Having the Fantods Does Not Make You a Furvert

Gene Wilder with his blue blanket


The “fantods” refer to having a condition of extreme restlessness or nervousness. Huck Finn used to get the fantods and my Uncle Mert used to get them whenever clouds suddenly appeared on a summer’s afternoon. Perhaps you get them when you have to take an escalator or you see the drain at the bottom of the swimming pool. I get them whenever I hear Dick Cheney’s name.

A “furvert” is someone who is sexually aroused by furry things. One may fair surmise that a true furvert will succumb to the fantods should he or she be deprived of “Mr. Binky” but we are now out of our league and accordingly we are unprepared to make any additional statement at this time. We suspect that Donald Rumsfeld is a perfervid furvert who is susceptible to having the fantods when deprived of “Mr. Binky” but again we cannot prove the point and the entire matter may well be a state secret.   

The finest instance of a fantoded furvert is of course the scene in “The Producers” in which Gene Wilder (as Leo Bloom) is momentarily deprived of his blue blanket by Zero Mostel (as Max Bialystock). See link:






0 thoughts on “Having the Fantods Does Not Make You a Furvert

  1. And the real problem is that just as the swiveling fantods start to dissipate, a spell of the vapors usually descends in its place.


  2. Oh yes, we were low, and we rarely cut my younger brother any slack whatsoever. It amazes me to this day that he grew up to be such an amiable, easy-going guy nonetheless, bless his heart.


  3. Oh shame! That you and your siblings were probitive and vicarious blanky-fantod “peeping Toms”! Snickering at others’ snuggle-addictions is an immoderately low enterprise! This is a very funny comment and poignant too!


  4. Michael Quinion at World Wide Words http://www.worldwidewords.org/weirdwords/ww-fan1.htm
    provides valuable insight into the word “fantods”. He notes the first literary reference to the condition by Charles Briggs in 1839 from ‘The Adventures of Harry Franco’ “You have got strong symptoms of the fantods; your skin is so tight you can’t shut your eyes without opening your mouth”. His research uncovers the existence of both flaming and swiveling fantods, and remarks that they always occur multiply, rather than singularly.
    I remember that my younger brother, who was quite a perfervid furvert (what a delightful phrase!) when he was very young, would, indeed, have fantods when his shredded blue Blankie was taken from him, forcibly or stealthily, and only when absolutely necessary, to be washed. The poor child would stand pressed up against, first the washer, then the dryer – the transition of the beloved Blankie from one to the other being a horrendously heart-wrenching process for all involved parties excepting the dispassionate, yet fascinated older siblings who always tried to observe the entire process whenever possible. When Blankie was removed from the dryer, the rapturous child then had to vigorously rub it up against his face, head and neck until it was “OK” again. My older brother and I would simply watch, too amazed for even our usual heckling, exchanging occasional glances of amazement between one another.
    When my brother (I do not use his name, because he is currently a respectable and admired adult) was hit by a car and thrown quite a distance, the ambulance driver, as he was loading the screaming child into the ambulance, inquired as to whether he could do anything to ease my brother’s great and awful distress. Loudly and clearly, my brother exclaimed, “I WANT MY BLANKIE!!!!” which sent everyone running into the house for a frantic search before the ambulance could depart.
    Fantods, of any type, are not a trifling condition!


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