Re: I don't give a damn about my bad reputation

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Awesome post.

I don't know that I had a bad attitude as a child, but I definitely learned the value of "can't we negotiate about this" or, "I want more information before I agree to anything" as a stalling tactic.

Arguably my parents were more patient with those requests than they should have been but there's a reason why they worked -- I understand why me parents were reluctant to quash their small child who was being almost reasonable.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 1:44 PM
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Newt's prone to lawyering, to an obnoxious extent. I'm pretty tolerant of it, but do point it out to him as something that's going to piss people off -- that he should recognize what he's doing and quit it when it's counterproductive with a specific audience.

This is not proving to be very effective, but I'm hoping the intellectual analysis clicks in for him sometime soon.

So much of 'having a bad attitude' is your face, though. People have always asked me if I was angry when I really wasn't, and now that I see my eyebrows wandering around on a ten-year-old, I know why. The kid looks like a portable thundercloud when he's thwarted.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 1:49 PM
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I do tell him "Stop arguing about this or I'll have you killed," fairly frequently. This may not be ideal parenting.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 1:51 PM
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This may not be ideal parenting.

You have to follow through, or he'll never take you seriously again.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 1:53 PM
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3: It's only non-ideal if he no longer takes it seriously and continues to argue.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 1:54 PM
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My 5-year-old has somehow become convinced that everything is open to negotiation. And I do mean everything, including things that clearly aren't, like wailing away on his little brother. It can get very tiresome. I mean, if you want to beat your brother, you'll need to negotiate with him directly. I have no ability to consent to that.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 1:54 PM
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4, 5: I'm beginning to think I might as well just do my job.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 1:55 PM
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I think I was mostly a pretty boringly good kid, but my junior high school gave out attitude/effort grades as well as real grades and it was definitely a point of pride to get the former as low as possible without sacrificing the latter.


Posted by: Osgood Yousbad | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 2:00 PM
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I wonder how many people in the United States can credibly threaten to "have someone killed" in the sense of being easily able to arrange for someone else to carry out a murder. Probably not more than 500 or so, right?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 2:02 PM
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Way more than that, given that I went to high school with two of them.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 2:03 PM
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I backtalked in good faith, from a problem-solving attitude.

I don't actually think it is tangential -- even good-faith backtalk is, I think, generally an expression of a 'bad attitude'. That is, it's a kid who's either not picking up the signals that the authority figure the kid is confronting is done with negotiation, or is picking them up but refusing to comply. I'm pretty negotiation-friendly, so haggling with me about stuff isn't backtalk until I'm done haggling, at which point it is. Sally's pretty good at picking that up, at which point she smiles dreamily, drifts off, and does whatever she was going to do anyway.

Newt, on the other hand, although I'm sure he's consciously thinking of it as good-faith negotiation, ignores even fairly explict signals that the negotiation is over. (Which is how I got to "I'm going to have you killed" as a really, really explicit signal that the negotiation is over.) That ignoring or not perceiving ordinary conversational signals to drop it already is one of the things that constitutes a 'bad attitude'. (Not, of course, that I generally disapprove of people who have bad attitudes. Usually I like them just fine.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 2:03 PM
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I was argumentative and tantrum-prone*, and I'm now getting that back in spades from my 4-year-old daughter in a way that I never have from either of her older brothers. Some days she is seriously teetering on the edge of being an abused child. Growing up, I absorbed some major-league beatings from my father but I'm finding myself becoming ever more sympathetic to his plight.

*I was very well-behaved in public, but a terror at home.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 2:03 PM
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I went to Montessori until high school, so Heebie's expectation was my experience. I remember being kind of bratty there at times, but it was dealt with pretty well.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 2:04 PM
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even good-faith backtalk is, I think, generally an expression of a 'bad attitude'.

