Here’s a fun physiology fact: you don’t taste your own saliva because the chemical senses adapt quickly and thoroughly unless the stimuli change. (If you wanted to taste your own saliva, you could, um, “save” some, rinse your tongue with distilled water for five minutes or so, reintroduce the saved saliva, and then sit down and wonder what kind of person does that, and how you became that kind of person).
Anyway, Jeremy and Sara got so close this summer that even long-time androgyne uniteen RichandAmy started calling them by one name. But in parting after months of liplock, Jeremy isn’t tasting all of his own saliva, only the saliva components that are unique to him. He can’t taste the components (like salt) that he shares with Sara — unless their concentration has changed, he’s still adapted.
What will Jeremy experience, tasting his unique “Jeremy flavor” for the first time (unless he did that spit experiment, ew)? Will his tasteworld be an intoxicating Red Bull and Dorito-tinged nirvana that lures him away from Sara toward an independent bliss? Or a fetid, caustic slick of industrial food additives that drives him back between Sara’s lips, there to purge the evidence of his personal corruption? Your future lies ahead, Jeremy — let your tongue point the way!
Curtis gets a lot of mileage repeating story arcs about the First Day of School, Derek and “Onion,” Magical Gunk, and in days gone sadly by, Insane Kwanzaa Folkways. Over the past couple years, it’s introduced Curtis’s Summer Job: Curtis works at nonprofits where he Learns Valuable Lessons but Earns No Money. The stories are sanctimonious and flat, so what humor there is comes from eccentric one-off characters. Last summer we got Dr. Chang of the Improbable Pants, and this summer it’s Miss Dot from the Charles Street Disaster Relief Coalition. Miss Dot is gap-toothed, says “awesome,” “like,” and “totally” to excess, and congratulates Curtis for jokes not in evidence.
I think this year’s Valuable Lesson is “bring back Dr. Chang.”
Judge Parker, 7/22/15
On Sunday Sophie told Sam and Abby that Neddy and Mark had spent a late night together, that they’d been writing to one another ever since, and that she, Sophie, could read between the lines.
The sex lines.
But sex lines have never been written that our Sam can read: “Something happened to give him confidence! What’s your theory — Tony Robbins DVD, energy drink, ginseng? New Testament readings? Motivational poster, winning lottery ticket, found a penny? Rhinoceros horn, visualization exercises, call from Mom? Sunday Mary Worth quote? “Participant” trophy? Think, Abby!”
Abby stares mute as Sam double-knots his robe; she will dream of Mark tonight, his soft words and rough hands.
— Uncle Lumpy