The Tuesday Prude is WHERE?

If you are in the mood for the politically correct versions of titles, or what happens when authors forgo a thesaurus when titling a book, head over to The Barn Door. The Tuesday Prude is hanging out there today with a little something we like to call ‘Little Women? or Small Ladies?


Passive-Aggressive Prudes: Let’s not get Physical


Before we get into the finer points of how to brandish the prude version of a battering ram, let’s take a little side street to visit some personal Tuesday Prude history. We’ll pull back the curtain of personal and familial past and discover why we here have chosen not to engage in fisticuffs to defend and promote our belief system.

When offspring of the Tuesday Prude were small, and driven to various manifestations of their original sin,  the first disciplinary inclination would be to patch their pookets.
According to the Prude Lexicon:
Patchin’ (verb): Application of corporal punishment to a fleshy area of a youngster’s backside.
“If you run into the street again you will get a patchin’ on your pooket.”
Pooket (noun): The well-padded backside of a child. The part of the anatomy required for sitting.
“Of course your pooket hurts. You jumped off the swing and landed on it.”

Although not opposed to corporal punishment, we here at The Tuesday Prude tired of nursing  stinging hands after each patchin’ whilst Prudlings  chuckled and announced that their rock-like pookets hadn’t even FELT the patchin.

A little further back in history reveals where we began to develop our passive-aggressive battering ram.  One particular mother of one particular Prude was an advocate of patchins.  This Prude’s father infinitely preferred The Lecture. (sneak preview-The Lecture IS a prude’s most potent weapon). Perhaps he, also, was a victim of delicate palms.  This particular Prude was only in the embryonic stage of prudish development, and often exhibited infestations of original sin. Her father would sit her down, look her in the eye, and explain in five-to-ten thousand words why that particular sin was wrong. He would add details regarding to whom the wrong was done and their consequent sadness, the sadness of the young Prude’s parents, pastor and the Lord, and why continuation in this sin would only lead to bigger, deeper, stronger, and more serious lectures.

This Prude’s mother, unable to take any more, would exclaim in exasperation: ‘Give her a patchin’ for Pete’s sake and get it over with!”  The Prude heartily concurred.  But her father, determined not to skimp on discipline, and preferring passive-aggressive to physical, would bring the lecture to its full development, complete with a summary paragraph and restatement of his thesis.

The Tuesday Prude has been impressed by the Power of the Lecture. We are only beginning to learn how potent, how life-changing, and how naughtiness-overcoming it can be when wielded correctly.
Please, we beg you, if you haven’t been trained in the use of this weapon, don’t go ramming it willy-nilly! The chance for irreparable harm is great.
Come back next week please. You’ll enter a novice and leave a proud, card-carrying Lecturer.


The Tuesday Prude has spent the last several weeks on various military maneuvers and left you to fight your own prudish battles. You could either cower behind your Squirm shield, or brandish a few small-scale weapons. That is all we’ve provided you with to date, and there is only so much damage a ‘tsk’ can inflict.

It’s a war out there folks. We can’t put this off any longer.
Prudes from all over the world need to unite under the banner of propriety. We must contend with objectionable language, messy morals and churlish misbehavior.
A stern look just won’t cut it.

The offensive weapons we introduce over the course of the next few weeks are not for the faint of heart. One needs training and a healthy sense of respect for their power.

These big guns are not finesse items. They don’t have the subtlety of a defensive blush, the elegance of the ‘tsk’.
The first item in our heavy artillery is especially dangerous. Discharge it without proper caution and it could backfire on you.

Have you ever heard of the medieval blunt instrument called a ‘flail’? Picture a Styrofoam ball, maybe softball size, covered with chopsticks, chained to a child-size cricket bat.
The flail was wielded by gripping the cricket bat and swinging the chopstick embedded  ball at your opponent. Oh, did we mention the entire contraption is made of solid iron?

The obvious danger comes if you miss your adversary and the flail whacks you in the face.

The Finger Wag  (aka Finger Point) is the prudes’ equivalent of the flail.

Like the flail, it loses potency when the offending party isn’t within arm’s length.
It can stop a skirmish in its tracks when used correctly, but could come back to bite you.

Usually the Wag is pulled out when the Look and repeated ‘Do you really want to…?” have failed.
Your teenager lost his/her license.
You’d previously brandished only small weapons. You’ve reminded him/her that posted speed limits are not merely suggestions. To no avail.
Now your trigger finger is getting itchy.
You wag it in front of your licenseless offspring’s nose.
The child knows he/she is in for it. That potent pointer finger carries the weight of not only disapproval, but CONSEQUENCES.

What about the aforementioned danger to the one flourishing it?
Remember. Three fingers are wagging back at you.

That’s right. If your son/daughter knows you sweet-talked your way out of a speeding ticket last month, your Finger Wag could miss the youngster and wallop you.

You don’t need to be perfect to point out the errors of others and impose necessary sanctions. The danger comes when you wag a finger at others while living hypocritically.
This is irresponsible use of dangerous artillery.

