Archive for July, 2018

Nacho flies are back

July 26, 2018

That’s what I heard in a Taco Bell television commercial on Tuesday the 24th. I visualized insects with tortilla chip wings. Decidedly odd: was Taco Bell being besiged by these nacho flies, and, if so, why were they telling us about it?

Then I realized it must be nacho fries; my confusion stemmed in part from the fact that I’d never heard of nacho fries — I don’t keep up with the fast-food business — and though I know what nachos are, I had no clear idea of what something called nacho fries would be would be like.

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Hi-g pun for Xmas in July

July 26, 2018

(Friendly warning: this posting will end up with some ads for gay porn, with some mildly raunchy text.)

… in today’s Bizarro/Wayno collaboration:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 3 in this strip — see this Page.)

I’ve been inundated with hi-g (high groan-producing) puns this week, but this one plugs into other e-mail I’ve been getting this week, for Christmas in July events of various kinds — though not, in my experience, marathon re-playings of the melancholy-saccharine holiday song “White Christmas” made famous by Bing Crosby in the 1942 movie Holiday Inn:

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At Boulders Beach

July 25, 2018

Signage alert today from Chris Hansen, with this item:

(#1)

The location, from Wikipedia:

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Death by staircase

July 25, 2018

This week’s Drunk Cartoon from Bob Eckstein:

(#1)

It is in fact Discovery Channel’s 30th SHARK WEEK — they always use all-caps — running from Sunday July 22nd through Sunday July 29th. (I’ve avoided it so far, but I’m sure to be sucked in again soon.)

And then there’s the Death by Staircase mystery trope in the movies and (especially) on tv. Were they pushed, did they commit step-suicide, or was it an accident? If pushed, by human hands or by supernatural forces?

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It’s all foreign to Ruthie

July 25, 2018

The 6/28 One Big Happy:

BrE loo ‘bathroom, toilet, etc.’ and the (phonologically very similar) name of the Paris museum the Louvre are both unfamiliar to Ruthie. Her mother glosses the first for her, and then locates the Louvre, but that doesn’t get her all the way to enlightenment. Only to French bathrooms.

That bastard mongrel half-breed, the tromboon

July 25, 2018

To yesterday’s posting “Hybrid referent, portmanteau name” (mostly about the flumpet, with a bit on the fluba), Robert Coren added a comment about Peter Schickele / P.D.Q. Bach and his invention, the tromboon:

(#1)

The tromboon is a musical instrument made up of the reed and bocal of a bassoon, attached to the body of a trombone in place of the trombone’s mouthpiece. It combines the sound of double reeds and the slide for a distinctive and unusual instrument. The name of the instrument is a portmanteau of “trombone” and “bassoon”. The sound quality of the instrument is best described as comical and loud.

The tromboon was developed by Peter Schickele, a skilled bassoonist himself, and featured in some of his live concert and recorded performances. Schickele called it “a hybrid – that’s the nicer word – constructed from the parts of a bassoon and a trombone; it has all the disadvantages of both”. This instrument is called for in the scores of P. D. Q. Bach’s oratorio The Seasonings, as well as the Serenude (for devious instruments) and Shepherd on the Rocks, With a Twist. (Wikipedia link)

Here I’m focusing on that’s the nicer word: just what did Schickele think (in 2008) was a less nice, more offensive, way to refer to a hybrid (more specifically, to someone of mixed race, which is probably where the insult vocabulary for hybrids is going to come from)? Specifically, what does an old white guy addressing a mostly white audience think might be a more offensive way to refer to hybrids? (A young black guy would probably insult a half-black half-white guy by calling him white.)

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Hybrid referent, portmanteau name

July 24, 2018

On the NPR word game quiz show Says You! broadcast by KQED-FM on Sunday afternoon (the 22nd): a “bluff round” over the word flumpet. One team of panelists is offered three definitions for the word from the other team, in this case (paraphrasing, since I can’t find the podcast of the original):

1: a lard-based dumpling (no doubt suggested by the /ʌmp/ and the /l/ in flumpet and dumpling)

2: a frowsy (or frowzy), loose woman, and by extension flowers that are wilted, no longer fresh (no doubt suggested by a rhyming association of flumpet with strumpet)

3: a musical instrument combining a flugelhorn and a trumpet (a portmanteau of the words flugelhorn and trumpet, which share the letter U in their spelling: FL – U – MPET)

The three panelists on the other team were each given a card; one card had a definition for flumpet from some reputable source, and the other two said BLUFF. These panelists were given some time, during a musical interlude, to make up plausible definitions. Then the first panel had to decide which definition was the right one.

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Scars

July 24, 2018

I had the muscle biopsy (left quadriceps) on Monday the 9th. On Monday the 16th the surgeon who did the biopsy removed the waterproof bandage from the site, looked at his work and was well pleased, and explained that the wound would heal soon, leaving only a small scar. I allowed that at this point in my life, a small scar was as nothing; I already had 7 visible scars on my body, the last one an impressive disfigurement, a cicatricial landscape over a foot long and over an inch wide at its maximum. So I should care about a small scar on my left thigh?

Meanwhile, I’m all anxious over the results of the biopsy, which still haven’t come in, after 15 days. (Maybe the crucial staff are on vacation; it’s that time of year.) While waiting, I’ve entertained myself by making an inventory of my visible scars and considering taking photos, so that if I were kidnapped, murdered, and dismembered by a deranged maniac — hey, this happens on television all the time — my body parts might be identifiable through their scars. Morbid, but absboring.

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Death by verbing

July 23, 2018

From Facebook friends, this distressing recent Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, featuring a malevolently uberpeeving personification of the English language:

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furūtsu sando

July 23, 2018

From the bon appétit magazine site on 7/19/18, “A Fruit Sando Is a Dessert Sandwich Filled with Joy and Whipped Cream: I’m obsessed with this Japanese dessert and was dying for a recipe. Now we have one.” by Elyse Inamine:


(#1) furūtsu sando ‘fruit sandwich’: strawberry, kiwi, peach (or mango) (photo from the magazine)

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