31 Aug 2010 @ 6:00 AM 
In yet another installment of my “Phrase Examination” series, which is only by complete coincidence entirely contiguous, I will analyze the phrase “Cute as a button”. Previously I analyzed the phrases “Happy as a clam” as well as “A penny saved is a penny earned”. “As Cute as a button”. you hear it far too often. But what does it mean?
moar buttons.


I would imagine the original usage was directed at the type of button shown to the left. It could also be interpreted more modernly as something like The definition of the word “Cute” is
Cute: the quality of being appealing in a delicate or graceful way (of a girl or young woman)
Now, I’m evidently no expert, but from what I can tell, I really don’t see these buttons being appealing, in any way, let alone delicate or graceful. I mean, they’re a couple circles with holes in them. “Oh look at the cute designs” is not what I associate with buttons. when I think about buttons, I either think about the old wrinkly hands of the last ancient seamstress who actually thinks these button designs aren’t completely retarded, or about how god damn frustrating the bloody things are. When I have a pair of pants, I don’t want to have to fight a mortal battle between my pants and myself in order to go to the bathroom- Why must so many pants have both a zipper AND a button? was the zipper too obvious? did they do trial runs to see how many men could get it out in time and decide they had enough room to throw a button into the design? WHAT GOD DAMN SICKO’S ARE THESE PEOPLE? sadistic bastards is what they are I tell you! So anyway, I’m sure we’ve all seen buttons- of the sewing type, of course. I’ll get onto the next ones eventually, calm yourself. At the very least, there aren’t any shoes that are fastened with buttons. you have laced shoes for the mentally fit, and you have velcro for everybody else. And then you have shirts, I mean, I can certainly identify with why they might choose buttons over a zipper, since a zipper requires a rather sturdy thick fabric, it’s not really that good for light shirts. but why don’t they put a thin strip of velcro fuzz on the inner portion of both sides, and then have ties with the hooky part on the bottom? but NO, of course not, they have to have buttons, so that despite the fact that you just woke up, your left arm is asleep because you slept on it, and until you have your coffee you have the cognitive capacity of a bloody shrew, you still have to perform the epic button struggle, whereby you need to fasten all 8 or so of the buttons and they all need to be fastened to the right hole on the other side. It’s no problem to the alert individual, but considering the use case scenario here, whereby the buttons are only used when you are removing or putting on said garment, you’re almost always half-asleep. (Except in certain cases when things get frisky, I suppose). Anyways, so the button is something that was clearly designed to torture people. Therefore, no sane person must have invented it. I have come up with two theories as to the origin of that type of button, it was either created by a mad scientist villian in some misguided plot to control the worlds television manufacturers, or it was send by aggressive aliens:
Alien Soldier:It is done, my lord. Alien General: Excellent! our plan has begun! We simply wait until they are all distracted by fastening and unfastening their clothing in order to put it on or take it off their pitiful weak bodies, then we strike! Alien Soldier: Yes, excellent. Alien General: mwa haha Alien soldier: Mw ha… hey wait a second Alien General: What? What is it? Alien Soldier: Why are we speaking the human language? Alien General: Oh Horrors! you’re right! I can’t even remember my original language. I guess being immersed in their culture and posing as a intelligent but large-headed plumber on Earth for 50 years takes it’s toll. Alien Soldier: But sir! if we can only speak the human language, then destroying their planet would mean destroying all their dictionaries! How the hell are we going to have scrabble night if we cannot challenge each other entries. Alien General: Curses! You’re right, Scrabble night really brings the troops together. Well, I guess we just won’t destroy earth then. Eventually the Humans will realize how stupid these “buttons” are on their own.
As you can see, it was pure coincidence that we as a race were spared the untimely death they had planned for us. Although come to think of it is there any such thing as a “timely” death? I mean, nobody says at a funeral, “we are gathered here to celebrate Grandpa’s timely and entirely expected death”. I mean, sure, a death can be expected when somebody is really really old and sick, but to say it was “timely” is like saying “oh golly, the funeral fits PERFECTLY in with my schedule, what a timely occurence!” you know, as if it wasn’t too much of an inconvenience for them to die. But I digress. Back to buttons:

Ugly buttons.

Great. Now, these don’t look too bad, at first glance. But notice the background, This shot has clearly been taken while the buttons sat on a 60?s era tablecloth, back when striped linen weren’t used exclusively by old people. Therefore, we can assume this shot was taken by an old person. Nothing wrong with old people, of course. Aside from being old, I suppose. And they like to talk about days gone by, and they always skew it so it sounds worse or better then it was, depending on context. if somebody complains about something they will go on for an hour about how much worse things were in their day and how we should just shut up, but if you say how great something is they will go on an equally enthusiastic rant about how much better some similar piece of technology was in their day or speak volumes about some manual method. Say how great E-mail is and they’ll do both, they’ll complain about the impersonal nature of E-mails and then turn around and tell us how much longer snail mail takes, it’s like a one-two punch of backwards elderly logic. Anyways, as I was saying, the first button would be alright, except the colour is the same as only one single thing in the known universe. Only one other object, aside from buttons, are this colour. Granny sweaters. you know those off-white sweaters that they made when they were 6 from the dirty wool of their favourite sheep, which explains both why it doesn’t fit them very well (they were 6 when they made it) as well as why it’s off-white (the wool wasn’t cleaned). This has several connotations, the first of which is of course that it’s only usable by people who own these “Granny sweaters”, which, I’m sorry to say is a sample set that consists predominantly of old people- Granny’s in particular. Of course not all Granny’s have Granny Sweaters, just as not all kids love Rock and Roll. Some granny’s wear people clothes, just as some kids love Rocky Road. but my point is clear: by the time your old enough to use this button, you should be learned enough to not really give a damn about colour coordination or any of that senseless bullshit. Now the second one actually tells an interesting story. You’ll note the fact that it has four holes rather then one, this was actually a result of a lizard getting into the button making machine, he gummed up the works and some of the buttons ended up going through twice, creating mutant freak four holed buttons. Much to the surprise of the Granny’s on duty. They discovered it was far easier to create thread shanks this way, so they kept it. And the rest is not part of history, so I’ll tell it to you. So, the lizard was pretty much idolized by stitching grannies everywhere. It wasn’t particularly special, It was a former member of the Lizards Painted to Blend In With Unconventional Backgrounds(LPBWUB), but almost every lizard or reptilian from that era was a member, so they didn’t really count that against them. Besides, given the fact that most of the material they used back then was horridly ugly as a result of being freakishly unconventional that sort of thing would count as more of a positive qualification, just in case… I guess if they wanted to spy on other grannies that were near the fabric. Damned if I know. So then what happened was the Lizard was kidnapped by the local QMAPCBAETBFE(Quadriplegic Midgets Against the Painting of Cold Blooded Animals Except on Tuesdays between five and eleven). They held them for a ransom of a small fortune, 2 British Pounds. Now back in those days the Pound Sterling was worth at least a US grand each, so this wasn’t small change. Thankfully, the grannies were able to enlist the aid of the MDPADMWDPLW (Somewhat Mentally Disabled Penguins Against Disabled Midgets Who Dislike the Painting of Lizards on Wednesday) as well as get the funds for the ransom from their allies, the UFOPVABNTOANBMITGTVPLMOUWTOC(United Front of Old People of Various Ages But Not Too Old As to Not Be Mostly Independent and To Go To Various Public Locations And Make Others Uncomfortable With Their Off-color Comments). As a Condition of that alliance however it was important that their Sister organization, the SWATIEBE(Solitary Wasps Against The Invasion of Earth By ExtraTerrestrials), and their completely unexpected Allies, the FCAUSRICB(Fat Caterpillars Against the Use of Synthetic Rubber In the Creation of Basketballs) At this time the intentions of the STMDWDUDAIMA(Small Time Mafia Don’s Who Don’t Use Deodorant Against the Involvement of Midgets in Anything), as they tossed a number of beetles at the Penguins, who, being Somewhat mentally disabled, yelled “ALIEN ATTACK”, which of course set off the Solitary Wasps, Who started sticking their Ovipositors in the various caterpillars. The UFOPVABNTOANBMITGTVPLMOUWTOC members made some passing off color remarks that made the Midgets nervous and they started to grab the penguins and hurl them like darts at the Solitary Wasps. During this Epic battle, The grannies slipped into the Complex and got their Lizard back. Thankfully, because of the invention of the four-holed button, we actually averted an Alien attack, because they were like, just about to hit that “invade button” then they saw this one dude wearing a button with four holes and he was like “woah dude” and his partner was like “woah dude” and the guy across the room was all “SRSLY?”, and then the Prime Chancellor Alien dude in charge of the invasion of Earth and possibly Mars if there is time to catch the last bit of Coronation Street Before sunset caught wind of this and was all “OMG they have four holed buttons! ABORT ABORT! FOR THE FUCKING LOVE OF GOD ABORT!”. Most of the aliens at this time only understood tiny bits of english, somewhat like sweat shop workers. So they just gave their leader a puzzled look, like a dog does, that way they cock their head quizzically. Then the leader realized he was speaking English and told them in his own native language (which unfortunately does not use a alphabet that lends itself well to a form of scrabble), and the Aliens were like “OMGZ” and “OH NOES”. They managed to abort, but not before the entire ship’s crew died of exposure to four holed buttons. Another problem with buttons is their obvious link to terrorists. Some terrorist groups are led by a man who calls him self Osama Bin Button, Who it is presumed from his name Used to be a button but is no longer one.

