Rush Hour Skirmish

Some of those out there among us need to hear this. Consider it a public service announcement (you’re welcome). Turn signals are your friend. I know it might seem like it at times, but letting the rest of us know where you’re going and what you’re doing while putting on your breaks suddenly (for no apparent reason because, you know, turn signals) in a 65 mph zone is not sharing your plan of attack with the other side.

Oh, I can understand not wanting to fraternize with the enemy during rush hour traffic but think of this as more like an organized retreat with all sides taking part. We just want to get home. Just like you. We’d like to arrive home not in your backseat – our inevitable place in the world as you come to an almost complete stop while unexpectedly veering to the right towards that off-ramp, because again, you know, turn signals. I mean, that would be silly wouldn’t it? Because then, we’d be at your home, not our home. And where’s the fun in that? You don’t have my comfy jammies or my fluffy pillow or my favorite ice cream.

So, please. I’m begging you. Repeat after me. Turn. Signals. Are. Your. Friends.

How do I insult thee? Let me count the ways.

The older we get the less we understand the slang that these young kids use nowadays. Or, wait, is that just me? Hey, I’ll admit… I’m just not picking up what these young cats are laying down these days, you dig? What exactly is a “yeet” anyway?  It sounds like the newborn offspring of a species of goat that only lives in the mountainous regions somewhere deep in the Andean Mountains. The insults we grew up with were more scathing. There was nothing more insulting than walking down the street and hearing someone yell out, “hey, nerd!” Brutal, I know.

To be truly creative, though, we need to go back a bit further. We need to take it back to a point in history where insults were truly scornful, and yes, inspiring. I’m talking Shakespeare. Now, Shakespeare knew how to curse, but he also knew how to throw insults with the best of them. Oh, who am I kidding, he WAS the best of them. I mean, the man made up new words when those readily at hand would not do, for Pete’s sake.

So, without further ado, here are my favorite Shakespearean insults, in no particular order. Trust me, folks, we need to bring these gems back into circulation.

Thou art as fat as butter. (Henry IV)

If you really want to get your point across to someone, you need to compare them to something with high fat content and not something fat by default like the world or their mother.

More of your conversation would infect my brain. (Coriolanus)

Why settle for calling someone stupid when you can go one better and describe exactly how their words are affecting you? Instead of saying, I’m all the more stupid for having heard this… try telling them that their word salad is literally infecting your brain. It would devalue their argument so much that they’ll have no choice but to submit to your Shakespearean wit. You could tell them that your insult was from Shakespeare, but they probably don’t even know who J.K. Rowling is, let alone Shakespeare.

I’ll beat thee, but I would infect my hands. (Timon of Athens)

We’ve all met those annoying people we would love to whack over the head if it would get them to stop blathering. Continuing Shakespeare’s odd fascination with infections, you can tell these folks that they are simply too loathsome for the figurative (of course, figurative) beating they so rightly deserve. Despite their seemingly good health, merely touching them would put you in a state of near death due to their gangrenous personality. I know, right!?  Awesome insult!

I am sick when I do look on thee (Midsummer Night’s Dream)

I’m starting to think Shakespeare had a thing with the bubonic plague. Apparently, you could infect him with sound, touch, and now… simply looking at someone makes him sick. But hey, he does have a way with words.  This would be the final topping on the cake for someone with a lovely outer skin but an ugly disposition. Bonus points if you mix this with the phrase about butter.

You Banbury cheese! (Merry Wives of Windsor)

Not a lot of people will know that this insult was originally meant for skinny people. You see, Banbury cheese was very thin. Stupidly thin. And back in Shakespeare’s time it was more prominent to be plump, so calling someone skinny was just plain insulting. However, nowadays this insult goes beyond looks, as every good insult should do.  Cheese is smelly, cheese can be ridiculously obnoxious, cheese can look lovely on the outside and be rancid on the inside, cheese can make you want to vomit. Just take your pick. Viewing it a different way, cheese is supposed to be thick and rich and decadent, so the fact that Banbury cheese is ludicrously thin with more rind than actual cheese is rather stupid. Hence the person you’re calling a Banbury cheese is a stupid-head (of cheese). Plus, I just like the way it sounds.

You whoreson cullionly barber-monger! (King Lear)

I’m not exactly sure where Shakespeare was going with this one as it’s contained in a scene where people were throwing words all over the place. However, I assure you that using this is the equivalent of firing a bullet from your mouth and it would absolutely destroy whoever it is aimed at. Just walk into your local dive-bar and use this phrase at random, then watch everyone freeze, impressed with your mighty wit.

Away, you three-inch fool! (The Taming Of The Shrew)

Thinking back on my English Lit days, I believe that Shakespeare used this as an insult to someone’s height, but let’s be real about using it today, you’re going to insult another area of someone’s life that they really, really care about when it comes to length. Instead of directly insulting some guy’s junk with a “why, you have a small wiener sir,” drive home the point by dropping this line that gives a very specific length. I can’t think of a better response to those crude ‘negging’ pick-up lines too many of us women endure every time we go out.

