The world is full of lies, and it’s hard to get through life without taking a few on board. Luckily, we’re here to sort the fact from the fiction, and find the plankton of truth in the ocean of bullshit. This week: Sausage! Daddy, would you like some? And what’s the biggest weiner in the universe?
Lie #1: “You have a sausage-shaped mass in your lower abdomen”
If you suffer from the bowel condition known as intussusception, one of the ways it can manifest is with a sausage-shaped mass within the abdomen. And, hey, we all know what shape sausages are: they’re sausage-shaped!
Well, apart from the sausage in a Sausage McMuffin, which is a round patty made of sausage meat. And Lorne sausage, popular in Scotland, which is square. Other than that, though, they’re all sausage-shaped.
Oh yeah, Cumberland sausages come coiled in a big chunky lengthy spiral, sure, but the rest of them are sausage-shaped.
Fine, yes, shut up, chorizo and Andouille sausages often come in elongated hoop shapes, of course, and Merguez in a kind of horseshoe shape. And obviously longganisas from the Philippines are often spherical. Otherwise, though, sausage-shaped all around.
Great. Fuck off. Whatever shape it is, it’s in your abdomen and you’re quite unwell now.
Lie #2: “My Baloney Has A First Name, It’s O-S-C-A-R”
Pronouncing the word “bologna” as “baloney” is dumb as all the butts on Earth. The meatstuff was developed in the Italian city of Bologna (also the birthplace of bolognese), and the G and N together form a kind of “nya” sound.
Nobody says it right. In the beloved Oscar Mayer ad, the kid says “boloney” and the announcer says “bolona,” like there isn’t a G in it.
(Even though the name of the company is Oscar Mayer, millions would swear it was Oscar Meyer, with an E. A surprising amount of newspaper clippings feature pictures of the Weinermobile with the Mayer totally visible and “Meyer” written in the caption. Mandela effect or buttloads of typos? We may never know.)
Even “Weird Al” Yankovic says it wrong, in his 1979 My Sharona parody “My Bologna.” “Baloney” is full-on nuts though, a weird Americanization that seems to have taken on elements of Irish slang at the same time as having its Italian-ness removed. American linguist Mark Liberman describes the bologna/Bologna/baloney situation as “an orthographic, semantic and phonetic mess.”
Baloney: It’s a big load of shit!
Lie #3: “Freddy Got Fingered Sucks, Apart From The ‘Daddy Would You Like Some Sausage?’ Part!”
There are at least ten good bits in 2001’s Freddy Got Fingered, a movie that achieves exactly what writer-director-star Tom Green seems to have wanted it to achieve: superficially resemble a motion picture, while cheerfully having no regard whatsoever for any audience members watching it or studio investors hoping to get their money back. Green is deliberately as obnoxious and unpleasant as possible throughout (“Get the fuck out of my way, lady!”), while Rip Torn, as his dad, just goes for it in every scene and is completely monstrous.
Very few people watched it more than once, given that the main takeaways were gross-out bits involving animal carcasses, animal genitals or newborn babies being whirled around by their umbilical cord. Roger Ebert famously hated it, writing, “This movie doesn’t scrape the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn’t the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn’t below the bottom of the barrel. This movie doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with barrels.”
But seen as the culmination of one person’s mission to get a studio to give him $15,000,000 to spend smashing violins, shouting endlessly, licking Harland Williams’ exposed tibia and dropping a boat from a helicopter for a scene that is in the trailer but not the movie, it’s sort of… amazing? This was a big release. The movie that features Tom Green jerking off a horse while shouting, “Look, Daddy, I’m a farmer” came out in cinemas.
The sausage bit is funny, the running gag with the kid getting hurt is funny, the Backwards Man bit is funny, the X-Ray Cat bit is funny, but the entire movie is like the beautiful, nonsensical punchline to a confusing, overlong joke. It’s art, ish.
Lie #4: “Sausages Are the Best!”
No they aren’t, they’re the wurst! Hahahaha! Hahaha! Ha! It’s funny! Haha! It’s funny because hahahaha, the word “wurst” is, hahahaha, German for hahahahaha “sausage.”
Sausages are everywhere in German. Their equivalent of, “This doesn’t mean shit to me,” is, “Das ist mir Wurst!”, which basically means, “To me, this is a sausage.” Giving someone preferential treatment is, “Jemandem eine Extrawurst braten,” or frying them an extra sausage.
Another reason sausages aren’t the best, though, is that they’re quiiiiiiiite unhealthy. As an ultra-processed food, excessive consumption can lead to a dramatically increased likelihood of death. Of course, if you’re in Germany when you die, your grieving relatives might be comforted with the phrase, “Alles hat ein Ende nur die Wurst hat zwei,” which means that everything has an end, and only a sausage has two.
Those Germans sure do love a weiner!
Lie #5: “What A Small Weiner!”
That’s definitely not true if discussing the Gaia Sausage, comprising as it does the remains of a few billion or so stars, coming to about 10 billion times the mass of the Sun. That’s a pretty chunky weiner!
The Gaia Sausage is all that’s left of the dwarf galaxy that used to be next to the Milky Way (and, given the distances involved, “next to” is doing a lot of heavy lifting there). About 10 billion years ago, it crashed into the Milky Way and was absorbed by it, creating the halo of debris that surrounds our galaxy in the process, as well as altering its shape.
Wyn Evans of Cambridge University, one of several institutions involved in the international study that saw the Sausage get its name, said, “We plotted the velocities of the stars, and the sausage shape just jumped out at us. As the smaller galaxy broke up, its stars were thrown onto very radial orbits. These Sausage stars are what’s left of the last major merger of the Milky Way.”
(Sausage isn’t a shape, we’ve fucking comprehensively shown that above.)
It wasn’t the first collision our galaxy has had, and won’t be the last — in about four billion years, the Milky Way is set to smash into, and merge with, the Andromeda galaxy. However, for two reasons, it won’t really affect life on Earth. Firstly, galaxies are huge and our orbit around our own Sun will be unchanged even as our solar system moves further out toward the edges of the galaxy. Second, we’ll all be long, long dead.