Episode 45: We’re A Bunch Of Jerks!

Shea hosts the first great Interesting Jerk Off then Aaron tells the patrons all about how to be a cunning linguist!

Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast that’s much, much better than most things now associated with the number 45…

I’m your host this week, Shea, and with me are:

I’m Aaron, and this week I learned that one day all of us will buy a food with an expiration date longer than our own…

The Jerk Off!

Inspired as a nickname for the soda clerk who operated soda fountains as late as the 1950s, the “Soda Jerk” title was inspired by the jerking action a server used to swing the soda fountain handle back and forth when adding soda water to a fountain beverage. They prepared milkshakes and other treats using drink mixers that feature spindles and agitators to fold air in for smooth and fluffy results served in tall glasses. Soda Jerks were charged not only with preparing delicious treats for customers, but with entertaining them as well. Their responsibilities were many—breaking and draining eggs with one hand, carving chicken, remembering orders, pulling the correct spigots and spindles on the drugstore soda fountain. But most of all, the NY Times reported, “the prime requisite of their station is the ability to bandy words.”

Soda jerks became known across the country for this kind of esoteric slang. They were often virtuosic wordsmiths, with a gift for puns and riffs. And, at a time when the United States was nuts for all things ice-cream, they were at once “consummate showmen, innovators, and freelance linguists of the drugstore stage,” writes Michael Karl Witzel in The American Drive-In. “America’s soda jerk became the pop culture star of the Gilded Age.”

The colorful jargon of the Soda Jerk was verbal shorthand for calling out orders as part of putting on a show for customers. The order consisted of the method of preparation, the number and size of the order, the basic soda fountain item, and any special instructions, such as “Shake One in the Hay and Spit on It” (a strawberry shake with raspberries on top). Soda fountains had handbooks of recipes they had to memorize, but hundreds of variations were created on the fly by the creative Soda Jerks.

By the 1950’s capitalism all but killed the old time soda fountains, the increase in technology and the wish to expedite helped push the jerks out the door. By then diners were the new big hang out, the good ol greasy spoon of yore to the place of soda fountains but they kept some of the language and peppered in some of their own.

Similar to visiting a foreign country where English is not spoken, diner lingo is virtually unknown outside the United States. The light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek and even sometimes risqué phrases could be heard in wide use in busy diners during the 1920’s continuing on well into the 1970’s. Diner lingo was never intended for use in speeding up the order-to-table process. Rather, it was a spontaneously developed mnemonic means of making orders easier to hear and remember above the conversational din of the busy diner. It also provided patrons and employees with a free form of entertainment.

Today we are going to test your soda jerking skills in our first ever JERK OFF!! Today’s quiz will be the interesting slang used by jerks and slop slingers back in the 50’s and we will compete to see who will be the Jerk of the year.

  • I am going to start with an easy one, and actually the slang that got me started down this rabbit hole. Used both in Soda fountains and then eventually in diners what does “to 86” something mean?

Remove an item from an order or from the menu; throw an item away (plenty of theories on the origins of this one, including: a reference to Article 86 of the New York State Liquor Code, which defines the circumstances under which a patron should be refused alcohol; a reference to coffins, usually eight feet long and buried six feet under; from Chumley’s Bar and Restaurant in New York City, where trash was thrown out the back door at 86 Bedford Street; from Delmonico’s Restaurant in NYC, where item #86 on their menu, the house steak, was often unavailable due to its popularity.

