7.13.2010

Thoughts I Frankly Didn’t Try Very Hard to Flesh Out into Full Entries Because I’ve Had A Shitty Few Days

Eugenics: My mother and my aunt have never gotten along, although now that they’re getting older and their health has started to fail they get along better because they finally have something to talk about. Any time my aunt comes up in conversation, my mother says “Oh! She married those two idiots! It’s going to take us generations to get those genes out of the family.”

Abortion: My good God Almighty, I am tired of hearing about abortion. Like the Roman senator that ended every speech, no matter the topic, with “Carthage must be destroyed,” every political argument in this country (and a surprising number of private conversations) works its way around to abortion. In later centuries, historians will study our political system and be sure they’re using a bad translation. I’m sure I used to have a rational, well-considered position on the issue at some point, but I don’t remember what it was after a quarter-century of “Choice! Life! Choice! Life!” I especially hate the bumper sticker that says, “Your Mother Was Pro-Life!” Ignoring the foolishness of having any bumper sticker that contains the words “your mother,” no, she wasn’t. She just didn’t have an abortion in 1984. (Five bucks says someone leaves a comment saying “But she should have!”)

To Hell with Punctuation: There used to be an anti-abortion billboard on the highway on the way to my mom’s house from the airport (it was across from a place that offered “tattooz” – why is the area near the airport always so frightening?) Like most ads, it featured a dopey grinning baby, and bore the caption “Did you know? I got my “GENES” at conception. Why in the world are they “GENES”? Is “genes,” pronounced “hen-ess,” the Spanish word for soul or something? It makes me think that the person designing the billboard doesn’t really believe in genes, but, hell, might as well fight fire with fire? “Genes is the keyword here. Better do something to it. Quotes, italics or something.” Yesterday I was walking to the post office and passed a house with a sign on the door that read “Please leave deliveries on the step…” And… what? Ellipses… generally lead to something. Adding punctuation for no reason… makes no sense. I feel like there are a lot of signs on restaurants that have similar random punctuation, especially the poor, exploited quotation mark. “Please” NO SMOKING. One per “customer.”

Creation vs. Evolution: I had a fight with my last girlfriend (last as in both “final” and “most recent”) over this issue. She strongly favored teaching evolution, and I strongly didn’t give a damn.

“How do you not care if people are taught good science?”

“Because I went to a public high school! Our anatomy teacher was a defrocked monk! Who the hell cares what the teachers in high school teach, no one listens to them.”

“But it’s science!”

It’s high school. Nothing that happens in high school matters unless you get pregnant. Name six things you learned in high school.”

To be fair, I didn’t really… do high school. By a lucky quirk, we had an excellent theatre department and crappy-ass sports teams, so the theatre kids got the privileges jocks traditionally get. I also tested well, so I really didn’t have to do a thing. (The defrocked monk thing is true, though. He had other, more time-consuming classes to teach so my senior-year anatomy class was mostly making power-point presentations about various parts of the body. Fingernails, for example. My partner and I started putting heavily haloed Renaissance pictures of Jesus in our presentations and adding narration by “the Bioluminescent Christ.” We were theatre kids, so we got away with it.) Anyway, my take on the matter is this: Go to an all-you-can-eat buffet the day after the government pays out benefits. Watch everyone’s table manners, and then tell me if you think we’re not descended from apes.

Chris Goes to Work: I’ve designed a job for myself. I’m going to hang out in the maternity ward of the hospital and veto stupid names. I went to middle school with a kid named “Dude.” During my very, very brief stint teaching underprivileged children, I met “Acuchi” (pronounced “a coochee” as in “a sniz” as in “female genitals”) and “Grunisha.” A friend of mine once had a beau named “Cable.” My mother, who for all her other eccentricities is usually truthful, swears she knew a woman who taught elementary school who had a pupil named “Vagina” (pronounced “Va-geena,”) and my father’s sister knew a family whose daughters were Georgia, Virginia, and Tennessee. We’ve all met someone named McKenzie but spelled some jackass way like “MyKyNzI” – not that McKenzie was ever supposed to be a first name, but at least most people could spell it within three tries. Even my dear, dear friend Apples wants to name her daughter “Aoife.” The A and the O are silent, and it’s pronounced “eefuh.” I asked her if she had had a stroke, and she said “It’s Irish,” as if that explained anything. You know what other names are Irish? Claire. Maureen. Eileen. So spellable. So pronounceable. There’s clearly an opening for someone to sit by the bassinet and say, “Kensleyton is not a name. Your choices are Henry or Jack.”

Politics: Ronald Reagan was president of the most powerful country in the world for eight years. He was also the star of a movie about a chimpanzee called “Bedtime for Bonzo.” (Well, star after the chimpanzee.) To me, this says two things. One, follow your friggin’ dreams, because hell, they might come true. Two, there absolutely is a God, because in a world governed solely by cold, rational natural laws, the “chimpanzee guy” never comes near the big red button.

The whitest things I’ve ever done:

- gotten a sunburn through a shirt

- had a nightmare, an actual nightmare, about having made a bad financial decision

- been scolded for not crying, more than once

White men traditionally get shit for not showing our emotions, but I ask you: The plane is going down, the Russians (The Iranians, the Pakistanis, the Chinese, the North Koreans, the Basques…) have dropped the bomb, the risen dead have appeared at the head of the block. Who do you want near you: someone having feelings, yelling and crying and (God forbid) trying to hug you, or someone in control of himself? I’ve always feared dying in a group for exactly this reason. Given my luck, not only would my plane get shot down by the one anti-aircraft missile the Green Party managed to buy, but I would be next to someone who wants me to “open up” on the way down.

“Is there anything you want to address before the end?”

“I, uh… sorr about the bag?”

70 comments:

Phillip said...

GENES is like BETES, as in DIABETES. BETES BETES, DIABETES.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILIvPzyK_8I

Anonymous said...

I'm probably that person who would hug you and force you to open up before the plane goes down in planes.

Anonymous said...

My friend is student teaching at an elementary school near his college and, I swear to all that is good an holy, has a student named CASHMONEY. The first day he called role, he pronounced it the obvious way and the girl stood up and said "IT'S KHASH (like the beginning of the word 'casual')-MONET." Some people just shouldn't reproduce.

Carla said...

^^^^

Anonymous, you just made me laugh way, way too hard.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha Anonymous #2, was that child one of Lil Wayne's children???

Anonymous said...

This post was amazing.

Anonymous said...

There's a family at the daycare I used to work for who's kids were named Hunter, Tracker, Bow (spelled like that), Archer, Fisher, River and Bambi. The two youngest - River and Bambi - were girls, the rest were boys. Ugh, most of the time I love Wisconsin, but sometimes...

Jess said...

A few things:
1) Epic post

2) http://www.unnecessaryquotes.com/

3) I used to have a job where I had access to lots and lots of kids' names. I saw some nutty ones. Soda Pop Johnson was the best one ever. Yep, like from The Outsiders. Big fan there, apparently. Also, brothers names Orangejello and Lemonjello, pronounced O-RAWN-jello and Le-MON-jello. Please go do that job. And do it well.

Adria said...

I can't find the link now (it was on cnn.com somewhere), but Chris! there are LAWS in certain countries about what you can and can not name your child and they actually do veto names. For example, I think someone in New Zealand tried to name their child Rock and Roll Superstar, or something, and it was accepted.

The world needs you.

McKinzie said...

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ My parents found this spelling on a street sign in Texas - enough said.

But honestly, not sure if I should be offended because you don't like my name as a first name and you don't like the spelling OR honored that part of your post was basically a shout out to me :)

Anonymous said...

i substitute teach to make ends meet (and because real jobs are for losers) and i had a student once who's name was spelled La-a and was pronounced, LaDASHa.....yeah, for real, the hyphen was pronounced

Anonymous said...

epic. just epic.

Anonymous said...

I taught first grade for years and had a friend with a "Onetwenty" in her class. Why? Because his mom's life "did a total one-twenty when he was born." Like, it didn't quite change enough to be a 180, but it was a subtle change, nonetheless. Really people?

That Kind Of Girl said...

Yes. Yes. A world of yes to everything in this post.

Anonymous said...

I love how everyone knows someone names Orangejello and Lemonjello. You would think they would have been on a talk show by now. WHO THE HELL ARE THESE KIDS?

Also, I don't even know how McKinsey is spelled anymore. Where did this name come from?

Anonymous said...

I went to elementary school with twin girls named Bambi and Fawn. And until this very moment, after reading the comment from Anonymous (in Wisconsin), I thought they must be the only ones named after woodland creatures.

Kelley said...

Mother's name: Veronica
Father's name: John
Daughter's name: Vajohnica

True story.

Sam said...

Tulane Chris, you need that job. The world needs you to have that job.

I need to add to the growing list of crazy names. Hand to God, my parent's friend is a teacher and had a girl in her class named "Abcde," pronounced AB-suh-DAY. The same class also had a La-a (La-dash-a from one of the anonymous posters) which makes me wonder if it's the same class or, let's hope not, naming your daughter La-a is growing in popularity.

Also, I knew a kid in college named Richard Driver, but of course he went by "Dick" and has a tattoo of "Your Name" on his ass (bc he showed everyone at a party, multiple times).

Anonymous said...

Re Chris going to work-
I went to elementary school with a trio of sisters- the oldest named Galaxy, the second- Neptune, and the last- and I kid you the fuck not- Uranus. For some reason, their little brother was just Adam. I didn't get it either.

Anonymous said...

Please oh please find a way to turn that into a job. There needs to be a person available to veto aka beat down stupid parents punishing babies before they even get home.

We all have shit-tastic days but you managed to crank out some funny - and for that, we thank you. :o)

Anonymous said...

Great post but I have to point out - Aoife is a really common name in Ireland. The A and the O aren't silent, that's just how you pronounce it in Irish. Definitely not in the same category as Cashmoney.

Anonymous said...

My friend's mom is a nurse and I shit you not she had one mother name her son Shithead, pronounced Shi-Theed. She asked the mother multiple times if thats the spelling she wanted and the mother was very persistant....

Sarah said...

Brilliant ending...love it.

Anonymous said...

Re: Politics: George Bush was the president for four years. And then four more years. After that disaster, I firmly believe in the song 'Miracles Happen."

Anonymous said...

i get really bored at work and read you blog religously... seriously i should change my facebook questionare from "listens to others" (bc i can't make decisions for myself) to "2birds". Anyway, since you only update once a day (i know bc i check atleast 17 times a day) can you recomend anyother blogs i can read while at work. Oh and if you could check to see if when you have that page open and you pretend to write a very important email when your boss walks by that the site stays up and doesn't randomly reset or send you to the ad on the side for jessica simpson hair or diet pills that just make you shake uncontrolably (it's exercise during work!!!) that would be awesome.
Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Try unnecessaryquotes.com

Anonymous said...

La-a is definitely growing in popularity. It's a fucked up world, my friends. But it gets points for punctuational originality? No?

Anonymous said...

Amen, brother. The degradation of quotation marks through their flagrant misuse is becoming almost as rampant as misunderstanding of the purpose and proper use of commas. At least improper comma use is sometimes defensible.

Santa Chiara said...

Thoughts on names:

1. My mother went to high school in the 60's with BOTH a Candy Kane and a Holly Reith. As she always put it, "Those girls got married SO FAST . . ."

2. My friend used to work at reception in a doctor's office, and a woman came in once with a child named "Parfait." A BOY child.

3. I had a kid in one of my classes whose first name was Justin and whose middle name was Tyme. Justin Tyme. He told me and I didn't believe him, and everyone else was like, "No, no, that's really his name," and I was all "HA HA, you kids can't fool me, no one would give their kid a name that dumb!" But of course, that WAS his name, and he was a really nice kid so I felt like a giant asshole for essentially proclaiming the ridiculous of his name to the entire class.

Anonymous said...

what a perfect closing...to your post, and life itself.

"Sorr bout the bag"

Anonymous said...

My moms a teacher. Apparently a students mother went in complaining about how the teachers were mispronucing her dacughters name: La-sha. So the whole time the teachers were calling her "Lahsuh" but really the girls name was proncounced "ladashuh". You actually said the dash! Also a few years back my mom had a student named Boatie Fish and Ima Outhouse. You definitely need to get that job!

Mademoiselle Hautemess said...

My friend was a nurse in the maternity ward and watch the following conversation happen between the 18 year old mother of THREE and her mother. Grandma decided to name the baby "Da LasJuan." As in "Da last one" because she told her daughter if she get prego again, she will personally hand tie her tubes...

Da LasJuan! bwahaha!

Anonymous said...

Fantastic post Tulane Chris. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

When I saw the title of today's blog post, I felt a disappointment that I'm experiencing more and more often lately on this site. It seems that most posts these days are kinda phoned in - so many posts involve some sort of apology about why you didn't post or didn't post something more awesome. I miss the 2birds1blog heyday, when instead of promising more in the future, you just delivered without the excuses. I know I forfeit my right to complain because this isn't a service I pay for, but if you continued to provide the type of back-in-the-day hilarity I was used to, I'd gladly shell out all kinds of money. It would have been well worth it. Now it just feels like excuses and apologies. I know you guys can do better! I miss you!

Anonymous said...

I have to chip in on the name game: I went to high school with a Richard Woodcock, who, of course, went by Dick. I also had a class with a very intimidating girl named Tequila. Wonder what her parents were drinking when she was conceived?

cassie said...

Ditto. The "real" posts are the best. You guys are so funny and totally have it in you. I wish the "...flesh out into full entries..." thing was just a once-in-awhile post, not a weekly regular.

Brandi said...

I just met a woman the other day whose grandson's name was Zevonte Laprice Chang, or something like that. I'm so scared for humanity.

Jenna said...

My sister had a student named Tikila (pronounced tequila). Her class all signed a card for my sister and after reading all of the very unique names, I said, "Oh, finally, a Julia."

My sister then goes, "Actually, it's pronounced 'Ju-lie-a.'"

And my aunt went to HS with a Coral Reef.

Anonymous said...

ah! love the bad names. one of my friends hopes to someday have a little girl and name her "Auralee" -that's right, pronounced "Ora-lee." You do the math. that girl is gonna be on the train to Ho'ville before the 7th grade

Anonymous said...

I am still laughing at this post.

Once I was talking to a high school class about Peace Corps in eastern Africa. I asked if anyone knew where Kenya was and a girl in the front hollered out "Yeah, she's in my fourth block class."

=)

emily said...

oh em geeee.

i worked in a prosecutor's office for a while and had the pleasure of encountering the following: Alpha Omega and Awesome, Bodacious and Precious (all siblings, all in trouble w/the law). i was also a swim coach for a while and coached a Sandy Beach. srsly.

please, PLEASE do that job and be an over-achiever and have them sterilized to boot. it should be child neglect to do this to the poor kids...

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous who wants more blogs to read (just a few):

-http://thebloggess.com/
-http://dooce.com/
-http://catalogliving.tumblr.com/
-http://daddyscratches.com/

Anonymous said...

Why isn't anyone else annoyed that Aoife is in this post??

Caitlin said...

My friend works at a doctor's office and had a guy come in the other day named Richard Balls, but everyone referred to him as Dick.

So his name is Dick Balls.

She had a hard time holding it together, needless to say.

People are retarded.

Robert Morris said...

Alight, sorry, but I really don't belive all these people with their personal "Ledasha" stories--I think they're just spreading an Internet rumor that may or may not have originally been true.

In any case, Lehyphena is clearly the correct pronunciation unless they genuinely used a dash, and in that case, I wonder whether it was the em- or en-dash variety.

Anonymous said...

I loved this post. And I love you, Tulane Chris.

Anonymous said...

There is a man in Indiana running for political office named Dick Dodge and every time I see his billboard it brightens my day.

lucy said...

i agree with robert... ima be real honest, i do not believe all these "la-dash-a"'s and various "jello" names. not even a little bit. i wouldn't even buy one single case, i'm that disbelieving. i need to see a birth certificate for these!

TLC said...

On vetoing names... (sorr about the punctuation)

My Father is a public High School teacher. While reading through the syllabus one day he comes across a first name that he wasn't sure how to pronounce. Just looking at the name he was overcome with uncontrollable laughter and excused himself from the room for a moment to consult a fellow teacher. His fellow teacher was also stymied with the pronunciation of this particular students name and was also left in stitches. Admitting defeat, He finally and laughingly asked Mr/Ms Doe how to say their first name. They kindly replied sh-theed. He replies, "well it says here your name is SHITHEAD."

Anonymous said...

I went to boarding school with a kid named Richard Smalls...I think you see where this is going.

Stephanie said...

meg blogs in red
tulane chris blogs in green

um, u guyz..

I knew a family who's kids were named Willow, Mapletree, and Bear. Bear was the youngest/only brother and it would almost have been cute if it wasn't so fucking retarded.

Lisa said...

Love it! That job needs to exist in every maternity ward!

My co-worker has a friend who named one of her kids Truck and the other Soul Fly. This same co-worker's sister named her kid Sabin Ana ("say banana").

People are stupid.

B said...

L-ia

Say it with me...it's LA-DASH-IA. Get it?

Get. the FUCK. out of here.

Anonymous said...

The multiple "La-a" and "Sh-theed" and Orangejello and Lemonjello stories are clearly internet rumors and urban legends. Google it.

Anonymous said...

Ummm... has anyone noticed that anytime anyone has a La-A, Lemonjello, Oranjello, or Shithead comment, it starts with "I had this friend who knew someone who named their kid... "

PEOPLE, these are urban legends!!! Try and find a news article about it or records. I guarantee you won't.

There was however, a Talula Does the Hula from Hawaii - http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/07/24/odd.names/index.html

Anonymous said...

A kid on my college's hockey team was Tom Morrow. And to comment on non-name related portions of the entry, big golf clap to the whiteness of the nightmare on a bad financial decision.

James said...

So, I'm a few days late, and nobody will now read this, but La-a is NOT an urban legend! My best friend, a manager at Target, interviewed a woman with this name. He tried La-ah, and Leia, and she was like "You mean LaDASHah." I'm amazed he kept his job.

Anonymous said...

Re: anti-abortion billboard --

Is the baby in question wearing JEANS? As in denim?

I remember that same billboard from my misspent youth in Minnesota. More specifically I remember being unreasonably infuriated by the unnecessary quotations and caps in "GENES."

Then I noticed the denim. And while the billboard kind of makes sense now, it's just infuriating in new ways.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading this blog for well over a year now and I disagree with some of these comments. Don't change a thing! You guys are hilarious always and I love how you occasionally switch things up. Meg and Chris -(dash) your different writing styles/senses of humor complement each other so well. You guys rock! I believe in the book/reality series and I'm already a fan of both.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading this blog for well over a year now and I disagree with some of these comments. Don't change a thing! You guys are hilarious always and I love how you occasionally switch things up. Meg and Chris -(dash) your different writing styles/senses of humor complement each other so well. You guys rock! I believe in the book/reality series and I'm already a fan of both.

Kristen said...

I knew a girl in high school whose parents apparently couldn't be forced to decide between two names so they said fuck it and named her Meliszabeth. Note the presence of an S AND a Z...yep.

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