Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Bless his heart

My brother has pointed out to me that you can say anything bad about anyone you want as long as you include "bless his/her heart." For example, "Sally, bless her heart, doesn't know how to hold her tongue." Or, "Joe gets on everyone's nerves, bless his heart." I was struck by the wonderous effect of these three simple words, that can take the sharp edge off cutting comments. But will they always work? I decided to see how far I could push them. Here goes:

Jim is an loudmouthed, obnoxious, ignorant jerk, bless his heart.
Aw, that Jimbo! Just makes you want to give him a big hug.

Charles Manson was a murderous lunatic, bless his heart.
Yikes! Okay, it seems that part of the reason "bless his heart" works is it suggests that, for example, while Jim is loudmouthed, obnoxious, and ignorant, maybe those aren't entirely bad things. When you extend it to the point of suggesting that serial killing isn't entirely a bad thing, well....

Let's give it one more try:

George Bush, bless his heart --
Ack! Ack! Okay, I admit it, "bless his heart" doesn't always work. George doesn't have a heart :).

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