Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Girls (and Boys) Just Want to Be Fun [May 28]

Submitted for your (dis)approval:



  [fuhn]  Show IPA
something that provides mirth or amusement: A picnic would be fun.
enjoyment or playfulness: She's full of fun.
verb (used without object), verb (used with object), funned, fun·ning.
Informal. joke; kid.
adjective, fun·ner, fun·nest.
Informal. of or pertaining to fun, especially to social fun: a fun thing to do; really a fun person; 
the funnest game.
Informal. whimsical; flamboyant: The fashions this year are definitely on the fun side.

And I do not give a rodent's ass what the idiots at say. There are fewer common words, aside from certain blue terms, that I would vote out of the vernacular.

Trying to avoid sexism, I must cite that most of the violators of my little dictum are of the feminine gender. Yes, I think that fun as an adjective (FAAA), as painful as it is to my ears, is a dainty word.

I believe the first time I heard FAAA was from a hostess. Invited to a brunch for college big cheeses, I asked what I could bring. She said, "How about some fun cheese?"

Fun cheese, exhibit 1
I involuntarily recoiled. Was there a black mamba in the room? Revulsion oozed through me. How could cheese be fun? I love cheese. All shapes and sizes, especially nasty, stinky cheese. I want to go to France just to fondle, sniff—and eventually consume—cheese. They seem to have none of our stupid sanitary laws concerning dairy. And they've been doing this for centuries. Cheese with a beard on it. Cheese that has mold thicker than Jacques Pepin's accent. Cheese that smells like North Jersey.

But I digress.

In order to abide by my inviter's request, I purchased a can of spray cheese. She looked at me oddly when I presented the fun cheese. I explained, "This was the only cheese I could find that was remotely fun."

Fun cheese, exhibit 2

"You said that the cheese should be 'fun.' I think cheese is tasty, wonderful, nutritious, full of dairy fat. But this was the only stuff that you can have fun with, since I eschew fun as an adjective."


"Well, let's go squirt some at Dean Wormer."

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" She appropriated my offering, and, in a clatter of Weejuns, headed for the dustbin.

Another woman, the mother of a galpal, was a true FAAA person, country-club born and bred. Definitely one of those people who paste napkins to cocktail glasses (about which I opined on the 26th). Once when I arrived at the house to pick up Mary Pat (who was truly a good egg), Mumsy asked, "So, what do you kids have planned?"

I said, "Well, perhaps a trip to see a band I know ... and then, maybe, The Green Comet Diner."

"Oooh, a diner. That must be a fun place!"

I so wanted to say, "No, Mrs. McFussbudget, a diner is not fun. It serves utilitarian, usually grease-besodden food to people who have been out getting hammered." I would have left out the part about my plans to grope the daylights out of Mary Pat in the scullery later, in hopes of separating her from her Defcon 1 brassiere.

Fun? No.
Oh, FAAA is everywhere. One FoodStar addled chef proclaimed that she would make a pudding-ish dish in her ramekins. "These are so fun," she said. No, they are flippin' dishes lady.

Another such chef decided to host a garden party, with the added feature of a model train on the table, complete with hopper cars filled with various confections.

"How fun is that?" said the host.

None. Now, it would be funny if I manned the transformer and sped up the train so it derailed, spilling vichyssoise into Mrs. Vandersnatch's Madras-swathed lap.

Yes, men have adopted FAAA, too. A salesman at a tony men's store once told me that Italian suits "are fun." Fun like a clown suit? Fun like it's here for your amusement. Fun how? Sorry, allow me to un-Pesci myself.

Which brings me to:


Yes. People can be funny. Events can be funny. Jokes can be funny.

But cheese is never funny. Nor diners. Nor model trains, unless you make them crash.

One of the advantages of having been a musician for so many years was the propensity for musicians to be funny.

In my old band, Repairs, everyone was funny. Mike (bass) once wore the bottom half of Larry's (guitar) popcorn popper on his head, affecting the look of an alien warload from cheap, Asian sci-fi flick. We dressed up Robbie (roadie) as a rock star and told the audience that he was Eric Clapton's rhythm-guitar player. Although he couldn't play a note, we outfitted him with a Telecaster, a slide bar and a wah-wah pedal. He got a standing ovation from a club full of 600 people. Pete (keyboards) would roll himself in a yellow blanket and call himself "The Montana Banana." Yes you had to be there.

And yes, it is possible to have fun—yes, this is a noun.

Toilet roll. Add water and watch the fun begin!
One splendid option for this is at other people's homes—especially at parties. Bring squares of Saran for under-cap mounting on soaps and lotions in the loo. The cardboard roll from some Charmin, when dampened, makes for some realistic, easy-to-use faux-doody. My buddy Cooney would take knickknacks (or "dustables," as my father would call them)—usually breaking up a set—and hide them elsewhere in the house.

Speaking of my father, did your dad have a human, full-face mask that he would put on the back of his head so he could stick his noggin out the window while driving on 95? Mine did.

Back to Cooney. He is, in many ways, a hero of mine. In and of himself, he's a funny (not fun) guy. When it comes to practical jokes, though, he has no equal. He has attached roadkill to people's mufflers. With aplomb. One of his best pranks involved his son's prom and a late-night phone call to his date's father from the "police." "Okay sir, the car is out of the ditch ... Charlie, get a blanket for that girl!" You can take it from there.

I think his best ever was when Mr. Cooney was meticulously grilling a turkey over charcoal on the Weber. When dad took a break, Cooney replaced the bird with a bale of accelerant-soaked newspaper. Dad, buckling up his chinos, ran screaming back into the yard.

Yes, I will apologize to certain women I know and love who will say, "How fun!" when I propose yet another excellent adventure.

I hope you have enjoyed my essays so far. Just three left.

This is, for me, fun.

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