Shut Your Face

How can you be mad at this?
How can you be mad at this?

I have received some serious heat in our household because I taught my five year old daughter to say “shut your face”. It is sort of a joke between her and I; we even use it as a final goodnight after I have read a story and tucked her in. We do it in a deep, gravely voice and it never gets old. I understand that it’s probably not the best thing for a very young girl to have in her repertoire, but damn it is cute. I have decided to make it the basis for a campaign against speaking before you think something through. Yes…I do love me a good campaign. Just for the record: I feel that a serious campaign brings legitimacy to anything, no matter how reprehensible.

I am not the originator of this combination of words, in fact I’m sure it has been used often by many. I picked it up from co-workers. We would frequently say it to each other after being teased or playfully insulted. It even has a text shortcut: SYF. It is most practical when useless words erupt from a friend or loved one’s speaking orifice.

Loved one: “Those pants really aren’t flattering on you.”
You: “Shut your face!” spoken with vehemence and extreme facial animation.
Loved one: They got the idea and changed the subject.

It is quite easy to apply in almost any personal exchange and can even be used preemptively. A person’s face may be shut before they have uttered a single word. This was effectively done when an individual tried to establish rules for using “shut your face”. The only guideline I would offer is: these words are powerful and should be used sparingly, otherwise people will just stop talking to you. I also recommend NEVER using it with your significant other if they do not share a twisted sense of humor. You may suffer a spontaneous frying pan-to-the-head.

I am available for group and private lessons for your young children. They are the most impressionable, and we can have them shutting the face of their friends and teachers in no time. Don’t be shocked; training young children specific behavior has been going on forever. They learn in preschool how to say please and thank you, how to hang up their coats and clean up messes. They just choose not to at home until you have threatened to withhold dessert.

I have even come up with a theme song that we can sing to the tune of “Jingle Bells”. Here are the words to the chorus:

Shut your face.
Shut your face.
Shut your stinkin’ face.
If you say one more word,
I will scream for days! Hey!

Catchy isn’t it? I am now sending a friendly curse your way: this tune will be stuck in your head for the next thirteen days. If you actually sang as you read and didn’t do it in the death metal style of Korn…shut your face! (Watch the video here.) This is not a hot chocolate and peppermint type of song. At the very least think Motorhead. I know some of you may be thinking that Motorhead is only for meditating and elevator rides, but embrace your softer side. (Here is a link for Motorhead)

In this age of political correctness people speak many words without actually saying what they are thinking. Not only is this disingenuous, but it makes it extremely difficult to accomplish anything positive. When you are dealing with someone who is talking circles around a sensitive issue without actually addressing it, I challenge you to shut their face.

Bob: “It has come to the attention of certain individuals at this establishment that there are particular issues with regards to protocols that have possibly been overlooked or ineffectively addressed by training of staff members…”

You: “Bob…SHUT YOUR FACE! Tell me specifically what the problem is.”

Bob: “Mary said you ate the last cheese danish.”

So you see how effective face shutting can be. Persons will once again be able to deal directly and effectively with one another. I like to think of it as the modern day version of slapping a hysterical person in the face. Just don’t actually slap a person in the face…unless, of course, they took the last cheese danish.

Shut your ugly face!


Before using shut your face in a live person to person exchange, practice in front of the bathroom mirror. You must get the proper inflection and facial display in order to be convincing. It really should be equal parts exclamatory and menacing, as if Joe Pesci were Freddy Krueger. If you don’t know who either Joe Pesci or Freddy Krueger are, don’t dwell on it. You are either very young, extremely sheltered, or possibly Amish. The point is: face shutting is a skill that requires practice to become proficient.

Once the basics have been mastered, there are advanced techniques for shutting the face of one’s adversary. Say someone word vomits in your direction something offensive or lacking any relevance and then attempts to walk away. First call them back. “Hey, (idiot’s name here), I have something for you.” Pretend to check your pockets as they watch in anticipation. Then, showing them the empty palm of your hand, scream “SHUT YOUR FACE!” It can also be done using a fake phone message. “By the way…your mom called. She said: SHUT YOUR FACE!” This particular technique is quite effective because mothers routinely shut the face of their children, often using no words what-so-ever. They cast an arched eyebrow at the offending offspring and snap their thumb and four fingers together in a shushing motion. It means shut your face in mother-sign.

In conclusion, please don’t be offended, and if you are about to voice your disapproval…shut your face. Teaching your children irreverent things, being politically incorrect, and Idaho…all do not suck! SYF!

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