Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Pink Navy Public Service Announcement: This Is Your Brain on Polysyllabic Words

Possums, all of us at Pink Navy (Charlus, Miss XaXa, Ensign Laz, and mascot Albertine) care deeply about your health and well-being.

Sure, we may appear thoughtless, frivolous, légers. But we have consciences. (Somewhere, perhaps stowed away with the exercise bike under the bed.)

And we were radicalized during last week's episode as we witnessed lead judge Jonathan Adler having a mini-stroke as he courageously brought himself to pronounce a word that selfish, Hawaiian-shirted anarchist Ryan had thoughtlessly dropped into the discussion like a Molotov cocktail into the champagne punch: "socio-political."

Take a look at the disturbing video. But we warn you, as redundantly as they would warn you on the Today show, that it is quite disturbing.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Fortunately, Jonathan survived to cock an eyebrow and "See you later, decorator" another day. But he might not have been so lucky. We daren't imagine what might have happened had Ryan been discussing dialectical materialism.

We began hearing reports of other victims. One fellow suffered a mild seizure trying to pronounce "nuclear," but did fine at the cosmetics counter with "Shiseido" and "alpha hydroxy." Another chap of our acquaintance was watching Funny Face and, foolish boy that he is, he tried to repeat after Audrey Hepburn when she started discussing “empathicalism” with Fred Astaire. Boy, does he have a funny face now after the resulting stroke.

Over the weekend we attended the memorial service of a dear friend who was tragically taken from us during a viewing of Mary Poppins by that word that we cannot even bring ourselves to type. (Someone else was struck down for pronouncing chaise longue as “chase lounge,” but that was just divine retribution, so we don’t really count that among the statistics.)

Possums, why do you think no one ever says Goil's last name out loud?

Is it the number of syllables or the seriousness of the word that causes the difficulty? Scientists are unsure, but they're looking into the matter. So what's the next step? Fundraisers, research, grape-and-banana ribbons.

And above all, public awareness. Abbreviate, possums, or, rather, make words short. And don't discuss serious things. Keep it light, and keep it safe.