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Squid #214
(published February 17, 2005)
Ask the Giant Squid: Of "Saint" Valentine, Wolves and the Variance of the Breasts
Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid?
One breast of mine is growing larger than the other one. Should I start walking like I'm a hunchback so nobody will notice?

Thank you
Ramona The Pest


My Dearest Romana,

It is in moments like this that I most see the true value of my new presidential arrangements. Specifically, now having entered into the habit of presenting my soon-to-be-public-edicts to my staff, I am guarded from public embarrassments.

For to make the example, in this case of your query, my initial advice was as such:

If one of your breasts does fail to thrive, then hesitate not to cut it out from the flock, and leave it there in the field to wither and die, as is the Nature's Way. Waste not of your valuable resources in an attempt that which will not save itself.

I pennéd (or, truly put, did make of the typáge) to this effect, gave much wise and sound advice on the manner of the cutting from the flock, and then suggestions on necessary and fine uses of the flesh, viscera and calciferous bones of the failed-thriver breast: breast fillets with candied-pear reduction, a fine breast-skin cap, various plans for shaping the breast's bones into needles and sporting implements—it was a very complete column of advising, almost ecumenical in nature, with its pearls of wisdom quite portable to other fields of query and inquiry. Finally, having made of the drafts both rough and primary, I did pass my writings on to my staff for a brief polishing, punching-up, and elimination of the most vexing of typographical gremlins (there, their, they're—who among us can differentiate among these homophonic harriers?)

Serendipitous was this extra grammatical caution, as my staff's confuséd and terror-struck reaction to the column did begin within me an inkling that I had, somehow, wandered just the thinnest margin afield of an appropriate response. Thence it was drawn to my attention that these are not your breasts in the sense of an item being your book or your only infant son—which is to say "that which is mine but might be discarded at a whim"—but rather your breasts in the sense of your optically inferior eyes or your irrational sense of entitlement.

As an aside, if I have declaimed it once, I have declaimed it a thousand time: the all-encompassing mind simply boggles at the muddle you must move forth through, having but this single mode of forming possessives. Such pity. This is precisely why humans are unfit to rule this dry humanland—although ironically well fit for the scuttling and toiling across its amber mountains' majesty and purple waving grains, no?

But, notwithstanding, it was at that time further clarified that not only is your breast little akin to your goats, but is also little akin to your adenoids, and a great deal more of the nature of your labia vagintastic. My Press Secretary (which is to say my lab assistant, Rob), and his impressive collection of anatomical publications and Internetual Webbed Page Bookmarks did explain and demonstrate unto me the mammaries of mammalia humana. My understanding thus clarified, I have scrapped the column no longer applicable, and instead offer the following:

I note that just this Monday past was the observation of the Feast of St. Valentine, a saint who appears to have never quite existed (providing that "to exist" means to be one and only one entity, discrete in time and space), and whose fraudulent feast day was eliminated by the day's erstwhile proponents some three decades past owing to the saint's probable mythicallity. Nonetheless, the day persists, is especially popular throughout my secular nation, and maintains a firm place in the human mating ritual—an aspect it took on some 800 years ago for reasons unclear and unsettling.

What is clear is that the Day of St. Valentine was first enacted by Holy Catholic Romana in order to supplement Lupercalia, the pagan Roman celebration to purify the coming Springtime. This holiday itself predates the founding and construct of Roman—which itself, as I recall, was not built in a day, but rather over the course of seven days, at the end of which Romulus and Remus rested. Lupercalia celebrated the fecund-god Faunus, also named Lupercus, being "he who chases off wolves," which are themselves carnivorous quadrupeds in all likelihood still dissatisfied with having been denied suffrage after the founding of Rome—which did indeed take only a single day. Notwithstanding, yearly in Christless Rome, as Lupercaliatime approached nigh, the Luperci—Brotherhood of the Wolf, although if they actually served the wolves or men remains unclear—would gather on the Palatine, and there make to sacrifice a dog and two goats, and anoint two youths with the blood—or, alternatively, they would sacrifice a dog and two youths, and anoint the goats. In either case, a dog died, and was not eaten, which is wasteful and, as such, vexing. The blood was then wiped from the anointed with lamb's wool soaked in milk. At this stage, the anointed (be they boys or goats) were expected to smile—plausible in a manner not unlike wolves—then cut thongs from the sacrificial offerings, and run about the hills of Rome, whipping young ladies with these things—which they called Februa, and we thus call this month Febro. The thong-whipping was seen as purifying in the extreme, and the slick and savage young ladies did delight in it, lining up along the hills, their skin oiled and breasts heaving, breathless and pouting-lipped, awaiting the lash of the boys with goat-thongs (or goats with boy-things), their mouths curled in savage, milk-and-blood lustful wolf grins.

