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February 26, 2008

And Then, The Fascist Octopus Sang Its Swan Song
Posted by Patrick at 09:42 PM * 96 comments

Leon Panetta, chief of staff for Bill Clinton from 1994 through 1997, being quoted by the New York Observer on the condition of Hillary Clinton’s campaign:

“Obviously she is now someone who is the underdog. Everybody is still hoping that she might run the table, but it is a much tougher mountain to climb.”
The dog…the table…the mountain…no, I can’t go on.
Comments on And Then, The Fascist Octopus Sang Its Swan Song:
#1 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 09:51 PM:

When you're the dog under the table, and the table is a mountain, you're bound to have a tough time.

#2 ::: Chris W. ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 10:02 PM:

Wait, Teresa, so Clinton is under the table and sick as a dog . . . This gives me an idea for a new way of choosing the President.

Election by drinking games!

#3 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 10:03 PM:

Maybe it's a mesa...?

#4 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 10:05 PM:

Obviously she is now someone who is the underdog...

OK. God, that was bugging me. Carry on.

#5 ::: Lance Weber ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 10:10 PM:

Avram @3: Like Jar-Jar Binks?

#6 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 10:22 PM:

I keep thinking of Underdog. Of COURSE he runs the table—he's a superhero! And he doesn't have to climb the mountain—he can fly to the top!

If Hillary is the Underdog, she HAS to win!

#7 ::: Jonah ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 10:25 PM:

Chris @2 wrote:

This gives me an idea for a new way of choosing the President.

Election by drinking games!
Actually, that's how the secret cabal who actually runs the world chose GWB.

#8 ::: aphrael ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 10:32 PM:

Apropos of nothing, the vote I cast for Leon Panetta in 1992, when I'd just moved into his Congressional district, is one of the few votes I've ever cast for someone (as opposed to voting against someone's opponent).

#9 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 10:51 PM:

it makes my head spin, STOP IT!

Or I'll be the dog barfing under the table.

#10 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 10:55 PM:

Climbing mountains, running tables!
Rolling dice and telling fables!
Underdog! Underdog!

#11 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 11:14 PM:

Alas, Underdog's Super Energy Vitamin Pills lost their FDA certification, thanks to consumer-protection action by you-know-who.

#12 ::: Adrian Smith ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 11:23 PM:

Does this mean that Bill is now the Big Underdog?

#13 ::: Gursky ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 11:50 PM:

The interviewer should have stopped the tape and walked away right there.

#14 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 12:19 AM:

Leon Panetta channels Donald Rumsfeld.

#15 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 02:12 AM:

She's the dog under Table Mountain, and she's running to somewhere?

#16 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 02:46 AM:

Le sous-chien est sous la table. Et le singe... merde! Le singe est dans la Maison Blanc!

Or something like that. Sorry, having an Eddie Izzard moment there.

#17 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 03:24 AM:

I find myself irresistably reminded of a quote from earlier in the current season of Smallville. In the previous season, Lana Lang got out of her marriage to Lex Luthor by framing him for her murder. Now he's out of prison and tracked her down; upon their meeting, she says to him:

"When I heard you'd freed yourself, I put out the breadcrumbs and waited for the wolf to come knocking."

#18 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 03:46 AM:

You ain't nothin' but a hound dog
Cryin' all the time.
You ain't nothin' but a hound dog
Cryin' all the time.
Well, you ain't never caught a rabbit
And you ain't no friend of mine.

#19 ::: Scott ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 04:32 AM:

See also, how to identify the death of a metaphor... When it's liberally mixed with other mixed metaphors. Underdog is no longer about fighting dogs, climbing mountains is no longer about... climbing, or mountains. The one I'm surprised about is "run the table" The first time I read it, I automatically edited in the far more dead metaphor "turn the table".

Gursky @13:
If the interviewer was aware of how bad a jumble is, and cared, they would have paraphrased him in the final article.

#20 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 05:38 AM:

I am irresistibly reminded of one of Clive James' British television criticism pieces from the 1970's*.

The essence of a cliché is that words are not misused, but have gone dead. To describe a wet cat as a drowned rat is to use language from which all life has departed, leaving mechanical lips and a vacant stare.

-----
* available online, since the book is out of print...I like! James' writing is pithy and gifted enough to outlast the shows he criticised; it deserves to outlast the publication history of his books.

