B.U.M. is the word


I think my love of literature was inspired by the word bum. As a child I adored the word. I would use it at nauseam. I could turn ever conversation back to bum, in particular, bear or bare bum. For example, “What are you watching?” – “Play School. Little Ted has a bear bare bum.” Champagne comedy. My mother, on the other hand, was not overly fond of the word. I must confess that she still is not. She felt it was most unbecoming of a young lady and tried to think of various other things I could say instead. All with no avail, bum was the word I loved, bum was the best. The most success my mother had was after one of my siblings had dropped the c bomb (yes, THE c bomb) and my mother tottered out that tired old adage, “If you don’t know what it means, don’t say it.” I chimed in with how I knew what a bum was and proceeded to define it at length. So my mother told me, “If you don’t know how to spell it then don’t say it.” Despite the fact that this statement had no logic, if this was the case then all I could really say at the time was my name, it stumped me. So I studied the alphabet on my wall for quite some time and then finally burst out of my room yelling, “BUM! I can say it! B.U.M.” My mother, rather than falling over herself congratulating me for my exceptional development in  literacy, was not impressed at all. In fact, she simply sniffed and walked away, shooting a withering glare over her shoulder. For the next few months I proceeded to tell every single person that I encountered that I knew how to spell bum and then spell it for them. Be careful what you say to your children, it does not always quite work out as you’d wish. My mother did not clasp her hand is delight and squee over how clever I was at this point either. Unbelievable! However, I think if it was not for this overwhelming need to uncover the mystery of the word bum then I possibly would not have then started searching for new words. Truly, bum inspired my love of literature. Brava for bum.

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