January 31, 2011

"[T]here's no pong involved, it's not squidgy or anything like that."

I love this passage from Keith Richards's autobiography about keeping a pet  mouse in his pocket:
For companionship I kept pets. I had a cat and a mouse, Gladys. I would bring her to school and have a chat in the French lesson when it got boring. I'd feed her my dinner and lunch, and I'd come home with a pocketful of mouse shit. Mouse shit doesn't matter. It comes out in hardened pellets, there's no pong involved, it's not squidgy or anything like that. You just empty you pockets and out come these pellets. Gladys was true and trusted. She very rarely poked her head out of the pocket and exposed herself to instant death. But Doris had Gladys and my cat knocked off. She killed all my pets when I was a kid. She didn't like animals, she'd threatened to do it and she did it. I put a note on her bedroom door, with a drawing of a cat, that said "Murderer." I never forgave her for that. Doris's reaction was the usual: "Shut up. Don't be so soft. It was pissing all over the place."
Doris was (obviously) his mother.  And I'm copying this paragraph out not to do another post about "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" — some English version of the maternal character — but a propos of the discussion of football we we're having in the previous post, which linked to a column that went on about the "pocket" —"Aaron and Ben are pocket-driven passers, with the extra element of being able to create once the pocket is no longer their friend" — and got garage "garaji" mahal to say "Little Ben will have plenty of opportunities to show how he can evade pass rushers. Because that pocket WILL be collapsing." That got me to say:
By the way, the "pocket" is another one of those feminine things in football... along with touching and tossing down a hankie. It's so adorable: a man in a pocket. It's like Keith Richards's pet mouse Gladys.
My football commentary is (pretty much) all about finding the hints of the feminine in the hyper-manly game. I hope you like it!

38 comments:

traditionalguy said...

I like it...it's sort of like ESPNNE.

DADvocate said...

Definitely, ESPNNE. Ann could be one of those female sideline reporters trying to make the game more appealing or somthing while contributing nothing more than a pretty face. Next, we can explore all the meanings of "make a pass" and "intercept a pass."

edutcher said...

Well, the mouse explains a couple of things.

E.M. Davis said...

Sometimes a pocket is just a pocket.

Sofa King said...

I confess I don't like it. It seems vindictive to me, as though you are deliberately trying to sabotage something that men like.

But then, that seems to be the entire point of academia sometimes.

DADvocate said...

When football players get dressed for football they put on their "pads." "Pads" has a feminine meaning also. My wife told me to buy her some pads while I was at the store.

DADvocate said...

Would it be feminine if a referee blows a call?

Ann Althouse said...

"I confess I don't like it. It seems vindictive to me, as though you are deliberately trying to sabotage something that men like."

That could only be true if:

1. You don't have a sense of humor, and...

2. Things associated with women are bad.

Ann Althouse said...

@DADvocate LOL. I need to make a list!

E.M. Davis said...

Tight Ends. Wide Receivers. Backfields in motion.

The gay subtext of football is astounding.

Joaquin said...

LIFE by Keef Richards is one of the "better" books out there now.
Highly recomended!

Paddy O said...

My football commentary is (pretty much) all about finding the hints of the feminine in the hyper-manly game.

Interestingly, you do this through the female tendency to dwell on word similarities and clever verbal connections.

The masculine approach to finding "the hints of the feminine in the hyper-manly game" is summed up in the LFL.

Sofa King said...

I guess the humor is just lost on me. Feminine things don't have to be "bad" to be unwanted in certain contexts. I'll admit I may be sensitive to the notion because exclusively male things seem so socially unacceptable in general, I sometimes feel a bit squeezed.

Sofa King said...

Basically, you can be guaranteed that if there's something that straight men enjoy, women and gay men will try to find a way to mock it, mock the men involved, and generally try to destroy what men like about it.

E.M. Davis said...

Basically, you can be guaranteed that if there's something that straight men enjoy, women and gay men will try to find a way to mock it, mock the men involved, and generally try to destroy what men like about it.

