Monday, July 17, 2006

Ask Aunt Tillie: Do Amish cuss?

Dear Aunt Tillie:

My son, a high school senior, has a job this summer working on an Amish construction crew. I was excited about the job because I thought he would pick up wholesome habits from his Amish co-workers. Instead, I find out that he is learning new curse words. Do you think these are really Amish boys that he is working with or are they just masquerading as Amish? Amish don't use curse words, do they?

Concerned Mother.

Dear Concerned Mother,

I guess you have never taken a hammer in hand and hit the wrong nail. No, theoretically, Amish do not cuss. The preachers in our churches do not tell us, "Go ahead and cuss when you have to; it's okay." On the other hand, most Amish work with their hands. When you work with your hands all day, they will, occasionally, be in the wrong place at the wrong time. What do you say when you're slicing a loaf of bread and nick your thumb, or pinch your finger in a drawer?

I have often wondered whether Jesus actually worked as a carpenter, as we are led to believe, or whether maybe he was the guy in charge of making estimates, drawing plans, ordering materials, etc. I don't see how he could have remained sinless if he was actually out there in the hot sun swinging a hammer and sawing a 2x4. Even the Son of God would have said "Son of a $%#&! if his hammer had hit his thumb instead of the nail. Actually, I guess they didn't have nails 2,000 years ago, he would have been hammering on a wooden peg. A peg is a lot bigger than a nail, so maybe he never missed his mark. That must be it; he was perfect, after all. It's a good thing he was born then and not now; he would never have kept perfection going for 30 years.

Aunt Tillie


gnightgirl said...

I'd never really contemplated Jesus' potty mouth, but I have seriously been banking on his sense of humor.

rdl said...

awhh, so glad to have aunt tillie back.

Uncle Menno said...

My Edna once went out to go somewhere in a hurry, but when she saw the front tire on the car was flat, she lost her temper and danced around and kicked the tire, saying "You sow, you wutz, you pig, you hog!" as those were the worst words she knew. I laughed so hard I thought I would pee myself. This was after we became Mennonite, so that's why we had a car. It was a 1948 Oldsmobile. Dark green.

I don't know where Aunt Tillie learned about how Amish carpenter gangs talk. My Edna, bless her heart, wouldn't have known, but Aunt Tillie might have gotten around a little more than Edna did. You can say some things in Pennsylvania Dutch that you probably oughtn't say in English. At least, I wouldn't.

Amishlaw said...

Yes, Uncle Menno, Aunt Tillie has been around the block a few times. She likes to say, "I'm not as dumb as I look."