#21 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 06:47 AM:

I am now trying to figure out how a dead dog under Table Mountain may or may not be marching to Pretoria.

#22 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 07:25 AM:

Bruce Arthurs #14: It seems that Panetta was channelling Sir Boyle Roche.

#23 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 08:22 AM:

OK, I can't bear it any longer. I'll throw my jackboot into the melting pot and ask what the heck "run the table" is supposed to refer to? Something to do with gambling?

#24 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 08:27 AM:

Pool, Epacris. To run the table is to sink all the balls without missing a shot, thereby depriving one's opponent of any chance at all in the game.

#25 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 08:35 AM:

Running the table comes from billiards/pool--it means that you manage to sink every ball on the table in order, without a miss or a scratch, so that your opponent never gets a chance to shoot, and you win that round.

I'm now pondering the extent to which sportswriting and sports broadcasting are helping to destroy the English language. I'll be over in the corner, conducting a forensic investigation of dead, piteously-abused figures of speech.

#26 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 08:38 AM:

HAH HAH, I just happen to have a really bad poem for just such an occasion (the occasion to torture you with a bad poem):

THE FASCIST OCTOPUS HAS SUNG ITS SWAN SONG


In each Generation of Regimes

One gains prominence, reigns by the fist

stoked thru a febrile Onanist's

Millenial Dreams:

Half Beast, Half Fowl,

Half Man, Half Monster

consuming its middle

Four Halves, disemvoweled.


From some swamp rock

surveils its own image

then morosely crows the dark

like a backwards cock;

"More reason now there is than temper,

More mind than there is muscle;

I decrease unto a purple ember

More mass than master now must bustle."

#27 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 08:46 AM:

Ah. Thanks, elise.

I was thinking database processing; would she reindex some Platonic ideal table of the population of voters in some fashion that would prevent Obama from accessing anyone?

#28 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 08:51 AM:

With reference to running the table: so basically this passage mixes two incompatible dead metaphors (underdog/mountain to climb) with a third incomprehensible one.
Is it worse to use cliche'd metaphors or ones so new or obscure that people can't understand them? This seems to be worst with sports metaphors. George Allen, for example, spoke entirely in football metaphors. Had he become president, every other nation on the planet would have been unable to understand a word he was saying.

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.

#29 ::: touchstone ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 09:13 AM:

This is where we mourn the death of language, right? I mean, if he really cared at all about his craft, surely he could have worked one more reference in there somewhere? Stopping at three seems so slap-dash.

#30 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 09:35 AM:

Abi #27: No, that won't happen till little Bobby Tables is old enough to run for office....

Xopher #6: Then is Obama Overcat?

Jonah #7: Chose, hell, he won that drinking game fair and square. And people think his misspent youth was wasted....

...

Hillary's campaign manager came out to speak to me, tail between her legs, looking like a dog that had been kicked once too often. She whimpered about Obama's biting remarks toward her candidate, to whom she remained (of course) fiercely loyal. When I brought up Obama's latest ads, she bared her teeth, and growled that he'd get his in the next debate. When I asked about the impending campaign against McCain, she pointed out that he was far too old to learn any new tricks, but was quick to add that Obama was a mere puppy, despite leading the pack at present. After the hard questions, I tried to throw her a bone, asking how ex-President Clinton was doing, but she just muttered something about him being an old dog sniffing after some young bitch, and looked at me with sad eyes. As the interview concluded, and I walked back to my car, I thought I could hear a forlorn howl from the office.

I dunno. Maybe leaving the mixed metaphors in was an improvement....

#31 ::: Lance Weber ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 09:43 AM:

There's actually a humane society in town named Table Mountain Animal Shelter

Abi @27: Hmm, maybe "running the tables" _has_ been co-opted like that - thanks to Diebold!

#32 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 09:53 AM:

Announcer: "And now, another thrilling episode in the ongoing soap opera, As the Cookie Crumbles, so Falls the Cradle".

Rupert Murdoch: And with the death of metaphors, the fat lady sings for the demise of journalism. The fog of war will cloud men's minds, and the dogs of war will be under the table with the empty bottles of mercy. Truly is the sweet smell of success ripped untimely from the taste of ashes, and the candidate becomes the burnt toast of the town.

GWB: Mission Accomplished!

#33 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 09:56 AM:

albatross @ 30

McCain may be too old to learn new tricks, but I think his pandering in the last few months has proved that he can still turn them.

