Deserving or inspiring ridicule; absurd, preposterous, or silly. See Synonyms at foolish.

I love a good comedy. Some of my favorites are White Men Can’t Jump, Death at a Funeral (the original British version), and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. And Slade Ham is pretty effin funny too.

But some things you just can’t write in a script.

I’m on my way to work this morning, listening as nerds do, to NPR. On comes “The Tale of the Covered Teat;” or, at least that’s what I’m going to call it. In my ears came the voice of University of Virginia political scientist, Larry Sabato.

Sabato said, and I’ll summarize, that a politician only has but so much political capital to spend and that spending it on something trivial like what Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli did is devastating to a politician’s career. Look at John Ashcroft when he spent a few thousand dollars draping blue sheets over partially nude statues at the Justice Department eight years ago. He became an instant target of criticism because of something absolutely silly to most Americans.

“When you asked to be ridiculed, it usually happens. And it will happen here, nationally,” Sabato said. “This is classical art for goodness’ sake.”

So what did Cuccinelli do?

Cuccinelli had the State of Virginia seal altered, a breast plate added.

The actual seal (as shown above) depicts the Roman goddess Virtus, the goddess of virtue, standing over a defeated opponent. That opponent, Tyranny. Virtus wears a blue tunic with her left breast bare to the wind.

Not on Cuccinelli’s lapel pins he ordered using PAC money for his campaign.

Oh no, an exposed titty?!

Cover your children’s eyes!


I mean, breast!

A supple, supple breast!

An areola!

And all this time, all my life living in this state, I always thought that Virtus was a guy and he just had moobs.

When the media got word of the issue, Cuccinelli tried to laugh it off and say he was trying to turn a “risque image into a PG one.”

Heck, who knows — maybe tomorrow Cuccinelli will alter his name, deducting “Cucci-” and just be “Nelli.”

After all, the connotations of “Cucci” to young children in our Commonwealth could be horrifying.


I like it.

Has a certain ring to it.

Brings to mind the rapper Nelly and his bandaid look, which, speaking of, Cuccinelli may need to cover up this ridicule sure to be featured on tonight’s episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

I’m sure a conservative friend of mine will think I’m blowing this way out of proportion, which would be inaccurate. I’m not outraged or furious this happened. I get a kick out of it because this adds to the ever growing cartoon of the current Republican state of Virginia politics. Hell, if you can’t laugh at this then what can you laugh at?

First, Bob McDonnell, a man who received his law degree at Christian Broadcasting Network University (yes, you read that right correctly. A school Pat Robertson formed. Name later changed to Regent University) was elected our governor and his sideshow in conservatism, Ken Cuccinelli, came along for the ride and has since tried to take the words gay and lesbian out of our state’s discrimination laws and filed a lawsuit against the federal government challenging global warming. I can’t wait for his next speech at a local tea party rally.

It should be an interesting four years. I’ve got my material. Slade, you should move to Virginia. Your star will be on the rise for sure. It worked for William & Mary graduate, Jon Stewart.

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JEFFREY PILLOW is a contributing writer for The Nervous Breakdown and Hoops Addict. He lives in Charlottesville with his wife, daughter, and dog -- three separate entities. A certified basketball junkie, he also loves cheddar cheese and poorly crafted science fiction thriller films involving cold-blooded animals and bad acting. SEE Shark Attack 3: Megalodon. His work has appeared on Yahoo! Sports, USA Today, and 16 Blocks magazine et al. Visit him online at www.jeffreypillow.com.

68 responses to “The Tale of the Covered Teat”

  1. Zara Potts says:

    If you can’t find humour in politics.. then there is something wrong!
    OK.. maybe not humour all the time, but there’s certainly a lot of farce. Nice one, Jeffrey.

    • Thank you Jesus. My first comment. I’ve been hanging around this site for an hour like a white person with a ticket stub for a tour of the Anheuser-Busch factory.

      Plenty of humor currently in the state of Virginia. Cuccinelli’s a modern day Richard Pryor. Apparently, we’re acting as the comic relief for places like Arizona.

      By the way, I plan to one day visit England or Australia for the sole fact of writing favorite “favourite” and humor “humour.” I’m really not sure why the Puritans had to Americanize those two words.

      • Zara Potts says:

        God, don’t you hate that? The wait for bloody comments??! This was a great piece. I like your writing a lot, Jeffrey.
        But forget England or Australia – come to New Zealand. It’s way cooler. And our politicians are pretty funny too.

        • Joe Daly says:

          @Jeffrey- Politics and tits? With subject matter like that, a comment tsunami cannot be far behind.

