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March 02, 2009


The Ballad of the Bargain-Seeking Badass Mo’fo Wannabe
By Ivan O’Uris


I opened up

A can of whup-ass,

But tossed it in the trash

Because it had purple-green-pink-fuchsia mold on top,

With a gag-inducing, aqua-yellow stench cloud

Wafting from it.

Wonder what stores

Have canned whup-ass on sale.


Background Notes: Written in 2006, “The Ballad of the Bargain-Seeking Badass Mo’fo Wannabe” is rumored to have been inspired by the film There’s Something About Mary, in which the phrase “open up a can of whup-ass” is used. It also is rumored to have been inspired by a current University of Kansas professor* known for regularly including that phrase in his lectures. Both are false, according to Ivan O’Uris scholars E.E. Pointer and Shawn Roney, who’ve submitted the poem on Ivan’s behalf.

It was actually inspired by events following Ivan’s purchase in October 2004 of Winston White’s Whup-Ass. Available door-to-door in cans, tubes and kegs, Winston White’s Whup-Ass is known for its slogan: “You’ll be a badass with Winston White’s Whup-Ass.”

Upon opening his can minutes after buying it, an aqua-yellow stench cloud shrouded Ivan’s eyes. “I started to feel faint, like Leslie Nielsen after smelling that old food in the first Naked Gun film,” he recalled months later.

Ivan didn’t faint, however. Rather, he experienced a dazed fit, envisioning his nose and eyes leaping from his body, screaming, “Make this shit stop!” Ivan obliged by putting the can in the trash.

Intrigued by his first experience with canned whup-ass and unable to get a refund because he had eaten his receipt during his dazed fit, Ivan began searching drugstores and department stores for an inexpensive, pleasant-smelling brand. To date, he has found rose-, mint- and cinnamon-scented blends of whup-ass, but only in 1.5-oz. bottles, priced at $10,000 retail.

Not Really a Background Note, But Not Really a Preface Either – Consider It a What-the-Hell-We’ve-Got-to-Put-It-Somewhere Note:  “The Ballad of the Bargain-Seeking Badass Mo’fo Wannabe” was originally published April 20, 2007, at Lawrencian.com (now Larryville.com). To see the original version (which has some itty bitty differences from this version), visit http://news.larryville.com/index.php/creative/45-ivan-ouris/380-the-ballad-of-the-bargain-seeking-badass-moafo-wannabe.


*The professor shall remain anonymous.


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