So Many Ways – A Study in Euphemisms

Writing a humorous novel has required me to study certain topics, which up until now never ranked high during my college education. Namely, I never studied the wide variety of euphemisms for the male sex organ. I needed just one for a particular line in my book, but a long list published on the internet caught my attention. Chockfull of familiar terms, I found all the basics: weenie, johnson, dipstick, rod, love stick, pocket rocket, shaft. Sure, you’ve encountered these in one form or another. And when I say encountered, I do mean in the literary sense. Though it could be that some of you are more than familiar in the non–

On second thought, we won’t go there.

Nonetheless, I was surprised to come across some that were unknown to me. For example,”Texas trout banger”? I’m can’t imagine how that came about, and I have a pretty good imagination, if I do say so myself. And what about “the purple-helmeted warrior of love”? Okay…I suppose that one makes some sense.

What started as a perfunctory reading turned into greater recognition of general euphemistic patterns. For the edification of all, I decided it was best to share my findings. No, no, don’t thank me all at once. It was no trouble at all.

So without further delay, let’s begin:

Military — It may be too generous to say this, but I think there’s a possibility (a non-trivial one) that military types are responsible for a large number of these. There are many more than what’s listed here, but I do believe a broad spectrum is well represented:

Admiral Winky, bayonet, fun gun, Major Woody, man cannon, pink torpedo, Sergeant Stiffy, weapon of mass destruction, warhead

Animals Farm – Many of these are fairly easy to understand. Just a wee bit of imagination and most make sense in one form or another. However, not all are phallic symbols. Some are indeed quite cryptic, and I would beg anyone who understands “Texas trout banger” to come forward and explain it to me. That one is so bizarre, even Google shrugs with indifference:

Anaconda, beaver buster, bed snake, eel, hog leg, jellyfish, man’s best friend, nightcrawler, Texas trout banger, turtle

The Food Group – This is a quite popular grouping, and I’d guess it’s one of the oldest. You can just imagine dimwitted cavemen waving bananas around their groins while having a royal grunt fest. But with the invention of modern foods came the inevitable. What I found surprising was the use of fast food chains. It’s surprising how a whole new level of abstraction is reached within the minds of modern men (women too, I imagine):

Bacon bazooka, baloney pony, banana, beef stick, breakfast burrito, candy cane, corndog, cornstalk, doughnut holder, flesh Twinkie, Gummi worm, hot tamale, beanstalk, Captain Kielbasa, kosher pickle, lollipop, Jack In The Box, Panda Express, pig in a blanket, quarter pounder, rhubarb, Whopper (assume the Burger King Whopper), yogurt slinger

Fictional Characters – Here we see a sophisticated array of bizarre relations. I’m not sure every name makes complete sense. I take it some are based more on popularity than logic. Still, this list is quite fun to read, if not nostalgic in many ways.

Bilbo Baggins, Captain Hook, Captain Kirk, Curious George, Darth Vader, Donkey Kong, Fat Albert, Free Willy, Godzilla, Hercules, Mighty Joe Young, Mr. Magoo, Mighty Thor, Mini Me, Oliver Twist, Optimus Prime, Popeye, Prince Charming, Willy Wonka, Wookiee

I’m No Doctor But… – For some reason I find this group the most vile. It’s not that these terms aren’t funny, but their creation seems most likely attributed to snickering juvenile delinquents just having taken their 5th grade sex-ed class. If you find yourself laughing at these, please try to grow up by the time you finish reading this blog. I mean, if you’re an adult.

Cervix crusader, ovarian pool stick, pelvis thumb, placenta poker

All Hail The Chief – Nations are led by their leaders just like men are led by their manhood. What can I say? There must be an irresistible urge to compare one’s willy to the head of state. If hubris didn’t ensure such thinking, Richard Nixon made it a sure thing. Though, I believe Dick Cheney (yes, another major Dick) did help keep this tradition alive into the new millennium.

Mr. President, El Presidente, The Governor, His Majesty, The King, Peter the Great

Celebrities – Like fictional characters, I think this category is heavily influenced by temporal popularity. Still, there’s no denying the wondrous perfection with which some of these names fit the part.

