Wednesday, March 21, 2012

MFA Greensboro Alum Paul Crenshaw Discusses the Communicative Properties of Cursing

Notes on the Communicative Properties of Cursing
      by Paul CrenshawPaul CrenshawFor seven or eight years I worked at a golf course during the summer, selling tees and green fees and ninety-nine cent bags of chips to men who’d decided to spend their one day a week off chasing a golf ball through the weeds. My stepfather had leased the golf course from the rich businessman who’d built it, and he’d hired me to work in what passed for a pro shop.  I’d come in at eight, hungover, and lock the doors so I could sleep for an hour or two, until someone knocked hard enough that I had to get up and let them in.

Besides the men who bought green fees and then disappeared onto the course, there were a few men who spent much of their day hanging out in the pro shop. These were teachers who had the summer off, or businessmen whose sons or daughters ran their businesses and now had nothing to do. A few were retired; others had family money and had no real need or reason to work—a fact I found endlessly fascinating. I’d been trying for years to come up with a master plan to not have to work, but, when my chain letter failed to return even the money I’d spent on Xeroxing, I’d had to go back to work for my stepfather.

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