The return of the stomach pit

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"The pit in Thomas Friedman's stomach" (5/23/2011) is back:

To observe the democratic awakenings happening in places like Egypt, Syria and Russia is to travel with a glow in your heart and a pit in your stomach. […]

But that pit in the stomach comes from knowing that while the protests are propelled by deep aspirations for dignity, justice and self-determination, such heroic emotions have to compete with other less noble impulses and embedded interests in these societies.
[Thomas Friedman, "Freedom at 4 Below", NYT 2/7/2012]

See last year's post for discussion. Being pressed for time, I'll just note that this one is on its way to becoming skunked, along the lines of beg the question.  In that spirit, I'll offer a prize for the best joke based on armpit, ashpit, moshpit, cockpit, etc. (The easy road is to start from Mr. Friedman's template, "a smile on my face and a pit in my stomach" / "a glow in your heart and a pit in your stomach", but I hope for better. Also, please keep it clean…)


  1. Joe McVeigh said,

    February 8, 2012 @ 3:23 pm

    What, no takers? OK, here goes:

    What did the journalist say to their would-be attacker? "Watch out, I have a pit in my stomach and it's not afraid to beg the question."


  2. Victor Mair said,

    February 8, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

    Er, I think I can swish one on you, Joe: The people of the Hoosier State wish that American's armpit would move elsewhere.

  3. William Ockham said,

    February 8, 2012 @ 5:15 pm

    Apparently Friedman gets a glow in his heart because some other people have fire in their belly, but he gets a pit in his stomach because another group looks at the world with a jaundiced eye. His internal organs must be quite sensitive.

    [(myl) Some might also accuse him of beholding the mote that is in his brother's eye, but considering not the beam that is in his own eye. Or perhaps it's a gleam rather than a beam. Or a twinkle, glimmer, glint, sparkle, or tear…]

  4. BobC said,

    February 8, 2012 @ 5:16 pm

    I'm waiting to see a clean joke based on cockpit.

  5. Private Zydeco said,

    February 8, 2012 @ 5:28 pm

    There once was a pilot from Hampshire
    who, on takeof, was sure to be damned sure,
    there be no excess mucelage 'twixt canopy and fuselage
    because if there was both would jam, sure…

  6. Eric P Smith said,

    February 8, 2012 @ 7:53 pm

    I must beg for more than questions, I have not one fish to fry,
    While the pittance in my stomach craves the apple in my eye.

  7. Chandra said,

    February 8, 2012 @ 8:04 pm

    Stomach pit: that uncomfortable feeling when your intuition tells you something's wrong.


    Armpit: that uncomfortable feeling when you suddenly realize you forgot to wear deodorant.

    Moshpit: that uncomfortable feeling of a 200-lb tattooed punk rocker stepping on your toe.

    Cockpit: that uncomfortable feeling when your… rooster refuses to cooperate.

  8. Michael Briggs said,

    February 8, 2012 @ 8:12 pm

    I think the real discomfort would begin not when the [peach] pit reaches the stomach but after it leaves.

  9. Harlequin said,

    February 8, 2012 @ 8:17 pm

    I'm struggling to avoid a puerile response here, but here goes:

    In contrast to the events in Egypt, Syria and Russia, the movement that was awakened in the pit of Friedman's stomach was less than democratic. However, propelled by deeper aspirations of dignity and self-motivation, he managed to suppress his less noble impulses of freedom at 4 below. Which begs the question, were my interests less embedded in this poorly executed metaphor, would it compete so heroically with the conclusion of his argument? Sadly, I am a moshpit of confusion and my remarks are but a pittance.

  10. John Roth said,

    February 8, 2012 @ 8:57 pm

    This one seems to have changed when I wasn't looking. I always thought it was a feeling in the pit of one's stomach.

  11. maidhc said,

    February 8, 2012 @ 9:24 pm

    There is an expression that someone's stomach is like a bottomless pit, so perhaps having a pit in one's stomach refers to being insatiably hungry? Although that would only be true of a bottomless pit. A bottom-equipped pit could be filled at some point.

  12. Tom S. Fox said,

    February 9, 2012 @ 12:20 am

    I think what you wanted to link to is this:

  13. Nancy Friedman said,

    February 9, 2012 @ 12:33 am

    Although we are not related, I always think of Tom as Pit the Elder.

  14. Tom S. Fox said,

    February 9, 2012 @ 1:34 am

    Oh wait, I simply somehow clicked the wrong link. Never mind.

  15. Joe McVeigh said,

    February 9, 2012 @ 6:13 am

    Burn! Nice one, Victor.

  16. Jerry Friedman said,

    February 9, 2012 @ 10:40 am

    @Nancy Friedman: Although we're not related either, I trust that doesn't indicate a desire to Chatham up.

  17. bianca steele said,

    February 9, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

    I always blame the copyeditor in these situations.

  18. Karen Hubachek said,

    February 9, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

    "After years of reading your chats with a pit in my stomach. . . ."

  19. Carrington Dixon said,

    February 9, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

    It's a pity that no one seems to be able to find a clean joke with cockpit.

  20. Mar Rojo said,

    February 10, 2012 @ 3:16 am

    I'm having a miner operation in my stomach pit.

  21. Mary Bull said,

    February 10, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

    Po' TF — he's feeling the pit but oblivious to the pendulum.

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