Among some teens on the Gulf Coast, there was a protocol regarding who could initiate a kiss. The rule was that starting a passionate kiss underwater was a female perogative, and it could last as long as both stayed underwater. This gave the couple a modicum of privacy -- others could figure that they were kissing; but how deeply and whatever additional affection could take place was not visible to others' eyes. Teens in a group sometimes find it hard to obtain a little privacy. You develop over time an ability to hold your breath longer, especially there's some heavy petting that may require any adjustments! Also, it's nice to take the lead sometimes.
Michelle Fitzgerald had a reputation for being a little loose. No, it was a little more than that: she reckoned that she had slept with at least 30 guys of varying quality. No keepers at all. That's what comes from having joined a sorority and leading la loca vida, Southern university-style. However, she wised up, started studying in earnest, and was able to graduate from the university and then attend the School of Law. She became more career-minded and became an Associate in a law firm. Since she contemplated a career in politics, she first joined the Democratic Party but was unsuccessful in her office-seeking. Now Michelle did have an unerrant eye on the main prize: first a seat in the State House, then after a decent period of service moving up to the State Senate, and someday moving up to at least the U.S. House of Representatives if not beyond. The idea of Michelle Fitzgerald being a M.C. someday had a lot of appeal to her. But, unfortunately, she had first joined the wrong party. So she did what any good politician with negotiable principles would do: she changed parties. However, her new Republican friends did wonder about her sincerity in her newly discovered faith. Clearly, Republicans were no more easily misled than Democrats. What she needed was proof of what she claimed to be, despite the rumors of her wild sorority days and her previous espousal of Democratic politics! Finally, it came to Michelle when she pressed the Easy Button: "I'll get certified. Then, whenever someone in her newly adopted party openly speculated on how trustworthy she might be, that she might be a RINO, and should not be the Party's nominee, she was able to show her certificate of virginity, which could be interpreted as ideological virginity. A friend of hers, who also strategically went from Republican to Democrat while seeking office in another district, also got one of these certificates and played hers. There's a lot of these retread virgins in politics, depending on how the political winds may blow! Or, borrowing from the days of the Civil War, could they be called galvinized political virgins? Later on, when she married another Associate in the law firm, she was able to show him her bonafide certificate, for some other reasons! Everybody knows how you can tell when a lawyer is lying: when her lips are moving!
You can name your horse anything you please; but if you want to race him as a thoroughbred, you must register the name with the Jockey Club, which sets certain limits of horse names: 1) They can have no more than 18 characters. 2) They must not be obscene. 3) They must not be a living person's name, unless that person has given signed permission. 4) They cannot advertise a product. 5) They cannot end in 2nd, 3rd, etc. 6) They cannot use abbreviations, and so forth. Still, there's a wide range of horsy onomastics to consider. Here are a few real horse names that managed to slip by or get approved by the Jockey Club: EighteenCharacters Bad Cop No Donut Dadsalittleunusual Beer Goggles Butter Face Stump Hole Pants on Fire Swale* Going Commando Girls Got Skill Papa's Got Gin Reality Sets In It's All Lies Fusaichi Pegasus* Chateuagay* Indy Undies Ross Is a Hoss Hadtoomuch Resume Innocense Barely Legal Four Bucks N a Doe No Speed No Feed Going Commando OK Topless You've Been Served Oneofthebirdboys We Both Walk What a Bad Day Unzippher Pensive* Will Run for Gin My Office Wife Luv Guv Walk of Shame Bodacious Tatas Turducken War Admiral* Nosupeforyou Cathouse Saint Breeze the Weasel The Wages of Sin Junk in the Trunk *Kentucky Derby Winner There's a sense of wonderment that I have about these names: the cost of purchasing, training, and maintaining a thoroughbred horse is $$$; yet some owners come up with these terribly funny or even déclassé names. It would seem to me that a committee of horse-minded tween girls could come up with better names. I can imagine some horseplayer going up to the pari-mutuel window and saying "Give me $20 on Walk of Shame." Or, even better, the track announcer reporting, "And at the finish, it's Bodacious Tatas by a nipple!"
