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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A public service announcement: Sprung

According to, one of the many definitions of "sprung" is a material (like wood, for example) that has become warped, bent, or cracked.

Ironically, for all intents and purposes the definition of sprung I'm accustomed to is the same, except the warped, cracked thing is human. says to be "sprung" is to be obsessed with something or to get sexually arroused. I'd submit that it's both of those things combined.

And now for a more practical example: Astronaut Lisa Nowak, who drove 900 miles yesterday from Houston, Tex., to Orlando, Fla., wearing adult diapers so that she wouldn't have to stop for pee breaks, in order to confront (with weapons) Air Force Capt. Colleen Shipman, a fellow astronaut, over Shipman's alleged relationship with a third astronaut, U.S. Navy Cmdr. William Oefelein. Both women were hooking up with Oefelein, apparently. And Nowak seemed to be out to eliminate her competition for the commander's affections.

Here's the rub in this triangle: Nowak is married and has three children, and she allegedly told investigators that her relationship with Oefelein was more than a friendship but less than romantic. Let's be blunt. That means it was sexual.

So, my friends, you understand that Nowak was sprung. Not to be crass, but Oefelein apparently put the voodoo on her, so much so that she lost her mind...which, by the way, is what I'd argue if I was her defense attorney. Attempted murder charges are no joke. Write this one in your notebooks. And if you weren't already using "sprung" in this context, feel free to do so. It's on the house. Remember, no physical interaction is so good that you should get sprung over it. And if you do, the person who sprung ya should be bottling and selling it.

If you're interested in a more complete version of this story here's one.

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  • That is the most romantic display of affection that I have ever read.

    By Blogger mist1, at 4:50 PM  

  • How romantic..trying to kidnap your rival while holding a bb gun and stinking of piss.

    I'd go for the my mind sprung a IQ leak defense.

    By Blogger Hammer, at 5:08 PM  

  • In her case "sprung" was what happened to the coils inside her head.

    By Blogger Pamela, at 5:19 PM  

  • diapers, pepper spray, and a bb gun- sound like my kind of fun!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:25 PM  

  • Mist1, you're out of your mind. You forgot to use the qualifier "tragically hapless" before romantic.

    Yes, JB--she is definitely sprung. Nose wide open. Rose colored glasses and visions of dancing sugarplums. Mixed with a pre-psychotic rage of a woman scorned (although she has no good reason to believe so). Why, oh why, does everyone come to Florida to have their Jerry Springer moment?

    She got so hung up on this guy that she forgot about her husband and three kids in Houston or her personal hygiene. Boy how proud they must be right now. My wife, the Astroslut. My mom, the crazy bitch from space.

    I wonder if hubby is gonna put up her bail money--which was very low for attempted murder and kidnapping. 25K? That in and of itself should cause an outcry.

    Her fellow space repairmen were on her side, so maybe they know something we don't, like Pimpin' Spaceman had filled her head with air castles about how they were gonna start a new life and all that. Naah, she's just crazy. I mean, she did drive 900 urine soaked miles to confront another woman about a guy who just gave her some johnson riding lessons. Must have been some good crackers--saltines even.

    By Anonymous Big Daddy, at 5:35 PM  

  • Sometimes you're just hitting it right. They can't control themselves on account of being hysterical.

    By Blogger Matt, at 6:03 PM  

  • W/ the exception of the "dictionary lead-off," this post was pretty clean and well put together.

    Very articulate.

    By Blogger Matt, at 6:13 PM  

  • I was thinking she was more like, "SPROING-OING-OING-OING!

    I think she'll come up too nutty to stand trial. I've been that crazy for sex - okay - not wear-adult-daipers-and-try-to-kill-my-competitor-crazy; more like I'll-feel-better-if-I-drive-my-car-thru-his-bay-window-crazy. But in my defense, I was really drunk.

    Okay great.

    Now I've admitted to being a psycho for sex and drunk driving.

    Great. I'm just gonna go now.

    By Blogger Lee, at 6:16 PM  

  • I suppose "sprung" is synonomous with "crazy". At least it is in her case...

    By Blogger bc, at 6:17 PM  

  • Creepy, yet entertaining.

    James: Since everyone keeps saying you are "very articulate", I'm going to go with how good looking you are.

    By Blogger Winter, at 6:40 PM  

  • i also cast a vote for the 'good-looking', and i up the ante with a 'clean'

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:46 PM  

  • See, the word 'articulate' shouldn't make me shudder, but now it does.

    Thank you, James, for addressing this nut case for me. Now I don't have to. You were much more gracious than I planned to be.

    I thought astronauts go through a personality test, among the battery of other tests they are subjected to, to ensure that they're NOT deranged. How'd this one slip through?