"Death to the four holed infidels" Oh wait, let me try that again, my voice was a bit hoa... whaddya mean I don't get a retake? I paid like 5 bucks for th..."

Osama Bin Button is most popular for his famous Chili sauce, but also for killing those who would be audacious enough to say they think his chili sauce isn’t spicy enough. HE USED habanero peppers for the sake of possum, the heat index ratio as measured by the mexican board of spicy foods was at least 5, which I assume means it’s spicy. Oh oh yes, and he kills infidels who believe in the holiness of the four holes sewing button. The conflicts that eventually caused his rise to popularity among two-holed button cultists is a long one. It started almost 2 millenium ago, when Jesus button descended from the heavens. He was shot down by a time travelling nazi during his descent, so the only thing that made it to the ground was his pet possum. This pet possum begat Steve, Steve Begat Abe, And Abe Begat Begat, who Begat Jerry. Now, Jerry was fond of ice cream, which was rather unfortunate since it was at least 1500 years before it would be conceived. Jerry decided to found his own town in the middle of a desert between two fighting countries. He named his Town Jerrysalem, because he likes that talking cat character in that Sabrina show That I have never seen intentionally. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention- they eventually captured the time travelling Nazi and took his time travelling device so they could go forwards in time and watch Television every sunday. Now the problem here was it caused quite a stir among residents when they learned the origin of the name, which they thought was a tribute to the Israeli extreme metal band called Salem. The Residents split into two sides, One side saying that the Cat character was in fact mostly played by a puppet, and the other side saying that it was a real cat who was given the gift of speech by a magical Nazi gypsy. (during this time in history there was quite a stir about nazis, being that a time travelling one had just off’d Button Jesus). Eventually, they started to kill and maim each other. Which was rather unfortunate since they were both right (excepting the detail about magical nazi gypsies), since they used a real cat for some scenes and they used a puppet thing for others. I of course only know this because of those times that it came on and I was too lazy to change the channel. If anything it added a good generic background sounds for my self-gratification. But that is quite enough about that. What ended up happening was that Jerry was forced out of the city, along with a resident known only as Uncle Ben. Jerry the possum and Uncle ben then travelled across the desert for 40 years, selling rice to local arabs, who were all too willing to trade latex paint for it. Now equipped with Latex paint, they created the sacred desert painting of Albasum, which depicts a whole lot of sand using very detailed artwork. Meanwhile, what used to be known as JerrySalem was renamed to Jerusalem, after Jerry’s fictitious aunt Jeru, who was rather famous for her Buttermilk pancakes (but the fame really came from her sister, Jemima’s, maple syrup). They kept the Salem ending as a constant reminder about something that they had by that time forgotten. During this time, a half-Nazi half Albino Elephant Scientist had discovered the ability of a device to be created with which one could fasten garments. He called this a button, for no particularly interesting reason. Many theorize that aliens may have influenced his naming scheme, but it could have also been his totally screwy genetic makeup. Whatever the case, the Aliens at this point intruded and caused the creation of a 4-holed button. This is where the disaster occured. The 2-holed button, being of course perfectly suited to the task, was widely accepted. Osama Bin button at this time was a budding Nazi learning the ways of the Force. Now at this time I should point out that this was long before world war II and Hitler and so forth and everybody was pretty cool with Nazi’s, who at the time were sort of like hippies. They weren’t all “we’re the aryan race and we is better then u” elitist assholes like they have become now. Osama Bin Buttons original experience with the four holed button was not positive- he watched as both his father and mother were killed by a dump truck containing 2-holed buttons. Now you might be thinking “but he was against 4-holed buttons!” Of course he was. You see this occured right after a debilitating concussion as a result of trying to overextend his knee during practice sessions in his sex ed class, so he was seeing double. as a result, the 2-holed buttons appeared to have 4 holes to him, and such was how he came to hate 4 holed buttons. Now you may be wondering, “well golly gee, that was thousands of years ago, he should be dead now” Not true, young grasshopper. You see Bin Button’s Contra is revived every time somebody finishes the NES game contra, at which point The Bear Colonists on Planet Bear in a nearby star system send a sub space message that forces his contra into a new body. Because he had trained for it all his life in Nazi consciousness transferal training, he was also able to modify the recipients DNA to look like his previous self.
Posted By: BC_Programming
Last Edit: 18 Oct 2011 @ 09:10 AM

