People from my hometown of Liverpool have an epic, seemingly innate capability for swearing. Ask a Scouser where they are from, and the most likely response is, “I’m a fuckin’ Scouser.” Should the unwitting questioner probe from whence a Scouser hails, he or she is likely to be assailed by the pithy geographical epithet, “Liver-fuckin’-pool.”
The state of being a Scouser has primacy over being from Liverpool, and notions of being English or British are entirely foreign to the fuckin’ Scouser. Being a Scouser is about more than place. Primarily it is about language, more particularly the regional dialect and vernacular. The lintel above the door into which one can enter Scouse (the language of the Scouser) is the word “fuck.”
As the customary reader of Truman Talks may realize, now is the point when we go back to ultimately travel forward on the road of understanding. Well, fuck context, just this once. On this occasion, I’m going HAM on the rambling, ranting thing that my editor so ball-crushingly reins in every fuckin’ time I put fingers to keys. So, with none of the reserve, politeness, and sangfroid that not all us Brits hold dear (’cos I’m a fuckin’ Scouser, ’member?), I’m just going to put out there a funny “fuck”-related story from my storied fuckin’ past.
Across the breakfast table in my Liverpool home a year before I moved to Texas, I was met by my best friend from college and the few years after, when you still party as hard but can afford more and better drugs. We hadn’t seen each other for 17 years, so the day before, we started drinking at around 2 p.m., with no let-up for 12 hours. Conservatively, we’d quaffed double-digits in pints and the same for large Jack Daniel’s. That April morning, we were assuredly still drunk after a few hours’ sleep, and the conversation flowed like a gloriously rich broth of profanity. It is worth pointing out at this point that said friend (I’ll call him Simon ’cos that’s the fucker’s name) had been living in Australia for the past six years, which served to render his “fuck” skills even more acute than before.
I should also point out that Simon is from a posh family. It turns out that in England, the terminally working-class and the coruscatingly posh are brothers- and sisters-in-fuckin’-arms, being equally yet differently blessed in the swearing department. First time I met Simon’s dad, he picked us up at a rural English train station and, leaning on his submarine-like Volvo estate car, mellifluously purred through a pipe-clenching mouth, “What’s up, you little fucker?” To be fair, Simon’s dad had a point, what with him being a sinewy giant while his son takes after his mom in the height stakes. His dad is a good six inches taller, so, yeah, Simon is a “little fucker,” relatively speaking. That’s got to be embarrassing for the poor little bastard.
Anyhoo, at the drunk breakfast-table blah-blah, Simon drenched me with a rainforest shower of fuck-laden sentences, without pausing for breath, for a good 30 minutes. I was a little sad when the umbrella of a phone call interrupted his flow. I need not have worried, as it was his sister on the line. (She is taller than him, much to his chagrin — look, the dude is 5’10,” but he happens to have a prodigiously tall little sister.) The fuck shower continued as Simon explained to his sister that he was simply going to get in the fuckin’ car, drive the 50 fuckin’ miles to her fuckin’ house, fuckin’ pick her up, and go to his uncle’s fuckin’ funeral, and read the fuckin’ eulogy. Honestly, his uncle would have fuckin’ wanted it that fuckin’ way.
Special mention must go, apart from the inferred and begrudging props given to Aussies above, to the Scots for their phenomenal ability to fuck-ify any given word or sentence, whatever the context or occasion. The guy who created the HBO show Veep is doubly blessed in that he is both Scottish and posh. As a result, Armando Iannucci has the proud honor of having penned the single most fuck-y line ever to be uttered in the history of, well, every-fuckin’-thing. The solid gold nugget appears in an episode of his previous job, writing the BBC political satire The Thick of It, and is made ever more auric in hindsight because the actor who delivers the line went on to play Doctor Who, the family-friendly time-traveling shape-shifter with interminably bad dress sense. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I give you the eternal gift of “Come the fuck in or fuck the fuck off.”