          @Zara- >>But forget England or Australia – come to New Zealand.<<

          NOW you say that, two weeks before I strike out for the UK. If your politicians are anywhere as funny as Rhys Darby, I might never leave!

        • Zara Potts says:

          Oh no!! You should have totally come here. Our politicians ALL sound like Rhys.
          But you will at least have good old Boris Johnson for entertainment value in London…

        • To quote Napoleon Dynamite, “Heck yes.”

          I need to publish a book or something so I can get some regular followers. All I’ve got are a bunch of friends who thinks reading is for the birds. I do have a book slated for release in 2080 if you’re interested.

          I’m glad you like my writing. I like yours as well. By the way, cool ass picture with the cigarette.

          That unrelated note brings me to my next comment. “Bloody.” Also another word us Americans can’t get away with saying. I could say it but because I’m American, everyone would look at me like I’m a dumbass. But when you guys say it, jeez, it’s hellacool.

          Not sure when I’ll be in New Zealand but my wife and I have been trying to plan a Nashville trip for forever and June 20 is our one year anniversary. There’s a possibility Nashville will be our destination and we can catch you and Simon on the 18th for a beer and some honky tonk. Might want to bring a boat and a poncho though. Just a heads up. Some serious flooding in that neck of the woods.

        • Zara Potts says:

          Sweet!!!! that would be bloody great!

        • Simon Smithson says:

          Oh for real? Awesome!

          We can talk about how we always wanted to get into politits.

        • You son of a bitch, Simon. I honestly returned to this post just to write “politits.”

        • I meant son of a bitch in the kindest way.

      • Candice says:

        If I knew…I would have commented sooner. This one is also interesting: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/03/AR2010050304139.html .

        You should all come to France for politicians with comic relief. I mean seriously. Sarkozy is hilarious. Lepen is so far down the neo nazi line it’s delicious. French immigration laws and Arizona immigration laws should wed each other. We still have universal health care, though.

        I decided to salute every decision of thy Cuccinelli with desesperate laugher. And sparkling tits. Bedazzled ones.

        Thanks for brightening the little cloud that has been hovering over me. Tragedy seems to hit UVA quite a lot this year.

        • Wow. Hadn’t read that one. I just knew The Cooch was filing one suit after another regarding global warming. Cuccinelli has been butting heads with the University of Virginia faculty since day one in office, starting with the whole anti-discrimination laws and homosexuality. I think the consesus here in Charlottesville is that he’s a schmuck who needs to focus on actual issues affecting the Commonwealth and not going after his ideological preferences.

          re France: I’m not sure I can visit France just yet. I think there Bill O’Reilly still has a boycott against your country. I write this as I eat a plate full of Freedom Fries. They sure are tasty.

          How’s your healthcare? Is there a legal disclaimer from Karl Marx? That’s what I heard on Fox News.

          re UVA: Yes, tragedy is the word. If you’re talking about Yeardley Love, that was very sad news. A couple of my friends at UVA were friends with her. Some of them knew George Huguely also. So young and sad. Been a lot of bad things happening in our town this year. Morgan Harrington, shootings and murders on the parkway, and now the death of a female lacrosse player by a men’s lacrosse player.

  2. Joe Daly says:

    Whoa! I had no idea that brouhaha was underway out east. Leave it to NPR to dust that off. And leave it to one of the TNB staff to push it out to stage center!

    >>After all, the connotations of “Cucci” to young children in our Commonwealth could be horrifying.<<

    It would be really funny if everyone started calling him “Cooch.”

    On a serious note, I’m always dismayed when a politician asks that a constitution, state or federal, be amended to preemptively deny rights to a class of people. I can understand a dialogue where someone proposes to afford rights to a class, but to approach the government and basically say, “Look- just to get everyone on the same page, we DON’T want these people to have this or that, correct?” seems absurd.

    Don’t we/they have bigger fish to fry?

    Great piece.

    • Just when the dust was settling from the newly proclaimed April as Confederate History Month in Virginia by Gov. McDonnell (without ever uttering the word “slavery” even once), Cuccinelli came in to steal the show. Everyone here thinks the Cooch is vying for the gubernatorial candidacy in 2014.

      Talk about a man whose beliefs are ass backwards….

      Every week he seems to do something even more asinine.

      I’m all for giving someone credit where credit is due. If your office does something good for the state, tries to enact a law with the good of the people in mind, you get credit in my book. I don’t care whether you’re Republican, Democrat, or whatever. McDonnell, while I disagree with him on a host of issues, is at least competent and recently made an executive decision regarding affordable housing. Cuccinelli, on the other hand, files more lawsuits than an ambulance chaser and it seems the only fish he wants to fry are ones that keep jumping out of the pan.

