B My Valentine

During our most recent snowstorm, I stashed my car in the municipal parking deck to keep it out of the path of rampaging snowplows.  Thirty-six hours later, I returned to retrieve it, and found that someone had carefully printed the word FUCK in uppercase block letters on the salt-rimed rear window.   Should I take this personally, or dismiss it as a opportunistic, juvenile(?) act of random spite and rebellious frustration?

The former interpretation presupposes that the anonymous scribe recognized my car (not at all impossible) and had a message to convey (definitely conceivable).  Luckily, the spirit behind this message wasn’t too intensely hostile: it was just written on the window, not scratched into the paint.  But what if the messenger’s spirit wasn’t necessarily hostile at all? Even the sloppiest grammarian can interpret FUCK as either a noun or a verb: as a noun, it might convey the sense of <tone=scorn>”You miserable, despicable FUCK!“</tone>  And as a verb, the range of meaning could be considerably wider.


At its simplest, FUCK[!] could serve as peremptory imperative, exhorting the message recipient to get down to bidness, get busy, etc.   Or it could, in abbreviated form, stand in for slightly more specific phrases such as “I want to FUCK you” or “I want you to FUCK me.”  A Valentine’s Day message stripped of all pretense, cultural baggage and Hallmark holiday marketing.  Cut to the chase, with Cupid nowhere in the picture.

Of course, the ‘none of the above’ option is equally likely … or perhaps even more so.   In addition to its general function as an auxiliary intensifier when used as adjective/adverb, FUCK! also does triple duty as an exclamatory interjection denoting surprise, wonderment, frustration, exasperation, anxiety, weariness, etc., etc.   What that would mean on my car window, I’m not too sure.   I’m not sure that I care, either.   Instead, I’m going to generously interpret this cryptic message as an inarticulate effort to say ‘I Love You,’ from someone too abashed to say so.  Hey, I love you too, but that doesn’t (necessarily) mean that I’m going to fuck you. At least not until I see the roses. Or the flash of excitement and delight in your eyes.




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