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 11 Jul 2010 @ 9:26 PM 

In a new type of post I will class “Phrase Examination” I will examine common metaphorical phrases that, when examined deeper, often have deep existential implications.

For example, often times, people, myself included, will use the phrase “Happy as a clam”. from the context, it suggests that clams are in fact happy.

However, how do we know a clam is happy? How do we even know a clam is capable of emotion? Oftentimes, I’ve wondered, since I really have too much time on my hands, wether it might actually be a reference to the clam’s physical shape itself, how, when you look at a clam from a isometric viewpoint, the clam often appears to be wearing a smile, which to the uneducated observer can seem to run to infinity. Of course, such a concept is rather foolish- a smile is defined as “a facial expression characterized by turning up the corners of the mouth; usually shows pleasure or amusement”. of note here are the terms “facial” and “mouth” a clam has no face, and the bivalve’s two-halves hardly form a “mouth” as much as it forms a “concave environment in which it spends it’s entire life”. Additionally, the concept is based entirely on a viewpoint- from above the clam. if you do the same from the bottom, the clams metaphorical expression becomes one of deep emo-like sadness, the type that makes you wonder if it cuts itself because it’s not worth it’s own blood.

Another Clam-related phrase, or more precisely, clam-related word, is the word “clammy” which means moist and warm, and can usually apply to nearly everything in a warm humid environment. contrariwise, the Clam is a saltwater bivalve that lives in seawater in the temperate regions of the Earth. under the water the humidity is at a constant 100%, for reasons I hope i need not explain, but the Clam doesn’t only live in warm water, nearly anything in the temperate region is suitable. Additionally, it’s cold-blooded, so the implication that warmth+moistness somehow implicates a relation to clams is only half-true, and truly the word “lobstery” or “octopussy” could apply equally as well. (although I think the latter is used to mean “deactivating a nuclear warhead at the last second while wearing a clown-suit that a colleague was killed in” or even as an alternative form to mean pulling the old “swithcharoo” where, for example, you replace a priceless artifact with a fake of the same artifact and take the original for yourself.). And of course such such words are far more sound metaphorically.

But back to the existential implications of a clam’s emotions. It’s rather rather stupid to assume it has emotions. And certainly if it does the predominant one cannot possibly be happiness, but rather complete and utter boredom. I mean, the creature spends nearly it’s entire life completely motionless, filtering the fish crap from the ocean and eating it. Now, I’m no food critic, but fish crap is hardly my definition of fine dining. Sure, clams have a foot and can even swim, so they aren’t completely immobile, but you never watch horror movies about piranha-like clams that strip a creature to the bone in seconds, nope, such honours are reserved for piranhas (although I suppose my simile comparing clams to piranha’s sort of gave that away) which reminds me of that awful 1978 “piranha” movie. Which of course buys into the whole notion that pirahna will eat anything. which is ignoring all the scientific efforts I put in years ago! Why, during my experiments, I was trying to figure out why piranhas will reduce a monkey to the bone, but leave a baked potato untouched. It was important scientific research, and if I had discovered why I might have cured cancer. I believe this is the same facility where we were performing experiments to do the following:

