Scratching my own funny bone for shits and giggles. Lampooning books, music and being a single woman over 40. Recording observations with an almost Seinfeldian obsession for the minutiae of life. Things can get sweary around here. You understand.

Monday, April 6, 2009


My daughter found herself in trouble at school for wearing an ‘inappropriate’ amount of make-up. You know I’d forgotten how much headmistresses loved giving you the old ‘inappropriate’ lecture. What a lousy excuse for word! Well I’m going to have a few inappropriate words with you all on the inappropriate use of the word ‘inappropriate’. Have you noticed it’s usually favoured amongst those who have the most invested in not saying what they mean? It’s a word in which the spin doctors can hide all their monumental stuff-ups and righteous indignation. Headmistresses love to use inappropriate precisely because it’s so imprecise. It could mean anything: improper, crude, thoughtless, reckless even scandalous. But oh no those words might give us a cheap thrill. It seems politicians don’t lie any more, they ‘respond inappropriately’. And kids don’t get suspended for wagging school and smoking anymore; they get transferred for ‘inappropriate’ language in the classroom. Inappropriate also means the boss never has to say, ‘look I’m sorry but some dipstick at our end fucked this up comprehensively and quite frankly, I’m amazed you’ve managed to follow the electronic trail of incompetence back to this computer. Of course shit-for-brains was overcome with remorse and has since resigned’. Then there’s the problem with male office workers drinking inappropriate amounts of alcohol and being completely inappropriate towards female colleagues: ‘Oh come on sweetheart! Show us ya euphemisms!’ So what the bloody hell does this inappropriate mean? Just tell us! It’s like trying to get a straight answer from Dame Edna. Now funnily enough, history books have never shown much use for the word. What on earth would we make of the fall of the Roman Empire if it was written that two hundred thousand Huns behaved inappropriately? And where would the fun be if we only knew Catherine the Great had an ‘inappropriate’ amount of husbands and died doing ‘inappropriate’ things with a horse? Then again, maybe if Napoleon Bonaparte had realized ‘inappropriate’ meant ‘freezing your tits off’ he would not have attempted to cross Russia in the middle of December. And then we all would have missed out. Now despite all this, I still think there are some things which are genuinely inappropriate: farting at the dinner table; black bras under white T-shirts; and screwing the best man in the bridal suite at your girlfriend’s wedding. So while we’re having fun not saying what we really mean, what does your inner prude still find inappropriate?


Chaz said...

The way you can always tell a sandgroper at a domestic airport as they're always dressed like dags compared with everyone else (even QLanders..)

Poms who come over and then start whinging cus 'things aren't like they are back in britain", then sod of back, find out why the lift the mother country in the first place and then come back here. Shows that they shouldn't have got a visa in the first place..

Oh young women of a certain weight grouping who feel that they have to expose as much cleavage as possible.

As for 'black bras under white T-shirts' I find that very appropriate

jennicki said...

AMEN Nat! Great post!!

I once had a stuffy old teacher at my Catholic school say my V-neck sweater was too inappropriate and she made me wear it backwards for the rest of the day.

yankeedog said...

I think you've covered anything, so I suppose any addition to what you've written would be...inappropriate.

Anonymous said...

One drunken night a few years back a bunch of us gave ourselves smurph names. I of course am Dubious Smurf.
However one of my great mates was dubbed innapropriate smurf. That name stuck like, well something really sticky.
He is now and will always be Innapropriate Donny.
Some that leap to mind;
Asking a waiter at an Indian Resturaunt if he was here under a 457 visa.
Romping around Thredbo after a night on the turps yelling out "Don't worry Stuart - we're coming for you" repeatedly (Stuart Diver - landslide tragedy survivor.)
At a New Years Eve party where we had all promised to be on our best behaviour [hosted by a friends new corporate girlfriend]- he christened a generously proportioned lass in a sparkly/ glittery top "Disco Ball."

There have been many many occasions where he has well & truly earnt the name, methinks he may be a little proud of it.

NB too slack to log in.

Anonymous said...

Here's one for you, Nat. A few years back, my daughter was pulled aside in high school for wearing "inappropriate" jeans. It seems her jeans had holes in the knees, about the size of HER fist. How lewd!!

The solution?

She was ordered to report to her gym locker and put her gym shorts on, or be sent home and suspended for 3 days.

Hmm, which shows more skin? Teenage, female fist-sized holes in jeans, or gym shorts that go three-quarters up her thighs?

That's inappropriate to me!

Therbs said...

Phone calls on Sunday morning which don't involve invitations to pubs, parties or sporting events butr simply wake you up for no fucking good reason! Highly fucking inappropriate and deserving of having finger nails filleted with razor blades,teeth extracted with a blunt axe and removal of the choclate starfish with a spade.

Flinthart said...

Can I just congratulate you on "Show us ya euphemisms"? That's a lovely piece of brilliance there. I may have to steal it at some point, but I'm not sure how. In any case, it would probably be inappropriate.

Nautilus said...

jennicki's v-neck jumper on backwards sounds inappropriate to me!

Everything my wife says in public, right after she says to someone "can I ask you a personal and probably inappropriate question", is always highly inappropriate.


