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Bad Word Pairs #027

“Bean Curd”

Someone on the internet asked the question: “What is bean curd?” Which I thought was a good question indeed.

The answer, informs us: “To make bean curd, a cook curdles soy milk and presses the resulting soybean curds into molds to firm up.”

Mmm. Tasty. Bean curd is more commonly known simply as tofu. Those who know me, know my issues with tofu, and tofurkey, and soy milk, and rice dream, and vegetarian marketing in general. Bean curd, on the other hand, simply suffers from sounding as gross as its preparation.


Bad Word Pairs #026

“New Age”

Wikipedia defines New Age music as “peaceful music of various styles that is intended to help people feel good while listening.” I define it as “music your friends will make fun of you for liking, but your parents will admire you for liking.”

How do you define it? I guess the issue here is the polarizing connotation with New Age nowadays. There’s really no middle ground. You either love it or hate it. It’s kind of like World Music I guess? Though that just seems like international New Age.

Performers like Yanni get lumped in with musicians like Brian Eno, and it makes it hard to avoid contact, since I loathe one, and love the other (guess which). In any case, New Age is further proof why labels always make it harder to get underneath, to the good bits.

Bad Word Pairs #025

“Pulled Pork”

I know, I know. You’re saying to yourself: “How dare he slander such a delicious treat?” Well the deliciousness itself only heightens my disdain. While I love a couple carnitas tacos on occasion, I simply can’t shake the brutish imagery of pulled pork.

Pork as a word has always been suspect in my book to begin with, especially when you have such a heavenly term like “bacon” coming from the same animal. But pulled pork, what the heck are they pulling on?

Okay, I admit, I understand the concept of slow-roasting the meat until it’s so tender it can be pulled off the bone into delectable strands of yumminess, but could we have found another term? The Italians call it porchetta, and that sounds just about as delicious as bacon.

Mmm. Pulled pork. Mmmmmmmmm.

Bad Word Pairs #024

“Gastric Bypass”

It’s sort of like the grossest highway bypass you could imagine, only it involves shrinking the size of your stomach, then rerouting it to avoid the first part of your small intestines. Nothing is more disgusting to me than guts, and the idea of having a surgery like this is equally nauseating to imagine.

I don’t want to slander those who have undergone this procedure, nor do I deny the viability of such an operation for those who cannot bring their weight under control. But that does not blunt the impact of the images conjured in my obsessive mind when considering the notion of gastric bypass surgery.


Bad Word Pairs #023

“Corporate Bailout”

When did the hard work of millions of Americans became the piggy bank from which poorly managed corporations drew from? I’ll never know the answer, and yet I’ve never felt so powerless as a citizen of this great country.

Ignoring the $700 billion in taxpayer dollars already approved, our government has also given the thumbs-up to an $85 billion bailout for insurance company AIG, as well as an estimated $300 billion for Citigroup. Now the auto industry is flashing Uncle Sam their puppy-dog eyes and asking for $34 billion in short-term loans and investments.

Aww, how cute, the big empirical corporations can’t make their margins, and now they need their fair-but-firm uncle to bail them out. I’m reminded of a rich kid in the Hamptons who blew all his money on mojitos for his buddies and crashed the Ferrari into a tree, then sank the yacht trying to get home, and now he needs to borrow a couple grand from mommy and daddy to pay for his girlfriend’s prom dress.

Give me a break Washington, can we let these private sector companies go bankrupt and reform on their own? No point in heaving your hope diamond onto the sinking Titanic. Let it sink, so we can remember how great it was supposed to be, and build another one even better.

Bad Word Pairs #022

“Happy Holidays” (repost)

I’ve debated this issue with friends and family alike. I think we are, as Americans, becoming a homogenized brand of generic culture conformists. And what I mean by that is clearly depicted in the term “Happy Holidays.”

Somewhere in the past decade, we’ve been told that it is bad to acknowledge religious beliefs in social settings (just give it time, and eventually “In God We Trust” will disappear from our currency, too).

Apparently Merry Christmas is too exclusive a phrase, as it doesn’t account for Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, or Ramadan, or the myriad other holidays out there, celebrated around the world and here in the USA.

Phooey, I say. If you celebrate Christmas, by all means wish your fellow patrons a Merry Christmas. If you’re too lazy to figure out what your friend celebrates and think a Happy Holidays card is a safe bet, shame on you.

And for the families out there who might somehow be offended by this gesture of holiday cheer, simply reply with a Happy Hanukkah (or whichever holiday it is that you celebrate) and share a chuckle with a stranger. Who knows, maybe you’ll even have enlightened them to a new holiday.

And to the rest of you, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Bad Word Pairs #021

“Wicker Furniture”

I am a believer in the luxury of comfort. Many do not have this luxury, and so for those of us who do enjoy it, we ought to be grateful. That is why, whether it be a sofa, a chair, even a love-seat, furniture should NOT give you splinters.

Which is what wicker furniture, especially well-worn, heavily used wicker furniture, runs the risk of doing. When I’m watching a TV show and reach over for that bowl of popcorn, I don’t want to be nervous about dragging my arm across the wicker arm and pulling hairs from my flesh.

I also just dislike the creak of wicker when moving or leaning whilst seated. It’s like nails on a chalkboard for me.

UPDATE: This, I just realized, is my 300th post. Hooray for me!

Bad Word Pairs #020

“Candy Corn”

I know it’s Halloween and I hate to be a miser on such a whimsically haunted day, but I have a bone to pick with a popular fall product. Candy Corn, how do you pretend to call yourself a candy, when all you really are is a three-layered piece of wax with some sugar mixed in.

Sure you might look delicious while being pumped out of the machines in your factory (another shameless Unwrapped plug here), but other than giving the appearance of Autumn in a glass bowl on a kitchen table, you are nothing short of gross to this grown-up’s taste buds.

(Confession: I used to like candy corn, but that was when I was twelve, and had no clue about the dozen or so fillings and root canals I was later to undergo. Damn you candy corn!!)

Bad Word Pairs #019

“Troubled Assets”

By now we are all aware of the $700 billion bailout signed into law by the government. But I’m not sure many (including myself until recently) really understand how much money that is. With $700 billion you could send a stimulus check to every single American over the age of 18 for $3.5 million.

The reason for this bailout is to buy up the “troubled assets” now left by the greedy assholes on Wall Street who treated the American Dream like the hottest stock on the market . . . and lost once they noticed that house prices couldn’t sky rocket forever. And now they’re nationalizing their losses, and asking the American people to pay it back with their tax dollars, the same Americans they used to get into their little mess in the first place.

Give me a break with these “troubled assets.” It makes me nauseous just thinking about them. It’s hard to scale back the size of government when the free market is knocking on its door to stop the greed-mongers from throwing our country into a full on depression.

Bad Word Pairs #018

“Fortune Cookie”

It’s a simple concept really. First, you type a ridiculous “fortune” on a sheet of paper, making sure to keep the fortune generic and written with poor grammar (some spots will even print lucky numbers on the back-side: bonus).

Then, stuff the paper inside a tortellini shaped “cookie” made of glazed cardboard.

After that, enclose the cardboard treat inside a plastic wrapper and stuff four of them in the bottom of your customer’s five pound carry-out bag.