A while ago The Wife was making a new recipe that uses 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 is a junior high math teacher, 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.)
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.")
* pianist--It's probably better for everyone if you just say "piano player" instead.
* tool--Once, on an episode of Castle, 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 most of the 7th grade boys 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. (Especially words like "innuendo.")
And now that I'm done writing this, I think I'll go make me some Pizza Balls! (Mmm.....Pizza Balls!)
Edited from a post originally published on10/23/2012.