From the POV of the kid, though, there's a huge difference between good-faith problem-solving and fuck-you-grumpasaurus mode.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 2:05 PM
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I was an unctuous little charmer, until I failed to ever do any homework.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 2:06 PM
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there's a huge difference between good-faith problem-solving

Sorta-kinda. But a kid with a laserlike focus on the idea that they can talk their way to their preferred solution so long as no one shuts them down, and who resists normal 'being shut down' by authority figures, is a rude and badly behaved child even if they're thinking of it as problem-solving rather than hostility. If taken to extremes, of course -- this is the sort of behavior that you can do as much as you like of, as long as you're good enough at it not to annoy people.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 2:10 PM
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I always felt like the thing that made people have a "good attitude" was lack of integrity. If you're willing to say that you agree to something that you do not actually agree with and don't intend on following as soon as you can get away with it, then it's easy to have a "good attitude." It's not like adults are prone to telling kids "well we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one, and since I'm legally responsible for you you have to follow my rules or be punished" they actually want you to agree that they're right.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 2:11 PM
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ne of my friends will enforce consequences if the kid is being too borderline to have explicitly broken any rules, but is definitely being a butthead.

Isn't this in conflict with the various parenting books that say that you're supposed to set clear rules and not try and strongly enforce vague principles, to avoid making the kid anxious and confused? (Not that anyone should put too much stock in parenting books).

It's not like adults are prone to telling kids "well we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one, and since I'm legally responsible for you you have to follow my rules or be punished"

I feel like I'm disagreeing unpleasantly and totally needlessly with UPETGI all the time, which I really don't mean to do, but I have to say I 100% honestly say stuff like this to my kid all the time.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 2:15 PM
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If you're willing to say that you agree to something that you do not actually agree with and don't intend on following as soon as you can get away with it, then it's easy to have a "good attitude."

This is why my high school grades were so much better than my sister's, despite not actually doing any more work. And I did always kind of admire her integrity in that regard.

But it is possible to minimize confrontation without abandoning all vestiges of integrity, and it's a valuable skill that children should be taught.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 2:15 PM
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Well in the interest of agreeing, let me just say that I think you're right to say things like that. In my experience it wasn't particularly common.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 2:16 PM
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I feel like I'm disagreeing unpleasantly and totally needlessly with UPETGI all the time, which I really don't mean to do, but I have to say I 100% honestly say stuff like this to my kid all the time.

Aside from the disagreeing with Unfoggetarian all the time bit of this, I do too. "Your mind and soul are your own. Your body is going to take the recycling downstairs and sort it."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 2:17 PM
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"Your mind and soul are your own. Your body is going to take the recycling downstairs and sort it."

Well, there's actually three forms of conflict: the actually breaking a rule, the mental disagreement, and then just being a total pill about it. You can also say to a kid, "You're free to think I'm wrong, but if you want to pout and carry on, take it somewhere else."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 2:23 PM
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9: Way, way more than 500. I suspect that a significant number of big-city cops could credibly threaten either to kill someone or to have someone killed. Murder for hire: it's not just for mobsters anymore!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 2:32 PM
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I first got in trouble with the Law in 4th grade. After a while I learned how to not get caught and snarl an everyday unctuous obeisance, but nobody trusted me, like on first sight, and most expected me to die in jail. I studied Eddie Haskell, but considered him incompetent.
In my crowd of petty criminals, I was the one appointed to deal with public authority figures and neighbors. My "friends" never teased or joked with me, and it wasn't because I would cry.

My dogs are frightened or me, but never angry at me. I shoulda been a lawyer.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 2:36 PM
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But a kid with a laserlike focus on the idea that they can talk their way to their preferred solution so long as no one shuts them down, and who resists normal 'being shut down' by authority figures, is a rude and badly behaved child even if they're thinking of it as problem-solving rather than hostility.

Don't talk bad about PK!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 2:39 PM
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I'm sure he's charming. Newt's pretty charming even though I'm badmouthing him in this thread.

It's a class of rudeness that kids mostly grow out of as they get more tuned in to social signals -- you just need to make sure they're getting those signals.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 2:43 PM
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Nietzsche 101:Every fucking body is born to rule.

I honestly don't understand how societies are possible.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 2:43 PM
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I think I was pretty well-behaved both to my parents and at school. On the other hand, I took no shit from teachers who were dicks. I expect if I hadn't been an academic high achiever that wouldn't have flown, but since I was, and was generally good natured, I largely got away with it. Things I did and got away with, though: telling the deputy head of the high school to fuck off, to his face, in front of a lot of people; dragging some prick over a desk in 5th year history class and then headbutting him; beating the shit out of some kid in 3rd year (I had to be dragged off him by some PE teachers), and then _he_ got punished for it*, etc.,etc.

My parents weren't authoritarian, or bad-tempered, but took a fairly hard-line on fuck-ups, viz that they were your own stupid fault, and they weren't going to judge, but tough shit if you can't fix it for yourself. That worked for me. Liking your parents goes a long way.

* totally his fault, he did start it.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 2:50 PM
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People have always asked me if I was angry when I really wasn't, and now that I see my eyebrows wandering around on a ten-year-old, I know why.

Are you sure those aren't leeches or caterpillars?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 3:17 PM
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Mildly Beck's style. That last made my parents sound harsh, which they weren't at all. Mellow and easy-going, on the whole, and had lots of good sensible caring advice, but not inclined to bail out or cut slack when stupid choices came back to haunt me. Drinking underage? Fine. Hangover or trouble with law? Shouldn't have been drinking, then.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 3:18 PM
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Are you sure those aren't... caterpillars?

There has been confusion on this point, yes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 3:20 PM
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Mara and I are having an ongoing disagreement about whether she likes "sprinklers" on her (hypothetical) ice cream cone and I know she is just doing it to get at me because she knows I won't relent and go along with her. I'm willing to grant her that Mama starts with a W so it matches Mommy starting with M and even say, "I know you insist this is an acorn but most people call it a pinecone, as do I." She's going to be fierce when she's older. I have no idea how I'll respond.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 3:24 PM
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32 is an excellent comment*, overall, but I must say I've read it 4 times and still am not clear on what, precisely, the contents are.

*Not sarcastic. It's like a very good free verse poem or the beginning of a novel or something.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 3:29 PM
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Swallows and Amazons again, ttaM.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 3:31 PM
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15: I was an unctuous little charmer, until I failed to ever do any homework.

It's like we were separated at birth!

I don't think most adults would have considered me to have a bad attitude, barring the occasional meltdowns that every kid has. But I was really, really quite sneaky. I mean, it was not hard to figure out what my parents & teachers would and would not approve of, they made that pretty clear. So I just did my utmost to prevent them finding out about any of the things I did that they wouldn't approve of. Worked about 98% of the time.

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Okay, I went ahead and booked an open-jaws trip, flying into PWM and out of LGA.

Therefore, I'll be in Portland, ME from the evening of Sept. 29 to the evening of the 30th. Still coordinating with friend there on all the logistics.

I'll be in NYC from the evening of the 30th to the afternoon of October 3rd. Staying in Crown Heights, because I am hard core. I guess Fresh Salt would be okay for a meetup. I'm assuming there is some way to get back to Brooklyn fairly late at night. It is New York after all.

Anyhow, maybe I will email some key people.

Say, kind of a related question: I've been splitting my FB profile into radical and work-related friends & family, ideally with no overlap. Should all my Unfogger friends go in the former category or the latter? I'm inclined to say the latter, because most of you know what I'm really thinking about things, so you can deal with just getting bandinage and persiflage on FB.

||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 3:32 PM
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I'd find the radical stuff more interesting, but I'm a very light FB user, so either's fine.

Fresh Salt to Crown Heights is reasonably easy on the subway, any time of night.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 3:36 PM
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And I suck at getting out on weekends, so of the possible meetup nights, I'd prefer the 30th.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 3:37 PM
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Oh, okay. Hmm, well, like I was just emailing you, I don't get in to LGA until 7:45. So that would be super-late for getting started partying in Manhattan, right?

Is Monday right out?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 3:41 PM
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super-late for getting started partying in Manhattan

In the sense of "for people with kids".


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 3:43 PM
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If you were around Monday after work, that'd work fine, but it's a workday, so morning or afternoon is out.

Landing at LGA at 7:45 does get you downtown pretty late. I suppose I could drag myself downtown on a weekend -- I understand people do occasionally go out on those nights.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 3:48 PM
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The 29th and 30th are theoretically my weekend, so I'm totally up for a Portland meetup.


Posted by: Light Rail Tycoon | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 3:55 PM
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Skibbledy bee bop doo bop de diddly wop!


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 4:46 PM
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Boom bop! Boom ba boom bop!


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 4:59 PM
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The 30th is best for me, as I will be child-free and therefore also curfewless, so a late start is not a problem. I can probably make any of the other nights work given notice, though.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 5:08 PM
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I'll be out of town on the 30th.

W/r/t the OP, I wouldn't say (though I couldn't say that no one else would say) that I ever had a particularly bad attitude, but if I were being scrupulously honest I would admit that I suspect I can be trying at times. I'd probably be an unpredictably negligent and indulgent parent, come to think of it.

Supplemental admission: I have, and kept over my desk for years, a couple of pictures of Sir Richard Francis Burton, with the caption (from a book review) "He was never at a loss for finding more than adequate ways to inform those above him of his contempt for them."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 5:42 PM
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I didn't get in trouble for having a bad attitude, that I noticed. I was an obedient kid, with an inflated sense of respect. I picked that up at tkd, which made me more obsequious than my parents expected or asked for.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 6:16 PM
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hmmm, time to look into tkd training.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 6:26 PM
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Aw Halford, you're not that bad.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 6:30 PM
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I like 32 because daughter E also refers to sprinkles as "sprinklers."


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 6:30 PM
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You're not in "jimmies" territory?


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 6:35 PM
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What's wrong with sprinkle(r)s? Or is 32 saying that the disagreement is about whether Mara likes them, not whether they're permissible?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 6:42 PM
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It may be that some people think that ice cream is enough of a treat for their kid and it doesn't then need to be topped with sugar (and whatever the hell else goes into a sprinkle). That could just be me and my son, though.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 6:48 PM
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Hawaiian Punch still believes that the ice cream truck is the music truck.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 6:53 PM
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52: Oh, I was thinking along the lines of "They're having ice cream anyway, it's not like sprinkles make it much more sugary."

I can see the purity viewpoint though: you don't want the kid believing that it's not really a yummy treat unless it has caramel and whipped cream on it, or something.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 6:57 PM
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As far as I can tell, sprinkles are made of wax, in any case: never liked 'em.

Musing way back now: is Dairy Queen still around? They used to have dipped cones. Soft-serve ice cream on a cone, the ice cream itself dipped in a chocolate coating, which hardened forthwith, sort of like solid jimmies. I confess I didn't mind that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:02 PM
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for christ's sake, once they're getting the ice cream they may as well have the chocolate sauce and the whipped cream and the sprinkles and the wafer and the cherry. the last is repulsive and should be discarded at the first opportunity; I have never been a fan of sprinkles myself but they seem neither here nor there as far as excess calories. my children call them "chocolate rice" and "hundreds and thousands," because (educated) narnians all talk as if they learned english from reading a lot of enid blyton.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:05 PM
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the last is repulsive and should be discarded at the first opportunity

I heartily agree. Disgusting.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:08 PM
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I've generally stopped at Dairy Queen at least once on each of my drives between Canada and California. I can't remember the last time I got something dairy there, though.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:08 PM
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54.2:I can see the purity viewpoint though: you don't want the kid believing that it's not really a yummy treat unless it has caramel and whipped cream on it, or something.

Yeah, I think the purity viewpoint* is somewhat analogous. "Think of your adolescent years as a bowl of ice cream ..."

*I love the pledge for "Secondary Virgins" at that site: For Secondary Virgins (those who have engaged in promiscuous behavior) and wish to recommit themselves to lives of purity)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:09 PM
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59 ->56.mid and 57.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:10 PM
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But that fruit is so low it is practically subterranean.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:12 PM
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Come in "prom wear" and receive a special Purity T-shirt which says "once you pop, you can't stop."

Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:13 PM
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[B]ecause (educated) narnians all talk as if they learned english from reading a lot of enid blyton.

A friend of a friend of mine talks a bit like that ("row" this, "smashing" that, "jumper" the other; I think I once tried to get her to say "plimsoll"), but I think she is Indian.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:14 PM
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I can't remember the last time I got something dairy there, though.

I would have a really, really hard time not getting something dairy at a Dairy Queen: it was a thing my dad and I did together fairly regularly when I was, say, 11. They had something called a Buster Bar, with nuts and caramel? coated with chocolate. This was my dad's favorite, but I thought it took a lot of chewing and crunching and was really appropriate only occasionally. It tended to cause mouth/brain-freeze.

I can't believe I remember this. They also had something called a Dilly Bar (basically a chocolate coated ice cream bar on a stick) -- that's for kids, though. Grownups are too grown up for the Dilly Bar, which for all I know they phased out in 1975 anyway.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:20 PM
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53: That's a good one that I didn't even think to try.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:23 PM
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oh yes, educated indians are often of the enid blyton school as well. they just plain really do read lots of enid blyton, and very old-fashioned grammar books. one can even induce them to call thick blankets "rugs" on occasion. and certainly people get in "awful rows." I find it very charming. my older daughter actually said "shan't" the other day. but she also calls crucial things "crushe," and says "totes lame." it is an unusual combination.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:25 PM
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You know that the thing in 59 is a joke, right? I think Bill Maher organizes it.

Also, I thought that Thorn was talking about correcting the word "sprinklers" with "sprinkles" and facing pushback from Mara, who insisted that Thorn was wrong, and, no, dammit, they're called "sprinklers." I may be overgeneralizing from my own three year old, who is pretty similarly stubborn in her nomenclature.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:26 PM
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62: Missed that. Phrase used in this '90s Pringles commercial. Bonus Pringles ad from a more innocent time (1973).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:28 PM
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There are literally dozens of Dairy Queens in Maryland.

DQ trivia: As a youth, my father worked at the flagship DQ store, which was right in front of the DQ headquarters, a small brick building about the size of a house trailer.

The closest DQ to my parent's current house is famous for having had LBJ as a customer.

Dilly Bars and Buster Bars were still available around here fairly recently, and both appear on the online menu.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:29 PM
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67: Never Mind. This is what happens to you when you have to do stuff rather than read and post here.

I did wonder about the "Hollywood". But I there were real ones, right?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:31 PM
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Ah. I think 67.2 is correct.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:34 PM
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I did wonder about the "Hollywood". But I there were real ones, right?

Sure, but with better surgeons, it can be hard to tell visually.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:34 PM
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I may be overgeneralizing from my own three year old, who is pretty similarly stubborn in her nomenclature.

I can't get my son to stop saying "lightsaver" for "lightsaber" and I've been working on it for two years.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:37 PM
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73: Have you tried getting other boys his own age to mock him? That often works.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:40 PM
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73: Do you care?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:42 PM
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Shouldn't it be "lightsabre"?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:42 PM
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Google says "no." Further evidence that George Lucas is a moron.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:43 PM
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75: I'd like him to be able to name weapons properly.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:45 PM
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This is my lightsaver, this is my gun,
One is for fighting, one is for fun.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:48 PM
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Plus, he always wants to the a Jedi when we play Clone Wars, so it comes up all the time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:50 PM
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69: Huh. This poses a problem. If I see a DQ, will I stop? Doubtful. My tastes have changed! And yet.

I mostly remember going to them in Pennsylvania when we lived there.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:51 PM
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"always wants to play a Jedi"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:51 PM
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I can't get my son to stop saying "lightsaver" for "lightsaber"

Please. My brother said "basghetti" for spaghetti for years. We never bothered to correct him, and he figured it out eventually.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:54 PM
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Apparently, I mispronounced Parmesan until I was 30.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:55 PM
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Texas has a wild, unchecked DQ infestation. They are EVERYWHERE. There are two within a mile of us! The marketing campaign is "Deeeeeeeee Q! That's what I love about TEXAS!" and I detest it because it doesn't make any sense. I do like a blizzard every now and then though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:56 PM
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84: For the last time, her name is Parsimon.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:57 PM
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Dems hold on in their two recall races in Wisconsin.
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Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:57 PM
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88

The closest DQ to my parent's current house is famous for having had LBJ as a customer.

Do your parents live near me?!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:58 PM
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89

DQ is a Berkshire Hathaway company, so complain to Warren Buffet.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:58 PM
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90

Would Texan's still love DQ if they knew it was owned by that pro-tax scalawag Warren Buffet?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 7:59 PM
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91

85: As someone once posted about on Unfogged.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 8:00 PM
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92

What a wise soul.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 8:03 PM
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93

my older daughter actually said "shan't"

I really love that word. I wish I could get away with saying it as an American.


Posted by: trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 8:07 PM
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94

Have they ever tried a "Don't Mess With Texas" campaign against sexual harassment?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 8:08 PM
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95

The link in 85 is proof that we're now all old grandmas who tell the same 10 stories over and over and over again.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 8:10 PM
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I swear I will never tell my DQ story about the Dilly Bars and the Buster Bars again.

Someone should tell DQ in Texas that there's nothing Texas about DQ, though. What is wrong with your state?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 8:15 PM
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97

What is wrong with your state?

According to Yglesias, it's too rich.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 8:19 PM
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98

(I'm not sure I buy his argument entirely, but I think there's probably something to it.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 8:20 PM
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99

I will never again tell the story of the time I saved Paul Krugman from Godzilla.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 8:20 PM
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100

I will never again post a quote about shit in the shape of a question mark.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 8:23 PM
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101

I will never again link to a commenter years ago saying Unfogged had become like prisoners referring to the same old jokes by number rather than telling them. Mostly because I can't find it.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 8:27 PM
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Have they ever tried a "Don't Mess With Texas" campaign against sexual harassment?

It actually originated as a litter campaign, which is one of the few adorable things this state ever did.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 8:28 PM
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103

102: I remember seeing the signs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 8:31 PM
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104

97: I haven't thought about this extensively, but first thought has to do with all those Texas jobs created since the advent of the recession, so since 2008: word is that a good proportion of them (I'm forgetting how many, but in the 50% vicinity? 40%?) are minimum-wage.

My question then is whether Texas is as viable as it apparently is without, oh, recent immigrants, whether legal or illegal, to do the scut-work. If it's not, then it's not quite that Texas is rich, but that it's able to maintain an even more notable income disparity, as well as a disparity in general health and welfare, in its population than many other states.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 8:34 PM
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105

101: You told it wrong.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 8:34 PM
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192: Wikipedia apparently has every fucking thing. Article.

Department of Transportation not living up to the slogan.

Though it appears on countless items of tourist souvenirs, the phrase is actually a federally registered trademark; the department has tried at times to enforce its trademark rights with cease and desist letters, but has had very limited success.

Don't mess! We'll write a cease and desist letter! We will!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 8:39 PM
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107

105: I did.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 8:47 PM
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108

The first few comments on the Yglesias post linked in 97 seem important. To the Yglesias post, that is, not necessarily here.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 8:47 PM
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109

I really did.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 8:49 PM
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110

I give up. That worked in preview.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 8:51 PM
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111

110: That's what they said about Epic Movie.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 8:54 PM
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112

My adblock settings have made it so that I can't read Yglesias's comments any more. I realized that it's better this way so I'm not changing it.


Posted by: eliot | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 8:55 PM
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110: What kind of asshole links to his own comments anyway?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 8:58 PM
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104: Yglesias has actually been discussing this for a while, and has several posts on it. The basic gist seems to be that Texas has had better economic performance overall than other states, but it hasn't had a lower unemployment rate, so it seems like most of its better economic condition is due to population growth caused by migration (both from other states and international). They also haven't seen the level of layoffs by state and local governments that other places have, which is interesting. In general Texas has always been somewhat out of phase with the rest of the country economically, due partly but not entirely to the importance of oil and gas in the Texas economy.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 9:03 PM
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112: I usually don't read the comments -- don't usually read the posts, for that matter, because they're sloppy -- but the first few, as I said, take issues with a couple of Yglesias's basic premises in that post, the first comment providing an actual link to backup data to demonstrate the error. So.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 9:04 PM
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In general Texas has always been somewhat out of phase with the rest of the country economically, due partly but not entirely to the importance of oil and gas in the Texas economy.

This seems inarguable, and as a general case for Perry's failure to understand the state of affairs in the rest of the country, I grant it. I've figured that that's the story about Perry anyway.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 9:07 PM
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117

I'm going to bed now. Night all.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 9:08 PM
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118

I was always annoyed by the comments who couldn't (or pretended they couldn't) understand Yglesias's posts when they have the first-draft nonsense editing mistakes in them. It isn't at all hard to figure out what somebody means when they leave out a word or two.

All that reminded me of this charmingly obtuse review of Cormac McCarthy that I stumbled across earlier today. I figure people here will get a kick out of it if anyone will. I guess I have to excuse the guy since he's evidently not a native speaker...


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 9:13 PM
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84: I still insist on pronouncing it "Farmer John." (And by "still" I mean I started a few months ago.)


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 9:28 PM
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120

The link in 118, something all right.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 9:46 PM
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116: Also he's a soulless oophase.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 10:21 PM
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122

116: Also he's a soulless oophase.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 08-16-11 10:21 PM
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73: Have you tried getting other boys his own age to mock him? That often works.

Won't in this case because at least half of them say lightsaver as well. I don't know what is wrong with children.

And yes, I find that one annoying, whereas tellosape, aminal, salagne, etc, I just find endearing. And miss now.

ne of my friends will enforce consequences if the kid is being too borderline to have explicitly broken any rules, but is definitely being a butthead.

Isn't this in conflict with the various parenting books that say that you're supposed to set clear rules and not try and strongly enforce vague principles, to avoid making the kid anxious and confused?

Clearly the principle that is being violated in this case is "don't be a fucking butthead".

My kids hardly ever get into trouble for actually doing something wrong, because they just don't do stuff like that, but they frequently get bollocked for being obnoxious. Currently, mostly my 10 year old boy.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 08-17-11 1:04 AM
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121: I would be happy to start referring to Texas as "The Slow Zone". The identity of "The Unthinking Depths" is left as an exercise for the reader.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-17-11 1:16 AM
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Clearly the principle that is being violated in this case is "don't be a fucking butthead".

Exactly. Definitely something I got corrected on by my parents on regular basis. Relatedly, my wife this year is starting off the school year (she teaches 8th and 9th graders) with a reading of Richard Scarry's Pig Will and Pig Won't, A Book of Manners.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-17-11 6:10 AM
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Sorry, Cecily, I wasn't writing clearly because I had a three-year-old crawling all over me and because parenting a three-year-old has dissolved my brain to slush.

Our big tests of will are about language. Mara's so, so good about trying new pronunciations, especially now that she's in speech therapy, but occasionally she gets vocabulary in her head and she won't admit that maybe I know more words than she does. "An ice cream cone with sprinklers" features prominently in one of her favorite books at the moment, at least as she insists on pronouncing it. She won't admit I might be right that there's a difference between the sprinkles on an ice cream cone (which I don't think she's ever eaten) and the sprinkler she plays in out back. I don't know why this one bothers me more than her other vocabulary quirks noted unclearly in my first comment, but I know she's insisting on purpose to see if I'll cave and I won't, though apparently neither will she.

Mr. Blandings, I thought of "jimmies" as being an East Coast term. Is that wrong? My dad uses it, and I don't remember what my mother's linguistic policy was.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-17-11 7:14 AM
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126.last: The NYC-area is sprinkles only, but Boston is jimmies. Em-dash land is a tiny kingdom with a furious insistence on its own terminology for foodstuffs. They probably call sprinkles "cabinets" there. (Joke!)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-17-11 7:18 AM
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128

Goofus is a fucking butthead, Gallant lacks integrity is a narc.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-17-11 7:28 AM
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129

I always called them 'hundreds and thousands', which is clearly more widespread as a British thing than just the world of Enid Blyton.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-17-11 8:15 AM
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Western Massachusetts said "jimmies," when I was a lad, but I think that may be giving way to "sprinkles."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-17-11 8:43 AM
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I called them hundreds and thousands, but sprinkles was quite widely used too. I wonder if hundreds and thousands was one of those brand names, like Hoover, that got generalised.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-17-11 8:45 AM
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I was just thinking reading ttaM's comment, that it says hundreds and thousands on the tub, so that must be what they are called. But perhaps that is one brand? Don't have any here though. Will look next time I remember in the supermarket.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 08-17-11 8:58 AM
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Clearly the principle that is being violated in this case is "don't be a fucking butthead".

This may well be the only rule ever consistently enforced in my household. Just about everything else remains open to negotiation subject to said negotiation being conducted without being a fucking butthead.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-17-11 10:54 AM
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126: My sister and I generally switch instantly to whatever mistaken word the kid uses. We hold on to it for a long time, past when the kid outgrows it. We did that when we were in our early twenties with the baby siblings and now with the nephews. Makes us sound insider-y, probably, but people put up with it.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-17-11 11:01 AM
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135

The name used in an 1883 cookbook..


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-17-11 11:03 AM
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136

This may well be the only rule ever consistently enforced in my household.

It's really the only rule anybody ever needs.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-17-11 11:11 AM
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It's hard on people who, through no active wish of their own, have that look on their face. If the only rule is don't be a butthead, charming people get away with murder, and perfectly decent helpful people who are a little surly get stomped.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-17-11 11:20 AM
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138

"Hundreds and Thousands" is probably a brand name that no one would ever, ever pick now that you want people to search for your product online. It's a very cute name, though, and I bet it's even cuter when said with a child's English accent.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-17-11 11:25 AM
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139

I feel the phrase Go home, Yankee hipster! is appropriate to this blog.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 08-17-11 11:38 AM
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137: Oh, being a charming butthead is an aggravated offense. Having been punished often enough for failing to "get that look off [my] face," a surly demeanor is not a factor in the butthead determination.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-17-11 11:55 AM
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Newt would probably get along fine in my household. Lawyering the shit out of everything amuses me. As long as he doesn't make anyone cry.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-17-11 11:57 AM
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142

I hate Dairy Queen, but sometimes I crave one of their Blizzards. Sadly, the only Dairy Queen in Boston seems to have closed.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-17-11 7:10 PM
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I say jimmies for chocolate sprinkles, and someone from South Carolina was flabbergasted, because they use that term exclusively to refer to condoms.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-18-11 9:33 AM
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144

Those are jimmy hats.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-18-11 9:35 AM
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145

Or, at least, that's the only way I have ever heard it used in reference to condoms.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-18-11 9:35 AM
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146

There's a song.

"Jimmy hat's torn and I don't care."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-18-11 9:40 AM
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Jimmy hat's torn and I don't care.
Jimmy hat's torn and I don't care.
Jimmy hat's torn and I don't care.
Vas deferens shorn away.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-18-11 9:45 AM
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