#34 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 09:57 AM:

"There's actually a humane society in town named Table Mountain Animal Shelter"

I read that as there's actually a human society in a town named Table Mountain Animal Shelter.

One Line Sci Fi story:

Title: Notable Sign on entering town of Table Mountain Animal Shelter

"Warning to Man - don't let the sun set on you in this town."

I like stories where the title is longer than the story.

#35 ::: mayakda ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 10:24 AM:

I suppose an swan song from an octopus would actually be chromatic, since they can change color to communicate, right? Unless they decide to use black ink, instead.

#36 ::: Wakboth ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 12:32 PM:

Avram @3: "Maybe it's a mesa...?"

That was a joke, ha ha. Fat chance!

#37 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 12:50 PM:

"Running the table" is an obscure reference?

I am reminded again how far I am from my blue-collar roots.

(Dang. Now I want a White Castle. Or mac-and-cheese from that cafeteria. The only thing in the house is tinned salmon, some sundried tomato and chopped garlic, and some Trader Joe's pesto, though. This upward mobility stuff is confusing. But tasty, in its way.)

#38 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 12:51 PM:

Also, pool isn't sports. Pool is POOL.

#39 ::: rea ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 12:55 PM:

Hillary simply needs to take up arms against this sea of troubles . . .

#40 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 01:29 PM:

Surely in US politics one needs to take up alms. And every cent that's offered, at that.

#41 ::: Ulrika ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 01:40 PM:

Panetta is obviously just a fan of Will It Blend?. Osterize that metaphor.

I'm a bit skeptical on the Hillary-as-Underdog thing, though. As we know, Underdog is Humble and Lovable.

#42 ::: Ulrika O'Brien ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 01:45 PM:

...and that starts with P and that rhymes with T, and that stands for Tool!

But if poker can be broadcast on Sports networks, then surely pool is at least as athletic? Not to mention golf.

#43 ::: aaron ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 01:47 PM:

"George Allen, for example, spoke entirely in football metaphors. Had he become president, every other nation on the planet would have been unable to understand a word he was saying."

A president named George who has a questionable relationship with the English language? That seems familiar somehow.

#44 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 02:12 PM:

All together, let's sing along!

I left my dogggg on Table Mountain,
High on a hill he howls at me.
I left my left at Albuquerque -
I left my keys in Kankakee.

#45 ::: Lance Weber ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 02:22 PM:

Elise #37: Add the salmon, garlic, sundried tomatos, breadcrumbs and an egg to a bowl. Mix well, form into patties and fry. Top with pesto and serve.

#46 ::: Jon H ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 02:33 PM:

ajay @28: " George Allen, for example, spoke entirely in football metaphors."

Luckily, this is not true. He tossed in that one French racial slur.

#47 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 02:41 PM:

Lance @45: good idea, but I already sauteed the salmon and garlic with sundried tomatoes, stirred the pesto in at the last moment, and piled the whole thing onto toasted English muffins. Nom nom nom. Next time, patties, maybe.

Ulrika @42: Ah, but poker is not sports either. Poker is cards. Two of the great pleasures in life: playing cards, and shooting pool. (Or shooting stick, as Feldman used to say.) Neither are sports in my definition, as that implies a level of effort wholly at odds with relaxing. Besides, anything you can drink a beer while doing and set the beer down within arm's reach isn't a sport, to me. (There's probably an exception to this, but I cannot think of it right now.)

#48 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 02:47 PM:

elise, Lance is right--since you can't produce the can of cream of whatever soup for the sauce, you're stuck with the pesto. Otherwise, you could pull that off the Friday menu of any meat-and-three here in Nashville.

Alas, pool references are obscure these days. It's ashame, really, because understanding how English* works (in pool and billiards, anyway) is a lesson that transfers to a lot of other important things. We need more pool halls--for the kids' sake! Think of the valuable life lessons they could learn.

Also, ESPN regularly shows tournaments on television--usually 9-ball. That may not make pool or billiards into a sport--I prefer to think of it as a meditative activity that allows you to drink beer while you're performing it.

I do, however, stand by my earlier position on the effect of sportswriters and sports broadcasters (especially the play-by-play guys) of the rapid conversion of metaphors (and other figures of speech) to not just nonsense but errant nonsense. If you thought Pat Summerall was bad, try fifteen minutes of Chris Berman. I dare you.


