Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Putting Pants on Your Truck

While running some errand this weekend with MP, we pulled up at a stoplight behind a large Ford truck. Something appeared to be swinging from somewhere behind the trailer hitch.

A scrotum. With testicles.

I said, “MP, am I really seeing this?”

“Classy…” he confirmed.

“Where do you buy something like that?”

“Trust me, you don’t want that catalog.”

But I did. Because I am curious. Because someone needs to explore these weird cultural topics without prejudice or vulgarity. But mostly because I cannot fathom why you would put testes on your truck.

It didn’t take me long to find a website that sold – nay, was proud to bring me “America’s favorite novelty testicles.” (My God – what was the ranking system?) Apparently, I need to get out more, because these have been popular for some time. They come in a variety of colors (blue is a favorite) and materials, including chrome, steel, and brass (how, um… “Clever”). Some of the models could even be lit up, because everything is way cooler with an LED in it. This site – which I am not going to link to because I want in no way to be karmically entwined with it – has quite a number of videos on it featuring David, who is happy to demonstrate all the colors available as well as how to affix your purchase to the vehicle of your choice - because yes, you can put these on your motorcycle, too.

I will spare you the reviews and customer “teste-monials.” One involved an unfortunate incident with an armadillo late at night that I am still trying to scrub from my brain. I find it sufficient to say that people who wish to exercise their freedom of speech by hanging novelty testicles from the back of their motor vehicles probably need to get out more.

But here’s the thing – There’s at least one Virginia lawmaker who also needs to get out more. He’s introduced a bill in the state legislature to get automotive novelty testicles banned, or declared a misdemeanor with fines up to $250. His reasoning is that he would not know how to explain them to his 5 year old granddaughter, and he would not want her to be embarrassed.

Why do adults fall apart when children ask questions about reproductive biology? It’s really easy people. Watch:

Child: What’s hanging on that truck?
Possible replies (choose one, depending on age of child: It’s somebody’s idea of a joke that really isn’t that funny.
It’s a grown up being silly.
It’s somebody making their truck look like a boy cow (yes I know, but let’s not give them too much to handle at once, okay?)
Child: Why would somebody do that?
Parent: Because they’re silly.

Watching David crow ecstatically that he is able to offer novelty testicles in such a bright array of colors, I think he would be the first one to agree: My God, yes – we are silly! And any kid old enough to know that they’re seeing injection-molded male private parts is going to be more embarrassed for the truck’s owner than for themselves.

Once upon a long ago, far away time, I worked in corporate America on the web team of a Fortune 500 company. One day an employee called, furious. Who did we think we were publishing such vulgar pictures on our website, and with children in them? We were supposed to stand for family values (which was news to me), so how could we put these picture up in front of the world?

I got him calmed down enough to send me a link so I could see what he looking at. He wasn’t even on the web. He was looking at a page on our intranet (which was not my department, but at that time nobody could talk or spell or knew the difference between the Internet and a company’s private intranet) from the recent family day at a farm. A group of maybe ten kids were standing in front of a huge draft horse while a woman talked about the horse and held his head. Other pictures showed the kids reaching out to pat the horse’s nose or shoulder.

It took me a while to realize he objected to the horse’s penis.

“I’m sorry, are you objecting to the horse’s penis?” I asked. (When dealing with customer service and complaints, one needs a clear understanding of the problem before a solution can be found.)

But I guess that was the wrong thing to say, because I never did get him calmed down after that, even when I promised to remove the pictures. I hung up on him while he was still muttering about “moral turpitude.”

Horses don’t wear pants. Neither do trucks – though I guess whether or not they should is up for debate in Virginia – but these facts aside, the truth is that one of these days, at a farm, a zoo, an art museum, you or your child will see a naked testicle. It is assured.

So take a deep breath, relax, and remember: everybody knows that naked women are beautiful, while naked men are hysterically funny.


buddhababe71 said...

How are we supposed to judge if we don't get pictures?!?!

teh_freditor said...

No. Absolutely not. No. No.