The Origins of Embiggen, Murphy the Molar, and the Lap Pillow

“Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and, instead of bleeding, he sings.”  Robert Benchley.

I don’t know if you noticed (I’m hoping someone did), but I changed my blog’s name.  Apparently, the other one was too hard to spell–unless you speak fluent Italian.  I should have known it would be problematic when I–its creator–kept having to double-check the spelling.  What can I say?  I’m not too bright.  But, that’s the whole purpose of this blog–to learn new things and, if nothing else, to make me brighter.

1) I decided to kill the proverbial “two birds with one stone”–explain why I named my blog  The Embiggens Project, while giving you a new and life-changing piece of information.  Do you detect the sarcasm?

No blog is complete without a Simpsons reference.  Not only is the show brilliant, but it is the longest-running sitcom in history.  And it has filled this blogger’s brain with a plethora of useless information.  A perfect example is a history of the word “embiggen.”

“Embiggen” was actually born in 1884, in a British journal entitled Notes and Queries: A Medium of Intercommunication for Literary Men, General Readers, Etc.  It sounds official enough, doesn’t it?  Just wait until you read the sentence that introduced the world to this new verb–“but the people magnified them, to make great or embiggen, if we may invent an English parallel as ugly. After all, use is nearly everything.”  So, there we are.  Embiggen=make great.

Embiggen later found its way into scientific journals dealing with string theory.  You know that when a word has been deemed acceptable by the science world, it has truly hit the big time.  But “embiggen” was destined for bigger and better things and thanks to a community of yellow cartoon characters with eight fingers, it entered the homes of millions of TV viewers.  Although it seemed to have only stuck in the minds of a few of us.

On a statue of Jebediah Springfield–the founder of the town which is populated by the Simpson clan, the Flanders, the Comic Book Guy, Krusty the Klown, the Wiggums, Apu, and Milhouse–is the town’s motto  “A Noble Spirit Embiggens the Smallest Man.” So there you have it.

2) Okay, so I have been dying to find a way to incorporate “Murphy the Molar” into my blog and I have finally done it!  (Does anyone else remember this singing tooth who starred in television commercials in the early 1970s?  I know that I will have his theme song stuck in my head for the rest of the day, which isn’t really a bad thing.  It makes me smile).

Back to the task at hand.  I have a question for you.  What is the most popular colour of toothbrush?  I’ll give you a moment to think about that.  Here’s a hint–my husband is using one right now.

I don’t really feel like getting up to answer the door, so I’ll give you the answer–BLUE.  Yes, apparently this is a colour that both sexes enjoy.  Next time you are shopping, be bold–go for neon yellow or hot pink.  Turn the dental hygiene world on its ass and maybe next year’s stats will be completely different.

A special thanks to Murphy.

3) The Japanese are truly innovative people.  I recently featured their square watermelon, but now I have found an even more intriguing (polite way of saying bizarre) invention–the Hizamakura Lap Pillow.  Yes, a pillow that resembles the lower half of the female torso.  “She” comes in a red skirt or a black one and retails for $131 US.

To make things even stranger, the manufacturer also offers a “maid costume” version–a model that is currently SOLD OUT.  Yes.  Sold out.

And, in case the ladies are feeling left out, we can always purchase a “boyfriend arm” pillow.  Buy a bunch of each and turn your bedroom into a body-part riddled crime scene.

People have way too much disposable income.