While writing stories, I tend to fall back on a few characters. I didn't start out with them fully fleshed out; but they sort of evolved with time. Here's what I see them as currently, but they may change according to my whim. Madeline, the Prophetess -- Madeline is a woman in her mid-20's, a New Orleanian to the core. She's Catholic, but with that peculiar tendency towards devoutness that is seen in some living in New Orleans. She is sincerely religious in the best sense; and follows the spirit of Catholicism but not necessarily the letter of it. In another time, she would have been like Jeanne d'Arc. Because she is a public figure, this can get her in conflict with the Archdiocese on occasion. Strangely enough, she doesn't mind hanging out with characters on the edge of the underworld. While she has visions, she has lately been using them in her capacity as an equine actuary (bookie). As a Cajun, she is also versed in folk medicine; she is a taiteur. Cowgirl Melinda is a straight-shooting girl also in her 20's who lives by the code of the West. Don't fence her in. She is skeptical of authority, government, and people who put on airs, as she puts it. That sort of stance comes with the territory of being home alone on the prairie with cows or other critters for extended periods. She's a hard-working girl who is darned nice to have around when she doesn't get in trouble even if she has a few rough edges that she sporadically tries to smooth. Frankly, Madeline and Cowgirl Melinda are in some ways different aspects of myself. Officer Pete is a young NOPD patrolman who is attracted to the Prophetess, but doesn't know quite how to go about it. The NOPD was frequently a target for lumps from the national media, but most of its members mostly do the best they could. Crazy Chester is a large, wise, good-hearted, middle-aged African-American Creole who is Madeline's partner in bookmaking. He also runs the numbers on the side, and sells some mind-altering herbs. Despite his involvement with the underworld, he is sometimes called on covertly for advice by local businesspersons. A major fear of the local ward heeler is that Crazy Chester will some day go political and run for public office, like a seat in the House. You know, if he would become the Honorable Crazy Chester, he would improve the tone of the House, whether in Baton Rouge or Washington. The Lucky Dog Guy is a rotund vendor of hot dogs in the French Quarter. A graduate of Loyola University in philosophy, he provides sagacious comments to those who would listen. He is a font of knowledge on appropriate condiments for hot dogs. Al Gautreaux and Missy Chauvin are two newscasters with Action News, both in their late 20's. Missy had an escapade with The Honey Island Swamp Monster that left her well-pleased; but she does not say why. Al is a great one with the ladies. The Lewd Dude is a college student/tourist from Indiana; hoping for a moral holiday in New Orleans. He saw too many DVDs of Girls Gone Wild and developed great expectations. My Guardian Angel Steve appears now and then, but is discreet, a real gentleman! Sakura the Fairy is a displaced Japanese fairy who dresses in a kimono and is creatively mischievous, as fairies should be. Although she was originally the Cherry Blossom Fairy, her lack of detail caused her to be demoted to the Fruit Cake Fairy. I may use Suzette, the Existential Stripper, again someday if my whim goes there. I drew heavily on New Orleans types, partly because I grew up there and because I think New Orleans has something to offer. I planned to write an essay on 'Why New Orleans Matters.' But it boils down to the fact that because it is an incomplete melting pot, it forces people living there to make some form of accomodation for each other. As a result, it has layers of several cultures there. Where else could you find Italian-surnamed people practicing some voodoo rites, or African-Americans speaking a dialect of French (Louisiana Creole), or the various forms in which Mardi Gras is celebrated? New Orleanians tend to be fairly tolerant of others' frailties. Laissez les bon temps rouler! In short, New Orleans is different from the Great Elsewhere. It may be a potential source of cultural renewal for the United States in the future. I really think that our regional differences should be viewed a strengths, rather than liabilities.
In the meantime, it is extremely entertaining to live there or to visit.
For some reason, the post I put up earlier in the morning does not come up in some peoples' list of new posts. If you would like to read "Where New Orleans Policemen Buy Their Shoes, click on older post.
As things go, it started innocently enough: St. Cletus's Parish Altar society was having its monthly social; with teacakes and wine in the Parish Hall when Crystal Badeaux sang that innocent little ditty from New Orleans folklore that has been around from time immemorial:
"All policemen have big feet;
Buy their shoes on Rampart Street."
Now the Altar Society was also colloquially know as the Parish Gossip Clearance Committee for a reason. And it just conveniently happened that the good, innocent priest Father Devereaux was absent; otherwise his presence would have cast some inhibitions on the dialogue that took place. Now some of the latest gossip had been pretty well plowed over: Missy Chauvin's daring new outfit that she wore on the 10 o'clock news, Pierre Jeansonne's drinking problem, Mimi Dupré's naughty weekend at Gulf Shores, the latest act of Suzette the Existential Stripper, and the antics of Crazy Chester threatening to run for political office. So they went back to some of the old standbys, such as speculation on the sex lives of single or separated members of the Parish. [I hope guys don't do this also.] Ousier Hébert observed about the parish's resident mystic: "Madeline the Prophetess has been rather subdued of late. Is she still seeing that nice young policeman, Officer Pete?"