*Not the language.

#49 ::: Malthus ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 05:43 PM:

fidelio@48: Nonsense is usually errant by definition. I think you mean arrant nonsense. (A word that is rarely applied outside of two contexts: nonsense and knavery. There have been plenty of sportscasters who've practiced both.)

#50 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 06:10 PM:

elise, #47: ...anything you can drink a beer while doing and set the beer down within arm's reach isn't a sport

Oh, I like that! IMO, it's as good a short definition of the difference between "sport" and "game" as one is likely to see. (Which is to say that some sports are games, but not all games are sports.)

#51 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 06:27 PM:

I dunno, when I was on the gay softball team in college, we always played holding beers. Although I guess that wasn't really a sport, either.

#52 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 06:33 PM:

ethan 51: In fact, if it was like gay softball teams I've seen before, it strains even the definition of 'game'.

#53 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 07:17 PM:

Xopher #52: You should've seen our "games" against the Radio Station Hipsters. "The Homos vs. The Pomos".

#54 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 08:05 PM:

ethan @ 53

Shame that was a non-commercial station: if it were commercial the airtime sales guys could have gotten up a team called the Promos.

#55 ::: Lance Weber ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 08:21 PM:

The guys from Pimp My Ride: The Chromos

(stretch) Butterfly Collectors: The Entomos


#56 ::: Lance Weber ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 08:28 PM:

Ohh ohh! I have a Challenge!

If the community at Making Light fielded a softball team, what would it be named?

PS. This probably belongs in an Open Thread but I'm lazy and this thread was already open in my browser :)

#57 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 08:41 PM:

Lance @56:

The Photons.

#58 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 08:42 PM:

Either the Illuminaughti or the GloMos, I think. (For "glow more," probably.)

#59 ::: HP ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 09:00 PM:

PICARD: I am Jean-Luc Picard, of the Starship Enterprise. We come to establish peaceful communications with your people.

AMBASSADOR JORJAL'AN: Thorpe with the Hail Mary. First and ten. Go long.

PICARD: I represent the United Federation of Planets. Our goals are peace and cooperation, so that we might learn from one another, and increase our mutual security.

JORJAL'AN: Thorpe with the Hail Mary! Heisman fumbles! Loss of down! Loss of down!

#60 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 09:07 PM:

ethan, Xopher @51, 52: That's because your gay softball teams had no lesbians on them. Lesbians know the truth: softball is life*. Win it or die.

;-)


*Except for the women's baseball team.

#61 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 09:21 PM:

Ginger, some womyn I used to know had a habit of dividing womyn they knew into three categories (whether or not they actually fit):

softball lesbians
golf lesbians
book lesbians

Not sure it really did anything useful for them, but it seemed to amuse the heck out of them.

#62 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 09:35 PM:

Ginger #60: Well, my team did tend to win, when we kept score, largely because of the Law Of Nature which states, first, that in any group of hipsters there will be at least a few skinny little twigs of people, and second, that in any group of gay men there will be at least one person who works out way, way, way too much. We had one guy who reliably hit it out of the park, no matter how poorly it was pitched.

elise #61: "book lesbians" reminded me of this bizarre little sketch about a feminist book store, by Thunderant, who are, of all people, Fred Armisen (from SNL) and Carrie Brownstein (formerly of Sleater-Kinney, the best goddamn band in the history of bands).

And by the way, who gets the "thread hijacker" trophy this time? There seem to be a whole lot of contenders...

#63 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 09:57 PM:

elise@61: I like those categories. Of course, you know I'm sitting here thinking of all the womyn/wimmyn/womon I've known, and which category I'd put each one into.

And whether I need more categories.

ethan @ 62: Did your team -- like mine -- have at least one Drama Queen? ;-)

#64 ::: Pocketeer ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2008, 01:58 AM:

Thank you Patrick, I had not heard of that twisted metaphor until your title compelled me to Google my ignorance away.

I shouldn't be surprised, but someone actually has taken a crack at imagining the Fascist Octopus metaphor. No jackboots or Swan-singing, however.

#65 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2008, 02:20 AM:

Ginger @ 63

elise' list reminded me of the years I spent working for Nike, where I did meet a lot of golf lesbians. Nike did point out the need for at least one more category, though: geek lesbians, who were well represented in the IT department.

There weren't many hipsters, though; everybody there worked out.

