Monday, 24 August 2009

The elegance of teabag flinging

I've always liked the word elegant. It has a touch of class about it. We use it in a number of ways, as I'm sure you're aware. We use it to mean refined, tasteful, classy, and this can be regarding appearance, behaviour or style. Elegant handwriting for example, which I don't have, or elegant dark suits, which I don't wear.

We also use it to describe a pairing of beauty and simplicity, often relating to movement or execution. A mathematical solution can be elegant, or a dancer, or the parabolic path of a teabag flung across the kitchen, landing perfectly in a mug. I'll tell you what, if teabag flinging was an Olympic sport I would hold all the records. 100m, 200m, 1600m.

But what is the opposite of elegant? A clumsy camel? A complicated rat? A working-class gorilla?

Bang and crash, clang and clatter. The man stumbled onto the train with less stability than a newborn giraffe, struggling with a heavy laptop and clutching his coat. (The man that is, a newborn giraffe is unlikely to use a laptop, or wear a coat). Wonky tie, shirt engulfed in huge sweat patches, huffing and puffing, his heavy breathing could have blown my house down. He pulled an apple out of his pocket, took a large bite and proceeded to chew with his mouth wide open, spitting, crunching and splattering, glistening pieces were splaying out like tiny shooting stars. Elegance, and its opposite, are entirely experiential.

60 comments:

Mr London Street said...

The opposite of "elegant", rather elegantly, is "inelegant".

Vodka Mom said...

the opposite of elegant is schmellegant.


there. now you know.

jpooh said...

At first glance, I thought the name of this post was "The Elegance of Teabagging."

Yes, my mind is perpetually in the gutter...but it still sounds more elegant than the guy with the apple. Eww.

Eric said...

It's always fun to see those folks awkwardly carrying too many items in a manner reminescent of coming back from a yard sale. Elegant escapes some people.

sAm said...

You described the man so elegantly. Beautiful. I could almost see the apple pieces "splaying out like tiny shooting stars." Not that I wanted to, mind you - but very elegant, nonetheless.

erin said...

Elegant is good. Clever is my favorite word. I just love it.

Alan Burnett said...

I have always considered myself to be the opposite of elegant and therefore have never needed a word for it. If the truth be told I am probably a little proud of being inelegant.

mo.stoneskin said...

I think what I should have done was queried what an example of 'inelegant' would look like, as I am aware of the word, but never mind. And 'schmelligant', that should be a word.

Courtney said...

"The elegance of teabag flinging"

made me giggle

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I'm with Jan on what I thought the title said. I need another cup of coffee.

Crass clod.

Hannah Miet said...

Great post. I love the word elegant. Since I am clumsy, it has never been used to describe me, save for and ex boyfriend who called me "elegantly clumsy."
If the contadiction fits, I'll wear it.

Harmony said...

Like jpooh I thought the title was "The Elegance of Teabagging". I almost wet myself with hysterics at the thought of there being something an elegant in teabagging. What could it be I wondered? Yes, I allowed myself too much time to think about that.

I've never tried flinging a teabag before.

Trinity said...

I didn't think the post title was the elegance of teabaggin but when I read it, the first thing I thought of was teabagging. On a related note, if you ever need to make fake pitstains on a shirt, just take a most teabag and let it soak. It makes the correct pattern and color beautifully.

Sass said...

My mind went too many wrong directions and the exact same time.

Snorting my coffee out of my nose was inelegant. Or Schmellegant. Oh, what the hellegant.

C.B. Jones said...

Gary Busey.

Maria Roth said...

I'm never elegant, but at least I don't wear "wonky" ties. :)

ladytruth said...

I can tell you what the opposite of an elegant entrance is? Me wearing my new high heels trying to balance and look hideously sexy whilst climbing the steps that seem to lead all the way up to Mount Everest in an attempt to impress the owner of that mansion and then just ending up on step number three with a broken heel. I am such a klutz. Sigh.

Soda and Candy said...

Brilliant... every post should reference newborn giraffes.

: )

Stacie's Madness said...

I'm with jpooh...I thought I was going read about some teabaggin...in fact I wondered how ELEGANCE had ANYTHING to do with teabaggin...

otherworldlyone said...

Yeah, I thought it was about teabagging too.

Guess that makes me... schmellegant?

Nice Vodka Mom. =)

Captain Dumbass said...

Flinging before they've been used? I'm impressed. That would take some finesse. Could we possibly get some video of this?

rubbish said...

Simply Elegant
The aroma of honeysuckle drifting
through the damp filled morning mist.
Hummingbirds sipping the nectar of
freshly bloomed flowers
Cat sunning lazily on the front porch
Corn growing in the garden, waiting to be roasted
The smell of just mown grass
Coffee brewing across the way
Warmth of sunshine on my face
as the day comes alive.
Take pleasure in the simple things God gives you
and He will fill your life with elegance.
©Marjorie Uldine Coogle

Of course mine reads like this:

Simply elegant

The ball sails 300 yards down the centre of the fairway leaving a perfect 130 yard wedge to the immaculately cut green.
Barry John ghosts past three defenders, his hips moving one way, his legs another, an outstretched hand grasps thin air as he touches down under the posts.
The barmaid lovingly pours a pint of Guinness, £2.25 for perfection in a glass with just a hint of cleavage thrown in for good measure.
Then home to the Wife who forgets that you're married and gives you a blowjob just like when you were courting.
You can but dream that God will fill your life with elegance but we all know it wont fucking happen.

