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NTMP #27: Gen Croots
Please groan inside your tube.
New-to-me phrases, August 7, 2022
This week we have terrifying beverages and fashion, along with reanimated pig parts and a petty parrot. But first . . .
July poll results!
The GLOAT was your favorite phrase for July. Thanks to all 12 of you who voted. Let’s do this again next month.
And . . . here’s another poll!
Because they’re fun.
You have one week to share your hot take on this recently retired cold confection.
FYI, you can see poll results directly on the web version of this newsletter. Here’s last week’s poll, for example. And now on to the phrases!
The Phrases, With Context
Sometimes when I write about stuff, I wonder if I’m hallucinating, having a waking dream, or fell into some sort of bizarre parallel universe.
Discovering this portmanteau produced that exact effect.
The Veltini, aka a “Velveeta martini,” is indeed a thing, according to Food and Wine. Someone on the Velveeta marketing team (now there’s a phrase) described it as an “unapologetic, outrageously cheesy” take on a martini. Would you try one?
Bill Oakley did on Instagram by bravely ordering a Veltini kit (!!). He described it as “conceptually nauseating” but found that it was “actually far better than I thought it was going to be.” (Take note, Velveeta marketing team!)
A former writer for The Simpsons, Bill does for fast food what I do for phrases, and his account is really fun. (His pancake machine post is my all-time fave—listen with sound on.)
2. The mass shooting generation
Well, this one is both a total bummer and a travesty. But it’s a noteworthy descriptor for Gen Z and I wanted to include it for that reason. No wonder my kids hate being in crowds.
I found this phrase in a profile of Maxwell Frost, a Gen Z candidate for Congress in the excellent newsletter The.Ink by Anand Giridharadas. (h/t to my friend Kathleen for the link to this issue.) If you’re a link skipper, I highly recommend pausing to read this one.
3. Ghost scooters
After compiling these phrases for four years now, one thing I’ve learned is that putting “ghost” in front of virtually any noun is amusing. Try it and report back.
This phrase was the subject line for a Morning Brew newsletter last week, and reader, I clicked to open. The attached story is pretty wild, too; I had no idea that “micromobility startup” Bolt Mobility was co-founded by Usain Bolt. Anyway, the scooter rental company has abruptly, ahem, ghosted the cities where it offered services and is apparently kaput and not taking calls from angry municipalities demanding to know “WTF?”.
Also, any time I hear Usain Bolt’s name I think back to the 2016 contest to name a UK polar research vessel, where “Usain Boat” was one of the runners-up, but Boaty McBoatface won (and rightly so).
A quick Google search also found the phrase “The Boaty McBoatface Effect.” Stellar.
4. Groan tubes
What a great name for these toys - they’ve been a staple in my home for years, and I had no idea about this name for them. My middle kid, whose birthday is today, sent me this fun reel (we communicate primarily through memes on IG and texts asking me what’s for dinner).
For years, we’ve used groan tubes as perches to step up our African grey parrot when he’s being a dick, which is ::checks notes:: daily. Here’s a GIF of him attacking his groan tube:
He’s petty and vengeful, just like me. Respect.
5. Zombie pigs
Another stellar subject line from Morning Brew, and again, the story behind it is pretty wild. Yay science!
My friend and fellow Atrocious Poet Jessica mentioned this at our weekly summer writing meetup, and I had to look it up. As the name implies, it’s a scientific discipline that examines the interplay between the immune and nervous systems and how it can impact our mental and physical health.
As an aside, can you imagine answering the phone at a psychoneuroimmunology lab? Hopefully they call it PNI or something, sheesh. (Looks like that’s exactly what they do.)
By the way, Atrocious Poets is:
a 501(c)3 A 501c3 nonprofit poetry collective in Woodstock, Illinois. Writers, accidental typewriter connoisseurs, and appreciators of the offbeat who look for ways to bring poetry into the streets of this strange and beautiful world.
As with all small nonprofits, donations help keep them running and creating cool stuff, so if you’d like to support literary weirdness in my community, there’s a donate button on their homepage or you can Venmo some funds to @atrociouspoets. Thanks!
This one needs no explanation beyond the hellmouth from which it originated:
One of my kids asked, “Are they croots, or are they bocs?” Fair point, but I prefer croots.
That’s it for this week! Stay curious and remain furious.
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