  • One of the most popular drinks of the time was a “black cow” what was in it?
    • It was a fancy root beer float with the addition of chocolate syrup mixed with the soda
  • Soda fountains invented the Sundae which was most popular on Sunday’s, why?
    • The church, so for some reason or another soda was considered too frilly and thus was banned from being sold on Sundays. Thought the bubbly water was banned the sweet treat was not.
  • No soda fountain creation was complete without a maiden’s delight, what is it?
    • A cherry… These Soda Jerks weren’t nearly as politically correct as you may have thought.
  • Axle grease, skid grease, and cow paste were all the same ingredient used in most diner dishes.
    • Butter, heart clogging butter
  • Another easy one Baby juice, moo juice, cow juice, or Sweet Alice was also known as what?
    • Super easy, Milk. Canned cow on the other hand was evaporated milk.
  • Belch water or balloon water was a necessary ingredient in many concoctions.
    • Also called On the house, it was just simple water. Heavy on the hail and it was ice water.
  • A simple breakfast of Battle Creek in a bowl could be procured at many diners across the country.
    • bowl of corn flakes cereal (the Kellogg Company based in Battle Creek, Michigan) Also called Elephant Dandruff
  • A very popular slang that I know I have heard in the movies is Adam & Eve on a raft but what does it mean?
    • Two poached eggs on toast, also could be called chicks on a raft
  • Then what would Adam and Eve on a log be?
    • Two poached eggs with sausage, if you just wanted a plate of sausage no eggs you could have a plate o’ dicks.
  • And if we were to wreck Adam and Eve, Adam & Eve on a raft and wreck ‘em, we would have what?
    • Two scrambled eggs on toast. Eve with a lid on is actually apple pie (referring to the biblical Eve’s tempting of Adam with an apple, the “lid” is the pie crust) and Eve with a moldy lid added a slice of cheese to the top.
  • Not all slang was food related much like 86ing something, now if I were to draw your attention to an 87 ½, what might you see?
    • A cute girl or more specifically a girl at table with legs conspicuously crossed, or you could mention to your coworker to “check the ice” also slang for “check out the girl who just walked in.”

On occasion, the code had a simple, practical purpose. That might be in protecting the privacy of the customer: The name of an order spiked with the laxative magnesium citrate would include Mary Garden “because it makes you sing.” Mary Garden was a famous opera singer of the time. If a customer left without paying, whether by accident or otherwise, it was often easier to shout “95!” than to explain what had happened. “99!” denoted the presence of the big boss or an inspector (soda fountains were notoriously unhygienic and tended not to use soap when washing dishes).

  • To “burn one” is to put a burger on the grill but what if you burned one then take it through the garden and pin a rose on it
    • Add onion, lettuce, and tomato
  • Then what would you add if you “drug it through Wisconsin?
    • Add cheese, you might also say add wax though that was always american cheese.
  • Egg creams used to creep me out just on principle but they don’t actually have eggs in them, what was in a traditional egg cream?
    • Chocolate soda with a splash of milk
  • Bullets/whistle-berries or Saturday nights were a popular side dish, especially in Blazing Saddles.
    • Beans, could also be called million on a platter
  • If I ordered a tube steak with a hemorrhage and mississippi mud what would I have ordered?
    • Hotdog with ketchup and mustard. You could also paint it red and yellow, Hounds on an island is a bit different but still has hotdogs involved, that’s franks and beans. Bloodhound in the hay is a hot dog with sauerkraut. Now don’t get confused with dog soup, that’s just water.
  • Noah’s boy on bread is a standard lunch fair for many Americans, though Jews and Muslims beware.
    • Ham sandwich, Ham was of course one of Noah’s sons.
  • Now what is “Noah’s boy with Murphy carrying a wreath?”
    • ham and potatoes with cabbage, duh! Murphy was potatoes, Happy St. Pats today.
  • If the Gentleman will take a chance, what did he order? My wife’s favorite breakfast too BTW.
    • A basic hash, it was also called Sweep the kitchen/sweepings/clean up the kitchen, sounds appetizing. If you only wanted a side you could order a mystery in the ally
  • A favorite of mine, what is nervous pudding?
    • Jello!
  • A Mormon trying to lose weight’s favorite hot drink is a “Why Bother”
    • Decaf Coffee with no fat creamer
  • Shingle with a shimmy and a shake was not a popular dance move, but was, what everyday breakfast food?
    • Buttered toast with jam
  • A Mouse trap with a splash of red noise is a favorite of many a toddler and myself.
    • Grilled cheese with tomato soup

I don’t know what your plans for dinner are tonight but I’m going with A yellow blanket on a dead cow, frog fries then stretch one and paint it red and Twist It, Choke It, and Make It Cackle.

For those too slow to keep up, that’s a cheese burger with fries and a cherry coke followed by Chocolate malted milk.

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Wow Shea, I had no idea shit on a shingle was actually a yee-oldie thatchers technique! That’s so interesting… if it’s true.

Pretty sure it’s not.

These things are though. In keeping with Shea’s quiz about eating out, I’ve prepared a quiz for you about eating out…

Question 1:

Cunnalingus is…

  1. Named after that freaky-deaky Roman emperor,
  2. The key to a happy marriage,
  3. Derived from the latin words cunnus and lingere,
  4. Illegal in 14 states (Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Virginia – so all the worst ones basically).

