My penis burns with a flaming itch.

Can’t speak for ordinary humans, since I have no experience with "ordinary," but often I talk to myself when I’m alone.

Usually it’s not an extended conversation, with me playing both roles. It won’t even be a rational rumination, like, “I think I’ll make myself some lunch,” or "Do I need a new stocking cap for the winter?" Thoughts like that stay quiet in my head.

When I talk to myself out loud, it's almost always a rerun, one of half a dozen goofy sayings I say to myself more or less constantly. The rotation includes...

“Here’s what we’re going to do.” Which sounds like I’m about to explain something semi-complicated, but nope. And whatever we're going to do, we never do it.

“What the holy hell?” Oh, my — have I seen something astounding? Nope. I might say that line while absent-headedly staring at the stucco pattern in the ceiling. It means nothing. Saying the words and hearing the words is mysteriously reassuring, that’s all.

“I hate these mashed potatoes. There's a dead fly in my mashed potatoes.” I haven’t eaten mashed potatoes in years, nor a dead fly ever, but I say this line ten or twenty times a month. It’s a quote from the movie Close Encounters.

“My penis is a living thing.” I couldn’t tell you where that line comes from, but I've been saying it since I was so young my penis didn’t do anything but pee. Of course, it is part of a living thing (me), but my penis is not an independent entity (to my knowledge) so the statement is somewhat misleading. 

“My penis burns with a flaming itch.” That’s a symptom of syphilis, but I am proudly syphilis-free and always have been, so it’s just another nonsensical thing I say to myself.

If I was a sit-com, you could call these my catchphrases, like “Dyn-o-mite!” on Good Times, or “That’s what she said” on The Office. Those lines were funny, though. Mine are just stupid, or weird.

I never say such things when I’m out in public, and also never when I'm freshly alone, like after a day at work, or after going to the store or to the diner. The catchphrases emerge only during a day of solitude, when I’ve been alone for a long time. That's when I’ll hear myself talk about potatoes, or whatever it is we're going to do.

Maybe I say it just to remind me that I’m here. My voice pierces the silence, so I'm not a tree fallen in the forest. Perhaps there's a more complex psychological motivation.

Yes, two of my catchphrases are penis-centric, and I’m proud of you for noticing. If you suspect something Freudian, I’ll reply that Freud was wrong about a lot of things. No penis apologies from me. Guys love their dicks, and I’m a guy. I even have a song about my penis, and sing it when I'm in good spirits.

As with a lot of the stupider stuff on this site, all the above wasn’t worth writing or reading, but it’s an invitation. I am curious whether “ordinary people” — an elusive and perhaps fictional concept — have stupid lines like mine, that they say to themselves for no discernible reason.

♦ ♦ ♦

Now I'll title this post something dumb, on purpose, and look for a repulsive illustration to accompany it. Why? Because I glanced at the stats, and saw that the site's readership has ticked upward a bit. I never want to be popular, so what could help push the numbers back down again?



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  1. >“My penis burns with a flaming itch.”

    I can attest to the fact that you do indeed just fucking say this with no provocation. When I stayed in your spare bedroom, I'd be there on Reddit or playing a game, and hear that out of nowhere.

    1. It's too late to be embarrassed, but I *thought* I'd muted myself a bit while you were here. Guess not.

  2. >I even have a song about my penis, and sing it when I'm in good spirits.

    I won't repeat it here, in case you want to write about it at some future point, but I know the first two lines, probably the next two, and either the next four as well, OR I made those last four lines up.

    1. Spoilers!

      Let's just agree that it's delightful, without singing it again.

  3. I also don't know very much about "ordinary" but I talk to myself with silly made-up cliches a lot like yours. My talking to myself is not "penis-centric" because I dont have one.

    1. I'm an old man: so old I suffer from penis envy myself, although mine still sort of works -- if you count an occasional twitch and I can assure you, I do.


    2. Other things are malfunctioning on me, but Little Doug is still about as functional as when he was 30.

      Happy twitching, my friend.

    3. Ha ha, no I do not envy it.

  4. Talking to myself out loud is a newish thing in my life -- the last five years or so, ever since the big one where they rerouted my vascular system around the "ground under repair" sign in my heart. One fairly frequent side effect of a heart attack and vascular reconstruction is occasional to frequent memory malfunction. I can still recite Poe's "El Dorado", but I can't remember whether I took my pills this morning, or, if I were to be honest (perish the thought) whether I actually got up this morning. One thing that seems to help is to say everything I'm thinking out loud. It actually helps me remember what happened -- "Here comes the blue pill, here comes the red pill, here comes the teensy pill" -- and has the additional benefit of driving my SO a little crazy.

    And I mean I FREQUENTLY talk to myself (and I never did before). "Take the damn cane out of the grocery cart or you'll lose it AGAIN". "I'm feeding one of the cats and I won't remember which one so I better feed all of them." "Keys, keys; you have to remember keys if you want to go somewhere in the car." "Gaily bedight, a gallant knight, in sunshine and in shadow . . . ".

    So it goes . . .


    1. Sure hope I'm allowed to chuckle.

      Since I spend most of my life looking at screens, I've rigged pop-up reminders for morning pill time, evening pill time, take a walk, call Mom, go shopping, and take a shower. For some of these, I've set additional pop-up reminders half an hour later, in case I miss or ignore the first pop-up reminder. And still, once or twice a week or so I'll see that I've forgotten to take my pills.

      I don't need any reminders for the cat, though. If I forget to feed her she'll remind me. And if I forget to clean her litter box, well, it's ten feet from this recliner, so I don't forget for long.

    2. Chuckling is encouraged. It's all part of the universal joke.


  5. I have always talked to myself out loud. It might be because I'm an only child and I had to talk to someone, so I qualified. I often even call my own name in my conversation, "So, Linden, WTF do we have here?" "Well, I don't know, let's take a look."

    Catchphrases often get adopted by my long-suffering girlfriend. We both use "Damn it all to hell" quite often, even when things aren't problematic. We just like saying it. Anytime I have to get up early for something I will say, "Ugh, I hate my life." I've been saying that since high school. I hate getting up to an alarm clock. And mostly do not.

    There's a Replacements song called 'Takin' A Ride" that turns into "Learning to Drive" whenever someone cuts me off or does something really amateurish on the road when I'm driving.

    No songs about my dick, but I have been known to sing songs to my cat which include the big hit, "I've been having sexual feelings -- towards my cat-at." I don't really but I like to make the moves on him when he wants me to leave him alone.

    1. It's always a relief when someone's stranger than me, and I've never sung love ballads at a cat.

      Being an only child would be so different. Nobody at home to taunt you, or beat you up. You'd have to leave home for that. I got it, home and away.

      Me and the Mrs had so many shared catchphrases, it might've sounded like we were speaking a different language.


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