please stop tickling me

In which we laugh and laugh and laugh. And love. And drink.

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Location: Portland, Oregon

Otium cum Dignitatae

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Middle One

It all got taken care of. Where there had only been one truck the day before, the next there were four (perhaps five) of the damn things, and with only four of us to load them all. The drivers are standing around, making bitter little jokes and talking about what their dispatcher told them, as opposed to what is actually happening. My boss is trying to keep everything civil, also while contrasting what their dispatcher had told her, contrasted with what was actually happening.
What this meant for us grunts on the supply end was that we didn't need to worry so much any more about packing as much shit as possible onto two trucks, but quickly filling up three of them (while I was there), and leaving the odds and ends up to the maybe six people that showed up around dark.
"Another miracle of human communication," I said to one of the drivers, as the fourth truck we didn't have enough people to fill in a reasonable time period showed up. Nonetheless, it all got taken care of.

** ** **
On our way out to the pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving, our three-vehicle caravan got separated somehow. My brother-in-law's vehicle was in sight, after a bit, but Dad's was long gone. I had recollection from last year as to how one gets out to the town of Lyons, along a beautiful stretch of the Santiam river, but not to Gale's (my step-uncle) place.
As we drove, a thick fog fell. Most of western Oregon was experiencing an exceptionally sunny day (based on what I heard later), but that particular part of the valley was socked in by a surreal fog, making this whole pressing-on-into-the-unknown thing even better. For my part, I was laughing.
We got there though, and a fine time was had by all. This is extended family here, mind you, and the most common comment heard was, "I have no idea who most of these people are..." That was kind of cool in and of itself though: we had community based on our relative lack of knowledge. Crammed into a cabin in the woods, we had to find out who each other was, and then get along. Everybody was friendly as hell.
Gale had decided to do this Not On Thanksgiving Thanksgiving since the actual day was inconvenient for a lot of his family. We still had all the fun associated with this sort of event, right up to learning the names of a bunch of strangers I'm only parenthetically related to, and their place in the chain of relation. The Civil War game was on, too, leading to some sort of U of O/OSU fan weirdness in this house. There was about fifty people.

** ** **
When I went to see a movie in the part of Portland known as Hollywood recently, Bobby, James and I had occasion to stop into The Pagoda, a Chinese restaurant of no acclaim for its food, and old person's bar supreme.
I've been in that bar before where they basically didn't want to serve us since we weren't old. This particular evening it wasn't like that; but then Larry Hershberger started in.
He began by yelling, "How dare you make fun of a man who's legally blind?" The lady behind the bar immediately started warning him that he'd better take it down a notch, and he responded by yelling, "My name is Larry Hershberger, and I'm gonna sue everybody in this bar!"
He quickly followed up with, "I wonnnn't! " But he wasn't so easily pacified. We weren't up for a suing (even though he threatened to do so on several other occasions, with the usual rejoinder: "I wonnn't!"), but he kept threatening "this asshole", an unlucky person sitting near him, and kept on responding to something the bartender lady had said earlier in the evening.
She must have said something about being in labor for eighteen hours with one of her kids, because Larry kept saying, "You were in labor for eighteen hours! I'm in labor five days a week!" Perhaps he missed the point.
The lady at the bar was easily in her sixties, and shouldn't really have had to put up with this. At one point, when Mr. Hershberger was getting personally insulting to her, Bobby and I both stood up. She gave us the 'just sit down, I've got this one' gesture. Nonetheless, maybe we redeemed ourselves as people who were good folks, despite not being old as the hills.
He went through his cycle a few more times, until finally he realized that not only had the cops been called, but he really wasn't going to be receiving any more drinks that particular evening.
When we went outside later, the 911 call that had been placed by the bar lady had been responded to not by cops, but an ambulance with the fire truck that is legally mandated to show up, any time an ambulance is called. They were trying to talk him into the truck.

