Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Toein' Teh 'Bride's Line

Back in my college daze, Teh 'Mom was forever encouraging me to take a course in public speaking or, better yet, debating. This usually happened after there had been what passed for an "intellectual debate" around Teh HeisenFamily dinner table, because Teh 'Mom, who was a Very Proper Lace Curtain Irish Mither, would get exasperated and finally give up and say, "Heisenbergs don't know how to debate correctly! All they do is raise their voices — try to yell over each other and intimidate the other person into giving up!"

To which I would respond, "O, yeah, Teh 'Mom? O YEAH!??1! [getting in her face a bit at this juncture]WHAT'S YOUR FUCKING POINT!1!!!1"

That always shut her up. Advantage, Glaven. Woo-Hoo! Teh 'Mom just never knew how to argue successfully.

And it's true that, if you view approaches to "argumentation" or "debate" as falling somewhere on a continuum that ranges from, on the one side, trying calmly to seduce or sway your opponent into adopting your position as the most reasonable one to hold; to, on the other side, a scorched earth approach whereby you use every rhetorical weapon in your arsenal, every arrow in your quiver, to cow your opponent into silence and acquiescence without giving a flying fuck about whether or not he agrees with you at the end as long as you reduce him to a quivering gelatinous mass of barely animate flesh afraid to say another word for fear you'll go into yet another tirade — if you view the possible approaches to argumentation and debate that way, then you can safely say that my strategy skews decidedly toward the latter approach.

I've never seen the attraction of the "persuasion" route. I'm here to crush spirits and ruin egos, not make friends! I don't "argue"; I don't "debate" — I fight. In other words, I'm a Total Dick; or, if you prefer, a Big Fucking Stink Pickle.

Now Teh Lurvely 'Bride knew this about me before she agreed to marry me. And she married me with no expectation of changing this aspect of my personality because — pffttt! As if! And it's not as though I am gentleman enough not to use this strategy on her when I argue with her because, at the risk of repeating myself — pffttt! As if!

No, Teh 'Bride just doesn't care that I argue this way because she's not intimidated by it and one of the reasons I knew she'd be able to put up with me Till Death Do Us Part is, if she believes something deeply enough, she will stick to her guns no matter how obnoxious I get — and, O yeah, I can get a bit obnoxious, people! — and she will literally not be persuaded out of her belief by anything I or anyone else says, or, to be more accurate, sprays because, let's face it, when you get as loud as I do? Well, as that Daniel Day-Lewis always says, There Will Be Spittle.

Case in point:

Teh 'Bride and I are sitting on the sofa a few weeks ago watching Men of a Certain Age, which is a show we both like, I because, well, it's a pretty good show, but also because the "certain age" these dudes happen to be is roughly my own, viz., on the verge of 50, and also because they sometimes play era-appropriate incidental music on the show that reminds me of songs I'd forgotten about and I make a mental note to download them to my iPod later. And so but this particular time, in the episode we were watching, they used "Draggin Teh Line" and this is one of the few songs from my era that Teh 'Bride actually knows, if we provisionally define "know" very broadly. Because she starts to sing along:

Teh 'B.: "Toein' the line (toein' the line) BAMP! BAMP! Toein' the line (toein' the line) BAMP! BAMP!

And so I'm pert-near literally slapping my forehead over this and I think I actually took the remote, paused TiVo and turned to Teh 'Bride and said:

"Yeah, see, the lyrics are actually draggin' teh line, and not only are they the lyrics, that's the actual name of the song, and I know this because, first off, I already have it on my iPod and I could show you, but also because I remember when the song came out in like 1971 and I thought at the time that the lyrics 'My dog Sam eats purple flowers' were pretty freaking stupid but now, since we got Morgan a couple years ago, I'm thinking I owe Tommy James an apology because Morgan is definitely fucktarded enough to eat purple or any other color flowers and so I finally do understand or 'dig' that particular line from the song and I know now from experience what TJ was driving at with that seeming hippie-dippy line about dogs and flowers and ingesting. But my overarching point here is: It's draggin' not toein' the line."