    By Blogger katrice, at 8:03 PM  

  • I don't know...nookie can make a person go nuts (obviously). But as far as I can tell, the only infidelity was in her head. Is she really an "Astroslut" because she had a psychotic episode? Or did she just have a psychotic episode? She seemed so delusional that it seems unlikely that she even had an sort of "relationship" with this guy.

    One thing that I thought was pretty classy was that two of her co-workers, both male, and one of whom is her supervisor, showed up to support her and her family. This has GOT to be a crap time for her family - though none of us know what was going on at home,besides her unfilled prescription for anti-crazy pills.

    By Blogger bc, at 8:54 PM  

  • Mist1, this is Romeo and Juliet II.

    Hammer, I'm with you on the defense. I'd make sure I wore a diaper to the courtroom to seal the deal.

    Pamela, I like that - sprung head coils.

    Claire, I'd heard Vegas fun was out there. But I didn't know y'all got down like that!

    BD, "900 urine soaked miles" is the funniest thing you've written in a while. You're right. People do seem to come to the Sunshine State to go Astronuts.

    Matt, how would you know? Kidding.

    And Matt, ha ha. Me know me talk good.

    Hmmm, Lee. Remind me to not ask you for a ride if I'm ever in your neck of the woods.

    Ha! BC, sprung is definitely synonymous with crazy.

    Winter, it is creepy. I owe it all to a glass of orange juice a day and a cigar rolled somewhere south of here a week.

    Claire, I'll take the clean too. My folks taught me to scrub daily.

    No problem, Katrice. It was a public service announcement. And that is a very good question about how she slipped through the psych test cracks. It's a good thing she didn't get wind of the other woman while on the space station. She might've tried to depressurize her competitor's cabin or something.

    BC, you raise a good point. This may have been a total fluke. Like I said, she allegedly told investigators her connection to her other man was more than friendship but less than romantic. I read "sex" between those lines. So maybe her astronuttiness was a one-time deal. At a minimum she needs that perscription filled.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 10:00 PM  

  • She'll get off with an insanity plea, based on the diapering alone!


    By Blogger Tiggerlane, at 10:34 PM  

  • Wow... booty call gone bad. I wonder what this guy's packing? I'm going to have to pay better attention when I watch the Space channel!

    And yeah, the diapers? That's bizarre.

    By Blogger Balou, at 10:47 PM  

  • Damnit James! You should give a warning before telling what springer is about! I had it tivo'd!


    By Blogger briliantdonkey, at 11:41 PM  

  • Bang, zoom to the moon...almost literally.

    Do you think she was singing 'fly me to the moon' while making the drive?

    She's a real 'moon raker'
    Gives new meaning to the term space cadet, doesn't it? I could go on but I will restrain myself, sorry.

    By Blogger Michael C, at 12:33 AM  

  • She definitely needs help! Andy Reeds kids are pretty screwed up too. What's wrong with the world James?

    By Blogger captain corky, at 7:02 AM  

  • That story just got weirder and weirder the more I heard. The mom in me hurts for her kids.

    By Blogger Queen of Dysfunction, at 9:30 AM  

  • I'm blaming the ozone. And adult diapers.

    By Blogger Christina_the_wench, at 9:46 AM  

  • If you ask me (and, yes, I know no one did), I'd say Nowak meant business.

    Why else the diapers?

    By Blogger thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy, at 11:14 AM  

  • James, picture her husbands face when he saw this on the news. : ) I love it!

    That guy must have the "ill-na-na"!LOL

    By Blogger Angie, at 12:52 PM  

  • Tiggerlane, she'll stand a better chance if she shows up in court still wearing diapers.

    Balou, rockets in pockets have whole new meanings now.

    Briliant, you're right. This would've made a good Springer episode. Except everyone in this case had a job.

    Michael C, you are Jimmy Durante reincarnated. You gotta million of 'em.

    Captain, if I knew the answer to that I'd be the Supreme Emperor of Earth.

    Queen, all joking aside, I agree with you. It is sad for her kids...and her husband.

    Christina, that'd be another novel defense - passing through the watery layers of the firmament made her loopy.

    ThirdWorst, the diapers were to hold her business.

    Angie, I gotta admit if I was her husband, setting aside the feelings of horror, followed by anger, I think I would've gone and drank myself into a stupor.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 1:26 PM  

  • I'm still puzzled as to why she got bail at all. I mean, who would pose more of a flight risk to than this woman?

    By Anonymous Big Daddy, at 1:59 PM  

  • Everytime I hear about that story...I just can't get past the diaper part...

    I just can't...and won't. ;)

    By Blogger Steven Novak, at 2:07 PM  

  • BD, good point. She could flee to the moon or something.

    Steven, you freak ;-)

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 2:13 PM  

  • that guys penis must be god's gift to the gspot. hahahah

    By Blogger Yasamin, at 5:26 PM  

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