Your Requests: Blogged, Part I

I recently asked my friends for suggestions for writing topics, not because I’m lazy, but because divining stuff to talk about from the æther is a lot harder for me than for other people. I’m rubbish at small talk. Anyway, I got one request from one friend, and fourteen from another, who was apparently bored while waiting in line at a pizza shop. If I don’t answer each and every one of these to some extent, how can I be trusted to take requests ever again? Therefore, below is at least 100 words on each topic given to me.

“Can you clarify my childhood confusion as to why Peter Pan was a woman in the 1960 film?”

The 1960 movie Peter Pan was adapted from the 1954 stage musical of the same name. Mary Martin was cast as the eponymous character in the stage production, and reprised the role for the film. Part of the reason she was cast was her voice. She sang as an alto, which, to keep you reading and off Wikipedia, means that she sang at the lower end of the female vocal range and the high end of the male vocal range. As you may know, Peter Pan is still supposed to be a boy because he hails from Never Never Land, where people never grow old. Except for Captain Hook, apparently. Maybe only jerks grow old there. Who knows? That wasn’t part of the prompt, anyway. The boy they would have had to find to play Peter would have needed to be a scrotum hair’s width away from puberty, and good luck finding one whose voice wouldn’t crack during the performance. Better to lop off a lady’s hair and tape her chest. Kind of a reverse Buffalo Bill. It puts the pixie dust on its skin.

“Ear infections”

Ear infections are the worst, but it really depends on what kind you mean. The super gross ones are the ones that stem from a blocked wax pore or some other blemish inside the ear, usually due to poor hygiene. Seriously, people are far less capable of not being nasty than you might think. The Internet has taught me this. With these kinds of ear infections, if caught early, they end up being more like hard-to-get-to zits, and can be treated similarly. Yeah, they’re gross because they ooze nasty stuff, but that’s usually the worst of it. The super awful ones, though, are the ones that are chronic, like swimmer’s ear. I used to get swimmer’s ear a lot, and had to stop competitive swimming because of it. Generally, it’s painful and there’s swelling, but all of it happens near the eardrum, so if left unattended, it can become excruciatingly painful and can even leave you deaf. Don’t be nasty, kids.

“Garlic”

Garlic is a wonderful food. In the summer of 2001, I was traveling with my mother up through the middle of France, and we stopped outside the town of Vézelay for the night. We had dinner at a restaurant run by a Canadian woman who was heroically patient as I mangled the French language. While we ate on the patio outside, we heard a repeated slapping sound and saw a child exclaim and point. The child was, of course, indicating our dinner theater for the evening: two dogs having sex in the back yard of a nearby house. There was a lot of garlic in the gazpacho, as I remember.

“Homo erects”

Dude, I’m going to have to assume you meant Homo erectus. On a side note, I thought about inserting a snarky image here, maybe a big, throbbing black censor bar. On a secondary side note, Google now knows that I may in the future ask Image Search to grab pictures of “censored boners” for me. On a third, slightly distressing note, there were actually very few censored boners in the aforementioned search–just a lot of real boners and horrifying anime. So you’re welcome. Homo erectus, meaning “upright man” was the first bipedal model of our current incarnation, a beta test of sorts. Once the whole two-legged thing worked out, we were ready for shoes. And that’s how we got Air Jordans.

“Yolo”

Really? Sigh.

YOLO is an acronym that means “you only live once.” It was apparently invented by someone who needed to be reminded. Also, reincarnation was certainly not on anyone’s mind during the brainstorm that birthed this meme. It was made super popular when Drake featured it in his song “The Motto.” From there, it took on a life of its own and became an excuse for stupid and reckless behavior, particularly by teenagers. I once heard a Harvard student shout, “Yolo!” before dashing across an empty side street at eleven o’clock at night. Right around that time, pretty much everyone had had it with the phrase, and all who uttered it were whipped through the streets. Ok, maybe not. Let’s call it magical realism and move on.

“Pizza”

Pizza is one of the most versatile foods available. Let’s do a little math here. Seven styles: thin, thick, thin with thick bubbly outside, deep dish, New York style, rectangle pan style, and cheese-filled crust. Six bases: puttanesca, red sauce, white (alfredo), pesto, garlic and olive oil, and plain. I’m not going to list the ever-growing list of toppings, but let’s play conservative and call it thirty. I used to study math pretty intensively, but most of that skill had been converted to skill with the English language. Still, I’m fairly certain the resulting number of possibilities is fairly close to a metric crap ton–technically speaking, of course. Seriously, if there are any math people out there, please let me know how you calculate this. I started screwing about with factorials, and ended up with something close to a gazillion. I feel like I should have divided by something at some point.

Anyway, point is: you can have it your way.

“Hot pockets”

This, like YOLO, is another one I’d rather avoid. Not that it’s a stupid topic; there’s a lot to be said about Hot Pockets. It’s just that Jim Gaffigan has said everything about them that needs to be said. And if you don’t know who he is or what he’s said about Hot Pockets, you have about a half hour of tear-jerking silliness awaiting you. And in a way, I’m glad that someone with the comedic skill of Gaffigan jumped on that grenade. To do a Hot Pockets joke badly would be a mortal sin … something about pride, I think.

“Pig anus”

I am going to cop to this one. I know nothing about pig anus. I thought I’d seen an episode of Bizarre Foods where Andrew Zimmern ate pig anus, but my Google search for “andrew zimmern anus” was not at all helpful. It is widely known that the man travels the world and eats (literally) dicks, and in one episode eats pig uterus, but no information on his relationship with pig anus is readily available. Recently, there was a rumor floating around on the net that many of the calamari rings used in fried calamari were, in fact, pig anus. Justification for this rumor was that calamari is expensive and rare, and pig anus is neither. Trouble is, if you’ve ever had tripe, you’ll know that they never really get the taste of intestine out of intestine. The same is likely to be true of anus. No amount of frying would get the smell of ass out of an asshole.

I’m out of time for the night.

End of Part I. Continued in Part II tomorrow.

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One comment

  1. I am not a math person, but I had too much time on my hands (read: did not want to do other things I was supposed to be doing) and filled some paper and then some spreadsheets with a series of numbers and drawings that probably made me seem crazy in their vigor and lack of sophistication. Then I looked up how to get the answer online for the toppings part and worked the rest out.

    For the toppings, the answer is 2 raised to the power of 30 (I went to factorials first as well, but that spiraled out of control). This number, 1,073,741,824, is then multiplied by 42, which is both the answer to life, the universe, and everything, and the answer to the number of combinations of crust and sauce. Thus the possible number of topping, sauce, and crust combinations (assuming that one sauce and one crust must be present, but that any topping may or may not be present) is 45,097,156,608.

    If we figure that each pizza has eight slices and that your lifespan is 75 years, if you wanted to eat just one slice of every possible pizza combination, you would have to eat almost 206,000 whole pizzas every single day of your life.

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