Pinky Pie

Swearing and walking at the same time – but no gum

Posted on: September 9, 2009

Health Savings Account

Health Savings Account

I didn’t get in trouble too much as a kid, except for the time that my friend Shelly L and I finger-painted the school wall with mud. It was not malicious – just something dumb that kids did during recess. Did we get caught? Absolutely. Our punishment was to wash the wall after school.

But then there was my other crime done with Lisa U in fourth or fifth grade. We wrote swear words (hell, shit and damn) on pieces of paper and dropped them on the floor by each of our desk. Oooh we were so daring and oooh did we ever want to get caught.

We were caught, of course. I clearly did not have a future in crime and I’m not sure in swearing either.

We were sent to the assistant principal, Mrs. Nielsen, who was also a sixth grade teacher in Old Bonhomme Elementary School. I still remember her telling us in a very serious principal voice that young ladies did not do such a thing. Ad she told us our punishment was to tell our parents what we did. Gulp.

So after school, my mom picked me up to go watch my brother pitch in a school baseball game. I can still remember it was a very cold spring day so we watched from our car. I must have been very serious and contrite because when I told her my crime, she turned away to keep from showing me that she was laughing or at least smiling.

Mom did not swear. She did not put an s in front for “hit” in Scrabble even if it meant using all her letters to get a 50-point bonus. But in hearing about my crime, she simply thanked me for telling the truth and told me not to do it again.

“I won’t, Mommy. I promise.”

Now to an email from my friend, Sue K, and please note she did not spell out the words she wants me to use:

And I hereby encourage you to swear. I just read an article (in the Tribune, imagine) that said scientific studies have shown that swearing actually does help with pain (F*** and S*** are most popular, but my friend Jerry, who’s battling shingles pain, favors M*****F*****). I realize that you may not be in terrible pain, but maybe it also helps in general when dealing with bad things that happen to good people.

I do occasionally use words that my mother would not like, although I don’t litter and swear at the same time. Now I’m wondering if I should put money in a swear box for each word I utter. It could be my new health savings account that certain folks consider the answer to our healthcare woes.

Later, after Sue K and I went walking, she sent me another email based on a newsletter that her mom receives:

Researchers believe exercise improves prognosis in part by helping cancer patients to shed any extra weight. This is particularly important for patients with hormonally fueled cancers, such as breast, prostate, and endometrial, because fat cells produce excess hormones. Findings from the Nurses Health Study in 2005 show that among women diagnosed with breast cancer, those who completed the equivalent of three to five hours of brisk walking each week had a 50 percent decreased risk of dying from cancer. While people with cancer often report that they’re too tired to exercise, Dr. Abrams urges them to try it anyway, suggesting they aim to walk 30 to 60 minutes a day, six days a week. This can actually help boost energy levels and fight fatigue, as exercise releases endorphins and improves sleep.” So it looks like you’re doing the right thing!

If you see this woman walking around La Crosse swearing, you’ll know it is on the advice of friends and cancer researchers.

And certainly, I’ll be solving the healthcare crisis we’re all facing with my swear box/health savings account.

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