Hairy Houdini, Magic Johnson, Monty’s Python, Mr. Rogers, Oh’Henry, Pink Floyd, Pope John Pole III, Tiny Elvis, Tiny Tim, Tom Jones

Anything Goes – This last category comes about from the sheer number that I encountered. At first I thought I might try to list all interesting combinations, but it soon became apparent that I should only offer the prefix, and then allow you — my esteemed readers with grace and good taste – to fill in the euphemisms that follow. My advice? Just use your imagination and see where it takes you.

Bald-headed —–, beef—–, big—–, Captain—–, little—–, love—–, one eye’d—–, mushroom-headed—–, purple-headed—–, trouser—–, Uncle—–, Mr. —–

Well, I hope you enjoyed the fruits (exclude the bananas this time) of my research. And if you got a laugh out of only a small part of this blog, then my work here is done. Just remember, it’s probably more fun to make up new euphemisms if you can. But if your creative juices are running low, pick from the smorgasbord available out there on the Internet. Without doubt, there’s something to suit all occasions and tastes.

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Eat Fish And Die – Makeover

Eat Fish and Die on KindleIndie publishing offers writers fantastic benefits. Raking in millions of dollars by just– uhm, no that’s not what I wanted to say. Instant fame with just the touch of a– no no no, that’s not quite it either.

Sigh … let’s try this one:

The ability to experiment with the marketing aspects of eBooks as you bumble your way around the world of publishing. Yeah, that’s more like it.

Truth-schmooth, anyway, welcome to the rebirth of Eat Fish And Die, a humorous, military SF short story about the futuristic antics of an idiotic sergeant and his Battle Ready Android named Flipper. With a significant amount of marketing feedback (in a manner of speaking), Hotspur Publishing and I decided to try to reposition our product to better align itself with market demand. That’s business mumbo-jumbo for: hook more readers!

So what changes have we employed? First, I’m moving to a pen name. All my humor books will be written under the byline of S. Ron Mars. The thinking here is simple. Since my first novel has very little humor, there’s no compelling reason to associate all my books under one branded name. Sure, if fans just love me and my regular work, they’re probably going to find my humors stuff too. But for the casual reader, there is no strong reason to link the two genres. Some people might disagree, but I think there’s no harm doing this at my stage of development. My name (even a pen name) is like a brand, and as such, it should be on products that give readers certain expectations that the book they’re about to read is something like the last one.

In addition to a new pen name, Hotspur has redone the cover art to better emphasize the military aspect of this short story. My previous cover got across two things, humor and SF. Now all three aspects, mil, SF and humor are more equally on display. And because the title to some people may not appear humorous enough, we’ve added a warning label towards the bottom. It reads: this is not a paranormal urban fantasy romance. We put that there because its…er…well, not that kind of story. Duh!

Like I said, this is still a bit of experimentation. Would it be nice to do things perfectly the first time around? You betcha-butt! But you know? Even big publishers have made a few mistakes. Well, maybe more than just a few. So in the end, I figure it’s just fine if Hotspur Publishing can experiment and improve things as they grow.

After all, no one ever achieved perfection the first time out the shoot. At least, I never did 🙂

Eat Fish And Die – Free on Kindle Select

My short story, “Eat Fish And Die” will be free on Kindle this Friday and Saturday for the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend.

Not only will you bust a gut reading this, but all you penny-pinching, skinflint, cheapskate, tightwads out there can now save a whopping 99 cents.

Happy?

If you don’t like being called a tightwad and want to pay the 99 cents before the sale, that’s perfectly okay. You will have elevated your status to that of, frugal miser. Congratulations!

Military SF Comedy – The Under-Served Genre Blend

Someone recently referred to military science fiction comedy as: “an extremely under-served genre blend”.  Yeah, I’d say that sums it up.

But why is that? Off the tip of my pointy skull, I believe that standard military SF (without the giggly bits) is too serious at times. Way too serious…

Sir! Yes, Sir!

