Eat me

Well, maybe not. A lot depends on how squick works for you. What I’m talking about here are some chocolate candies, innocent enough, but in the shape of an anus, maybe now a challenge. I came across these Edible Anuses — their trade name — entirely by accident, in a search for something utterly unrelated.

A single (milk) chocolate:


Now, it’s not hard to view this as an abstract art form (and delicious chocolate). It’s certainly not especially realistic in appearance, despite the fact that it was molded from a specific human body — though few people have in fact ever had such a close-up view of an anus (gay men who are into anuses being an obvious exception).

Presentational note. WordPress is generally easy on language and images, except that it bans depictions of: male genitals, vulvas, and anuses (or did so last time I read about their criteria). If I want to post about such bodyparts, by themselves or engaged in sexual activities, I have to take it to AZBlogX, or risk losing this blog. But there are gray areas: there’s the Fine Art Exemption, which allows Michelangelo’s David, despite his penis; and there’s some Simulacrum Exemption, which allows the depiction of even extraordinarily convincing simulacra of the dirty bodyparts — as in amazingly phallic mushrooms — so long as actual human bodies are not involved.

Obviously, there are no bright lines here. For anuses, entirely symbolic representations, via (for example) rosebuds or starfish, are clearly ok, but then we move into the murky territory of more realistic depictions. Paintings, drawings, oh dear, photographs, some of them in uncomplicatedy lubricious contexts (like gay porn). I’m trusting that chocolate anuses are on the safe side of the line.

Linguistic note. The English noun anus has ts regular plural anuses. Period. It is a noun in English, not in Latin, despite the fact that the English noun originates in a medical and learnèd use of the Latin noun anus, whose Latin  plural is ani (well, ani:, but English orthography ignores the diacritics).  As far as I know, no peevers or pedants have insisted that anuses is incorrect, because the only proper plural is the Latin plural ani. (There’s some fashion as to which particular nouns get blown up into objects of intense public concern; anus happens to have stayed out of the public eye.)

Yet in other cases, the peevers and pedants unite to insist on a perverse form of etymological originalism: if it once was Latin (or French or Polish or German or whatever), then it is forever.

Well, only for nouns, and then only for plurals. But if the plural of anus has to be ani, then its (sg) object form has to be anum (NOT I admired an anus BUT I admired an anum) and its pl object form has to be anos (NOT I admired ani ‘I admired anuses’ BUT I admired anos); and its (sg) possessive form has to be ani (NOT an anus’s beauty BUT beauty ani, with appropriate Latin word order) and its pl possessive form has to be anorum (NOT ani’s beauty ‘anuses’ beauty’ BUT beauty anorum). Anything else would be inconsistent.

But still we get, as in yesterday’s posting “The Pierogi Western”, the assumption (on Wikipedia) that since pierogi in Polish is a pl form — its sg form is pierogpierogi in English must be pl as well (because it is, well, really Polish), so that I ate a pierogi is simply incorrect English, and there is no such thing as a pl pierogies. I think this is just absurd.

Yes, I understand that there’s a variety of cases, with many individual complexities. Bits of stuff in foreign languages are sometimes essentially quoted wholesale within English text, with some approximation to the phonology of the original Latin; and then there are various degrees of naturalization, often accompanied by semantic shifts of various kinds (English spaghetti etc., originally pl C(ount) nouns in Italian, now sg M(ass) nouns in English). But just asserting bald originalism won’t do.

In any case, anuses is the plural in English.

Simulacra. On to the Edible Anus (“The anus that made Britain great”) site, with a lot of jokey gushing:

The Edible Anus first saw the light of day in 2006 when the London artist, Magnus Irvin, made a range of them in multi-coloured chocolate to present in an exhibition. It was at the ensuing show that he met and formed a partnership with [Michael] Ritzema, a tall man of Dutch desent. Since then the two of them have worked together to make the range of products available today.

Initially Mr Irvin tried to cast his own anus with messy and disastrous results. Whilst explaining his failure to a chance acquaintance at a bus stop he was gratified to find that his fellow bus passenger was willing to allow him to cast her anus. The job was done in just over half an hour later that afternoon and all subsequent anuses have been based on this casting. It is a matter of interest that the person who kindly donated her service has no idea that her anus has now gone global.

The chocolate, glass and metal anuses have since appeared in other exhibitions and some of the more unusual high street retailers,

(#2) The bronze anus, in a gift box

whilst the chocolate anus has been bought by d[is]cerning customers the world over. Rings of succulent chocolate lovingly cast and crafted from the delectable posterior of our stunning butt model.

(#3) Boxes, each with a trio of anuses in different varieties of chocolate

This luxury chocolate is unique and manufactured entirely in the UK. Watch Grandma’s face light up as she unwraps a homely selection of chocolate cracks. The perfect gift for all the family.


One Response to “Eat me”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    From Anneli Meyer Korn on Facebook, who corrects my comment about experiences of anuses:

    “Watch Grandma’s face light up as she unwraps a homely selection of chocolate cracks.” I love it.
    But, as a former nurse, a diaper-changing mother, and caretaker of other people’s babies and toddlers, I can tell you that many, many, many of us have had plenty of close-up, yet non-sexual, views of human anuses.

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