I’m not completely sure, but I think “pegged” is a military term.

Pegged as in, “My fun meter is pegged.”


My BS meter is pegged.
My frustration meter is pegged.
My anxiety meter, don’t care meter, crap-o-meter…

The term comes from the little pin – or peg – in a gauge that acts as a stopper when the needle reaches its maximum value.


This weekend my gross meter got pegged.

It was so bad that I can’t even tell you about it because if I did, your gross meter would peg too and I have a responsibility to protect you. Let’s just say it involved a dog in diapers and leave it at that. Imagine the absolute worst scenario that includes those elements and you will not even be close because this was worse than anyone could have ever imagined.

The scenario in this cartoon doesn’t even scratch the surface, but it is in the ballpark.


The scene this weekend was disgusting on steroids. If revolting were a planet, what I witnessed was the Death Star. I looked up synonyms for gross and found terms like nauseating, repulsive, foul and nasty. All of them combined barely fill a thimble in my five gallon drum of yuckiness.

What I wanted to say, though, does not concern all that. What I really want to focus on is the fact that when your gross meter is pegged, something strange happens.

You laugh.

At least I did, and I’ll bet you would have too. You laugh because what confronts you is so bad, so disgusting, so awful that recoiling from it just doesn’t seem to do the scene justice and the only thing left to do is laugh (maybe accompanied by an involuntary shudder). In the course of human history, someone along the way must have studied this phenomenon for a PhD or Master’s thesis, but I couldn’t find any evidence of it.

I do know gallows humor, though, and I suspect pegging the gross meter is related to that. Which is why I am convinced that “pegged” is a military term, because military members are the world’s best at gallows humor. The worse things get, the funnier the jokes become.

And this weekend, for all the wrong reasons, my laugh meter was pegged.


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