In the debut of her spin-off column, “At the Dinner Table,” Sarah Sanders explains why she seeks out the inappropriate and gruesome.
You know how many foods are shaped like dicks? The best kinds.”
Don’t get the wrong idea from this Superbad quote – I don’t want to discuss penises (well, maybe eventually). But what Seth was lamenting in the movie was the potential inappropriateness of phallic foods and how unfortunately palatable they were. It was painful and frustrating for him to stifle his love for these foods – and all because of their arbitrary shape.
I reference this character because I empathize: Some of the best things to talk about are taboo in most social situations. If I had a nickel for every time my parents cringed as I delved into another vulgar joke or tasteless anecdote at the dinner table, I’d have enough money to publish a book – all because of their arbitrary aversion.
There are just some things that have never been kosher to discuss. No one ever wants to talk about their grandparents’ sexual activity, how to get rid of an armpit fungus or child factory workers in China.
But the gruesome, gross and gritty is what I live for – in movies, in books, in stories and in jokes.
I appreciate these things mostly for their humor value, but sometimes it’s just worth it to watch someone sit stiff without blinking their eyes.
And I know I’m not alone. There’s plenty of you, I’m sure, who would agree with me. In fact, most of my stories and jokes aren’t original. I’ve heard them from people like you.
We understand you can’t ignore an issue because it makes you a little tense or your fists clench. It is this discomfort that makes the subjects so intriguing.
Thus, I want to use this newspaper space to help myself and others analyze what property all these provocative concepts have in common that makes them so delicate. Some of them invoke images we’d rather forget or other unpleasant sensations. Maybe they encourage too much self-examination, a re-evaluation of our perception of truth.
I’d like to take the time and consider why we get restless when someone brings up something like his personal favorite method of childbirth.
As we are banished from social circles, this column will also provide a safe space for these taboo topics to be extensively discussed. I want to give advice to those afraid to ask about weird smells and awkward situations. I want to give you the talk your parents never could. I want to show you how anxiety and agitation can be educational and insightful.
I’ll cover embarrassing habits like picking your nose, guilty trends like anal beer bongs (more on that to come), and the natural aspects of human nature that just seem so unnatural.
If I’m not sure how to handle something, I’ll go out and interview the public or contact the experts.
Although I think it mighty important (and highly entertaining) to talk about these things, I sympathize with those who can’t even stand chatting about belly buttons. While some people will be grateful (“Somebody had to say it!”), I’m sure that just as many – if not more – will be flabbergasted. So, I will remain sensitive to those with a different sense of humor.
To be frank (which you should expect to be a common theme), you have little to worry about regarding the content of this column. I simply enjoy being comical about the somewhat foul, fairly awkward and slightly unpleasant. You might call it a defense mechanism, but I’m defending the estranged and exiled.
Sarah Sanders can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.