Monthly Archives: September 2010

Truck Nuts – Made in America

You just don’t see truck nuts any more.  Or, as they call them in the biz – premium novelty testicles.

Truck nuts circled in red, just in case you’d miss ’em

Truck nuts changed things.  Truck nuts were, I think, a pinnacle – or perhaps, depth – we reached as a nation, as a culture, collectively.  We now label events as either pre-trucknuts or post-trucknuts, and in this post-trucknut world, things are different.  We can’t go back.  We are changed.  Truck nuts are an American creation for which this country has not atoned, and we can’t put these truck-nut genies back in the bottle.

But when did this quantum leap in testicular display occur, anyway?  The truck nuts wikipedia entry, disappointingly brief I might add,  states that these accessories first appeared in 1998, while the fine folks at YourNutz.com tout themselves as the Purveyor of Premium Novelty Testicles since 1997.

Who is telling the truth?!?

Well, regardless of the discrepancy, I was shocked to discover they had been around for so long.  It was only in 2007 that the accessories caught national attention when a Maryland politician filed legislation to outlaw what he described as “vulgar and immoral,” and “a pretty serious problem.”

A pretty serious problem, indeed.  I can only assume the child of one of his constituents saw truck nuts, inevitably prompting, probably prematurely, the big talk about where baby trucks come from.  The mother then called the politician and demanded truck nuts be put back in the truck pants where they belong.

And oh, the variety of truck nuts that child could have seen!  If you thought the options were limited to skin tones, you would be oh so foolishly naive.

You ready?  Truck nuts, or bumper balls as they’re also called, come in blue, red, orange, pink, purple, yellow, black, green, white, baby blue, transparent ghost (spoooooky!), bronze chrome, gold chrome, silver chrome, American flag, seven different camouflage styles including woodland, urban and desert, and the best for last – “LED Lighted Lit Up Nuts.”

 

 

While YourNutz.com seems to be the premier distributor, they are certainly not the only name in the truck nut game.

Take bumpernuts.com, for example.  The site’s opening paragraph is as close to a thesis on explaining the allure of truck testicles as you’re bound to find, outside of a grad student’s paper exploring expressions of masculinity through material culture, I suppose.

“In my mind a big ass truck is not complete without a nice set of BUMPER NUTS hanging off the hitch.  Take a look at these BUMPER NUTS on this bad boy and tell me that is not beautiful!  This is the most ultimate truck accessory around.”

Not very explanatory, but there’s not a lot of literature on trucks, their nuts, and how they combine to satisfy the needs of expression for certain individuals.  Add to that the selling point of proudly being made in the USA, and it’s not hard to argue that a truck without nuts is incomplete. Hell, a neutered truck may not even be a truck at all.

If you want to peruse the Bumper Nuts site, be sure to check the link labeled “Funk Band.”  I did, because my curiosity at how a funk band could be related to the sale of truck nuts was too much to ignore.  As it turns out, it’s actually a “celebrity” endorsement!

“Man, these things are great!  I hang ’em from my music stand at every Camel Toe show, and inevitably some girls start rubbing them and stuff.  The nuts have been a good addition to our gigs — thanks!” – Doug of Camel Toe, The Bass Player

If you were not sold before, surely “South Florida’s hottest and most original funk-rock trio,” Camel Toe, has convinced you.

Ultimately, it comes back to YourNutz.com, as they have one image, one suggested use of the product, that makes them truck nut champions.

I present it here, now:

Wheelchair Nutz.

Lest you think YourNutz.com is ableist in any way, they are ready and willing to empower any person with disabilities by burdening them with massive, center-of-gravity-shifting truck nuts.

Despite my google queries, I am unable to determine the legality of truck nuts.  It sounds like Florida and Delaware have outlawed them, but I’m confident Texas will never limit such an obviously God-given right.

If truck nuts are outlawed, only the outlaws will have truck nuts.

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A New Leader in Beard Justice

Beards!!  How bout ‘em?  Who’s got ‘em?  And what…do they mean?  Tonight, on The Fat Fingers of Justice, with your host, international beard-o-crat and inventor of the Mustache Belt, Fat Fingers Justice will discuss facial hair and one of its leading proponents.

(The mustache belt is like a beard net, but, you know, just if you have a mustache and work in a particularly cautious food-service job.  No one wants to find a curly mustache hair protruding from their foie gras.)

The beard was invented in the year 9 AD by Jesus of Nazareth.  No one before Jesus had ever seen or grown a beard, which was one of the first and main reasons people knew he was no ordinary dude.

