Sunday, May 11, 2008

Swing Away

Some writers like putting words in combinations they’re sure no one has ever heard before. George Carlin is famous for stuff like “Hand me that piano.” Douglas Adams remarked that no language has produced the phrase “As beautiful as an airport.”

My new favorite unlikely set of words is “ornamental testicles.”

Testicles are many things to many people but on their list of their attributes “ornamental” would limp in at last place, or maybe next to last, just before “steely.” Some people think that penises are ugly - I think they’re quite strikingly beautiful. They are, however, like the cute guy who always arrives at the party trailed by his funny- looking sidekick - think Ricky Ricardo and Fred Mertz. I love men, some more frequently or avidly than others. I think they’re spectacular. But balls are only ornamental like a garnish is ornamental: the main reason anyone swallows up that sprig of endive is because it happens to be right next to the steak.

Balls are reproductively functional. They are euphemistically invaluable. They are a point of vulnerability as crucial as the exhaust port on the Death Star. But the only thing they should ever be found hanging off in an ornamental fashion is a man.

Which brings us to the latest in homegrown Florida idiocy: guys hanging replicas of balls from their trucks and other guys taking the legislative time to try to ban them.

Yes, there are things called Truck Nutz, plastic or metal replicas of testicles, with which some people, presumably blind ones, decorate their vehicles with in a festive manner. In the many stories I’ve read about this dumb phenomenon, not one addressed the obvious question: why? Who could think that a faux nut sack dangling off their bumper is attractive, alluring, instructive, witty, intriguing, suggestive, declarative, funny, pithy, challenging or ornamental? The only conclusion I can come up with is that these guys just love handling nuts that aren’t their own and will find any excuse to do so.

Not everyone loves decorative cobblers, though. In fact, Sen. Carey Baker, (R-Eustis) tried to get them off road, proposing a $60 fine for motorists who festoon their vehicles thus. Baker’s provision was attached to a highway safety bill but, as of May 1, the AP described the balls as being “snipped form legislation.”

And despite the fact that I think truck nuts are the ugliest thing this side of a gum disease pamphlet I’m glad they won’t be banned. Freedom of expression cannot be limited to the expressions we find tasteful and if some people think ersatz nads will perk up their ride, let ‘em have at it. As someone on NPR said this week, “Vive Vas Deferens.”

Besides, this particular freedom of expression might as well be a neon sign that says “Dork,” and such labels are helpful to the rest of us. Gotta love a set of balls that gives you a little extra kick.

(this photo came from a very funny post about Truck Nutz on


watchwhathappens said...

Thank you for saying exactly what I was thinking, only better than I ever could have said it.

Katie said...

Classic! I had heard about the Truck Nutz issue and couldn't believe that it had all gone this far. I actually almost wrecked my car when I first saw a pair hanging from a bumper - I was laughing that hard. 'Course I have a fondness for the real thing, too, so maybe that's why you and I view the replicas differently? For some reason it kind of reminds me of a toilet that ends up becoming a planter in the back yard - it's so low budge that it almost makes an artistic statement. Almost.
Funny funny stuff Miss Liz and beautifully written, as always!

Nevis said...

Aren't the best testicles...ornamental?