I’m Sorry, What?

I had a friend who used to say that the more times you used “fine” to describe your day, the less fine it was. I find that to be true only about half the time. Generally, if my husband asks how I am or how my day was and I answer FINE with no other information, he takes a deep breath, turns on his heel, and burrows into this little space he’s made in the back of the linen closet where he proceeds to curse The Gods for ever putting him in the path of the crazy woman throwing crockery around the kitchen rather than just getting in there and MAKING HIM A DAMN PIE.  But, you know, everyone’s experience is different and special.

 This morning another friend commented that when, “Oh, that's hilarious,” is said in conversations between people who are not close friends, it usually means, "Oh, that is really not hilarious at all."

  Being from The South, I am well aware of this phenomenon. For example, someone–Fanny Flagg? If not, it should have been–once said that bless your heart is actually Southern for go to hell.  I don’t really go that far, but bless your/his/her/their heart is not, indeed, usually meant as the sincere desire for your heart to be touched with the special dew and unicorn tears of a true blessing. I often find it to mean something more along the lines of, Get on with your story, Myrtle, it’s terrible Wayne fell off the barn into that vat of hog innards, but I’ve got a roast in the oven.  

 

In the Southern U.S., emphasis is everything. Sort of like Mandarin Chinese. The whole meaning changes with a shift of stress or arch of an eyebrow.  BLESS.  YOUR.  HEART.   is often super-secret-double-probation code for Jesus, God, if I have to hear about that damn weenie dog of hers piddling on the new rug ONE MORE TIME, I’m gonna stick hot pokers in my eyes and rip my ears off with Lloyd’s pipe wrench. You know, or something close to that.

 Occasionally, like at bridge club, talk among my grandmothers’ friends would turn to things like how the new preacher at the Methodist church had a wife who wore diamond cocktail rings before 5 o’clock and that she had also been heard to order a double vodka rocks with extra lime at the Country Club—for lunch. My grandmothers, both of them, tended to respond to such talk by saying, I don’t know her very well (Ah don’t no huh verah well, in the case of my paternal grandmother). This was understood to mean that it might be true the new preacher’s wife was an alcoholic, social climbing tramp, but they would reserve judgment until they witnessed an event such as her falling face-first into the punch bowl at Wednesday tea after having been spied sucking back bottles of vanilla extract in the church kitchen.

 I just stopped by for a second is a tricky one. It can either mean, I want it to seem like I just happened to pop over with this recipe for stuffed peppers, but I really want to corner you for two hours about that family that just moved in down the street who keep a camper shell in their front yard, and could we get Code Enforcement out here to fine them? Or it could mean, I’m not going to stand here any longer than I have to, but it would be rude of me not to give you some of this squash that you know I’ve been growing because you spend all afternoon at your window watching every move we make, you crusty old biddy.

 I think I speak pretty clearly when I need to. Were my husband here, he would be jumping up and down and trying not to start screaming about my rather elastic use of the word “clearly”. I’ll tell you this, I’d rather read between the lines of Southern politesse than to try to decode my father who likes to drop such gems as ugly as a turkey turd on a pump handle. What the hell is that?

 

Sex Gets A Brand Guru

The other day I noticed an odd add on my Facebook page. Between the FOODS NEVER TO EAT and OBAMA WANTS MOMS TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL ads was one that featured a picture of a pregnant belly. The ad read, “GET PREGNANT NATURALLY! NO PILLS! NO DRUGS!”

So when did Sex get an ad campaign? When did Sex realize it needed a brand marketing guru?

 

Sex: So, I’m thinking I need my name out there a little more. I want to make sure I stay relevant.

Account Manager: Ah, okay, but you’re Sex. Sex is pretty much on everyone’s lips, so to speak.

Sex: Well, in a way. I mean, Hooking Up’s so hot right now. There’s Quickie, Gettin’ It On, The Nasty, Knockin’ Boots. They’d be nowhere without me, of course. But they’re getting all the attention.

Account Manager: I see.

Sex: Do you? I don’t know, I just, I feel like Blockbuster right now? Like, am I relevant? I don’t want to end up like the Yugo or something. I have this recurring nightmare that people come up to me like, oh, didn’t you used to be Sex? Wow, you’ve changed.

Account Manager: You’re saying that you’re Sex and that you’re not relevant right now? I wouldn’t have a job if it weren’t for you, dude.

Sex: I know, I know, Sex sells. But with all this online porn, and jeez, the sex toy business is huge…well, there you go, right there. Adult toys. Adult. Toys. Adult movies, adult bookstores, adult friends, for the love of Mike! People are just taking the Sex right out of it, and that milquetoast Adult gets all the press. Pregnancy? Oh, that’s the worst. There’s like no Sex left in getting knocked up. All these sperm banks and egg banks and in vitro fertilizations are taking me right out of the process. Right out. I was talking to Masturbation the other day, and…

Account Manager: Wait, you were talking to Masturbation?

Sex: Yeah, we’re pretty close. Anyway, he’s getting so much publicity right now. That crazy woman? That Tea Party gal? Jeez, I mean, she’s the best thing to happen to Masturbation in years. He says to me, you know what you need, Sex? You need a re-launch. And that’s why I’m here. I want to be re-branded! I want fresh, I want hip! I want a social network! Twitter, I want The Twitter! Oh, and a new website with hearts and flashing lights and lots of Comic Sans font, and…

Account Manager: Okay, let me stop you right there. I think we need to start by trademarking your name…

Sex: In Comic Sans?

Account Manager: …NO! Stop with the Comic Sans talk! We’ll do a casting call for The New Face of Sex!

Sex: Yeah! Like maybe with The Duggars!

Account Manager: What the hell, Sex?

Sex: Well, they have all those children using good, old-fashioned Sex, right?

Account Manager: I was thinking Christina Hendricks. Listen, Sex, I need you to trust me on this, okay? We’ve got to go with a what’s-old-is-new-again approach.

Sex: Retro? I like, I like. Martinis and Sex, am I right?

Account Manager: Something like that. But, look, Sex, if I’m going to run your campaign, I need you to do one very important thing.

Sex: Yeah, sure. Name it.

Account Manager: I need you to keep your mouth shut. We can’t have everyone complaining about that noisy Sex.

 

No Genius Grant…Again

As usual, I've heard nothing from the MacArthur folks. I did have two calls last night from unknown numbers, so I suppose they could have called and not left a message. You know, insipid, barely coherent crap of this caliber DOES NOT WRITE ITSELF, PEOPLE. Piles of Cheetos and gallons of Coke Zero are needed in the production of this blog.

You know what it's like? It's like, oh, here, take this money to continue fascinating and important research on Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson, but when you write about holding your hair back with a thong, they're nowhere to be found.

 Pshaw.