Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Chevy Van

As a teen, I was walking to school one morning, I saw a curtained, tricked out van parked on the street with the enigmatic bumper sticker with the legend on it: "If the van is rockin, don't come a knockin!" I wasn't entirely sure; but I thought I shouldn't ask Mama about it, or any of my classmates. You know, I just didn't want to seem any more clueless than I was. Or still am. I concluded that this was a not-so-subtle allusion to mobile coitus. My hypothesis was confirmed when I discerned a mattress through an opening in the curtains!

Flash quite a few years later. I happened to hear a song on the golden oldie station from Sweetwater. An instant "aha" experience, as Wolfgang Köhler would have called it. It was a song by Sammy Johns with a theme of mobile copulation:

I gave a girl a ride in my wagon
Now she crawled in and took control
She was tired as her mind was draggin'
And I said get some sleep, and dream of rock and roll.

Like a picture she was laying there
And moonlight dancing off her hair
She woke up and took me by the hand
She's gonna love me in my Chevy van and that's all right with me.

Her young face was like that of an angel
And her long legs were tanned and brown
You better keep your eyes on the road, son
Better slow this vehicle down.

'Cause like a picture she was laying there
And moonlight dancing off her hair
She woke up and took me by the hand
She's gonna love me in my Chevy van and that's all right with me.

I put her out in a town that was so small
You could throw a rock from end to end
A dirt road Main Street, she walked off in bare feet
It's a shame I won't be passing through again.

'Cause like a picture she was laying there
And moonlight dancing off her hair
She woke up and took me by the hand
We made love in my Chevy van, and that's all right with me.

That's the story.  It must have written in a time of too-casual sex without commitment. And not even worth a return trip by the singer/narrator. And the very dismissive 'and that's all right with me!' Talk about uncommitted sex!

A movie, was based on this theme; and may have encouraged the creepy class to try to live the fantasy. Or perhaps it was just simply an example of teen boy bravado.

It generated other examples too:

Monday, November 23, 2015

Sex and Happiness

Sex sells; particularly on the internet. And reports of sex research is practically guaranteed to get widespread internet coverage; both as news articles and as blog material.

Lately, the hot finding is that researchers found a correlation between frequency of sex and reported happiness. Couples who engage in sexual relations at least once a week tend to be happier than those who do so less often. As a matter of fact, they found that having sex at least once a week tended to be as effective in relating with being happier as having an increase of $10,000 in income!

So making love more often leads to more happiness? Not so fast!

Technically, the research describes a relationship between sex and happiness; it does not state necessarily what causes what. Does happiness result from more sex; or are happier people more likely to desire sex? Age of the persons involved can play a part. Older people, while likely to be happier, engage in sexual behavior somewhat less often. And often the responsibilities associated with older age status (parenting, etc.) may make opportunities for sex and energy less available.

Moreover, while the original findings stated that about once a week was associated with more happiness, some writers ran with that and further misconstrued the results as implying that sex more than once a week results in less happiness. Nope; nothing like that was reported; only that there was no further increment in happiness. No decrement in happiness should accompany having sex more often! If the regular night for coupling is Saturday and it's only Tuesday, no need to wait until the weekend if both are willing at the present moment! And there are different ways of doing sex; and variety is the spice of life. Somehow, this was twisted into another case of getting results with a bare minimum of effort!

Anyway, people themselves at any age might have differences in libidos and how they enjoy the experience. The joy of experiencing a close bond is a strong motivator in itself.

An interesting factoid is that men are maximally ready to have sex in the morning, say between 6 and 9 A.M. Women tend to be maximally eager late, around 11 P.M. to 1 A.M.  This can be worked out.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Blonde Encounters Name Tags

The blonde joke is a standard motif cross-culturally. Here is an example that shows that the French resort to blonde jokes too:

"Oh, it is darling to give a little name to your boobies. 
And what do you call the other one?"

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Patina of Respectability

Let's face it: For a number of years people working in low-level professional or semiprofessional positions have had to find ways to supplement their meager salaries. Their ranks include junior clerks and sales associates, paralegal employees, entry-level managers, and even adjunct professors that are effectively part-time. In response to this, the part-time employees have to resort to other jobs to fill in the pay and benefits gap.

