Two hundred and fifty-three 'obscene' words have been removed from the following text out of Political Correctness.
Jarred Coe supervised three people at work and he blamed them for the uncomfortable level of stress he endured. For their part, they were willing to work as hard as he did, but the three of them resented being supervised by someone who hated them for needing to be supervised when they didn’t even need supervising.
Asian Scotsman, Anil Craig, was one of the three. His strict upbringing and the death of an innocent friend, who was murdered by the inexplicable evil of ‘honour killing’, turned him against his religion and his family. Anil had a passion for the English language and believed firmly in free speech. He was a vociferous member of a web group of like-minded people, where he preached to the converted and gave emoticon thumbs-ups to expletive peppered posts that expounded FRS ideology.
FRS, (Free Relaxed Speech), is the freedom to speak without having to worry about offending people by political incorrectness. The group demand that people should be open-minded and not take offence at the use of mere words. But they also seek to preserve good usage. The Society for the Reintroduction of FRS’s mission statement claims, 'Language is as under threat as the rainforest. We are enemies of those who take the privilege of language lightly. We are all keepers of language and in our brief time here we must protect and preserve it.’ Members of the group must refrain from using text speak, and grammar is policed by all members. Swearing is encouraged.
Anil needed to moan about his supervisor, Jarred’s, bossiness and nosey interfering, it was human nature. A good swear would have taken the steam off his frustration. Jarred needed to swear too; he not only disagreed with the rules he upheld on behalf of Belgrove Software Importations but he was also secretly a member of the FRS web discussion group. Unknown to both of them, Jarred and Anil had both won the Society’s Supreme Vulgarian title. They knew of each other online as Wordjester and SmartmoutherXXX; they were respected curse-mates; they just didn’t know they knew each other; respected each other. They were only aware that they resented each other offline, at work.
They walked on parallel streets in real life, until a series of posts emanating from some trivial pathway in cyber world caused a crossing of roads, setting a collision course:
Wordjester: obscene words are like bad parps—if you ban breaking wind to protect people from bad odours then the only complaints you’d have left would be stomach complaints. And then, when would it stop? Would a will develop to ban defecating? Would people then have to starve, like we are being made to starve our hard won language? In South West Central Herts the authorities are running royally with the banning of everything: take out the danger and remove the backbone: you can’t break jelly. A mad dog's tail is wagging the whole asylum, my friends.
SmartmoutherXXX: You are in South West Central Herts: me too. We should come together in a drinking scenario—I know a pub with a swearing room—the Hope and Anchor, you know it?
Anil and Jared were frequent drinkers and swearers in the Hope and Anchor public house. They both tried to imagine who the other could be. Anil wondered whether Wordjester was the old guy with black teeth who quietly sat on his own with brief Tourettic outbursts every time his glass was empty. Or was he one of the pool sharks? No, a more mature character…
When Anil entered the swearing room at the Hope and Anchor he was aggravated by the sight of Jarred his Supervisor. No-one liked him much. The only thing he had going for him was that he swore outside work. Jarred looked round at Anil with a dismissive half-snarl and returned to looking at the pictures and paintings of ships and shipwrecks that familiarity had made him blind to.
Jarred laughed loudly and suddenly. He came over to Anil.
‘Would you like a drink,’ Jarred said—Anil was ready with a polite no, impolitely tempered with nonchalant expletives, but instead fell silent at Jarred’s next utterance—‘SmartmoutherXXX?’
In a hard-to-grasp development the room now contained Anil and SmartmoutherXXX; Jarred and Wordjester. Anil wanted to ignore Jarred but still somehow engage with Wordjester. Wordjester wanted to make Smartmouther’s acquaintance but without the awkwardness of Anil being there. It was a big mistake. They ignored each other on-line and minimized contact at work.
Someone on the discussion group had rescued a litter of puppies she could not cope with. Anil took one and Jarred two. They met in the park one August evening some months later and the dogs zipped and lunged around with frenzied familiarity. They played as Jarred and Anil told dog stories and compared the canine siblings. As they talked Anil and Jarred found out more about each other: they had both kept parrots in their youth and taught them to swear. But now, they agreed, that keeping a beast made by nature to fly, in a cage, was a sin. And they had both always loved dogs and wondered why they had not owned dogs before.
As their perspectives shifted they both gnawed on the idea that they should get together more often, if only for the cause, and for the dogs. Jarred and Anil wanted a gentler world with more understanding and care for animals. But that made them extremists within the group and more and more their ideals fitted less and less.
They went on local radio together after a successful web radio interview. An agent took them on. They travelled around the UK giving interviews.
