Please do not read this item. It’s offensive.

A reasonably old trick the pranksters—and who doesn’t know who they are—play in the office is to ask bespectacled people the power of their testicles.

Almost to a man, everybody seems to mishear the question. It happened today with Eapen Panicker. Immediately, the hand went up to the specs and he said “Oh, I don’t know. It’s so old,” till he realised the joke was upon him.

The joke was first played on Vicky Nanjappa, whose default mode otherwise is to go around as if nothing and nobody can faze him.

“Jarda” master was hanging around in the high court, when somebody (hopefully not a judge) accosted him and asked him the t-question, and Narco Nanja said, “I don’t know, havent’t got it tested for a while.”

post-script: Incidents like these show how the eyes of wordsmiths who deal with words all the time are accustomed to seeing things the same way after long years at the desk.

Outlook magazine once ran a memorable quote on George Fernandes—that the Mangalore-born, Bombay-bred, Bihari politician who lives in Delhi suffers from premature articulation.

The great Vinod Mehta took a look and said no, the magazine would be sued out of its pants for printing something so offensive. But, why, he was asked. Oh, come on, do you expect such a headline to earn Fernandes’ praise?

But what is wrong?

Vinod being Vinod could never see it the way it was printed, till he realised that it was premature articulation not premature ejaculation.

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