As it is doubtless that a cocked-breasted maid would be entirely neglected in such manic rites—and thus be left impure as well as unsatisfied and lop-to-the-sided—your concern is noted and well understood.

But, for to answer your question, a problem remained: I have not the faintest notion of what the common variance between and among lady breasts might be, and my finest almanac(k)s were of little aid in casting the shadow of ignorance from my large, gentle and well-meaning brain. I thus contacted faithful Rob via cellular telephony, as he is back in the Motor Town, and sent him to visit a local Detroit dance salon for to obtain measurements appropriate to my calculations. This, it turned out, was an operation both awkward and ultimately somewhat costly, and Rob was only able to return with the following two data points:

Subject Thorax Below Breasts Thorax Across Greatest Swell of Breasts Standard Cup Size
Kandy: 33 inches 39 inches A
Chantrel: 36 inches 49 inches G
N.B.: in following this discussion, the following guides might best be kept close for reference: Bra Sizing. In short, the measure of the circumference of the thorax across the ribcage below the breast plus 5 inches yields the "band size." Subtract from this the measure of the circumference of the breasted chest, and you will have a number likely between 0 and 8, which shall correspond to the "cup size." It is my presumption that male cup sizes are similarly calculated, although the exact nature of what and where is measured remains obscure.

Statistically speaking, this yields a variance of 12.25 inches, and thus a standard deviation of 3.5 inches.

So, then, if I am to presume your breasts differ by but a single standard deviation, and that the right is a standard "A" cup (which is to say the measure of the thorax's circumference across the swelled breast exceeds that of the thorax minimally, by but six, prim inches— like our paid volunteer Kandy, above), then we understand the left, or sinister, breast to exceed the thorax by 13.5 inches, and be a standard "D" cup.

"Whoa!" Rob did exclaim, "Lumpy's got, like, one A and one D? That's totally fucked up!"

"This is extra-ordinary?"

"Dude, Lord A., it's totally freakish. Shit, I'm getting kinda nauseous thinking about it. An A and a D? You sure that's right?"

"Positive."

"Damn . . ." and Rob did sigh, far away in Detroit, his cellular telephone pressed earward, as though all of nature had dissapointed him with its manifold eccentricity.

And thus the people have spoken, Romana. As such, in its final form, my ultimate advice differs but little from the initial, and does make reference to my favorite Cabinet member's favorite philosopher:

If thy right teat doth offend thee, pluck it out!
MattWho 5:29, or thereabouts.

You are strange and misbegotten; for you there shall be no Valentine, no lash upon the hill, neither milk nor blood, nor boy nor goat. Even if you are to pluck, then yet you will remain weird and quasimodo. What is to be done?

Perhaps to join the wolves, far out in the forest beyond the Palatine, to watch the boys and girls with their blood lashes and goat's milk and dusty-heart candies and constructing paper love notes, and to scheme, and to plot, and to let those outcasts know that the San Valentino who did supplant Lupercus has himself been unthroned, and that know none remain to retard their progress back into the city?

Perhaps, like a she-wolf, you will suckle at your odd teats the two who will be the new, lupine Remus and Romulus, and found a four-legged and bright-burning City on the Hill, who will slaughter their own goats and dogs and boys, lash their own females, and never be left lone, desolate and unvoting in the dark forest ever again.

I Remain,
Your Giant Squid
President Architeuthis rex mundi
United States of the Americas

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