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John Lamb, Published April 23 2013

What the flood? The family friendly alternative to the F-word

No matter how incendiary A.J. Clemente’s F-bomb introduction to Bismarck TV viewers was, I give the rookie broadcaster credit for one thing: He got us thinking of something other than the other F-word – flood.

For those who missed it on Facebook newsfeeds Monday morning, news websites Monday afternoon, David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon Monday night and “CBS This Morning” Tuesday morning, Clemente was preparing for his first KFYR newscast when he uttered a one-two cussing punch, not realizing he was live Sunday night.

To his credit, Clemente collected himself after co-anchor Van Tieu introduced him and made a somewhat better impression with his prepared remarks.

“Thanks Van. I’m very excited. I graduated from West Virginia University and I’m used to, umm, you know, from being from the East Coast.”

But the damage was done, and on Monday, Clemente announced via Twitter he’d been fired.

One report said Clemente was frustrated, having trouble pronouncing the London marathon winner’s name, Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia. Apparently that’s not a popular name for those, used to, umm, you know, from being from the East Coast.

I can relate to Clemente’s frustration, not so much to pronouncing Ethiopian names but to just frustration in general. And while I think F-bombs are overused, in certain occasions, when people are caught up in a moment, it’s excusable.

On Saturday afternoon, before the Boston Red Sox played their first home game since the Boston Marathon bombings, designated hitter David Ortiz was asked to address the crowd. He thanked the mayor, governor and members of law enforcement for their work over the past week.

“This is our (expletive) city, and nobody is going to dictate our freedom,” he said to a cheering Fenway Park crowd.

It was an effective use of the F-bomb for those used to, umm, you know, from being from the East Coast. But I can’t see it flying here.

Not that we don’t have things to get frustrated about, like never-ending winter weather leading straight into a potential top 10 flood.

That’s why I’m nominating “what the flood?” as the family-friendly frustration catchphrase for the next couple of weeks.

The streets are coated with clumps of mud and layers of dust from trucks building makeshift dikes. What the flood?

Spring Cleanup Week is moved to September? What the flood?

The river is rising at a rapid rate because it’s late April and the snow is finally melting? Flood this snow!

Back to you, A.J.

Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533