"black bras under white T-shirts" - I prefer no bras under wet T-shirts - never inappropriate

Barnesm said...

great post.

though Chaz I must disagree "expose as much cleavage as possible" that’s never inappropriate.

Its another axe slice in the continuing butchering of the English language but over managing, talent less cowards who think the answer to the human condition is to deny the words for rude exist lest alone the rude bits themselves.

"inappropriate", it is a mealy-mouthed, mewling word ridged and lifeless incapable of satisfying anyone as a description.

Frak inappropriate - but for the level of offence it seeks to describe I would say

Speaking really loudly into your cell phone where other people can hear, perfectly acceptable to shout into a phone if you are floating on a raft in the middle of tempestuous seas, or calling for help because an axeweilding psychopath has shattered the front door. Its not acceptable if you are ringing your drinking buddy to arrange which pub you are going to after work when you are standing outside the office where a record of interview is being conducted into a criminal offence.

Simon said...

I don’t think you appreciate the convenience that the term ‘inappropriate’ brings the legal profession. No longer will we need to prosecute people under separate laws such as ‘murder’ or ‘littering’ – they will all be charged as having behaved inappropriately. It will save a lot of bureaucracy.

Havock21 said...

Hmm, what do I consider to be inappropriate.. ok here goes.

Fuckwad clinging to a tree I wish to cut down.

Not being allowed to cut down trees.

OH, arseholes who BURP and do not cover their gobs and turn away, finishing up with NO..EXCUSE ME!, or Pardon ME!, fuck that shits me.

Um..THINGS in JEANS that should wear dresses.

Calling in for an afternoon sesh of drinking and NOT, bring any beer. I will make you take it home..BUT, the are certain behaviours or rituals which MUST be observed.

OH and one I see a lot of and it fucks me off no end. KIDS, seem to have this thing now for wearing their pants or shorts so god dam fucking low around their hips and have half their jocks and arse cheeks about inappropriate..its fucking NOT ON.

Kimmywoo said...

Oh the list of "inappropriate" could go on and on for me. But it is because the word is so damn subjective that it is the excuse for all kinds of: "I don't like what you're about so I therefore classify it as inappropriate".

And my list includes today's workplace gem of a colleage who smelled funky, not in the old socks way, but in the... funky way. Showers please people!

Lunamor said...

I love Dame Edna :)

My inner prude finds wearing good high heeled dress shoes without stockings inappropriate.

Steve said...

A girl I knew in high school (this would be about 1988 or 1989) wore spandex pants all the time (which was common). The fashion at the time was to also wear a t-shirt long enough that it would fall somewhere under your ass. She, however, wore a belly-shirt (which were not as common). I believe the teacher and at least a couple snobbier students told her it was inappropriate, but I know for a fact it had more to do with the fact that this poor girl had cellulite which was visible through the spandex.

Steve said...

And I may or may not have done the following inappropriate things:

Borrowed a friend's golf club, while under the influence of alcohol, to hit golf balls into a neighboring fraternity house (the inappropriate part was being unable to clear the road separating our houses).

Had sex with a girl in a hotel as two other girls slept in the next bed over (the appropriate thing would have been to invite them to join in, no?).

Drinking excessive amounts of Moosehead to celebrate my 21st birthday.

Shagging an acquaintance's girlfriend, after they broke up. I stress acquaintance, NOT friend. Of course, the inappropriate part might've been shagging her the very night they broke up. And technically, he might not have known they broke up at the time, as he was out of town and she left the break-up message on his answering machine. But, regardless, he was only an acquaintance. And she was hot.

Chaz said...

Oh and those cheapskates who only bring ONE bottle of wine over when they coem for dinner..or worse bring more but then if there are unopened bottles left they take them with them!

Dr Yobbo said...

Screwing the best man in the bridal suite is just opportunism. Inappropriate would have been shagging the groom.

I am Captain Inappropriate. It's a honorary title which means nothing, much like Archbishop or Attorney General, but does speak to my ability to find the least suitable thing to say under any given circumstance and deliver that line, on time and intact, to its destination.

Steve said...

Yobbo, where would 'screwing the bride' fit in, between screwing the best man and screwing the groom? Does that get less inappropriate, or more?

Dr Yobbo said...

Depends who's doing it, presumably taking Nat's POV. Also depends on who's got the video camera and whether their broadband connection handles large uploads (ahem.)

Still LOLing at 'Don't worry Stuart, we're coming to get you...' Jesus Christ that's wrong.

Steve said...

I believe the ratio of comedy to inappropriateness increases with both time and distance. So, everyone's safe with that one.

Steve said...

Well, at least I'M safe laughing at it, I'm in Atlanta Georgia. You Aussies and Kiwis are fucked, karmically speaking.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Oh, my dear, it could be worse. I remember being a school boy and seeing Ellen Thylo sent home because she wasn't wearing enough clothes. Too much makeup is simply trivial compared to Ellen's near nakedness.

Lobes said...

I was out clubbing with a bunch of mates and we wound up back at my place. I passed out in my double bed and my mate Jimbo slept next to me. I woke up later and there was a massive wet patch where he had pissed the bed. That was pretty inappropriate i thought.

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