We knew we were in trouble if mom said, “Oh! H-E-double. . .” But, she never finished it.
At six, thinking I was smarter than my parents, I wrote 4-letter words on paper and delivered to my mother at the dinner table. After all, it was my hands that did the dirty work, so they couldn’t wash my mouth out with soap.
I was wrong.
As an adult, I’ve learned that there are some excellent reasons for 4-letter words and that some 4-letter words are worse than others.
For example, in Jurassic Park, saying, “oh, Monkey Balls” while being chased is not as effective as “Fuck.” That is a fact.
Plus, we need 4-letter words for our garage door codes.
After being assaulted by Brian on Thanksgiving, I had to change my code so neither he, nor our shared housekeeper, could get into my house. (The scary thing is she had, days before, pushed me to give her keys to my home. I did not.)
I started making lists of 4-letter words. I started with those that were most hurtful, ugly, and frightening.
HOYT, KILL, WIFE, LIES, EVIL, MEAN, FAKE, HATE, and, of course, FEAR
Then, I listed 4-letter words that made me happy.
KIND, HUGS, DOGS, KISS, and WINE
I knew I had to re-program with a 4-letter word neither Brian nor Sally would understand and therefore, never guess. (It was Brian’s birthday, 1022.)
My lesson is that there are many 4-letter words that bring joy and warmth while ensuring that mean people can’t get into my world.
Can you guess the word that opens my garage? When I told my neighbor, Mary, I programmed a word Brian and Sally would never guess, she figured it out with one guess.