Miscellaneous improvements

23Mar09

Telling people off: Overrated obscene phrase: Fuck off. Underrated obscene phrase: Eat shit. This is really an inherently hilarious command. There’s no way they’ll do it, but you’re telling them to anyway, just on the minuscule chance they’ll actually obey you and choke down a mouthful of feces. It’s unfair that Fuck off gets its own hand signal — the good old middle finger — while Eat shit has no codified gesture associated with it. Maybe American Sign Language has one, but I don’t know what it is. Fortunately, my girlfriend came up with one, after experimenting with a complicated pantomime of cutting up and eating a piece of shit with a fork and knife while looking nauseated: Simply encircle your thumb and forefinger in the usual American “OK” sign. In Brazil, this is an obscene gesture referring to the anus. Now, bring it to your mouth and stick your tongue through it and waggle it around in an approximation of analingus. Eat shit.

Spellchecking: In my line of work as a copy editor, I often have people phoning me up simply to ask how to spell a word. No matter what the word in question is, here’s my all-purpose answer: D-I-C-T-I-O-N-A-R-Y-DOT-C-O-M. Seriously, people. This is all I do, so try doing it yourself for a change and stop wasting both of our time.

Invoicing: Another thing I frequently have to do, like many freelancers and small business owners, is invoice clients. This can be tedious work. But it’s a little more fun if, while preparing invoices, I cackle, “Soon … soon, they will all pay!” And then laugh manically, because it’s true: They will pay soon. Hopefully, anyway.

Discovering new things: It used to be that I’d discover new music or movie or TV shows or whatever through seeking out communities of like-minded people. But that only takes you so far. Fortunately, the principle “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” isn’t just for foreign policy or the business world anymore. There is possibly no person more loathsome on the entire Internet than gossipmonger/parasite Perez Hilton, so I can safely call him my enemy for these purposes (also for the purposes of hitting him in the face with a shovel, should the opportunity arise). Basically, whoever Perez Hilton hates, I now like. Perez thinks Isaiah Washington is a homophobe? I now think he was the best thing about Grey’s Anatomy and refuse to watch it without him. Perez hates Chris Brown hitting Rihanna? I hate Chris Brown not hitting the top of the charts. Perez doesn’t like closeted homosexuals? I love Anderson Cooper and Queen Latifah just the way they are.

Intellectual honesty: With all due respect to herders of grazing animals, the real tragedy of the commons indisputably involves homeless people defecating in the reading room at the public library. I have always frowned on this. Yet I read while on the toilet in my own bathroom, and is this really so different? Taking a hard look at myself, I’ve been an elitist and a hypocrite. From now on, I withdraw my objections. Do your thing, homeless people — the public library is for everyone.



4 Responses to “Miscellaneous improvements”

  1. 1 Jay Pinkerton

    It seems like that symbol might get misinterpreted as “Lick my anus.” Though I suppose if your worst case scenario is getting your asshole tongued by someone with a poor grasp of sign language, it’s a good day.

  2. 2 Jay Pinkerton

    As for the spellchecking: dear God, don’t TELL people that! You’re like John Henry delivering steam engine blueprints.

  3. 3 rupertdogstein

    I have to agree, your girlfriend’s “eat shit” hand sign isn’t ideal. The person giving the sign seems to be saying, “I eat shit!” A better version would be making the “ok” sign, then holding it in front of an opponent’s mouth and telling them to stick their tongue out.

  4. 4 KD

    How strange. I only know how to say two things in American Sign Language, thanks to a friend of my husband’s who taught kids with disabilities:”Eat shit” and “Eat shit and die.” Weird.


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