Conversation with my 10 year-old daughter

Me [sitting at my computer reading about the Japan disaster]: Holy fuck…

Rhiannon [sighing]: Daddy, why do you have to say the F-word all the time?

Me [protesting]: I don’t say the F-word all the time, fuck!

Rhiannon: You just said it again right now!

Me: No, I didn’t, you little liar!

Rhiannon: Yes, you did! You big fat dummy head!

Me: No!

Rhiannon: Yes!

Me: No times infinity.

Rhiannon: Yes, times infinity times 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 1 000 000 000 1 000 000 000 1 000 000 000 1 000 000 000 1 000 000 000 1 000 000 000 1000 000 000 AND all that times Googolplex!!!

Me: How many times do I have to tell you that Googleplex is NOT a damn number. It’s the corporate headquarters complex of Google.

Rhiannon: Arrrghhh! Not Goo – gle – plex. I am talking about Goo – gol – plex which is a number. Go ahead – Google it.

Me [typing furiously]: Okay little Miss Know-Nothing-Know-It-All. Let’s just see here. Okay, to Wiki. Oh dear Lord, no…

Rhiannon [gleefully]: Here let me read it for you, Daddy:

In pure mathematics, the magnitude of a googolplex could be related to other forms of large number notation such as tetration, Knuth’s up-arrow notation, Steinhaus-Moser notation, or Conway chained arrow notation.

Carl Sagan estimated that writing a googolplex in numerals (i.e., “10,000,000,000…”) would be physically impossible, since doing so would require more space than the known universe provides. This math implies that if the universe is stuffed with paper printed with ‘0’s, it could contain only 5.3×1087 ‘0’s—far short of a googol of ‘0’s.

Me [shaking my head]: Man, I hate when this happens all the time with you.

Rhiannon [dancing around and wiggling her butt]: Ha! You say the F-word all the time. Ha! Ha! Ha! Shibumi!!

Me: Ugh, go play in traffic!

Rhiannon: Mummy says it’s the worst word ever!!

Me: Actually, there is another one.

Rhiannon: Sure there is. Like what?

Me: Cunt, also known as the ‘C-word’.

Rhiannon: Daddy!!!

Me: Well, it’s true!

Rhiannon: Mummy says the F-word is the worst and that you shouldn’t be saying it around me.

Me [professorially]: Well, there are 2 schools of thought on this honey, divided mostly along gender lines, and judging by the irreversible physical damage that has been inflicted upon me by the few women I have called a cunt, I would definitely say that women consider the word cunt to be far worse than the word fuck. Go ahead, see what happens to you if you call your mother a cunt the next time she pisses you off. If you want to spend a few weeks off school in the hospital, you can combine the two words and call her a fucking cunt.

Rhiannon: Why is it women who think the C-word is worse?

Me: It’s a vulgar name for the vagina.

Rhiannon: It doesn’t seem so bad to call people a vagina.

Me: But you’re not calling them a vagina – you’re calling them a cunt.

Rhiannon: But if the C-word means the same thing as a vagina, why is it so bad?

Me [under my breath]: I hate this age.

Rhiannon: What?

Me: Nothing. Listen, I don’t know how or why cunt developed into such a bad word but we are NOT going to Google it and find out so that you can tell Mummy what you learned with Daddy and I get reported to the authorities.

Rhiannon: Is there a bad word for penis?

Me: Yes, cock and dick are the main ones. Cock is worse than dick.

Rhiannon: Why?


Rhiannon: Well, are they as bad as the C-word.

Me: No, not nearly as bad.

Rhiannon: So, penises aren’t as bad as vaginas?

Me [professorially]: Well, there are 2 schools of thought on this sweetie, divided mostly along gender lines, and…

Rhiannon: Seriously, Daddy – I don’t get it.

Me: Seriously, Rhiannon – I don’t either. For example, if you call a guy a cunt, he’ll be way more offended than if you call him a cock or a dick.

Rhiannon: Why would you basically call a boy a vagina?

Me: Go figure. It gets stranger. Girls never get called cocks or dicks.

Rhiannon [shaking her head]: So boys get called bad words for penises and vaginas and girls only get called a bad word for vagina?

Me: I know, sweetheart. It’s called gender inequality. One day, in more progressive times, girls will be called cocks and dicks too. Maybe even in your lifetime you’ll be called a cock or a dick!

Rhiannon [scowling darkly]: You’ve made all this up, haven’t you? Mummy is right, the F-word is the worst word and you’re not supposed to say it around me.

Me [protesting]: I did not make it up!

Rhiannon: Did too!

Me: Nuh-uh.

Rhiannon: Uh-huh

Me: Nuh-uh times Googolplex.

Rhiannon: Uh-huh, Googolplex times 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 100 000 1 000 000 000 1 000 000 000 1 000 000 000 1 000 000 000 1 000 000 000 1 000 000 000 1000 000 000 AND all that times infinity!!!

Me: Gaaaaaa! All that times GO TO BED!!!

Rhiannon: Nuh-uh…

About Requiem for the Damned

Ask the aliens
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