So, there you have it. Some grade-A, well-honed – if not contemporary – put-downs for your insult arsenal. One for every day of the week. Now, get out there and make me proud!

Not so New, but Slightly Improved

I’m back, bitches!  Lucky you… and quite frankly, lucky me. Okay, so I’m not quite as perky as the model in the RC Cola ad, but I’m as close as I’ll ever be. Which, if I’m being honest, means I’m in my jammies, with cookies and milk in hand, and Harvey about to start on the t.v.  So yeah, I’m good!  Happy Saturday!

When soda was to be had at my grandparent’s house, it was RC Cola and Dr. Pepper, and sometimes Mountain Dew. All three are still around of course, but seeing this and other images during my google search this evening got me wandering down memory lane. More on that later.

Guilty Pleasures Redux

While I struggle to rid myself of a truly magnificent migraine… enjoy this blast from the past. As soon as the bass drum concerto that is currently taking place in my noggin concludes, I’ll be back with some fresh content.  I would like to mention, however, for full disclosure’s sake, that my heated feelings toward the “new” Looney Tunes show (it’s not so new anymore) have eased somewhat. What can I say? The show grew on me. Now… where the hell is my Excedrin?

Originally posted July 8, 2014 ………………………….

Guilty Pleasures

I like to think that I’m somewhat intelligent. Somewhat being the key word here. The books I read, while plenty entertaining with rich plot and interesting, complex characters, lean a bit more towards the literary than the commercial side.  I have nothing against glittering vampires or convoluted S&M with rich bachelors; they’re just not my thing. I also enjoy movies and shows that require at least some brain activity to understand. If it’s starring Larry the Cable Guy, chances are I won’t be buying a ticket. I’m far from Mensa worthy, but I do need more.

Then again…we all have our guilty pleasures or vices or whatever you want to call them and mine would have to be Looney Tunes cartoons. I love them! Like, love them. Not the new cartoons that are a full half hour and computer generated.  Oh no. I’m a fan of the old school Looney Tunes, the ones that lasted four minutes (six tops), were hand-drawn, and featured all the favorites back when they were all voiced by one guy.

Bugs Bunny playing tricks on Elmer Fudd. Pepe le Pew courting a poor bedraggled female cat unfortunately streaked with paint (I always enjoyed Pepe’s consternation when the tables were turned). Daffy Duck spraying spit everywhere. All brought to hilarious life thanks to the vocal genius Mel Blanc. He was the premier cartoon voice actor and launched all of these characters into legendary status.  Check out Mel Blanc’s biography some time (who knew he voiced Barney Rubble??).  A man of 1,000 voices indeed.  If the character isn’t voiced by him, I’m not interested.

In fact, I hate the new Looney Tunes show.  It shouldn’t even be considered true Looney Tunes. It’s a pale reflection of the original. I cling firmly to the old, majestic pieces that used classical sonatas and overtures to set the tone. Hell, most of what I know and love of classical music and opera today comes straight from watching these cartoons. They’re short nuggets of pure fun and tomfoolery. I love them so much that, thanks to Boomerang, having them on the t.v. is one of my primo weapons against nighttime anxiety on those occasions when I just can’t seem to shut my brain off from the stressful things I was faced with all day.

I must say, though, that I find it heartbreaking that Wile E. Coyote will always be remembered for his failures instead of his true artistic talent and creative brilliance. (Yes, this is how much I’ve analyzed the cartoons.) He truly was an innovative thinker. He painted fake roads, train tracks (so real that even trains were confused), and used tricks of visual perception to make a flat boulder look like a tunnel. Wile E. constantly rebelled against modern convention and thumbed his nose at the laws of physics on numerous occasions. He built rockets for god’s sake and catapults and plucking mechanisms. All for naught, but the genius was there nonetheless. Suuuper genius.

I also find it sad that Marvin the Martian never once got to blow up the Earth. Had he succeeded it would have sucked for us, but imagine his point of view. Never once did he get to reach the one goal he set for himself in life. It’s tragic really.

While all of those characters have a special place in my heart, my absolute favorites are the Goofy Gophers. Remember them? Perhaps a little further down in the Looney Tunes canon, but they had a style all their own. Snobby and pretentious? Yes. But charming, genial, accommodating, and well-mannered to a T, their prissy aristocratic accents capped off what I found to be a hilarious pair. I loved it. “Shall we hit Elmer Fudd on the head with this hammer?”  “Why yes, let’s.”  “Indubitably.” Classic!

Maybe my love of Looney Tunes isn’t a guilty pleasure. Maybe the characters are complex enough and “deep” enough to rationalize my love of them. Or maybe I’m just a grown woman who loves cartoon animals chasing each other with dynamite. You decide.

looneytunes3