In Which I Debunk the Vodka-Soaked Tampon Myth

I read about this over at Radley Balko‘s this morning and this afternoon, Rachel sent me a link to this over-dramatic bit of reporting–about kids who supposedly insert vodka-soaked tampons in their vaginas or rectums for, um, I don’t know. Some reason. I rummaged around under my bathroom sink and came up with two slightly different types of tampons–a regular old Tampax Super and a Tampax Pearl, also Super. These are high absorbancy and feature the two most common types of tampon applicators, cardboard and plastic.

Here they are with the cheap whiskey I used instead of our good vodka.

And here they are out of their packaging but in their applicators.

The trick to putting anything in your vagina or rectum when you are not aroused is that it must be small enough to slide in and stiff enough to get past any resistance, so the first part of my experiment assumes that kids would be using the applicators. So into the whiskey the tampons go, applicators and all.

And we encounter the first problem. The alcohol in the whiskey causes the glue in the cardboard to give way. So, that’s not going inside anyone that way. This happened after the tampon was in the whiskey for just a couple of minutes. I feel certain that, if I’d left it in there for a while, the cardboard applicator would have come apart completely. Tampon users, if you’ve had the unfortunate experience of dropping one of these bad boys in the toilet when trying to insert it, I don’t have to tell you, the cardboard applicator became useless when wet. It was all bendy and would not eject the tampon. I had to pull it out of the applicator with my hand.

And here it is, looking sad and the end is already looking not insertion friendly. I put it on a dark background so that you could get a good look at how the top end is already unfolding.

So, maybe better luck with the plastic applicator? Actually, no. The wet tampon swelled up and kind of sagged inside the applicator and so when I pushed the bottom part, rather than completely ejecting, it just sat there, only half out of the top part, unable to get past the prongs. I had to yank on this to get it out of the applicator as well.

Here it is, looking very sad. The end is rounder, but it was starting to unfurl, the longer it sat there and it also bent when it met any resistance.

I put them both back in the whiskey to simulate what would happen if you used an applicator-less tampon or removed either of these from their applicator before soaking them in spirits.

They did absorb quite a bit of whiskey. However they also did what tampons do when wet–got soggy and limp.

For even more proof those aren’t going in any orifice in a fun way, I took a picture of the ends of the tampons.

Yep, simply not likely to happen. But, in the interest of science, I then ran one of the tampons against the mucous membrane on the inside of my mouth. It was both very cold and burned, which, I imagine, would be a most unpleasant feeling as whoever was aiding you in the administration of vodka-soaked tampons shoved the limp, soggy, shape-changing, burning, and yet very cold thing inside you, or attempted to. I’m honestly not sure the incredibly cold feeling might not cause some uncontrollable clenching which would then make the insertion or removal of the tampon something of a nightmare.

If that’s your thing, great. More power to you. But the idea that kids are, in great number, just popping vodka-soaked tampons up inside themselves and going off to party with none the wiser that they’d been imbibing? Not happening. That’s just not how tampons work.

Travelling Riverside Blues

I am all in favor of covers. Contemporary artists, I’m ready for one of you to make a genuinely scary “Shout at the Devil” or to show us that there’s a sultry soul side to “Breakin’ the Law” that can be coaxed out with enough talent.

The Redheaded Kid does not like Led Zeppelin, which I think is an indication that the Redheaded Kid has no taste. And yet, I tend to agree with him on the awesomeness of Alice in Chains, so I’m not sure what his deal is.

When Led Zeppelin comes up, I always think of “Travelling Riverside Blues,” which is absolutely my favorite Led Zeppelin song and I think showcases so much of what I enjoy about them as a band. Yes, of course, I enjoy them reworking an old Robert Johnson tune.

But man, I really love this arrangement. Just take the first, oh, for seconds. If you ever, ever wondered what “he could play the guitar just like ringing a bell” and you are somehow immune to Chuck Berry, lord almighty, you can hear it here. Now, there’s absolutely no shame in listening to any Led Zeppelin song once through just so that you can have a private shudder over the deliciousness of Robert Plant’s voice. Why do you think Canada has never invaded England and overthrown them? Because every time anyone even gets an inkling of a notion to do so, England just turns on some Led Zeppelin and all Canadians have to excuse themselves for a few minutes so that they can go masturbate privately. During that time, England slashes their tires. It’s totally true. You can look it up on the internet and read all about it, at this very site (Like how it pays to read multiple posts here? I totally Ron-Ramsey-ed you just now.).

Robert Plant should put out a sexy lullabies for grown-ups album.

But where were we?

Right, so the guitar comes in here at the very beginning almost sounding literally like a ringing bell. And really, the most interesting part of this song, to me, is that there’s that high tinny guitar sound that’s going to carry through the whole time and then there’s a lower, richer guitar sound that seems to be on the same team as the bass. So, instead of the string section of the band being divided into “guitar” and “bass,” it’s divided into “high tinny part” and “walking notes.” You can really hear how it works right about the fourteen second mark. There’s the high tinny part being all “dooo dooodle oo do do d’do doo doodle ooo.” And then the “walking” part, voiced by the guitar goes down the scale-one, tw0, three, four, five, six. And then the bass joins in and echoes the high tinny “doo doodle oo” and walks down the scale.