-make a cat laugh
This had important connotations. First, we needed to determine wether cat’s simply had no sense of humour, or perhaps they were only amused by certain kinds of humour. We were unable to make a cat laugh, even after years of experimenting. We were certain we saw some smiles on the cats when we showed them makeshift propaganda videos that depicted a great cat leader telling his cat followers that they had finally taken every single grain silo in the world, and it was time to begin phase 2. This video was produced by a strange fellow named Catty Felinous McKitten, whom we later discovered wasn’t a human at all but rather an inpromptu and unexpected alliance between the OCAWYCAFALWCFOD (Old Cats Against Whatever the Young Cats Are For and Also Like Wet Cat Food as Opposed to Dry) and the young cats, who by that time had decided on the name “Young Cats Who Hate Animaniacs and Will Ally With Older Cats Only When It Serves All Catkind In Their Struggle For Control of the World’s Grain Supply” known by the shorthand YCWHAWAWOCOWISACITSFCWGC. (pronounced why chwa wah wookow isackit cerwug gik).

-turn a piece of toast back into bread.

This was really a spin off of a previous experiment where we tried to turn a cooked boiled egg back into a raw egg. I forget the exact reasons, but it was somehow related to extending the battery life of AAA batteries. Also, the market demand for an untoaster would reach unprecedented levels, on account of the fact that toasters have this tendency to either overtoast or undertoast, and with the technology behind an untoaster one could integrate the two using a series of low-quality timers like those used in toasters today to make it so that regardless of how skewed or useless the thermosistor used in the “darkness” knob is, the toast will always come out perfect, and if it is too dark you could set it the “untoast” mode and resolve that easily. It was discovered however that simply using a less shitty variable resistance timer on a actual toaster one can make one that works properly. No company has tried this, and only a few expensive (nearly 20 dollars) models are in existence.

-devising haircutting technology for frogs

We quickly met a dead end after many years of simulations when we realized that frogs didn’t have hair. we them wasted the next few years performing similar simulations for tadpoles, when the same was revealed for them. However, we were able to apply the haircutting technology successfully on true tadpoles (people with 1/8th or less Polish descent). The invention would have changed the world- it consisted of two blades, each with a single handle, connected using a single flexibly axis. by using the thumb to hold onto one handle and the rest to hold the other side, one can easily cut paper hair, and other similarly low shear strength materials. funding stopped when it was realized that what we invented was actually a pair of scissors.

-creating a unit for measuring freedom

With this we hope to rate a number of first-world countries based on their “freedom quantity”. our initial attempts to devise the system were common among those trying to devise a unit of measure- we chose two reference points, and gave them values. We chose the freedom inside a prison as the low point, and the freedom of a bird as the high point. However, our progress soon slowed as we started arguing amongst ourselves about exactly how free a bird truly is, and wether a animal needs to be sentient to actually be free. Additionally, many birds are placed in cages, so the simile “as free as a bird” cannot possibly compare to them. Not to mention the fact that Canary’s were used extensively to test the dangers of deep areas of a mine. (except in areas, such as Canada, where Canary cages were hard to come by. We improvised and just sent some chinese guys, which worked out fine… well, for us, not necessarily for the chinamen)- (serious sidebar: this is absolutely true, that and even more inhumane acts, such as sending them in to explode dynamite without giving them enough time to get away. This was during the building of the transcontinental Canadian Railroad, which was a condition of British Columbia’s entrance into the confederation. Additionally, the line itself served as a buffer to keep those nasty American’s from yelling “manifest destiny” and scoffing up the remaining parts of British North America not yet confederated as provinces or territories)

-make a clam smile

This was actually a offshoot from the initial discussion about “happy as a clam” that we had in the lunchroom. We all agreed that since seeing a clam smile was completely dependent on your perspective, we should try to make it so the clam truly forms a smile in the traditional sense. We did modify our definition and define the “mouth” as the bivalve opening, And we did have to stop our experiments on howler monkeys, AND we never did get clams to smile. We wrote the experiment off after a few years as “as hard to do as getting a cat to laugh” difficulties which we of course had first hand knowledge of.

Posted By: BC_Programming
Last Edit: 18 Oct 2011 @ 09:12 AM

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