OK, this is an Ask Assmunch open line. Today and today only you can ask the great one anything that's on your feeble, and he'll honor you with an immediate, comprehensive reply.

So who's first? Don't be shy now …

All right, hey to Assmunch, can you tell me what's the meaning of the term ‘camel-footing,' in reference to women's apparel?

Yes, “camel-footing” refers to garments worn around or over the lower torso so tightly that they reveal certain anatomical contours that are usually (and best) left to the imagination. The part in question — one of Monty Python's “naughty bits” — is said to bear a resemblance in outline to the dromedary's cloven foot. It was not camel-footing per se, but merely the thought of it, that drove knights departing on Holy Land crusades to invent the torture device called the chastity belt. Morons. Who's next?

Yo, Assmunch, my Western Civ teacher was going on the other day about the Diet of Worms. What's the deal with this? Can you really lose weight with it, or should I stick with the Phen-Fen?

God help us. Or God help your Western Civ teacher — and Western Civ, if you are representative of what its evolution had in mind. No, seriously, Einstein, an earthworm diet is high in protein and low in fat, and about the only downside to it is wormy breath, which can be a problem when you have matters like camel-footing on your mind, which I'm guessing you often do. It can be a problem in another way, too. Creation science has recently proved that the universal ether teems with giant invisible fish that are supersensitive to the smell of wormy breath. If you're so afflicted, one of these creatures is liable to zip earthward and snap you up faster than a goggle-eye does a popping bug. The book of Jonah is supposedly an allegory about this old cosmic peril.

What do you hear from the experts about what's wrong with the national economy? And what's your take on it?

Here's the sum total of what I hear from the poobahs of high finance: gibberish, humbug, claptrap, crapola, nonsense, baloney, blather, balderdash, obfuscation, hokum, bull, hooey, malarkey, doubletalk, more doubletalk, jabber, bilge, bushwa, hogwash, twaddle, piffle, gobbledygook, folderol, and a whole lot of what Dizzy Dean used to call woofing.

Do I know what to make of any of it? No. Do I think they know themselves what to make of any of it? No. Am I getting sick and tired of this rhetorical style in which you avoid an issue by asking yourself unrelated idiot questions and then pretend to answer them? Si, senor. Sicken tard.

My only guess about what's ailing the economy is that something got hung down there in its goozle — possibly a peach pit — and has broken off a few of the teeth on a couple of the essential gears. And either it'll recuperate one more time by sheer luck and the grace of God, or it won't. If it doesn't, the terrorists, the illegals, and the Antichrist can have their turn monkeying with it, while the rest of us head for Marie Laveau's. All that's certain in my opinion is that Blackwater, Halliburton, and about two dozen bald-headed CEOs will clean up on the deal.

So, Munch Man, a few columns back you were going to tell us about your spring planting. What happened with that?

Oh, I got distracted, sitting around the house here, waiting for the floodwaters to subside, resenting a place called Hope. Ay doggies why should one town get to supply all of our presidential candidates and grow all our famous watermelons weighing a ton or more? Why not share the publicity bonanza with publicity-starved towns like Brinkley and Cabot and Siloam Springs?

I've heard that you're not allowed to call one of those Hope watermelon giants a “big old good one” or a “good old big one” either one. There's a trademark name you have to use or a lawyer will come knocking on your door. I resent that, too. And you know what happens when you thump one of the big rascals, trying to see if it's ripe? It's like thumping a gymnasium. It can set up a shock wave that can make the thing blow, flinging chunks as big as side buildings halfway to Ogemaw. That's why Homeland Security, in a smart move, has classifed them as WMDs.

Hope is also where FEMA stashed so many of those doublewide trailers that if you lined them end to end they'd reach to Chicago, Ill., and I don't see the fairness of that, either. Why not give half of them to Benton? They can rust down to uselessness there as easily as at Hope, and where Hope doesn't give a flip about them, they would add luster to the Nut City's growing reputation as the Roadside Vehicle Capital, New and Used, of the United States.

In brief, then, I'll either be planting watermelons big as cumuli here in the next week or so, or announcing for president on the next cycle if I can't talk my neighbor or my other neighbor or my barber or our local lightning-rod salesman into running.



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