And then, for like the whole verse, the musical melody is handled by the bass. The guitar is just adding tinny accent notes. And then the bass and guitar parts twine back around each other. I think you can hear the heavy, heavy influence of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Killing Floor” in there (which they also liberally, um, borrowed from for “The Lemon Song” lyrically and sonically, which you also should spend a lot of time listening to and enjoying the bass, but fair warning, there will come a moment when your knees will shake and your face will flush unbidden when Plant and Page… um… well… you’ll see).

The past is all people ripping each other off. And some of it is not cool, to put it mildly. Led Zeppelin is all love and theft (to steal a phrase). But I feel like, if you love the things they stole, too, it makes it okay to love them. Ha, at least, that’s the deal I’ve made with myself.

To that end, I invite you to go listen to Johnson’s original, which sounds a whole lot different. You’ve got to be a good minute and eighteen seconds into the song before you’ll even hear a lyric you recognize. But check out Johnson’s guitar work. There’s that tinny high part and, even in the low-quality YouTube version, you can hear a lower some hints of that bass part doing some really interesting things. Listen especially when Johnson starts talking about his Brown Point rider. And just wait for him to start talking about his lemon. It’ll make it seem like this song and “Killing Floor” fathered half of Led Zeppelin’s oeuvre.

It’s Not an Orgy, It’s an Episode of The Conservative Soap Opera

Previous seasons of The Conservative Soap Opera have included storylines “Fucking Roger Abramson, How Does He Work?” (Sadly, we couldn’t talk to no scientists, because they motherfuckers lying and getting us pissed.) and “The Gal Who Helped Me Fuck My Wife Over Seems to Have Helped Her Boyfriend Fuck Me Over. How Could This Have Possibly Happened? Oh, Right, Because I’m a Creepster.” (This storyline, obviously, is ongoing.)

And now, it’s obvious that Occupy Nashville is another storyline in The Conservative Soap Opera. You have to groups of rich folks–one group is really, really rich and they all talk like Nebraskans and are loosely affiliated with the oil industry and then there’s their arch enemies, the less rich, but still very rich “populists” mostly from East Tennessee who didn’t go to fancy-pants colleges and who love the coal industry. Not that the oil industry or the coal industry have any particular thing to do with this storyline. Yet. Who knows? Maybe the rich populists will start driving coal-fired steam-engine cars between their homes and Nashville in order to stick it to the “Elites” and the EPA. Oh, man. That would be marvelous. Please, let there be coal-fired steam-engine cars at the end of this.

Anyway, I was wondering why Ramsey didn’t come out in support of the protesters in order to stick it to Haslam. But I should have guessed that he’d be waiting for this moment, when the governor decided to drop all charges against the protesters and the media. Now that Haslam seems to have gone soft on the liberals, here’s Ramsey with his “I think they ought to be removed. I do. I’ll bet you that if I took a Boy Scout troop up there and camped out over the weekend, they wouldn’t allow them to do it. That’s just my opinion. I think they’ve gone way too far.”

Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha. Really, Fake Governor? Now you’re speaking out?! No, no, it gets better. He also says

“The allegations that have been there that have gone on, with sexual misconduct, things of that nature, there is a limit to this, and I do think this is a public place, and everybody has their First Amendment rights, but I think they’ve overstepped their bounds, I do,” Ramsey said of the protesters.

And there it is. The “sexual misconduct” that Ramsey’s buddy Mumpower heard from a legislative assistant who, for some reason, didn’t report it to her legislator.

So, yes, it’s a two-pronged approach. Both gangs of conservatives are happy to pick on liberals, until they get their asses handed to them by the courts (and notice that Ramsey says nothing about the fact that Haslam’s hand has been forced by the courts. In Ramsey’s world, I guess the Governor can just defy whatever court orders suit him and toss journalists in jail with impunity.) but the rich populists are more than happy to try to make it seem like Haslam is just standing by while people are writhing around naked on the War Memorial Plaza like something out of Sodom and Gomorrah before God got pissed.

Never mind that there’s not one single picture of this “orgy,” not one single witness who has come forward without his or her words being filtered through the rich populist camp. In other words, so far all we have is the rich populist camp saying “I heard someone saw an orgy,” waiting a few minutes and then saying, “Oh my god, even more people are saying someone saw an orgy.” Um, yes, you are those more people. And you are the first witnesses. Conveniently.

See, pictures would discredit Occupy Nashville.

Rumors and innuendo discredit Haslam. So, that’s why the rich populists are going with rumors and innuendo in the absence of pictures.

It’s not about Occupy Nashville, it’s about the soap opera.