NTMP 65: Hank Hill's Buttocks
Dispatches from the loafing shed
New-to-me Phrases, May 7, 2023
The Phrases, With Context
But first! April poll results!
Fourteen maniacs voted for their favorite phrase from April, with King of Suck Balls Mountain coming in as the clear leader.
This week, we have literal food fights, beloved celebs, amphibian cakes, fantasy pillow forts, and more.
Let’s get to it!
1. Food weapons
NTMP superfan Rebecca sent this tweet:
I say we all adopt this henceforth. 🥢🍴🥄🍴
2. Bomb Newhart
This phrase came up as a typo in a conversation with my friend (and NTMP supporter) Mike. I would 💯 watch this TV show or documentary.
The discussion at hand was famous people we’d be crushed to learn were some sort of monsters behind the scenes1, a topic I’ve covered here before. Here's more from that list:
Dick Van Dyke
Graupel brings to mind some sort of German breakfast involving intestines, oats, and dried fruit, but no.
It’s a new-to-me weather phenomenon. #unculturedrube
According to How Stuff Works, graupel is not quite hail, not quite rain, not quite sleet, and not quite snow. Look, props to weather nerds for thinking this stuff up. Described as having the consistency of riced cauliflower, “graupel is tiny, white pellets that resemble small hail but which, unlike hail, remain soft and crushable.”
I did feel smart when I learned that graupel is indeed a Germanic word dating back to the late 1800s.
While researching graupel, I learned that according to the BBC, the Scots have at least 421 words for snow, including:
Feefle (lol) - to swirl
Snaw-pouther - a fine driving snow
Spitters - self-explanatory
Flindrikin - a snow shower
This is part of an academic project to develop a Scots thesaurus, which I will be among the first in line to purchase.
4. Kicked-anthill energy
What a great metaphor for “Well, actually” dudebros coming for you online for daring to have an opinion. My friend Tom shared this post by Erin Kissane and I thought it was a pretty great analysis not just of Mastodon, but of online community-building. This is something I think about often but have little knowledge or skill to do much about it. If you enjoy a v. smart and insightful examination of online communities, click that link.
5. Loafing shed
I read this phrase in a novel and my immediate reaction was, “This sounds awesome!” But I suspected it had a use beyond my fantasies of abandoning my family for a pillow-filled outpost.
Loafing sheds are a thing on farms. Who knew (besides farmers)? They’re covered barns, usually open on one side, designed to protect livestock.
Or pillow forts for world-weary hags. Take your pick.
Google image it; you’ll get the idea.
6. Frog butt cheeks
Here’s another entry courtesy of beloved master phrase gatherer Rebecca, as seen on Instagram:
First of all, is buttcheeks one word? This is the sort of thing I contemplate in my spare time. I’d assume it’s two words and Merriam Webster agrees.
Whilst researching that tidbit, I found a related dad joke: “Is buttcheeks one word or should I spread them apart?”
Second, for this week’s newsletter, I looked at dozens of stock photos of frogs, and none of them had those buttcheeks. This made me wonder if we were dealing with a frog butt version of the pope puffer jacket.
Snopes to the rescue! This requires a screenshot:
I truly, madly, deeply love the internet.
Anyway, it’s not a butt, it’s not butt cheeks and it’s definitely not buttcheeks. It’s a cloaca, a multi-purpose opening that reptiles, amphibians, and birds all have for reproduction, waste elimination, and, for females, egg laying.
7. Fairy on bread
There’s a bit of a story for this one.
A wild tom turkey lives in my rural-burban neighborhood. We like him, but he’s also a strutting embodiment of toxic masculinity, flying into a blind rage and chasing cars, vans, trucks, bicyclists, and people who approach him. Could nature have evolved a walking food source with better forethought? Sure. Did it? Nope.
The other day, the turkey decided to come after me as I walked across my front yard from quite a distance away. I wasn’t headed toward him or anywhere near him, which usually triggers his attack mode.
My Nest camera captured me awkwardly hurrying toward my house, periodically looking over my shoulder as if in a horror movie, as the turkey enters from the right side of the frame toward the end.
Just as I reached my front steps, he gobbled. The nerve!
The video ends with me saying “Fuck me” as I entered my house.
When I texted the video to my friend Ashley, she said the best part was my response at the end.
Which I replied was very on brand for me, but speech-to-text rendered it as fairy on bread. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
8. Twin films
I saw this on, written by Annie Rauwerda, founder of Depths of Wikipedia.
According to Lee Steffen on Twitter, twin films occur “when 2 or more production companies invest in similar scripts at the same time—resulting in a race to be first to market.” I’d heard of this phenomenon before but don’t believe I’d seen it described as twin films.
First of all: How lame! With all of the wildly creative writers out there, why do we need to have movie execs sword fight with their flaccid tubers when they could be investing in, I don’t know, great storytelling, production, direction, and acting? I know, I know, movie studios are a business, and the primary function of a business is to make money, and this makes the suits risk-averse. And so we get endless remakes and other cinematic paste instead of great storytelling featuring fresh faces and ideas. 🙄
Second, here’s a short excerpt of twin films from that Twitter thread by Steffen, which lists more twin films than I’d imagined existed.
Turner & Hooch / K-9
Deep Impact / Armageddon
Friends With Benefits / No Strings Attached
Antz / A Bug’s Life
1. Scientists learned that parrots who used tablets to make video calls appeared less lonely. I’m going to try and see if my African grey would enjoy calling his former roommate, Nikki. Who am I kidding? He doesn’t enjoy anything besides nuts, apple slices, and my oldest kid (who does not read this newsletter).
2. When my husband read that The Pixies apologized for something this week, we both worried that one of our most beloved bands had done something shady or terrible. Thankfully, no. The band tweeted “Sorry about that!” because their song Where Is My Mind, in which the lead singer says STOP! before the music starts, was turning off alarms on Google Pixel phones, for which STOP is a command. Oops.
That’s it for this week! Remember to stay curious and remain furious! Give your library some love this week, and email your city/town council to let them know how much you value the many contributions libraries make to your community.
I’m not talking “tantrum on a bad day” stuff here, but more ongoing shitty behavior like Johnny Carson continually and very publicly humiliating Ed McMahon about his weight and alcohol consumption, J.K. Rowling and Dave Chapelle’s unrepentant transphobia, or inexcusable predatory behavior on the order of Bill Cosby/Woody Allen/Harvey Weinstein/Louis C.K./Matt Lauer/Jeffrey Epstein/R. Kelly/I hate how long this list is.