Well, that’s not totally true.  Some men had half-beards, but Jesus was the first that, when he turned the other cheek, there was hair on that side, too.

In fact, I’m pretty sure I remember from Sunday school that the Holy Spirit in the Christian Trinity was Christ’s beard.  It taught a guy to fish.  Lepers touched it and the beard didn’t even fall off.  The beard was the key to getting Jesus’ foot in the door to work all his other magic.  What would Jesus do?  He’d grow a beard.

That being said, beards have garnered negative publicity and many see them not as stately additions to a man’s facial topography, but instead a sign of unsophistication or slovenly disregard for societal norms.

For some, this is perhaps true.  A hobo is not making a statement or style choice with that full, untrimmed beard and mustache any more than he “camped out” to be first in line to open the library.

ZZ Top’s Dusty Hill and Billy Gibbons.  No photo of drummer Frank Beard will be shown, as, ironically enough, he is un-bearded. 

Others just don’t want to shave, and some grow beards as a form of protest.  However, I do believe not shaving is the lamest form of protest I can imagine, as you are actually choosing to do less than you were doing before, for your chosen cause.

Personally, laziness and resentment were my gateway motivations to beard appreciation.  Mandatory shaving in high school bred resentment, and moving away to college created the foundation for experimental laziness and excess, one such hypotheses being:  what would happen if, instead of shaving, I spent that time hitting the snooze button and cursing a hangover?

Then, once I completed the transition from normie to beardie, I was in love.  Ultimately, it may just be vanity.

Beards do serve many functions, from the lowbrow to high-culture:  built-in bibs to catch food debris, double-chin concealers,  pretty-lady magnets, and even as the follicular art on the canvas of the face.

This brings me to a young lady leading the Internet in beard appreciation, creating a Web site for connoisseurs of hot beard action in all its presentations.  bearded beauties is a recently launched site dedicated to pogonology, a study or treatise on beards.

From the initial posts, it appears the site will feature profiles in courageous beards, with interviews and even a helpful chart allowing one to judge the trustworthiness of beards.

For you see, beards are not a monolithic thing – you can’t simply ask, Beards: blessing to man, or…menace…to society?  You can’t even write them off as just a soft, cuddly patch of hair.

As it turns out, the truth is not black and white, but quite complicated, as complicated as the vast species of beards.  Like a snowflake, or fingerprint, no two beards are the same.  Some are even bejeweled!

It’s good to have a fellow advocate for fuzzy faces.  Because while summer is tenacious, especially here in Austin, winter’s on its way and you don’t want to be caught all nekkid-faced.

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A Justice Was Born

I have a brother, and it is his birthday today.  While I cannot verify the authenticity of his birth certificate, and he could very well be a half-Kenyan half-Hitler hellbent on mass Marx-ification and the burning of Lee Greenwood records, I’m going to take him at his word, and that of our parents.

Here is a photo of the hoodlum in his pre-pubescence:

Seen here with his first piano muse. Also, still dapper in a sweater-vest!

We’re like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito in the movie Twins, except I’m pretty sure we’re both Devito.

When I was little, he and his friend Bart once put my stuffed Alf doll on top of a lamp and burned forever a bulb into his non-existent rectum.  The rust-colored fur singed and turned a strange, bright orange.  Ashamed, Alf’s spirit was never quite the same.  I too changed, having seen the darkness possible in brotherly rivalry.  (Why Alf?  Why?!  He was an innocent bystander!)

The children of divorce, we were often out of each others lives, most of that fact due to an age gap and not living in the same place.

Also, he was in the Navy for several years.  Whether or not he was “in the shit,” I do not know.  Unless the scenes depicted in photos of him visiting massive bronze Buddhas and standing on the decks of ships with impossibly blue water stretching behind him count as “the shit.”   He did bring me back a sword though!

We would reconnect in strange ways.  My first summer after college I returned home and worked nights – 11pm to 7am – in a rundown hotel.  I drank a lot of coffee, wrote a lot of shitty poetry and feared being murdered by a drifter.  One night I received a phone call inquiring about a reservation, something rarely done, as we did very little business except for scruffy guys who worked on the trains, just looking to get drunk and crash where the day’s work stranded them in the middle of nowhere.  As I struggled to remember the process of actually taking a reservation, the caller revealed himself to be my brother.  He too was working the same shift in a hotel in Round Rock.  Bored and on the clock, we were able catch up a bit on lost time.

Three years ago, I was digging ditches and installing septic systems, while he was a sales rep for industrial-size septic systems and parts.  Now would be a good time to make a poop joke, but I’m running out of time.  See, I have to meet him, and his wonderful fiance Megan, at Trudy’s in less than 20 minutes.

