What's the sitch with pajamas?
Pajamas is one of the funniest words in common usage in the English language. If funny words is one circle, and commonly used words is another, the overlap might include doodle, junk, and peanut, of course. The list is much longer, but my point is, pajamas deserves to be included.
Furthermore, if you take words with three syllables, and superimpose that on words with only one type of vowel sound, there is an even slimmer venn crescent, one where pajamas also fits. Banana would be in there, Mississipp (abbreviation for the famous river/state), elephant (if you mumble), etc. This is of course working with the assumption that you are pronouncing pajamas like a gentleman, not like someone from Chicago.
It is also a funny word because, like other related garments worn on the legs, it is always pluralized. Pants, trousers, briefs, pajamas. There has never been just one pajama.
I think it is fitting (no pun intended) that pajamas have such a silly name, because they also have such a silly purpose. We put them on before going to sleep. It is important to be warm when sleeping. And nobody wants to have bare skin touching raw mattress. But… we have sheets? Pajamas are just form-fitting sheets? Do we need both?
One could make the argument, “Well, I sweat at night, so pajamas are good because I don’t have to wash my sheets as often.” But… now you have to wash the pajamas. If that is your logic, then why not wear another, thinner layer of pajamas under your traditional pajamas, so you don’t have to wash your outside pajamas as much? There’s not enough time in the day to think about things so stupid.
I was getting started on one of my standard, “Pajamas are a silly article of clothing with a silly name,” tirades the other afternoon, when an entomologist friend of mine brought up an interesting point, one which I hadn’t considered. “You know how they say you swallow three or four spiders per year while sleeping? Well there is even better data on the number of spiders that crawl into your butt each year, if left exposed.” She continued. “Pajamas were originally designed to prevent arachnids from entering the body through the rectum.”
Yes, you read that correctly. I’m as shocked as you. Seems strange, but I trust this interpretation, because the person I was talking to was a scientist who studies this kind of thing. Of course, this doesn't make pajamas less silly, perhaps the opposite. But it does make me less skeptical of their widespread use.
While trying to come to grips with this new reality, I turned to my trusty old friends at Wikipedia. Unfortunately, in this case, the Wiki nerds didn’t seem to have all the answers. They failed to mention the rectal-protective qualities even once on the pajamas page. Wiki does detail how pajamas are a traditional Indian garment, popularized and spread to the West during British colonial rule. But no reference to the important stuff, no sections on spiders or butts.
Why would Wikipedia, usually so meticulous, so sound, so exhaustive with their descriptions of nouns and proper nouns, why would they choose to exclude this significant and compelling detail?
Unless the spiders have gotten ahold of the Wikipedia mainframe. Oh no. Oh Gawd. I think it’s happening.
We all knew this day would come. I just didn’t think it would be so soon. The spiders have taken over the world wide web.
I only have enough food in my fallout shelter to last me a year, 18 months at most if I really ration. I should have done that final CostCo run… I just didn’t think it would be so soon!!
All the signs were there. On the Spider-Man Wikipedia the origin story had been changed, from a human named Peter Parker being bit by a radioactive spider, to a spider named Spider Parker being bit by a radioactive human… I thought it was odd, but didn’t spend too much time on it… maybe I had misremembered? Maybe that was the original Marvel story and I just wasn’t a big enough fanboy?
The week after, in China, the record-keeping computers at the three largest silk manufacturers all got hacked on the same day, throwing the industry into disarray and causing their stock prices to plummet. It seemed a strange coincidence at the time, but that was no coincidence… the spiders don’t want humans appropriating their sacred fibre, even if we only use lowly worm silk.
The real obvious signal that we all missed somehow, was when internet prefixes changed from, “www.” to, “wwsw.” We now live in the age of the World Wide Spider Web. No one is safe. Not even those who wear pajamas.
- Brainstormed with the creepy-crawly GM