      What’s your take on bare breasts Joe?

      Yay or Nay on exposed mammary glands?

  3. Simon Smithson says:

    There is something I love so much about when a real-life person ups and says ‘Fuck this! I want to a loveable, larger-than-life cartoon!’

    Except on the loveable part, sometimes.

    It just makes me so absurdly happy. I don’t know what it is.

    • It’s even better when they don’t mean to. To touch on a topic often spoken of on TNB and the title of Wayne Fencer’s screenplay, delusions of grandeur. The Cooch is climbing on up the ladder with Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, the right’s darling divas.

  4. Jordan Ancel says:

    Jeffrey, without people like Cuccinelli, comedians would have nothing to talk about 😉

    It reminds me of when Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake performed at the super bowl and she exposed her breast at the end of the song. The conservatives were in an uproar. Over something almost everyone has sucked on at the earliest stages of life (and hopefully the latter stages, as well, if I may be so crude).

    Why are Americans so ashamed of the human figure? I’m not religious, but I think in the Bible it says somewhere about dancing naked before God in celebration. Not sure. Maybe I’m paraphrasing Footloose.

    If only America would see what the reset of the world is watching on TV. Heheheheh…

    • From Footloose

      Ren: [addressing the town council, reading from his notes in the Bible] “From the oldest of times, people danced for a number of reasons. They danced in prayer… or so that their crops would be plentiful… or so their hunt would be good. And they danced to stay physically fit… and show their community spirit. And they danced to celebrate.” And that is the dancing we’re talking about. Aren’t we told in Psalm 149 “Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song. Let them praise His name in the dance”? And it was King David – King David, who we read about in Samuel – and what did David do? What did David do?

      • Jordan Ancel says:

        Thanks for clarifying. Why did I think there was nakedness in there somewhere? Maybe from back in the day it was me fantasizing about seeing Lori Singer naked.

        • Lori Singer was so hot back in the day and I was only three when that movie came out.

          Funny thing. Did a search of Lori Singer on Google Images. Not sure she got naked in Footloose but one result did pop up and apparently the guy in the frame is wearing your hat.

          Is there something you aren’t telling us Jordan?

    • Without asinine politicians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert would be putting the bacon my junior bacon cheeseburger from Wendy’s.

      re Janet Jackson/Super Bowl: I was a little disappointed in this myself. As a young man, I used to visit my cousin’s house and we’d flip through his dad’s hidden stash of Playboys. I vividly remember an exposed Latoya Jackson and feel it would have been more nostalgic (at least for me) had her breast been exposed at the Super Bowl for the eyes of millions of Americans to see instead of her sister’s.

      • Jordan Ancel says:

        I vaguely remember the Latoya issue. But I always liked Janet. I had a crush on her even since the Good Times days.

  5. Matt says:


    This is just ridiculous.

    Let the boobs be free, damn it! LET THEM BE FREEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

    The California gubernatorial race is entering the primary stage right now. The three Republican candidates are eating each other alive trying to pander to the far right. Their ads are by far and away the most entertaining thing on TV right now.

    • Nothing like some good political pandering. I enjoy a good transcript from a tea party rally. Pure gold. Is Gary Coleman running again in California?

      • Matt says:

        Shit, I think he just got arrested again for something.

        Aside from Gavin Newsome, the mayor of San Francisco who is actually now running for Lt. Governor, the Democratic and independants haven’t really announced their presense yet–which is the best strategy possible. The three GOP contenders are doing such a spectacular job ripping each other apart, anyone attacking from the sidelines would just be getting in the way.

        • I think someone from the west coast on TNB should find Gary Coleman and record him on a podcast saying, “What chu talkin’ bout David Wills?”

          What do you think?

  6. Lenore says:

    i can’t stand partially nude statues. they offend my delicate sensibilities.

  7. I guess the international press didn’t blow this story up, because this is the first I heard about it. Laughed myself silly, though. Covering up a statue… Good lord.

  8. Nathaniel Missildine says:

    I’m not sure why it never occurs to people trying to cover up bare skin (or bleep swears) that the conspicuous concealment only draws more attention to the thing being concealed. I’ve seen that Virginia seal before and never thought about the boob, until hearing this hilarious story. Like the Ashcroft statues, suddenly it’s all we see.

    But what do I know, I’ve been living in France, a place mentioned by someone earlier, where the iconic and ubiquitous image of “Liberty leading the people” features a woman raising the tricolor flag both knockers fully exposed and beaming forward. The breasts are practically the centerpiece, to the painting and to the republic. Also, here they put nipples on store mannequins.

