Re: Elusive

1

Bah. If the clitoris is indeed 9 centimeters long, then more might be responsive to stimulation than just the glans. Might not, might be inaccessible, diagrams were not clear.

Needs further study, understanding that the subjects can certainly be influenced by what they are told or believe.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 3:52 AM
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The diagrams were super clear. They were headed out for dinner and a movie.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 4:02 AM
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Wow, Megan McArdle is offering advice on infection control in critical care and Bob McManus is offering advice on sexual technique. You two should get together and start a competitor to Vox or something.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 4:07 AM
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Just use a nuke.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 4:08 AM
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2 - I drew scarves and little hats on them and sent them off for an autumnal wander in the woods. (Not here, it's pissing down, somewhere drier.)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 4:18 AM
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Not that I have experience across so many women, but I have typically found that when doing the things suggested to "stimulate" the "G spot," positive results ensue. So either (1) some women actually have them; (2) mcmanus' hypothesis is right and at least some women can have the nonvisible parts of their clitoris stimulated in this fashion; (3) the women who enjoyed this activity knew they were supposed to have G spots and therefore tricked themselves into thinking it felt specifically (as opposed to generically) good; (4) the women who "enjoyed" this activity knew I thought they had G spots, and acted a part for my benefit; (5) actually, they were just generally acting a part for my benefit regardless of what I was doing oh God it's all been a lie.


Posted by: James K. Polk | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 5:05 AM
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5 is probably right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 5:15 AM
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Alternate post title: Taint nuthin' but a G thang (it's like this and like that and like this and uh).


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 5:18 AM
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I think this is a conversation that's being confused by a (hopefully) dead controversy about 'vaginal' versus 'clitoral' orgasms and what they mean about the emotional/psychological health of the women having them. As I vaguely understand it, it used to be a big Freudian thing that sure, anyone could probably have an orgasm while touching their clit (anyone here limited to the clit-possessing portion of the population) but those were kind of cheating and didn't count; if you didn't have orgasms from vaginal penetration you were frigid or a lesbian or something. And G-spot orgasms were 'vaginal' orgasms, so they were terribly terribly important.

I think people taking the strong 'there's no such thing as a G'spot' position are addressing that issue, a bit -- that is, there isn't an internal spot that's going to give a woman a fundamentally different kind of orgasm (whether or not you want to think of it as psychologically important. Mid-century psychology was weird as anything.)

From personal experience, much as I find this a strange thing to say, bob's got it right in comment 1, and President Polk can relax. On me at least, internal stimulus in roughly the location described as a G-spot works roughly like more diffuse clitoral stimulus, just as the out-for-a-stroll diagram would suggest.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 5:23 AM
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Awl's having been away was worth it for Awl's having showed up again in such great fashion the last day or two.

Personally (and politically?) I think all of this is pretty weird and the range women's sexual responses is remarkably diffuse and whatever.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 5:56 AM
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LB is right. thus polk is also right in contention 1 and 2. I prefer stimulation in both spots at once to clitoral stimulation only. the problem with all forms of "ur g-spot:ur doing it rong" argument are that they assume the woman in question doesn't know how to masturbate effectively. this is sort of implausible for obvious reasons.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:02 AM
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The diagram is great. I expect an Oglaf comic with them as characters any day now.

9. I thought the clitoral versus vaginal orgasm idea was as dead as phlogiston, too. Is this really still a thing, or is it just HuffPo?


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:05 AM
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If there's a female penis, obviously sexism should end and somebody should try to find the female prostrate.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:10 AM
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the problem with all forms of "ur g-spot:ur doing it rong" argument are that they assume the woman in question doesn't know how to masturbate effectively. this is sort of implausible for obvious reasons.

No more implausible than the well-known fact that fish can only achieve orgasm by riding a bicycle.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:10 AM
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A review article isn't a great source if the body of research is underdeveloped, surely.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:11 AM
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-t


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:20 AM
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...somebody should try to find the female prostrate.

She's lying down because she's exhausted by the vaginal orgasms she's been having.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:21 AM
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12: If you click through the links, HuffPo is reporting on this which appears to be a respectable journal article reviewing the literature and essentially saying "Just shut up about the 'vaginal' orgasm already. Freud made it up, and there's nothing about the anatomy that makes it make sense as a different thing."

I think the 'vaginal orgasm' is less dead than phlogiston because sex is an area with so much pseudo-science in the form of half-educated therapy and advice, so ancient science hangs around. While it might have been discredited already, it's worth discrediting again.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:22 AM
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Freud made up a lot of stuff.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:23 AM
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Thorn, you inspire me to flout the emoticon ban I haven't really been away, but work did keep me from actively commenting lately.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:23 AM
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Just because the vaginal orgasm thing didn't work out doesn't mean we should automatically assume penis envy isn't real.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:23 AM
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Shit, that was supposed to be
flout the emoticon ban <3 <3 <3


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:24 AM
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21: And didn't inspire women to create the first textiles as they attempted to weave themselves penises out of their pubic hair.

The thing you really have to remember when reading the weirder bits of Freud is that cocaine is a hell of a drug.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:27 AM
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Still, he seems a bit too quick to publish. It's not like Oedipus and his mom were trying to fuck each other. I bet if he had modern peer review, he'd have had to fix that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:30 AM
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Phlogiston is dead?! Aw man.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:30 AM
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23: Or that they became conscious of their inferiority because they couldn't put out the camp fire by directing their stream of urine.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:32 AM
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23: ??!?!?!


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:32 AM
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25: Now, now. My uterus is moving all around my body as I type this.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:34 AM
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27: Give me five minutes and the wikipedia page for textiles will mention the theory.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:35 AM
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28: It's always "My uterus! My floating ribs! My patella! My medulla! Here we are now entertain us!" with you feminists.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:36 AM
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28: We should share tips on how to keep it in place. Rotting meat and smoke to move it away from the directions you don't want or sweet things where you want it to settle? There's probably a BuzzFeed quiz!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:36 AM
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Have I mentioned that everything I knew about sex in my teenage years came from the Travis McGee books? There's a passage in one of them when he's nurturing one of his string of terribly psychologically damaged girfriends who later are (raped by Nazis/killed by freak shrapnel from exploding boats/assassinated by religious fanatics/suffer head injuries causing them to not love him anymore/killed by pre-existing brain cancer/murdered by French Canadian psychopaths) by gently introducing her to the wonders of sex in a series of motel rooms, and there's some elliptically described discussion of how he's not allowing her to rely on any cheap substitutes because then she'll never move past them to the real thing (can't quite remember which book this was. Maybe the one with the frigid artist? Who is, of course, ultimately raped by Nazis)

And while I was immensely puzzled at the time, after finding out in college about Freud and the vaginal orgasm, I formed the theory that what was going on was that he was introducing her to sex using the principle that touching the clitoris was cheating, and she didn't get to come until she could do it from vaginal penetration goddamn it.

Like I said. midcentury psychology was weird.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:41 AM
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The HuffPo commenters mostly seem to think the article is wrong, so that's probably one reason people keep publishing articles like this.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:42 AM
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34

32: It was a different time. Also, he lived on a boat, which is roughly +3 to credibility.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:48 AM
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Have I mentioned that everything I knew about sex in my teenage years came from the Travis McGee books?

I'm going to charitably assume this statement is inaccurate, because the alternative is to conclude that you read the Clan of the Cave Bear series as an adult.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:49 AM
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32. "The Shining Crimson Orgasm," a Travis McGee book.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:54 AM
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27: Reference:

It seems that women have made few contributions to the discoveries and inventions in the history of civilization; there is, however, one technique that they may have invented -- that of plaiting and weaving.

Nature herself would seem to have given the model which this achievement imitates by causing the growth at maturity of the pubic hair that conceals the genitals. The step that remained to be taken lay in making the threads adhere to one another, while on the body they stick into the skin and are only matted together. If you reject this belief as fantastic and regard my belief in the influence of lack of a penis on the configuration of femininity as an idee fixe, I am of course defenseless.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:54 AM
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32. It's a miracle you ever had children.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:55 AM
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35: I thought of the Travis McGee books as more authoritative, given that they mostly focused on intraspecies sex. (See also Anne McCaffrey as another available, but less authoritative, source.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:56 AM
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So, I underestimated Freud's weirdness.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:57 AM
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Almost impossible not to do.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:59 AM
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He could have invented the pubic pony tail, if he'd only have thought to follow his though process a bit further.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 7:17 AM
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The last sentence in the quotation in 37 is gracious, at least.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 7:24 AM
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1870: Hysterical paroxysms aren't sex, duh
1950: It's a kind of sex, but an inferior kind because it doesn't need something penis-shaped


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 7:26 AM
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I'm not going to go looking for a diagram, but isn't there high nerve density on the anterior lining right behind the little dude in the boat? That would explain the general agreement. Which I concur with.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 7:36 AM
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Stick to your convictions, but the diagram is great.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 8:54 AM
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Sure, it's a hoot. But it doesn't address nerve density near this anatomical structure, which I'm not going to go looking for, at least not now.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 9:02 AM
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34: The person I know who lives on a boat is, in fact, pretty damn credible, but I'm not sure I understand the logical connection in general.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 9:04 AM
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I expect an Oglaf comic with them as characters any day now

This thing is totally unrelated to me and my business!


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 9:04 AM
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Oh, maybe Travis McGee living on a boat is supposed to be related to lw's dude in the boat.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 9:06 AM
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Oh, I see you meant a different diagram. Perhaps one where she's wearing a backpack.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 9:09 AM
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My experiences and concerns align with Polk's.

I didn't realize until reading this thread that vaginal orgasms weren't actually a different type of orgasm entirely. Or that Freud did cocaine/was a lunatic. Who said reading Unfogged isn't worthwhile?


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 9:10 AM
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I hadn't meant it to, but maybe this is the remix culture the kids talk about. He's sensitive but secretive, check. Muscular, clean-shaven, fond of tropical apparel.

Hmm. Maybe other, more talented cultural curators can outline the relation.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 9:12 AM
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I'm just going to assume the link at 49 is something to wait until I get home to look at.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 9:13 AM
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Clitorides have orgasms like this, and vaginae have orgasms like this.


Posted by: Opinionated Sigmund Freud, failed stand-up comic | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 9:19 AM
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he's nurturing one of his string of terribly psychologically damaged girfriends

I hadn't realized, until this moment, just how closely Jack Reacher follows the Travis McGee mold (based on the 3 or 4 Lee Child books I've read).

No wonder the series is so successful.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 9:21 AM
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47: You're looking for an anatomically correct cortical homunculus.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 9:23 AM
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looking for an anatomically correct cortical homunculus.

Sounds like an interesting Craigslist ad.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 9:26 AM
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57. That's pretty interesting, all right


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 9:29 AM
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56: Really, not closely at all. I will make fun of the Travis McGee books endlessly, because screwy as they are they're kind of awesome and I've read them all and have them basically memorized (see, above, the absolutely accurate parenthetical listing girlfriend-fates). The Jack Reacher books make no sense and are awful. (Oh, there's worse out there. They're mildly amusing, and reasonably competent on a sentence-structure level. But they're really crap.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 9:53 AM
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59. Now I know where RPGs get their ideas for monsters.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 10:00 AM
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I think this thread has helped me finally understand the freight behind discussions of "vaginal orgasms". I would read denunciations of them and think, "But I've been there when they happened," because I misunderstood what was being denounced (which is the silly Freudian idea, not the idea that PIV can lead to a female orgasm).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 10:41 AM
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||
Bleg: is one in the running for History's Tackiest Monster if one keeps scanning down the wedding registry until one feels that click at the number that seems to represent "this is how well I know these people"? This is not how gifts are chosen in most situations but this is what I just did.
|>


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 10:53 AM
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Wow, Smearcases comments on female orgasms are even a bigger letdown than I'd expected. But I support your shopping rationales nonetheless!

I'm also waiting for heebie to pop up and say "I said YOUR g-spot was a myth; mine of course is golden!" but that hasn't happened yet. I am not very thread-psychic today.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 10:55 AM
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Wow, Smearcases comments on female orgasms are even a bigger letdown than I'd expected.

I am honored.

Females have orgasms?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 10:57 AM
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63: It is wedding registries themselves that are tacky. When else do you choose your own gifts and expect others to pay for them?


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 11:05 AM
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When else do you choose your own gifts

Wrong thread, post this on the anatomy chat.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 11:08 AM
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Whoops, this is that thread. I wonder if my work will be equally insightful today.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 11:09 AM
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63: It is wedding registries themselves that are tacky. When else do you choose your own gifts and expect others to pay for them?

Baby shower registries.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 11:11 AM
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A friend got after me for not having had a shower for any of our girls, but they seem extra tacky when it's not actually your legal child and it seems silly to do an adoption shower when they've already been here for years, so I think I'm free.

But in more celebratory news, I just realized I have about 2 weeks of vacation left for the year, so if driving-distance commenters are in the mood for a meetup, I'm probably free for that though not necessarily child-free.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 11:14 AM
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66 might have a point, but you go ahead and try not having a registry and seeing the enormous piles of useless, tacky crap you end up with. We had an engagement party thrown for us (not really our idea, exactly) and thought "well, we'll tell people not to bring gifts, and then they won't bring gifts", more fools we. So for the wedding we were like "fine, here is crap we need. Buy us that."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 11:35 AM
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Concur with 71. The world would be a better place if everyone agreed to abolish wedding and baby gifts (well, there might be a regressive effect; let's ignore that), but short of that, wedding and baby registries are a significant net positive for both giver and recipient.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 11:44 AM
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I can't read this post's title without thinking of the Scarlet Pimpernel. Maybe the walking clitoris from the illustration is sa-ha!ing its way through the landscape of Calais to rescue French aristos.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 11:47 AM
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71: That's odd. We did the "no gifts please" thing and got 100% compliance. Admittedly we only invited people who knew us well enough to know that we weren't joking about it. We did ask that people who wanted to give a gift give money instead to Doctors Without Borders, so maybe that was the pressure valve that kept the deluge of tacky crap away.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 11:47 AM
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60. Maybe I should re-read some Travis McGee; I loved them back in the day.

unfogged: "Come here for the dick jokes and pointless arguments(tm), leave with book recommendations!"


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 11:49 AM
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The whole point of a wedding registry and a baby shower registry etc. is that since you are starting a household together/having a child, there are specific things that you might need that others might be able to furnish you. It's not just random gift-giving, it's help starting out in/with a new life.

In this modern age the wedding registry might have outlived that purpose, but I don't think they have to be tacky in themselves.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 11:52 AM
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Bleg: is one in the running for History's Tackiest Monster if one keeps scanning down the wedding registry until one feels that click at the number that seems to represent "this is how well I know these people"? This is not how gifts are chosen in most situations but this is what I just did.

Having been on the other side, I can tell you that the registerers probably put certain items on the list for just that purpose. We certainly tried to include things at many levels of price and generic-ness.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 11:53 AM
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76.1 is also correct. And it certainly hadn't outlived that purpose for us, since marrying and cohabiting turned out by accident of circumstance to closely coincide.

I was interested to read that there is a tradition that, for a second baby shower, only diapers are given as gifts.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 11:59 AM
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The first baby doesn't shit nearly so much.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:00 PM
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The whole point of a wedding registry and a baby shower registry etc. is that since you are starting a household together/having a child, there are specific things that you might need that others might be able to furnish you. It's not just random gift-giving, it's help starting out in/with a new life.

Which would make more sense if we hadn't turned weddings into an exercise in conspicuous consumption.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:02 PM
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So you're saying that if one forewent the party-for-family-and-friends bit one could spend all the money thus saved on cutting boards and cloth napkins? No doubt true.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:09 PM
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81: No, come on. He's saying that if one forewent the color-coordinated napkins, floral decorations, and catered meal in favor of the cake and punch in a church basement of our ancestors, there'd be more money left over for starting a life together.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:14 PM
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It doesn't do much to inspire confidence that the picture on the left is a faithful representation of a clitoris when they have depicted on the right a supposed penis which looks nothing at all like a penis.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:18 PM
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My ancestors were cheap at weddings, but they were still drunk. Cake and punch is way too Protestant.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:19 PM
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84: Depends on the punch.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:23 PM
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I want someone to come up with a program that will allow you to put $50 toward a gift and then other people will chip in so that 3 or 4 people can buy you the $200 gift that you really want.

With babies, I think that it's hard to get everything you need in time, and having people help you out is useful.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:26 PM
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83: It looks sort of like the monster from Alien.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:26 PM
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Note that the clitoris is following a few steps behind the penis; very old-fashioned. She probably waits a long time before giving it up. Like, a hundred years.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:28 PM
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LB: I think you're misinterpreting The Rainbow Sparkling Vaginal Orgasm. I can't remember the pathetic title it was originally published under, but it is, surely, the one that opens with Mona Fox Yeoman being shot outside her cabin on the edge of a mountain. This made a hige impression on the early teenage Nworb because it seemed so bloody silly to have three names when she was clearly only Mrs Yeoman.

I thought that when he finally ran off with the teacher (Mrs Yeoman's wimpy borfriend's sister) the point was to stop her blwing him rather than vice versa. I do remember that he developed a terrible headache while liberating her until she finally discovered the thing that acts faster than anadin.

But how was she disposed of in time for the next book? Didn't she just grow out of him?


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:30 PM
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"The thing that acts faster than anadin" -- if only Hemingway wrote ad copy.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:31 PM
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The collective output of comments here sure has declined without Halford to stir the pot. Surely by now we would be 300 comments into a debate over whether the clitoris should be properly considered a vestigial penis or the penis a hypertrophied clitoris.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:32 PM
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86: Wedding Kickstarter, basically? There'd need to be some kind of fallback if an item doesn't get enough people in on it.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:32 PM
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91 posted before seeing 88.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:33 PM
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My boss had kind of a honeymoon registry for her wedding -- a list of things that they wanted to do on their honeymoon in Hawaii that you could buy for them


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:39 PM
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82: the thing is, cake and punch in a church basement is a shitty party. Who wants to throw a shitty party? Are we a nation of seventh graders? Color-coordinated napkins, sure, chuck 'em. But a good open bar and tasty food, that's real value.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:44 PM
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I had friends who had a honeymoon registry. It was nice, it seemed to work. But I still find the contention that wedding registries are per se tacky to be not just nonsense, but classist nonsense.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:45 PM
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None of the above applies to the clitoris, I should make clear.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:46 PM
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But I still find the contention that wedding registries are per se tacky to be not just nonsense, but classist nonsense.

Next up: money trees and money dances!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:48 PM
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Is 97 saying that the clitoris, unlike wedding registries, is per se tacky?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:50 PM
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94 is what my friend (of the heinous maternity bridesmaid dress fame) and her fiance have done. BTW, I'll be out of pocket much of the next five days.

I mentioned to my former advisor that this friend is getting married, since she also was in the same program. In the course of talking about it, I said that her parents weren't attending, because they're horrific conservative religious nutjobs. My ostensibly-liberal advisor basically sided with the parents. I was completely shocked. He said something like, "If one of my kids marries someone of the same sex, I'll show up and grit my teeth and support them, but it would squick me out a little bit."

I thought this kind of homophobia had become clearly non grata in general liberal conversation, but maybe there's a generation gap.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:51 PM
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98: I am comfortably UMC enough that I have no idea what those are, but googling around I'm pretty sure you're being super racist.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:51 PM
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Is 97 saying that the clitoris, unlike wedding registries, is per se tacky?

Well, there *is* a reason people use lube...


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:51 PM
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99: geez it's like once conversation turns to the clitoris you want to make everything explicit.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:52 PM
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101: I've been to white-people weddings with dollar dances, but not in the past 20 years.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:53 PM
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101: My uncle married a Mexican-American woman. To my family's eternal credit, if they were uncomfortable at all with the money dance at the reception they did an exceptional job of hiding it.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:53 PM
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89: Oooh, you're right about the book, it wasn't the one with the frigid artist, it was the one with the frigid woman with the overly enmeshed relationship with her brother. (And in more psychosexual weirdness, the murdered Texas land baron was killed by his adult illegitimate daughter, not merely because he had hired her to work as his housekeeper, which seems like a pissoff in itself, but had also mistakenly raped her when he was drunk once. You know, these things happen.)

But I think I was reading it right, still. You're right about the terrible headache -- while they were working through whatever it was, he was terribly frustrated, and then when she made her breakthrough, he wasn't frustrated anymore. That works better with my reading, where the breakthrough was that she became ready to accept the awesome healing power of penetrative sex, than yours, where his getting off wouldn't be terribly related one way or the other to her breakthrough.

But I'd need to have a copy of the book to argue with more precision.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:56 PM
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101: Whiter than white Central Pennsylvania relatives here with the dollar dance. Seems weird to me too, but I don't think it's racially marked.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:57 PM
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I link to this page not just because it points out Josh's vast cultural insensitivty, but because it has the best random deployment of [citation needed] I think I've ever seen.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 12:57 PM
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they have depicted on the right a supposed penis which looks nothing at all like a penis

The drawing is from a PSA about the dangers of too much hand-stretching.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 1:01 PM
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If the dollar dance goes away, what's next? No more hanging out the bloody sheet the next morning?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 1:01 PM
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Well, there *is* a reason people use lube...

Because … the clitoris is — tacky? Gosh, have I been doing everything all wrong?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 1:01 PM
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Those were both supposed to be ellipses.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 1:02 PM
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I think we can agree that many aspects of out-of-control wedding costs are ascribable to factors other than sheer prodigality on the part of the couples.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 1:02 PM
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Gosh, have I been doing everything all wrong?

Yes, but I'm not sure what that has to do with your previous question.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 1:09 PM
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When I was young, maybe a teenager but at any rate not very worldly, I noticed an offhand remark in a Joan Didion novel, something like "They're the kind of people who don't drink at weddings," and I thought, We're the kind of people who don't drink at weddings!

Reception for our wedding, 1984, was in my wife's uncle's basement rec room.

Perhaps a museum of natural history could put me on display as an example of lower-middle-class life. I'd work on my car, fix plumbing, grill. Visitors could observe from a gallery.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 1:11 PM
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Your visitors will be the fancy type. Call it a mezzanine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 1:13 PM
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70: Your timing is off. I was just in Pittsburgh. (Would be willing to go back, but I think I'd like a week where I don't make that drive.)


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 1:21 PM
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Don't text and drive.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 1:24 PM
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IN search of enlightenment on Travis McGee I found this wonderful sentence "As the many examples in the series show, professional medical care does not answer all exigencies"

Laydeeez


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 1:26 PM
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Your visitors will be the fancy type. Call it a mezzanine.

That's a euphemism for "clitoris" that I haven't heard before. Guess I'm not fancy enough.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 1:39 PM
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I use "car-hole".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 1:41 PM
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Perhaps a museum of natural history could put me on display as an example of lower-middle-class life. I'd work on my car, fix plumbing, grill.

I was just wondering this morning whether basic handiwork skills are as widespread among the lower middle class as they used to be. In my milieu growing up, almost any male above the age of 16 could be assumed to know how to use a radial saw, change a flat tire, or install a light fixture. If you couldn't, you would have been ashamed to admit it. Probably close to half could use a welder or acetylene torch, and maybe one in 20 could replace a manual transmission. With no more evidence than anecdotal impressions, I get the sense that the prevalence of skills like these has declined. Between urbanization, the loss of manufacturing jobs, and the eclipse of vocational education by academic subjects, does the modal lower middle class man really do his own automobile or plumbing repairs anymore?

The hipster generation has stereotypically resurrected old-fashioned skills like canning vegetables and beekeeping, and bicycle repair skills are probably more widely disseminated than ever, but the old image of a car up on blocks and a hydraulic jack in the driveway - is that still a common thing in Real America?


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 1:45 PM
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92: yes. That's why it's a little more complicated.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 1:47 PM
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In my milieu growing up, almost any male above the age of 16 could be assumed to know how to use a radial saw, change a flat tire, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 1:49 PM
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I can change a ballast on a fluorescent light. Because YouTube.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 1:51 PM
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The goalposts have moved a lot on car repair, though; they're way more fiddly than they used to be. Home plumbing/electrical work would be a better thing to study over time.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 1:52 PM
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Automobiles have also become more complicated, as have toilets with their built-in computerapparatuses.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 1:52 PM
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Not so much with the writing of sonnets and programing computers. Or solving equations beyond the scope of a Swanson Speedsquare.



Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 1:53 PM
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You may be missing an allusion, KR.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 1:54 PM
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A Speedsquare is a much math as you can put in a triangle until somebody at Apple decides to make a really unique iPad.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 1:54 PM
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Automobiles have also become more complicated, as have toilets with their built-in computer apparatuses.

I almost mentioned that. There's also the decline in disposable income for the bottom couple of quintiles, which makes it less practical to maintain a shop full of tools, notwithstanding the fact that low end tools are a lot cheaper in real terms than they used to be.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 1:55 PM
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Does "change a flat tire" mean, like, put the spare on? Or does it mean "pop the new tire onto the bead using jerry-rigged tools"? Those seem like very different tasks.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 1:55 PM
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the old image of a car up on blocks and a hydraulic jack in the driveway - is that still a common thing in Real America?

It is in the NASCAR belt, though I'd wager that most of the cars I've seen up on blocks are destined to remain there forever.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 1:56 PM
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Why would you have a car up on blocks and a jack? Don't the blocks mean you don't have to keep the jack there?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 1:58 PM
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If you keep the jack there, you only need three blocks and the jack probably would have just been in the way otherwise.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 2:02 PM
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This is why I'll never make it in redneck comedy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 2:04 PM
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You may be missing an allusion, KR.

I'm not. Somewhere in TFA I make a case for why that ideal is bullshit.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 2:05 PM
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Well of course it's bullshit. It doesn't mention darning a sock, deploying a web framework, reframing a conundrum or navigating polyamory.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 2:07 PM
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Does "change a flat tire" mean, like, put the spare on? Or does it mean "pop the new tire onto the bead using jerry-rigged tools"? Those seem like very different tasks.

I was thinking putting on a spare, but now that you mention it, my modal 16 y.o. male compatriot would have at least been able to identify a "tar arn" on sight, which I suspect is true of fewer and fewer people these days.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 2:07 PM
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139: Granted, some of them would know it primarily as an instrument with which to threaten hippies and black people, but they would be able to call it by its name, with certain allowances for local pronunciation.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 2:11 PM
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I'm not convinced "putting on the spare" and "identifying a tire iron by site" are actually setting the bar very high. But then again, I have not only replaced an electrical outlet but have furniture in my home that I MADE out of REAL WOOD so maybe I'm just a rough-hewn specimen of real americana like that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 2:15 PM
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Of course, I have not one but two uncles who have made whole boats out of wood and they're pretty much WASPs so maybe this distinction doesn't hold up.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 2:16 PM
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What did you replace the outlet with?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 2:16 PM
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A more child-proof outlet with GFCI and a cover.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 2:19 PM
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Functional, but not very original.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 2:20 PM
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I'm not convinced "putting on the spare" and "identifying a tire iron by site" are actually setting the bar very high

Which is kind of my point.

I have not only replaced an electrical outlet but have furniture in my home that I MADE out of REAL WOOD so maybe I'm just a rough-hewn specimen of real americana like that

That is also sort of my point. You see a lot of "skilled trades like as hobbies" among the overeducated professional set, but it's no longer (I assert without evidence) a badge of class identity for the lower middle class. Similarly, the 1%ers have professionally equipped kitchens to cook one dinner party a year, but cooking is no longer a ubiquitous skill for the (female half of the) lower middle class .


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 2:22 PM
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like (I was going to say "like cabinetry")


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 2:24 PM
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If this social atrophy of manual skills continues, soon only affluent hobbyists in high income ZIP codes will be able to bring a woman to vaginal orgasm.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 2:29 PM
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If "vaginal orgasm" is the one achieved by PIV sex, that's not a manual skill, knecht.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 2:41 PM
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146. No hablas español, huh? Chupame los uevos, OK?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 2:46 PM
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150: that qualification did occur to me. I have approximately zero contact with Hispanic neighborhoods, but I have noticed that the Spanish-language signage at Lowes is more prominent than at any other retailer, including Wal-Mart.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 2:52 PM
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If "vaginal orgasm" is the one achieved by PIV sex, that's not a manual skill, knecht.

It's like you've never heard of fisting.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 2:53 PM
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151. So, don't take this the wrong way, but if you can't talk to your mechanic, maybe you'll have a hard time guessing what he thinks.

That said, as far as I can make out, Mexican is even more slang-heavy than California english, and the spanish speakers around here are central american.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 2:57 PM
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153: I will cop to having taken a honky-centric perspective on this issue, and maybe that's the real story here: cohort replacement by immigrants and their children. (FWIW, my mechanic is old school Italian-American.)

I am open to the possibility that my impressions are empirically wrong on their own terms, though I would be surprised if that were the case with auto mechanics specifically.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 3:05 PM
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152: for the acronym to work, that would have to be "phisting" which I guess is just like fisting but with Phish playing in the background?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 3:08 PM
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Auto parts stores are Mexican-oriented in my neighborhood also.

I'm both WASP--originally--and LMC.

I'm pleased that both of my kids, liberally educated at private colleges are unusually handy/competent, certainly compared with their cohort.

My daughter told me that such routine skills as toilet plunging devolved on her everywhere, because she knew how and could face doing it. She has a sewing machine and knits, cooks competently and handles rudimentary issues with her car. In that last few weeks she jumped a run-down battery and was confident it would hold charge, and also changed a wheel.

My son's mechanical, construction and culinary skills are all prodigious. Over Christmas we put a new gearbox in our washer, and a few weeks ago we tiled the bathtub surround.

I'd say they grew up with the notion it was normal to do this kind of thing, and that the competencies allow you to live where and how you want without the money you'd need without them.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 3:11 PM
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152: it's more that I know what the P in PIV stands for.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 3:15 PM
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The guy who thought up the Personal Identity Verification card maybe didn't.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 3:30 PM
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I think in our area, teen boys can still fix cars, and/or they are just messing around pretending they can. People do definitely putter with cars. I don't, particularly, but I can put on a spare tire and replace windshield wipers and the easy stuff like that.

As far as orgasms go, I know the advice always is that you need to know your own body so you can show a partner how it works, but partnered sex feels so different in so many ways that I've never been sure if that isn't just a different way of putting unfair pressure on women. If you're not having PIV orgasms, you're broken (or not, this article says) but if you're not sure exactly how you can have partnered orgasms instead then you're just not trying hard enough to know your body, and to all of that my response is sort of fuck you-ish. But I also I'm far out on the response curve and orgasms from kissing feel different from orgasms from clitoral contact and so on, but still I don't know that I even have a complete personal taxonomy.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 3:39 PM
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157: my point is that not all vaginal orgasms are caused by PIV sex. Heterosexist.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 3:43 PM
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My impression was that "vaginal orgasm" isn't a thing (ie not a distinct type of orgasm; the phrase doesn't, as they say, carve reality at the joints) but was used, for whatever reason, to describe orgasms gotten as a result of PIV sex, hence my protasis. If you want to deny the protasis, that's fine too.


Posted by: Nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 3:49 PM
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teen boys can still fix cars, and/or they are just messing around pretending they can.

Guys standing around an open hood, while one of them or at the most 2 worked, is something I remember from when I was a kid and my brother was a much-older teenager. I always worked alone, because I'm less sociable, but that gathering around a car is real and continuous social activity. Hispanics and Asians do it around here, and I've seen modern Orthodox young men do it. Grubby caps and jackets, with Tzis-tzis showing.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 3:52 PM
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Women have penises and men have tzis-tzis? What a world.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 4:04 PM
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163: That Greek sauce with yogurt and cucumbers, right?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 4:10 PM
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Yes. Ask for penis in any Greek restaurant.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 4:28 PM
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One of my son's friends fixes cars. And hunts elk. Mostly, though, car repair in the computer age is beyond individual effort.

I used to work on cars, in the 70s early 80s when I drove VW bugs.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 4:29 PM
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157: "Protuberance?"


Posted by: turgid jacobian | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 4:35 PM
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Names of under-5s at the park today:

Patti
Rider/Ryder
Agnes
Edith
Rhoda


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 4:37 PM
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I have a little song in my head called "Let's PIV," to be sung to a 50s is dance tune.

Come on, baby, let's PIV!
Come on, baby, let's PIV together!
Come on, baby, let's PIV!
Come on, baby, let's PIV forever!

You've got the V.
I've got the P.
Let's PIV!

I'm not sure where to go with it from there.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 4:48 PM
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"Next week, sodomy. But right now, PIV."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 4:58 PM
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169: I think Rammstein beat you to it, as it were.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 5:00 PM
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Ahimsub, the Spanish speakers in my neighborhood are generally Mexicans from Morelos and Ecuadorians. Equal percentage of shade-tree mechanics from what I can tell, and two of the most recent new-builds on our main drag are DIY auto parts shops.

I have to say, I felt a little ashamed last year when replacing our dryer, despite my LMC self having gone online and found that I only would have needed to get two $18 parts to fix it myself. Oh well.

Now I will read the link in the OP


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 5:05 PM
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60: Yes. Trav beats any RAH hero to hell and gone.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 5:06 PM
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I've fixed the dryer three times. Or once, depending on how long it has to keep working for it to count.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 5:08 PM
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I almost ordered the part to fix our dishwasher myself, but I'm glad I didn't, because it would have been the wrong part, and anyhow the repair guy wasn't too expensive and is a neighbor.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 5:09 PM
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171: I'm thinking of something more rockabilly.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 5:12 PM
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138. Heinlein had some issues navigating polyamory, from what I've read. Not to mention probability.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 5:25 PM
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I haven't read the thread yet, but a quick search suggests no one flagged, "...a seminal paper on the clitoris." How low does fruit have to be to get picked around here?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:42 PM
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I AM SO GLAD SOMEONE FINALLY SAID 178. I HAVE BEEN WAITING ALL DAY!

-OPINIONATED THORN!!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:42 PM
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It's like I just released all your anticipation in one wondrous rush, isn't it?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 6:49 PM
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So, the important part of every rose is it's thorn.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 8:13 PM
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I would here mention Nabokov's Pudendron (aka the Hairy Alpine Rose) except that I've already done so previously on this blog four freaking times.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 8:29 PM
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Those diagrams look like the front halves of plesiosauri.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 8:32 PM
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The female's thighs look a bit chubby.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 8:45 PM
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170: Tragedy tomorrow, sodomy tonight?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 8:50 PM
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New Yorker-style caption context.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 8:50 PM
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Christ, what a peehole.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 8:59 PM
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I think in our area, teen boys can still fix cars, and/or they are just messing around pretending they can. People do definitely putter with cars. I don't, particularly, but I can put on a spare tire and replace windshield wipers and the easy stuff like that.

It's still possible to putter around with them, and I've certainly done various minor repairs myself.* The more modern the car, the harder it is, though. Modern engines aren't really amenable to end-user servicing, though.

* I had a car stolen once, and had to replace the locking system, ignition barrel, and much of the wiring, for example.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 11:43 PM
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I could probably change my tires by myself, since they're on rims, but I'll probably take them to a tire place anyway since it's easier and not very expensive. (I've never actually changed a tire, but I have been taught how to do it.) In general, I kind of doubt that KR is correct about the aptitude of the current lower-middle-class for manual labor. Alaska's very blue-collar, though, so people here might be more handy than elsewhere in general.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 11:50 PM
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I am fairly WASP and I can and have changed tyres, built furniture and dealt with minor plumbing things. My dad was even more so and used to make toys for us out of wood by hand.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 12:25 AM
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Is WASP even a meaningful concept in the UK?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 12:31 AM
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I mean, I wasn't aware that it still was in the US until Sifu objected strenuously to my use of it to describe him a while back.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 12:31 AM
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191 - no.

I've changed flat tyres! Go me! The two times I called someone else to do it was (1) in the middle of the night, on a pitch black road, with 3 kids in the car, and (2) when I couldn't undo the machine-loosened nuts even by standing on the spanner thing. Most recent flat, I pulled into a layby, got out and looked at it, and was immediately offered help by someone with the same style van as me, so said, "yes sure, thank you very much" but I could have done it alone. And I've changed plug sockets (mostly singles to doubles). But I'm prety crap at everything else.

I have a friend who built half of the inside of his house, including the stairs, loads of their furniture, and a floor, and I am pretty envious of his skillz.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 1:06 AM
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And I can't spell and use the same words too much. Right, off to do something useful.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 1:08 AM
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193.1: Ah, okay. I didn't think so, but see 192.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 1:12 AM
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Alaska's very blue-collar, though, so people here might be more handy than elsewhere in general.

Where does wrestling grizzly bears with your bare hands fit in?

Someone needs to create a new class chart.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 1:13 AM
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Alaskans mostly wrestle grizzly bears with guns, so factor that in wherever it fits.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 1:17 AM
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And then there's the polar bears.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 1:25 AM
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191: well, no, but it came up in the conversation.

193: if the nuts are too tight for you to loosen by hand, then they're too tight and your garage (or manufacturer) has done a bad thing. You shouldn't even have to stand on the wheelbrace to loosen/tighten them, because you risk bending the wheelbrace and then you're completely stuffed.

Alaskans mostly wrestle grizzly bears with guns

"Where that grizzly bear got a gun I'll never know."

I had a car stolen once, and had to replace the locking system, ignition barrel, and much of the wiring, for example.

And, indeed, the entire rest of the car.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 1:36 AM
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Unless you mean that someone stole it for you.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 1:36 AM
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170 sounds like a line from an early draft of "The Naming of Parts".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 1:38 AM
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use a radial saw, change a flat tire, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.

yup, yup, no, yes, no, no, yes, yes, yes, no, yes, yes (poorly), no, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, no, no. so my heinlein number is 15/22 or 68%. The problem is that I've done all the easy ones - anyone broken a leg or need a building?


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 1:56 AM
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When this came up previously there was a suggestion of a week-long residential course that would teach you everything you needed to become a Heinleinian Competent Human. Some of it wouldn't take long, I reckon you could fit most of it into an hour or two per topic. The ones that would take time would be "design a building" and "plan an invasion".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 2:25 AM
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One could of course save time by combining them. For example, have a class in which one was ordered to butcher a hog, or cooperated with others to change a flat tyre, or issue a set of orders for an invasion in sonnet form.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 2:37 AM
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203: I like how everyone conveniently ignores "die gallantly."


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 3:44 AM
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That would be fairly easy to teach, actually. Classroom examples. Discussion.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 3:48 AM
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I like the Heinlein Number as a concept! Assuming planning an invasion in a role-playing game counts (and why on earth wouldn't it), sailing a dinky sailboat counts as conning a ship (ditto) and designing a shitty little bulding counts a designing building I just need to find a hog, die gallantly while butchering it, and comfort myself whilst dying by setting a bone. Oh wait, pitch manure. Okay. Find a hog in some manure, I guess.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 3:57 AM
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I guess I haven't written a sonnet. Maybe the pig likes poetry.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 3:59 AM
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Does he mean a successful invasion, or like, Bay of Pigs fiasco? Because I could probably do a Bay of Pigs level job of planning an invasion.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 4:04 AM
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I don't think there's a minimum size either. You could probably plan a squad-level invasion just using common sense. Put the chaps in a boat, land them, get them out of the boat.



Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 4:10 AM
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I guess you just need to know how to do these things. I think they're pretty much all gonna be on YouTube.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 4:10 AM
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210: two for one!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 4:11 AM
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Planning an invasion probably also gets you give and receive orders, unless you have a particularly weird consensus oriented military organisation.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 4:13 AM
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I'm trying to figure out if you could get them all in one go "well, gentlemen, while we're all safe here in my fort, behind my wall, while we wait to possibly break limbs or lose our lives invading farmer Brown's farm across that river so that we can clear some of his manure to make a wallow for the pig we will roast to celebrate our victory, I'd like to read you a poem."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 4:17 AM
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214: as long as the poem compiles.

Relatedly, if anyone's watching the Aussie substitute-for-Borgen-that-was-a-substitute-for-The-Killing, The Code, I was really pleased in episode 1 that a) the crazy hacker character is typing real linux commands (ffmpeg to cut a video clip into frames and pass them through an edge-detect filter; grep various patterns looking for bad shell escapes in code w-got from a target's misconfigured web server; curl to deliver the shell exploit; rsync to exfil all their stuff via the reverse shell; cp to shift it onto a usb disk) and b) they're actually part of the plot.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 4:33 AM
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iptables gets a look-in, too.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 4:35 AM
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212: exactly. For most of us here "plan an invasion" is also "analyse a new problem" because almost no one here has ever planned an invasion before.
(Military coups, yes, but that's different.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 4:37 AM
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re: 200

Heh, no. Boy out of Falkirk ... etc

But no, stolen from me. Then recovered, in a drivable state in a wood miles south of Reading. The AA guy helped me slightly unfuck what the thieves had done, so I could start it with a set of pliers. Then, over the next week or so, I ordered a new ignition barrel and the other bits and bobs, and fitted them. Annoyingly, Rover had changed the ignition barrel connectors and colour codes between revisions, so I had to re-solder all the connectors and sort of semi-guess on the colour codes. It worked, although the central locking used to spontaneously unlock sometimes.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 4:53 AM
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Gingerbread probably doesn't count as covering 'design a building' . I suppose maybe if it was big enough.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 5:02 AM
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I like Sifu's RPG ruling on planning an invasion! Check. I've pitched manure. Check.

I've even set a bone (kinda: it was my wrist, and I didn't know I'd broken it, and the orthopedist I eventually went to said it was a 97% correct set, and if he had done it it would have maybe been 98%).

So, gotta find me a hog and then I'm set until I croak. Pulled pork sandwiches: yum!


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 5:05 AM
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What's the ruling on giving oneself credit for things that really don't look as if they could possibly be a problem? I've never had occasion to change a flat tire, but it doesn't look hard at all. And while I have pitched manure, barring obvious physical disability it's hard to imagine someone who couldn't.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 5:08 AM
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207: You missed the obvious synergy available in comforting the dying and butchering the hog. Inflict a mortal injury on the hog, comfort it while it dies, and then butcher it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 5:12 AM
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In terms of general competence: I can cook; I can do simple butchery; I can build simple furniture and do basic carpentry [but nothing involving elaborate joints or very fine tolerances]; I can do basic electrical things and have done a fair bit of soldering and simple repair work in jobs in the past [nothing surface mount]; I have pretty advanced IT skills; I can play an instrument; I can do pretty much any DIY task that doesn't require a lot of experience [as I can follow instructions, and use basic tools]; I can look after a child; I can do first aid; I can kick motherfuckers in the head [while spinning!].

I would fare pretty poorly on the more macho Heinlein skills, though: dying gallantly, conning a ship, planning an invasion, etc.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 5:14 AM
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I'm impressed that Alex can Butcher a hog. Does that just mean chopping it into bits, or turning it into recognisable joints, sausages, black pudding, haslet, etc?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 5:17 AM
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I have participated in butchering a hog, but I wouldn't claim I know how to do it properly if called upon to do it by myself. I mean, I could get it done, but the meat would look a mess at the end.

I've never had occasion to change a flat tire, but it doesn't look hard at all.

There are some subtleties involved, like the placement of the jack and the sequence of tightening the lug nuts, but yeah, nothing a person of reasonable health and fitness couldn't accomplish with two minutes of instruction.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 5:18 AM
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If smallish sailboats (some larger than dinghy size, but small) count as conning a ship, (a) not that hard -- it's not quite pitching manure, but it's the sort of thing that anyone reasonable could pick up fairly easily, and (b) not that macho.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 5:24 AM
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I learned how to change a flat tire about twelve years ago, but have never had any need to do it since then so I'm positive I would be unable to do so. This happens with a lot of physical skills.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 5:25 AM
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I can kick motherfuckers in the head [while spinning!].

A commenter should be able to swim backstroke, care for a child, design an extension, exhaust an administrative remedy, teach calculus, post a NSFW link, infringe a copyright, calculate a Spearman's rho, date a bass player, compose a parody, plan a protest, sex Mutumbo, omit a close-italics tag, maintain a database, map a watershed, sell a second-hand table and kick a motherfucker in the head while spinning. Specialisation is for reddit.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 5:25 AM
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it's not quite pitching manure

The hardest part of pitching manure is remembering to breathe through your mouth.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 5:26 AM
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re: 226

I'm assuming Heinlein has in mind issuing orders and making a crew of jolly tars jump to it, etc. all while maintaing competent control of a huge vessel.

Making a dinghy point roughly 'that way', I imagine I could do with some minimal instruction.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 5:26 AM
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There's an interesting split between things Heinlein wants you to do at all and those you have to do to a standard. Butchering the hog, designing the building, planning the invasion, you just have to get it done. But fighting has to be 'efficient', food has to be 'tasty', and dying has to be 'gallant'. I suppose if you don't have some metric for the quality of the death, literally everyone but the Wandering Jew gets that one.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 5:27 AM
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I think the hipster-doing these things (charcuterie, artisanal jamming, all the bullshit sewing and knitting I do) is interesting too. I deliberately picked up some of the "boy" side things to do because I didn't want to seem deficient or needy, but when I'm thinking about what I want to learn, increasingly elaborate forms of needlework (that do not extend to requiring the use of any sort of pubic hair, mind you!) are far more appealing than getting better at soldering even though I would like to solder better too. Is it the question of fun versus survival that makes a difference?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 5:47 AM
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When I was little, I used to pull apart old electronics with a soldering iron. That was because video games were stupid back then.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 5:54 AM
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233: I used to get my dad to buy me little transistors so I could pretend they were tiny insects or arachnids and were my friends. Possibly there is a gender divide at play.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 6:00 AM
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Interesting that he didn't require any quality standard for the sonnet, just that it conforms to the rules. When you think he was a writer much longer than he was ever a naval officer.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 6:00 AM
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My dad would by my sisters transistors, but never a capacitor.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 6:04 AM
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When I was little, I used to pull apart old electronics with a soldering iron. That was because video games were stupid back then.

And then you'd wish them into the cornfield?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 6:05 AM
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You don't have to have a very big sailboat before one of the things you have to do at the helm is tell other people to do things.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 6:05 AM
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I don't even get 237. Anyway, farmers get mad if you leave parts in their fields.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 6:09 AM
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Can I substitute sheep for hog? Now ask me why I'm a vegetarian.

||

In other news, I have another interview, one I've been preparing myself for the last few weeks. It'll take me overseas again which I've wanted to do for a long time now and it's a good fit that will involve some really cool stuff but I'm being superstitious about this one so I won't say more. It's at 4 in the morning my time. Wish me luck.

|>


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 6:10 AM
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It's a good life, Moby.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 6:12 AM
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240: Good luck. Try to wake up at least an hour ahead of the interview.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 6:13 AM
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Best of luck - try melat/onin for the jetlag. Works a treat, I find.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 6:16 AM
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Good luck!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 6:23 AM
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Yay, Barry! Overseas will be less of a culture shift than the deep south anyway, right?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 6:25 AM
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239 - jerome bixby


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 6:28 AM
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I had an opportunity to butcher a sheep (starting with a live walking-around a baa-ing sheep) but turned it down because the guys who knew how to do it were making a big joke out of this being my first time and weren't willing to give me detailed instructions in how to kill the damn thing. I didn't want it to suffer so I passed. Then I ate it's balls.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 6:29 AM
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That probably counts as suffering. You should have waited for them to kill it first.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 6:30 AM
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Eating is balls.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 6:31 AM
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On the plus side, he can probably get away with saying that he thought the right side won the US civil war.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 6:31 AM
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Butchering the hog, designing the building, planning the invasion, you just have to get it done.

"Know how to butcher a hog" seems to me to imply something more than just "get it done"--i.e., just manage to kill it and slice it up. You need to know how to butcher it correctly in order to have the right cuts of meat. If you can't do that, it seems fair to say you don't know how to butcher a hog. Even if you managed to cut it apart. It's not that hard to learn with a little practice, but that's the point. The first time you try, you're liable to fuck it up.

Same thing with designing a building. If you don't know how to make it reasonably functional, you don't know how to design a building.

I'll grant that planning an invasion seems more subjective... your plans would have to be manifestly terrible before anyone would say you must not actually know how to plan an invasion.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 6:38 AM
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I mean, I've never butchered a hog, but if you don't know what you're doing it's pretty easy to fuck up something as simple as fileting a fish.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 6:40 AM
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My building was totally functional. It was designed to allow people to give and receive anonymous blowjobs in a spirit of patriotism, and it served that function perfectly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 6:40 AM
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248: My Grandfather was a stone cold badass who could do everything on Heinlein's list before breakfast. When he was a young man he learned how to castrate sheep by biting the testicles off. He never taught me this useful skill, which I'm just fine with.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 6:40 AM
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245 Yes, actually. And the job is overseas but the interview is via Skype.

250 There is that. The phrase "I just love Andersonville" in a pretty Southern drawl is still ringing in my ears. (The head of the search committee had done an internship there).


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 6:41 AM
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Everything you need to know about how to design a building.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 6:41 AM
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In thinking about a more technologically flexible society, I just imagined a system where everyone is mandatorily trained to a few bygone trades (farming being the default) and stands ready to be called up the way everyone in Europe was before WWI. "What's your Apocalypse Occupation?" : the new icebreaker.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 6:45 AM
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I make blowjob huts!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 6:46 AM
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With sailing and lace-making skills, I am prequalified to take up the role of Lewis Carroll's Beaver (yeah, yeah, no heckling from the peanut gallery) in the apocalypse.

You know, the kind of apocalypse where people really need lace.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 6:49 AM
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Let's hope occupational surnaming comes back.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 6:50 AM
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Sifu Tweety Blasenhausmacher


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 6:51 AM
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Do the intentionally dropped stitches in the sweaters from The Matrix count, LB?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 6:51 AM
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Where did they get the fibers anyway?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 7:00 AM
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Oh, I could Madame Defarge the hell out of some coded knitting, if anyone ever needed to keep a very small amount of records or send some extremely slow messages.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 7:01 AM
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I keep all my household accounts on quipus.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 7:02 AM
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Good luck, Barry!

251.3. If the weather forecasters had been wrong and the whole thing had gone tits up, people would be lining up to tell you that Eisenhower couldn't plan an invasion. Yet he had no control over the weather, and the forecasters could easily have been wrong. What's wrong is the elision between planning an invasion, which any fool can do for certain definitions of "plan" and "invasion", and planning a successful one, which nobody can do by definition. I strongly suspect that Heinlein intended his readers to make that elision.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 7:03 AM
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I note that he doesn't mention "plan a defense". Heinlein is gonna get his ass whipped at Starcraft.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 7:05 AM
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re: 253

Did anyone actually USE it, however? Or did it just exist as a sort of objet?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 7:16 AM
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231: I just got my Cryonics tags, so I might or might not get points for that last one.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 7:42 AM
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Have them freeze you while standing in the Captain Morgan pose.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 7:44 AM
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267: Planning an invasion is just like planning a defense, but backwards and in combat boots.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 7:44 AM
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Sorry, that's insufficiently euphoniuous.

Planning a defense is like planning an invasion, but backwards and in haste.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 7:46 AM
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269: Frozen or not, while you might outlive me, you're not going to live forever. The longer you live, the greater the chances something not survivable by freezing is going to get you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 7:46 AM
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273: Fine. I may or may not get points for that one anytime soon.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 7:48 AM
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My Heinlein score might be the lowest possible for a functioning adult human.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 7:49 AM
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The dying one seems unfair -- I don't think anyone knows unti it happens, and after that it's too late to add it to your score.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 7:51 AM
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270: That's some kind of drunken logician, right?


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 7:51 AM
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Maybe he meant die gallantly on stage.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 7:53 AM
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276: you can learn how to do it and be fairly confident you could do it without actually doing it, though.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 7:54 AM
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277: More or less.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 7:55 AM
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Anyway, I don't think we're quite being fair to treat this as a checklist. It seems much more likely that it was meant as a vivid description of something close to the central case of a bunch of possible ways of being competent that all share a family resemblance.

But mainly I'm saying this because I want to see everyone here brag about a broader variety of skills they have, and not be limited to Heinlein's list.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 7:58 AM
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279: Are there instructional manuals?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 7:59 AM
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I want to see everyone here brag about a broader variety of skills they have, and not be limited to Heinlein's list

I can and do fold fitted sheets into perfect quadrangles.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 8:00 AM
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I can fold flat sheets into wadded messes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 8:02 AM
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279: yes; how to die a good death has been a big issue for a lot of cultures and I'm sure there's plenty written about it.

"Even if it seems certain that you will lose, retaliate. Neither wisdom nor technique has a place in this. A real man does not think of victory or defeat. He plunges recklessly towards an irrational death. By doing this, you will awaken from your dreams."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 8:03 AM
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268: yes! Lots of people!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 8:03 AM
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282: I think the Phaedo is sorta like that.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 8:03 AM
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We had a "What's your boring superpower?" thread here once, but I can't find the link. I remember someone (redfoxtailshrub?) claiming to possess the delightful power to always know exactly the right size container to put the leftovers in.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 8:03 AM
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Cryonics seems like a particularly inapt method of preservation in an era of global warming. Sequestered in carbon(ite) seems both more stable and more public-spirited.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 8:07 AM
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Hmmm. It was redfoxtailshrub, but that's not the thread I was thinking of.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 8:17 AM
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My superpower would be my gift for unintentional slapstick comedy. I can trip over anything.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 8:20 AM
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Oh, 291 is a good one! I also walk into doorways and fall up stairs. That's reassuring, because I don't think I have any cleaning or storage-related microsuperpowers.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 8:21 AM
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"☆☆☆☆☆" - Marcus Porcius Cato


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 8:21 AM
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2878 to 253.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 8:22 AM
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Somebody swoops in and closes the comments after 1,100 or something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 8:25 AM
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I have a family transmitted tendency to fall down a surprising amount -- oddly, it comes from both sides (Mom and Dad, both very athletic and physically competent, but with a tendency toward pratfalls.)

The minor superpower this comes with is a consequent ability to shake off fairly dramatic looking falls, blows to the head, or whatever, and go on about my business hoping no one noticed.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 8:26 AM
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287 to 253, then.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 8:27 AM
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I can figure out how to spell and pronounce words backwards at lightning speed, and also come up with abbreviations (e.g. you say "blows to the head, or whatever" and I'll say "Oh yeah, BTTHOW"). Like the related Scrabble/anagrams power, this might be useful in a pre-computer era.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 8:30 AM
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298: Do you spell out your nonceronyms or pronounce them?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 8:31 AM
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281. So in popular culture, smugness is basically the contemporary hubris. But I'm pretty confident of my ability to identify the least bad choice when none look too good. I'm pretty content with parenting so far. AT the very least, I have avoided the most serious problems that my parents encountered, also their parents before them, though I have a functioning society and no money problems making the job a whole lot easier. None of these are interesting, though.

How about superdeficits? My people sense is unfortunately unpredictable to me. It's not that I fail to detect the attributes and feelings of people around me, it's that my ability to do so correctly works only some of the time-- but I cannot tell when it is working correctly and when not.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 8:35 AM
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I can anger my wife by speaking and by not speaking.


Posted by: Gerald Ford | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 8:40 AM
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301. Dude, like half the blog is married. The real question: Can you speak and not cause anger, ever? Supplementally, if yes, then can you not speak without causing anger?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 8:45 AM
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I feel a bit like I let down my mom with my general automotive abilities (she once replaced the transmission in either a TR3 or a Karmann Ghia), but I was quite pleased with myself for fighting new headlight bulbs into my Passat a couple weeks ago. Of the 4 bulbs, 1 is accessible, 1 is fairly accessible, 1 is kind of a pain in the ass, and one is nearly impossible to do without a very particular tool that I don't have.

Part of the satisfaction was that I did this at the end of an already full day, which I think is an underrated source of pride:accomplishing 3 major*, unrelated tasks in a single day.

*loosely defined, but intending something where you're blocking out at least an hour and you'll need to think about it. Replacing a light bulb doesn't count, replacing a light fixture does.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 8:46 AM
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My elderly neighbor called me over to change a light bulb for her. I failed to get the cover off despite putting as much force as I thought was possible on it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 8:48 AM
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On the ship conning, I think there are 2 roughly equivalent levels, at very different scales. One is managing a genuine ship for some length of time, while the other is running a small boat from dock to dock, ideally with a bit of navigating in the middle. Having just recently spent a day with a friend on his new sailboat (17'? 23'? Thereabouts), I don't think it's the sort of thing one can just up and do the first time without guidance (at which point you're not "conning"), or perhaps a lot of reading in advance.

Simply keeping a sailboat on course for a bit is, I agree, trivial.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 8:50 AM
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There was kind of a legendary incident in which I failed at changing a light bulb for my then-gf and now wife. She's a smart person, and still after having witnessed that, she purchased a house with me. Well... I usually don't have any problems changing light bulbs.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 8:57 AM
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||
More inane clickbait about Google tech! Addiction treatment hammers identify surprising new nail. Definitely sounds like, whatever's going on, this is a low point in this poor guy's life.
|>

Now that I am close to having an advanced humanities degree, I wonder if I should take up the bookish art of motorcycle repair. I do like the idea, but my, my, those things are so loud and dangerous. The eco-friendly cars I'd consider buying are definitely not DIY candidates. I remember opening the hood of my old Prius and there was basically just a big locked box that said "don't even think about it."


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 8:57 AM
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300.2: I'm pretty sure most of the people on this blog have, at best, iffy people senses. I hide mine by being (usually) cheerful and self-effacing*, but I have a lingering, and probably permanent, fear that I've completely misread everybody and everyone thinks I'm some sort of asshole.

*I used to be more self-effacing, which probably made me more tolerable to others, but it was the aftereffects of my childhood depression/whatever, and so I don't really miss it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 8:58 AM
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I need to replace the hard drive in my wife's laptop, and discovered that it's definitely NOT a task for late on a Sunday afternoon. Thank God, I discovered this before taking anything apart.

I don't think there are any especially scary steps, but it seems as if there will be multiple many-hours steps involving creating boot drives, cloning, restoring, etc.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 9:00 AM
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Pipes you really, really don't want to hear: "Mr McManus has the deck, Mr Urple has the conn!"


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 9:01 AM
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397.2: Prius hacking.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 9:02 AM
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I once needed to use as much force as possible to unscrew a glass lightbulb cover. I succeeded, but only by having it explode into two pieces. And that's how I got a scar right between my eyes!


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 9:03 AM
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298: when I was a kid, I practiced speaking backwards (not mimicking reversed pronunciation, which is much harder, just pronouncing the word formed by reversing the letters) until I could do it at full speed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 9:05 AM
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313: You really thought you were doing that on your own?


Posted by: Opinionated Satan | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 9:08 AM
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Devil dog! Devil dog!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 9:10 AM
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Better than "Mr. Urple has the galley."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 9:10 AM
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I used to be able to mirror-script pretty accurately and legibly (the major flaw was forgetting to cross 't's.) I took notes like that sometimes in high school. Haven't tried for decades, though.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 9:14 AM
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I have definitely seen 311 before -- was it around in 2003? We were quickly distracted from the Prius by a diesel Mercedes and homebrewed fuel, as it turned out (previous partner -- kayak & I do not go quite that far back). I have a residual fondness for diesel engines, but free waste oil is not so much the plentiful resource of yesteryear.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 9:15 AM
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Fair laughs the morn and soft the zephyr blows,
While proudly riding o'er the azure realm
In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes;
bob on the prow, and urple at the helm!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 9:16 AM
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318: probably. I think hobbit was a pretty early adopter. He's still at it, though. I saw him in the spring and he was telling me about it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 9:21 AM
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re: 310

The one I really don't want to hear is 'Mr Urple has the galley.'


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 9:50 AM
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re: 309

I did that in my wife's too. I don't remember it being that hard, but then again, moving data around is a core part of my job. Helped, I think, by the fact that she had very little crucial data on it, and most of it I could easily backup, as, ahem, it was on the desktop.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 9:52 AM
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You so don't want to hear it that you didn't even read it when it was written in 316.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 9:52 AM
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267: Heinlein doesn't need a defense. He'd play Zerg, be mobile, and keep constant pressure upon his opponent. Defenses are for those who aren't expanding fast enough.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 10:03 AM
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I don't remember it being that hard

I've replaced a laptop hard drive and also don't remember it being that hard. Most annoying thing was acquiring the star screwdrivers I needed to get inside the machine.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 10:19 AM
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322, 325: It's the bootable drive that's holding me back. This is 5 year old machine, so even if I can dig up the original OS disc (and I probably can), I then need to update by 5 OS versions, and only then can I put the data (75GB) back on.

Or maybe I can just load the old OS and restore from backup, which will leap me forward the 5 OSes automatically? As I say, it's mostly that I realized I couldn't possibly do it between 5 pm on a Sunday and the start of work Monday when I had a houseguest and dinner to make.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 10:31 AM
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In other words, couldn't do it while drunk.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 10:35 AM
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Original disc located, surprisingly readily. Probably just use that.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 10:37 AM
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I hide mine by being (usually) cheerful and self-effacing*, but I have a lingering, and probably permanent, fear that I've completely misread everybody and everyone thinks I'm some sort of asshole.

I have a related, but sort of opposite problem: I have a lingering fear that I should have much more lingering fear that everyone thinks I'm an asshole. Because I'm not at all cheerful and self-effacing--I'm a complete asshole. But only ironically. Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm joking. But I think lots of people don't know me well and so just think I'm just a complete asshole. Which is completely my fault, not theirs--see "at best, iffy people senses"--but the issue is I don't even think about this 99% of the time. The only time it dawns on me is when someone actually says something, etc., and I realize "Christ, he thinks I'm being serious", and then I worry how many other dozens of people feel the same way. But yet I do not change.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 10:43 AM
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Don't ever change. Sincerely.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 10:44 AM
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When and why did we stop talking about clitorises?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 10:44 AM
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OT: Everyone in Cleveland has Ebola.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 10:44 AM
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Hmm. Or maybe Super Duper does it all.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 11:05 AM
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329: I'm kind of awkward and standoffish, but polite and supportive and kind with people until I get to know them. Then, when I feel as if we're really friends, the vicious teasing starts. People often seem to be confused about why I'm incredibly mean to them all of a sudden, and don't understand that it's a sign of warmly affectionate feelings.

And yet somehow I've reproduced.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 11:08 AM
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329: I've had that experience as well, but I interact with so few people (because self-employed at home, and business contacts are very different) that I think I rarely encounter anyone who could possibly take my joking assholishness (which isn't a major feature of my IRL personality anyway) seriously.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 11:08 AM
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OT: Everyone in Cleveland has Ebola.

Ebolabbatical!!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 11:25 AM
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The link in 256 is oddly fascinating.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 11:26 AM
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It is. I've read the whole thing twice.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 11:27 AM
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I just need some ground. Somehow my in-laws won't let me use their yard even though they have a very big yard.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 11:28 AM
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Fortunately, there's been absolutely nothing I heard about that might have exposed large numbers of Pittsburghers to people from Cleveland.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 11:34 AM
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I can do two digit multiplication problems mentally faster than my wife can using a calculator, taking into account how long it takes to find the fucking calculator in the house.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 11:42 AM
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340: When we were there last week we stayed out of the Squirrel Cage, so you should be safe.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 11:47 AM
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340: Also no upcoming events that might involve a large number of people from all over Ohio convening in Columbus, thank goodness.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 11:48 AM
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Do people from Cleveland root for Ohio State?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 11:51 AM
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Some do, I guess?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 11:53 AM
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Yep (NYT link)


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 11:59 AM
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342: You're too fancy for it?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 12:10 PM
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So wait, the snarktails and ydnew* were both in town last weekend, and there was no meet up?

Or maybe there was, and my fears in 308 were exactly correct. Shit.

*I think?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 12:38 PM
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337, 256. The best part is right at the beginning where the Masons are blamed for the demise of cob building.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 12:43 PM
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348: Not exactly. Arrived Sunday evening, left yesterday. I would have loved to request a meet-up for drinks, but I had an unpredictable work schedule (and was at the mercy of more important people). It's not you, it's me!


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 1:07 PM
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We're all at the mercy of more important people, thanks to the NSA.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 1:09 PM
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349 to 351.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 1:12 PM
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The professional butchers where I grew up blew it badly the first time we called them for hogs -- didn't kill the first animal, both of them broke out of the pen, screaming, squealing, blood all over the snow. Also they were amazingly bad at butchering: steaks of wildly uneven thickness, animals not carved at the joint. And these were full-time butchers and hereditary ones, too, the last slaughterer in two counties.

After that I can't remember if my parents built wedge traps for the hogs, or had the otherwise-mild guy with the 45 and good aim come over once a year (we traded a hog for half his calf regularly), or what. I've never butchered anything bigger than a goose, though I've mayyyybe butchered a hogs-weight of poultry. Maybe. That's a lot of birds.

If you get it really wrong, you get bile on the meat and it's ruined. It's hard enough to get no feces on the meat with birds.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 1:30 PM
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It's hard enough to get no feces on the meat with birds.

"Employees must wash hands after touching the food."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 1:37 PM
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Friends of mine are learning how to butcher hogs. Well, piglets and red deer. I'm ok with not, I think. I have caught a fish and killed it by putting my thumb in its mouth and breaking its neck, and then gutted it and cooked it. But a mackerel is probably is big as I care to go.

I'm really good at parallel parking, which looks even better when you're in a stupidly-large vehicle, but is no harder as long as you've chosen a space you can actually fit in.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 1:58 PM
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355.2 is a good one. I actually impressed Lee with my parallel parking skills on our first date, though it was an unusually good fluke.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 2:25 PM
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I have caught a fish and killed it by putting my thumb in its mouth and breaking its neck

I have never heard of doing this to a fish. Is this a common method? I've always just thumped them on the head.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 2:27 PM
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I shoot them in the head.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 2:39 PM
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In a barrel?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 2:42 PM
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I actually impressed Lee with my parallel parking skills on our first date

Of course, you were playing "Pull Up To The Bumper" as you parked.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 3:00 PM
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We met up with no unfoggedetarians but ourselves. Rest assured! Our behavior implies no particular animus to any!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 3:08 PM
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357: It's how I kill anything small enough.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 10-15-14 8:00 PM
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The thing is, I didn't even really think fish had necks.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 5:44 AM
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Not in a way we can understand. But they have spines and I guess that counts for the purpose of something you can break.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:21 AM
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Right--they have spines. But I guess I usually think of spines as something you would break if you're trying to paralyze, not kill. I guess maybe breaking the spine near the brain stem has the same effect regardless of whether there's a traditional neck right there. But without a neck, it seems like it would be harder to do. How can you be sure you're breaking the neck unless you basically tear the fish's head off?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:28 AM
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Maybe putting your thumb in the mouth is the key?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:33 AM
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I never actually killed a fish. The last time I caught one, I was small enough that my uncle did it. My son has only been fishing with grandpa. I once wounded a bird and I know I was supposed to break its little neck, but I got squeamish, so I shot it again. Given that it was a very small bird (a dove), I think I did a very good job of killing it without blowing it all to pieces.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:35 AM
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How can you be sure you're breaking the neck unless you basically tear the fish's head off?

There's a kind of wet grinding snap sensation. Like when you're tearing a chicken apart at the joints.

(A cooked chicken! A dead, cooked chicken!)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:37 AM
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368: I guess I wasn't aware that fish heads could be turned far enough to make that possible (without being torn off). Obviously, this calls for experimentation.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:42 AM
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I bet if you asked nicely and wore those orange gloves, the fishmonger would let you practice for a bit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:45 AM
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You don't turn them in the sense of trying to rotate them around the fish's long axis. You pull them straight up and back like you were trying to break a rabbit's neck.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:45 AM
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With no ears to grab, that sounds more difficult.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:47 AM
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Ok, that makes more sense. Although, since this is apparently a common practice, I guess I have to ask: why don't you just thump them on the head? That seems easier.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:55 AM
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Well, that's why you put your thumb in the fish's mouth.

Alternatively, the fish might have hysterical ears.
http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.co.uk/2009/12/thurber-tonight-pet-department-3.html


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:55 AM
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Speaking personally, I would thump them on the head as well. Anything too big for me to kill by thumping it on the head is something into whose mouth I would not feel happy introducing my thumb.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 6:57 AM
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If your finger is already in there to remove the hook, maybe it's easier.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:01 AM
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I was on a paying fishing trip on a boat with Kid D. I was expecting that the boat people would deal with killing the fish, and if I had imagined anything, it would have been hitting them on the head, or cutting their heads off. (Sharp knives probably not best practice on a RIB though I suppose.) Anyway, I caught one, and they said "do this", and I went "urrrrr no, maybe next time", and then Kid D and I caught ones at the same time and it was a bit chaotic and I let the boat people kill them again, but said I would definitely do the next one, and then I caught two at once (two hooks on one line), and I killed one and the bloke killed the other. And one carried on twitching for quite a while, but I don't know whether it was my incompetent killing. Anyway, Kid D and I were clearly sitting in the best corner of the boat, because I think only 3 other mackerel were caught by the rest of the boat.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 7:33 AM
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375 sounds right to me.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 8:02 AM
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But would that squash its head? Or would it stun it enough to die peacefully in the air? Or would it actually kill it? I wouldn't want to be walking around with a carrier bag of squashed-headed fish.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 8:06 AM
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It kills them but does not noticeably squash their heads.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 8:09 AM
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I've never squashed a head. I think generally you are not really killing it, just knocking it unconscious after which it will asphyxiate peacefully. (Or, I guess technically it will anti-asphyxiate?)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-16-14 8:12 AM
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