I have never found Bill Maher to be a particularly insightful guy. Sure, if you're at Finnegan's house and he is changing into a rugby shirt for an American Gladiators audition tape, yes of course you watch Real Time - that's a given. But I generally find Maher to be a pretty straightforward smug liberal who makes easy Bush jokes. And what really irks me about him is when he is just obviously not an expert in a subject but still is very smug. He will arrogantly make jokes about the economy under Bush versus under Clinton that are pretty simplistic considering all the factors that come into play - technological change, outsourcing, the timing of various bubbles and credit cycles. I am as anti-Bush as the next guy but the economy is just a complicated beast that can't be so easily simplified.
That is why I was so pleased to open up my Sunday Huffington Post and find this piece by Maher about a topic he is actually an expert in- banging hookers! Here is the "nut" graf in this piece about Eliot Spitzer:
Oh yes, let's convene a panel of experts for that. Let me help you: because he wants to get his nut off! Stop with all the analysis! It never ends, I hear all these people talking about how powerful people think they can get away with anything, so it's a thrill, or that it's for this psychological reason or this one -- please, he wanted to CUM WITH SOMEONE!
Now Maher is on firmer ground. It is always good to hear from a connoisseur on matters such as these. This reminds me of The Onion's classic take on Maher's own mixing of prostitution and politics, which I encourage you all to read in full.
But finally, I have to note Maher's odd phrasing, "get his nut off." The Delino Krew usually says "nut" or if we're feeling particularly haughty, "bust a nut." So I looked this phrase up on Urban Dictionary, only to find absolutely nothing. A further Google search, however, took me to this Yahoo! Answers page. Here, "Answerer 19" informs us:
I don't know how "bust a nut" came to be confused with expression "get your nuts off". But it does seem to be a common misinterpretation of this very old phrase. I first heard it some 50+ years ago as a teenager. It was an old phrase even then.
Sometimes you read something that just changes your whole take on history- like when you found out that segregationist Strom Thurmond actually had a black mistress. Well, this is one of those game-changers. If the phrase "bust a nut" was already old 50 years ago, a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation tells me that it was probably around in the 1910's. So that means a conversation such as this one might have taken place:
Moustachioed Man #1: I do say, my good man, how was your evening?
Moustachioed Man #2: Well, well. Very fine indeed. Very fine. I attended a meeting of the Bull Moose Party- that Roosevelt, he's the kind of fellow we need back in office! And you?
Moustachioed Man #1: I took in one of those new moving picture shows. Edison's filmed Henry VIII- a splendid production, given the limitations of the medium.
Moustachioed Man #2: Henry VIII you say? Oh my, I must see that. Did anything else happen of which I should be aware?
Moustachioed Man #1: Oh yes, I nearly omitted the best part of my evening. When I busted a nut. It was an exquisite nut really, absolutely exquisite.
Moustachioed Man #2: Why I haven't heard about an exquisite nut-busting from you since the McKinley Administration! Congratulations, ole boy.
NB: Audio content from the Delino Vault is coming soon...