Use the F-Word in a Grocery Store, and You Might Go to Jail

f wordDid you guys see this story about a woman at a Kroger store in South Carolina telling her husband to “stop smashing the fucking bread,” and being arrested for using the f-word in front of her kids?

Apparently the dude dropped a stack of frozen pizzas on a loaf of bread, she dropped an f-bomb on top of him, and the next thing they knew… the cops were there and Mom was being read her rights. She was charged with disorderly conduct, and got to take a ride in a police car.

My opinion: there are no good guys in this story. It’s sorta like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: everybody involved is reprehensible.

I’m no Quaker, and certainly no stranger to profanity. In fact, I’m quite proud of my ability to string together curse words in new and creative ways. I’m an artist working in the obscenity genre.

However… I don’t walk around retail stores shouting the f-word and whatnot. I mean, seriously. When I hear someone do that, another word jumps immediately to mind: trash. It’s low-class, and… you know, trashy. When there are kids around, it’s even worse.

I don’t use that word in front of our boys, even at their advanced ages. Oh, I say shit and asshole, and “Get outta the left lane, ya sock full o’ turds!!” But there’s a line I won’t cross in front of them. And even with Toney around… there’s a limit. I haven’t sat down and created an Excel spreadsheet or anything, it’s just instinctual.

I mean, have a little respect. Right? And lead by example. I’m sure plenty of you will disagree with my stance on this, and give me the tried and true justifications for going full Goodfellas whenever you feel like it: “they’ll hear that and much worse at school” and “they’re just words.” True statements, I admit. But they don’t need to hear ’em from their parents. It’s just how I feel about it.

On the other hand… What kind of deep-dish lunatic calls 911 because she hears someone say something she doesn’t like in the frozen food aisle?? Wow. Talk about a busybody… The bitch needs to butt-out. I know she probably thinks she was being an advocate for children, or whatever, but… unless there was actual abuse going on, it’s none of her business.

And some woman telling her husband to stop smashing the fucking bread is a looooong way from abuse. I don’t like to hear that kind of thing, either. But calling the cops?! That’s a few steps beyond crazy.

People LOVE to be offended these days. If somebody so much as misspeaks or uses clumsy phrasing… there are plenty of folks standing by, ready to do their part to destroy that person. And unless they’re left utterly humiliated, with no way to make a living, it’s not enough.

And the thing about it? The people who claim to be offended are not actually offended. In most cases, anyway. They just enjoy the sport of it. Especially if there’s a political component.

So, there you go. What are your feelings on this story? What do you think about using profanity in public? Tell us about it in the comments. Also, how do you feel about cursing in front of kids? I say it’s OK to a point, but then only acceptable for baseball and football coaches. For some reason that doesn’t bother me. Hey, I never claimed to be consistent. But what do you think?

I’ll see you guys again on Thursday.

Have a great day!

Buy yourself something cool at Amazon! It’s the American way.


  1. squawvalleyskip says

    I freely admit to having a daily vocabulary that my mother wouldn’t exactly care for. And that includes free association with the dreaded “f-word”. Fuck, it makes me feel weird to even refer to it that way. On the other hand, around women, children, police and judges I do try to moderate myself. Sometimes even just in the vicinity of the general public. Although my wife has grown used to it over the years. Especially when I’m working on something. And if I get pissed off at work all the stops come right on out. I’ve been “counseled” more than a few times about saying things that aren’t exactly appropriate for the politically correct workplace. Especially when I direct it at someone who considers themselves to be superior to me. I try to be an upstanding citizen, but sometimes the rampant stupidity of humanity in general just gets the best of me. I suppose I should apologize for being me. But then again. maybe not.

  2. I also admit to chronic cussing. In my defense, I have no children and I keep it in check in situations where I’m not with my friends or husband, who all use as much (or more) bad language as I do. But, calling the cops? That’s madness, abso-fucking-lute madness!

    On a side note, I only have one close friend who has a child and the little girl is getting old enough to get wise to bad words. We’re all working very hard to stifle it, with pretty good success.

  3. Watching their mother get arrested was almost certainly more traumatic to the children than hearing her use the F-word.

  4. As I get older I tend to cuss less. Where I work you can get in trouble for using such language. It’s called “creating a hostile work environment” or something like that. I can’t see calling the cops on someone in a store for something like that.

  5. Brenda Love says

    They would still be looking for my parents in the darkest depths of under the jail…..

