Penguins and packages

Two Xmas cards from Amanda Walker, from 2016 (Advent penguins) and 2017 (Santa grabbing his package). (Warning about the second: there will be images of crotch-grabbing and crude plays on the noun package.)

Victorian penguins. A print by Nicky Boehme, turned into an Advent card by Applejack Art. The original print, showing a cosy Victorian Xmas scene, plus cute penguins:

(#1) “Hey! Wait For Me!”

Applejack Art offers artwork of pleasant scenes — as mounted prints, jigsaw puzzles, or greeting cards.

As for Nicky Boehme: a California native, she studied technical art at Oakland Art Institute, and has served as art director for national ad agencies.

Santa and his package. Seasonal art in a very different vein; no need for the audience to supply snark, it comes built in:


I’ve posted on this card before, on 1/10/18, in “Yet another Xmas package”, with links to a 2010 sequence of racy Xmas package images from Undergear. In between these came several memorable Xmas package images, for example this one from 2015:

(#3) (Links to postings on the sexual bodypart noun package can be found on my Page on Language and the body)

Remaining topics: crotch-grabbing and the Seltzer Goods company, source of #2 (playful, wry, and politically conscious).

Crotch-grabbing. #2 has Cranky Old St. Nick symbolically offering his jolly genitals — a gestural display that is never totally free of aggression, but can be performed self-mockingly. Well, that’s one reading of Underwear God Marky Mark’s celebrated crotch-grabbing for Calvin Klein:


And of this performance by St. Nick Jonas (who has now achieved pop-culture sainthood by marrying the movie goddess Priyanka Chopra):


From my 10/4/14 posting “Homage to Marky / Mark”, that’s St. Nick

paying homage (in Flaunt magazine) to the boy-band star and original Underwear God Marky Mark / Mark Wahlberg (hereafter, MM), in this photographic homage to MM’s famous Calvin Klein photos — crotch-grabbing, abs-displaying, flagrantly challenging, and homoerotic all at once.

And taking MM one step further with the lowered jeans, making it clear that he really is in his underwear.

Seltzer Goods. From their site:

Seltzer Goods is a women-led company that values creativity, curiosity, and laughter. We create tools for modern living – so you can express your unique personality and design your own story.

Their St. Nicholas of the Crotch card seems to have been discontinued, but their current seasonal cards are diverse, including:

a Krampus card: “It’s Good To Be Bad” (Krampusnacht is December 5th)

a “Three Wise Women” card, with images of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Gloria Steinem, and Oprah Winfrey (Epiphany is January 6th)

a Hanukkah card: “Love you a latke!” (this year Hanukkah was December 2nd – 10th)

Some remarks on the last one. It’s clearly meant to be understood as a front truncation (by subject omission, in this case) of I love you a latke!, playfully conveying ‘I love you a lot!’ (and you can find t-shirts for sale with the full version on them). But I like to toy with the possibility that it has a personal dative in it, conveying (roughly) ‘Love yourself a latke! / Love a latke for yourself!’ (Eat, eat!)

From this blog back in 2012:

on 2/28/12, in “Language instruction fun”:

Können Sir mir sagen, wo ich mir die Hände waschen kann? ‘Can you tell me where I can wash my hands?’ [nice personal dative in the German in the place of the English possessive]

on 7/31/12, in “glory hole”:

” “I want me some glory hole” says Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones” — note ethical dative

About personal datives, see this Ben Zimmer posting from Language Log on 11/6/09, “Horn on personal datives” :

Mark Liberman’s post, “On beyond personal datives?”, has generated quite a bit of discussion in the comments section, much of it related to Larry Horn’s paper, “‘I love me some him’: The landscape of non-argument datives“, in Bonami & Hofherr (eds.), Empirical Issues in Syntax and Semantics 7, 2008.

With this guest commentary from Larry:

I’ve been looking lately at a family of constructions in various languages — the ethical dative, the affected dative, the free dative, the dative of interest, the dativus commodi / incommodi, and so on (these are not alternate labels for the same construction, but there are family resemblances among them, and they’re all quite distinct grammatically from the usual recipient dative of “Give me a break”.

Not what the Seltzer people intended with their latke card, but nevertheless entertaining.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: