NTMP #18: A cool Swede
Dispatch from Pootown USA
New-to-me Phrases, May 29, 2022
What a week.
A big part of what motivated me to start this ridiculous newsletter is that everything since 2016 has felt pretty heavy for many Americans. I’m generally not here to talk about the horrifying realities of our dystopia unless there’s a darkly humorous bent to it, enrobed within a sumptuous phrase. I want to lighten the collective load by sharing these linguistic nuggets with you.
However. This month, after the horrific tragedies in Buffalo and Uvalde, I will briefly take a moment and ask you to consider:
Donating to grassroots org Everytown for Gun Safety to support their work to bring common sense gun control — something the majority of Americans want — to local, state, and national politics;
Emailing your senators and representatives to ask them to fight for gun control measures in the U.S., even if they agree with you. Because they’re humans, too and they need to know what kind of support they have to speak truth to power. If you’re not sure what to write, reach out to me and I’d be happy to share tips on communicating that, like the majority of Americans, we need to take action to prevent any more mass shootings; and
Not giving up hope that we can bring about change in this country. Things will remain the same only if we do nothing. We have to hold belief and at times take courageous action to stand up against injustice and demand reform. Even when the odds are stacked against us, as they are now. Especially when.
Thanks for considering these actions and ideas. And now back to our regularly scheduled nonsense.
The Phrases, With Context
This week there are (too?) many poo-related phrases, a groove fail, and a sports dog film franchise that we all thought was just the one movie.
1. Tsunami of turds
Outside does it again. This is actually an interesting read on the changing backcountry etiquette of poop disposal in the wilderness.
Nutshell: “A growing body of research suggests that it’s no longer sustainable to bury our waste in the wilderness.” Makes me kind of glad I don’t backpack anymore.
2. Poo Gone
This one comes from my husband, who mistakenly referenced the enzymatic bird poop cleaner we use, which is actually called Poop-Off®. I love that they trademarked that name.
Anyway, here’s a free competitive product name if you’ve got some enzymes lying around.
3. Momfluencer sex ring
My friend Tom sent me this phrase, and the accompanying story is slightly bananas. I actually don’t really care about the backstory, but I *do* care about this nightmare fuel TikTok of the momfluencers in question doing whatever the hell this is. I wonder how many takes that required.
You can learn more about the sex ring in that Twitter thread, if you’re into that sort of thing.
4. A cool Swede
This weekend, we had some friends over for a cookout during one of the two times of year when the weather is perfect in Northern Illinois (late September is the other one). We’re all vaxxed and boosted, the party was outdoors, and we asked people to test before they came over.
In 2020, I cried more than once imagining getting to see friends again for what used to be a big annual event at our place. And it was still awkward and hard, and lovely and wonderful, and a bit fraught because we’re all still figuring out this pandemic stuff. I’ve forgotten how to people in many respects, and others said they feel the same way. For many like us, “normal” hasn’t returned, and we still don’t know what that looks like. But it was so unbelievably good to laugh together in person again, and I’m feeling incredibly grateful to have such generous, funny, and kind friends.
Anyway, my pal Mike and I were talking about the way the rest of the world views America, and Americans.
In case you’re unaware: We are the absolute clowns of the so-called developed world, who are horrified not just by Trump and other Republican extremists but by our inability to stop people from mass murdering our citizens with automatic weapons that literally nobody needs to own.
I said, “Imagine being, like, a cool Swede and some loud, tacky Trump supporters come into your restaurant refusing to wear masks.”
I literally don’t know how or why I conjured the phrase “cool Swede” but I’m very glad I did.
5. Go “full Toni”
I also coined this phrase, describing me not going completely apeshit (aka “full Toni”) during a mask mandate at an oral surgeon’s office, when the surgeon walked into our consult unmasked. When he asked how we were doing, I said “I’d be a lot better if you were wearing a mask.”
I call that a “partial Toni.”
Again: Pandemic. Mask mandate. Healthcare (in Illinois, masks are still required in healthcare settings). Needless to say, we did not go with that practice, because if they’re shirking healthcare requirements in one instance, where else are they slacking?
An objectively funny name! That I’d never heard before!
8. Air Bud Cinematic Universe
So this exists.
At the party yesterday, Vancouver, BC came up in conversation. My friend Peggy said “I’ve always wanted to go to Vancouver,” immediately adding, “Air Bud was filmed there!”
Being good friends, we all piled on Peg for the rest of the day for connecting those two particular dots.
Picture 10 people seated in a circle of lawn chairs in a garage during a brief spate of rain, Googling the Air Bud franchise and shouting out titles including, “Air Bud: Golden Receiver!”
You know you want to come to one of my parties.