Tale Weaver — Second Nature

612DE07C-44F3-4B33-A3A2-1916715087FD“Oh shirt!” she exclaimed when she looked up at me from her smartphone as I walked into her office.

I looked down at my shirt. It was buttoned properly, tucked in neatly, and I couldn’t see any visible stains. “What about it?” I asked.

“Excuse me?” she said.

“My shirt,” I responded.

She looked puzzled. “What about your shirt?” she asked.

“That’s what I want to know,” I said.

“What on Earth are you talking about?”

I was getting pissed. “What am I talking about? I want to know what you’re talking about!”

“Let’s take a step back,” she suggested. “What are we talking about because I have no clue.”

I shook my head from side to side. “I walk into your office and as soon as you see me you say something about my shirt. I want to know what your problem is with my shirt.”

“I don’t have a problem with your goddam shirt,” she practically screamed. “What makes you think….”

She stopped before completing her sentence when her smartphone, which she had put down on her desk when I walked into her office, vibrated. She picked it up, looked at it and said, “Shirt, shirt, shirt!”

“There!” I said, pointing a finger at her. “You just said ‘shirt’ again, three times. So I ask you one more time, what’s wrong with my shirt?”

“Oh my God, Tom,” she said, “there’s nothing wrong with your shirt. I got a text from my son who was sent to the principal’s office at his middle school for getting into a fight with one of his classmates and now they want me to come in and meet with him and the principal. I don’t have time for that shirt.”

“What do you mean you don’t have time for that shirt? What shirt?”

A look of understanding graced her face and she actually started to smile. “My husband and I are trying hard to watch our language around our kids. So we substitute innocuous words for curse words, like ‘fudge’ for ‘fuck’ and, yes, ‘shirt’ for ‘shit.’ I guess it’s become second nature for me.”

“So you weren’t criticizing my shirt before?” I asked.

She rolled her eyes and, still smiling, said, “No, I wasn’t, so you can go fudge yourself.”


Written for the Tale Weaver prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, where we are asked to write a response to the word “shirt.”

22 thoughts on “Tale Weaver — Second Nature

  1. Astrid July 9, 2020 / 7:29 am

    This is an amazing tale! I at first thought she had some kind of an accent that made her say “shirt” instead of the curse word.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Renard Moreau July 9, 2020 / 12:58 pm

    😉 That was brilliant, Fandango. I would love to listen to some of the things that come out of your mouth when you are highly intoxicated!

    When I was small I remembered my mother doing her best not to use curse-words when she was around me. Back then, she replaced the phrase, “Oh shit,” with “Oh Cream.”

    What parents fail to realize is that kids are smart; they can still decipher the actual word in spite of the parent using a coded word.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango July 9, 2020 / 6:04 pm

      Thanks, Renard. I appreciate your comment. And you’re right. Kids know more curse slang words these days than their parents.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Michael July 9, 2020 / 1:50 pm

    Great tale. My students used to love reading Irish plays as they had everyone saying “feck this and feck that “.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. leigha66 July 11, 2020 / 10:52 pm

    This was good. Most parent try to hide those words … at least they used to. I hear kids so young now swearing in public I wonder.

    Liked by 1 person

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