Monday, July 11, 2016

Kevin's Pie: empty today

I don't know quite what this might mean, but my coworker came back from an errand inside our building, and he reported that Kevin's Pie was dark and empty—even the display case was bereft of pies. I went down there myself, later on, and saw what he meant: the place was closed when it should have been open. I did see one lone pie-like creature cowering in a corner of the display case, but that was it.

Does this herald the end of Kevin's Pie? You'll recall my doomsaying prophecy: the place would be closed within six months. My coworker, who never sampled anything from the shop and simply relied on intuition, declared the place would close even before the six-month mark. It's going to go down to the wire: as of today, according to my doomsday countdown timer, Kevin's Pie still has one month and twenty-six days of life left to it. Will it die at the appointed hour, or will it linger like an unpleasant asshole who, despite being terminally ill, stubbornly clings to life just to be able to continue to torment the rest of us?



TheBigHenry said...

Unpleasant asshole? Redundancy? Can there be a pleasant asshole?

Kevin Kim said...

Some assholes are downright amusing.

TheBigHenry said...

Indeed. But amusing is not synonymous with pleasant. I submit that all assholes are unpleasant, at least to anyone with a sense of smell. Well, OK, there may be some people who have a perverted affection for smelly assholes (I know, "smelly assholes" is also redundant :)

Kevin Kim said...

This is a weird, weird discussion we're having, but I'll go with it.

I'd say that "smelly asshole" is redundant only if non-smelly assholes are impossible. But here in Korea, people eat makchang, which is basically pig assholes (see here). Admittedly, makchang is smelly to me, assuming that the word "smelly" connotes something negative. But if a certain smell is pleasant to someone, is it still smelly, per se? Maybe; maybe not. My mother was Korean; she made her own kimchi, which is spicy fermented cabbage. Living in the States as she did, Mom understood that many Americans found kimchi disgustingly smelly; "Smells like a fart," she'd say, laughing. So Mom could simultaneously affirm that kimchi was smelly, and that that odor was, for Koreans, aromatic.

But ask a Korean in Korea about kimchi's odor, and s/he'll never use the negative adjective "smelly" to describe it. For the unreconstructed Korean, kimchi is aromatic. Certainly not fragrant like a flower, but definitely a pleasant smell that signals the comforts of home and hearth.

Older Koreans, perhaps hypocritically, are repulsed by strong, farty cheeses like Gorgonzola, whereas younger Koreans greedily devour Gorgonzola white pizza drizzled with honey (it works!).

At the very least, I think I've established that it's possible for pig assholes to be aromatic, not smelly, to some. If I've done my work correctly—and maybe I haven't—I think you're safe from redundancy when you use the phrase "smelly asshole" because some assholes aren't smelly to certain people.

And even if the locution were redundant, would that be a sin? Pleonasms abound in all languages. In French, the expressions "descendre en bas" and "reculer en arrière" are common and casually used, even though they mean, respectively, "descend down" and "reverse backward." In English, we say "I saw it with my own eyes" and "fall down." So no: I don't think pleonasms are a sin, which is why I'm OK with "unpleasant asshole." Strangely enough, when you Google "unpleasant asshole," you find that the phrase is often fused with "rude," to wit: "a rude, unpleasant asshole." Assholes are inherently rude, too, are they not? A double pleonasm!

TheBigHenry said...


I agree with you that this is a weird discussion we are having. But, for me at least, it is precisely the weirdness of it that makes it pleasant. You are the only person I know with whom I would ever contemplate having a discussion of this nature. It has really been fun for me. I truly hope there are no hard feelings, for that was not at all what I was intending.

Kevin Kim said...

No hard feelings at all!

Here's to adding a measure of weirdness to life.

TheBigHenry said...

A dollop of weirdness is a slice of life.