Hannah Montana and the Inner Prude

Sometimes, just as The Tuesday Prude is about to go to publication, we need to hold the presses.
Today, Heavy Artillery Tuesday, we were prepared to introduce the most aggressive weapon in the Prude Means of Offense.
The Finger Point.
A disturbing new story, however, needs to be told, and only The Tuesday Prude has it.

During our extensive web-based research on ‘The Finger Point’, we noticed repeated references to Miley Cyrus and a pointing finger. For those of you unfamiliar with Miss Cyrus, she was, as Hannah Montana, the 21st century version of Shirley Temple. A sweet, innocent bundle of singing and dancing and acting. Was it possible, we wondered, hoping against hope, that the grown up Miss Cyrus has embraced her prudish beginnings and taken up her Finger Point?

Well. No.

We followed the internet trail to a video of Miss Cyrus performing at a music awards show. Within seconds our alarm bells began a’jingling. Perky little Hannah Montana was nowhere in sight. Of course, even Shirley Temple grew up into more mature roles (remember ‘The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer’?) We noted that, while still a very pretty young lady, the former child actress is applying her makeup with a heavy hand these days. Her hairdo included two tight pigtails atop her head and she was dressed in a one-piece swimsuit, which, while not customary award show attire, nonetheless appeared modest by current standards.

And here is our breaking news:
Although not confirmed by major media, we have cause to believe that before she went onstage, poor Miley came in contact with an infectious agent. Any alert viewer could pick up the signs. By the time she entered, greeted by a bevy of bloated bears, her tongue had begun to swell. Poor child. It rolled from her mouth on a regular basis.
The next symptom-increased irritability, manifested itself when she applied old-fashioned corporal punishment to several of the dancing bears.

The infection spread quickly. She broke out into a sweat and (people often act out of the norm when in the grip of fever) stripped down to her skivvies. She jolted about the stage. She writhed in agony, trying to scratch wherever she itched. And that child itched EVERYWHERE.  As she lost control of motor skills, she flopped forward from the waist. When a male candy striper came to help, the former Miss Montana, overcome by hives, used him as a scratching post.

At some point in her flailing she located a giant hand and The Tuesday Prude realized, to our disappointment, that it wasn’t the Pointing Finger of Correction.
This resembles more of the ‘We’re #1’ sort of digit brought to sporting events but instead of putting it to cheerleading use, she tried to relieve the all-pervasive prickly heat.

No, Miley Cyrus hasn’t mastered the prudish Finger Point and she may not yet have embraced her inner prude. But hope springs eternal.
Next week we resume our regularly scheduled posting to give you instructions and pointers on how and when to safely wield the Finger Point.

Until then, we wonder if any of you would like to chip in on a get-well bouquet to the young lady?

Prude Stew


Not Prude Stew. For illustrative purposes only.

The past few weeks we’ve spent browsing the Prude Munitions Vault.
You’ve learned to identify your means of defense and your ‘concealed carry’ weapons. All we have left are the Weapons of Mass Prudery.

Please bear in mind that with great prudishness comes great responsibility.
So before we move to reveal the Big Guns, the prude’s version of a nuclear submarine,
we need to establish ground rules. To brandish armaments at the highest level
of prude warfare requires not only training, but understanding the underlying code of honor.

Today, let’s raid the Chivalric Code icebox to make our own Prude Stew.
Please bear in mind that these are actual virtues as listed by an actual Chivalric Knight.
(We here at the Tuesday Prude don’t want you to think we just pull this stuff out of our hat.) You may also note the shocking mix of metaphors in this post but if one figure of speech is good, two can’t help but be better.


Faith, Charity and Justice comprise the broth in which all the other prudish virtues
simmer. Readily available in the distant past, today you may have to hunt for them. WARNING: Don’t be tempted to eliminate any one virtue just because they are rare. Keep looking—Prude Stew is worthless without each one.
Sagacity we wanted— for obvious root-wordish sort of reasons— to be the sage flavoring. But since sagacity is a cool word for good judgment and prudes are all about discernment, let’s call it the potatoes. Not glamorous, but filling. Just be cautious about letting sagacity sit unused in a dark corner for too long. It will sprout useless eyes and start to stink.

This is a 3-meat stew, chock full of the goodness that sets it apart from Hollywood Bisque, Wall Street Chowder, Washington Pottage or Fashion Week Soup.
Our special proteins are found in Prudence, Temperance and Resolution. Each meaty virtue is guaranteed to build strength of character. Prudence, though it tends to be tough and chewy, develops a healthy sense of caution. Temperance might taste bland, but is inexpensive and ensures a well-balanced system of moderation. We don’t need to add much flavorful Resolution. It’s pricier than all the other ingredients and a little goes a long way.

Don’t forget to salt your stew with just the right amount of Truth. Too little and the virtues seem insipid, too much truth just for the sake of truth overpowers everything else. Toss in some colorful carrots of Hope, Diligent celery (you can never have too much) and season with the Liberality of your choice.

Stir it up with Valor and viola!
Prude Stew!
Nourish yourselves on it this week, so when you return next Tuesday you’ll have the strength to dash back to the weapon analogy and flourish your heavy ammunition with skill and flair.

Arms and the Prude

Last week The Tuesday Prude provided a brief overview of means of defense.
Please don’t, however, assume Prudes are people of little backbone.
We don’t always turn tail and run.
As people of honor we fight in the face of ridicule, marginalization and overwhelming odds.

