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Arts & Culture

Lexicon Takes 'Wide Stance'

LUKE BURBANK, host:

This is THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR News. It's Alison Stewart. I'm Luke Burbank.

Alison, they've written some clever dialogue for us here.

ALISON STEWART, host:

Some witty repartee?

BURBANK: I am hungry; I can feel my tummy rumbling.

STEWART: Hungry? Didn't I see you already scarf down a donut like an hour ago?

BURBANK: Oh, yeah. But I am hungry for something that won't make you fat but really satisfies. It's the news that you can't use. It's The Ramble.

(Soundbite of music)

BURBANK: I think…

STEWART: This is a story about hunger.

BURBANK: The Oscar's in the mail.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: Hey, a 6-year-old boy in Colorado - he was hungry too - got the munchies so he got into the car by himself and started to drive at a local Appleby's. Now, the best part of this story is he went into the backseat and got his booster seat and put it in the front seat because he knew he couldn't see. That's my favorite part of the story. He didn't get too far, only about 75 feet before he hit an electrical box knocking out power through the entire neighborhood.

BURBANK: This became a big story for us because it is what our senior producer Matt Martinez would have done at age 6 if he would have had the moxie.

STEWART: I used to do that quite a bit. I admit I was a back-the-car-out-of-the-driveway kid.

BURBANK: I did that a few times myself. All right. From young and restless to middle aged and apparently not as fit as they would like us to believe. Former Mexican presidential candidate, Roberto Madrazo - he won the Berlin Marathon in September for his age group. He's 55. Except there's a little problem. That little microchip they put on your shoe when you run a marathon, which is sort of hits all these checkpoints, there's no record of him between, like, Mile 12 and I think Mile 19 or something, there's an 18-minute gap in the tape. And - what they figured out was based on the pace he was running, during this missing period of time, he would have had to run faster than the world record for marathon running to achieve the time he did. In other words, the guy is a cheater. He's been disqualified from the race. And Mexican blogs have been having much fun with him.

STEWART: Senator Larry Craig was indicted to the Idaho Hall of Fame but that is not all…

BURBANK: Inducted. I think that was Dr. Freud.

STEWART: Ooh. He also got an entry into the online Urban Dictionary. Wide stance is now in the Urban Dictionary as a definition, as a euphemism for a closet gay person or your excuse for something. Yeah. Yeah. I got - I had a wide stance about that. Craig said those famous words as he tried to explain how he got himself arrested at a Minneapolis Airport. The cops said it looked like he was soliciting sex in the bathroom stall. Craig said he didn't mean to extend his toe in the next stall; he was just a big guy with a wide stance.

BURBANK: I actually used that the other day as a verb. Getting wide stance. So it is - it's working its way into the lexicon. Well, finally, in honor of national coming out week, that's this week - Larry Craig, FYI - the woman who writes the popular syndicated column "Dear Abby" Jeanne Phillips, she says she official supports gay marriage. She says, I believe if two people want to commit to each other, God bless them. That's what she told the Associated Press. She's been honored this week by PFLAG, which is Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

Since taking over the "Dear Abby" column from her mom five years ago, Pauline Phillips has often expressed views sympathetic to gay people and lesbians. In one instance she admonished a mother who was embarrassed by her daughter's lesbian tendencies to come to terms with her own feelings about homosexuality.

And by the way, if you want to write a letter to Jeanne Phillips, you should address her as Abby. That's what she likes. That's her professional name, I guess.

STEWART: Yes, ma'am. And that's it for The Ramble. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.