Monday, November 28, 2005

Beyond Red Bull: A kick in the tail

I thought I'd heard of every oddball sexual practice out there. Not that I'm particularly well-traveled, but I saw Clerks, I know what goes on.

Well, I was wrong. Viz: figging. It's sado-masochism with a tangy spice.

Among other points of interest, one of this entry's supporting documents -- "Figging - The Art of Ginger Root Play" -- was written by someone who takes the term "aficionado" to a whole new level.

Oddly enough, though, the most amazing piece of information here has nothing to do with "doms" or restraints. It's this:

Figging is the source of the expression "ginning up." (As in, to gin up dodgy statistics or sales figures.)

If I've ever thought about it, I assumed "ginning up" had something to do with gin. But according to the Boston Globe's Jan Freeman, the phrase originated with the horse-trader's practice of sticking ginger into horses' bottoms. The ginger made them hold their tails up and fidget, so broken-down nags seemed peppier.

Coincidentally, "ginger" is also a verb meaning "to invigorate or inspire." Ouch! I can see a whole new vista beyond the energy-drink craze here. Instead of Red Bull, we'll have ... Fire Tail. "When you really need to get your ass in gear..."

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