NTMP #33: The phrase that started it all.
Louderdale for the people in the back!
New-to-me Phrases, September 18, 2022
The Phrases, With Context
This week I remembered that a while back I promised to share the first phrase I collected, way back in 2018, aka The Before Times. Read on to find out what it was!
1. Turdus merula
Turdus Merula would make a great name, wouldn’t it?
“Turdus is my father’s name! Call me Turd.”
In truth, turdus merula is the Latin name of the Eurasian blackbird, genus turdidae, which sounds like it would make a great holiday or event.
“What are you bringing to the turdidae potluck?”
2. Roger the buff kangaroo
Somehow I missed this viral moment and sadly, Roger moved on to the great Crossfit gym in the sky back in 2018. I guess he drove the Internet wild for a while with his swole physique. That tracks.
3. Fart Louderdale
My friend Melissa texted me this life-changing tweet from comedian Gareth Reynolds.
No commentary necessary. Bless.
4. Embryonic library
I know I’ve written quite a bit this summer about attending local writing meetups in a barn hosted by a poetry nonprofit, Atrocious Poets (Venmo: @atrocious-poets or donate here). It was a highlight of my summer.
The barn is owned by two kind and generous artists who are transforming the structure from literal collapse into a gathering place dedicated to the arts. The meetups were open to every kind of writer, and many of us worked on various projects, journaled, or dabbled in new writing forms. I wrote a poem and started a few essays that could become a memoir. My youngest kid (who does not read this newsletter) worked on her series of novels.
Last night was the end-of-summer celebration, with a potluck, swallow puppets pooping confetti in homage to the barn’s summer residents, readings by writers, and an installation in the silo featuring audio and video of notes people typed each week on a manual typewriter as letters to the barn. We also hand-wrote notes on strips of paper, sharing snippets of what we’d written that week, and everyone gathered in a circle to read them aloud, and then hang them up to create a display.
You can see pics and video on my Insta:
Anyway, someone remarked about how cool it was to be at the barn while a bunch of people were writing, that it felt like a library of sorts. I said it was an embryonic library, with words waiting to join the world.
I didn’t put it that lyrically, however. I most likely said too loudly and awkwardly MORE LIKE AN EMBRYONIC LIBRARY HEH HEH HEH ::BURP:: and then shrank back into the shadows, cursing my very existence. But you get the idea.
Also, people-ing is hard. If you’re like me and have been avoiding crowds, masking when forced to enter packed stores, eating outdoors—all in service of keeping yourself and others more vulnerable than you safe from a disease with long-term consequences we are only beginning to understand—then you know how exhausting it is to people again. Just like that sentence was to read! But it was an open air space, and it was so worth it.
If you’re local, come and join us writers at the barn on Halo Hill next summer. You don’t have to be a pro, or even aspire to ever publish or share your work. Come and play around with words and you’ll be welcomed by all, including the barn swallows.
5. Custard buttons
A Culver’s employee talking to another employee about the complexity of their cash registers, which apparently have custard buttons.
6. Bear Alignment
The name of a business in Loveland, Colorado, where I used to live, and where you can apparently bring your bears in for alignment.
7. Inside Ron Grob
From the website of another Loveland, Colorado business named Ron Grob, a name I found amusing. Also: LOL.
This phrase reminds me of a southwestern Wisconsin grocery franchise called Dick’s, which has since been subsumed by Piggly Wiggly.
Dick’s discount program was called the “Dick’s Insider Savings Club.” There was even a huge billboard or two with a card emblazoned with the words
Was it wholly unintentional OR completely subversive? I’d love to know.
8. Corn Fart
And here we have it, the first-ever new-to-me phrase!
Corn Fart was the subject line of a TeeFury email in back in 2018. (IMMEDIATE open.)
I’m a longtime subscriber because they make pop culture tees that actually fit some larger bodies, including mine (though they have a way to go to become truly size inclusive).
The tee is no longer available on that site, but the artist, Alberto Arni, shared his artwork on IG and Twitter:
P.S. Is that how popcorn works?
An NTMP footnote: When I first started this project, I decided to just gather phrases without context. I regret that decision now, since I think that giving credit to a phrase’s origins is important and often comes with an interesting story of its own.
I’m going to be a guest on the Writer Mother Monster podcast next month! Mark your calendars for the live broadcast on October 20th at 6 p.m. ET, or catch the replay whenever. Also, I really need to get new headshots done.
That’s it for this week! Thanks for reading, and remember to stay curious and remain furious.