The Bad Mouth

(The following appeared in the January 11th edition of the Franklin Township Informer.  My dear friend, Barb Hook, asked me to post it here which will send it to the other places where folks can read. Enjoy).

                Well, it has been one of those days. I had just written one of my most brilliant pieces for this paper. I wasn’t feeling all that great so I sprawled all over the couch for an hour or so. When I came back to edit what was to be a minor literary classic, it was gone. It will remain a mystery as to the manner of its loss and now I am left to recreate something in a short time. I have now stared at my computer screen for what seems an eternity in increasing desperation to create something useful.

                I remember I had written about my second grade teacher at Western Plateau Elementary School in Amarillo, Texas. In great eloquence, I told the story that Mrs. Weding (not her real name) was very aggressive in rooting out what she called “the bad mouth” from all of the junior rednecks she had charge over. I explained that she defined the bad mouth as any and all swear words and any name calling against other people. Were she to catch one of us in the act, it resulted in a violent shaking for the boys or a hard swat on the back of the knees for the girls. I retold the story of my own punishment at Mrs. Weding’s hands as a result of me calling Rex a _______. She drug me out into the hall by the ear and shook me until my brain came loose (explains a lot, doesn’t it?).   I told the story, in the most violent terms, of her having my ear in one hand and my forearm in another and shaking me until I couldn’t see straight.  When she was done with my torture, I penned, she told me she would be calling my father and she was sure he would have some additional input for me. In terms of lofty anguish, I recollected my meeting with my father later that night.  In the now lost masterpiece, I wrote to you, my hopefully sympathetic audience, that my father and my mother had a lot of painful (for me) input that evening.

                Yes, the piece that was lost to eternity also spoke about the need for more Mrs. Wedings in the world today. I had written that Mrs. Weding would be busy night and day trying her best to rid the world of the bad mouth. I concluded by letting you, my dear reader, know of my affection for Mrs. Weding after all these years and wishing she were among us now.

                The piece is lost for all time I’m afraid. Maybe someday I can re-create it.

Scott Emmett is a retired American soldier who makes his home in Greenwood with his wife, Karen, and one ornery old cat named Toby. Email him at


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