#66 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2008, 02:29 AM:

Lance @ 56

The Lucifers, of course. Although, if we could get Phil Folgio to coach, the Sparks would be good.

#67 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2008, 02:32 AM:

ethan @62: AIIIIIEEEE! I used to work at Madwimmin Books, er, I mean Amazonfembooks.com, er, I mean, Amazon Bookstore, and you just caused some very serious flashbackiness there. Hee hee hee! (And yes, for those that recognize the pseudonym there, Alison Bechdel used to troll the aisles for dialogue. Also, a true-life situation from work once wound up in Omaha the Cat Dancer after I told Kate Worley about it; it was the bit where the books on disabilities were shelved too high for customers in wheelchairs to reach.)

Dear me. I'm going to have weird dreams tonight, I just know it, of discussing whether or not round tarot decks are antipatriarchal or not.

Ginger @63: More categories are always fun. Any category that can't be subdivided is suspect, yah?

#68 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2008, 02:33 AM:

Bruce @65: Golf lesbians frighten me. On the other hand, geek lesbians are of the goodness. (And somewhere I have a t-shirt reading "click and drag queen.")

#69 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2008, 07:18 AM:

#59, also, is of the goodness.

You should've seen our "games" against the Radio Station Hipsters. "The Homos vs. The Pomos".

The only game where one entire team is out before the first ball.

#70 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2008, 08:40 AM:

Bruce@ 65: Ah, yes, the geek lesbians. I have one right next door to me. I'm not geeky enough for that category, so I'll have to add the new category of "nerd lesbian", unless (of course) that's what the "book lesbian" refers to. I'm sure there's some overlap between groups.

elise@ 67: Infinite subdivision in infinite diversity, eh? There's an awesome power in the cmmunity's ability to find yet another group worthy of support, and debate. And "processing".

Speaking of worthwhile t-shirts (and I admire yours); I have one of the two political t-shirts that I liked: "Lick Bush in '92" (missed the '88 one).

ajay @ 69: I wish I'd thought of that. ;-)

#71 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2008, 09:04 AM:

Oh, I like that! IMO, it's as good a short definition of the difference between "sport" and "game" as one is likely to see. (Which is to say that some sports are games, but not all games are sports.)

Personally I've always thought that the distinction between "sport" and "game" was that sports require some physical skill on the part of the player(s). Hence, tiddlywinks, jacks and pool are sports, but poker, roleplaying games and chess are not.

This could just be so that I can claim to have been good at a sport--specifically, jacks. I totally rocked at jacks.

Also, does the beer definition exclude target shooting (of any variety, with or without gunpowder) as a sport?

#72 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2008, 10:28 AM:

That quote really hits the nail on the thumb.

#73 ::: Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2008, 11:13 AM:

One of the touchstones I've always used as a compass is that a well-mixed metaphor should be a dish that speaks for itself.

#74 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2008, 11:45 AM:

71: Also, does the beer definition exclude target shooting (of any variety, with or without gunpowder) as a sport?

Good grief, I certainly hope so. (Mem.: never go on the pistol range with Carrie S.)

#75 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2008, 11:53 AM:

ethan, thanks for that; I believe that bookstore is up in the Multnomah District but Fred Armison's character is taken from the life, I'd bet, since she looks just like one of the owners of a bookstore in Oly.

The flyers! Oh, the flyers!

#76 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2008, 11:53 AM:

There are varuious definitions in the UK which seem to be based on the idea that a "sport" is something for gentlemen, while everyone else plays games.

#77 ::: Stephen ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2008, 12:08 PM:

re: 56

The Photon Thread Torpedoes.

#78 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2008, 12:15 PM:

If physical skill is required, then shooting sports are sports (and that includes darts).

I do, however, think, as a matter of practical consideration, that those shooting sports where casual mishap can lead to people being killed, shouldn't have beer at arm's reach.

#79 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2008, 12:21 PM:

ajay: there is (from a practical standpoint) an advantage to playing with weapons while blissed out on one's pharmaceuticals of recreational choice, esp. if one has them ready to hand all the time.

Someday you may need to use them when, more or less, impaired.

This doesn't mean I think one should go to the range and drink. It means I think one should practice all but the powder-burning aspects.

I also handle knives when I'm drinking (usually while cooking).

