NTMP 92: Sleetwood Mac
New-to-me Phrases, December 17, 2023
The Phrases, With Context
This week we have More. Snowplow. Nicknames. If you don’t find these amusing, I honestly don’t know what to tell you; I never get tired of them. We also have sorta-secret bean societies, spiteful lakes, the Mork and Mindy house, an NTMP Investigation, and more.
1. F. Salt Fitzgerald
Thanks to my pal Noel, I learned that the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has an annual Name a Snowplow Contest dating back to 2020. You can read the full list of past winners at the link, or you can watch this Instagram reel where local news reporters react to the names with “don’t ya know” accents.
Here’s a short list of my faves:
Ope, just gonna plow right past ya - Midwest bonus points
Betty Whiteout - we stan all things Betty
Darth Blader - doesn’t seem clever but is somehow both oddly satisfying and funny
Better Call Salt - Excellent, no notes
Blader Tot Hotdish - ::Minnesotan intensifies::
Sleetwood Mac - my runner-up after F. Salt Fitzgerald
I learned in a random discussion thread that 1) There is a Facebook group for fans of Rancho Gordo Beans and 2) The name of the group is The Rancho Gordo Heirloom Bean Fan Club & Spoilers and 3) The group members refer to themselves as the Leguminati.
I learned this word from Sharon McMahon, aka “America’s Government Teacher,” on Instagram. A former teacher, McMahon hosts a podcast and uses Instagram Stories to inform people about American history and how our government works to help people think critically about what they learn from media and other sources. There are several saved highlights in her IG profile that give an idea of how she covers these issues.
Once in a while McMahon shares knowledge about things she’s interested in and has done research deep dives into, like the Great Lakes. She recently covered seiches on Lake Erie near where she lives in Northern Minnesota. A National Ocean Service page has a great explainer about seiches:
Seiches are typically caused when strong winds and rapid changes in atmospheric pressure push water from one end of a body of water to the other. When the wind stops, the water rebounds to the other side of the enclosed area. The water then continues to oscillate back and forth for hours or even days.
This sort of kiddie-pool-sloshing can happen in giant, deep lakes like Lake Erie, where in 1844, a 22-foot seiche surged over a 14-foot sea wall, killing 78 people. Both great in the literal sense of the word and also not very great of you socially, Lake Erie.
4. Spicy deja vu
As seen on Insta, a phrase I am immediately adopting:
5. Pooisville Fartnals
I don’t do regular subscription drives for NTMP. I figure people know how to convert to a paid subscriber if and when they are able and ready. But if you want to support the sort of labor-intensive, quasi-journalistic coverage you’ll find in this entry, here’s your chance:
What started out as a random snapshot of a TV screen I saw on Instagram turned into an investigation into the source of this sign:
So I did what any professional writer would do and googled “Pooisville Fartnals.”
Here’s what I found.
1) A Reddit user with the most on-point username, Poop_Sandwich asking who made the sign back in 2021—with a better image of the sign itself. (Are they perhaps related toof Food is Stupid, whom I first met as FartSandwich on Twitter?)
That Reddit thread held a clue: A reply stated that a Clemson fan made the sign five years ago—2016, because the post was written in 2021.
2. More googling led me to that most reliable of sources, Urban Dictionary. Despite the typos, this post seems consistent with what I’d found, including the date of origin.
3. I found a fake logo posted by the Twitter account for SB Nation, a site I know nothing about because I don’t sports. But I would absolutely wear a hat or tee with this logo:
4. Finally, I found a reply to a tweet claiming to have made the sign, but I couldn’t see the original tweet or any other discussion because of the way Twitter works now if you don’t have an account. (Way to go, Musk Melon.) I wanted to know who asked the original question, and to try and see if there were other relevant replies in the thread.
Who could I ask who still had a Twitter account to help me track down a threaded reply about the Pooisville Fartnals? Sadly for him, this task fell to my husband, who has the highest tolerance of my nonsense among everyone I know.
He found the original post by sports radio host Matt Jones, and got a screencap of the reply for me—for us. For humanity:
There was nothing else in the thread that said anything more, so while we’re still not sure if this is the person who made the sign, it’s a fair guess for now.
I didn’t have time to track down Jacob Goff to ask about the sign, why he went with “Fartnals” instead of “Fartinals,” and his feelings about his creation becoming a meme based on a crappy snapshot of a TV screen showing that the sign made it on the news. But I might for a future edition if he’s amenable to talking about it.
Also? Goff’s tweet reply photo made me think of one of my long-time internet faves that I believe came from Reddit:
I found this word in the New York Times Crossword, which . . . hold up, speaking of the Times Crossword, we’re gonna digress so I can share my all-time favorite moment from one of my all-time favorite comedies, Brooklyn 99:
Do not finish reading this newsletter until you watch that clip!
Here’s why: 1) It’s awesome and 2) This week, actor Andre Braugher (Captain Holt in the scene above) died, leaving behind a family he adored and a brilliant career—one he knew might have been even more so had he wished to be away from his family more often. I believe Braugher was a once-in-a-generation talent and his untimely passing tore another hole in my already shredded heart.
While most people knew Braugher from Brooklyn 99, his breakout performance in Homicide on NBC was brilliant; I’m in awe of it to this day. That show changed television and made it better, and it allowed David Simon to go on to make The Wire, a show that on the surface is about police but it actually about Baltimore and the complexities of urban life, and it is the best show I have ever seen in my life; nothing else comes close.
Okay, now we can get to the actual phrase. Merriam-Webster defines misoneism as “a hatred, fear, or intolerance of innovation or change. This immediately made me think of my younger brother, who has Down Syndrome. He has always hated change and new things and is extremely stubborn about it. I have never known anyone more stubborn than him.
Here’s Steve in front of the house in Boulder where they filmed one of his favorite shows, Mork and Mindy, in the ‘70s:
Getting him to wear new shirts is the toughest one; he will hide new shirts and wear the oldest, rattiest, most stain-covered abomination instead, because it’s familiar and broken in.
Here’s a picture of the time 10 years ago when I, a fool, tried to encourage him to try new things using what might be my all-time-favorite office supply, the giant sticky note.
And then the little shit went in and made his own edits - (writers, IYKYK):
Dude is the living embodiment of misoneism, bow before him.
That’s it for this week. Remember to stay furiously curious!