Comedian George Carlin shot to stardom in the 1970s on the strength
of his taboo-busting Seven Dirty Words routine, which featured a
string of obscenities that were banned from TV. Every
self-respecting high school student of that time could recite the
list verbatim, and frequently did.
Adventure-tour operators had better think about dusting off that
list and passing it out to clients before sending them out into the
world. It just may keep loose-lipped travelers out of the
Timothy Boomer knows the peril of being a public potty-mouth
better than most. While canoeing eastern Michigan's Standish River
in a rented boat, Boomer, who apparently is better at cursing than
canoeing, let rip a colorful (mostly blue) monologue after hitting
a rock and landing in the drink. He was charged with using indecent
language and faces a criminal trial today.
Lesser publicized than Boomer's alleged penchant for bawdy
language is the contention that his troubles are the result of a
crackdown on canoe tours that locals say have gotten out of hand.
Michigan's 101-year-old language law fit the bill nicely. So, tour
operators, listen up. First, give your canoeing clients the list.
Next, make sure to tell them not to throw it in the river,
especially in Michigan. Who knows what the penalty is for
littering with dirty words.