Periodically over the coming weeks we’ll teach you how to use these weapons and in which situations (ie. don’t use ellipsis tape when an m-dash staple is required)

But before you know how to use these offensive slings and arrows you better know what they are.

We’ll begin with our concealed carry weapons and move on up to the heavy artillery.

-The smallest, most easily brandished weapon is The Look.The Look varies from prude to prude, but usually involves lowered eyebrows and lipstitching. To achieve the lipstitch, imagine (painlessly) sewing your upper to your lower lip with an easy running stitch. Now tug the thread gently. Not so hard as to pucker, just enough to fire a warning glance of disapproval. Brandish The Look when your husband hauls out that slightly off-color story, when your son ‘loses’ the belt that prevents his pants from collapse, when your daughter attempts to convert texting shorthand into verbal communication (OMG, M! RUK?)*
Often The Look is enough to stop enemy behavior before it becomes belligerent. It is usually limited in effectiveness to those who know you best. Strangers may interpret The Look as a reaction to a bad bite of sushi.

-For those times when The Look is insufficient to convey disapproval, but the FInger Point would create chaos, pull out the ‘tsk’.
Again, the ‘tsk’ has various manifestations. Some prudes use a throat clear. Some engage their ‘small cough’ which doesn’t reach far enough outside the oral cavity to emit any germs. (True Prudes never engage in germ warfare). And of course, the ‘tcht’. Made when one’s tongue suctions itself for a split second to the roof of the mouth before pulling free, it is perennially popular with prudes. The tsk/tcht is a multi-purpose tool. It expresses mild verbal disapproval while releasing pressure on the prude’s itchy reprimand finger. We prudes keep our tsk/tcht handy because danger lurks everywhere.
Prudent prudes realize that flourishing the Finger Point or the Lecture at a rabid baseball fan venting rage via a vulgar assortment of adjectives could unleash the dogs of war. Prudes prefer positioning themselves on the high ground during battle. The ‘tsk’ prevents them from participating in the fray.

-Our final small firearm is the gentle ’Do you really want to (do that, wear that, put the dessert fork on that side of the plate)?” You can see how we have moved up from the smallest silent-but-deadly Look to a complete-with-subject-and-predicate sentence.
Use on those most familiar with power of “Do you really want to…” Try this weapon on teenagers engaged in a passionate public display of affection in the middle of the produce aisle and the ammunition will bounce harmlessly away and land on the artichokes.

We have one more room to visit in our munitions storage. Hold onto your helmets, fellow prudes. Next week we unlock the iron door guarding the Big Guns. Till then, please use your small arms responsibly.

* ‘Oh my goodness** Mom! Are you kidding?’

** Even in texting acronyms your daughter knows better than to take the Lord’s name in vain

A Prude in Shining Armor


Soon, very soon, The Tuesday Prude will dive in and outline the behaviors and attitudes guaranteed to draw a prude’s ire.
Before we draw the battle lines and wade into the fray, let’s take a gander at the Prude Armory with its stockpile of weapons.
As we look around, take a moment to consider your status as Friend or Foe of Prudes.
Already live in the Kingdom of the Prudes? Take inventory and make sure your weapons cache is complete.
Maybe you are prude-neutral, sort of like Switzerland. Here is a chance to see what we have to offer.
Or do you consider prudes a scourge and a menace? You either arrived at the Tuesday Prude by accident OR it’s time you learned the power of the prude. You may just wave a (freshly pressed) white flag  and join us as we gallop forth to conquer a naughty world.

The well-armed prude never heads off to crusade without first assembling the Defensive Weapons.
A prude needs protection. We are only human. When the slings and arrows of outrageous indecency let loose, we can be in the line of fire.
Our most basic means of defense is the Blush.
Think of it as our chain mail.
Employed when physical separation from a situation would be deemed rude or disruptive.
Often donned at work parties when the boss gets ‘happy’ or family gatherings (ie. Thanksgiving dinner) when the talk turns saltier than the Green Bean Casserole.

Other situations require greater protection.
Meet the Squirm. The Squirm functions as our shield. A prude on the defense pulls out the Squirm in situations beyond the scope of a simple Blush. Imagine, say, a prude at the movie theater awaiting a PG rated ‘family’ movie. Suddenly the screen is blazoned with a decidedly non-PG-rated scene. Our prude, seated dead center in the row with dozens of human knees, quarts of spilled soda and  thousands of popcorn bits blocking access to the aisle, has no where to run. Trapped, the prude engages the Squirm. What does the Squirm accomplish? It makes her harder to hit.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Let say all a prude’s worst nightmares have been invited to a party. Surrounded by low-hanging pants on males, Heimlich Maneuver-tight tops on females, crude language coupled with poor grammar, rude interchanges, raucous music, and public displays of affection most prudes wouldn’t even consider employing in private, what is the prudent prude to do? Back Away and Leave. That’s right. We get on our trusty high horse, lower our visor and gallop off to our happy place.

Don’t think our prude, cowering in front of ‘Andy Griffith’ reruns, has been beaten. Those defensive weapons merely provide a chance to regain strength. Before long the doughty Prude is back in the Armory gathering Weapons of Offense.
Come back next week as we learn how to wield Prude Munitions.