Living in the same town has been good, and we’re as close now as we were as kids.  We have not yet realized the dream of starting our family funk band, Stanky Justice (or maybe The Department of Justice, J-Funk, Funk-udicial, Cold Funk Justice, etc.) but have made considerable inroads to starting an Olympic vodka-drinking team.  Actually, to be true – differences remain.  He’s vodka, I’m whiskey.  If I’d had any of either, I’d attempt to extrapolate on that as a metaphor.

Okay.  I have to buy my brother a tequila shot now.

Possible drunken update to follow.

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Taco News! Taco News! Taco News!

Lucky J’s Chicken and Waffles changed my life.

But first:

I’ve dabbled in vegetarianism, most recently for nearly eight months, while, admittedly, cheating about once a month on average.  A few years ago I did 6 months.  Ideally, it’s a diet I would love to consistently pursue for a variety of reasons.  I will continue to limit my meat intake to perhaps twice a week, for reasons I’m too lazy to extrapolate upon at this moment.

However, if you are unfamiliar with the health, moral, and socially-beneficial reasons for reducing or eliminating your meat consumption, I recommend the book Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.  The book may be even better for those already familiar with the information on an intellectual level, but who maintain a psychological distance or detachment that keeps them ordering cheeseburgers and chicken wings.  This book will compel you to internalize your doubts about eating meat, and convince you those doubts are completely founded.

The book avoids the feeling of a didactic lecture by being more of a memoir of Foer’s personal food choices, and the dietary choices he begins to make for his newborn son.  He merely presents the facts and explores the standards he creates for himself based on those facts, succeeding wonderfully at mixing emotion and reason.

Oh, and there are pictures!  Nothing gruesome, just some creative use of graphs and simple images.  For example, the beginning of one chapter features a rectangle spreading across both the left and right pages, with the following caption:  “In the typical cage for egg-laying hens, each bird has 67 square inches of space – the size of the rectangle above.  Nearly all cage-free birds have approximately the same amount of space.”  To look at it another way – the way you’re looking at it now – that’s about 2/3 the size of your computer screen, in that space, from birth to death.

So, all that being said, I choose now not to discuss the often vile scenes of the contemporary food industry, the cruel conditions of animals manufactured to biologically absurd conditions with growth hormones, the environmental devastation of factory farming, or the very great possibility that so many of our health problems stem from eating this factory-farmed, mutant meat.

Instead I choose to be a hypocrite, shameful and with a meat-laced mustache, because all emotion and reason and all that wonderful veggie truth is  sometimes still not as powerful as the alluring lie of a dead animal prepared in an Austin food trailer.

For I have seen my vegetarian hope’s greatest foe, stared into its greasy, chicken-fried eyes, and have lost.  In fact, I didn’t lose – I willingly surrendered, gave up all the battle plans and government secrets with no torture, no torture at all.  Yes, Lucky J’s Chicken and Waffles, suggested on more than one occasion by more than one friend, finally slayed me.  Drunk on Bulleitt Bourbon (Sponsorship?  Pretty please?  Seriously, I could afford going down to part-time if I had free booze.)  from Rio Rita on East 6th street, and high on buildup from my friends John and Sarah’s championing of the legendary fried-chicken waffle taco, I experienced what can only be considered a culinary grudge fuck.

Yes, meat had been scorned for too long, and it was a vengeful comeback, rough and violent, but ultimately satisfying and even demon-releasing.

The facts, bare but powerful:

The waffle is the taco.

Fried chicken goes inside.

The not-so-secret secret – you apply both syrup aaand hot sauce.  Unfortunately, my journalism powers were weakened due to aforementioned libations, and I do not know the exact type, brand or… anything really, about those two sauces.  And, based on the conditions in which I will undoubtedly eat it again, I can’t make any promises.  I simply may never know.

Some reviewers on Yelp have commented on the appearance of the fried chicken – “either overcooked, re-fried one too many times or the oil is never changed.  In any case, fried chicken shouldn’t be dark brown in color.”

I don’t give a shit if the fried chicken is magenta, if it tasted the way it did at two in the morning.  Sure, I know I had whiskey-mouth and everything tastes like an angel’s pussy at that point, but hot diggity-dog, that was some good eatin’.  The waffle was only barely crispy and began to further soften after the sauce application, but I found it delicious.

Verdict, with a caveat:  The Fat Thumbs of Justice, sticky and greasy and lil’ lapsed vegetarians, are up high for Lucky J’s Chicken and Waffle Taco.

Caveat:  I ate it in the dark, drunk.

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