Archive for the ‘Language and food’ Category

Astride the Jockstrap Trail

April 2, 2020

(Intended as an entertainment in tough times. There will, however, be male bodyparts and mansex, in sometimes very plain language, so in general not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

It starts with a regular feature of this blog: advertisements for premium men’s underwear that treat men’s bodies simultaneously as the engines of vigorous athletic pursuits and as the loci of hot sex between men. And, correspondingly, that view the underwear — especially the quintessentially masculine undergarment, the jockstrap — as simultaneously a piece of sports gear and a vehicle for sexual advertisement, displaying a man’s package prominently in front and his bare buttocks behind.

Exhibit #1 is a Daily Jocks ad from 3/31 for a jockstraps sale, featuring a muscular model with a remarkable bubble butt, who is sporting a handsome deep red jockstrap with matching harness and socks, while poised midway between the position for doing pushups and one offering his ass for sex.

The accompanying jockstrap sale catalogue then takes us on a jaunt from Surry Hills, near Sydney NSW in Australia (where the Supawear company has its headquarters) through Hawaii and northern California (Berkeley and Sunnyvale) to San Pedro Town in northern Belize. And then back by plane from San Pedro to Sydney.

But first, below the fold, the world-class bubble butt on display, with a fanciful caption of my own devising:

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St. Martin des Poires

March 29, 2020

(Nothing actually crude, but a lot of mostly high-falutin’ sextalk that might give some people the fantods.)

In yesterday’s mail, a postcard from Ryan Tamares (a Stanford friend who is now socially but not postally distant from me) with this crate label from the 1920s and 1930s, featuring a character I’ll call the Bartlett Pear Kid:


(#1) We’ve been here before, in my 2/14/12 posting “Suggestive”, where I wrote: “The newsboy is hustling pears, but to modern eyes the label suggests something more salacious.”

I pursued this example further in a 6/14/16 posting “Crate labels”, which I’ll take up in a little while. But first the literally fabulous history of the Bartlett Pear Kid, who eventually became St. Martin des Poires, B.P.I.

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Chez Le Fourmilier II

March 27, 2020

The Wayno/Piraro Bizarro of 3/25 returns us to Restaurant Row in Anteaterville:


(#1) The chef of Chez Le Fourmilier brings an ant farm to the table for the delectation of an enthusiastic diner wearing an ant bib (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 3 in this strip — see this Page.)

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Buzz me, baby

March 19, 2020

Today’s Calvin and Hobbes re-run strip, on Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs (CFSBs), which offer “100% of the daily recommended allowance of caffeine”:


(#1) Just in case you had a fleeting moment of wondering about it, there is no caffeine RDA (recommended dietary allowance — recommended by the US National Research Council); the RDAs are for nutrients, and caffeine is not a nutrient

C&H Sugar Bomb strips. Hummingbird metabolism. The getting-high sense of the noun buzz and its verbing. The near-instant buzz of concentrated caffeine. Adalbert Stifter’s 1845 novella Bergkristall.

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Higashi Day cartoon 6: Pi Day cartoon understanding

March 16, 2020

Two cartoons in my 3/14 (Pi Day) feed — a Bizarro and a Rhymes With Orange — that present challenges to understanding; if you don’t get certain cultural references, you don’t get the cartoons at all.


(#1) A Wayno/Piraro collabo; Wayno’s title for it is “Sectarian differences” (if you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 2 in this strip — see this Page). So, a snake and a frog, adversaries in real life; but then…


(#2) At the top level, a variation on woman’s complaints that they are given housewares as gifts on romantic occasions (suspend your gender assumptions); but then…

Then it’s no accident that #1 was published in the middle of March, three days before St. Patrick’s Day, which comes at the end of the mid-March run of special days and events (P2P: From Pi To Paddy):

— 3/14 Pi Day
— 3/15 Higashi Day on Ramona St. (see my 3/12/20 posting “Higashi Day cartoon 1: grim Bliss surprise”), but the Ides of March in the larger world
— 3/16 National Panda Day (see the Page on this blog on panda postings) — TODAY! (Take a panda to munch)
— 3/17 St. Patrick’s Day

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Tragedies of the pandemic

March 6, 2020

(Penises play a significant role in this posting, so it might not be to everyone’s taste.)

