Thursday, June 4, 2009

Smelly Sexy

Bizarro is brought to you today by King Tut.

This cartoon is simple wordplay, yes, but it makes me smile. It was dreamed up by my cartoonist, stand-up comic, long-time friend, Mike Capozzola.

What struck me as odd when I was drawing this cartoon is the way "pharaoh" is spelled, which I had never really noticed before I had to letter it by hand. How did the second "a" get thrown in there ahead of the "o?" I'm a fan of etymology (and also entomology, but that's a topic for a different post) but I don't know why this strange spelling exists. Usually, a foreign word that comes from a language with a different alphabet, like a Chinese word, for instance, is likely to be spelled phonetically in English. But that would mean that the word was originally pronounced "fay-ray-oh." Maybe that's the case, I don't know, or maybe it didn't come from the original Egyptian word. I could look it up, but it would cut into my leisure time.

Apparently, chemical compatibility is a huge indicator for sexual attraction. In other words, whether you're aware of it or not, you like the way your lover smells. I have experienced this myself on a few occasions (in my bachelor days) when a woman I was attracted to became instantly less attractive when I kissed her. It wasn't that she wasn't a good kisser, but something about the visceral experience of being that close was unappealing.

I knew a redneck guy from Oklahoma years ago who believed so ardently in the idea that women react sexually to a man's pheromones, that he would not bath regularly, confident that his B.O. would help him score. No, I'm not kidding. He even recommended this technique to his teenage sons.

But who am I to judge? Perhaps in his remote corner of Oklahoma, it worked.

For those of you keeping scorecards at home, I'm feeling much better today. The soupy, black miasma of depression left me midway through last evening and I'm normal again. Then I had a very good session with my therapist this morning which helped me to get a better grip on my issues and their effect on my will to live. I'm also extremely appreciative of all the comments readers have left on this blog, and supportive emails I've gotten since yesterday. This blog is sometimes as good a therapy as my visits to my shrink, and considerably cheaper.

You've made me feel like a pretty girl at the prom, and I thank you.

15 comments:

Yet Another Steve said...

How grand that you're feeling better! When you're happy, we're happy. When you're sad, we take to drink. And when you go Egyptian, we go right after you.

The Glumph said...

Hey Dan

Nice format for you to incorporate your Bizarro-glyphics.

Probably better that you went with this idea than the one about "hormones"! (I am having scary visions of an oversized chicken working a street corner)

Glad you are feeling better.

Anonymous said...

Well, interesting that you raised this topic, Mr. Piraro:

"whether you're aware of it or not, you like the way your lover smells"
or could it be that that person is your lover because you like the way they smell...

Another Blow to Free Will. Guess we're all controlled by Chemicals then. Knew I should've opted for the Biochem Degree.

ur Fan,
Dee Sh

Luis said...

"Usually, a foreign word that comes from a language with a different alphabet, like a Chinese word, for instance, is likely to be spelled phonetically in English."

Actually, there are any number of routes a word can travel before it rests in our vocabulary. For example, the name "Japan" (where I am now) comes from the word "Nihon," after being filtered through Chinese and then through European tongues. We might be spelling it not by our rules, but by one or more other languages' rules for adopting foreign vocabulary.

Another word that came from interesting origins: "Karaoke." We pronounce it "carry-okee," and don't realize that the word is a hybrid of Japanese ("kara" meaning "empty") and English ("oke" from the Japanese pronunciation of the beginning of the word "orchestra"). Despite the ending coming from an English word, bringing it directly from Japanese, we mispronounced it much further from the original than the Japanese did. Also, we tend to pronounce that word not in accord with it's spelling, otherwise we'd spell it "kareoke" or something like that.

Sometimes a spelling-speaking mismatch can come from such casual mangling, or it could come from spelling and pronunciation standards from the language of origin and/or Latin-oriented standards regarding the non-native rendering of that language.

Or, there was a typo and everyone just went along with it.

Jodie said...

I'm glad you're feeling better. My monthly chat with my therapist is coming up on Saturday. I could have used it a few weeks ago more when I also was feeling low. Being bipolar for me is mostly on the low end when my teetor toter gets out of whack.

chris said...

The 'pharaomones' pun is good. I like. As a token of my appreciation, here's a link to explain the etymology of pharaoh.

Cooder's Cranium said...

So ever get curious enough to look up pharaoh?

PIRARO said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PIRARO said...

@ Luis...
Thanks for the info, I love word origin stuff.

@ Chris...
Thanks for the link!

P.S. said...

Glad to hear you're feeling better. Loving the site. Used to read Bizarro regularly in the paper (about the only thing worth reading) - now I can save trees and simply view it online - with the added bonus of your hilarious commentary and visual asides.

Anonymous said...

Fah-Rah-Oh.

Andrew Wales said...

The background hieroglyphics gave you lots of opportunities to hide your secret symbols! I haven't checked your blog in forever, so I'm glad for the spam you sent my email to remind me! You are the best at fitting a laugh into one square.

Sindisiwe said...

Glad you're feeling better, Dan! I really like this cartoon!

Jezzka said...

i read somewhere that for women, they use their sense of smell to find a good mate, but men rely on taste.

you hear that ladies??! slather yourselves in honey and potato chips!

and fellas, bathe regularly please and stinky colognes are for gigolos, so keep it natural if you want a nice lady.

this has been a public service announcement on pheromones, sponsored by certs breath mints, fuji film, and old spice. thank you. come again.

GAlcidesS said...

Ha ha, nice word mixing.