Catch you next week Mo.

miss. chief said...

i also thought this was going to be a post about teabagging. elegantly. somehow.

Comedy Goddess said...

urban dictionary has a very different explanation for teabagging.

As for schmellegant, why is spell checker appearing? That must be a word.

And Gary Busey is totally schmellegant.

Andrea's Sweet Life said...

Too bad there aren't separate train cars for the opposite-of-elegants.

Call Me Cate said...

I thought the opposite of elegant was elephant. In fact, I'm pretty certain of it.

bernthis said...

jpooh and I are clearly spending time in the gutter together as my thoughts were where his were

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Elegance is overrated. Uncouth is where it's at. And no I'm not bitter. Nor am I elegant. Ever. I'm not sure I'd recognize elegant if it bit me on my arse.

Not The Rockefellers said...

Ay yo jpooh!

I like when elegant is used in combination with something less than...

Elegantly fecal artwork
Elegantly regurgitated drivel

It just kicks up the class a notch :)

Peace - Rene

Madame DeFarge said...

At least he was eating an apple. A concession of healthiness amidst the cloud of awkwardness in which he was engulfed.

LiLu said...

@jpooh- you are SO not alone. Our mothers would be ashamed...

ellen abbott said...

Obviously this is one of those 'english' things but I confess my ignorance, what the hell is teabagging?

The opposite of 'elegant'? Around here it would have to be 'redneck'.

A Mom on Spin said...

Are you going to have to get rid of anyother seatmate on the train???

Have you ever thought that maybe it's you????

Matthew said...

Seeing as I already knew about teabagging, I chose to misread your title as 'The elegance of dogging'. Thanks for the enlightenment.

Nej said...

In my mind, the man also needed a shower, and suffered a heart attack...thus delaying your train.

My Monday mind frightens me sometimes. :-)

Is he a regular??

blueviolet said...

I'm wondering if your response to this apple spewing atrocity was elegant or inelegant.

BeautifulWreck said...

The title of this post is priceless.

Jeanne said...

So often, when you see someone struggling, you see behavior that makes you even LESS sympathetic. Stop blowing apple-chunks on your fellow passengers, dude!

Twenty Four At Heart said...

Sounds like one of the people I was seated near on a plane recently!

g said...

Elegance is your writing, which really gave me a vivid picture of this odd fellow.

Teabag flinging? is it like basketball? into what receptacle?

Tennyson ee Hemingway said...

Are there no manners anymore? What is the world coming to?

blognut said...

I hate to admit it, but I fit right in around here because I totally read, "The Elegance of Teabagging."

The mind is a very funny place.

Ananda girl said...

My great grand mother would have called him a "sluggard" or "dullard". I'm not even sure "sluggard" a real word. She also said things like "piffle and pshaw!"

diane said...

Hahahaha, look at how many of us have dirty minds, teabagging! :)

cactus petunia said...

I had to look up the term "teabagging", as it was the second time today I'd seen it used...Now I'm blushing.

And the dude on the train? Over here, we refer to his sort as slobs.

Definitely schmellegant.

Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

The opposite of elegant is me, right now, after waking up, in my sweatpants, with bed head and the inability to keep my eyes open because I haven't had any coffee.

I ain't ashamed to admit it ;)

Slyde said...

ive always thought "elegant" was aces, too.

and i may end up following suit on this "monday only" thing... i cant keep up!

JennyMac said...

Opposite of elegant...declasse.

Which is what I am because at first read I thought your post was about teabagging.

SORRY.

And I totally relate to your comment about awards on Sunday. It does impact your regular writing schedule...which is a challenge.

Hope you are well.

otherworldlyone said...

Left you an award of sorts.

And Rubbish strikes again in your comment section!

The Demigoddess said...

I had a completely different concept of Teabagging....Me and my dirty mind.

Amy said...

Why would you fling a tea bag? I know why one would flip a pancake or toss a pizza crust, but why on earth would one fling a tea bag?

I want video of this.

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

I'm confused.

You find teabagging elegant?

I, personally, have never seen the attractive qualities.

Girl Interrupted said...

Am I the only one beginning to sense a general feeling of disappointment over the whole teabag/teabagging misnomer?

Who knew teabagging was on so many people's minds!

An elegantly written piece as always Mo ... I am now in the process of writing to the Olympic Committee suggesting Teabag Flinging be included as a new Olympic sport ... it would be so fitting considering the games are to be held in London! If they agree, I expect to see you on that stadium as the British national anthem plays.

Sassy Britches said...

Wow, Mo. It says a lot about you that most of your readers were hoping for teabagging. And elegant is not the word I would use. :)

The Jules said...

I love elegants.

Especially their trunks.

Diane said...

I sat next to that guy the last time I was on the train in London. I'm still picking apple out of my hair.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

You are quite correct in that newborn giraffes are unlikely to use a laptop or wear a coat - though we do both when we are older. (I'm currently wearing my favourite pinstriped suit).

the mama bird diaries said...

I'm so glad that teabag flinging is not the same as teabagging.

Mr. Condescending said...

Hey Mo its about time for you to post, I've got a hot cup of water here, think you could fling some earl grey my way while I stay up awaiting?

Tooj said...

People who choose to eat apples outside of their home, in public, drive me batty.

As I have quite a few new readers since I became a "Jelly Biter" I've put this up here again. To understand the context you must read this post!