zhuzh it up!

November 25, 2021


(#1) Available as a sticker from Redbubble, also as a t-shirt

Enter Monica Macaulay (in Wisconsin), who posted this ad for seasoning packets from Uncommon Goods on Facebook yesterday, with her innocent comment:



(#2 & 3) Monica: “zhuzh it up! apparently a well-known expression”

Well, yes, well-known in some circles (dictionary resources, in considerable detail, to come below). It was popularized earlier in this century in the US by the tv program Queer Eye for the Straight Guy; but then back in the 1960s and 70s in the UK by the BBC radio program(me) Round the Horne, with high-camp characters who made much use of a secret lexicon called Polari.

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Pissing and moaning with Ed Koren

November 24, 2021

From the 2018 cartoon collection Koren in the Wild (my copy of which arrived today), this New Yorker cartoon (published in the magazine on 9/6/99):


Working-class masculinity — the bar, pissing and moaning — meets the intellectual — verify what you’re saying with data: who verifies their pissing and moaning with data?

Then there’s the slang idiom to piss and moan.

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Squirrel verse #1

November 23, 2021

The first in what I hope will be an occasional feature, brief AMZ verse about squirrels. This installment has two contrasting little poems: a four-line note about squirrel sex in free verse; and a travesty poem you could sing, if you wanted to.

There are no pictures, but you could, I suppose, for the first, call up a climactic moment for Georgina Spelvin and Harry Reems in The Devil in Miss Jones; and for the second, a photo of Rex Harrison speak-singing.

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Annals of holiday commerce

November 22, 2021

Brief bulletin from the Native deodorant people (super-earnest, offering coconut oil-based deodorant sticks, no aluminum or parabens, etc., usable on private parts):

Treat your armpits to holiday cheer with specially crafted scents for the season.

For holiday-cheerful armpits. Sugar cookie. Candy cane.

Do I want my armpits to smell like sugar cookies? Or my crotch to smell like candy … oh, hmmm …

If these won’t do, then men can get the regular bergamot + pine scent, all woodsy and manly.

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Cooking with gas: a guest posting

November 21, 2021

Grant Barrett (of the Barnette-Barrett radio show A Way with Words — and a real lexicographer, one of the lexicographers I sometimes hang out with, even though I’m not of that tribe) tried to post this as a comment on my posting yesterday, “Now we’re cooking with carrots”, but it appears to have been indigestible to WordPress, so I’m publishing it here as a guest posting. Remember: what follows below the line is Grant, all Grant, not me (except for some formatting).


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Now we’re cooking with carrots

November 20, 2021

From Ann Gulbrandsen (in Sweden) on Facebook today, a wonderful still life of earthy carrots:

Ann wrote (in Swedish; what follows is the Google Translate version in English, which is, um, flatfooted, with one paraphrase by me):

Thought to pick up the last small harvest of carrots when it will be minus degrees next week. I clearly underestimated what was [underground]. May be cooking with carrots [Sw. matlagning med morötter] a couple of weeks ahead.

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Annals of commerce and advertising

November 19, 2021

An hour or so ago I ordered a copy of the book version of the 1619 Project. To update the 8/18/19 issue* of The New York Times Magazine that I’d been saving since it came out. From (my copy of) the cover of that issue:


(#1) Setting the scene for the project

*Note: 8/18 in print; 8/14 on-line, so the earlier date is the one now given as the date of publication.

Then, Amazon being what it is, I immediately got offers of products related to my purchase: an assemblage of salt and pepper grinders. I am baffled, utterly baffled.

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Pop culture projections

November 18, 2021

In yesterday’s Zippy strip, Rorschach inkblots act as springs releasing elaborate pop culture fantasies from our Pinhead’s imagination:


(1) Dolly Parton appears in the second panel and pretty much takes over; the reference in panel 3 is to Parton’s song “Jolene”

The Rorschach inkblot projective tests have appeared on this blog twice before, both times in Bizarro cartoons. (I sense a theme here.)

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Helgi Narcissus (again)

November 18, 2021

(Attractive men modeling underwear, some of them contemplating their genital packages. But nothing raunchy.)

Yesterday’s Daily Jocks ad with the model I’ve called Helgi in Helsinki Athletica Kasper long johns, contemplating his own handsome body:


(#1) Helgi4, following three previous DJ photos of this model set in a trendy bathing room; like Helgi2 and 3, modeling long johns, this time in an off-white with just the slightest touch of pink (a shade DJ calls Dusty Pink); like Helgi1, casting his gaze downward to admire, Narcissus-like, the weighty excellence of his own genital package, but now sliding his right hand down his firm belly under the waistband of his underwear (man’s got a hand in his pants)

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Comes a pause in the day’s occupations

November 18, 2021

… that is known as Miller Time … when you deserve a beer break today.

None of this makes sense unless you know the advertising slogans: It’s Miller Time (for Miller High Life beer, not for novelist Henry Miller, playwright Arthur Miller, or bandleader Glenn Miller), You Deserve a Break Today (for McDonald’s, hawking hamburgers, not beer). But Calvin knows:


(#1) The Calvin and Hobbes strip distributed today, originally published 10/9/86, alluding to “Miller Time” slogans in Miller High Life beer commercials from the period

Calvin is supposed to be 6 years old — admittedly, with the sensibilities of a boy of roughly 10, but, still, not expected to be familiar with the ways of beer-drinking, so his father is alarmed that Calvin seems to be looking forward to a brew after the occupations of his day. (Whatever happened to the Children’s Hour? Television happened.)

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