Monday, July 19, 2010

And I Didn't Even Know I Had One

Everything--"Hootch" (mp3)

Don't even ask me how my whole family ended up in the den on a weeknight watching episodes of Tosh.0. Blame it on our modern tendency to flip channels randomly and end up collectively entranced in a stupid show that can waste the better part of the evening. Of course, we were watching it "on demand," so someone in our ranks, I'm guessing one of my children, actually sought out the show. In fact, many episodes of it.

If you don't know, Tosh.0 is spin-off of The Soup, itself kind of a bastard nephew of America's Funniest Home Videos, with the raunch kicked up. All are part of a disturbing brand of comedy I call "Let's Make Fun Of People Who Are Already Making Fun Of Themselves." Geez, you can't even be self-deprecating anymore. Someone will be waiting to jump on that pile on of your own making.

The Soup is raunchier than America's Funniest, Tosh.0 beats them both, partly because the host gets off on either being gay or pretending to be and so inserts himself more and more into compromising aspects of the actual situations. His, and the show's, raw materials are YouTube videos that demand scrutiny and deprecation and sometimes replay ad nauseum.

Case in point: We're watching this kid, a skateboarder, coming flying off a set of public steps, like in front of a library or something, down onto the concrete below, and when he lands, the skateboard shatters. Now, if you think about the physics for a moment, when that thing splits all the weight of his body on the wheels is going to send the wood in the middle up into his center.

You can see in the background all of the other skaters sitting on the steps, watching him impassively, even as he's running around and screaming in pain. No one reacts. He's screaming. He heads over to some bushes where, eventually, some of the other skaters join him and he apparently pulls his jeans down to inspect the damage, and one of the other guys yells, "His gooch is bleeding!"

I'm like, huh? What's a gooch?

That's where my education begins. I didn't even know I had a gooch. Have lived 53 years in complete ignorance of the fact. Though clinical testing has confirmed that there is indeed one there.

I had to scroll down to definition #7 in the Urban Dictionary in order to find a definition suitable for a family audience: "the area between the male genitals and the anus."

But I also like this little poem from definition #6

This body part
Keeps things apart
Sep'rating balls
From where shit calls.

But back when my friends and I were out hurting ourselves in public places, or the complete opposite, we didn't even know such a thing existed. It had no name, and, therefore, it wasn't even real. It was like a side alley between two major thoroughfares that didn't get its own street sign.

And that's probably why I'm so fascinated by the concept and the word. Gooch ("grundle" is also apparently acceptable). Where did the word and the name come from? And why? Aside from the poor skater who may have required stiches and the ability to explain where they were, why was the area deemed necessary for namehood? I mean, I get that it's in a sexual area, but I've been teaching adolescent males for 27 years and I never heard the term until now. Why now? Why this generation?

There's probably no good explanation for that. I guess that what's so interesting.

Adam, as the first human, got the privilege of naming everything around him, and it is a duty that continues to fascinate and inspire us, doesn't it? Aren't we always a little bit pleased when we hear a new word for something we'd taken for granted or a word that captures an idea or a concept that didn't previously have a name? I know I am. I love to try out a new word and to say it over and over until it becomes part of my daily language. Chances are, I'll even overuse it in order to break it in. So, I'm sorry for the young skater's injury and I'm hoping he had a full recovery, but I'm also the wiser for his mishap. Probably in more ways than one.

In fact, if you think about it, the location of the "gooch" makes it a potentially interesting label to lay on someone. "Dude, you're being kind of a gooch." Meaning not quite an asshole, not quite a dick. Something just in between. But close. They'll get the message.

"Hootch" is available at


troutking said...

Another question for you regarding this subject: how is it that the bully forever tormenting Arnold on Diff'rent Strokes was called "the Gooch"? We'll never get to ask Gary Coleman now...

Billy said...

I agree that the need to name things is what makes us such an awesome and amusing species, but I still mostly wish Rich Hall and his damned Sniglets never existed.

troutking said...

Rich is definitely the less funny half of his marriage. At least during the run of Seinfeld...

Thom Anon said...

Also known as the perineum, I do believe. At least I remember them referring to it a lot with regards to possible tearing when my wife was pregnant.



Tockstar said...

My favorite line in Weeds centers around that body part. It's from season one. Doug and Andy are getting stoned on the couch in Nancy's living room and they're debating what that part of the anatomy is called. Lupita (the maid walks in).

Andy: Lupita, settle a debate for us: What do you call the thing between the dick and the asshole?

Lupita: The coffee table.

Ba dum, ching!

Tockstar said...

Whoops. Didn't close that parentheses in the right part, but you get the idea....

Bob said...

That's a good one, Tock. Will someone please ask me about the photos that go with this post? Okay, I'll tell you. They are all people with the last name of Gooch.