so a severed head rolls across the floor and hits your foot. you look down and say, "Jesus!"

or not.

i'm editing page proofs, and i noticed that three of my characters use the same Jesus exclamation in different dramatic situations. this must stop. what would you say if a severed head rolled across the floor in front of you?


holy shit!

holy crap!


?????

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"That's the second biggest severed head I've seen this week!"
My husband is director for a local TV station and there are some very specific guidelines about what can be said over the headsets that everyone wears behind the scenes when the news cast is going on. They have settled on a couple of subsitutes for the f word: "Your hair looks nice today." if time permits; and a short reference to a joke about a nun who refuses to pay her fare on a bus or "Nun-bus," if a brief outburst is called for. Unfortunately, by the time you set those up for a book, you might need another chapter.
My response to the bloody rolling head:
"Dammit Kit, that better not stain"

I know, it's not really a utterance of shock, but in my defense, I grew up in a house were hanging a fake bloody arm out the back of the car trunk on the way to church was a norm. And pretending to cut the cat's tail off with a butcher knife, and then handing a 6 year old a ketchup covered, tightly rolled up white towel and claiming it was the tail was "just a harmless joke".

(how I made it all these years without counseling is beyond me)
lilo: OMG. and i thought my brother was a cruel asshole when we were growing up.
See, this is why I will never have kids. I'd do that to them.
oh, damn. and i just sent a jesus love the little children ringtone to your phone. i thought it would go well in a thrillerfest bar.

i can totally see my brother pulling the stunt with the bloody cat tail. evil bastard.
It wouldn't have been so bad had it been my brother- at least he'd have the "I was a kid too" excuse, but the cat thing was done my my father. Of course, his line of defense now is that I really should have known that it was a joke. My brother preferred more human related gore in his jokes. In fact the time he really put his arm through a glass door- my mother had to actually see the broken glass still deep in his arm before she believed him.
My dad used to pretend to be dead - oh how we children laughed at that one. Parents - who'd have them!
Try the sound of this one: "Anda, pa'l carajo!"
ack! i need a translation! babel fish said it walks. somehow i don't think that's right. another translation site gave me many nice choices, a few of which i probably shouldn't post here.
Pretty much means "go to hell", but it's often used (by Puerto Ricans at least) in the same way some might use "Son of a bitch" for understated surprise. In my book, Tio Luis says this when he's captured by Viet Cong (actually, he puts down his gun faster than he could say the phrase.) Not to be confused with "vete pa'l carajo" ("go to Hell" but angry) or "Me haces el favor y te me vas para el carajo" ("Do me a favor and go to Hell for me" angry and formal). Nor should it be confused with "Las ventas del carajo" as in "me perdi por las ventas del carajo." ("I got lost at the ass end of Hell"). The astute reader will see that carajo means Hell.
haha! i love all of those, especially the formal one.
and i can't wait for the concrete maze to hit shelves!

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