During my morning run, I came across a peculiar form of stupidity. Oh, it was human all right, but strange and unsettling. Kind of like finding a tortilla chip with a face on it in a vacuum sealed bag of popcorn. Makes my heart palpitate just thinking about it.
My excursion was uneventful until I neared home and noticed cars parked along the side of the road. Not unusual, you say? It is, where I live, out in the country where cars are scarce, first thing in the morning. I saw a carriage (as in horse and buggy) turned on its side. A hysterical woman raced up to me, saying,
“Do you know what happened here? Was anybody hurt?”
I replied, “Everything was fine when I passed by earlier. I don’t see any bodies. No sign of the coroner.”
She introduced herself to me as a new neighbor and asked who I was. Before I could answer, she added, wringing her hands,
“I hope no one was hurt!”
A younger woman stepped forward, “Mom, I told you already, there was a note left on the buggy that everyone is fine. They’re coming back to get it.”
The woman’s response? “Thank GOSH!”
Who the hell is ‘GOSH?’
Urban dictionary claims ‘thank gosh’ is the “polite way of thanking God.” I say it’s stupers (short for predominantly stupid persons) at work.
When did it become rude to thank God or thank goodness, for that matter? If you have a spiritual bent, the first form works fine. And if you’re an atheist, agnostic or pagan, the second form should do. I have no problem with first amendment rights, but really? I thank God, goodness and most people who spread morsels of kindness on my path. It reminds me to harbor a grateful heart and it makes me feel pretty damn good.
But here’s my real problem: ever since I heard the neighbor say, “thank gosh,” I have an almost uncontrollable desire to blurt out the same myself. I haven’t done so publicly yet, but I could slip at any moment. Yesterday, when a squirrel narrowly missed getting squashed by my rather fast moving vehicle, I uttered, “Thank gosh!”
‘Gosh’ should be reserved for use as an interjection – a mild oath (as in “gosh darn it!”) or to express surprise (“golly gosh!”). Otherwise, how will stupers know where to stop? Thank gosh today; thank ‘whatever’ tomorrow; and thank ‘hey’ the next time. It kind of takes the benefits and meaning away from giving thanks.
Think for yourself.