We regret to report the end of Lord Alfred Douglas, famed devotee of fellatio. Yes, it’s

(A) goodbye to Bosie, the queen of coronas

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Morning tum

March 3, 2020

(There will be penis allusions, but nothing actually raunchy.)

My morning names of 2/26, which arrived three in a bunch, all tum-words, all body-related, but in two different ways:

(a) noun tumor, a tissue growth

(b) adj. tumid, enlarged or distended (as applied to erect penises in particular, but to other things as well)

(c) adj. tumescent, ditto, but more strongly evoking penises

(a) has a somewhat medical tone, but has been taken into everyday usage. The other two are elevated in tone, distanced from carnality; they sound literary or technical. When I came fully to consciousness, I realized that all three traced back to the Latin tum– stem in tumere ‘to swell’. It’s all about swelling; (a) has gone in one direction of semantic specialization, (b) and (c) in another.

And then, of course, there turned out to be more, stuff I hadn’t anticipated at all: the nouns tumulus ‘ancient burial ground’ (they are mounds) and tumult ‘loud noise, disorder’ (the sound rises).

Where will it end? Is a tummy so called because the bellies of babies are often rounded and the bellies of pregnant women are distended? (No. So the antacid Tums is irrelevant to this story.) What about the bodyparts scrotum and rectum, or even the proper name Tatum, suggesting Channing Tatum and his impressive endowment? (No, a thousand times, no. And you should be ashamed of yourselves for having suggested it.)

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Basil Ratburn

February 10, 2020

Back at the end of January I noted briefly on Facebook that the January 25th coincidence of Robert Burns’s birthday with the new lunar year — the Year of the Rat, specifically — meant that this year 1/25 was the celebratory day of Basil Ratburn. Crossed swords and groans.


(#1) Basil Rathbone (on the left) as villain — rat — crossing swords with Errol Flynn in the 1938 The Adventures of Robin Hood (you are allowed an adolescent snicker on crossing swords — and in fact those snickers have a basis in reality, in the term swordplay referring to body practices between men; see the Swordplay Bonus below)

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It’s a metaphor, son!

January 21, 2020

On Facebook recently, this supermarket snap, presumably from a store in Quebec, with a notable offering highlighted:


(#1) Five parts to the labeling: the name of the product in French (ailes de lapin); the name of the company (Canabec, a Quebec distributor of game — gibiers — and exotic meats; cf. elsewhere Plaisirs Gastronomiques, a Quebec company offering gourmet food, and Gaspésien, another Quebec fine food company); the name of the product in English (rabbit wings); the weight (in grams); and the price (in C$ / CA$ / CAD)

Much FB merriment over ailes de lapin ‘rabbit wings’, to which I responded:

Um, these are rabbit legs, right? Metaphorical? They resemble chicken wings and can be cooked in all the same ways. (Chinese rabbit wings are yummy.) M. Lapin: “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! for then I would fly away, and be at rest.” (Psalm 55) — later adding: “Oh, that I had wings like a rabbit! for then I would bound away, and be at rest.”

It’s a metaphor, son! A metaphor! Apparently one that is dead in Quebec, and so unremarkable in Quebecois — cf. Fr chauve-souris ‘bat’ (lit. ‘bald mouse’), Engl head of lettuce (where are its eyes and mouth?), and other dead metaphors that become entertaining when you attempt to breathe life back into them.

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Just one peanut

January 13, 2020

(Lots of off-color jokes, some of them gay-inflected, along with a number of peanut cartoons. So: crude, and perhaps not to everyone’s taste.)

Today’s Rhymes With Orange — entertaining if you get the crucial pop culture allusion, incomprehensible if you don’t:


(#1) An elephant at the doctor’s office, with an x-ray showing the contents of his stomach to be a top hat, a monocle, and a cane; in the face of this evidence, the doctor asks the patient if he’s sure that all he ate was one peanut (presupposing that the patient has claimed just that)

How does this even make sense, much less be funny? Even granting the poploric association between elephants and peanuts — which is actually pretty baffling (see below) — why do peanuts come up in #1 at all? We have a trio of men’s accessories and no visible peanuts.

There’s a hint in the bonus commentary on the left: elephant to elephant, “It’s a medical Mister-y”, where the clue is Mister. But the clue is useless if you don’t know your way around the symbolic figures of American commerce.

You have to be a friend of Mister Peanut.

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