Discover more from New-to-me Phrases
NTMP #5, February 27, 2022
Animal Crossing, but IRL.
This week’s new-to-me phrases
Green bridges * Turtle tunnels * Snake Island * Fabulous Buffalos * The next coming of Tony Shalhoub * Frozen penis * SNOOPER BOWL SNOOP SWEATSUIT SET
The phrases, with context
This week we have several animal-themed references, a fondness for Adrian Monk, and a wangsicle. Enjoy!
1. Green bridges
While this phrase is new-to-me, the concept is not. Green bridges (or tunnels) are specific types of infrastructure that allow wildlife to safely cross busy highways.
The State of Montana website used to have an awesome collection of webcam images showing the stunning variety of wildlife that accessed their wildlife underpasses, including an owl flying out of one of them. By the way, those underpasses were built due to a multi-party initiative including the state and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, who insisted upon safe wildlife access in exchange for widening a highway over tribal lands. Here’s a video compilation of webcam footage at some of these Montana wildlife underpasses.
The Biden administration’s infrastructure bill includes $3.5 million for green bridges, not a lot of money compared to the need, but it’s a start.
2. Turtle tunnels
3. Snake Island
I know this newsletter is supposed to be a respite from the current madness of the world, but 1) Snake Island is a solid phrase and 2) Ukrainians take DGAF to new heights, and I am here for it. I think we’re all deriving inspiration from their fighting spirit in the face of an autocratic madman’s land grab.
Not that it means much, but I’m half Ukrainian. My paternal grandparents came here at the beginning of the 20th century. Born in Kyiv in the late 1800s, my grandfather was drafted into the Russian army at age 14, and he hated the Russians for the rest of his life. Same shit, different century.
All this to say, I’m deeply heartbroken by Putin the Tiny’s1 deadly toxic masculinity and also deeply inspired by people to whom I am connected only by ancestral geography and a fierce love of pierogi. My dad’s family pronounced them “ped-ah-HAH,” and they were a holiday treat that lives on in my family, as I’ve managed to con one of my kids into making them at Christmas.
If you haven’t heard the story of a Ukrainian woman handing a Russian soldier sunflower seeds, telling him to put them in his pockets so that when he dies on Ukrainian soil, at least sunflowers will grow, well, that happened. Women understand how stupid war is.
That moment felt on par with the scene from Moonstruck when Loretta tells Johnny, “In time you’ll drop dead and I’ll come to your funeral in a red dress!” (I am also Sicilian and loved this movie with my whole heart but have no idea if it still holds up and I kind of don’t want to know.)
On to the phrase: Snake Island is on the Black Sea at a crucial port of entry to Ukraine. Thirteen Ukrainian soldiers were stationed there when Russia invaded because ::checks notes:: . . . Putin, a known dick . . . wanted to? I’m no foreign policy expert but this seems Very Bad.
Last week, when a Russian warship approached Snake Island and ordered the soldiers to surrender, one of them replied:
“Russian warship, go fuck yourself.”
All 13 of those Ukrainian border guards may have died for their saltiness and for trying to do the right thing during a time when it feels like doing the right thing doesn’t move any needle in any measurable way unless you’ve got money. Hopeful news is coming in as of this writing that the soldiers may have survived the assault, so at least there’s that.
One way you can help Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion is to donate to World Central Kitchen, which is currently offering meals to refugees crossing over to safety in Poland.
4. Fabulous Buffalos
For a hot minute, I thought that ‘fabulous’ and ‘buffalos’ were anagrams of each other, but then I realized that 1) “buffalos” is missing that extra ‘u,’ and 2) I prefer the spelling ‘buffaloes.”
I decided to keep this phrase anyway, because buffalos are fabulous.
Incidentally, my cherished childhood stuffed lovie was a bison, nicknamed “Buttfalo” by a friend who noticed a gap where his tail used to be.
5. The next coming of Tony Shalhoub
I know this is more sentence than phrase but come on, this is great!
This one comes to us via Hot & Streamy, a cheeky weekly newsletter that gives a rundown of upcoming releases on streaming networks, along with a bonus short list of random funny links. A highly enjoyable and useful read if you’re into TV and/or either trapped in your house on endless Zoom calls or forced to serve a general public rife with selfish and entitled dummies during year three of a global pandemic—oh, and also now there’s an almost-world war happening, so escapist TV is one of your coping mechanisms, along with snacks, doomscrolling, and screaming into pillows.
5. Frozen penis
A menu item for the only ice cream truck in hell, or a calamity afflicting an Olympic skier? The latter, thankfully. After this story, is there an outdoor gear company working on fleece hog tubes? Maybe they should be. BRB; gonna trademark this idea.
6. SNOOPER BOWL SNOOP SWEATSUIT SET
Try saying that five times fast. Saw on IG and yes, it’s an actual thing, and for a mere thousand dollars, this sweatsuit can be yours.
h/t to my friend Kathleen, who shares the best links in our group chat.