Monday, March 26, 2012

Arguing with Asterisks

I recently read an article online about the number one thing that men should never say to women during an argument. The answer came as no surprise: "Calm down." I can think of few things more infuriating in an already tense situation. So that's not the interesting part.

When I scrolled down to read the comments on the article (manifested as ranting in varying degrees of coherence as always), I saw numerous other suggestions for taboo phrases. And then I came across this comment: "Don't ever tell a man he has a tiny ***er. That can stay with them for the rest of their nature lives."

What caught my eye wasn't the typo in the second sentence, though I enjoyed it. The interesting part was the number of asterisks in the self-censored word.

Because I spend my days paying attention to details like these, I was soon stymied. It couldn't be wiener or pecker. Too many letters. Maybe it wasn't dirty after all. Hmmm. What do men have that they don't want in a small size? Diner? Anger? Nope. Too abstract. Buyer? Biker? No, size wouldn't matter. Boxer? Maybe, if it's referring to underwear.

And then it hit me. I had been overlooking one of the most out-of-date, hilarious examples of sexual innuendo (and in one case the oddly acceptable name of a teenaged boy's best friend on an 80s sitcom). Boner. Of course!

Now I can ***ep tonight.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Get Back

When I was teaching in Japan, I had to conduct a writing class that essentially boiled down to me coming up with a topic and the kids writing a minimum of ten sentences in English about it. One of my students, a 16-year-old boy, always wrote about John Lennon. It didn't matter what the assignment was ... he worked John Lennon in without fail.

For one particular paper, I asked the students to tell me which super power they would like to have and why. As a bonus, this kid also illustrated his essays. This was my favorite drawing ever:

Monday, March 12, 2012

Attention Residents

Last year, just before St. Paddy's Day, I walked out of my apartment to find this sign taped to the building's main entrance. While I think it was a helpful warning, I'm not sure what disturbed me most:

1.  That the party was slated to last exactly 11.5 hours.
2.  That "St. Patrick's Day" was in quotes.
3.  The use of the word "probably."

Wonder if any notices will be posted this year . . .

Monday, March 5, 2012

Teach Your Parents Well

This weekend, a friend was telling me that she's frequently out of the loop when it comes to knowing certain slang terms. While her husband claimed that he found this endearingly innocent, my friend lamented that she sometimes embarrasses herself by being behind the times. Case in point: she once loudly announced in mixed company that she didn't understand what "twat" meant.

To help her out, her husband and I ran down a list of euphemisms that she should be familiar with. I'm not sure whether that speaks volumes to our worldliness or to our trashy viewing habits/acquaintances, but in the end, I think it's knowledge worth having.

A couple years ago, my mom emailed me a similar question. This was back in the early days of the conservative trainwreck known as the Tea Party, before they had legitimized their batshit craziness and were commonly referred to as "tea baggers."

My mom had heard on TV that "tea bagging" was actually a sexual term, and she wanted to make sure she didn't use it improperly. Inexplicably, her first fact-finding mission sent her directly to me.

What I wanted to write back was "Mom, this is what the internet is for." Because it is. The Web exists largely to spare us the indignity of asking for enlightenment about potentially embarrassing things. However, I had a small panic attack when I imagined the search results that might populate if my mother googled "tea bagging." There might be pop-ups. There might be videos.

When I was a kid, my parents managed to avoid having "the talk" with me by leaving an educational book about sex outside my bedroom door. So I did what any loving daughter would. I sent her the link to the Wikipedia page.