Bum diss

If I wasn’t lazy, I would put up a sign like this at a university noticeboard:

DISSERTATIONS FROM YOUR BUM

(phone number)

— and then, when people called, first ask them questions: What do you think this service is? Why did you call? Weren’t you a bit apprehensive? Then I would give them a digest of the previous callers’ answers.

Since I doubt the psychology dept would sponsor me, it would be one of those pay-to-play numbers.

“Dissertations” is clear, but what does “bum” sound like in this context? The rear end? An economically disadvantaged person?

And how come the dissertations come “from your bum”? That would imply the anal interpretation, but is it a colloquial ass-pull, “out of thin air”, or a literal investigation of an actual rectal outpouring? Is this an advert for the homeopathy Ph.D. program, or the one in human physiology?

Is it your dissertation that gets done, or that of an unscrupulous human biology major, who just hands you a coffee ticket and kicks you out? “I got a dissertation from your bum. Get going!”

But wait, “your bum” could be an affectionate term for your spouse, usually a male one. “I fixed the car while my bum husband just watched TV.” But if the advert is aimed at university students, is it then some clever trick — this one clever trick to graduate in under 30 days! — to enlist your spouse in your thesis work? (“Step one: Tie his TV rights to a daily page quota. He writes it, you write it; but unless it gets written by somebody, no TV!”)

But what if “your bum” is literally the exact bum-behind you sit on? Surely there are no dissertations in there. You couldn’t convince people, even desperate thesis-writers, that there would be useful text in there, could you? (“Where do you think all the stuff you learn goes? For 99 money units per hour, we rent this camera onna stick! Careful with the flash, it gets hot.”)

Or is this a cheating device, with “dissertations” being hype-speak for “pre-inserted exam answers”?

*

Doesn’t “bum” sound like one of those words that twee people have for their grandparents? Papaw. Nana. Bum.

“Okay kids, we’re visiting Bum today!”

“I don’t wanna, Bum smells funny.”

*

Ahh, I could write a whole book on how and when unusual object insertions into different bodily orifices are/aren’t funny; what I couldn’t make up, I would investigate through some really exceptional surveys.

“Chapter Seven. The Navel. There is really only one story here; it concerns a naive boy unsure of how and where women get pregnant.”

“Chapter Fifteen. The Right Nostril. We begin with the fingers and toes: there are twenty possibilities for single-digit insertions per person, and—”

“Chapter Twenty-Three. The Bum and the Mineral Kingdom.”

“Chapter Fifty. Suggestions for M.Sc. and Ph.D. Projects.”

*

Also, projects: “Experiments in Humor and Self-Injury Part One: Narrative Experiments”.

I wouldn’t do part two, “Practical Experiments”. That’s better left to Johnny Knoxville.

*

(“Dissertations from your bum” is a line from a Paul and Storm song called “Oh, No“. It’s one of those lines that just stick in my mind, much like “his groin’s got a date with the guillotine” and “The Mother Superior of Kicking Posterior“.)

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