The Weekend Review

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Weekend Review
Quote of the Week

“We are all born naked. Everything else is drag, right? I often feel that I am a gay man trapped in this body.”

—Pamela Anderson

The Victimization of the Body Snatchers

A twenty-eight-year-old man accused of stealing a man’s penis through sorcery was beaten to death in the West African country of Gambia this week. A police spokesman told reporters that Baba Jallow was killed by ten people in the town of Serekunda.

Reports of penis snatching are not uncommon in West Africa. “Victims” usually claim that sorcerers touched them, made their genitals shrink or disappear, then tried to extort cash in the promise of a cure.

The police spokesman said many men in Serekunda were now afraid to shake hands, and he urged people not to believe reports of vanishing genitals. Meanwhile, Baba Jallow’s victims claim they’re too ashamed to prove their loss. Too ashamed not to have cooked up a more viable excuse for whacking the most unpopular guy in town is more like it. — Grant Stoddard

Your Sperm Are Smoking Your Pot and Not Paying For It

A study conducted by SUNY Buffalo has proven that the adage “like stoner, like sperm” is God’s honest truth. Apparently, the sperm of marijuana smokers “burns out” (the researchers’ words, not mine), thus making conception difficult. Here’s how it works: to penetrate the egg, the sperm have to speed up when they near it, then hit the ovum with super-spaceship velocity. But stoned sperm speed up too early, get tired, and just kind of tap apathetically at the egg before doing whatever it is sperm do when they’re done. Like die, since they’re too little to order in tacos. — Carrie Hill Wilner

Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?

According to research published this week, rejection physically hurts — it produces a reaction in the pain center of the brain. California scientists created a computer game in which test subjects were led to believe they were tossing a ball with two other players. After a while, the two computer-controlled characters started throwing the ball only to each other, excluding the test subject. Brain scans taken during the study indicated “there’s something about exclusion from others that is perceived as being as harmful to our survival as something that can physically hurt us,” explains one of the study’s co-authors. No shit. We did quite a bit of fieldwork in this area under the guise of pimply teens with unruly hair and attitude problems. — Grant Stoddard

Garter Mishap Incites Donnybrook

There’s some sort of Sister Cities program worldwide. As far as we can tell, this entails placing banners in airports that read: “Chicago: Sister City to Dubai,” and so on. We don’t know if Asbury Park, New Jersey, has gotten in on the game yet, but if it does, it should definitely hit up Kraljevo, Serbia. There are plenty of reasons for this sisterhood: poverty, post-millennial blight offset by an influx of young gay professionals, people totally losing it at weddings and breaking all kinds of shit. In Jersey, a “donnybrook” (a local reporter’s word, not mine) erupted when a guest “improperly” placed the garter on the woman who caught the bouquet. The ensuing melee ended in four arrests. Meanwhile, in Serbia, where it’s apparantly traditional to fire guns into the air at weddings, because . . . well, because it is, a few over-eager celebrants managed to shoot down a small plane, injuring two. That sounds vicious, but it’s certainly better than waiting for the bride’s trampy little cousin to finish singing “A Whole New World” so you can hit up the wine and canapes. — Carrie Hill Wilner

Lost in Translation

In Canada this week, French-speaking Québécois are miffed because the new Buick LaCrosse shares its name with a local slang term for masturbation. Bob Lutz, the vice chairman of GM North America, said he wasn’t aware of LaCrosse’s alternative meaning, although he had lived in Paris for three years. “I thought I knew every expression existing in the French language for self-gratification, including the crudest ones known to man,” he said.

Did you know that several companies exist solely to research new product names and ensure that they don’t have undesirable meanings elsewhere in the world? Neither did the makers of these international goods:

Alu-Fanny: French foil wrap

Atum Bom: Portuguese tuna

Arses: Spanish wine

Bull: French computer firm

Bums: Swedish cookies

Crapsy Fruit: French cereal

Cock Drops: Cypriot cocktail bitters

Fartek: Swedish baby wear

Glans: Dutch shampoo

Happy End: German toilet paper

Japp: Norwegian candy bar

Kack: Danish sweets

Krapp: Swedish toilet paper

Kum Onit: German pencil sharpeners

Mukk: Italian yogurt

Pee:Ghana cola

Plopp: Scandinavian chocolate

Pocari Sweat:Japanese sport/soft drinks

Calpis Poo:Argentine curry powder

Pschitt:French lemonade

Skinless:Japanese condoms

Sorbits:German chewing gum

Wrinkle Zero-0:Japanese condoms

Zit: German lemonade

TWR’s favorite mistranslation remains:

“Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave,” a direct Chinese translation of the slogan
“Pepsi Comes Alive.” — Grant Stoddard

About TWR

The Weekend Review is Nerve’s roundup of news about sex, relationships, culture and whatever else we find interesting.

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