As their popularity grew so did the amount they were paid for appearances. They gave up work and became full time campaigners with a shared office in the high street. Everything was good for a while. They had the money to employ dog walkers but didn’t have the quality of life to walk their own dogs. When the most beloved of Jarred’s dogs, Snorkel, was run over by a car in unexplained circumstances that left pointing fingers, something had to give.
They both over-worked and when their agent offered them the helping hand of one solid, overpaid gig, they took it. ‘^*%^ You Chef!’ was a programme promoting and force-feeding excess to a toe-touching public. It started out on You Tube and went late-night terrestrial, and had high ratings. In one way it represented a victory for FRS, in another, like pop stars, who had got too big too soon, Anil and Jarred were bewildered, beleaguered, and burned out.
Anil and Jarred were contracted to record The Superfeast Pigup Special, live at Shepherd’s Bush. The producers had tried to renege on the contract after being alerted to Anil and Jarred’s new Animal Sympathy Scenarios web group. Anil and Jarred’s lawyer stepped in. It was to go ahead. They planned to go on and gently subvert the wild macho posturing with some Animal Sympathy Scenarios logic.
‘What I want to get across is the eco friendliness of vegetarianism. I told the producers and they told me to change my record.’
‘What can we do now when we sold out to do what we wanted to do?’
On the day of the live recording, tension mounted. Anil and Jarred had fallen out with the programme makers and the presenters. The show was scripted by young university types who had not learned grammar above elementary level—Anil and Jarred were constantly correcting the scripts.
‘Have you seen those pigs? They are like puppies, they are so cute,’ Jarred whispered to Anil.
‘I am going to start a rescue centre for all animals when we are done with all this, Anil’s Ark.’
‘Don’t these little fellows remind you of Snorkel, the way she used to run around and sniff like a maniac?’
Jarred and Anil played with the piglets and gave them names while they were waiting to go on air.
‘Why don’t we rescue these fellas?’
‘We’ll have to kidnap them.’
‘Dead pig trotting,’ said a passing member of the production team.
The auditorium filled up. Backstage a butcher arrived; a pale, sinewy slab of a man. The production team and the prankster presenters all disliked Anil and Jarred and wanted to play a trick on them, after all they were not stars they were Internet crossover amateurs.
The butcher slit a squealing piglet’s throat. It had to be the one with the most character; the one that reminded Jarred most of the beloved dog he had recently lost. Jarred wanted to scoop up the blood and put it back inside the lifeless body of the baby pig. Jarred boiled with fury; the butcher loved killing. In a daze Jarred was called to the stage. A crescendo: the light goes on and the teleprompter displays his foul words. Incongruously to him there is laughter and delight at the shear disgustingness of the words. He has to do it, it is expected of him. It was what they paid him for. But was this freedom? Performing like a monkey. At least he wasn’t’ a lab monkey: he had been reading about lab animals that morning and couldn’t shake the horror of it, not even live on TV.
He rambled off the script’s path for a few feet and said the word ‘Vegetarian’ which sounded like a swearword.
‘We don’t need to eat that desperately, do we? Are we starving? Do we cease these beautiful lives not for need but for some sick pleasure?’
Over his earpiece the producer thundered, ‘You sound like a tenth rate Shakespearean tragedian. Pull yourself together or we’ll start again, live or not, with another presenter.’
Back on the script, frightened of what he wants to say, must say; words that come from forever. He finds the reading difficult. The producer tells him he is sounding like an automaton. He is reading raw obscenities that are reacted to as though they were jokes. The mob love the filth as it trudges through the muck from male genitalia, to anal, through vaginal, and on to blasphemy and beyond.
He delved the depths of his Supreme Vulgarian lexicon but there was nothing, he was stuck on female genitalia. He truly meant to be nasty to the animal slaughterers, but from the audience he was only eliciting salacious ‘ohs’, ‘oohs’ and ‘ooohs’, and different types of laughter; mocking, nasty, ignorant. The merriment swelled impossibly when a shot on the large screen, of the freshly butchered carcass’s severed genitalia coincided with an appropriate inappropriate insult.
Anil watched as Jarred, helpless; running in a glutinous nightmare; shouting and screaming hoarse as he dredged up the most bile saturated words and phrases he could, but none of them had any effect. Jarred wished to God that he had never sworn or cursed or uttered rudeness before, so that now instead of being buried ineffectually the words would stand out and violate and curse with bad taste enduring, hurt and wound and damn.
He began to cry inside; admit defeat. He concluded by mumbling the last word he would ever say on live television, he said, embarrassingly, unfathomably: ‘fiddlesticks’.