It was a bit jarring.  I was at my friendly neighborhood Speedway getting gas and a refreshment. I started to pick my gasoline grade and was surprised to see a rather large sticker glued on to the pump near the gas selection keys.

It was about four inches tall and five inches wide with white background and black letters.  It said simply. “F*** Joe Biden.”   In much smaller letters below, it then said, “And if you voted for Joe Biden F*** you too.”  Of course, the *** were actual letters in this glued-on sticker on the pump.

My first thoughts were, “I can’t believe someone thinks putting that sticker on someone else’s private property is cool. That sticker may create lots of damage when the owner of the gas station tries to pull it off.” I also was not too fond of the language either.

 After some further reflection, I realized I could not be mad at the perpetrator of this stupid sticker. It’s not their fault.

A few days later, I was at a concert in Raymond James stadium with a packed house. After the concert, around 11 p.m., some of us had to use the crowded men’s room at the stadium before driving home.  There must have been 50 men queued up, waiting their turn.

One fellow in a very loud voice chanted, “Let’s Go Brandon.”

The loud lusty reply amongst the masses. “F*** Joe Biden.”

“Let’s Go Brandon.”

“F*** Joe Biden.”

“Let’s Go Brandon”

“F*** Joe Biden”

Over and over the chant reverberated in the small, congested men’s room.

I shook my head. Seriously?

After some further reflection, I realized I could not be mad at the perpetrators of this unpleasant, inappropriate public spectacle. It’s not their fault.

I’ll tell you whose fault it is.

When I was a lad, there was a certain soap that was ‘99 and 44/100 pure.” “So pure — it floats.” 

We didn’t have much money growing up, so my family always bought the jumbo economy sized bars of Ivory soap.  Each bar the size of four smartphones stacked on top of each other.

At certain times of my youth, I thought I was grown up and could use certain colorful words.  I could use them, but should I?  And particularly in the house with my parents?

I never knew my Dad had the sprint speed of Usain Bolt or Jesse Owens until the first time I dropped an F-Bomb in the house in front of my younger siblings.

In a headlock before I knew what happened, I headed to the bathroom and the industrial sized bar of 99 and 44/100 percent pure cleanliness in my mouth.  I did not know my mouth could expand that big, but the whole bar made its way in and out a few times.

My parents believed that there was a way we human beings need to treat each other.  I didn’t always approve of their reinforcement methods, but the lessons of basic civility stayed with me.

They also told us some people are not offended when you use that kind of language, but some are. You don’t know which kind of person is overhearing your language.  You should refrain from using foul language in any situation because you think you can control using different language in different situations, but you can’t. 

Our parents explained that when you use foul language you are telling those around you that you don’t know how to express yourself intelligently.  How can you say, “This is cool as S***, this is stupid as S***.”  You obviously don’t understand what S*** is.

We were fortunate to have wise parents who punished us when we violated rules, but who also explained the reason for the rules.

I don’t blame the person who thought it was appropriate to put the F*** Joe Biden sticker on the gas pump. I don’t blame the large contingent of foul-mouthed people who thought chanting F*** Joe Biden was appropriate in a large public forum.

I don’t blame them.  It is not their fault.

I blame their parents and the apparent lack of 99 and 44/100 pure.

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