As example let me tell you about a writer acquaintance of mine, Gini Koch. She wrote a story where the details of a Glock handgun were– how can one say? A bit off. You did know that an external safety exists on the Glock right? Wrong! Go directly to jail; do not pass go; do not collect $200. And as you can imagine: violent protests ensued, along with vicious flame-mail hot enough to cook off a few rounds.

This sort of thing annoys me. Hell, it would annoy anyone. It’s precisely why I chose to write mil SF comedy. I figure it takes the edge off, and allows me to have some fun without having to worry about Major General so-and-so haranguing me about the fact that a M249 holds a max of 200 rounds through a chain fed box magazine, and further, that my story had a character shoot 300 rounds, which means that I’m a no good 7u@kin6 4-hole that needs to die in hell.

DIE IN HELL I SAY!!!

Okay, not everyone has that much caffein in their system, but you get my drift.

Writing Funny

Let me share with you my experience learning how to write humor. First off–it’s a schlep! That’s means “hard work” for you non-Yiddish speakers out there. To some degree you’ve got to have an innate sense of funny in you before you even start. Or at least you have to think you’re funny. No one may agree, but don’t worry about that. You have the balls to believe you’re funny in the absence of any peer support whatsoever. Now me? I’ve got kosher cojones for sure, so I’ll say it! Yeah, I’m funny. So in ya faces, nonbelievers!

On a more serious note, be aware that there is some science required beyond the art. Writing funny requires a deep understanding of language, and all the perverted ways it can be twisted into mental pretzels. And if you fear extra mustard on your Bavarian Biscuit, you ain’t gonna make it, pal. Comedy demands a blatant disregard for everyone’s self respect, well being, and sanity — beginning, most notably, with your own.

First off, writing funny is not a job done in a vacuum. The best comedy is often written in teams. Why? Well…er…why not? But think about it. Bouncing ideas back and forth between two persons hell bent on making one another laugh is a natural starting point for humor. Add booze, pot, mounds of deep fried carbs, maybe a pinch of LSD, and things get even funnier, at least until the cops show up. Then you have make the judge laugh and that’s another story entirely. (Not, of course, that I’m speaking from personal experience.)

What was I saying? Oh, yeah — my choice of partner was a great line editor, Chris Lampton, who I’d worked with on a recent short story called “Eat Fish and Die.” (Have you read it? No? Well, click here and go buy a copy. Go ahead. I’ll wait.) Anyway, Chris and I teamed up to work on a number of humorous blog posts that I scribbled up over the last few weeks. Have you read them? No? Well, go do that now, fer Pete’s sake! Oh…you’re not falling for that one again? Sigh…

Like I was saying, Chris and I teamed up because even though I could write the blogs, I needed someone to bounce ideas off and help me sharpen the humor they employed. It was a real learning experience.

While going through the editing process, many comedic rules became apparent and this blog is the result of all that effort. In total, I discovered five rules, which I can document under these headings.:

  • If you gotta explain it, it ain’t funny.
  • running gags
  • timing
  • punchline placement
  • cliché subversion
  • funny woyds

I’ll go through each in turn, but these rules–though hardly a comprehensive list–seemed to bubble up to the surface of our comedic soup. Along with a few flies. Waiter!

Let’s go over the rules one at a time, in case you, the reader, should find them useful. If you don’t, that just means you either don’t have a sense of humor or you’re a Republican. Either way, an easy remedy is to crawl off and shoot yourself. Nothing personal, you understand.

Rule Number One: If You Gotta Explain It– It Ain’t Funny

I think this rule manifests itself in overzealous attempts at originality. It’s tempting to venture out on the gangplank of esoteric satire, only to find that you’ve stepped over the edge and plunged into the sea of cold reality. And the reality you’ll find in that sea is that no one gets the joke!

Having insider knowledge may appear funny at first, but use too much of it and you run the danger of losing your audience by making the punchline too convoluted. Jokes have to be understood without explanation, and trigger instantaneous laughs.

