Communicating with others

If you really want to annoy someone, keep saying ‘nerp’, for no reason.

And I don’t mean only say, ‘nerp’. I mean, toss it in randomly.

‘What was the name of that website I was on earlier?’

‘Was it nerp?’

Then in the silences to follow, say, ‘was it nerp?’ a few more times.

Also, really emphasize ‘nerp’, make it sing. They’ll hate you. I guarantee it.



I think I’m the last person in the world to realize that Cinnabon was intended to rhyme with cinnamon. Most cinnamon-flavored baked goods are bun-shaped (which is close enough to ‘bon’ that that’s what they must’ve been going for, and what I always just assumed; or perhaps ‘bon’ as in the French word for good) [don’t expect me to actually look this up].

Where I come from we mostly call those pastries, cinnamon rolls. There’s less rhyme with Cinnaroll, however; and less recall, too, I suspect.

Maybe newborn babies don’t know that either. But give them time.

God made dirt

I’m from the north. Years ago during lunchtime, a colleague (he was from the south) dropped some food on the floor. He picked it back up. He held it to his mouth, preparing to eat it. I asked if he was going to eat it. He said, “God made dirt, it won’t hurt,” and ate it.

I laughed hard. Excessively so. I laughed like this guy I used to work with at Blockbuster Video. He laughed really hard. The dumbest, lamest jokes had him doubled over, splitting a gut. If he laughed at your joke you earned nothing. You had no idea if you were being funny. And when he inevitably laughed at someone else’s pathetic offering, you hated him.

I laughed like that. First, it was the rhyme. I appreciate a good rhyme. Second, it was the simplicity of it all. Third, I’d never heard that expression before, and I laughed at how sheltered I apparently was in my northeastern enclave.

That colleague also said stuff like, “He was on her like a duck on a June bug.”

We never said such fun things in my home, growing up.

Last night I went to brush my teeth. There was an inch-long hair poking out from the bristles. It wasn’t mine. It was too short to be my wife’s. There’s something inherently disgusting about any thing being attached to your toothbrush. It’s holy ground. The hair was too straight to be a pube. It was probably the cat’s hair.

I pulled it out, flicked it away and brushed my teeth.

God made dirt.

Linguisticks and stones

A list of phrases I’d like to see used in public:

  • Woohoo yoohoo chocolate milk!
  • Make like a spider and web.
  • Stayin’ alive like Johnny Five.
  • Go blog yourself!
  • You smell like an olfactory sensory neuron.
  • Open your rods and cones.
  • Honeydew, honey don’t.
  • Time to teleport.
  • That warms the cockles of my seafood stew.
  • Don’t give up, take down!
  • It’s a Catch-22,000 Leagues Under the Wide Sargasso Sea.
  • That’s so atomic!
  • I’m so hungry I could chew, swallow and digest a horse.
  • Say hello to my amigo pequeño!

There Is No Sign Without Sin

When I was a child I saw a sign near the highway that said “There is no Good without God.”

As a matter of spelling, letter arrangements, technically I agree. You can spell God with Good two different ways if you swap out the “O”s. Also there is no good without goo. There is no Patriot without riot. There is no legislation without legs. There is no whole without hole. Eleven Plus Two = Twelve Plus One. 26 letters – there’s gonna be some overlap from time to time, don’t read into it too much.

There is no highway sign without moron.

Most (Deservingly) Popular Baby Names

Your name says a lot about who you are, who you’ll become and how you’ll be treated in this world. I’ve long held the theory that so much of a child’s social development is dependent on their name. For example, the likelihood and ease of its being turned into an obvious tease (e.g., Michael or Mike if your last name is Hunt). Or its randomness (see Kim & Kanye’s offspring). Its plainness (e.g., Jen). Its lameness (e.g., Seth). The awkward pronunciation of a commonly spelled name often leads to problems, too (e.g., Tara pronounced, Tar-ah instead of the typical Tare-ah). It drips off the tongue with a pretension that’s hard to combat.

If you name your daughter Phyllis, she will grow up to become a “Phyllis” – and whatever traits “Phyllis” is associated with will be imprinted on your Phyllis, as well as the likelihood she will be called “Syphilis” in junior high. As such, the name you name your child can have profound effects.

