Tuesday, May 08, 2007

But Wait! There's Less!

Caz has a great link to an item that you never knew you didn't want, the Mouse Mouse.

In a breaking story that is guaranteed not to be broken elsewhere, I can reveal that the Mouse Mouse is only one in a planned series of new items!

The Verbal Tic - not only does this marvellous parasite suck your blood and inject paralysing toxins into your nerves, it will also recite Does this shop stock silk socks with spots?, The boy stood on the burning deck, and Lycurgus of Sparta's speeches, (complete, unabridged and in the original Greek) when asked.

Slightly Venomous Door Snake - this highly-trained piece of innocuous furniture will keep the cold draughts out at night as well as attack unwanted visitors/flatmates upon your order!

Gay Poof - a beanbag chair that will criticise your shoes, admire the inner decor of your flat, has a secret fetish for purple wall-lining, and would just loooove to talk about the men in your life, daaaaaaarling.

Couch-Potato Couches - Seats that won't let you sit down in them because they're too busy lying down in themselves and watching Couch Football shows on the television. You'll block the view, man.

Armed Armchair - Armchairs that are into weapons training and members of local paramilitary organisation.

Frigid Fridge - It doesn't want to store your food tonight. It's not sure whether it will store your food tomorrow night. It doesn't want to talk about it. It washed its hair. It has a headache. Why don't you ever talk to it? It's the frigid fridge!

Spooning Spoons - As soon as you shut the kitchen drawer on these spoons, they take all their clothes off and start cuddling!

Smoke Alarm Alert - Now you can be alarmed in advance by this handy alert! Just before you Smoke Alarm starts squawking for no reason at all, the Smoke Alarm Alert will alert you to the alarm you are about to experience! Also, why not purchase our Smoke Alarm Alert Alarm, our Smoke Alarm Alert Alarm Alarm, and our Smoke Alarm Alert Alarm Alarm Alarm. They are guaranteed to give 24-hour alert and alarm coverage to the alarm you are about to feel (or at least, would be about to feel if you weren't already feeling it) by the coming alarm!
You need never be unalarmed again!

Toilet Sausage Roll Holder - Essential for all carnivores, omnivores, or sausagevores sitting on the toilet, the Toilet Sausage Roll Holder caters to that when you're sitting on the toilet and discover that you're hungry. Satisfy your disgusting cravings straight away with the Toilet Sausage Roll Holder!


Karen said...

Frigid Fridge

So now you're essentially making the "joke" you inadvertently made earlier on deliberately. Sigh! I could detail everything I find offensive about this sort of thing, but perhaps it's better if I don't.

Caz said...

No forks forking.

What have you got against forks, going about their business?

Caz said...

Okay, the Toilet Sausage Roll Holder is yuuuuuuurrrrrrrkkkky.

Boys are so gross; they have to take things too far.

TimT said...

Karen - Comedy's an opportunistic thing, and in this case I was looking for a series of puns on the name of household implements. This joke naturally suggested itself. I did realise it might be offensive, but I'm sorry. It wasn't enough for me to take it down.

I think we discussed political correctness/offensiveness in the Frank Devine thread on Alexis' briefly, and now might be a good time to raise it again, briefly - basically, I don't agree that positive stereotypes can be reinforced and negative stereotypes can be discouraged through artistic expression. Not beyond a very limited extent, anyway.

If I had actually intended this satire to be in some sense an earnest expression of my beliefs, then I'd probably have been much more careful about what I put up there, but it's not, and I won't.

Caz - nothing! nothing at all! Eer, that is ... this is a family friendly blog! Er, that is, this is a cutlery-family friendly blog! Er, that is...



TimT said...

If I had actually intended this satire to be in some sense an earnest expression of my beliefs, then I'd probably have been much more careful about what I put up there, but it's not, and I won't.

Er, that is that it's more a play around with a basic concept, the idea that a dodgy manufacturing company could try to market these weird notional items. I am sorry you find it offensive, and I've probably gone on too long already. OK. Done now.

nailpolishblues said...

I never believed it was inadvertent.

