Data points: sentential portmanteaus 8/23/10

It came up while I was looking for something entirely different: the hybrid title of a 2006 play by Neil Renken at the No Shame Theatre in Cedar Falls IA, a theater group with only three rules (pieces must be original; under 5 minutes long; and can’t harm the theater space or its occupants):

Are You Happy to See Me or Are You Eating a Banana?

That’s a portmanteau of two smart-assed question formulas, both disjunctive in form and with a banana in the second disjunct:

Are you happy to see me, or is that a banana in your pocket?
Is that your nose, or are you eating a banana?

Conveying, very roughly, ‘you are visibly aroused, I can see your hard-on in your pants’ (or as some anti-nudity laws have it, you are “discernibly turgid”; I’ll post about the legal expression eventually) and ‘your nose is huge’, respectively.

It’s the banana that makes the portmanteau work. Bananas are versatile.

For example, here’s a G-rated collage with a seriously phallic banana, and several other bits of phallicity:

Firefighters have all the fun.

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