And Teh 'Bride turns to me and she stares thoughtfully as though she were judiciously weighing the soundness and validity of my line of disputation; and then she turns away, picks up the remote, unpauses the TiVo and continues:

"Toein' the line (toein' the line) BAMP! BAMP! Toein' the line (toein' the line) BAMP! BAMP!"

And I would have joined in here, shout-singing the correct lyrics over top of Teh 'Bride's wrong ones, but the only thing my singing is gonna convince anyone of is that THERE IS NO GOD because why would a Loving and Good Deity allow that hideous noise into his Perfect and Harmonious Universe? HE MUST HATE US!1!

And this was a few weeks ago but if you asked Teh 'B today to sing this song for you? Yeah, she'd still go:

"Toein' the line (toein' the line) BAMP! BAMP! Toein' the line (toein' the line) BAMP! BAMP!" ... despite being objectively wrong.

And Teh 'Bride frequently sez to me that I remind her of Teh 'Dad, which is like her highest compliment because she lurves Teh 'Dad and thinks he's funny and can do no wrong. (I personally see way more of Teh 'Mom in my personality, but Teh 'Bride sees all Teh 'Dad.) But in this, her tendency toward obdurate perseverance in a clearly mistaken belief even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary?

Yeah, Teh 'Bride could be Teh 'Dad's DoppelPickle. Because here's an example from Teh 'Dad:>

"I don't care what you say, Glavey — what 'evidence' to the contrary you cite — Shakespeare was CATHOLIC!1! Now I'm your FATHER and you should respect me!1! So let that be an end to the issue!1!"

If I didn't tell you that was Teh 'Dad, I wouldn't blame you for thinking it was Teh 'Bride. (Seriously, though, I'd think you a bit of a fucktard, because Teh 'Bride is obviously not my father.)

Ian'th New Braytheth! (that's how he talks, now)
Yeah, he got them just in time because today is his GOTCHA Day, i.e., the day, 10 years ago, that Teh 'Bride and I stood in Newark airport awaiting his arrival from Korea. As I said to him as I left for work this morning, The happiest day of his mother's and my life.
Ran 7 miles this morning at like 5 a.m. and, thinking it would be warm enough outside, did it commando. Man, was I wrong, because I got a nice case of what j'og long ago taught us to call "wiener-bite", or Stink Pickle Frost, except that in j'og's case it is a teeny-tiny problem, but in mine?

Pretty massive.


  1. funny, i got a nasty case of wienerbite yesterday morning, too; one where it hurt while showering afterward. hot water on ones frozen member is not a comfortable experience, even if it is a teeny-tiny experience. but during the course of developing said wienerbite, i thought to myself, "self? who else uses or appreciates the term wienerbite? it has been lost to a blog era long since passed." and then i remembered dear gavin and his joy at learning the term.


  2. "stink pickle" - that's funny!

    i'm not sure how u altered that music video title but it's TOEIN" the line - and everyone know it
    bamp bamp
    great phat bass.
    love, teh bride

  3. Hub and Father-in-law both have this annoying habit of talking at people, esp when it comes to religion/politics (FIL has this nasty habit of watching Fox News then telling me ALL about what valuable piece of crap he's gleaned from the idiots on that channel). I get talked at all the time, & it drives me nuts. Reasoning calmly & quietly just makes them talk all the louder.

    I've started walking away, which doesn't bother them because then they just find someone else to yell at.

    Sounds like "banging the line" to me, & now it's going to be stuck in my head.

    TB - concise & to the point as usual. Guest post coming up?

  4. Hopefully that will get the horrible song that Julie's blog inserted into my brain, or what passes for it these days.

  5. You, obnoxious?! "pffttt! As if!"

    And, you're almost 50? Now you tell me!

  6. Happy belated Gotcha day. Ian's metal-mouth is a work of art. My 32 year old sister just got her braces removed. Thankfully she's only had them for the last three years. Can you imagine wearing those things for two decades?! The horror.