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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Taking Out the Trash (Talk)

(It may be April, but there’s no fooling science. Unless it’s Secondhand SCIENCE, possibly.

But let’s assume not, and form a single-file line to click over for this week’s discussion, all about orbital decay. It’s the only science article you’ll read this week that mentions the Hubble telescope, Paula Deen and a hockey mask-wearing horror movie murderer. No foolin’.)

I’m not really a trash talker. Mostly, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

I mean, first of all, most trash talk people do is about something they have no control over in the first place. “My dad could beat up your dad,” for instance. That’s ridiculous. Nobody’s fathers are going to go at it in a cage match because their nine-year-olds got in an argument over whose Pokemon would win on Jeopardy or whatever.

(And anyway, my dad’s got a bad knee. He can still jab, probably, but his footwork’s not what it used to be. I can’t take that risk.)

But worse, the kids have no say in whose dad would come out of that tussle on top. And most trash talk is like that — not only are you bragging out your ass, it’s someone’s else’s ass you’re bragging about. The red sports team I like is better than the blue one you cheer for. My Miss America favorite eats your favorite’s lunch — or would, if either of them consumed solid food in the six months before the swimsuit competition. And my base-pandering, corporate-sponsored double-talking politician of choice is twice the man/woman/programmable talking robot your base-pandering, corporate-sponsored, double-talking politician will ever be.

Frankly, I don’t see the point. You might as well whip your wangs out to measure over who can predict a coin flip.

(Don’t do this, by the way. Besides being poor etiquette in general, you don’t want to be whacked in the willie by a tumbling coin. Especially a quarter. Trust me.)

Of course, some (tiny) percentage of trash talking is done to back up something personal. Whether it’s a race or a bet or a challenge over who can stuff the most live lobsters down their pants, before some people do it, they want to talk about it. How fast they’re going to run. How much money they’ll win. Their special secret underpants, which are way more crustacean-friendly than yours. Yak yak yak.

It all seems pretty exhausting to me, and I steer clear for two reasons. First, it’s an awful lot of extra energy going to waste that I could be using on winning whatever nonsense we’re doing. Stretching my calves or planning a strategy or supergluing a lot of lobster claws shut, for instance.

But also, I don’t trash talk because I’m pretty uniformly bad at everything. And when you run your mouth and lose, it’s a great deal worse than losing without running your mouth at all. Do your talking with your poor performance and pouty demeanor afterward, I say. Take the high road. Relatively speaking.

(Also, make excuses. Did I mention my father’s knee? I probably inherited that, so that’s why I lost any speed-related thing. Also, the sun was in my eyes. And I’m wearing those Fruit of the Lobster boxers, which can’t possibly help.)

It is for these reasons — and the doubtless ensuing shame and ridicule I’d likely endure — that I don’t engage in trash talk, as a rule.

“It was a big bug, though skinny — like Andre the mosquito giant, or a wasp that’s really into cardio, maybe.”

However. I do make one exception, and it happened this morning.

When I climb into the shower and there’s a bug inside — insect, spider, any-kind-of-crawly-pede — then shit is ON, brother. And I’m going to talk about it. Trashily.

When I stepped in this morning, I caught a glimpse of some winged something-or-other buzzing the shower head. It was a big bug, though skinny — like Andre the mosquito giant, or a wasp that’s really into cardio, maybe. But size doesn’t matter, in this situation.

(I mean, under moth size, obviously. Let’s not go overboard. I’m not Batman over here, for crissakes.)

I knew I could take this buzzing bozo — but I was going to let him hear about it while I did. So I yapped. I barked a bunch of stuff that ended with “MY house” and a waggly no-no finger. And I postured for effect.

As well as one can posture while standing naked with one foot in the shower and a bottle of Pert Plus in the non-finger-waggling hand. Which, if I’m honest, is not a lot.

Still, I trash-talked that bug, and I trash-talked him good. I don’t get a lot of practice — which is good, because otherwise it would mean a parade of crawly assholes were setting up shop in my showering spot — but I came through. It’s like riding a bike.

Or like berating a bike with “yo momma” jokes, maybe. I’m actually not sure how bicycles apply here, exactly.

Anyway, I told this waspy-legged interloper what for, and then I turned the water on and washed him onto the shower wall. He wiggled for a while, but I hosed him again — and talked some more trash, natch — and he mostly stopped. So I washed him down, into the shower and down by the drain, talking at him all the way. Like, in his face. Only from the other end of the shower, because ew.

I don’t know whether the bug made it down the drain all the way. It was pretty big, and I wasn’t going over there to look. I’ve seen horror movies — and especially ones where somebody trash talks the big ugly monster out to get everyone. If you go looking at it when it’s dead, then it’s definitely not dead, and that’s when it stings you or barfs acid on you or lays eggs up your nose while it slaps you around with a thorax or something.

So obviously, I didn’t take a shower today. And maybe won’t tomorrow, just to be safe. But I gave that bug a piece of my mind, and washed it onto, maybe down-maybe not, the drain. Where I trash talked it, but good. Like it was someone else’s favorite base-pandering, corporate-sponsored, double-talking politician, right before the swimsuit competition.

Aw, yeah.

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