Guest Post: Brought To You By The Letter Y

Being asked to write a guest post for someone whose blog you love is probably the most nerve-wracking thing you can be asked to do. Well, short of “go over there and sunbathe next to Jessica Biel,” of course. But when you’re asked to write a guest post, all of a sudden you forget how to be funny. You forget how to be witty and cool. Hell, you forget how to write.
(Oh, you thought I was writing this? Ha! Think again! I’ve actually employed my largest cat Charlie to tap away at the keyboard for me while I dictate to him from this comfortable fainting couch here. More tea, Charlie! More sandwiches! And slice the cucumber thinner this time! No opposable thumbs? Don’t give me that!)
Anyway, hi. I’m Holly. I write over at Nothing But Bonfires, where I talk frequently about living amongst the crack whores in San Francisco with my impossibly cute graphic designer boyfriend, Sean. Just to clarify, we don’t live with the crack whores, just near them—two blocks away from where it starts to get slightly sleazy and where men with wild eyes and matted beards will come up to you and say things like THE SPINACH OF YESTERYEAR IS FAR SUPERIOR TO THE SPINACH OF TODAY. (Oh, they’re not hardcore vegans. They’re just crazy. I think most of them never came down from The Great Acid Trip Of 1967. And likely haven’t showered since then either.)
We’re learning to quite like it, actually, and have really sort of settled in. The other day, in fact, as we walked out of our apartment building (in broad daylight, I might add), Sean pointed at a woman standing on the corner and said “that woman is a whore.” And I said “Sean! You don’t even know her! What has she ever done to you? Don’t insult her for no reason!” And he said “no, she really is a whore. She’s a prostitute. I see her on that corner all the time.” So apparently we now have, as well as a neighborhood dry cleaner and a neighborhood grocery store, a neighborhood prostitute. Should I bake her some cookies as a welcome, do you think? Ask her how business is going? Suggest a slightly more modest skirt on account of the fact that I really don’t need to see anyone’s knickers before noon on a Saturday, and especially not before I’ve had any coffee?
(Oh yes, I did. I just said “knickers.” I may have forgotten to mention it, but I’m British.)
But anyway! This post isn’t about me, it’s about Y—lovely, glorious, hilarious Y, whose blog I can’t even remember how I found, although I feel sure it had something to do with Amalah. I think perhaps Y left a funny comment on Amalah’s site, and I thought “damn, this woman should be my best friend immediately. She could make me laugh to the point of vomiting! What other criteria is there when looking for a friend?” And so I clicked on over to Y’s blog—following the premise of there’s more where that came from!—and damn, if she didn’t have me at “aerobic dancing.”
My god, I love aerobic dancing. Not that I’ve actually done it since, ooh, 1997, of course, but I just love the idea of it, all that choreography and synchronicity, the fact that you’re really just dancing the way you dance in your bedroom when the Violent Femmes come on the radio and no-one else is around. I frequently challenge Y to a dance-off, in fact—I’m all “bring it, yo! I will get you with these jazz hands!” And she’s all “oh, please, bitch—have you seen me do The Worm?” And I’m all “pah! The Worm? Ever heard of a little thing I like to call…the Grapevine?” And this, of course, is all over e-mail, which makes it doubly nerdy. In fact, when Y created a Typepad account for me so I could log in and write this post, she made the password “danceoff.” This is why, even though we have never met, I frequently feel the urge to hug her. Tightly.
But anyway! My post wasn’t going to be about crack whores and hugging, it was going to be about Y, and all the things that are not as cool as Y. And so I hereby present you with a special list, a list of things that may begin with the letter Y, and yet pale in comparison to the real Y, the one who, by the way, I could totally take in a dance-off.
For example: yaks. Is there anything special about yaks? I think not. Apart from the fact that they are found in Tibet, of course—which always gives ordinary things a certain sort of cachet, does it not? I mean, I bet even the telemarketers in Tibet are kind of awesome—yaks are sort of pedestrian, don’t you think? You know, as long-haired humped domestic bovines go. (I totally had to look that up on Wikipedia. Don’t worry.)
Also, there is yogurt. Yogurt is not as cool as Y because there is always a sense of ambiguity surrounding the way it should be pronounced. I, for example, say “yogg-urt.” But recently—inexplicably!—I have found myself saying “yoge-urt,” mostly to be understood by Americans. And also to fit in, because, you know, one’s self-esteem does take a terrible knock when one is asked “what? what? what? I don’t understand what you’re saying!” four hundred times by the employees in the dairy aisle at Safeway. This is how I started pronouncing “basil” the American way. It just became easier in the end.
Then there are yams, which, eh, whatever, they’re pretty much just sweet potatoes. And yellow fever, which also obviously sucks. And yodeling, which is nowhere near as cool as aerobic dancing as far as dorky hobbies go, and yo-yos, which always get tangled within the first two hours of being received in a Christmas stocking. Yachting I don’t particularly care for, nor am I a great fan of Yonkers, yuppies, yawning, or the YMCA song.
Which I guess just makes it official: Y—our very own Y!—is, quite simply, the new Y. Any questions?