Tante Bizou said, "But yes. They are a pair. But what brought that on?"
Ousier Hébert said, "It is what Crystal Badeaux said, about policemen having big feet."
Tante Bizou replied, "So......."
Ousier said, "Well, you know what they say about men with big feet! Maybe he has a quieting influence on our Madeline. We need to do some field research." Angelyne Periot said, "Oh, I hope it is true; Madeline is such a sweet girl!" There was a tinge of nostalgia in her words that was not lost on other members of the Altar Society. Finally, most of the gathering began to understand that Ousier was referring to the folk belief that certain male features correlated to the size of their feet. Still, there were a few of them who were slow on the uptake, and needed a detailed explanation. So they decided right then and there to make a little trip to the Café du Monde coffeehouse, where the local fuzz take their breaks. When they arrived en masse, they were pleased to see Officer Pete on a break with the Sergeant. They went up, one by one, and looked at Pete's and the Sergeant's feet. Finally, Ousier Hébert asked Officer Pete where he buys his shoes. Pete said, "Oh, around. Sometimes Macy's, sometimes Holmes, sometimes Penney's." After the ladies left, Pete turned to the Sergeant. "What was all that about?" The Sergeant said, "You don't want to know. Now brush the sugar powder off your uniform and we'll get back to work."
Warning: This topic might be found distasteful by some.
Scott Napper, a Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Saskatchewan, is in the process of determining whether the practice of mucophagy may have some benefits for the immune system.
Mucophagy sometimes follows rhinotillexomania. otherwise known as nose-picking, for some people. In more usual language, rarely among the Hamptons set, this is referred to as snot-eating or booger-eating. Research indicates that about seven out of ten people engage in nose-picking, and three out of ten subsequently consume the extracted mucus.
Anyway, the notion is that the deposits in the nostrils contain small amounts of pathogens; and consuming small doses of them by consuming boogers may actually have a beneficial effect on the immune system by exposing them to small, managable amounts of these pathogens. This is a kind of desensitization process.
His planned experiment is very straightforward: he plans to use two groups of volunteers: those who would eat their own boogers, and the other who would abstain from doing so.
I admit that I'm not that committed to science that I would serve as an experimental group subject!
It's obvious that snot gets no respect. To describe someone as snotty is perjorative, whether in the literal or the figurative sense.
Then we also have that ominous figure, the Boogerman or bogeyman, used by some adults to ensure children's compliant behavior. Does the Boogerman live in Boogertown, TN or Boogertown, NC? Does he engage in mucophagy? I am curious.
Can we expect someday that some health-conscious individual will propose Booger Supplements and have these sold in the homeopathic medicine stores? Silly goose -- after all, boogers are readly available! But homeopathy has widespread acceptance by the New Age roll-your-own health crowd despite no scientific support for its efficacy.
Just a minor rant from me: having worked briefly as a mixologist I was amazed at the number of surprisingly vulgar cocktail names that have proliferated since the concept of mixed drink libations has become accepted. Not just the coy ones, like the cutesy and revolting mix called 'Sex on the Beach,' or the 'Fuzzy Navel' or the 'Bosom Caresser," but out-and-out gross drink names! Just go to this site and type in some smutty word in the search: http://drinksmixer.com Here's an example of one that will not be named:
1 oz Chambord raspberry liqueur
2 oz Irish Cream 6 oz milk
Pour the chambord, irish cream, and milk or cream into a shaker with ice. Shake, strain and pour into a champagne saucer. Or, if you're lazy, serve it on the rocks.
Personally, I'd serve an ounce each of the two liqueurs on vanilla ice-cream. And lose the dreadful name! As a matter of fact, anyone who orders this by name deserves to have it poured over his misogynist head! Please be respectful to waitresses.