Maybe you should write up a Tim mission statement of 'What I believe vs what I will make fun of'? I assume the latter is virtually everything.

TimT said...

Harry Hutton had a drive to offend his readership once, somewhat in the manner of television charity appeals. I always liked that idea. Your idea is good too, Nails. Thank you for paying compliment to my punning powers, though I fear I must state that in reality I am a blundering idiot who can hardly string two coherent words together. The magic of the internet is such that it gives the illusion of coherency to my personality.

nailpolishblues said...

Oh I never said that there was any coherency to your personality.

TimT said...

Oh, well, jolly good to that!

nick cetacean said...

Jeez your blog is mining exactly the same territory as mine... only thre times as often and five times as funny.

nailpolishblues said...

It was a pretty funny accident then.

Possibly even more so now.

alexis said...

At my house, we enjoy the use of the irony board, for clothes that make a statement - in opposition to what they actually mean. It's also a great site for comments along the lines of, "By golly, I love ironing! I wish I were doing this professionally."

TimT said...

I was always fond of the line, 'There she was, in a shirt looking like a Rorschach Ink Blot'...

Nick, come on! No-one can hit the bizarroid humour button better than you do in Confessions of a Porn Store Writer in Residence. Everyone, visit Nick's blog. Including this scintillating Book of Monster Wisdom.

Karen said...


I wasn't quite sure how to respond to this- my inclination was to not comment here again, but I also strongly believe in standing up for myself, particularly when I'm going to be characterised as "humourless".

Apart from the inherent misogyny of your initial and accidental "joke", I also have personal reasons to be especially offended by it, personal reasons I do not wish to share with the internet at large. I tried to indicate this to you obliquely and I thought that you had understood, so I was quite stung when I saw the "joke" repeated later on.

A good writer, in my book, says what they mean and means what they say- and is prepared to stand by their words. This has nothing to do with positive or negative stereotypes or some sort of vast left-wing conspiracy to control what people can and can't think. The fact the "frigid" woman is seen to be a negative stereotype is part of the problem- failing to perform her duty of giving pleasure to men! How terrible of her!

Really, people have various experiences, both positive and negative, and these experiences do not constitute the sum total of their being. But when women are compared to fridges that won't open this kind of dehumanisation is there. Comedy may be opportunistic, but cruelty is still cruelty. I am not a fan of nasty humour or humour which vilifies the weak or vulnerable. Of course you were just playing with words and had no intention of being cruel. It just wasn't significant enough to you for you to think it important enough to remove it. But for many women it would be significant enough- many more than you might think.

I hope I haven't said too much (I'm worried about having been too personal, but hopefully my writing this will be useful).

alexis said...

Sexual frigidity is a myth, and a myth contrived for the very obvious purpose of (a) salvaging the sexual self-esteem of a person who believes that his manliness is conditional on women wanting to have sex with him, and (b) shaming women into having sex when they don't want to. Not wanting to have sex, on any given occasion, with a particular person, or just at all, ever, is not a pathology. It does not need a name. It does not need a cure.

This is so thoroughly obvious, that until this comment from you, Karen, I had thought the ol' "the only reason you're not having sex with me is because you're frigid" ploy had died out around the same time as small pox. For this reason, I wasn't perturbed by the "frigid fridge" line (not half so much as by the sausage roll holder), assuming that it spoke to a subject that was more or less resolved.

TimT said...

Thanks for your response. I don't think you're humourless and hope I've never said that you are.

Personally, I'd say the 'frigid' stereotype is a particularly cruel and idiotic one as applied to women and don't endorse it, any more than I endorse such a bizarrely silly product as a 'Smoke Alarm Alert'.

TimT said...

Um, the last response was to Karen's comment, although thanks for your response too, Alexis.

Karen said...


I was surprised that you didn't take issue too, so thanks for the clarification. It's so lovely to talk to someone who tells it so exactly as it is!

And thanks, Tim. I wasn't trying to attack you or your belief systems personally. I just thought it might be a good idea to explain why that sort of joke doesn't go down too well with some people. Anyway, I need the box of tissues downstairs already, so let's have no more of this topic.

Caz said...

Alexis - quite agree, in full.

