Don’t forget your toothbrush

Sometimes I really ought to keep a better check on my mouth and think before the words fly out of my mouth – it would save me an awful lot of embarrassment. Like the other day, when I felt compelled to mention an illustration I vaguely remembered that somehow related a toothbrush to how Christians should behave with regard to sex and relationships…

Let me put this into context:
For two Sundays in May, the evening service’s sermon dealt with the tricky subject of sex and relationships. As is so often the case, this had the potential to turn into a Year 9 PSHE lesson (more in terms of how the congregation responded, rather than the talk’s content). Things didn’t get off to a great start when talk #1 began with “…there’s a lot we can do in 20 minutes…” [obviously referring to the fact that the subject was a broad one and couldn’t be dealt with in its entirety in a 20 minute sermon], I’m sure I’m not the only person who stifled a giggle at that point.

It just so happened that the second talk was being given by the lovely leader of the students, who wisely thought to discuss the topic with the students while preparing it. We had a good discussion and some helpful topics were suggested, one of which was the classic question “how far is too far?”. For some unknown reason my brain chose this moment to remember an illustration involving a toothbrush shown in a documentary about an American abstinence programme. Before I knew it, the words “basically, it’s to do with where you’d put a toothbrush…” were out of my mouth and the room was in uproar. Of course, for the life of me I couldn’t actually remember what the illustration was and frantically tried to dig myself out of the hole I’d fallen into, but nothing worked and the laughs grew louder. And I’m supposed to be a mature, responsible mentor to these impressionable youngsters…woe is me.

[I looked it up later that evening. The illustration is awful and to do with knowing where something’s been before you put it into your mouth – this tells you all about it.]

I missed the talk as it was given the night we finished the epic walk, so I downloaded it to listen to over the weekend – catching up with it en route to church on Sunday morning, finishing it while having a quiet cup of tea in a civilised Nero. Having got through most of the talk with no mention of dental hygiene, I breathed a sigh of relief, until, with five minutes to go, the word ‘toothbrush’ was uttered and I choked on my Earl Grey. That it came up was bad enough (though my name wasn’t mentioned), what was worse was the shrieks of laughter I recognised as belonging to the students. Oh well, at least they were amused.

Note to self: think about what you’re going to say BEFORE you begin to let the words fall out of your mouth. In the long-run, it will be beneficial.

Friday Fun for Saturday

Yesterday I promised you some bonus Easter fun – let me first make clear that this in not going to be fluffy bunny, cute chicks themed fun – in fact Easter has nothing to do with it. It’s simply that I had too much fun to share this week and felt that some of it wasn’t appropriate for Good Friday. [Clearly I have no issues with it on ‘Holy Saturday’…]

First up are a couple of niche blogs that take things from history and bring them into the 21st century, with edge. We have Bangable Dudes in History and Gay Captions

The former is a genius idea. It takes photos of people from history and ranks their hotness. Come on, who hasn’t looked at the pictures in a history text book and thought “Wow, Lenin was hot!” or “I wouldn’t say no to Woodrow Wilson!” or even “I wouldn’t kick Napoleon out of bed”? Yes, some of the content is a trifle dodgy, but it does use pie charts and historical documents, so that wins for me.

The latter could also be a bit on the dodgy side, but it’s also flipping hilarious, so I’ll forgive it. The concept is a simple one – take an old drawing/picture/cartoon and give it a caption that in today’s world changes its meaning entirely. Superb. For example:

My final bit shouldn’t actually be seen as dodgy – it’s a serious issue that most of us will have to face at some point. How do you explain sex to your children? Even more importantly, what do you do if the question comes up in a situation where things are out of your control – like in a Thai restaurant. This is exactly the problem Julia Sweeney faced when her 8 year old asked where tadpoles came from, over Thai Green Curry – that was the start of a slippery slope which is now the subject of a very funny monologue available on YouTube. To give you a flavour of what is a brilliant watch, at one point she is hit by the realisation that she had taken her daughter “by the hand and led her into the world of internet porn” – not that she showed her porn, you understand, her conduct as a mother is never inappropriate, you just have to watch the video to hear how they got from tadpoles, to humans, to dogs, to cats, to YouTube and beyond…

