PUMPKIN & POOBAG
We’ve all seen it. two star-crossed lovers dining on breakfast and smoking a twenty pack of Red Apples while planning their next heist - which turns out to be the very establishment they’re eating in. If you haven’t already guessed, I’m talking about the iconic opening scene in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction.
But do you remember their character names? Correctumundo - their real names are never revealed. Instead, they address each other by their pet names (Honey Bunny and Pumpkin). This got me thinking - what’s the deal with pet names and public displays of affection anyway?
Maybe you’ve once been a third wheel, tagging along with a loved-up couple who barely recognise your presence. Maybe you’ve overheard a soppy pair, publicly spewing their devout love for one another. Or maybe you’ve witnessed it on social media; the conceited and pretentious “Romeo and Juliet”, playing a communal game of affectionate “table tennis” - pinging messages of love back and forth (accompanied with a staged, love-heart filtered selfie of course). Some may say it’s cute, others may say it’s romantic, but for me, it makes me want to uncontrollably projectile vomit, like the morning after a civilised night out in my favourite 80's bar.
So what does your partner call you? Babe, Honey, Doll, Princess, Sweetie, Sugar? Or is it something more humorous which emphasises your negative qualities? If it’s the latter, then jump aboard and welcome to the club.
As someone who could be considered monotonous (I wear the same coloured clothes everyday), I don’t really call my partner any kind of pet name. But in contrast, my wife is an absolute savage. She has a whole host of pet names for me - which include: Hitler's love child and Albino Gorilla (due to my fair complexion and ape like facial features) and Poobag, that’s right Poobag! She even has the 💩💼 emojis next to my name in her mobile phone. First and foremost, I have never shit in a bag. Well technically, the truth be told...
Let me tell you the story of the day I will never forget!
It was 1996. I was eight years old and the Spice Girls were my favourite band. It was the dawn of the school summer holidays. A feeling of bliss and excitement tingled in the ether, as six weeks of fun filled adventures lay in wait. On this particular warm summer's afternoon, I received a call from my pals who asked if I was “coming out” (when I say call, I really mean the archaic form of invitation known as “knocking-on”). So I grabbed my BMX with its retrofitted, broom-handled saddle-pole (thanks to my grandad’s handy work), shoved on my trainers and off we went to round-up the rest of the group.
It was a glorious day. The vibrant blue sky could be seen as far as the eye could see; a gentle breeze whispered between the leaves; the sweet scent of freshly cut grass lingered in the air, and the faint melody of the ice-cream van jingled in the distance.
After hours of fun, cycling around like headless chickens - nature called. Now I know what you’re thinking, Poobag + nature calls = story over, but you’d be wrong (although one such incident did actually take place a couple of years prior. My grandad had to wipe my brother's bottom with a rumex obtusifolius - more commonly known as the dock leaf).
Fortunately on this occasion, we only needed to take a number one. So we pulled over for a short break and took a piddle in nature’s urinal. Now for some bizarre reason, I was wearing a jumper on this sweltering day - a Liverpool goalkeepers jersey if I remember correctly. So I decided to take it off. We did our business, mounted our bikes and sped off at high speed (jumper in hand).
We raced through an alleyway which led to the “backsies”, and as we approached the exit, my jumper was violently sucked into my front wheel - bringing the bike to a sudden stop. I was propelled forward, smashed my stomach on the handlebars and flipped over the front. Amazing I didn’t cry, but I did uncontrollably projectile vomit on the ground. I tried to stand but my body was having none of it: I couldn’t move; I was immobile. To cut a long story short, I was taken to hospital and examined. It was concluded that I had ruptured my bowel; my body was slowly being poisoned. I was rushed into theatre; had six inches of my bowel removed and spent the next six weeks recovering in hospital. Over that period, I was fitted with a colostomy bag; hence the pet name - Poobag.
Some of you may be thinking that this is brutal. That poor lad was hours away from death and now his wife refers to him as Poobag, but in all honesty, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It sure beats the namby-pamby pet names such as Honey Bunny and Pumpkin. To conclude, when it comes to public displays of affection, to wear your heart on your sleeve isn't a very good plan - you should wear it on the inside where it functions best. And when it comes to cycling, to hold your jumper in hand isn't a very good plan - you should wear it on your body, where it functions best.