#80 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2008, 09:40 PM:

At last, a thread that barks up a tree after my own heart.

bryan @ #26:

From some swamp rock . . .
I believe the first practitioner of swamp rock was Tony Joe White.

elise @ #37: I went back to my blue-collar roots, and have never missed the Big City. But surely Tinned Salmon is an item of décor, not for the tummy.

Lance @ #45: I tried your recipe, with some excitement, but discovered the bowl chunks just won't make into patties. And it's altogether indigestible. Not to mention the damage to my teeth! Have you any suggestions on how to tenderize the bowl?

elise, again, @ #68: I'm familiar with golf lesbians. Here, in the home of Texas Wymyn's University, we also have Peterbilt lesbians, a/k/a Mechanical Engineers with Attitude. Two other categories I'd suggest are Law Enforcement Lesbians (which probably include the military), and Art Lesbians (which include my step-daughter, who's married to a LEL).

#81 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2008, 09:52 PM:

LMB McAlister @ 80: Law Enforcement Lesbians (which probably include the military)

Ah, I think this is a good category, although I'd suggest "Uniformed Lesbians" instead. My partner is not LE although she was in the military for a while.

There's nothing like a woman in uniform.

#82 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2008, 11:48 PM:

Ginger: Except for one out of, or half.

#83 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: February 29, 2008, 08:06 AM:

Silly people!

There is a VERY SIMPLE explanation:

Panetta has finally outed the Clintons as ... werewolves!

<national-review style="vicious innuendo">

Consider the facts:

* We tried to bribe them with a silver dollar but they refused to touch it!

* Pork belly futures, as any rancher knows, are what wolves dream of.

* Bill has publicly admitted to being "the big dog".

* Have you ever seen the Clintons on a full moon? It's not pretty!

</national-review>

#84 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 29, 2008, 09:33 AM:

LMB MacAlister @ 80

we also have Peterbilt lesbians, a/k/a Mechanical Engineers with Attitude.

Are they anything like Brick Outhouse-Built Lesbians?

#85 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: February 29, 2008, 09:39 AM:

Terry @ 82: Mm. Mmm-mmm!

::wanders off in a happy daze::

#86 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 29, 2008, 10:30 AM:

Terry @ 82

It's all the same: if you're only wearing half the uniform your are officially Out Of Uniform. So which you prefer is a matter of taste.*

* Though if I were really crude I could point out that standing orders do require male enlisted personnel to salute.

#87 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 29, 2008, 12:05 PM:

You aren't out of uniform if you are dressed appropriately for the sport or recreational activity in which you are participating.

#88 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: February 29, 2008, 07:19 PM:

Bruce: If there's enough rank difference to require saluting, one is decidedly fraternizing.

#89 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: February 29, 2008, 08:20 PM:

But was the singing octopus going down for the third time, or just dancing on Buckley's grave while the wolves close in?

I imagine eight tentacles crushing the life out of a dictionary... forever. ;-)

#90 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: February 29, 2008, 11:24 PM:

Ginger @81: Uniformed Lesbians, yup. There are some firefighters that ... pardon me, I'm getting perilously close to quoting a character from Firefly.

#91 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2008, 04:09 AM:

As usual, The Onion is on top of the situation: Idiom Shortage Leaves Nation All Sewed Up In Horse Pies

#92 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2008, 09:20 AM:

elise @ 90: I had the firefighter calendar once..I'll be in my bunk too.


(I was actually a firefighter in my yout'. I followed my parental footsteps into the town's volunteer FD. They both still fight fires and march in the parades.)

#93 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2011, 01:44 AM:

I too have fought with fires, big fires in the streets with nothing but my asbestos boxing clubs to guide me.

One time I was up against a raging fire from the heartland, a two-belled smoker. I smote him to the left, I smote him to the east, I smote him up vertical but in the all-in-all it did not look good. The crowd was booing out for more, a bunch of uninformed lesbians they was.

It was likely that the oyster of democracy had clammed up for good.

#94 ::: Buddha Buck sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2014, 04:47 PM:

Spam above.

#95 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: January 23, 2015, 09:27 AM:

I saw this come up because of the spam activity and immediately thought it was a Marvelverse-Hydra spoiler thread of some kind.

Y'know. Fascist octopus.

#96 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: January 23, 2015, 11:45 AM:

"Hail Hydra! Cut off one day and two will take its place. Each dumber than the original."

So said the Hulk in one comic-book issue, or words to that effect.

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