This type of issue occurred to me while writing the following gag in a blog entitled: A Real Big Swinging Dick. The following text was a gag about the possibility that Dick Cheney might not be the world’s biggest…er…dick:

All right, all right…there’s a chance I could be wrong. Maybe Ronald Reagan will pop out of his grave singing MY BRAIN IS HANGING UPSIDE DOWN while taking full responsibility for the Iran-Contra scandal.

Fans of the punk rock group, The Ramones, will hopefully find humorous my reference to the song “My Brain is Hanging Upside Down”. It was written in reaction to a highly criticized visit paid by President Ronald Reagan to a Nazi military cemetery in Bitburg, West Germany, on May 5, 1985. In my mind, this is quite poignant. What’s that you say? You didn’t know all that? You don’t give a rat’s arse, mate? (Please note: I’m now making an “L” mark using my left hand.)

The obvious problem with this line is multifold. First, not everyone is a Ramones fan (which is sad, but nobody’s perfect), and second, fans may not be so well steeped in Ramones trivia. One might be tempted to solve the problem by simply giving this gag the ol’ heave-ho! But wait, wait…there are extenuating circumstances. See, I’m working on a book that uses this song as part of a musical joke, and because I feel it’s important to tie my blog and book together for marketing reasons – Damn those gods of marketing! — I want to keep this gag alive if at all possible.

So what’s the solution? Somehow, I had to make this joke easier to understand (though it did seem unlikely at first that such a thing might be possible). Upon further investigation, and a quick visit to Wikipedia, I soon realized that this particular song had another title: “Bonzo Goes to Bitburg.” Eureka! The name “Bonzo” (a well known chimp actor of a bygone era) is not only funny sounding (another rule, as we’ll see below), but an easy to understand reference to Ronald Reagan, who played a supporting role opposite this maniacal monkey in the movie “Bedtime for Bonzo.” With the addition of some reference text about the Ramones, this joke, though not a screamer, is now easier to get, and funnier. Below I’ve highlighted the changes:

All right, all right..there’s a chance I could be wrong. Maybe Ronald Reagan might just pop out of his grave singing the Ramones’ punk rock classic, “Bonzo Goes to Bitburg,“and then take full responsibility for the entire Iran-Contra scandal.

Get it now? Good! Please note, I’ve lowered the “L” from the front of my forehead.

Rule Number Two: Running Gags

A running gag is a literary device that makes a lame joke funny through repeated reference.

Some of you may be familiar with Dave Barry, a well known columnist and writer who has used the line “That would be a good name for a rock band” in many of his newspaper columns. That particular joke wasn’t terribly funny at first (the hallmark of any running gag), but over time has programmed loyal followers to laugh at any use of this phrase. (Similarly, erstwhile Tonight Show host Johnny Carson used the line “How hot was it?” so many times that he programmed his audience to say it for him.)

Keep in mind one important thing. The precise type of humor employed within running gags is hard to pin down, but what they have in common is that they aren’t really that funny on their own. Try turning a genuinely funny joke into a running gag and you’ll kill it.

An example of this in microcosm is my use of the phrase: “Tag! You’re it!” I used this in an earlier blog to sum up American relations with Iran as the vilest, most belligerent game of tag any group of overgrown children has ever played. To start the running gag, I simply made a list of facts which describe the history US foreign relations with Iran. Each fact ends with my programmable gag line:

September 1980: Start of Iran-Iraq War with support of US for BOTH sides – Tag! You’re it!
1980 – 1984: Iran begins to sponsor terrorism – Tag! You’re it!
March 1984: US fights UN condemnation of Iraq’s use of chemical weapons – Tag!You’re it!
1984: More Iran-sponsored terrorism and kidnapping to wrangle arms from the US – Tag! You’re it!

In the blog, the above list is longer, but you get the general idea. Finally, when I come to the end, I have a concluding paragraph that simply trails with my (hopefully programmed in the mind of the readers) running-gag.

It goes on and on even today. Who’s the bad guy? Who’s the good guy? Who is Taylor Swift dating…oh, never mind. You can argue until you’re blue in your burqa, but the real question may be: Is the US really innocent in all this? Now that’s a question.