I’m fairly sure that I never asked such difficult questions of my parents. In fact, the closest I think we got to such a cringeworthy conversation took place in the Ikea cafe on the day I was bought a double bed – aged 14. (My room was massive and a double bed was thought logical as I could be turned out of my bedroom when guests visited – they’d get the added bonus of my carefully constructed constellations of glow-stars on the ceiling, stuck up with reference to a star map.) My parents thought this would be an opportune moment to explain that having a double bed did not mean I had license to bring boys home. You’d almost think that, you know, aged 14 I might actually have a boyfriend and such an activity might be a possibility – I didn’t and it wasn’t – but I’m glad they felt the need to have the conversation.

While writing, I’ve realised that all three of these gems have been garnered from The Hairpin, but thankfully only Annabelle reads it religiously enough  to know, and hopefully she might have missed one or two of them. Next week I’ll try to be far more original.

Unlicensed toys, Cuteness & something a bit dodgy…

Apologies for the lack of Friday Fun last week. I wasn’t at work, so I didn’t feel a need for it! This week, there are three things to choose from, which should satisfy all tastes:

Sadly, it excludes some key characters (though the Fat Controller wouldn’t count anyway, being human not a machine) and I didn’t keep a record of the comedy sentence that accompanied the link when sent it by a friend.

It’s not a licensed toy, so it’s unlikely to appear in Toys R Us anytime soon, but the concept’s a great one. Incidentally, in my quest to discover which characters it was excluding, I discovered the breadth of random characters now included in the modern TV series, like the influx of female ones. This was following complaints in the 1970’s that the only women (Annie and Clarabelle) had a passive role – in that they were pulled along by engines. Interesting point…

(ii) Cuteness
Namely, Cute Overload. The sort of sickly-sweet website that only appeals to 7 year old girls or hormonal women, but oh so slightly addictive. Photos of baby animals – check. Videos of adorable animal antics – check. Animals in knitted clothing – check. What more could you want?

It even sub-divides posts into categories, meaning that if all you’re interested in is cute kittens, there’s a button just for you! I’m personally loving this photo

(iii) Dodginess
(As an aside, as I wrote ‘a bit dodgy’ in the title, I was reminded how hilarious a Californian friend of mine finds the way I say that phrase. Hadn’t thought about her for a while, so it made me smile!)

Often featured on Friday’s is Gizmodo’s photoshop contest. Last week’s was slightly risque, but I’m including it anyway, because it was the funniest yet. The mission was to use sex to sell otherwise unsexy gadgets. The many (predictable) references to the Palm Pre made me chuckle a lot. Others were just plain disturbing. Warning: Do not read at work!!

What makes girls at a tea party giggle?

Porn for women, of course!

This was one of the contributions to Sunday’s swap party. The little book, simply entitled Porn for Women, was passed round the circle of ladies drinking tea and was a source of some amusement. (It was a welcome interlude in a conversation that had spent too long on the subject of bikini waxes – particularly, what one does when the best waxer in London was off sick…)
Produced by the Cambridge Womens Pornography Cooperative, it’s a response to some research on what actually turns women on and is also an attempt to reclaim pornography from the seedy side.
It’s not porn, but it is what women want:

I was given the book because it was felt I would ‘appreciate it most’ (have no idea what was being insinuated there!). So I took it from the party, on to church, where it received more giggles amongst the girls there. I think there could be a market for a Christian version…
Apparently, there’s also a calendar. Excellent.

Sharing some love on a t-shirt

Courtesy of St M’s

In case you can’t read it, that would be:

“Jesus loves you…but I fancy you.”

I could explain, but this time I don’t care to. Basically it has something to do with the following words: church, relationships, course, sex, dating, men, women, God… I’ve just spent my evening (like the last two Tuesdays) with people wearing them.
And, needless to say, I want one. It could come in very useful sometimes.