Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Thongs, muffins, and absquatulations

If you wee-weed in the whiskey, I wouldn’t get my bowels in an uproar. If you peed in the cornflakes, I wouldn’t get my knickers in a twist. However, if you put a turd in the punchbowl, I would definitely get my thong in a bunch.

There’s a type of exclamation I’ve noticed, and I love it like pancakes, but I don’t really know how common it is or how to characterize it. (“Which makes it different from everything else how?” Shut up, internal voice!). The first time I heard one of these thingies was years ago, when my friend Lionel had this very delicate outburst: “Well, fuck me up the ass and call me Pinocchio!” Years later, I was watching South Park and heard puppet-wielding teacher Mr. Garrison say, “Well, spank my ass and call me Charlie!” Then, in Bill Casselman’s Canadian Sayings books, I read, “Well, suck my socks and call me Suzie!”, “Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit!”, “Well, cut off my legs and call me Shorty!”, and “Gross me green and call me Kermit!” What’s going on here? Further research is needed. If you’ve ever said or heard or read anything like this—or know where the pattern originated—please email me.

Late at night, when I’m curled up with giant reference books like The Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, I find many of the forgotten words that end up in this column. Here’s a great one: “absquatulate.” It means to leave, flee, or depart, and is probably related to “abscond.” If a lot of people are leaving, there’s been a major “absquatulation,” and if one dude absconds, then he is an “absquatulator,” and if I wanted to get the funk out of Dodge, I could say, “I gotta absquatulize.” Help me revive this word: if you work “absquatulate” into your next letter to the editor or personal ad, I’ll send you a free T-shirt. Ok, that’s a lie, but don’t let my lack of integrity and t-shirts stop you from using this terrific word.

Taoist philosopher Chuang-Tzu showed he had a way with words (and perhaps horses) when he wrote, “To use a horse to show that a horse is not a horse is better than using a non-horse to show that a horse is not a horse.” Based on my own inner peace and Internet research, I believe the following is also true: “To use a thong to show that a thong is not a thong is better than using a non-thong to show that a thong is not a thong.”

George Lakoff talks about how conservatives use the term “tax relief” to promote a certain view (or frame) of taxes. Within the frame of “tax relief,” taxes are a burden, they should be cut, it’s heroic and just to cut taxes, and it’s villainous and weasel-y to raise them. Lakoff wants progressive politicians to avoid this loaded language and reload the lingo a different way, and I have some suggestions: Maybe people would get the idea that taxes are important if we called a tax cut a “tax hemorrhage,” “tax decapitation,” “tax amputation,” “tax disembowelment,” “tax hematoma,” or “tax evisceration.” Then we could have a shit hemorrhage over the tax hemorrhage, and at least the headline writers would be pleased.

How many Emily Dickinson poems rhyme “yawning chasm” and “sphincter spasm”?

If a shitbag gets shitcanned by a sack of shit, who gives a crap?

Quickly rejected titles for Kill Bill: Shoot Newt, Hurt Kurt, Slice Brice, Behead Ned, Bleed Reed, Smash Nash, Fricassee Lee, Eviscerate Nate, Crucify Ty, Whack Jack.

The words of the week:
10) Attorney-bot
9) Spankological
8) Stiffify
7) Pseudo-bumpkin
6) Hugger-mugger
5) Bootknockingly
4) Flap-doodle
3) Squirrelhead
2) Googly-moogly
1) Fonda-fondlin’

A “muffin-choker” is a news story that is so bizarre it makes you spew your breakfast, and a “muffin-walloper” ­is a penis. A “stud muffin” or “love muffin” is the boy or girl of your sweatiest, most Biblical dreams. A “meadow muffin” is cow poop, and a “mountain muffin” is the doo-doo of whatever lives in the mountains. Now you can’t say you didn’t learn anything about muffins today.

No comments: