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  • Tara Crutchfield

Lakeland Group Takes Up Anti-Cursing Crusade

Get all the hecks and fricks out while you can. A new ordinance is taking place in the City of Lakeland that will ban profanity and language construed as such. The City Commission voted unanimously to pass ordinance 21-053 on March 15, 2021.

The ‘Do You Kiss Your Mamma with that Mouth’ Rule, as it has been dubbed, will effectively ban all our favorite swears between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday. The community can frig and darn at their leisure between 5 pm and 8 am and all day on Saturdays and Sundays.

The ordinance was first drafted thanks to Lakeland resident Kyle Tucker. During a public disagreement with his younger brother in May of 2019, the elder Tucker hurled the derogatory term ‘butthead’ with such vitriol it practically shook the coffee shop they were sitting in, according to eyewitness reports. And now we all can’t curse anymore. Thanks, Kyle.

“Won’t someone please think of the children!” cried one angry woman on the scene. In a statement to the police, (whom she called) the woman commented, “I was just so scared. I thought to myself, ‘Butthead? What’s next – Mother Trucker? Malarkey? I don’t want to live in a world where people can express themselves so freely. It’s terrifying.”

That woman was Karen Lipshitz. Lipschitz was so shaken by the encounter and many other ‘unacceptable’ cursing-related events she had been witness to that she founded Karens Against Kussing an activist group with the sole mission of cleaning up Lakeland’s streets and mouths. It’s safe to say that these Karens won’t be taking anymore of the community’s Lipschitz.

The bad word ban is set to go into effect on April 1, 2021. A department of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office called the Swear Squad is taking up the task of catching any naughty ne’er do wells and seeing to it that they get their cursing comeuppance.

Anyone caught uttering a bad word between the days and times established in the ordinance will feel the full extent of the law in their wallet with a $200 fine to be placed in the county swear jar. Foul-mouthed offenders will be obligated to carry out the latter part of their punishment at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Cussers must show up to have their mouth washed out with a bar of soap and call their grandma to apologize. If you do not have a grandma, one will be appointed to you.

The parameters are strict, said a spokesperson for the PCSO. “No dangs, dingdongs, or dagnabits will be tolerated.” For expletive aficionados who let slip Category 5 Swears of the 4-letter variety, it’s hot sauce on the tongue for you, buddy. Serial offenders will be subject to the stockades at Munn Park to endure passersby giving their best ‘I’m not mad – just really disappointed in you’ expressions.

An addendum added during the ordinance’s second reading called the Flanderisms Clause will ban words and phrases that an eavesdropper could even construe as an attempt at a swear. Because, as Lipschitz put it, “We all know what you really mean when you say ‘kiss my grits’ or ‘oh fudge’ so don’t you diddly do it. And there’s nothing holy about crap, so stop saying that one too!”

Thanks to the latest in obscenity technology, repeat cussers will be outfitted with a ‘Bleeper.’ The Bleeper is a digitalized sensor designed to predict when a swear or semi-swear is about to exit the offender’s mouth and issue a long monotone ‘bleep’ in its place.

“I got the idea while watching my all-time favorite show – Jerry Springer,” said Clyde Minnows, the Texas-based inventor of the Bleeper. “It works by attaching to the neck just over the vocal cords and, using tone and speech cadence detectors, indicates when a swear is about to spill out.” Minnows is currently working on a ‘complicated lip scrambling technology’ that could potentially blur a person’s mouth.

Citizens are advised to mind their P’s and Q’s moving forward as the no-cussing ordinance is no-nonsense. Detractors of this new rule are drafting a counter ‘mandatory swearing’ rule to be heard at the next City Commission meeting. For any questions or comments regarding the no-cussing policy, or to receive a comprehensive ongoing list of punishable expletives released by the city, email


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