Yep, the lain for vulva was cunnus and “to lick” was lingere. Put’em together and what’da got? Well.. B, probably, which is the other answer I would have accepted. Remember kids, reciprocity is the foundation of civilization.

Question 2:

Which of the following are not acceptable oral sex barriors capable of prevent the spread of STDs and STIs?

  1. Ultra-thin, flavored, glow-in-the-dark, condoms,
  2. A carefully placed, or split open for space, latex or nitrile glove,
  3. A minty-fresh, Christian-themed (little crucifix pattern is the “how” on that), dental dam,
  4. A carefully placed amount of plastic kitchen wrap.

Yes, while googling Dental Dams I did find a seller of Christian themed, mint flavored, dental dams for the safety-first clitorally-concerned cloisteress. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure that nun’s outfit definitely wasn’t designed at the Vatican… Enter “glory” at checkout?

The answer is A for the penis-havers and C — or a less creepy variant thereof — for the vagina-havers. While a latex or nitrile glove is a bio-impermeable layer, that’s only true if you don’t accidentally poke holes in it while cutting it, or rub holes in it… rubbing.

As for cling wrap, some could work but there’s not enough good, positive, research to suggest it’s a good idea. Moreover, many microwavable cling wraps have micro pores to allow steam to pass through them, which you can totally tongue-punch an STD or STI though…

Question 3:

In Watchmen, one of Zach Snyder’s good movies (I mean, this airs after the release of the Snider Cut, but come on… what could he possibly add, remove, or drug us with to make that movie suck less?) OG Silk Spectre gives her daughter a “Tijuana Bible,” a tiny adult comic book. Not your most commonly known about or distributed comic, but like Marvel they left their mark on the English speaking world at least. What phrase did the Tijuana Bible make famous:

  1. Wetter than an otter’s pocket,
  2. Blow Job,
  3. Pun Tang,
  4. Tossing Salad,

Thanks to Urban Dictionary for the joke in this round! Yeah, I’ve never heard that either…

The answer is B, Blow Job. There are a few casual records of “blow” getting used as a term for filatio, and many more in the diaries of the wild-wests working women describing it as a laborious “job.” However, the term first appears in its entirety in a ‘Tijuana Bible’, a crudely drawn and in this case, eight-page, pornographic comic. They often featured a well known or notorious person at the time, in this case the alleged Communist spy Alger Hiss and the McCarthyite informer Whitaker Chambers.

c.1948 ‘Chambers & Hiss in Betrayed’ [comic strip] in B. Adelman Tijuana Bibles (1997): Alger […] you give such good blow jobs!

Question 4:

The ancient gods were busy bees for sure. While Zues was shagging everything in sight and Yahweh giving happily married women surprise-babies, the rest of the gods, well in Egypt anyway, doing everything but:

  1. “Blowing” life back into their hacked-up partners,
  2. Perfecting the art of phillating one’s own divinity,
  3. “Seeding” life to the stars,
  4. Tugging one out to make mud babies at the Nile.

That’s right, it’s a star chart kind of moment.

Apparently, the Egyptian gods Geb, god of the earth, and his grand kinds were all fans of a little holy autofellatio. I’ve included a papyrus from the British Museum in the show notes… not the show because like last week, I’m not clear on how iTunes handles giant, red, wangs. The red, by the way, was added in photoshop to make their not at all subtitle cocks easier to see.

According to ledgent, the god Osiris was hacked up all murder style and his sister-wife Isis had to put him back together. Unfortunately, his wang was the one peace she “couldn’t find” so she fashioned him a new one out of the clay of the Nile and then used it to blow life back into him like a cheap inflatable pool toy for risque tupperware parties.

As for the mud babies, this is apparently Isis and Osiris’ origin stories. Thir father, Ra took his human form Atum, and rubbed out two pools of his own filth, which somehow sprang to life then married each other. So… yeah.

Question 5:

Like many professions doctors can glean knowledge from their customers which they may not have intended to share. In our case, it’s always and forever the button you clicked but swear you didn’t. Trust us, you did. And for Dentists it’s:

  1. If you’ve been aggressively playing a skin flute recently,
  2. If you spit or swallow,
  3. If your tongue has been working out enough to keep Question 1’s marriage happy,
  4. If you have recently had a salad, that you tossed, without tongs.

