catchy, huh?
The purpose of my commercial would be to illustrate the process my mind undergoes as it searches for the perfect, most articulate, most precise method of utilizing swear words to describe this particular pain. (Hey, I never said my commercial would have any deep or meaningful purpose.)
Step 1: I mentally inventory all the “bad” words I know, often trying them out in a Fill-In-The-Blank, Complete The Following Sentence With The Best Word sort of situation.
For example, “_____, my shoulder hurts!” Or, “My shoulder hurts like_____!” (This is where all my years as a language teacher really come in handy.)
Step 2: Once I’ve settled on the perfect word I play around with it a bit, to see if there are any ways that I can embellish it.
For example, Can I string it out by adding extra syllables? Can I stress it in a different way? Can I pronounce it in a funny accent?
Step 3: Next I look for a catchy theme song or a kicky advertising jingle, in order to set my words to music.
I don’t need to provide an example here, because I know that if you’re reading this post, you’re already experimenting with this process for yourself.
Step 4: Generally by this time the pain meds have begun to kick in, so my song drifts down to the level of a mantra, or a tribal chant.
For example, “BUM, bum, bum, bum, BUM, bum, bum, bum, BU-um, BUM.”
I’m not really sure what happens next because, if all has gone according to plan, at this point I am finally asleep. Or, at the very least, I am enjoying the benefits of a heavily medicated stupor, cradled by this gentle lullaby: “BUM, bum, bum, bum, BUM, bum, bum, bum, BU-um, BUM.”