Instant pudding and those four-letter words

Strolling through our mall, I heard it — heard it and didn’t like it. Didn’t like it at all. That word came in sharp staccato.

Strolling through our mall, I heard it — heard it and didn’t like it.  Didn’t like it at all.  That word came in sharp staccato — over and over again.  In short form, then in every possible variation.

Just four letters — four letters!  Us oldies never knew such words existed at that age.  And the effect wasn’t brave or wise.  It was angry — angry and ugly.

That evening, the news blared out yet another shooting. And I wondered, here in my happy little hometown, if the ills of society are creeping closer and closer. Is there a connection between flaming attitudes spewed in a mall, and an eventual hail of bullets?  Something tells me there is.

Aside from gun availability and mental illness, and what else? Where is the anger coming from? How does a child decide, since they ‘deserve better,’ that the other guy must die? How does my teacher friend find herself stabbed to death over advanced math?

It’s all instant pudding. Sweetness I want now. I don’t want to wait for an iPhone. I don’t want to work for the clothes I like. I want yours.  I don’t want to practice — I just want to look good. I want — and what I want, I want now!

Sickly sweet feelings!

“I want life to treat me fairly (but it doesn’t), I want to be cool (but I’m not), I want to be famous (good or bad), and I want everyone to be the way I want them — now!”

And finally, when I don’t get it my way, I swear at the universe by “teaching someone a lesson.”

Orlando Winters, in his book, “Stop Being a ____ Idiot” had an idea.“If you want to get rid of the (perceived) meaning of curse words, you’ll have to get rid of the feelings which bring their use …”  But how?

It’s great hiding behind the literary skirts of Maya Angelou’s wit, “Nothing will work unless you do.”

I vaguely remember a little boy who had to work for a toy he dearly wanted.

When he succeeded, that piece of tin meant more to him than anything he owned.  Better yet — that boy is still working.

Work develops strength — or weight lifters would lift pencils. And if responsibilities are gradually increased, strength will continue long after the challenges are laid down.

Words are near-sacred — the most powerful entity on earth.  Consider, “I hate you,” or “I love you.” Demosthenes said the sound that comes from tapping on a pot tells you if its cracked or not. It’s the same with people.  There were some cracks sounding in the mall that day.

I don’t suppose asking folks to clean up their language would help.

But four-letter words that restore sense, principle, character, incentive, self-discipline, productivity, and patience might be worth resurrecting.

Like? Want? Wait. Work. Four-letter words.

If we heard those more often, maybe the other one, and its destructive aftermath, would eventually go away. LOL@wltribune.com.

Rita Corbett is a freelance columnist with the Tribune/Weekend Advisor.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Overall, B.C. is seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases

Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson speaking in the legislature Monday, May 10. (Video screen shot)
Cariboo Chilcotin MLA calls for rural infrastructure renewal fund

Lorne Doerkson said central parts of rural B.C. devastated by flooding, crumbling infrastructure

(File photo)
Firearms offence at McLeese Lake tree planting camp under RCMP investigation

On May 10 Williams Lake RCMP were called to the camp, located at the 2200 block of Beaver Lake Rd.

Lil Mack has been a member of Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy since its inception. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Lil Mack of Williams Lake honoured with BC Achievement Community Award

Mack has been an ever-present, quietly powerful literacy force in Williams Lake for several decades

Thompson Rivers University (TRU) announced Tuesday, May 11 that all washrooms on its Kamloops and Williams Lake campuses will have free menstrual products by September. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
TRU to provide free hygiene products in all washrooms by fall 2021

“By signing the United Way’s Promise campaign, TRU aims to reduce barriers facing some students.”

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation elected chief councillor Moses Martin, who was also Chantel Moore’s grandfather, speaks to media in Port Alberni on Aug. 16, 2020, during a visit from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh following the police shooting of Chantel Moore. (Elena Rardon photo)
Mother of 2 shot by police in critical condition, says B.C. First Nation chief

Community ‘devastated’ by third member of 1,150-person Vancouver Island nation shot in less than a year

Most Read