Tag! You’re it!

Incomprehensible as a standalone phrase, but I think you can see that running jokes are a way to squeeze humor seemingly from thin air.

Amazing, isn’t it?

Rule Number Three: Timing

This rule ensures that jokes are easy to read and produce laughter as spontaneously as possible. It’s been said that humor manifests itself when our brain realizes that two things are simultaneously valid yet absurd when juxtaposed against one another.

Look carefully at that definition. Notice the word “realizes.”

The time it takes to “realize” a joke is one of the most important elements in humor. How long should it take, you ask? Well, there may be some room for argument – hell, there may even be some scientific study about it – but in general you’ve got up to a second. No more.

The hell you say?

Let’s look at an example. The following text came from my blog about a US-made stealth drone that dive-bombed itself into Iranian hands:

So what are the Iranians claiming? Well, to begin they say they dismantled our drone to its raw wing-nuts and are in the process of building their own improved version (camel leather trim, gold wheel rims, and air– standard).

The issue here is subtle, and centers on the ending. Namely, whether or not readers immediately understand the reference to the word “air” to mean car air-conditioning. When I originally wrote this, I used this particular construction based on what I’ve seen used in car ads. Don’t you just love them? I felt it had a homey, couch potato sort of ring to it. However, it’s a bit lacking, as some readers pause before the “a-ha” moment strikes them. It’s not much of a pause, but just long enough to require a fix.

So with that in mind, this particular joke got reworded:

Well, for starters they say they dismantled our drone to its raw wing nuts and are in the process of building their own improved version (camel leather trim, gold wheel rims, and factory-installed air, all standard).

Again, it’s not a big difference, but I’ll emphasize again that timing is critical. It’s not about proper wording or using the fewest syllables, it’s about what strikes the reader as funny. All word choices must be carefully thought out and run through this rule like beef through a meat grinder.

In this same vein, you can further improve your humor by leaning towards euphemisms and/or commonplace colloquialisms. They’re better than formal speech because the reaction time is faster. As example, here are some handy-dandy phrases that will garner faster laugh response:

Not Funny                                               Funny                                         
It’s indeed a terrible thing.                 Wow! That sucks.
It is easy to understand.                      It’s a no-brainer.
Not a big problem.                                No biggie.
Yes, I’m certain it will happen.         My Magic 8-Ball says: Yes!

Rule Number Four: Punch Line Placement

This topic has a lot to do with the particular word order used during a joke’s delivery. Obviously, jokes with strong punchlines will be affected more by this, but one should also consider various deliveries for even more subtle humor.

My example of this rule is once again from my blog about a US-made stealth drone that we donated to Iran in the name of international friendship. Here we see some humor I’ve cooked up about Iran’s ability to reverse engineer US technology:

There seems greater concern if they reverse-engineer the chemical composition of the drone’s radar-deflecting paint, though. It seems this special military formula (similar to Home Depot’s non-military grade version named Bavarian Cream 340E-3 ) has anti-radar properties that America would prefer to keep a secret.

The concern here is the wording about Home Depot’s Bavarian Cream version of radar-deflecting pain. The joke is there, but not really jumping out at you. So, with a bit of wrangling, I settled on the following text (major change in bold):

The greater concern, though, is that they might reverse engineer the chemical composition of the drone’s radar-deflecting paint. Apparently this special military formula (similar to Bavarian Cream 340E-3, available in the paint department at your local Home Depot) has anti-radar properties that America would prefer to keep a secret.

What I’m playing with in this example is the delivery of either Bavarian Cream or Home Depot as the punchline. Actually, it’s hard to tell which is better. If readers will not get the meaning of Bavarian Cream, then putting it first allows Home Depot to become the punchline, which is better understood and brings it all together. It’s also important that the reader not think that Bavarian Cream is a new flavor from Baskin Robbins.

In any event, this rule requires lots of experimentation. Try different word order, adjectives and phrases to help zero a reader into what you hope is the punchline of your statement.

