"Dress like whores"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Jul 20 20:04:17 UTC 2002

>The Lord slew Dorothy Parker's parrot for seed-spilling?

Not, I maintain, a possible inference from the parenthetical below.
Nor, however, is it really fair to speak of "onanism" in reference to
anything other than the mortal sin of declining to impregnate the
widow of one's brother.

>>Hey, I recognize this--it's part of the Onan story, which somehow
>>made it onto the handout for my "spitten image" talk a couple of ADS
>>annual meetings ago.  (Genesis 38, if anyone wants to track it down.)
>>The lady in question, Tamar, wasn't really working as a harlot, she
>>just wanted to have her brother-in-law's baby according to levirate
>>law, but Onan wouldn't oblige (spilling his seed on the ground, like
>>Dorothy Parker's parrot of the same name, and getting slain by the
>>Lord for his impertinence), so she had to settle for her
>>father-in-law's baby instead.  Not really her fault, just following
>>the law as best she could.

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