  6. I agree with tailoring my speech to fit my company. It’s just common sense to not inflame situations with inflammatory words. I don’t cuss around my kids (okay, okay – SOMETIMES I do, it’s usually when I’m really angry, but even then it’s a ‘damn’ or ‘shit’ – and hey, I’m not proud of that), and I try to watch my speech in public. However, I am an absolute sailor in private. So far though, no one can say my conduct has been less than orderly.

    But at the same time… I think it’s kind of a slippery slope to arrest someone just for saying what that lady said. Isn’t that what the 1st Amendment is for – to keep people from being arrested because of the words they speak? She didn’t threaten anyone, she didn’t have a full-scale Turret’s meltdown – she said ‘fuck’. And not even to a stranger. I agree with Dave ^^ – watching their mother get arrested was likely much more traumatic than hearing her say ‘fuck’. What a fucking waste of time for everyone involved.

  7. Skippy in WV says

    I’ve been known to go “full Goodfellas’s” before but curse words in general are so interwoven into my speech pattern that I don’t even notice that I’ve said them until I get called on it. I’ve dropped “F-bombs” around my bible totin’ parents, my 80 some year old grandmother, and other family members so much they don’t even bother to correct me anymore. I really should try to curb it, especially around my 4 year old, but I’ve gotten so used to saying whatever whenever that I don’t even notice when I’m doing it. The first time HE let loose with a string of obscenities, after I stopped hysterically laughing, I calmly told him that he shouldn’t use those words because they’re “Daddy’s words”. Anytime he gets mad and wants to cuss he’ll look at me and say “use YOUR words Daddy”, I’ll say a few, usually such as shit and damn, he’ll laugh and giggle and be on his merry way.

  8. Right with you on the sliding scale of cussery. There’s a time and place for everything. Our kids (18 and 17) have heard it all and use some foul language. I will admonish from time to time, because when your own flesh and blood is shouting ‘F*CK!’ at their gaming console it’s…jarring. To hear them say it sounds so much worse than when I do.

  9. Erica in Charlotte says

    I will curse around my son (16), but 99% of the time, I do not use “fuck” around him. However – on the rare occasion I do, it absolutely blows his mind, because “Mom said fuck!!!” See? Not completely desensitized to such phenomena.

    Will I use “fuck” on a Deadwood-level in the car or in casual conversation with my husband or friends? Absolutely. If the occasion calls for it.

  10. I have a pretty foul mouth… and at work the f-bombs fly… even though the sweet lady in the office adjacent to mine used to be a Christian missionary in Africa. I guess nobody’s going to complain about the language of the guy who signs the checks and decides bonuses.

    I also have a truck with the FUCK keyed into the side of it. I’ve had it for 5 years ever since I repossessed it from the the guy who keyed it into the side. I haven’t bothered to get it fixed because it’s a good conversation starter… plus I have only driven it about 5,000 miles in the past 5 years… what’s the point? If it were a different vehicle in my garage it’d sure get fixed, but it’s my truck and it gives it character. I think there’s an anti-abortion sticker on the back window, too… but I can’t really tell. It has an infinity symbol and then says 4 Life in a circle. Who the hell knows what I’m advertising.

  11. must be a real small town i can’t imagine the police responding in any kind of timely manner to oh no someone said fuck in the krogers better get a squad car down there fast

  12. JeffInDenver (In Cleveland) says

    R. Lee Ermey.

    That is all.

  13. I’ve been freely cussing since I was about 13. My parents are so used to it now that they don’t even blink when I let loose on the “fucks, dickheads, shit, etc, etc, etc”. I have a professional job but luckily my boss has my sense of humor so we are completely in sync with our private chats. But to the public? Full professional, always. I once asked my mom if I was offending her (because honestly that never crossed my mind) and she said she actually enjoys my style of language and doesn’t get offended.
    If I had kids I’d probably still be me. I might curb some of the language, but meh? Words don’t do me any bother.

  14. Dorothy B. Raught says

    as someone else remarked, i have a full-on deadwood mouth, but i curb it in front of the grandchildren——–except, one time i was driving my four year old grandson somewhere and an asshat tried to pass me as i was making a left turn. to my credit, i just kinda muttered, “oh fuck!” from the depths of his car seat in the back, i heard, “grandma, you said a baaaad word.” thinking fast, i said, “oh no! i said, ‘bad luck,’ ” the little teeny voice replied, “oh, that’s ok then, i thought you said ‘fuck.’ ” it took me a while to stop strangling myself to keep from laughing, but i finally asked him, “where did you hear that bad word?” “at teeny tiny tender care,” he replied. so i’m sure it didn’t surprise any kid over the age of three. haha.