Rule Number Five: Subvert Clichés

Having a cliché in your text is a hallmark of lazy writing. But have no fear. As soon as you realize that you’ve got one, it’s an opportunity for humor. You can transform it into something funny.

Take for instance: “Caught with your pants down.”

Even though this is a fairly humorous statement on its own, it’s way overused and needs to be improved. My advice is to find a key word and dig for funny alternatives. Thus “pants” can be swapped around with: britches. underwear, panties, and even Underoos. All are all good candidates, but you can always go deeper (with the joke that is–not the pants). Underoos is an immediate target for further development. Not only is the name intrinsically funny, but with a quick inspection of Wiki, one finds that many licensed varieties of Underoos are available :

  • Barbie Underoos
  • Captain America Underoos
  • GI Joe Underoos
  • Wonder Woman Underoos
  • Darth Vader Underoos
  • Scooby-Doo Underoos (Scooby-Roos?)

The list is extensive, and after only the most perfunctory reading one can hit paydirt! Pick whichever brand of Underoos suits your theme best. I, of course, went with Darth Vader, because it seemed to have the greatest appeal for my blog about stealth drones. (Also, there is something fundamentally humorous about having Darth Vader in the vicinity of one’s private parts.) So with only a little bit of finagling, our boring cliché now reads:

Caught with your Darth Vader Underoos down.

Perfect!

Rule Number Six: Funny Woyds

What simpler rule could there be? Use funny words! I’m not sure if there’s a precise method of distinguishing funny words, but like adult movies, you know them when you see them. Though you can always depend on Yiddish. Don’t say idiot–say “schlub”. See? Funny! Don’t say screwed up–say “fakakta”. I suppose I can’t claim that Yiddish guarantees a laugh in all cases, but it sure isn’t a big mistake trying.

A weaker comedic rule–though more in the realm of mythological bull-crap–is to use words that begin with or contain the letter “K.” Strange, but after some consideration there does seem to be some truth to this. Here are some examples

Not So Funny                     Funny
Rooster                      Chicken
Wallaby                      Kangaroo
Argument                   Kerfuffle
Chat                          Kibitz
Chimpanzee               Bonzo
Ronald Reagan           Bonzo 

Okay, “Bonzo” is funny even without a “K” in it.

Conclusion:

There is, to be sure, a great deal more than this to humor writing. However, the above is what I’ve learned in just a short time. As I keep going, I hope to increase my arsenal of comedy weapons. But for those who are interested in trying to write humorous material, let me reiterate: It isn’t easy. The above six rules may seem simple enough, but in reality they only touch the surface. Like anything else, it takes a lot of practice, not to mention a genuine funny bone.

So to all you fakakta shleps out there: Tag! You’re it!

Writing – Learning Narration

I’m in the process of writing my next novel, VOODOO ROBOT CHILI, and was asked by my editor David Bischoff to look at Chapter Nine of GOD SAVE THE MARK, by Donald Westlake. Dave had found some of my narration a bit lacking (perhaps not the first time, but sadly not the last ). He told me to read this chapter to better understand how Westlake applies showing (not telling) with clear details as part of his narration.

Well, I read the chapter and it was quite an eye opener. Here is a short excerpt  that I found exemplary of this lesson. It’s a scene where a naked woman in in bed (what better scene is there anyway?) gets rather excited upon seeing the main character break in to her home.

Beside her, farther from the lamp, the mound of a second person, still asleep.

But not for long. Neither taking her hand from the lamp nor her eyes from me, the woman began to pummel the mound with her other fist, crying, “George! George, wake up! A prowler, George!”

I was frozen. I was incapable of movement or speech, and so could neither escape nor explain. I just stood there, like Lot’s wife.

The mound abruptly sat up, proving to be a man with a remarkably heavy jaw and a remarkably hairy chest. He didn’t look at me at all.

Instead, he looked at the woman and said, slowly and dangerously,

 “Who’s this George?”

One has no choice but to laugh. But my take away from this was to see how Westlake writes narration. Bit by bit (as long as it’s funny or interesting) he unfolds the action taking place. Also, notice how Westlake uses the dialog. It’s both informational (he’s not George it would seem), and used to drive home the scene’s emotion and humor.