But has anyone attempted to look at stuff women enjoy and find the masculine in it in order to somehow mock it?

I know why. It's pretty much a waste of time.

Rich B said...

I liked the fact that Keith is a friend of Jack Nicholson's as indicated in Jack's interview that you referenced in an earlier post.

rhhardin said...

I've kept an orphan baby sparrow and an orphan baby rabbit I was raising in a breast pocket.

The sparrow, like all birds, actually comes to like you.

The rabbit was always about escape as a first instinct.

aronamos said...

I don't get how pockets are feminine. Too many damn ladies trousers don't have pockets at all, or have them so shallow I can't put anything in them. Along with those miserable plastic zippers that give out or lose their teeth.

I think you're stretching, Professor.

traditionalguy said...

Does this have anything to do with the fad for aesthetic vaginal surgery?

AllenS said...

garage "garaji" mahal needs a tag.

Scott M said...

Is this feminine/masculine fun available in the European languages, which have gender built inherently into the language?

oleh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
oleh said...

I must confess that, perhaps due to too much History Channel, when pocket is used in the context of football I think of thousands of Germans trapped in the Steppes of Ukraine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korsun%E2%80%93Shevchenkovsky_Offensive

That's very manly.

DADvocate said...

I've got a million of them, but they goe down hill pretty quickly.

garaji mahal said...

Pittsburgh Steelers have edge over Green Bay Packers, psychotherapist says

Althouse/Macho bait.

DADvocate said...

garaji - a psychotherapist picking the Steelers is a sure sign Green Bay will win. Psychotherapist is one of the few professions where you can be wrong most of the time and fail to acheive you goal most of the time and still be a "success."

E.M. Davis said...

Psychotherapist is one of the few professions where you can be wrong most of the time and fail to acheive you goal most of the time and still be a "success."

The other is Studio Production Executive.

garaji mahal said...

@DADvocate
haha. Agreed.

Skyler said...

I never thought of a pocket as being feminine. It's more descriptive than feminine. You might even say it's a military term.

But then, in Iraq along the Euphrates River just across from Al Asad there is a crimp in the river that is known in official documents as "The Ball Sack." Perhaps we use the term "pocket" not to be feminine, but to be more polite.

Skyler said...

I think they called it "The Ball Sack" because someone thought it's too hard to expect young Marines to know how to spell scrotum.

But I'm pretty sure every kid from 5th grade and up knows that word well enough.

Amartel said...

Agree with Sofa King and some others. What's the point of efforts to read in femininity and gayness into the undeniably macho culture of football if not to attack and mock. This is not a woman's game (to play). Too bad, so sad. And if you must mock, then make it a material mocking (pockets? pocketssss??), preferably a funny material mocking.

Keef has lived a LIFE. Great, great book. You end up with new respect for Jagger. Contrary to conventional wisdom, he's not the only preening, self-involved, spoiled rock star in that band. Also contrary to conventional wisdom, Keef seems to have substantively contributed to more songs than I thought he had. I always thought they just wheeled him out, strapped a guitar on him, and yelled "PLAY."

Dust Bunny Queen said...

She killed all my pets when I was a kid.

This part made me very sad.

Methadras said...

Squidgy. Isn't that what Princess Diana called Dodi El Fayad?

Mick said...

Keef is god!

dont tread 2012 said...

Keef just may be Lenny.

Just sayin'.

abeer ahmed said...

For the latest news visit us on cnn.com
http://whois.domaintasks.com/cnn.com

FIFA-Viruts said...

Yes. I enjoyed it, It's great. You did very well. Wish you happy.
how to make websitesforeclosure search

ManchesterUTD said...

LG Infinia 55LW5600 55-Inch Cinema 3D 1080p 120 Hz LED HDTV with Smart TVbest hgh supplements

I looked around to ask what happened, if somebody'd known,
Found no one but living room as a flood.
Running away by myself on the village road,
Not knowing where to go but heading for my teacher
Realizing she's the only one who could help to clear my throat,
But this time she gave up, telling me strange things in fear.