    • That’s awesome! My 5 year old son recently had a conversation with his Dad about “crap”. It went something like this:

      Dad stubbed his toe.
      Dad: Crap!
      Drew: Dad, crap is a bad word.
      Dad: You’re right. I’m sorry. Don’t say that.
      Drew: Yeah, crap is a bad word. I shouldn’t say crap.
      Dad: Okay. Enough of that word.
      Drew: What word? Crap? Yeah, crap is a grown up word. I won’t say crap.

  15. Watch your fucking language. There are cunts present.

  16. This ticks me the hell off. People need to mind their own business. I cuss, but not in mixed company. I find it incredibly trashy when people I don’t know start swearing in front of me — especially women. Always makes me think they should be swilling a Natty Lite with a cigarette dangling from their lips. In this case, however, we need to keep in mind, this lady (a term I use loosely) was talking to her husband. In my experience, no one makes me cuss more than my husband.

  17. johnthebasket says

    Some peo*le who will say fuck in pub*ic won’t wri*e the word. I don’t kn*w why. I think it’s a Bap*ist thing.

    Were the practice confined to this site, I might not mention it, but I see it all over the place. I figure shit or get off the p*t, but old habits die hard, like the last enemy in a kung fu movie.


    • Using the fuckin’ asterisk gets around many word censors out there. So F*ck would at least show up in text, rather than *&#*& or [Censored] or some stupid word substitution. And back in the old days, the real fuddy duddys would get all worked up if you typed out FUCK. but for some stupid reason, they would accept F*CK. And you would really blow up their mind when you told them just becuase they wrote Gosh darned, still meant god damn in normal person speak…

      • I think it started way back in the mid 90s when the internet was new to censoring. People modified the words so that the primitive censor would not catch them. I was on a bulletin board (remember them?) that would not allow the word ass. I could not write assume, assert, morass, mass, casserole or a whole bunch of other words. It was very annoying.

  18. johnthebasket says

    I think the extent to which I curse in my everyday language is materially influenced by what I’m reading at the time. I happen to be rereading the Kinky Friedman corpus right now, and my language has become a little more colorful in the last month or so. I probably have another month or so to go, so I predict a slight chance of shits followed by fuck flurries. Thank the Good Lord I haven’t picked up Kinky’s habit of calling women “broads”. That would be both disrespectful and dangerous.


  19. I hate it when they smash my fucking bread.

  20. Fuck the motherfucking fuckers…..
    Motherfuckers need to learn to absofuckinglutely mind their own fucking business

  21. We are discussing the lady who cussed and the busybody doing the calling, but what about the cop? Don’t they even get Cliffs Notes versions of the Constitution? What the hell was (s)he thinking? That is not a criminal offense, but I’m guessing they get all excited every time they get to violate someone’s rights.

    • . Cops are not the kinds of people who are known for their high IQ and knowledge of the Constitution!

    • johnthebasket says

      Generalizing is a little chancy. The law enforcement folks I know have a pretty good grasp of the constitution, and even a better grasp of state, county and local law, and none of them take pleasure in violating people’s rights. I know there are redneck cops who like busting chops and heads, but the two dozen or so state and local police folks I know personally are pretty committed to the “protect and serve” dictum displayed on their patrol cars.


  22. I’m pretty sure I’ve never really been “offended” once, during my entire life. The “offended” racket is bullshit. If you are in fact offended, congratulations, part of life. But if you’re such a delicate flower of a cunt, the rest of us should listen to you WHY???? If you spent $150,000 on a poetry degree and now you’re pissed that you work at a coffee shop, we should pay attention to your stupid goddamn 1% signs WHY??? Fuck off. Language should be minded in public. It’s a social thing. But whatever. Don’t call the cops or Jessie Goddamn Jackson if the kid happens to be black. Pseudo intellectual cock smokers. Again, fuck off.

  23. Knucklehead says

    Good Gawd, I hope that woman never comes to Italy. They were blasting the Cee Lo Green song “Fuck You” in the overhead music at the grocery store the other day and my husband nearly blew a blood vessel in his brain from laughing.

  24. This is a topic that has long bothered me. We (America, specifically) is a society that has become wayyy to politically correct, litigious, and sensitive.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that things like what you mention in the Kroger occur because people are so unhappy in their lives, that they feel the need to see others suffer. Misery loves company.

    This is almost as bad as 9 year olds getting handcuffed for causing a disruption in school. Political correctness and oversensitivity trump common sense anymore. And there is always a lawyer ready to take the case.

