NTMP 59: Scaly Chaos
Clowning around down under
The Phrases, With Context
This week’s grab bag of arbitrary neologisms contains creepy tech trends, comedians tearing it up in Oz, beautiful culinary mashups, and more. Let’s get to it!
1. Dark patterns
My pal Mike (a brave and beautiful founding member of NTMP) made a rare deposit into the phrase bin. Dark patterns is a cool name for a disturbing behavior on the part of tech companies where they use web design to trick users into taking actions they may not want to take.
The website Deceptive Design (formerly known as Dark Patterns) lists examples of these behaviors, including privacy zuckering (being tricked into sharing more information about yourself than you’d intended) and forced continuity (automatic charges to a credit card on file that are also hard to terminate).
There’s even a Hall of Shame calling out specific instances of deceptive design/dark patterns. You love to see it!
Thanks for this disturbing entry to the NTMP lexicon, Mike. Sleep tight, everyone!
This is an actual product name for a spoon-spatula combo, rather like a spork but even more fun to say. They make left-handed versions, too—not something you see too often.
3. Lime turd cart
This phrase has made me giggle uncontrollably since I accidentally coined it in my head while reading Deb Perelman’s Lime curd tart recipe.
4. Emu Phillips
This is how Weird Al Yankovic captioned an Instagram pic of Emo Phillips meeting an emu. Those two are on tour together in Australia (Weird Al and Emo, not the emu, though for all I know, the emu also decided to join the tour).
The thought of these two elder statesmen of comedy goofing off in Australia makes my heart happy. (I almost wrote “clowning around down under,” which is itself both a great phrase and the title of your sex tape.)
Weird Al is on a very short list of people I’d be both pretty surprised and utterly wrecked to learn was some sort of pervy and/or otherwise evil monster. Also on the list? Tom Hanks, Lizzo, and Mr. Rogers. Who’s on your list?
5. Booger grease
This phrase makes me want to gag more than a little bit. 🤢 But thanks to this newsletter, at least I don’t have to suffer alone! (You’re welcome.)
My friend (and awesome NTMP founding member!) Ashley sent this one. Her six-year-old warned his dad to not get "booger grease" on playing cards after he wiped his nose during a card game.
This kid is a future germaphobe and we will need his knowledge, instincts, and bravado to quell future pandemics.
6. Fluffy chaos demon
My cat-adoring pal (and awesome NTMP paid subscriber!) Rebecca sent this one my way. The context is via a highly relatable tweet by Dave Wagner (@dbwagner104):
7. The Boy Jones
Hi, my name is Toni and I’m a newsletter-aholic. I recently found a cool daily newsletter called Diaries of Note. Every day in 2023, subscribers receive an excerpt from a diary published on that day at some point in history.
The Boy Jones was the March 25th entry and both the phrase and story were entirely new to me. Edward Jones was a teenager with a penchant for breaking into Buckingham Palace to eat meat and potatoes and stalk Queen Victoria—at one point grabbing a pair of her knickers and stuffing them down his pants. Jones kept breaking in and palace guards kept tossing him out. He’d get a short jail sentence and be at it again. The press had a field day with these stories, until ultimately the British government shipped him off to Australia, which appears to have had the intended effect of ending the break-ins and stalking.
8. The Polar Pope
The Rebecca Phrase-Sharing Industrial Complex™️ is humming along nicely. I saw this image while browsing social and my only impressions were “LOL” and “That’s ‘shopped.”
Then Rebecca sent me this tweet by @paminski (screen name Han Solo Cup, LOL):
Know Your Meme is on the case, dubbing this the Pope Francis Drip meme (LOL). The image was created using the AI program Midjourney, created by a company with the same name. The image is causing concern because it looks realistic, which doesn’t bode well for our future ability to suss out what’s real and what’s AI-generated.
I don’t mean to sound like an ossified elder1, preferring to think of myself as a more nimble-minded hag, but AI-related news makes me want to run away and live off the land (where I’d make it for two days, tops).
That’s it for this week! Remember to stay curious and remain furious!
Curious: Did you know there’s actually NOT an algae blob twice the size of the U.S. headed for Florida? I’m kind of bummed because I was hoping it would ooze in and sweep DeSantis and Trump back out to sea with it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Furious: Please, please, please vote in your upcoming election happening locally here in the U.S. Pay special attention to candidates for school and library boards who are running pro-censorship campaigns—and vote against them. Censorship is anti-free speech and anti-critical thinking.
Here are action-oriented links for fighting censorship, compiled by longtime reader, fellow “bad girl in the back row,” and anti-censorship activist Kelly Jensen. Want to learn what to write or say to a school or library board? It’s in there. Want tips on how to run for your local library board? They’re in there. Got teens who want to challenge book bans? Yep, they’ll find info in the link roundup. Go ahead and be furious, but make it worthwhile by spurring action to fight this very vocal minority who are organizing to shape policy that they want instead of what the vast majority of us want. Make your voice heard and your vote count!
Watch this rendition of clueless congressional reps interviewing TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew during last week’s congressional hearing. Do it. I said watch it! It’s gold.