I can't remember in which decade I last heard anyone refer to a woman as being "frigid". It's a tawdry line that has long lost it's potency, so Tim's resurrection of it in relation to an actual fridge was nothing more than a nice little tautology.

The gay poof, thankfully, hasn't seen anyone jumping out of the closet, although it would be warranted, purely on aesthetic grounds. A white vinyl bean bag? Pul-eaze!

"Oh I never said that there was any coherency to your personality."

Nails - don't over-do the compliments, it'll go to his head.

A delightful repartee.

Tee hee. :-D

nailpolishblues said...

Quite right, Caz, next time I'll do better, er, worse, or something...?

alexis said...

Thinking a bit more about the frigidity issue: I wonder if the word has gone out of usage because - in a culture that packages pole-dancing as leisure activity - women have so internalised the expectation that they be always up for it, effortlessly orgasmic, that the manipulative cry of "frigid!" has been superseded.

I haven't observed this problem amongst my peers (but then, my peers generally don't bed anyone until they've read together the entire oeuvre of Shulamith Firestone), but I think it's more or less the claim Ariel Levy is making in her commentary on raunch culture.

I am, by the way, no longer talking about Tim's fridge, which I persist in finding more quaint and silly than offensive, but wondering if my earlier comment was overly optimistic in assuming that we've moved on from accusing women of being frigid. Maybe we've actually just acceded to the demand that we be sexually available, all the while congratulating ourselves for our liberation from the celibacy imperative of church and parents.

(It is a liberation, where women and men are equally seeking their own and each others' pleasure; but it's not, where women perform pleasure for men's titillation, or where women have to be desirable before they can themselves desire.)

Caz said...

Alexis - all perfectly reasonable questions to ponder, and you are probably partly correct in your thought that raunch culture has made speculation over any women's sexual non-availability redundant.

I think it's only partly correct though, for a number of reasons:

- Very few women are caught up in, or are personally perpetuating, "raunch" as the norm. Notwithstanding that any cultural trends, no matter how niche, have a potential to be absorbed, in a watered down version, within the broader culture. That's definitely true for raunch, that is, it continues to have a broader influence than one would have expected.

- The younger generations have absorbed and taken raunch to their heads (don't know about their hearts), but that's not all generations of women. I'm very aware of what the average 20 something woman thinks is "normal" when they go out or when they meet some random guy. However, I'd take a sure bet that they still aspire to getting married to some nice chap who loves & adores them. Ditto, the guys for whom they behave lewdly five minutes after meeting, want the same thing, but not with a women who gave them a blow job in the men's toilet, then pashed her girlfriend for the titillation of the blokes (I’m keeping it very clean, this is a family blog, after all).

Take Paris Hilton, who is the epitome of vacuous raunch ("men think I'm sexy, but not sexual" - ahem, to that) - if nothing else, what is horribly and sadly obvious about this particular little trollop is that at the age of 25 she is utterly desperate for some young man to love her in the soppy school-girl way that she loves them.

So, what I’m trying to say is this: Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan aren’t role models to all women, although they do have an unfortunate sphere of influence amongst pre-teens and teenagers.

Most young women do grow up, gaining a modicum of self respect in the process.

- There is another aspect though, and that is that our society’s outward veneer has changed significantly, and for the most part, it is verboten, and dare I suggest, plain unfashionable, to talk in terms of a woman being “frigid”.

- On the other hand, it’s still entirely normal to hear it suggested “she needs a good fuck”, which, if you think about it makes perfect cultural sense. It’s the assumption of participation and need, if only someone would offer to step up to the plate, as opposed to the very 1950s “frigid”, which signifies non-participation and rejection of need.

If you’re thinking, right about now, that I haven’t exactly wrapped up my arguments with a neat little bow, hmm, excellent observation.

Still, I got this far, and I did start out with a clear vision of something to say, then I wandered off to have my dinner, and you can see what happened.

Anyway, having gone to the trouble of typing, I may as well share my musings with you … such that they are. :-D

(Will try harder next time, to present coherent points, with a beginning, middle and end, yes I will. Try, that is.)

Email: timhtrain - at -

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