    All this makes me sad.

  25. Worms, Roxanne, worms.

  26. I feel bad for the lady that dropped the f-bomb. She apparently married a real dipshit.

  27. The woman that made the phone call should have been cuffed, too, for wasting the cop’s time.

    This really ticks me off for all the reasons stated above. Just because someone didn’t like the word she had to get all up in everyone’s business because she felt SHE was righteous? Some of that bible thumping shit gets on my last nerve but I’ve also relied on that almost extinct practice called tolerance.

  28. Lew in Bama says

    I used to cuss a good bit, but not so much in public. F-bombs were reserved for close company only. And then I got a roommate who had a friend who cussed all the time…in public. F-bombs in restaurants, the mall, movie theatre. I found myself embarrassed at how people seated near us would glare over at us, embarrassed to be associated with the foul mouth girl across the table.
    I realized it’s just not appropriate in public, and furthermore, it was really tacky from a woman. I don’t cuss anymore, it’s just not ladylike. Oh, and I got new friends.

  29. Bill in WV says

    I wonder what she would have said, had it been a gallon of milk or a 2 liter bottle he dropped on the bread?

  30. At least the kids learned an important lesson: when the cops show up, bad things happen.

  31. Unless I am inciting a riot with my words, stay the fuck out my business. It’s nobody’s job or civic fucking duty to tell me how to act or what to say. You’re offended? Tough shit, go somewhere else. There are no rights given to you to only hear what you WANT to hear. I hate these fucking word police. Words do not fucking hurt ppl. Thugs with guns hurt ppl.
    Down off soap box now…..

  32. johnthebasket says

    My goodness. Mario Savio would be surprised to find so many allies in such an unexpected place. I’m frequently the most passionate person in any particular group regarding first amendment rights (any group that doesn’t include Penn Jillette), but I don’t even come close today.

    It’s nice to know free speech is alive and well.


  33. The busybody should have let out a few loud sighs while shaking her head…just so someone would notice her, then there wouldn’t have been any need to call the cops. Attention Seekers Anonymous is in for a treat when it’s her turn to talk.

  34. Bill in WV says

    People like this, tattle-tales, bug the shit out of me. I seek out these types and take a dump in the engine compartment of their car. Always a pleasant odor, coming through the air vents. Better yet, just drop one right onto the fan blade.

    • johnthebasket says

      Safety first, Bill. Make sure the fan is at rest and that nobody is behind the wheel. Sure, it’s nice to get a piece of ass once in a while, but you don’t want it to be yours.

      Damn, I’m a careful son of a bitch. I should work for the National Fucking Safety Council.


  35. Jazzbone Swirly says

    Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck

  36. aileen in jackson ms says

    I’m Cuban, cursing is a national pastime for us. I pepper my speech with fucks and shits all the time unless the situation calls for moderate language. Interestingly, even though I’m not religious, the one thing I just cannot say is GD. A thousand fucks in front school kids makes me cringe less than hearing that word once.

  37. >> I’m quite proud of my ability to string together curse words in new and creative ways. I’m an artist working in the obscenity genre.

    That’s like Darrin McGavin in “Christmas Story.”

  38. If you’re gonna drop the f-word at Krogers, you deserve to have a bible-thumper call the cops on ya. It’s a bell-curve: you wanna swing on one end, plan on swinging with the loons on the other end.

  39. I have never been a curser. It’s never appealed to me for some reason. However, my grandson, at age 3, came out with the F word at church one Sunday. He had heard it and because it got a reaction, decided to keep using it.
    I dislike reading posts, for instance, on FB where people always resort to swearing; because it always seems like they must be limited in their supply of regular words which would be rated for general audiences. My son is a cop; and I can’t imagine an officer coming out to a call like that one at the grocery store. They have enough real troubles in the world that they respond to.

  40. Sorry for the late response. My most recent outburst was at the A&P while I was using the automated checkout. It’s easy: scan the item, put it in the bag, scan next item… For some odd reason the scale which drives the whole thing is very finicky. The mechanism for loss prevention is the weight of each item. If you put it in the bag too softly, it will freak out. If you aren’t careful, the system says, “Wait for attendant.” Fed up, I yelled, “Oh, fuck you” at the machine. “This is supposed to make my shopping experience faster?”

    Then there was the time that I freaked out over the phone at a customer service rep from Comcast. My wife gets on the phone mid-freakout, and the lady asked my wife if she should call the police.