My family and I were out to dinner in another town recently and sat in an adjoining booth to a couple of guys who were well-versed in cuss words.

Cussing doesn’t bother me. I swear. When I hear people cussing I don’t flinch because I’ve heard and said all those words before.

I, however, try to be aware of my surroundings and the company I’m keeping. If I know the people, I might let out a swear word or two. If I’m in a place with people I don’t know as well or in a more formal setting, I know to hold my tongue.

The guys sitting to my back were completely oblivious to where they were and who they were surrounded by.

F-bombs peppered their sentences, sometimes at a rate that even made me and my family take notice - and they were not quiet.

I looked around at the other patrons, especially some older people, and they were uncomfortable.

One of the guys was more vocal that the other, and treated the restaurant to tales of a woman he broke up with, who apparently lived with him, but didn’t work, so he felt it was in his right to treat her poorly and demand she have dinner waiting for him when he got off work.

If he talked to her the way he talked in the restaurant, she should have poison him.

He and his dinner companion eventually calmed down, but not until we were almost finished with our dinner.

The staff at the restaurant said nothing to the men. With a staff made up mostly of women, I understand their reluctance to intervene. They obviously heard how to he talked to and about women.

I assume these guys talk like this no matter where they are or whom they are with. They seemed to lack a filter between their brains and lips, nor did they care to have one installed.

I wonder how people can be so unaware of themselves, their behavior and what they say in public, but they are definitely unaware. It also takes an ego to think you can be in public and act anyway you wish without taking into account those around you.

I’m the opposite. Until I become familiar with a setting I’m very conscious of who is around me and where I am.

I wonder if these people talk that way in front of their families or children.

I wonder if they care.

I wondered, as I sat there, if they would listen to me if I went to their table and raised objections to their language. I decided no, they would not care if they offended me and the others around them, so I stayed with my family, and put up with it.

In the end, we finished our meal and left. I looked back at the guys when I payed the bill, and they looked like they hadn’t bothered to shower or put on clean clothes before eating.

Maybe they are good people, and just came straight from a hard day at work. I’ll never know. I only know what I heard, and that was enough.


Patrick Murphy, editor-publisher of the Humphrey Democrat and Newman Grove Reporter in Nebraska, is a former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.