As civilisation crumbles, is it time for a national swear jar?


The public sauna is an interesting space. Half a dozen unrelated people sitting semi-naked in a tiny, sweaty room doing little but what one does in a sauna. Namely, sweat.

Surely, it’s time to introduce a National Swear Jar.

Surely, it’s time to introduce a National Swear Jar.Credit:Fiona-Lee Quimby

Conversation is generally kept to polite chat about workouts and what’s for dinner, as on several occasions I’ve witnessed how quickly more controversial topics can get, er, heated. The thermometer seems to have an acceleratory effect on temperaments, and the slightest disagreement can quickly escalate into tense sweat-offs.

Swearing in the sauna has a similarly incendiary effect. A couple of blokes dropping f-bombs like sweat beads into every sentence raises the apparent temperature, as people become either personally offended or offended on behalf of someone else, like the elderly lady sitting quietly on the lower bench.

Unfortunately, the last time I politely suggested someone watch their language in the sauna, I was literally bitten on the face. I’ve since been reluctant to speak up and, like most people, just sit in constipated annoyance when someone starts habitually throwing swear words like short jabs as if speaking is little more than a boxing workout.



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