And of course, it’s A!

The other three are made up, though I gotta think that if you get a gum infections and they culture the bacteria only to find a ton of butt stuff that’s a dead give away.

As for the blow job evidence, it’s called Fellatio-associated erythema of the soft palate. Which is a very doctor way of saying that you’ve recently been sucking dick aggressively enough to visibly bruise your soft palate. The bruise is called a petechiae. Apparently the don’t last long so it’s not a good test of if someone has ever sucked a dick but it seems like around the week, maybe two, time frame is well within reason. That or you have fundamentally failed to understand how popsicles work.

Check the show notes for a screen grab from Dr. Huzefa Kapadia’s TikTok video describing the condition. It’s been viewed some 33 million times and the comments from other dentists are just a delight. For example:

I used to get these high school girls that would come in Monday morning to get their teeth cleaned, and I’d ask them how their weekend was. And they’d go, “Oh, it was fine, I didn’t really do too much.” And you’re looking in their mouth and you’re thinking, Mhmm, you did a lot more than ‘not too much.’ Yeah, those were the best.

Again, for those T.I. enthusiasts out there, the effects are short lived and can be caused by carrots, snickers, dicks, popsicles, or misunderstanding the length of your soup spoon. This is an interest and true fact, but not a means by which you can really tell much about much.

Question 6:

According to most of the stats I glossed over for this quiz, some 80% of women will acquiesce to the men in their lives and temporarily damaged their soft palate for us. On the other had, a mere 40% of men are willing to return the favor despite socially prevalent sayings like “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” Hopefully, our numbers begin to rise and, demographically, as men age apparently they do. So, which of the following are good avoid for making sure your lady is happy:

  1. Remember to find the clit… then remember it’s not an elevator button, old-timey radio, silly-puddy, or in need of a good oral vacuuming,
  2. It’s a marathon, not a race—seriously, 2 minutes and a fine “how do ya do” is not going to do the trick, at least aim for a fraction of the time she spends doing the same “job”
  3. “Like that” means “keep doing that” not “that plus faster” or “that plus harder” you’re not trying to level up your limit break bar here,
  4. Just fucking pay attention and listen to her! Seriously, A, B, and C, while not necessarily bad advice all came from a fucking Buzzfeed quiz. Don’t get sexual advice click bate!

Bonus Question:

When looking into sexual health information, there’s a lot of misinformation. Like a lot a lot. Moreso even when you look for women’s sexual health information. So, to clear up at least one amazingly frustrating item, Pregnancy Crisis Centers are:

  1. A place to get sound medical advice if you are, or think you may be, pregnant,
  2. A good source of moral support for making difficult reproductive choices,
  3. Essentially diet coke Planned Parenthoods whose services are free,
  4. Unregulated, religiously motivated, bullshit factories owned and operated by medically uninformed religious zealots whose only goal is to guilt or otherwise persuade pregnant women not to get perfectly safe and legal abortive services because they only care that you have the baby, not that you’re able to provide for it or yourself later designed from the ground up to imitate and thereby leach credibility from Planned Parenthood or other actual medical offices.

No one gets to answer this one. This is my point. The answer is D, 100% of the time. Pregnancy Crisis Centres are just another outlet for religiously motivated sociocultural shame and that’s bullshit.

And with that I’ll congratulate ____ and remind everyone to visit https://gettested.cdc.gov to find a nearby, confidential, and often free, testing clinic for STI/Ds. And if you want to help support free, rapid HIV/AIDS testing, available contraceptives, and support for those living with HIV/AIDS in Wyoming, visit WyoAIDS.org to like, share, and donate!

… And for you regular listeners wondering what ___ won and why it means they should get tested, visit Patreon.com/iit or make a donation to WyoAIDS and send us the email recipe and we’ll reply with the patron cut of the last five shows!


I’m Shea, and this week I learned that charcuterie boards are just expensive lunchables. Before we go I’d like to thank all our listeners, supporters, and my co-hosts.

Find out more about the show, social links, and contact information at InterestingIfTrue.com.

Music for this episode was created by Wayne Jones and was used with permission.

The opinions, views, and nonsense expressed in this show are those of the hosts only and do not represent any other people, organizations, or lifeforms.
All rights reserved, Interesting If True 2020.

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