A moral holiday is a holiday from everyday conventions or morals. An occasion, a ritual, a time of year, or whatever when the many of the common rules and customs are willfully ignored and flouted. Obviously, this is very open to individual interpretations. "The universe is a system of which the individual members may relax their anxieties occasionally, in which the don’t-care mood is also right for men, and moral holidays in order... I fully believe in the legitimacy of taking moral holidays." -- William James Now William James, proper Bostonian and Harvard professor as he was, gave the example of taking a walk in the park when you could be working and feeling bad as an example of a moral holiday. Shall we say that he was a creature of his time, a pragmatist philosopher, or just someone devoid of imagination? Moral holidays are often correlated with actual holidays in which the person goes to a new place; one with more latitude as to personal conduct, perhaps. There's something inviting about those dives on the Redneck Riviera that come to mind, especially if the music is loud and the beer is flowing. Yes, it's true: several women have publicly removed their bras to be hung from the ceiling of the Florabama Lounge! And couples neck on the sand amid the dunes. And each year there is a mullet-tossing competition. New Orleans is, of course, the place with the wild Mardi Gras! And, yes, dressing in outlandish costumes is part of the scene. And light misconduct, even by people who would never, never think of doing so back home. Somehow, the crowds, the alcohol, the rowdyness, and the permissiveness make it somehow not a bad idea at the time. Moral holidays are a brief respite from the everyday standards of conduct, the fixed smile. It's a little time to be a little different. Years ago Las Vegas, after failing to promote itself as a family destination, successfully remarketed itself, using the slogan "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." This was accompanied by a series of commercials, one of which is shown below. Now it's totally uncertain why the women are wearing nearly identical outfits and go into the powder room to exchange wigs, but the looks they gave each other leave the viewer with the thought that they must be up to something not entirely above board! Could they have met two guys, and decided that they liked each other's better? It's pretty much up in the air as to what is going on, but somehow it's likely to involve something questionable. And, afterwards, a delicious memory to share!
Recently, our esteemed Secretary of State John Kerry described possible bombing by the U.S. as an intervention in Syria as being an "unbelieveably small, limited kind of effort." I must admit to skepticism here; but I'm skeptical about our possible intervention in Syria anyway and I'm no authority on things military. This is a revolutionary new idea in the exercise of foreign policy by other means, probably not covered in Clauswitz or even the Occupy Wall Street playbook. Could the Ketchup Man be on to something? Maybe the principle of 'less in more' extends to other things, too. It is a fact that the first kiss a guy gives a girl should be short and sweet, so that she is left with wanting more. And photographers should focus on the main subject, and avoid having too many extraneous elements in the frame. Burglars might try breaking into garages instead of houses, detached ones even better. And English majors should dash off a short paper instead of the extended paper the instructor specified. Actually, this principle does work with theses and dissertations. One of the problems a graduate student has is to get her thesis committee to read her's. Yes, it's a known fact that in order to get a graduate degree, a girl has to show her thesis to a committee. But that committee will tend to be more prompt in reading one if it's only 60 or 70 pages, as opposed to a 350-page doorstop! That's a psychology major knowing human nature! Sometimes the attainment of the 'less in more' principle is ambiguous. It it better to wear a more demure bikini or a string bikini? [I exclude from consideration the vulgar microbikini as suitable only for a strip club.] And what should we say about homeopathic beer? Say no to Bud Lite? Anyway, after digressing all over the place, it seems that John Kerry's concept has some properties in common with Samuel Hahnemann's theory of homeopathy: small quantities of substance that evokes mild symptoms of a disease in healthy people will cure similar symptoms in sick people. Homeopathic remedies, strictly interpreted, are developed by repeatedly diluting the substance in question with distilled water of alcohol, often until there is none of the original molecules that caused the symptoms. So how could this homeopathic use of military power be used? 1. John Kerry himself could shake his finger at Assad for being a bad boy. 2. Our ranking general could scowl at the misbehaving Syrians. 3. Rush Limbaugh's flatulence could be unleashed for his strike potential; and be deployed to moon the Syrians? Or would this be considered another Weapon of Mass destruction? Would the use of Roseanne Barr be more in the order of "an unbelieveably small, limited kind of effort," or should we enlist someone with less a impressive butt? 4. Elvis's suggestion could be implemented: send an old airplane to drop firecrackers on the misbehaving Syrians. This would at least upset every dog in Damascus. 5. The U.N. passing a resolution forbidding all of its members from playing Syria in the World Cup soccer. 6. Finally, President Obama, having previously been professionally coached and having had practice, could use his "I'm not impressed" look:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Okay, guys: Who seems sexier to you: the quirky Zooey Deschsanel or the in-your-face Miley Cyrus? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A few years back, there were only two