** ** **
I've been blogrolled by KOM, over at Lascivious Polyphony, easily the funniest blog I know. My problem is with the word "blogrolled".
His blog is linked to some other well-named blogs, like God, People Piss Me Off, and If Swallowed, Induce Vomiting. "Please Stop Tickling Me" fits right in, in terms of the listings. Again, it's the word "blogrolled".
For one thing, it's just clumsy, but that's the way of the American version of English. We're changing too fast; it's kooky. Ugly, awkward words like "blogrolled" are okay now (as are emoticons and three-letter-acronyms, eesh), as is the horrific use of that font I've seen described as 'hacker', popular among the teenaged set of bloggers, especially from Asia.
An example? Well, the above last three words rendered in Hacker font would read like, "eSpessHuLYY frm aSIa", or something, suggesting that each of the letters contains a hyperlink, leading the savvy web-crawler to seek for portals to newer and better things.
But "blogrolled"? It sounds like something you virtually do a virtual drunk on a virtual subway. The compliment is well taken, however. It means that I sit beside Blog Jesus.

** ** **
I got around to talking a bit this evening with the lady, about a very important topic: the sheer volume of us menfolk who are pee-shy.
Or have "blushing kidneys", as I've also heard it called. The inability of some of us menfolk who don't feel comfortable standing next to some other guy, cock in hand, attempting to urinate. I pointed out that there is an anthropological study in the making here.
In eastern Oregon, where I attended grade school, the middle urinal was said to be cursed. There was even a little rhyming formula "explaining" why. Pointing out the one on the left, someone would say, "Army..." The one on the right was indicated as being, "Navy..." And the middle one had "Superbaby" as its designation.
That wasn't good enough for me, so I asked one of the older kids what any of that meant. He pointed out that the middle one was where the guy who had kissed the ugliest girl in school went and pissed, directly afterwards.
This at least sort of made sense, and the girl being referenced actually existed, so okay. I didn't really think about it until high school, where The Baron and I got on the topic. He said that in Canby, where he grew up, the same formula applied for the urinals at his grade school, but that it ran as, "King, Queen, Kissing Machine."
That's when I realized that it wasn't indigenous to my school or even eastern Oregon. That's also when I realized that we had taken a bit of basic, garden variety embarassment and ritualized it. Then we made up a rationalization for the ritual. Great stuff. I'd like to know if everyone had something like this.



Blogger BitchSlap The Monkey said...

So called "hacker" speak, or more commonly l33t (as in elite) speak has been around for quite some time. Beyond the frequent accidental or intentional misspellings (e.g. teh for the) and the use of numbers to replace letters, especially vowels, such language at it's best helps define a subculture just as any slang usage does. At it's worst of course it is nothing more than a feeble attempt to sound cool (e.g. "My name is Homer Simpson and I'm here to say...").

Interestingly, the use of character substitutions and acronyms like LOL pre-dates the internet, but not geekdom. Science Fiction fanzines from the 1950's often contained the first uses of this type of textual slang.

As with any language, or subset of language, where and when you use it can be a nuanced effort, or a hamfisted act of laying your cards on the table.

12:40 PM  
Blogger rich bachelor said...

And this, my friends, is why I love Bitchslap the Monkey.

5:44 PM  
Blogger Shari said...

Oh! You think my blog is well named! Thank you!
(Unfortunately I get some very strange visitors because of it.)

9:20 AM  
Blogger Jacq said...

Wow, BTM gave me a lesson in internet slang. Well done!

OMG, I just gave some really strong words to a blog trashing Bush. I said the "F" word a lot. It's so not like me, but I was on a roll. I think it's a blog by someone named David Corn and something to the effect of "" OOh it was getting ugly.

10:42 AM  
Blogger Jacq said...

Oh, I almost forgot:

Happy Turkey Day Everyone!!!

10:43 AM  
Blogger KOM said...

I don't remember there being any issues with the urinals in grade school. It was just when we got older, and some of the guys weren't playing by the rules (look forward, don't talk, you may only look down to readjust your grip or zip), that spaces began to appear between urinators.

This got out of control, of course, and by junior high I wouldn't even sit next to my friends at the movies. There had to be a 'power tool seat' between us to signify that we weren't gay.

Now I just piss outside. If there's someone in my back yard at night, I want to know about it.

And blogroll is just a word. I prefer "The insane ramblings of certifiable loons that interest me".

2:30 PM  

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