Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, known far more for his cryptic/baffling Twitter account than his profound political assessments, added another puzzler to his canon over the weekend. In an interview with Des Moines' NBC affiliate, WHO TV, Grassley declared that, given New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's "physique," "wouldn't it be kind of nice to have a guy like him sitting on the pot" when Washington blows up?
We have no idea what this means. But we do have some theories.
Here's the clip, via Daily Caller. Grassley's comments — which, we assure you, contain no other context — begin at about the 3:30 mark.
One thing for sure about, uh. Just look at his physique, you know. When Washington’s ready to blow up, wouldn't it be kind of nice to have a guy like him sitting on the pot?
Theory 1: Chuck Grassley often says confusing things; this is no exception.
Fred and I hit a deer on hiway 136 south of Dyersville. After I pulled fender rubbing on tire we continued to farm. Assume deer dead— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) October 26, 2012
Last December, Gawker outlined Grassley's 15 best tweets of 2012. The winner was the tweet at right, about Grassley and his friend Fred and a deer they killed. But it is also the exception to the rule, being understandable and actually conveying information. Unlike this one (#8) or this one (#14).
In other words, when Grassley offers some inexplicable pronouncement, it's often difficult to suss out any meaning whatsoever. When he isn't, he's just telling a weird story. In this case, Grassley's comments make sense as English, but that's about as much as we can assert.
Theory likelihood: Medium. Perhaps this is a level of bafflement not before seen.
Theory 2: Grassley is using some local Iowa expression.
In an effort to determine if this actually made perfect sense to Iowans (like Grassley) or an Iowa audience (like the people in Des Moines, watching WHO), we called the University of Iowa and Iowa State English departments. But they were all on vacation for Thanksgiving.
We also reached out to people we know in the state. One, Iowa native Aaron Hilliard, responded as follows when we read him the quote: "Wait, what?"
Calling it "a jumble of words and ideas," Hilliard speculated that it was "a mix of shit or get off the pot and a dig on his weight." One thing was clear: "That is not a popular Central Iowa idiom." (Hilliard also asked if Grassley was endorsing Christie; we admitted we weren't sure from the context.)
Theory 3: Grassley is making an allusion to something.
Then we thought, maybe Grassley is making a pop culture reference? We came up with three options.
1. Grassley is referring to someone throwing a grenade. In Hollywood lore, the salvation of any military unit is the person who, seeing a grenade landing among his peers, throws his helmet on top of it and then himself on the helmet. Maybe Grassley said "pot," but meant "helmet"?
2. Grassley was referring to the scene from Jurassic Park at left. We're not sure how that might be the case, but who knows.
3. Grassley is referring to Trey Radel. Think of it this way: When Washington's ready to blow up, wouldn't it be nice to have someone of Christie's physique sitting on the pot? Perhaps Grassley thinks "blow up" is a reference to use of cocaine. So what he's really saying is that Christie, a large gentleman, can keep people from accessing a large stash of marijuana as the city is ravaged with drug addiction.
Likelihood: That first one seems possible, right?
Theory 4: Even Chuck Grassley doesn't know what he was saying.
Yes, who knows.
Likelihood: You be the judge.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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