Category Archives: second place award

Jammy for some…

Really?

Outrage?

Not in my book.

Who’da thought Emmerdale would get a second place award?

I love set dressers with a sense of humour. Props to the props peeps.

Can’t say I’m surprised the Daily Fail’s tapping into the wrong zeitgeist. That kinda stuff seems to keep ’em happy over there.

However, if you’d like to explore menstrual euphemisms through the medium of colouring in, feel free to download How Do You Feel (page 1) About Your Friend (page 2) – the zine I made for the workshops we did last tour.

And…I don’t know. Watch Emmerdale, I guess? Maybe just to keep an eye on the background, for more prop-tastic goofing off.

Chella

The iPad: File under ‘Not menstrual but should be’.

I’m not this guy.  Neither is my wife Sarah. And as long as women aren’t the punchline, and menstruation doesn’t mean ‘bad’ , the iPad jokes are cool by us. See below to find out who that guy is, though.

I must report on my friends’ (and the world’s) first reactions to the iPad by placing it firmly under the heading ‘not menstrual but should be.’  I would dearly, dearly love one made for me in flannel with wings that have little snaps on them.  And please, folks, for the sake of the environment,  consider using an iMenstrualcup. Think of all that landfill you’d save if you used reusables.

Right, those are the first ones I came up with off the top of my head, but there are plenty more to be had all over the internets. Including a gamut-running list on Feministing, Jezebel’s user-created photo manips, comments and round up, and NPR’s blog feature.

Interestingly, though, a gentleman named Ryan at untoldentertainment has, I think erroneously, gone on the defensive offensive by staging a general intervention for us iPad jokers (and this is a brand new addiction, folks, which surely does not need an intervention just yet), telling us:

But if you’re new to humour, here’s a hot tip: jokes about menstruation aren’t particularly funny. They’re actually kinda sleazy. Women, generally, don’t like them. And more evolved men don’t tend to enjoy them either.

Now we obviously disagree with that, and we welcome all you 24-hour-old menstural jokers to the club, but I think what he’s trying to do may have honourable intentions toward Apple (although working as a flash designer might make one a bit cross about a new piece of hardware that doesn’t support flash), and probably toward women, men, and menstrual comedy as well. He’s even made good on his threat to put all male  ‘offenders’ in a hall of fame, and all women who make the irresistable a reality will end up in his ‘honourary hall of fame’.  So I’m looking forward to appearing on that blog shortly. Hi!

We don’t need a moratorium, though. Periods are funny. Gross out humour is great! See our sidebar for our very well-thought-out list of reasons why. Ryan at untoldentertainment.com seems to not want to offend women, though, which is fair enough (although we can own that ourselves, thanks) and so we can suggest some guidelines.

Menstrual jokes can be funny in all the ways other bodily function jokes are funny. They have a time and a place and an audience. Recall’s always fun, puns are nice, observational humour if you must, and parody is win + cake. But…menstrual jokes are not cool (although they may still make you laugh, if you’re a jerk) when women are the butt of the joke.  A major multinational corporation to whom all publicity is good publicity and who clearly put a lot of thought into this and still came up with ‘the iPad’? They can be the butt of the joke for a change. And so can maxipads!

Ryan also, worryingly, names and shames period joke tellers in the image above. We ain’t them. And we don’t need stifling. Queef Free, anyone?

Edited to add: This just in! Ryan Henson Creighton and I have exchanged a couple of emails today that were pretty funny in and of themselves. He didn’t mean to “incite the ire of the Menstruati”.  I am still curious  about what position of authority he’s imposed his moritorium and granted  our amnesty from, but we have, indeed, been reprieved from the “Unfunny iPad/Menstrual Pad Joke-Telling Douchebag Hall of Fame”.  So the upshot at the moment is:  Apple have a dubiously effective new product, and we got a prize!  And remember, kids, douche is bad for you!

Our facebook is still scrolling with lots of ‘Really, Apple?’ pad jokes, and my mind is reeling with what the inevitable nano version will be called…say it with us…the iPon, one assumes.

Edited to add: The New York Times tech blog got in on it with a comedy nod, although the comments belittle the ‘Bits’ section even further by insulting writer Claire Cain Miller, assuming all things menstrual are automatically perjorative, and ‘expecting more from the Times’ in equal measure. A few bright and sensible sparks shine through, though, so it’s worth a brief perusal. “Cringe” is the wrong word for it though, unless you’re not cringing about periods but Apple’s silliness. Who’d wanna keep the same company as the femcare industry – a bunch of multinationals who like to aggressively pursuade us that we NEED their product…oh, wait.

Thank you to our good friend James Parker for reminding me about Mad TV’s 2nd-place-award-winning zeitgeist-predictor.

And thank you to Apple, for this unintentional* period comedy moment. Menstruation is usually only discussed publicly with indifference or distaste, and pads are fair game. Keep the jokes coming!

-Chella

*Or is it…intentional? Have Apple’s marketing teams tapped into the period comedy vibe and just decided to go for it? Nah…

Happy Hall-oh wait that was yesterday…

If  you’ll allow me to riff on the A-Team saying of old, I love it when menstruation and zombies come together, and boy did they for me this weekend. I promised Leeds Uni radio’s Femme Fatale show listeners that I’d post more details of our Halloween Party, and I also had another radio-themed surprise this weekend when I tuned into the podcast for NPR’s comedy quiz show Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!

