Uncategorized | November 09, 2005

On my drive to school a few days ago, while I was stopped at a red light, behind a Chevy pick-up, I saw something I didn’t understand. A pair of anatomically correct, flesh colored plastic testicles dangled below the truck’s Missouri license plate. Was this what the state legislator had in mind when they adopted the official nickname, “The Showme State?” As the bull-sized balls swung back and forth to the rhythm of the trucks idling motor, I wondered why anyone would accessorize their truck in this way.

So I asked my freshman composition class. The women had the usual short-guy-fast-car theories. Interestingly, all of their adjectives— redneck, low-life, hillbilly, hoosier—placed the proud owner of “truck nuts” on society’s lowest rung. During this discussion, all the men in class remained silent, apparently worried that merely having similar accoutrements tainted them. The women also pondered driving around with a set of cabbage-size hooters on the hood of their cars. Finally, they decided, who needs it. None of it was for them, in fact: bright yellow “Baby on Board” signs, bumper stickers that brag “Proud Parent of Honor Student,” pink ribbon magnets, or Garfield with suction cup paws that affix to car windows.

Nevertheless, Google does offer sites where I could “get some balls.” At www.bumpernuts.com for $24.95, I can order my one pound acrylic nuts in blue (“for married men”), black, camo, red, yellow, flesh, white, brass and aluminum. They hang eight inches, are indestructible and have an “awesome” lifetime finish. www.bullsballs.com has more variety; they offer four styles of balls—bulls & big boys. They mold theirs out of polypropylene copolymer that makes them as hard as rocks. Just in case anyone ever kicks your truck in the nuts. They promise that no two sets of balls are the same; some are more wrinkled than others. They are also colored all the way through so if you take your truck off roading, the balls remain consistently the same color.

Freedom of expression? I can take edgy performance art where the artist starves, mutilates, or poses mannequin-like for days. I can even take John Ashbery’s poetry; all that preconscious poetic stuff without a lot of structure. Or the phallic-laden punk prose of Kathy Acker—that’s okay. But a big veiny ball sack swinging from the back end of your pick-up just doesn’t speak to me.