Most often these are mundane jobs that bring a bit more money in. While it's really nice to obtain another part-time job that one qualifies for, pays well, and hopefully brings benefits, that doesn't always happen. Hence, the math teacher/barista or the history teacher/nightclub bouncer! As long as the position is not too unrespectable they can function as a member of the lumpenprofessoriat!

But what if a dean or department chair finds a part-time instructor in his/her other setting? Usually, the tendency is to not recognize the person as one of his/hers; but remember with the mercenary idea that the person has another job, so is likely to stick around for a long time and need not have to be offered a full-time position of one becomes available.

As for those who work part-time with the idea that they might be hired on a full-time basis, do they still believe in the Easter Bunny? Or: "Why buy the cow if the milk is cheap?"*

I think that reasonable employers should recognize that, when they find a part-time person engaged in work that is incongruent with the role or status of the part-time position that they offered, they are part of the problem. Let's face it: part-time academic salaries are not enough to be one's sole means of support! Where's the money coming from?

I know of one part-time instructor who showed and sold houses part-time; and she graduated into a full-time realtor! As she put it, "I didn't take a vow of poverty!"

As for another, she became a member of a roller derby team and could really body check others!  That's definitely preparation for being an administrator someday.

*Deans are sometimes capable of crass analogies.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Boudreaux, Thibodeaux, and the Nutria

Well, Boudreaux and Thibodeaux wanted to do some crabbing, yes! But they lacked anything to bait the traps with.  Worms they could find; but they were not real attractants for the crabs, no. They had themselves a problem; and they called each other dumbasses for not saving some fish heads to use as bait.

Just then, they noticed an old nutria with a big ol' dead fish in his mouth on the levee. They figured the nutria could spare them some, but the smart critter wasn't having any of it.

So Boudreaux poured some cheap beer in a bowl and backed off. The nutria, being curious, dropped the fish to check out what's in the bowl. Boo and Thib, they got the dead fish, used the fish's  parts in their crab nets, and went off for some crabbing.

They caught two dozen blue crabs. Whooeee! Not bad for a morning's work. Mrs. Boo and Mrs. Thib were both very happy!

And they had a fine meal of them crabs!

The next day, Boudreaux and Thibodeaux looked out along the levee.

There was the same old nutria; now with another fish in his mouth and ready to barter!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Another Statue of a Bug

Well, some of the good citizens of Ferndale, NJ were concerned about their lack of civic prominence, unlike such enterprising places like Ho-Ho-Kus, Perth Amboy, and Newark. No, it had an unnoticeable name, it had no heavy industry to speak of, and no famous television characters depicted as operating there. But what to do?

Well, Tony the Tiger, a regular guy and an insect and rat exterminator, thought that Ferndale needed another statue to add to its modest urban statuary of The Last Virgin and The Unknown Made Man. He wondered about one an equestrian monument to Gov. Christie, but expected that it would cause traffic jams.

Obviously, Tony was getting nowhere fast. So he looked a little deeper until he found the example of the boll weevil monument in Enterprise, Alabama. He thought with envy, "This is a community that managed to make a lemonade out of a lemon"

But he remained fixated on bugs. But what kind of bug? Something industrious like bees or ants? Or something pretty, like butterflies or ladybugs?

No, while there were all good examples, they didn't quite fit. Anyway, he didn't want to be known as exterminator of bees, butterflies, and ladybugs!

But then he found one that looked interesting: the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys)! Recently New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia had severe infestations of these woefully-named species. As a bonus, the statue could also advertise his business.

Thus Ferndale made the nightly news and, even better,

Where they particularly are infested (red coloration).

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Another Kind of Insect Repellant

 Researchers at New Mexico State University, trying out various substances' ability to repel mosquitos, found the usual DEET-based chemicals were effective in repelling those annoying pests. Non-DEET repellants did not work so well.

They also found that two other substances worked as well: Victoria's Secret Blockbuster and Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard.

This has  particular significance because of one of the species effectively repelled was Aedes eygptii, the carrier of the yellow fever virus. Yellow fever occurred several times in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, particularly in New Orleans and Philadelphia. The Asian tiger mosquito was also effectively repelled. These species may also carry dengue fever and chikungunya.

It's very likely that other perfumes may have this effect. I am not scientifically dedicated enough to try this out with Poême.