Saturday, February 26, 2005


Quite hungry after church one Sunday, my sons and I devoured chicken and rice with our favourite Korean sauce that I make from scratch. Each had three pieces of chicken with chopped tomatoes and green onions on the side. With his last piece of chicken, Markus proudly announced, “I can make a soufflé of this!”

Gino responded, “You don’t even know what a soufflé is.”

“So? I can make it!” With the charm and confidence of Jamie Oliver, Markus grabbed some rice with both hands and generously sprinkled it on the chicken drenched in Korean sauce.

As I watched him enjoy his “soufflé”, he began this hilarious chatter:

“Mom, I know how you can say ‘ugly’ to someone without using the word ‘ugly’. You just describe the person, like ‘You smell terrible and you look horrific.’ Or you can say, ‘Your face is deformed.’ Or, ‘You have very thick make-up. What’s with it?’”

This got me LOL-ing.

In our house, there are certain words they should not tell each other or other people for that matter, words such as “stupid idiot”, “gay lord” and, yes, “ugly”. Certainly not in my presence. The rule is: Words wound for a very long time and we should not be saying negative things about the person, only about the behaviour. (“That’s a stupid thing to do.” vs. “You are stupid.”)

If I catch them (Gabriel and Markus) saying bad words, they are fined a dollar which I deduct from their massage money (money they earn from giving me a massage). I have saved some with this rule. Gino and Mickey are already too old for this kind of “discipline”. On the other hand, if they catch me saying bad words, I get fined $2. They have caught me a few times – once when I think I said “stupid driver” when somebody cut me off on the road. Another was when I saw a rich and famous TV personality without make-up in a fundraising show for tsunami victims. I blurted, “She’s ugly!” before I could think and say, “Her make-up artist has been doing an excellent job!!” They have not forgotten this incident.

Gino swears he has heard me swearing in the kitchen. Must be when I cut my finger or got burnt. I thought I say “shoot” not “sh-t”. “Siet-e” doesn’t count, does it?

I think I need to make up my own swear word so that these guys will not mock me with, “Mom, you said a bad word!”

What about “Soufflé!”

If Markus can use it for a chicken dish, I can use it for chicken sh**. Hey, no saying bad words.

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