There was only one time in my childhood that I remember my mom saying a naughty word. We grew up with dad saying the usual “damn” and “hell” (please don’t judge my dad; he had to put up with us kids and all our antics), but mom was always had a different way with words. Her vocabulary included but was not limited to: grounded, chores, and the ultimate “are you bored?” Those were very dangerous words to us. We weren’t allowed to swear and if we did and were dumb enough to get caught we usually had to write 100 times “I will not swear” or the favorite, soap in the mouth.
One day we (Mom, my brothers, sister, my best pal, JD, and I) were out feeding the animals and getting them ready for the night. Part of the nightly routine included checking the ever present electric fence (aka: Fence-o-Satan) to make sure it was working which involved turning off the electric wire. It was pouring down rain but that didn’t matter much to the animals, they were hungry. We all had our black muck boots on, sloshing through the mud and rain as fast as a body could slosh. We had just about finished when mom told JD and I to turn the electric fence back on; we ran to the side of the house, excited to be finished with the chores and get on with our sleep over.
Apparently my mom didn’t expect us to run as fast as we did. As I hit the switch to turn the fence back on, I heard a horrible banshee shriek “Daaammmnnn iittt!” JD and I looked at each other with wide eyes as we ran back around to where my mom was. We were met with a wild woman with a face that not even her daughter could love. I’m not clear if my mom was actually holding the wire or if she slipped a little in the mud as she was stepping over the wire and fell into it, but that was the moment I chose to turn the fence back on. The shock itself wouldn’t have been quite so bad if she hadn’t been standing knee deep in a puddle of water. Not only did the shock just about knock her down, she also peed her pants (don’t be embarrassed, Mom, you’ve had four kids your bladder was weak anyway). JD and I read each others minds which may have saved our lives. In less than a blink of an eye, JD and I turned and ran as fast as our legs could go, which was pretty fast considering that we had big heavy mud boots on. I had never heard my mother swear before, I was terrified, now that she was swearing like a sailor, there was just no knowing what she would do next.
Like a coward I left my young, helpless siblings behind to face the wrath of the mamma. JD and I hid in the tree house until we felt it was safe to return home.
The one thing that puzzles me, and I could be wrong (my science knowledge is limited at best), is that I thought the rubber mud boots would have grounded the shock of the fence. Maybe we just witnessed a miracle of nature…