But first, I should explain that my retort to anyone who likes horror movies but cringes at menstruation is, “Why are zombies eating brains ok, but if they start menstruating, it’s gross?!  Blood and guts are blood and guts.”  So part of our show is the film trailer and pitch for my menstrual zombie comedy movie. You know,  “In a world where…etc. etc.”    Some of you have heard it already, and I’m happy to pitch it to anyone else who wants to know between now and our next gig. In any case, we are so annoyed that the title ’28 days Later’ is already taken…

So, that’s the backstory to my costume for our annual Halloween party that we host for our friends. We get really competitive with ourselves, and it’s kind of a mini comedy installation each year. This year’s theme was the International Undead Convention, and guests were invited to invent a cause or lobbying group that they would represent, as an undead individual.  Then I created parody logos for each of them.

Sarah co-hosted on behalf of the Vampire Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. (The GLAAD logo looks amazingly like blood when you give it a re-colour, and the ‘a’ and ‘d’ are particularly blood-droplet-reminiscent as well!) I love GLAAD, and I hope they don’t mind my parody. They get a ‘not menstrual but should be’  tag.

vlaad

I was a member of Menstrual Zombie Actors’ Equity (again – it should go without saying that I respect and support what Equity does). I had a huge red bloodstain printed onto the bottom of the back of a tshirt. I’m telling ya – one day I am gonna start my Stains TM fashion line (Ha! I have now actually done this: www.stainstm.com! -Chella). Red is the new black.

We put signs up around the house to make it look like each room was a different conference venue, and created parody logos for each of the guests as well…I’ll do a gallery later on.zombie equity

Meanwhile – over on US radio, we were delighted when we listened to the Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! podcast today and heard the intro by host Peter Sagal:

“In honor of Halloween we’re talking zombies with legendary movie director George Romero — how to recognize them, how to defend against them, and — since this is Public Radio — how to try to reason with them, and come to mutual understanding and respect.”

The whole show was great, as usual, but I really got a kick out of the festive theme, and I love zombies. For George Romero’s bit, he had to answer a question. The answer to the question will lead you to this link, so you may want to listen before you read on. (Is it appropriate to announce spoilers for a radio quiz show?)

Spoilers:

Romero gets the answer right (and the video itself is pretty good until it veers off into questionable territory after about minute six or so – further analysis from me will follow in Issue #5 of Adventures in Menstruating).  Other than a smattering of groans from the audience (a mild response for this crowd – they have shown much more disgust much more vocally for more appropriate targets in the past, so I’m not complaining), periods were part of the comedy.

Menses even made it back at the end of the show for some recall about an earlier panel topic –

Peter asked for a prediction: “In reference to the first inter-gender golf match, how will President Obama show that he is all about the ladies?”

Panelist Amy Dickinson immediately fired back: “In solidarity to the women on the staff, President Obama is going to adjust his own hormonal cycle so they will all menstruate at the same time.”

Again, good-natured fun, and women were not the butt of the jokes, which means that Wait Wait wins a Second Place Award.  I may need to create a new category for menstruating!Obama.

And, now that periods and the undead have shared radio air-time twice in one day on two continents, and even if I’m the only person who noticed or cared, I think menstrual zombie movies are officially on the table.

So, George…can I pencil you in for a storymeeting?

-Chella

Finally! Friends for Over Flo!

Yeastwoman!

Yeastwoman, as reported by The Onion.

So I read the Guardian a lot, as you may have noticed. But today, The Onion (My other reliable daily news source. For balance.) posted this and I really dig it. It gets a second place award for being in on the joke with tampon product testing and for going with  ‘speculum exoskeleton’ as a legitimate villain-experiment-disfigurement. Also, Yeastwoman uses her powers for good. I recommend writing her a sidekick about 30 comics or so into the series…

…oh, come on, you know Yeastwoman’s name needs ‘…and Thrush!’ after it to create a proper crime-fighting duo.  And it’s not like she’s not happy to make friends. According to the article in The Onion, Yeastwoman has already allied herself with Urinary Tract Infection Girl, so I may encourage our menstrual superhero, Over Flo, to get in touch.

Nice guys don’t always finish last.

2nd place

Sometimes they come in…second.

Hear me out – I’ve (possibly in my sleep, which means this is one of my genius-or-madness-and-probably-madness ideas) come up with an award for positive use of menstrual comedy in a fictional work.

I’m calling it the Adventures in Menstruating Second Place Award, and, yes, it’s because second place at most good county fairs, municipal soccer leagues, and junior athletics tournaments is usually a red ribbon. I drew the one above to (badly) illustrate my point, mainly because I couldn’t find a photo on the internets that I could leglly use, and because my own red ribbon that I got for long jump in sixth grade is in a box back at my parents’ house. I’m sure you could also read all sorts into ‘second place’, like the potential second class citizen status that menstruators are reduced to by the other kind of menstural humour. You know, the kind that presents women who bleed as bitchy, disgusting or insane? That doesn’t get a prize. (Well, not from me, anyway, although people who tell those jokes sometimes get their own comedy special. Go figure.)

Anyway, my award (which only exists in pixel form at the moment – sorry about that…) is for jokes that, refreshingly, do not make us the punchline. It shouldn’t be a novel concept, but there it is. I’ll add the ‘second place award’ category to my links and post more examples of this as I find them, and invite you all to send me suggestions. I’ll add them to the blog as I get them.

We’re kicking off with last week’s episode of a comedy detective show called Psych (which I’m pleased to say co-stars and is sometimes written by an old Tisch classmate of mine) where periods very briefly feature in a verbal gag based on a simple misunderstanding: PTSD vs. PMS. Props to the writers, who could easily have made reference to the charater’s alleged demonic possession (long – and quite funny – story) and linked it to a cheesy PMS joke, but didn’t. It’s a good show – US viewers can check it out themselves this week online, and everyone else can grab it on DVD sometime in the future.

Look out for more second place awards.