I’m here to recommend some baby names that are unusual (because in this day and age you need to stand out), but will command respect and/or adoration. Names that will break the mold. Consider naming your child one of these names and watch as they take the world by the balls and milk it for all its worth.*


  • Mustang – No one’s messing with Mustang. No one. He’s a hot rod, a wild, untamed beast that’s fierce and majestic and unstoppable. Shelby can be a little bitch. But Mustang, he’s the real deal.
  • Howitzer – Say hello to little Howie, and, rest assured, he’s no Howie Mandel. Howitzer was born walking like a man, spraying his message to the corners of the globe like a sweet, cuddly war machine. Note: if you can work an ‘x’, ‘q’ or ‘z’ into a name naturally, do it.
  • Olympus – Nothing says, “Future CEO” like the mountain of the immortals (ignore Olympus Has Fallen, the 2013 film starring Gerard Butler, which would become the obvious headline should your Olympus become an athlete and fail in a crucial situation; so there’s a measure of risk here, but the sequel, London Has Fallen, is coming out shortly and a successful movie franchise isn’t something to sneeze at).


  • Snap Pea – Doesn’t she sound so cute and cuddly, you just want to put her in a pea pod and rock her to sleep. Yes, it’s weird, and there’s a high probability other kids will transform “Pea” into “Pee” and she’s going to hate elementary school through college, but you can call her “Snappy” for short, which is nice. Not to mention, there’s some uncertainty with how long to pause before saying, “Pea,” but vegetables are in, and Snap Pea is hell of a lot better than Zucchini, Squash, Butternut, Cucumber, Leek or Fennel.
  • Fennel – Actually Fennel is kind of nice and works with our produce concept. It has a mellifluousness to it, and also lends itself to easy gift-giving due to it’s licorice flavor – licorice candies will become the norm for Halloween and Christmas stocking stuffers. It’s slightly old-timey, but in a new-age way. But, please, whatever you do, do not spell it, “Phennel.” That would be a catastrofe.
  • Pollen – She’s sweet as a honeybee and way cooler than next-door neighbor, Polly. No one’s asking her if she wants a cracker because Pollen is her own women and can provide for herself. Take the beauty of flowers, mix it with the magic of honey and you end up with Pollen. Just be careful if you live in the Netherlands and want to choose this name because “Pollen from Holland” sounds a bit ridiculous (or, actually, might be a great children’s book title, so possibly nothing to worry about).

*Balls don’t produce milk, but you get the gist.


A portmanteau is a jumbling of two words to create a new word. For example, smoke and fog becomes smog. Information and commercial becomes infomercial. Etc.

Here are some others for your edification:

  • Catastrophe = Catalan apostrophe
  • Destitute = destined prostitute
  • Fatigue = fatal intrigue
  • Harmful = harmony joyful
  • Hazy = happy lazy
  • Mildew = mild (Mountain) dew
  • Penalty = penis salty
  • Prostitute = product institute
  • Spectacle = spectacular tentacle
  • Vagary = vagina scary
  • Yogurt = yoga hurt
  • Zero = zebra hero

Please share with your friends.

Holiday Hiccups!

With Christmas upon us, R#P thought it’d be useful to serve up a list of classic 100 life-threatening or grammatical mistakes to avoid when writing your holiday cards. But I realized, if no one looks out for number 87 (when pronouns of second person and third person are used as subjects, the pronoun following them will be according to the second person pronoun) life will go on. The holidays will still be fine. Wouldn’t it be more useful to whittle down the list to the top ten grammatical mistakes to avoid?  Then Spuds said, why stop there? Of those ten, which three are the most unequivocally outrageous, dangerous, life-threatening things to avoid this holiday season?  Here they are:

  • blunt head trauma
  • compound split infinitives
  • killer bees

Iambic penistameter

We studied Shakespeare in junior high school.
We read Romeo and Juliet. Then
[foreshadowing] A Midsummer Night’s [Wet] Dream.
I was chosen to play Lysander in
the class production. I got a boner
and everyone stopped. It wasn’t a big
show [that’s what she said]. There wasn’t an aud-
itorium with parents, costumes and
crudely printed programs and video
cameras to document my on-stage
boner. Then again, maybe there was.
Everyone dies in Macbeth. Spoiler alert.