In the “Diarrhea Song” (featured in the movie Parenthood and elsewhere), the first lines are “When you’re sliding into first / and you’re feeling something burst / Diarrhea, Diarrhea.” But people don’t really slide into first. A tag out at first isn’t necessary because it’s always a force out, so trying to dodge the tag is no good, and you’re allowed to overrun first base, so there’s no point in slowing down to slide. Of course, it’s legal to slide into first, but it still feels like lazy songwriting because “running into first” fits the rhyme and meter just as well, and it makes a lot more sense. And, yeah, sliding makes a little more sense with the “burst” thing, but I think it’s fully plausible for someone to feel a diarrheic bursting sensation while running at full speed. Indeed, conditional on diarrhea being involved, I’d say that’s more likely than someone sliding into first.
One time I was listening on headphones to a podcast while walking through my neighborhood. I laughed aloud at something in the podcast while I happened to be walking past a homeless guy who apparently was asking for money. I didn’t hear him ask for money because I was wearing headphones and listening to a podcast and laughing, but he thought I was laughing at him. So, he (louder this time) said “Hey man, why you gotta laugh at a man who needs help?” Realizing what had happened, I said “It’s not about you.” But because I wasn’t really tuned into the conversation, I said it in a tone like “It’s not about you.” I soon realized this is an insensitive thing to say to a person who doesn’t have a home or much of a social support system and has fallen through the cracks of a society that shows every sign of being indifferent to racial and income inequality to the point where most people will literally walk past him while pretending they can’t hear him or see him. Sadly, I realized this after I had walked a little distance, and by the time I walked back, he was gone. The first time I saw him after that was like a week later, which felt like too long of time had elapsed to bring it up especially because he might not have even noticed the tone or he may have forgotten about it. I have not forgotten about it.
There’s a brand of bathroom scales called “Thinner.” This is a bad name for a bathroom scale. I think it’s meant to be like inspiration, but it makes me think that either (1) the scale is going to make me feel thinner by reporting an inaccurately low weight, which kind of defeats the purpose of having a scale or (2) the scale wants me to be thinner regardless of what weight it shows, which is not always a good recommendation. I realize that “As Thin As You Actually Are Or Maybe As Fat As You Actually Are: Just Step On And We’ll See” also isn’t a good name, but there has to be something workable in there.
In the 2003 movie X2, Wolverine fights a one-on-one battle with Yuriko (who is basically Lady Deathstrike, but is not so named in the movie). She has the same healing power as Wolverine, the same adamantium-laced skeleton, and the same retractable adamantium claws (though hers extend from her fingers rather than her wrist). These similarities alone might merit some empathy from Wolverine, but they don’t end there: she, like he was a few years earlier, is the mind-controlled lackey of the chief villain, Colonel William Stryker, who laced them both out in adamantium without their knowledge or consent. Furthermore, during their confrontation she is still brainwashed and under the complete control of Stryker. Some nigh-unkillable mutants would use this opportunity to attempt to free her from her bondage, but our (ostensible) hero instead kills her by injecting her with so much molten adamantium that it pours out of her eyes, nose, and mouth. A few things to keep in mind here: (1) she is capable of feeling pain (in this same scene we see her cry out when stabbed), (2) molten adamantium is at least 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit (source), and (3) her body is healing itself as this is happening—death only arrives when the adamantium solidifies and she is left to drown in a vat of water. Surely this has to be one of the worst ways to die, and this inflicted by an (ostensible) hero who went on to get film franchise of his own. This really put me off as a thirteen year old, and continues to put me off today.
Tony graduated in 2012 with majors in mathematics and economics. He now lives in Chicago and is pursuing graduate study in economics. He also has a very good cultural trivia podcast called “Here’s My Number, So Call Me Ishmael” available on Libsyn, iTunes, and Google Play.