A while ago, my wife was trying out a new recipe she found on Pinterest. (As a guy, I have no personal interest in Pinterest. I don't even know what it is exactly. Is it a website? An app? An online store? A social media site? I really don't know, and I really don't care. However, I am very glad that The Wife has an interest in Pinterest. Why? Because more than once she has made something that tastes delicious and then said, "I got that recipe off of Pinterest." So, on second thought, maybe I have more of a interest in Pinterest than I thought.) (Whatever "Pinterest" may be.)
Anyway, the recipe The Wife was making involves those Pillsbury-type rolls, you know, the ones that come in a cardboard can. (The "easy opening" cans that act like a demented, dough-filled jack-in-the-box when they finally ....POP open.) (Yes, I jump every time.) (And I say "Pillsbury-type" because we buy the store brand instead. They are cheaper, and I am nothing if not cheap.) The recipe involves flattening out the rolls, putting a couple of slices of pepperoni and some cheese in them, then rolling the dough back around the pepperoni to form a ball, so that you end up with a little roll stuffed with pizza.
The Wife started to call them "pizza balls," but then she stopped herself and said, "Oh, wait, I can't call them that." Why? Well, The Wife has been a junior high math teacher for several years, and so she has a built-in instinct as to what she should not say because it will make junior high boys laugh inappropriately. Her instinct told her that "Pizza Balls" would fall into that category. So, she had to think of another name for them. I think she settled on either "Pizza Rounds" or "Pizza Rolls."
(Should I be offended that, since no junior high boys were around, I was the reason she felt she couldn't call them "Pizza Balls?" No. After all, I still laugh every time I hear the name "Winnie the Pooh." I'm not exactly the model of maturity.) (See: slowjoe40.blogspot.com/2011/01/pooh-happens.html)
That got me thinking about what other simple words or phrases she has to avoid for fear of inapproriate giggling. So, I asked The Wife and her mother (The Mother-In-Law was a high school English teacher for many, many years) what other words they needed to be careful with. And then I gleaned some of my own memories as a snickering junior high boy, and I came up with this list of words and phrases that might make immature schoolboys laugh, chuckle, or guffaw for no apparent reason. (Of course, this list is far from comprehensive, because sometimes junior high boys can find innuendo in the most innocuous of words.) (Probably even the word "innocuous.")
* pee--Urine, like most bodily functions, is very humorous. And, if you say it twice in a row (pee-pee), even the junior high girls will think it is funny.
* P--The Wife says she can't even use the letter "P" as a variable in a math equation. (You know, stuff like: 4a + 3c = P) That's how funny pee (or P) (or pee-pee) is.
* thong--Back in my day (which admittedly was a long, long time ago in a land far, far away,) a thong was a kind of slip-on shoe, like a flip-flop or a sandal, which stayed on your foot because of a little strap that came down between your big toe and the toe next to it. (The index toe?) The word "thong" used to be quite tame,
* balls--I know I mentioned this earlier. I just thought I'd point out that "Pizza Balls" does sound like a nickname some unfortunate kid might get while in junior high.
* nuts--Very similar to the usage of "balls." (Although, now that I am writing this, I don't think I'll think of a squirrel "gathering his nuts" in quite the same way ever again.)
* #1 and/or #2--The numbers 1 or 2 by themselves will not bring about snickers. It's when you combine them with the actual word "number" that the laughter ensues. (As in "number one" or "number two.")(Yes, bodily functions are hilarious.)
* __?_--I was going to put a word here, but since I try to keep this a family-friendly humor column, it just didn't look right, even though it is a common word. The word has several meanings, including pulling the hammer back on a gun, raising an eyebrow or turning your head in a particular manner, or even a male bird of any kind, particularly a rooster. But, I would suggest you avoid using it around teenage boys. (And don't even think about saying something "warms the cockles of your heart.")
* 69--I've got to admit, I didn't know the number "69" was a "thing" until I was well into my mid-thirties. I was on a party bus going to a mandatory office party in Wendover, Nevada. (For those who don't know, Wendover is 100 miles due west of Salt Lake City, and it is a frequent destination of Utahns who want to leave the state to experience the wilder side of life that the state of Nevada offers.) I didn't really feel the need to let my wild "Nevada" side out, but this particular office party was mandatory if I wanted to get my Christmas bonus that year. (It's the only reason I was on the party bus.) To pass the time on the 100 mile ride, my coworkers engaged in a game of drunken bingo. (I think the driver and I were the only sober ones on the bus.) And whenever the number "69" was called out, everyone giggled like junior high boys.
* pianist--For heaven's sake, just say "piano player" instead.
* tool--The other day we were watching an episode of Castle, and the female police officer pulled her gun on a guy who was using a grinder to try to break through a safe. She told the guy, "take your hand off your tool." The male cops who were with her started to snicker. (So did I.) I then asked The Wife if her junior high boys would laugh at that, too. She said the 9th grade boys probably would, but the 7th grade boys probably wouldn't get it.
* wiener--If you say "wiener" instead of "hot dog" at this point in time, you're pretty much just asking for trouble. ("Beanie-weenies" are pretty dangerous, too.) (In more ways than one.) (Yes, that was a fart joke.)
So, there you have it. Like I said, this list is far from complete, because, in the right frame of mind, junior high boys can turn just about anything into some sort of innuendo. (Probably even the word "innuendo.")
And now that I'm done writing this, I think I'll go make me some Pizza Balls! (Mmm.....Pizza Balls!)