Down with censorship! Unless the @#! theater is crowded.

This is my 100th post. I wanted to celebrate by throwing a huge party and inviting the entire blogosphere, but the maid didn’t show up this week and the house is a wreck, so we’ll just pretend that invitation arrived in your mailbox, okay? Considering that this is a milestone post, I feel like I should come up with something deep. Maybe ponder some heavy philosophical dilemma or solve a quadrilateral equation that’s been puzzling mathematicians for eons. Instead, I’m going to go with F**k You.

The Cee Lo Green song, that is.

Great tune, even if it is getting a little old now. There are at least three versions of this song available: the original uncensored cut, a radio-friendly “Forget You,” and a still-radio-friendly-but-slightly-less-so “Eff You” rendition. Now, I’m a writer, and as such, I do not believe in censorship of any sort, so I downloaded the original recording. I wanted to listen to the song that Cee Lo intended for his audience to hear, and “F**k You” is, indeed, most powerful with the unaltered, offending four-letter word intact. It’s the ultimate kiss-off to a woman who done him wrong. And to her friend, too.

Censorship s*cks! (Courtesy of

So. Yesterday I’m in the movie theater. It’s $5 Tuesday, and Thor was getting pretty good reviews, so why not? I was a good citizen and had changed the setting on my phone to SILENT, as you’re supposed to do. Only, it’s a brand new phone, so I wasn’t completely knowledgeable about all the various settings. I’d only owned it four days, after all. Anyway, the movie was still a few minutes away from starting, and Regal was showing their First Look stuff. They were advertising that new singing competition, The Voice, where Cee Lo is one of the judges. Seeing him on the big screen, inspiration struck. I like to set personalized ringtones for my most frequent contacts, so I’ll know exactly who’s calling without even looking at the phone display. (Ha – I remember when Caller ID was a novelty!). Like, for instance, when Rusty or Audrey call me, MGMT’s “Kids” plays. When it’s my brother, it’s going to be Alice In Chains, “Brother.” My parents get Phoenix’s “1901” because…umm…they were born a long time ago. (Oh, snap. I probably just wrote myself right out of the inheritance). You get the picture, though. I like the assigned ringtone to mean something. And, right or wrong, seeing Cee Lo reminded me of “F**k You” and gave me the idea to assign that ringtone to my ex.

I know, I know. Boo, hiss, sour grapes and all that jazz. Not really. I harbor no true ill will toward the mother of my children. My life is better now, anyway. I just think it’s kind of funny.

I should have waited until after the movie to mess with the ringtones, but I’m a guy who hates to procrastinate, so I opened up the music player and launched the song. There’s a button you have to press from there to assign it to a contact. No big deal, right? After all, my phone was in Silent mode.

Only…oops…Silent mode apparently does not apply to the music player. Because suddenly, there was Cee Lo Green’s soulful voice, emanating very loudly from my phone. And remember, this was the original, uncensored version. There was no handy little asterisk in there to mask the bad words assaulting my fellow cinema goer’s ears.

I see you driving ’round town
With the girl I love and I’m like,
F**k you!
Oo, oo, ooo
I guess the change in my pocket
Wasn’t enough i’m like,
F**k you!
And f**k her too!
I said, if I was richer, I’d still be with ya
Ha, now ain’t that some sh!t? (ain’t that some sh!t?)
And although there’s pain in my chest
I still wish you the best with a…
F**k you!

Heads swiveled, looking for the source of the offensive and noisy lyrics. I fumbled frantically for the right keys to silence my phone, but the theater was dark and, remember…new phone. That whole first verse got out before I was finally able to mute the thing, and – unfortunately – not before a few disapproving glances were cast in my direction.

Ain’t that some sh!t.

All I could do was slither lower in my chair, trying to feign ignorance, but naturally I was seated in the center of the back row – my favorite spot – and, with stadium seating, all eyes are pretty much drawn to that place. This definitely ranked up there with some of my more embarrassing moments.

I’m still anti-censorship, though.

And also completely caught up on my new phone’s Owner’s Manual now.


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

26 thoughts on “Down with censorship! Unless the @#! theater is crowded.

  1. Oh, Mark. That is terrible and terribly funny…and just..wrong… will you explain that to your beautiful children when their mother…whom they still love, calls?
    Yes…now I sound like your mother. Please don’t tell me to f off!


    1. That’s the beauty of it all. She never calls me when I have the kids, and only rarely when she’s got them. Usually it’s them using her phone to call me. So, in that regard, it’s my kids telling me to eff off.

      Oops…maybe I didn’t think this through clearly?


    1. Well, contact is rare, but it does happen occasionally. Since we share custody, we’re bound together in at least a minor way until they’re both grown and off to college.


  2. I had the same thought as Jane: it’s all well and good and funny, right up until the Ex calls while you have the kids. Then it’s 1 part “do as I say not as I do” message to the kids, and 1 part “no I don’t really mean anything bad about your mom.”

    Or, you know, you forget to silence your phone before going on an interview, and she calls…

    Avoid the awkward. The uncensored version goes on the iPod. Ringtones need to be squeaky clean. 😉


    1. Ha. Funny, I actually had an interview today! Made sure the phone was silenced, though.

      As I said to Jane, she actually never really calls me when I’ve got the kids. But okay, I’m rethinking the ringtone now. Maybe something a tad more subtle. I’m open to suggestions, by the way!


  3. Oh, Mark. For shame! Don’t you know you’re supposed to wait until the lights go down before you do embarrassing things in the theater?

    Down with censorship, indeed! F**k is one of my most favourite words. And so versatile!

    F**k you, Mark. 😉


      1. Actually *she’s* Australian, making her instantly 75% cooler, and hotter. Is she taken? Hmm, very good question… anyone? Anyone?

        Huh. Looks like she’s free. 😉


    1. Oh wait… Aussie! Even bettah. Oh well, with my luck, you’re going to Miami or SanFran when you get here. Look me up if you get to Chicago. I’ll be praying in the meantime that my asshole country stops with the doublespeak and grants your fucking visa already.


  4. ” Because suddenly, there was Cee Lo Green’s soulful voice, emanating very loudly from my phone. And remember, this was the original, uncensored version.”

    Bwhahahahahahahahahahaha!!! OMG, I laughed my A** of at that! How funny!

    Yes, I too am against censorship. And like Tamsyn shared, F**K is one of my most favorite words. In fact, it’s hard for me to even talk without using it at least three times in a sentence.

    Hey, and a BIG congrats on your 100th post, buddy! Looking forward to your next 100!


  5. Cee-Lo was not the first to try out this idea, nad push the boundaries of language in a pop song, though… I have this fresh in memory, because I just saw the Harry Nilsson 2009ish documentary (streaming now on Netflix, recommended if yer a fan of 70’s singer-songwriter stuff, or Beatles… John & Ringo were great friends of Harry). Around ’73, while separating from his 2nd wife, Nilsson wrote a similarly intended song -“You’re Breaking My Heart” on _Son of Schmilsson_. (Unofficial title: Fuck You… ) Here’s the link:

    Cee-Lo’s fine, but men been singing this song in various forms since Robert Johnson, and before there was recorded music (but not before there was swearing).


  6. Congrats on your 100th post! Don’t feel bad about the cell phone. I have a special ring tone for one of my friends, and one time when I went to a very dramatic/serious movie, I put my phone on vibrate, like a good movie-goer. Well, apparantly vibrate doesn’t work for that specific ring tone. Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z blared through the theater. Awesome. 🙂
    And, you’ve reminded me… I still need to change that ring tone so this doesn’t happen again. My luck it’ll be at a funeral or something.


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