NTMP 70: Knob Nosher
Have some dystopia-flavored penguins. As a treat.
New-to-me Phrases, June 11, 2023
The Phrases, With Context
Today we’re heading out to our local Pride parade and fest, which is always a ton of fun. The pure joy of this event makes it one of our faves of the year.
I’d love your input!
I read a lot of newsletters. A LOT. I may have created a spreadsheet to try and get my reading habit under control. 🤓 (I know, I know: I say “reading habit” like it’s a bad thing.)
All this to say: I’m always looking for new sources of reading joy on pretty much any topic.
Here’s where you come in! Share your fave regular reads in the comments, along with what makes you excited to read them:
These can either be recs for sites, blogs, or newsletters in general or specific posts or articles you enjoyed. If you’re reading this via email and don’t want to use the comments section, you can also hit reply to send me your fave reads.
But you came here for phrases, and phrases you shall have! This week, we have garbage-picked pets, working waterfowl, mysterious knobs, and more.
Let’s get to it!
1. Trash jackal
This phrase is so catchy! Probably because of the alliteration of the soft a and also because it’s funny.
Ph.D. in phrase sourcing Rebecca sent this one. Here’s a link because TikTok embeds don’t play well with Substack. Click if you love cat adoption stories!
2. Knob Monster
NTMP reader and Hag pal Wendy shared that this was her immediate translation for the western Missouri town of Knob Noster. (Upon hearing this, we IMMEDIATELY changed our group chat name to Knob Monster.)
I countered with “Knob Nosher” but I think Knob Monster is catchier and easier to say.
Interestingly, according to Wikipedia the origin of the town’s name remains a mystery.
3. Business goose
My middle kid (who does not read this newsletter) sent me a meme1 claiming that the Chinese characters for “business” and “goose” combine to mean “penguin.”
Can someone please write a children’s book about a trash jackal and a business goose?
This meme is one of those things that social media is made for: misinformation. Something that seems plausible and built to quickly share without further inquiry. Here’s a deep-dive into the etymology that shows that the Chinese characters for penguin more likely mean “standing goose.”
Incidentally, while researching this meme, I typed “What does penguin . . . “ and one of the search strings that came up was “what does penguin taste like” and I don’t want to know the people investigating that.
I do, however, kind of want to know what penguin poop looks like, though my guess is that most bird poops are similar. When I searched for that phrase, a link came up that read “Poop from space,” which, if you wanted to get me to click on something, that will do it! (Link is from NASA, of all things, and opens a .PDF.)
Fun poop-free fact: For years, my text tone has been from this video of penguins reacting to one of their pals falling down. And TIL that the sounds from that video are probably fake, added on in the editing process of a documentary, because the lenses required to film wildlife require enough distance to not be able to capture sound. 🤯🐧
4. Aspiring dystopia-flavored tentpoles
Found this in a Wired review for the AppleTV show Silo2, which is based on the Hugh Howey novels (his blog is pretty great, too). Here, the Wired writer is describing the currently crowded market for dystopian TV shows, which I suspect is reflective of current societal angst.
In an episode of the If Books Could Kill podcast (highly recommend), co-host Michael Hobbs mentions an academic paper from the ‘80s that referenced “socially liberal, urban-minded professionals,” or “slumpies,” an acronym that thankfully did not catch on.
6. Dan McTake from the Fartsville Gazette
I love Drew Magary, and this phrase from one of his Funbag columns on Defector illustrates why. Dan McTake is a fictional weatherman that Drew does not want to resemble after his wife cuts his hair. That’s fair.
7. Chicken wars
Here’s a TikTok stitch of farmers walking as their chickens follow them (normal chicken behavior) but making it look like they’re heading into battle. I love it so much.
8. Day fine
I love this concept and want to see it catch on here as an end-run around tax reform for the wealthy. In Finland, a multi-millionaire was fined €121,000 for speeding. Under the day-fine system there, people are charged an amount proportional to their income for certain violations of the law. The New York City Council introduced a bill to adopt a similar rule for parking violations there.
9. Snackholm Syndrome
NTMP reader and professional Hag Kathleen sent this one. I tried to find the original on Tumblr but no dice, so you get a screenshot:
That’s it for this week! Remember to stay curious and remain furious.
Here, for your heart: Cracker Barrel has Fallen. Feast on the article, then enjoy the Twitter reactions, as a treat.
Artists Ash + Chess, who saw most of their work pulled from stores by performative ally Target are selling one of their tees directly. All proceeds go to Campaign for Southern Equality, an org that supports trans youth in southern states that have restricted or banned access to gender-affirming healthcare.
Am I the only parent whose kids communicate with them primarily in memes?
I really want to like this show but my consistent feeling that it’s not very good keep getting in the way.