stores in Catahoula. Boudreaux owned one, and of course, Thibodeaux owned the
other one. Boudreaux was very successful, sold all kinds of merchandise, and
made loads of money. Thibodeaux, on the other hand, hardly ever had any
customers, and just sold enough to keep his store open. Day after day, Thibodeaux would watch as
people went into Boudreaux's store, and leave with all kind of stuff they had
bought. Thibodeaux just had to find out what Boudreaux's secret was. He walked
across to see Boudreaux, and asked him, "Boudreaux, we got de only two stores in
town. But you have all de customers, sell all kinds of stuff, and makin' tons of
money. I ain't got no customers, I don't hardly sell nuttin', and I ain't makin'
no money. What's your secret?" Boudreaux tells him, "Mais, Thibodeaux, my
fren, you gots to push de products." Thibodeaux asks, "What you mean, 'Push de
products?' " Boudreaux tells him as he spots Ms. Hebert walk in to the store,
"Watch, an' I'll show you." He walks over to her and says, "Mais, a very good
morning to you, Ms. Hebert, what I can do for you on dis fine day?" Ms. Hebert
says, "Mais hello dere Mr. Boudreaux. I'm jus as fine as fine can be. You got
some of dat grass seed?" Boudreaux says, "Mais, sure, I got plenty of dem
seed." He puts the seed on the counter and asks, "What you gonna do wid dat
seed, Ms. Hebert?" "Well, you know my front yard is all dirt, and I'm tired of
all de dust, so I'm gonna plant me some grass." Boudreaux says, "Well if you
gonna plant dem seed, you gonna need a hose and a sprinkler to water dem seed."
Ms. Hebert says, "You know, you right. You better give me dat too." Boudreaux
says, "And you know, you should get some fertilizer to make dem seed grow." Ms.
Hebert says, "Mais, O.K." Boudreaux then says, "Ms. Hebert, you
know, when dat grass starts growin' all green and tall, you gonna have to cut
it. You gonna need a lawn mower, too." Thibodeaux's almost pee'd in his pants as
she tells Boudreaux to sell her a lawn mower too. As Ms. Hebert leaves with all
her stuff, Boudreaux tells Thibodeaux, "See what I mean, Thib? She come in here
for a fifty cents pack of seeds, and left wid five hundred dollars of stuff.
Dats what I mean 'Push de product' ." Thibodeaux goes back to his store mumbling
to himself, "Push de product. Push de product." While he is waiting, he sees
about ten more people walk into Boudreaux's store, and come out with all kinds
of stuff. Finally, Mrs. Broussard comes into his store, and Thibodeaux thinks to
himself, "Push de product." He says, "Mais, good morning, Mrs. Broussard. How
are you on dis fine day?" She replies, "Well, I'm not doin' too good today. I
started my 'monthlies' today, and I need some of dem Tampons. You got some?" Thibodeaux, still thinking, "Push de
product", runs to the back of the store, comes back with the Tampons, and says,
Mrs, Broussard, you gonna need a lawn mower to go wid dem Tampons?" She asks,
"What you mean I'm gonna need a lawn mower?" Thibodeaux says, "Mais, I figure a woman
in your condition can't do no foolin' around, so you might as well mow de grass!"
One of those sporadic topics that comes up in the upbringing and education of children centers around what are proper activities for children to engage in in their playtime. This is especially the case with girls. Recently, an article in Atlanticprovided a typology of three types of girls that pre-adolescent girls are encouraged to be: "graceful girls" ("girly girls"), "aggressive girls," and "pink warrior girls." Basically, the graceful girls were described to be encouraged to be very feminine, and to pursue activities like ballet classes. Aggressive girls were encouraged to be edgy and forceful, to compete with boys, to de-emphasize feminine qualities, to develop cutthroat and aggressive, and to go out for soccer. And pink warrior girls were encouraged to be nonphysically competititve, but to be the equal of boys. Like in pursuing chess or other competitive outlets. Like most typologies, these were overframed or oversimplified. In fact, very few young girls' experiences in parental encouragement fall into one category only. For example, I was in many ways the typical tomboy turned "girly girl," maybe being the last-born was part of it. But I also played softball for a while (not well) and did track. I found, by the way, that the boys in track were most encouraging to girls. Kind of like geeks: they're so amazed that a girl would be around that they bend over backwards to encourage her. Another area of parental angst is what types of toys children play with. Some parents (and schools) get troubled when children play with gun-like toys (even super soakers). It's as if these eight-year-olds will grow up to exterminate a whole passel of Native Americans or druglords or French waiters or Yankees or clowns. Hmmm . . . . clowns? But the old standby, the Barbie doll, has also attracted official irritation. Let's face it: Barbie's figure is totally supernormal. Only women with improbable technical augmentation can compare. And Barbie is a quintessinal material girl! Nothing spiritual about Barbie. They even cavil about Barbie's prediliction for color schemes: heavy on the pink and mauve. There was even more umbrage with the old Bratz dolls. Somehow, nervous adults saw them as little hookerettes. Or maybe it was the name -- parents find it convienent to have well-behaved children and want to do nothing to cause otherwise. I think there's an overconcern for the effect that these activities have on children. Barring dangerous pursuits, most of us come out of childhood okay. And parental pressure can abridge the scope and enjoyment of children's pursuits. Surely, being a tiger mom or a helicopter parent is no fun for either parent or child. Sometimes time spend doing nothing is time well-spent. And it's nice to be able to sample a variety of possibilities without a heavy adult agenda being behind that. Isn't schooling enough?
