Arguing with Asterisks / by Courtney Mehlhaff

I recently read an article online about the number one thing that men should never say to women during an argument. The answer came as no surprise: "Calm down." I can think of few things more infuriating in an already tense situation. So that's not the interesting part.

When I scrolled down to read the comments on the article (manifested as ranting in varying degrees of coherence as always), I saw numerous other suggestions for taboo phrases. And then I came across this comment: "Don't ever tell a man he has a tiny ***er. That can stay with them for the rest of their nature lives."

What caught my eye wasn't the typo in the second sentence, though I enjoyed it. The interesting part was the number of asterisks in the self-censored word.

Because I spend my days paying attention to details like these, I was soon stymied. It couldn't be wiener or pecker. Too many letters. Maybe it wasn't dirty after all. Hmmm. What do men have that they don't want in a small size? Diner? Anger? Nope. Too abstract. Buyer? Biker? No, size wouldn't matter. Boxer? Maybe, if it's referring to underwear.

And then it hit me. I had been overlooking one of the most out-of-date, hilarious examples of sexual innuendo (and in one case the oddly acceptable name of a teenaged boy's best friend on an 80s sitcom). Boner. Of course!

Now I can ***ep tonight.