Daddy, Are You a Pirate?

Joe Capell
Joe Capell

It really should go without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway: Parents shouldn’t use curse words in front of their children.

It’s basic common sense. If you don’t want your kids to swear like sailors, you probably shouldn’t swear when you’re around them. (You probably shouldn’t swear even when you’re not around them, but that’s a topic for another day.)

So, you’re probably wondering, “Joe, how do you avoid cursing in front of your children?” Well, I’m glad you asked. My method is pretty simple, really. Whenever I feel like using a swear word, I simply replace it by shouting like a pirate. Instead of cursing, I’ll just yell, “ARRGHH!!!” That’s all there is to it. It’s really very easy. Since I adopted this strategy, I never hardly ever curse in front of my children!

The only problem is, I yell “ARRGHH!!!” in front of my children so often that I’m afraid I might be turning into an actual pirate. Here are a few of the trigger events that make me worry:

*When I ask the kids to clear their spot at the table, and they throw their silverware into the garbage. “ARRGHH!!!”

*When the boy drinks a mouthful of milk, but instead of swallowing it, he holds it in his mouth like mouthwash for five minutes until he walks into the living room and spits it out all over the front of his shirt and the carpet. “ARRGHH!!!”

*When you take the time to actually help your child do their homework, then find out she didn’t bother to turn it in. “ARRGHH!!!”

*When you’re looking to take a selfie of yourself dressed as a pirate, but you can’t find an eye patch anywhere. “ARRGHH!!!”

*When you feel obligated to explain to your children the difference between a tablecloth and a Kleenex. “ARRGHH!!!”

*When you ask if he’s cleaned his room, he says, “Yes,” and then you actually walk past his room and look inside. “ARRGHH!!!”

*When you think you are reading but he thinks you are playing catch, and he hits you in the face with a ball. “ARRGHH!!!”

*When he, unbeknownst to you, decides to play catch with something other than a ball, and he hits you in the face with a Hot Wheels car. “ARRGHH!!!”

*When you spend ten minutes doing her hair so it looks just right, then she immediately runs off and puts on a hat. “ARRGHH!!!”

*When you feel obligated to explain the difference between a fork and a comb. “ARRGHH!!!”

*When you say, “ARRGHH!!!” so often that your three-year-old daughter asks you, “Daddy, are you a pirate?” (“ARRGHH!!!”)

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