Last night, a tough-talking investigator on CSI told another cop who was hassling him:
"Hey, don't bust my friggin' onions."
I realize there are network censors to circumvent, but it seems quaint that CBS has a problem with "balls," even with the Ms.-Jackson-if-you're-nasty debacle. I think it's a couple of writers having fun with euphemisms, wistfully thinking of the quaint days before Dennis Franz's butt changed everything. Days when they had to make characters say things like "backseat mambo" to keep it clean.
I remember a Moonlighting where Dave and Maddie are sitting at the kitchen table. Dave has, as is his wont, upset Maddie:
MADDIE: I don't give a flying fig!
DAVID: [beat] Flying fig?
MADDIE: [to camera] They know what I mean.
Euphemisms are fun. Even the unsavory ones require a modicum of wit. It is unseemly to announce to a group:
YOU: Everyone! I am about to poop!
EVERYONE: My, what a disgusting character.
But with nod and a wink, this statement is transformed:
YOU: I'm going to watch the Browns play in the Super Bowl.*
EVERYONE: What a subtle wit... such a way with words!
I remember an old-timer who frequently told me he was going to "see a man about a horse." I had no idea what he meant. I'd just say "OK, then!" and assume it was early onset Alzheimer's. Of course, he was going to pee. This is a euphemism that truly has no connection to its meaning, a nonsense phrase constructed to get one out of a room.
In that spirit, we at SPASTIC would like to open a forum for EMUs (Euphemisms Made Up). We begin with some of our own, and look forward to your additions:
Flaunting the Weasel Cake
Canoodling With Fishes
Spicing the Sausage
Racing Up Bald Mountain
Prancing the Fancy Dishes
I would write more, but I'm overdue for my Swing into the Mother Land.
*The official SPASTIC poophemism is "completing a download."