Unlike most in her specialized field, Mistress Wanda the Dominatrix tries to be continually imaginative in her search for exotic kinks. After all, even people into Bondage and Submission get jaded after a while, and it's good to perk up customer interest. She found that the old standby props, black leather, rubber costumes, or Nazi regalia, began to be less appealing after a while. The trade magazines came up with very little in the way of innnovativeness. Even costumes with the naughty schoolteacher with her ruler or the Wall Street executive became passé.
So, she decided on a little variation on the classical theme. How about a revival of the Fascist kink from Mussolini's day? It was surprisingly hard to find the armbands with the fascist symbols (internet neopuritanism being what it is), but a little artwork produced something workable:
Being an innovator, Wanda wore it on her cat suit for one of her favorite regular customers and styled herself Elle Duchess.* The poor man, he was startled. He asked Wanda,
"Why are you wearing that emblem that was on old dimes?"
Oh, damn! There was a time when the Good Old U.S.A. has fasces on their dimes, back when they were silver. Sometime later they thought they'd switch feces for fasces by using whatever alloy they're made of now.**
Another customer burst into laughter upon seeing the Mussolini emblems. Clearly, her history-challenged customer base just wouldn't get it.
So she tried a different tack: dressing like a pizza delivery person. Somehow, she touched an atavistic nerve, and this costume became one of the requested ones! Wanda was tipped well.
Let's face it: Some places have a surer reputation for weirdness than others. Novelists Carl Hiaasen and Dave Berry have an easy job in finding credible material for bizarre stories set in Florida than many other writers electing settings in other localities. This also helps television's Burn Notice; but there's a lot of bikinied eye candy to attract male viewers as well as the wry humor. Florida has it's own Fark.com tag; and who can forget the hanging chads of 2000? Other states make a brave attempt: New York with its brashness and rudeness, California in general, Seattle with its coffee mania, and Nevada, which would be weird even without Area 51. [I suspect that the real weirdness is in Area 50; but this is some kind of government plot to hide it.] Yes, South Carolina has South of the Border, a non-p.c. stopping point for Northern tourists on their migratory ways to Florida. And Louisiana has the Mardi Gras, with the inducement of female tourists flashing their boobs for gaudy Mardi Gras beads. It's a tame dissoluteness from their otherwise existence of oppressive rectitude. But some places suck with dullness. Redneck jokes aside, what do people think of with Mississippi? Well, gambling casinos at Gulfport or Tunica that exact a regressive tax on the less prosperous and probability-challenged visitors. At least Alabama has the Big Naked Dude (Vulcan) in Birmingham, mooning nearby Shelby County and their second-best mall. But poor Georgia manages to be dull. Sure, there's Hotlanta [sic], with its dismal airport and myriad Peachtree streets. And a faux Alpine village called Helen. Somehow, it's hard to work up an appetite for seeing Georgians in lederhosen or drindl. However, in Elbert County, GA there's the Georgia_Guidestones. This 19-foot monument is composed of four slabs. Each side of a slab has these ten guidelines or principles in one of eight major languages:
1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature. 2. Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity. 3. Unite humanity with a living new language. 4. Rule passion — faith — tradition — and all things with tempered reason. 5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts. 6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court. 7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials. 8. Balance personal rights with social duties. 9. Prize truth — beauty — love — seeking harmony with the infinite. 10. Be not a cancer on the earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature. This monument, or whatever it is, has been around for over 30 years. Who produced it, why it was placed in an out-of-the-way location, and numerous other questions are unanswered. I like the one about petty laws and useless officials. But how can that be brought about? The same with many other of these guidelines; they sound great on first reading. There's a little pie in the sky present, erected by some dreamer. God knows there have been attempts at universal languages, like Esperanto. If I learned it, could I eventually be thought to speak it like a native? Could these Georgia Guidestones simply be a cosmic joke erected by some wealthy anonymous person to provide numerous Georgians with puzzlement? Some think already that they figured it out: it's Satanic, in some way. Well, Old Nick can work in odd ways too. It's open to speculation regarding conspiracy theories too, such as the New World Order and the Rosicrucians. Or it could be some cosmic humbug. But I'm inclined to see serious intent with this monument. After all, it did not include an eleventh principle: 11. How 'bout them Dawgs?
Back in 2001, the North American Vexillogical Association asked its membership to rate the U.S. state flags, the Canadian province flags, and flags of the U.S. territories. The average ratings the members gave the various flags resulted in the top ten flags being those of New Mexico, Texas, Quebec, Maryland, Alaska, Arizona, Puerto Rico, District of Columbia, the Marshall Islands, and South Carolina.
The ten worst flags were New Hampshire, Idaho, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Minnesota, South Dakota, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, and Georgia. Actually, the NAVA membership tended to downgrade any state flag that incorporated the state seal on a monochromatic background. A good flag design should be simple, with clear colors, and not too many elements. State emblems make them hard to distinguish. They should be identifiable at a glance. One commentator's opinion, is one that a good design can be identified at a glance (even in a stiff breeze!) and be easy for people to sketch. I can add a new element: Can the state flag be incorporated into a swimsuit? At present, there seems to be only two states' flags that are so utilized: Texas and Maryland. (Thanks to Heidi for the information.)
A recurrent problem of this type of item is, quite frankly, the design limitations emanating from the flags themselves. Most seem to incorporate the state seal, and the flag design is hardly simple. And seriously dull.
In my opinion, the best potential swimsuit ones are for states with simple, straightforward flags: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Tennessee, New Mexico, and Texas*. Alabama uses a dull, red-x design that could work, but provides little interest. Arizona has that really neat sun, and that could work, partcularly on the bikini bottom!. The neat anchors on Rhode Island's could serve for one cup of a bikini top, as could the three stars in the circle that appears on Tennessee's.
In my opinion, the most replicable pattern for bikini-makers is that of New Mexico's state flag. Imagine a yellow bikini with the stylized sun one one or both cups of the bra!
I realize that subtlety is not the long suit of many guys. But for those who wonder, this is not an age-related thing; you can manage to look like or act like a douche whether you're 18 or 58! So let me count the ways of exhibiting those tell-tale signs. And, of course, for your own purposes, you might wish to come out of the closet as a douche-in-training, or a full-fledged weirdo. 1. Popped collars are a possible sign. Not bad; but needs some supporting evidence. Having more than one popped collar drives home the point. 2. Tattoos, especially visible when you are wearing conventional clothing. Neck tattoos lend an especially ominous appearance. And, for God's sake, teardrop tattoos, whether earned through homicides or not, are a sure turn-off. 3. T-shirts with lewd or vulgar messages. Hey, we get the point: you have a lot of undifferentiated hostility that must come out and we're targets of opportunity. 4. Calling people "dudes." Or using expressions like, "Bros before hos." 5. Penis substitute rides. Seriously, is automotive showing off really for you? 6. Wearing hats or helmets with alcohol dispensers built in. 7. Cargo pants. 8. Multi-hued golfing ensembles. 9. Having muffler cut-outs and other "notice me" features on your wheels. 10. I have a bias against guys (and ladies) who attend fall football games while being bare-chested despite thermal implausibility, and having their faces and chests painted in team spirit colors. 11. Using a cell phone in a restaurant or theatre for non-emergency purposes. 12. Having a Jersey Shore tan, whether from a tanning booth or from spray-on. 13. And having unkempt, greasy hair. 14. When parking your vehicle, occupying two or even three parking spaces. 15. But, mainly, it's attitude. That entitled, "I'm so special that the rules don't apply to me" attitude. 16. Special note: if your actions merit your being described as "acting like a male reproductive organ," then you are truly being douchy!