Typically, I’m use more dialog, and then inserting narration to break things up, giving the reader a chance to absorb what was said. In this case it’s just the opposite. We see lots of plot driven narration, using “dialog” to break it up and add flavor. Isn’t it wonderful?

Once again I’m happy to have someone like Dave pointing me in the right direction. It’s another example why I say it’s good to work with professionals. Getting pointers like this, just at the right time in my writing, is truly invaluable.

Drones On and On…

So now Iran claims that they’ve recovered data from an American RQ-170 Sentinel, our super-secret-squirrel drone that dive-bombed into Iran late last year while monitoring their military and nuclear facilities. I think few people doubt the basic claims. But considering all the other shenanigans the US has engaged with Iran over the past 60 years, this is a fairly low-key embarrassment. In technical diplomatic terms, just a paltry imbroglio a go-go.

Do keep in mind that both US and Iranian relations are based on well-tested method of underhanded diplomacy: Namely, the best cock ‘n bull story wins. So on this occasion, it’s Iran’s turn to squat down and pinch off a steaming pile that would make any axis-of-evil government proud.

So what are the Iranians claiming? Well, for starters they say they dismantled our drone to its raw wing nuts and are in the process of building their own improved version (camel leather trim, gold wheel rims, and factory-installed air, all standard). Assuming they have some good measuring tape and at least one working handheld calculator, everyone expects them to cobble something together that looks pretty much like the original. The greater concern, though, is that they might reverse engineer the chemical composition of the drone’s radar-deflecting paint. Apparently this special formula (which ironically is available in a non-military grade version available at Home Depot, called Bavarian Cream 340E-3)  has anti-radar properties that America would prefer to keep a secret. It’s sort of like the formula to Coke syrup, which for some bizarre reason seems to be uncrackable. Anyway, we can only hope the engineers thought about this situation in advance, perhaps with the assistance of experts from the Coca Cola Company. I mean, duh! It’s not like this is the first time a military asset has plopped itself into unfriendly hands, right?

Iran seems also to be waxing quite vocal regarding the drone’s encrypted data. They claim the data shows it was used to spy on Osama bin Laden weeks before he was killed. The US military hasn’t commented on the vehicle’s past record (not that one would expect them to hand out the Carfax report), but doesn’t this sound like one of those stories you get from used car salesmen? “Yessiree-bob! This here little number was owned by, er, Michael Jackson himself. Yeah, you heard me. He bought it while, uhm, trying to keep a low profile on vacation here…in beautiful Bayonne, NJ. Yeah, that’s the ticket! It would have gone to the Smithsonian if we hadn’t gotten to the auction early that morning!” (Big, evil smile.)

Who knows? Maybe our little drone was used to spy on Bin-Laden taking a lavender cream sponge bath. Who cares? I’m not sure what that gives the Iranians other than bragging rights. Perhaps they want to put our drone in a museum and charge more for tickets. I suppose it could shore up some cash for their failed economic policies. Your guess is as good as mine.

For the record, Washington’s request for the drone’s return was officially rejected. What a shocker that was, eh? Even so, I would have liked to see Iran’s internal meeting regarding their enthusiastic response. Did they consider using international legal frameworks such as “finders-keepers-losers-weepers”? Or was it more like, “You can have it back when camel’s grow wings and crap on the White House lawn during flyovers”?

Sen. Joe Lieberman, who chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said that he views the reports with skepticism. I’m with that chochem all the way. (For all you Yiddish-challenged folks out there, the term “chochem” means genius or idiot, depending on how you feel about Joe Lieberman.) But even though we could invoke a “liar liar pants on fire” response to their hype, it might pay to let things play out a while longer. I mean, even though we’ve been caught with our Darth Vader Underoos pulled down, some media reports claim that Iran has rejected Russian and Chinese requests to have copies of Iran’s findings on the drone. At least so far.

Thus proving once again that no matter how fakakta-up the situation is, there’s always room for things to get worse.