Monday, November 27, 2006

Fun with words

It’s Monday and we’re having Fun with Words.

Here’s a headline from the front page of Friday’s Beacon News:

You can help shape furute for Fermilab

“Furute? They do some pretty complex stuff at Fermilab. What’s a furute? Is it a new element? And how could us ordinary, non-nuclear physicist types possibly help with it?”

I was intrigued. For about three seconds.

Of course there was no mention of the mysterious furute in the story.

Clearly the Beacon left its crack B team in charge of proofing over Thanksgiving.

But it was funny how my little mind was so willing to temporarily believe in a nonsensical typo because a) It was a front page headline in a newspaper and b) It involved Fermilab, home of the world's highest-energy particle accelerator – and some of the world’s thinkiest brains – located right here in Batavia, Illinois.
“Anybody need anything?” I asked as seven of us languished in the distended afterglow of a decidedly delicious Thanksgiving dinner.

“Liposuction,” replied Jim, his standard response that has become as much of a tradition as his Weber grilled turkey. “I’ve always wondered: What’s that thing you see on obese women – it’s a big roll that kinda hangs down below their belly toward their knees? What the hell is that?”

Pooch. I’m thinking pooch. But before I can open my mouth, our 15-year-old nephew Andrew chimes in with this charming little bit of dinner table wisdom:

“I know! I heard it at school. It’s called a GUNT!”
Yep. Not one, but two of his grandmothers were present for that memorable moment.

I’ve come to expect nothing less from the endearing little brain that also brought us this:

“Andrew, violence is never the answer. You’re a big kid. If someone provokes you, do like Jesus and turn the other cheek,” said me.

“Right. He turned the other cheek and look what they did to him!”

Say what you will, but there’s no arguing with that logic.
I feel bad for that second string editor at the Beacon. The furute article was big news here and destined to be read by some of the smartest people in the state.

So what was the article about, actually?

See? It’s sad.

I guarantee more people are talking about the typo than about helping Fermilab gain community support for a potential expansion project.
“We didn’t want to spook the mule,” said our friend Debbie.

It was Thanksgiving Day around noon. We were out on the deck drinking mimosas and bloody marys, enjoying the amazingly warm sunshine and listening to the story of her family’s visit to a park (and a mule) earlier in the day.

“Spook the mule? Spook the mule?”

We could hear the wheels turning in Jim’s infamous head.

“Got it! It’s like burning a mule, but just gas.”

There you have it, my friends. Spooking the mule officially takes the place of the “whistle before the train.”

And another fart euphemism is born.

Speaking of euphemisms, here is Jim’s best ever: Swingin’ string.

It’s a delightful way to describe when, once a month, the relatively sweet and benign chick you claim to love so much becomes a raging and maniacal battle-axe that you'd gleefully bludgeon with the nearest ashtray.

Use it well, dear friends.
And lastly, there’s this, regarding philosophical brevity inspired by The Dilbert Blog:

Friends in a bar were sharing euphemisms for menstruating women. Riding the Cotton Pony, Aunt Flo's in Town, Swingin' String, etc.

One friend arrived late to the conversation so we asked him:

"What phrase do you use to describe a woman on her period?"

His brilliantly brief response?

I am listening to: WGN News
I am reading: An article from Scientific American called "Darwin at the Zoo"
And I am: Poopy