Practically impervious to petering out, our weekly issues of wacky news continue, this time with alliteration.
Regular Dudes in the News readers know that we find some of our subjects’ names enchanting. In fact, names in general fascinate us, especially when they appear to pertain symbolically—even cosmically—to the situation at hand.
Therefore, we are thrilled to inform you that Travis Loudermilk, the 24-year-old son of Georgia State Senator Barry Loudermilk, recently proposed marriage to one of Sen. Loudermilk’s aides, a woman named Sarah Redwine.
Loudermilk the Younger popped the question under the Capitol dome on the last day of the State Assembly’s session a couple of weeks back. Ms. Redwine, 21, said yes.
They say oil and water don’t mix. But one wonders if (louder) milk and red wine can coexist. Would it be daring, or dairy, for us to ask wine not?
News of the Loudermilk-Redwine proposal was reported in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s assiduous April 14 log of State Assembly activities, which included these items, among others:
9:56 a.m. Senate won’t start on time:
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle comes into an almost empty chamber to announce that the Senate won’t be convening at 10 a.m. as scheduled. So with 13 bills to consider passing and dozens of others waiting final approval, the Senate is “at ease,” Cagle said. No explanation was given.
1:30 p.m. Senate takes a short lunch break:
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle has just given senators a 30-minute lunch break until 2 p.m. … But bills are passing. The latest: HB 485, which address [sic] the nuisance of feral hogs. The legislation makes it illegal to release feral hogs into areas that are not secure and says that people who break the law can lose their hunting license for three years.
10:20 p.m. Hamburgers:
Sen. Ross Tolleson, R-Perry, who apparently has a taste for early morning cheeseburgers, is absent from his desk and Sen. Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, has piled 19 cheeseburgers on Tolleson’s desk.
It is comforting to know that even at the highest levels of government in the great state of Georgia (population 9,829,211), nothing starts on time, the plight of feral hogs is solemnly spotlighted, and high school-style hijinks ease the tensions of late-night legislating.
That there is a senator from a place with the cheery name of Chickamauga (pop. 2,621) and a lieutenant governor who goes by the alliteratively rhythmic name of Casey Cagle (no relation to radio star Casey Kasem) is simply the cheese on the proverbial early-morning burger.
Is the name Pall Arason in any way symbolic if it is that of a man who has shuffled off this mortal coil?
Let us answer a question with two questions. Did his passing cast a Pall over his family and friends? And at the funeral, as is traditional, were there Pall bearers?
Never mind. The unbelievably compelling fact is that the name Pall Arason belonged to a man who donated his penis to a penis museum, as the Associated Press reported April 12.
We are not certain which is more fantastic: that a man had the foresight, and perhaps the foreskin, to donate his penis to a penis museum, or that somewhere in the world a penis museum, in fact, exists.
But one does. The Phallological Museum, located in the Icelandic town of Husavik (pop. 2,237), was founded by a man with the consonant-heavy but no less charming name of Sigurdur Hjartarson.
According to an AP reporter who goes by the restful name of Raphael G. Satter, the museum brings in thousands of tourists each year, and includes, among its exhibits, “a 170-centimeter (67-inch) sperm-whale penis preserved in formaldehyde, lampshades made from bull testicles, and what the museum described as an ‘unusually big’ penis bone from a Canadian walrus.”
Of Mr. Aronson, the AP’s Mr. Satter wrote, “… the 95-year-old Icelander’s pickled penis will be the main attraction in one of his country’s most bizarre museums.”
“Icelander’s pickled penis”—to authors of such brilliant writing is the Pulitzer Prize awarded.
Mr. Hjartason, the owner, said Mr. Arason’s is the first human penis to grace the museum.
“People are always donating some organ after they died,” he said. “It’s no more remarkable to donate a penis than it is to donate an organ like a kidney.”
Heh, heh. He said “organ.” Twice.
Mr. Hjartason’s sanguine attitude toward all things penile suggests an Icelandic open-mindedness that one wishes informed American approaches to the male member in all its glory and foolhardiness.
Yet Mr. Hjartason became demure when asked the size of Mr. Arason’s donated appendage.
“I can’t tell you that,” he said. “You’ll just have to come see it.”
That, we are fairly certain, is what she said.
Before being donated to museums across the globe, many penises are celebrated by their adherents through plentiful, not to say excessive, use.
That which is personal often also is cultural. This is especially evident in Japan, where citizens’ hardiness in the face of earthquakes, tsunamis, and nuclear fallout is extraordinarily inspiring.
Even more inspiring is the fact that, in the wake of such challenges, the Japanese people should take a moment to celebrate the penis.
But this is exactly what they did recently in Kawasaki (pop. 1,400,000). During an annual fertility carnival called the Kanamara Festival, participants paraded enormous penis replicas fashioned out of everything from papier mache to wood.
Heh, heh. “Wood.”
This information comes to us from an April 6 post on a blog called Tokyo Times, written by an Englishman who goes by the redundant last name of Chapman and has lived in Tokyo for more than a decade.
(We were sent the blog link by our Tokyo-stationed correspondent, and by “correspondent” we mean “niece.”)
Assorted culinary delights sold at festival booths included penis- (and vagina-) shaped popsicles and other food items. As Mr. Chapman puts it, writing in the present tense with an admirable aptitude for alliteration, “… for those particularly partial, a pecker or even a pussy may … be purchased.”
He notes that the morning penis parade built “to an incredible climax that sees the colossal cocks carted through the crowd.”
Elsewhere around the world, he adds, such a parade “is something seldom seen, it has to be said.”
This is true. Imagine a penis parade on American shores:
9:56 a.m. Penis Parade won’t start on time:
Parade Grand Marshall Sigurdur Hjartarson emerged from a giant replica of a feral hog penis to announce that the parade would not start for another hour. The Parade is “flaccid,” he said. No explanation was given.
1:30 p.m. Evidently, size matters:
Thrilled by the enormous penis displays, some parade-goers have shed clothing. Multiple sources report noticing an “unusually big” penis bone—or erection—on a visiting Canadian mountie.
Heh, heh. “Mount-ie.”
10:20p.m. A proposal:
Travis Loudermilk, 24, offered his hand, and penis, in marriage to Sarah Redwine, 21. Ms. Redwine said yes, telling friends, “Travis is a wonderful man who is full of the (louder) milk—and ejaculate—of human kindness.”
As they say, alas, it couldn’t happen here.
So we salute our friends in Japan and Iceland. They really know how to party when it comes to the penis, pickled or not.
[For those interested in penis-parade pictures and more alluringly alliterative writing, click here.]
Dave Ford is a San Francisco writer whose work has appeared in Spin, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, SF Weekly, The Advocate, and a host of other periodicals. He writes the blog First of All, and is a certified yoga instructor who teaches at various venues in his home city.
Illustration by Bion Harrigan. Bion Harrigan keeps his head firmly planted in the clouds and has done so since the earliest days of a youth misspent idly daydreaming, reading Mad magazine, and drawing scary monsters and super creeps. He continues to spend an inordinate amount of time daydreaming and drawing at his home in Maplewood, New Jersey.
Other dudes, who, previously, have been “in the news”: