Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A cultural question (with an update*)

Sometimes strange questions bubble up from wherever questions bubble. Without going into details, this one popped up this morning:

Do Middle East mothers complain about skid marks?

My mother complained about my father's underwear (I wonder: is it because of the cut of men's pants that there are more jokes about male skid marks than female?). Sit coms make jokes. A couple of weeks ago, the maid on "Two and a Half Men" cracked wise about using a tooth brush on the kid's skivvies. On BBC America's "My Family," the mother poo-poohed the daughter's complaint about having unwashed laundry on the kitchen table with, "It's just cloth...with skid marks."

During my Army posting in Turkey, I noticed that the homes had bidets or a faucet near the "facility," and, parenthetically, the worst kind of toilet paper (waxy) in hotels. Somewhere I got the idea that the left hand and water are used for cleaning oneself over in the Middle East.

Here in the U.S. we use absorbent paper. Sometimes the absorbency isn't up to the job; sometimes strain comes into play; sometimes the cut of pants?

What gives? Anybody out there watch the Middle Eastern equivalent of Roseanne?

Cultural observations are fun. For instance, have you noticed that Disney's Pluto has no anus?

*Here's reaction sent to me by my friend, Bea:

Now then, I have given 40 whole seconds to ponder this skid mark issue..............and I think we should take it back to basics. As in painting, it starts with the pallette and the loading of the brush. Next comes the approach to the canvas, then the application of the paint using just the right pressure, stroke direction and tecnique. The size and shape of the brush can also dictate the outcome. (I'm sure you see where this is going).

Now, in applying these priciples to said skid marks or skivvy sinners...................one best begin with the paper, whether rolled or ripped from a Sears catalog (Now you KNOW I'm from Honey Island). Is the perp a folder or crumpler? A four finger straight line slider (as in Debit card users) or a single finger wrapper dabber? Art is in the eye or crotch of the beholder and is what truly separates us from the animals. Some humans actually think thumbs do. (hm, thumbs..........along with the forefingers represent another paper grip, used mostly by the "eeeee-uuuuuu" crowd.)

Raising Sean was no problem in this arena at all. That boy stopped including underwear in his wardrobe at about age 8, and his jeans.......well,.I just burned them at the end of a month's wear. I would tell you something about Joe's but he has just enough brain cells remaining in the left side of his brain that he might find this email. He loves to read the emails (and I truly think it's great). He likes to think he does this in secret, then as I come into the room, he zips back to his Solitaire screen. All I'll say about his skids is that he has his very own little plastic caddie with a spray bottle of Shout, a couple of brushes including an old tooth brush, and a bar of soap that he keeps under the bathroom sink. We seem to have solved the brown stain syndrome..................but I still wonder what the hell do I do about that little wet spot on the lower left side of his fly.

So then, Dear Gentle Reader(s), the conversation is engaged.

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