21 thoughts on “Guest Post: Brought To You By The Letter Y

  1. Lulu

    Lovely post. Just lovely. I lived in the ‘burbs of the Bay Area so I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about. In fact, even though I live about 45 minutes away from SF, we too have our own neighborhood woman of the night. At least, she is either that or a crack addict (she has no teeth.) Either way, she is, in some fashion, my neighbor.
    So I get your post. And I agree. Y is the best kind of Y out there.

  2. Danielle

    I lived in a neighborhood like that in Seattle and it was really cool. I was a little worried when the cable guy was scared to walk to his car but come on, them’s just some crack whores. They rarely bite without being paid to.
    I love Y!

  3. metalia

    Ah, crack whore neighbors. In college, I lived adjacent to a convenience store that was purported to offer “extra services.” The constant influx of shifty-looking gentlemen and the abundance of bona fide crack whores directly in front of our building certainly seemed to suggest it.

  4. Y

    Next week. DANCE OFF FOR REALS.
    Now, I once walked by a real prostitute and I’m not lying, she smelled like a condom.

  5. silverblue

    Ahhhh!! My favourite blogger writing on my other favourite blogger’s site (yes, I can have more than one favourite)! It can’t really get much better!
    Except for, I suspect, a real-life dance off between Holly and Y. With judges and awesome 80s dance music.
    And yes, being Australian means that it’s sweet potato all the way for me.

  6. Helen

    I will never say BayZil, it is Bazzul for me, no matter how weird the looks at a grocery store……actually we live back in the UK now ( hoorah!) and I still get a bit giddy being able to ask for bin bags without people backing away with a wary look on thier faces. Now I am going to have to check out your blog and laugh some more. Wish Y didn’t have that poorly neck but I am enjoying the guest bloggers.

  7. alala

    Not a big fan of the YMCA song? Well, perhaps you will change your mind when you’ve seen… THIS!! Muahaha!
    Although I will concede that that is still not as cool as the real Y.

  8. Anne Glamore

    I’m Jazzercising and I can grapecine, chassee and mambo if the right Ricky Martin song is on. If the danceoff turns Latin, I’m in.
    Also, yaks are good for one thing. If it’s “bring something to school that starts with the letter Y” week and your kid has Friday, chances are people have already brought yarn, something yellow and even a yam. Yodeling, yaks and a picture of Y are always good to keep in mind.

  9. Brandi

    I ususally don’t like it when bloggers guest blog on other sites – but, Y’s guest bloggers are fabulous! Seriously, Y thanks for turning me on to some new sites.

  10. kimblahg

    Yurt? A circular dome made of animal skins used by Asian Nomads sounds quite cozy. No, even a yurt isn’t as cool as You Y!
    And nice guest post, I think you should brink the whore baked goods. Prostitutes need to eat too!

  11. dana michelle

    Great guest post! Welcome, Holly. I’m particularly tickled that you mentioned the Violent Femmes, who formed their band right here in my home town of Milwaukee.
    Y IS the new Y. I think you should sell T-shirts on WordPress with that slogan for the fan club.

  12. Melissa

    Thanks again for the (always) wonderfully funny post.
    Last night I watched that show about Victoria Beckham (not sure why, but just like a car wreck, I couldn’t turn away). And I loved all the words she used – knickers, trainers, probably more but I forgot.
    And I think she might be normal. Shockingly.

  13. AmyM

    I *heart* the letter Y! And also the blaaawgger Y, of course. Who ROCKS it with The Monkey! Best! Interview! Evah!
    And you can never have enough Crack Whore Talk. Seriously. Whenever I have people over for coffee, I’m always all “Enough about the war already! Let us chat about the Crack Whores for a while!”

  14. lizinsumne

    Yes, I have a question, because you said that you’re British and I DESPERATELY need someone British to tell me what “wotcher” means, because IT’s. DRIVING. ME. CRAZY., everytime it pops up in a Harry Potter book that I haven’t a clue what it means!!!!!!!!!!!! Of course, this has nothing to do with the fact that I spent over 12 hours yesterday reading HP7, But, there’s a character named Tonks, who is a young woman, who frequently greets Harry with this: “Wotcher, Harry!”. Now, it’s slang, obviously. So is it, like, what’s up? Or, how’s it hanging? I mean, what the heck is it????!!!!! Please, please have pity on this poor yank and enlighten me, or it’s going to bug me until my dying day………
    PS – oh, and thank you for the EXCELLENT guest post. And, I LOVE your accent!

  15. Saucepan Man

    I think ‘wotcher’ is short for ‘wotcher up to’ which is a vernacular version of ‘Hello, what are you up to?’ But I might be wrong.
    I’m a Holly-groupie, by the way (and she’s a chip off the old block.)

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