    • Exactly, Nathaniel. I’ve lived in Virginia my entire life and never once looked at the state seal (which is on our flag flying everywhere) as sexual in nature. Not even when I was 12 and my hormones were snap, crackle, and popping like Rice Krispies. I don’t know anyone that has looked at the breast of Virtus as being a risque image or even soft porn or pornography. Seems as though The Cooch is the only one hung up on it. Dude is ree-dick-u-lus.

      Good thing he didn’t see the version Thomas Jefferson wanted to keep way back when. I hear it involved penetration.

      Can you send me a print of Liberty leading the people? Um, I collect reprints of western art.

  9. Irene Zion says:


    I’ll bet your NPR wouldn’t have made a fuss if it was originally a naked mons pubis out there getting wind-blown, just saying.

    • Andrew Nonadetti says:

      Checking my browser in between meetings and this is the comment that I see at the top of the stack. Awesome, Irene. And I concur – all men come from there and most of us spend the vast bulk of our lives’ effort trying to figure out how to get back in as often as possible. Why not drop the charade and just put gigantic monuments of them on pubLic buildings?

  10. Judy Prince says:

    To wit, French painter Gustave Courbet’s painting, “The Origin of the World”. A wiki article on him (scroll down to see “The Origin of the World”): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustave_Courbet

    Most appropriate for one who said: ” am fifty years old and I have always lived in freedom; let me end my life free; when I am dead let this be said of me: ‘He belonged to no school, to no church, to no institution, to no academy, least of all to any régime except the régime of liberty.”

  11. I was all ready to suggest “The Cooch” and then read the comments and realized I was way, WAY behind the curve. Jeffrey, as the designated TNB representative from Virginia, I think you should start an internet meme that Cuccinelli is Albanian slang for “The Cock”. Then we can circulate a TNB petition: “We Support The Cock’s Support of Virginia’s Confederate Day Of Honor”. You’ve got your first signature right here.

  12. Brian Eckert says:

    Thank god they covered that titty…you never know what kind of perverted binge it might inspire. I mean, I know when I go to art museums it’s all I can do to not pull some paintings off the wall and fuck the shit out of them. I can only imagine what rapist trail of destruction a PUBLIC TITTY might unleash.

  13. Irene Zion says:

    I participated.
    I get it.
    Making light of things does help,
    but politics still make me barf.

  14. Erika Rae says:

    I love that you thought Virtus was a guy and had moobs. Heh.

    Great commentary, Jeffrey. You had me chuckling the whole way. And Cuccinelli DOES sound dirty. As in gangsta dirrrty.

    Oh – and Slade IS hilarious. I now get to boast that I’ve seen a Slade Ham show as of this last weekend. Possibly the best comedian alive. Hell of a person, too.

  15. Marni Grossman says:

    This is the sort of thing that makes you sigh. You look around at your fellow citizens and think, “we elected this idiot?”

    Does not reflect well on We the People.

    • He didn’t get my vote. That’s for sure. I checked Steve Shannon. Speaking of t-shirts, maybe I should add a tagline under the shirts I mentioned to Slade that says,

      “We elected this idiot?” – Marni Grossman

      You’ll have to move to Virginia so our shirts receive legit hater status.

  16. Slade Ham says:

    Go fuck yourself and stick with your day job because you’re a talentless hack and a blabbering piece of horseshit.


    Now I’m going to go read the rest of this. I keep reading the first paragraph over and over for some reason

  17. Slade Ham says:

    Okay, okay, okay… I somehow feel obligated now to take this story to the stage. Even more so, I now have to find a stage in VA on which to do this. Wow. Did this jus happen? I’m going to go research it anyway, so I guess I’ll find out.

    Btw, the “cucci” line is brilliant. If you’re gong to scrub this nation sterile-clean, you might as go all the way.

    • Yep, just happened. Monday I think. Totally worthy stage material. If you ever come to VA, let me know. I know a few places that’d probably take you. We can have a TNB Live Experience: Charlottesville. Bring in Judy Prince and Susan Henderson alongside you. I’ll make t-shirts for it in Adobe Illustrator similar to The Cooch’s lapel pins. If you’re funny enough Slade, you may even be able to sign some real breasts. I’ll bring a Sharpee.

      • Slade Ham says:

        You know, I’ve signed a few. Not all of them are fun to sign. I remember one breast in particular that was so scary, I actually faked having a jealous girlfriend to avoid having to see/touch it.

        Where was AG Cuccinelli when one REALLY needed covering?

  18. Mary says:

    Can I just say this? Tits.

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