Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Inappropriate Uses - Not Just for Bacon Anymore!

When Simon P. was here, we made a very important discovery. Inappropriateness is not limited to uses of bacon! Many things are inappropriately used, and this blog is here to alert you when such uses occur. I know this will come as a great surprise to many of you, so I'll ease you in to this new concept with a bacon-related example. My friends, Matt and Adam, and I recently spotted this truck driving next to us on the highway.

Even people who find all uses of bacon appropriate have to draw a line somewhere

This is what is known as an inappropriate use of a pig in advertising. It should be clear why this use is inappropriate: this is a pig who is dancing in a belt of sausages made of its brethren. If the pig were merely encased in chocolate, then it would be a simple inappropriate use of bacon, but these people have gone much further. They have crossed a line of inappropriateness regarding pigs that it isn't about taste buds anymore. It is about MORALITY! This pig is clearly a traitor to its species, and I haven't even gone into the bizarre and upsetting ramifications of its walking on two legs. Friends, never use a pig inappropriately in advertising. It is wrong.

Simon P. and I stumbled upon many an inappropriate use during her visit here. So many that I made notes. Notes that no longer make sense to me. For example, "inappropriate use of heat - xmas lights, soap." You can tell just from these words being near each other that this is undoubtedly inappropriate, but I am not entirely clear on the context. I think it might have involved a microwave, though. The microwave, being relatively new technology, is prone to being used inappropriately, and you should always consult your sense of appropriateness carefully before using it. If you are about to cause something to explode or melt in your kitchen, you are using your microwave inappropriately. However, if you are outside and have taken the ncessary safety precautions, your risk of inappropriateness is reduced.

My list of inappropriate uses also says "sticks." I admit I am not sure what I meant by this. We did spend about half an hour surgically removing a microscopic splinter from Simon P.'s finger, so it may have come out of that gruesome experience.

You could also call this an inappropriate use of eyebrow tweezers, but we were in a pinch

When the surgery was over, the patient applied a poultice of baking soda, as advised by the internet, to draw out the remains of the splinter, which may or may not have fallen apart during removal. (It was too small to tell.) This was an appropriate use of baking soda. The patient then applied a bacon-shaped bandage to the wound, which was not appropriate at all, but the patient was probably too woozy from the anesthesia to display proper judgment. Not that Simon P. has ever displayed a reliable sense of what is and is not inappropriate . . .

FOR EXAMPLE, while we were in the carriage house at Sonnenberg, we developed a difference of opinion regarding this:

Only appropriate if you are a zombie

According to the explanation, this is a tiny, one-person carriage used in the winter to get the mail. Simon P. finds this both appropriate and practical. Why would I not agree? What is not appropriate about this? I will tell you. It's the wheels. This is an inappropriate use of wheels, because this is not a carriage. This is very obviously a coffin. It is funereally-colored, long, only fits one person, and covers that person from head to toe, narrowing at the feet. This is a coffin, and it is not appropriate to put wheels on a coffin. If you do that, you are asking for an undignified accident involving the coffin rolling merrily down a hill with you chasing after it, leaving behind a crowd of scandalized mourners, of whom at least one is going to have to help you put the body back in, because of course it is going to fall out at the bottom of the hill when the coffin hits a rock, a tree, a curb or, god help you, a passing car. And you will have to explain why, when you put wheels on it, you did not also include a seatbelt. And a horn. If I have to explain why this is not appropriate, there is no hope for you.

But there are many things that are universally inappropriate in this day and age, and Simon P. and I agreed that hair receivers are one of those things. There is a disturbingly large collection of these in the mansion at Sonnenberg, displayed openly in the upstairs hall as if they are something to be proud of. They are not! For they are inappropriate! Victorian ladies used to pull out the hair caught in their hairbrushes and collect it in these porcelain receptacles for later use, either in stuffing something or creating some kind of monstrous "toy" or "jewelry" or "artistic" "object." This is bad enough when you use your own hair. But using someone else's hair, or hair you have cut from a deceased friend or relative (wasn't putting wheels on their coffin enough of an affront?), is taking sentimentality to a grotesque level.

Hair receptacle on the left; hair "art" on the right
This is a pretty clear-cut case of inappropriate, I think, although there is one thing I should add. I went to an art exhibit recently that consisted entirely of art made of extreme materials like bones and soap and dollar bills and cereal. One piece was a wall hanging in the shape of a New Orleans shotgun house, woven out of hair. My friend and my sister and I all liked this piece. But there are two reasons it was not inappropriate: (1) It was made of hair extensions found outside a salon shortly after Hurricane Katrina, which means it was making a deliberately unsettling Statement, and (2) it was on the same wall as the painting made with menstrual blood, and everything near that painting seemed appropriate by comparison. These, evidently, are the only conditions under which the use of detatched hair is appropriate. All other uses are inappropriate. A good rule of thumb is, if you have to ask yourself, "Would I need to compare this to a painting made with human bodily fluids to make it seem appropriate?" stop what you're weaving, eating, advertising, microwaving, or attaching wheels to, because it's not appropriate.

Other inappropriate uses include the following:
Inappropriate use of a civil rights leader (a bar called Freddy D's)
Inappropriate use of dessert (ice cream in the winter)
Inappropriate use of garlic (garlic ice cream)
Inappropriate use of beets #1 (beet ice cream)
Inappropriate use of beets #2 (beets in dishes involving beans)

As you can see, one inappropriate use tends to beget another, and ice cream is a very sensitive food that can easily become inappropriate if you're not careful. Same goes for beets. And microwaves. You should be alert to situations that can become inappropriate very quickly, such as funerals and your morning hair-brushing session, and keep a close eye on advertising, which is often inappropriate even when it isn't endorsing cannibalism among helpless animals. If we all remain vigilant, we can safeguard ourselves from being influenced by these inappropriate uses and retain our sense of what is appropriate (chocolate cake, always) and what is not (usually bacon). Good luck to you.


Mum said...

I laughed until I cried when reading about the wheeled coffin. I had to stop reading and recover 3 times; after the vision of the coffin merrily rolling down hill while being pursued, the body falling out the bottom upon striking an object, and at the word seatbelt (ok, I was overcome at this point).

No object or work of art made of hair is appropriate!I guess Victorian women were very very bored and had gotten tired of samplers.

Simon said...

You know, it's funny, when I was writing about the runaway coffin, I thought, "My mother will like this." I don't know what that says about either of us . . . other than that dark humor must be genetic.