The Original Mad Cow

June 1, 2001

Recently someone pointed out to me that I had a thin spot on the back of my head–the potential beginning of at least one form of male-pattern baldness. Of course baldness has a long and illustrious history. Benjamin Franklin, Shakespeare, and Picasso were all bald.

The Roman emperor Caligula had a bald spot, and if that’s not something to make bald people proud, they can at least use it as an excuse if they become tyrannical despots. For myself, I’m not too worried about follicular deprivation, but even if it does happen, I’ve got a plan. I’m not going to resort to toupees, implants, plugs, spray-on hair, or join any club. I know the ultimate cure for baldness: lycanthropy.

For the uninitiated, lycanthropy is what causes people to turn into werewolves. It always makes its sufferers incredibly hairy. Think about it: have you ever seen a bald wolf? Of course lycanthropy has its disadvantages, including severe allergic reactions to wolfbane, silver bullets, and the need for regular flea treatments. And for guys, who are the most common sufferers of baldness, being "in the doghouse" won’t just be an expression any more. On the other hand, lycanthropy is no longer punishable by death (it was in the Middle Ages), and these days people with lycanthropy are probably protected as an endangered species. The only problem is that in my quest to contact lycanthropy, I run the risk of contacting one of the other kinds of anthropy. For instance, there’s traganthropy (weregoat), which causes sufferers to eat anything and ram their heads into things a lot.

There’s choiranthropy (werepig), which a lot of bachelors have. And if you’ve ever been to a dog show, you know a lot of dog owners bear an eerie resemblance to their pets. This is either because the owners have skylanthropy, or the dogs have anthroanthropy. (I consulted several experts on this matter, and they all agreed on one thing: none of them care.) Finally there’s the much more ancient boanthropy–werecow. King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon (the guy who built the hanging gardens) was afflicted with boanthropy, which caused him to strip naked and crawl around on all fours eating grass. But at least he wasn’t bald.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.


Word Play

The Washington Post recently published a contest for readers in which they were asked to supply alternate meanings for various words. The following were some of the winning entries

Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.

Circumvent (n.), the opening in the front of boxer shorts.

Coffee (n.), a person who is coughed upon.

Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.

Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.

Flatulence (n.) the emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.

Frisbatarianism (n.), The belief that, when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck there.

Gargoyle (n.), an olive-flavored mouthwash.

Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.

Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightie.

Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddish expressions.

Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified demeanor assumed by a proctologist immediately before he examines you.

Semantics (n.), pranks conducted by young men studying for the priesthood, including such things as gluing the pages of the priest’s prayer book together just before vespers.

Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.

The Washington Post’s Style Invitational also asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Here are some recent winners

Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the reader who doesn’t get it.

Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very high.

Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of obtaining sex.

Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease.

Karmageddon: It’s like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s like a serious bummer.

Glibido: All talk and no action.

Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a refund from the IRS, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

And, best of all..

Ignoranus: A person who’s both stupid and an asshole


Words of Wisdom

Remember all those classic one-liners "Norm" bestowed on us every time he walked in to "Cheers"? Here’s just a few of them

"What’s shaking, Norm?"
"All four cheeks & a couple of chins."

"What’s new, Normie?"
"Terrorists, Sam. They’ve taken over my stomach & they’re demanding beer."

"What’d you like, Normie?"
"A reason to live. Give me another beer."

"What’ll you have, Normie?"
"Well, I’m in a gambling mood Sammy. I’ll take a glass of whatever comes out of the tap."

"Looks like beer, Norm."
"Call me Mister Lucky."

"Hey Norm, how’s the world been treating you?"
"Like a baby treats a diaper."

"What’s the story, Mr. Peterson?"
"The Bobsey Twins go to the brewery. Let’s cut to the happy ending."

"Hey Mr. Peterson, there’s a cold one waiting for you."
"I know, if she calls, I’m not here."

"What’s going on, Mr. Peterson?"
"A flashing sign in my gut that says, ‘Insert beer here.’"

"Whatcha up to, Norm?"
"My ideal weight if I were eleven feet tall."

"How’s it going, Mr. Peterson?"
"Poor."
"I’m sorry to hear that."
"No, I mean pour."

"How’s life treating you, Norm?"
"Like it caught me sleeping with its wife."

"Women. Can’t live with ’em … pass the beer nuts."

"What’s going down, Normie?"
"My butt cheeks on that bar stool."

"Pour you a beer, Mr. Peterson?"
"All right, but stop me at one….make that one-thirty."

"How’s it going, Mr. Peterson?"
"It’s a dog eat dog world, Woody, & I’m wearing Milk Bone underwear."

"What’s the story, Norm?"
"Boy meets beer. Boy drinks beer. Boy meets another beer."

"Can I pour you a beer, Mr. Peterson?"
"A little early, isn’t it, Woody?"
"For a beer?"
"No, for stupid questions."

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