A final note of caution.
Although any prude is licensed to use the Finger Wag, there are restrictions on whom it can be employed.
It is not a good idea to point at
-your parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents
-your clergyman
-your spouse
-law enforcement

You are pretty much limited to your progeny, your students, impish children on the playground, and bullies. In dire circumstances however, you may employ it on anyone in the forbidden categories  partaking of behavior that will damage another human or defenseless animal.

This prude version of a flail functions to:
-stop bad behavior in its tracks
-prevent dangerous future hostilities.

It has great power, fellow prudes.
Use it wisely.

All we are saying, (la la) is give civility a chance

The Tuesday Prude has a daydream.
A dream in which thousands of people from all walks of life, sporting skin tones from freckly pink to glorious midnight, join for the next big March on Washington.
We won’t come together because we agree on everything. As a matter of fact, we agree on very little.
The Tuesday Prude brings a bevy of priggish types who propound the glories of modesty and genteel understatement, (body parts consist of ‘chestal regions’ and ‘hindquarters’, babies come about via procreation, couples in the throes of warm emotions engage in smooching). Our mission also promotes good manners and proper semi-colon use.
We meet up with the ‘America Gets Nekkid’ folks, who arrive clad only in sturdy walking shoes and an admirable sets of goosebumps.

The ‘Call a Spade a Spade ’ Society are in D.C. too. They organized several years ago to convince the world how archaic and unnecessary euphemisms have become.
Grammar Anarchists trickle in. Known best by their slogan ‘For all intensive purposes; we could care less’ they champion for, among other linguistic improprieties, a participle’s right to dangle.
More assemblages join us, like a small, unnamed but vocal group who hold etiquette responsible for the world’s inequities.

What, in The Tuesday Prude’s dream could bind such a disparate group?  What do we have in common?

A desire for civility.

So we come together, holding firmly to individual convictions, but demonstrating jointly for a fundamental cause.
This is the Civility Rights March.

The Tuesday Prude’s pipe dream continues. Maybe, before even arriving at our nation’s capital, everyone who thinks civility has for too long been trampled agrees to the following:

1) We will not mock, scorn, or call those with opposing viewpoints nasty names.
2) Interruptions, speaking out of turn and out-shouting others is not tolerated. We all have a chance to express opinions, but only while holding the Stick of Civility.
3) We do not make our opponent appear foolish, or take remarks out of context.
4) Under no circumstances, no matter how major our differences, do we  engage in fisticuffs.
5) We vow to use the proper facilities for dealing with bodily functions, leave said facilities looking better than when we came in, and inform management if facilities require attention.
6) We will not litter.
7) We promise to guard the above rights of civility via the use of civility against any and all who might come and try to undermine the rights of civility.

This is our daydream. Someday, demonstrators will come together to actually demonstrate what civility looks like…
Perhaps we overhear a Grammar Anarchist say: “Ain’t nobody going to tell me apostrophes aren’t for plural nouns.” Instead of mocking the extensive overuse of negatives (“So someone IS going to tell you how to use apostrophes?”) we tell them we enjoy their use of the vernacular ‘ain’t’ and any time the language subversive wants to discuss punctuation more fully we are ready and willing. They thank us and admit to occasional appreciation of subject/verb agreement.

Maybe a member of the ‘Call a Spade a Spade’ Society hears a male prude (they do exist) announce, “‘In the future I want to see a woman’s chestal region treated with the same dignity accorded to the hand that shakes the Queen’s: it will be fully covered.”
The pro-CASAS resists, in the interests of civility, taking his statement out of context to make him appear foolish or hypocritical.  (“I want to see a woman’s chestal region.”)

The most rabid of full-body coverage zealots realizes that even anti-clothing extremists get cold. While looking the au natural directly in the eye (and only in the eye) the super-modest type won’t say, “Serves you right.” Instead she offers a blanket for the birthday-suit clad nonconformist to ward off the chill. (“No, I don’t need it back when the temps warm up. Really, you keep it.”)  The personage in the all-together, recognizing the prudish-types’ sensibilities, willingly covers public seating areas with newspapers or napkins before settling down.

And even though the throw-off-the-yoke-of-etiquette people believe salad greens stuck in the teeth or dangling dried nasal secretions are symbols of liberation, they know they haven’t won over the entire world to their perspective. Therefore, upon seeing a dab of marinara sauce on the chin of a dainty etiquette-lover, our napkin-hater refrains from outward rejoicing and tactfully points it out.

Cleanliness, while not akin to godliness, certainly lifts the spirits. We all dash about emptying trash cans and making sure every facility has toilet paper and running water.

Protests seldom go well. The 60’s antiwar demonstrations always drew a crowd who defended America’s policies. Bitter recriminations erupted from both camps. Those who picket abortion clinics in turn are picketed by their polar opposites and the Occupy Anything people are met by vocally indignant Go Home Now and Get a Job groups.
They all employ their constitutional right to protest. Sadly, many assume this means they also have the right to scream and belittle and deface what isn’t theirs.

But at our Civility Rights March, any misguided prudes who come planning to humiliate our opposition will find themselves politely shushed. We won’t tolerate name calling, finger pointing, or twisted words.
Disagree with us, or disagree with those we disagree with.
Do so in an uncivil manner and we will inform you how we plan to defend the rights of civility.  And then we will courteously point out the little piece of spinach in your teeth.