Is Jailbait Really Just a Stool Pigeon

Stool pigeon is one of those examples of slang that actually trace back not to metaphor, but literal description. A pigeon would actually be tied helpless in all the birdbrained oblivious of its lot in life to a stool as bait by a hunter. Nice, clean and absolutely elegant in its utter absence of ambiguity.

The exact opposite of jailbait.

Even as a metaphor itself, jailbait fails miserably as slang’s figurative equivalent of the literal meaning of both halves of its compound origin. How many people have actually gone to jail for biting that particular bait? And what even the hell is up with bait part, anyway? Society is supposed to determine slang, but jailbait is slang that has defined society by creating an unreasonable assumption that every teenage girl who has attracted the eye of a pedophile was casting herself out in that sea of deviancy in a way synonymous with a….worm impaled a hook. A worm used as bait by some guy with a more appropriate sense of how to fulfill his evolutionary imperative to prowl after prey than any guy who used “jailbait” to describe the attractive underage female he was prowling after just like the prize trout those other guys were hoping to catch and…mount.

Here’s the way I see it: have you ever been driving on the interstate feeling like you won the lottery because you just so happened to lock into some local radio station in some town you’ve never heard of that plays great song after great song after great song? And then you start getting close to the point of no return where the end point of that station’s transmission begins to mix in with the beginning point of a completely different station’s transmission. A station that plays crap. I think something like that happened with stool pigeon and I think that’s why when we hear stool pigeon we immediately think of some lousy rat fink looking out only for himself by informing on his friends.

But, hey, metaphors aren’t supposed to literal, right? And slang is supposed to be misunderstood by the masses because at heart it is a subversive form of communication more along the lines of a secret code. And I’m willing to bet right about now that you wished you had the key to unlock that code and make our communication a bit more concrete…less ambiguous…ever so slightly more…explicit.

If only you had decoded that slang and entered that secret world. Where a young woman in a miniskirt isn’t jailbait, but a twenty-five year old stool pigeon. Where all along you were prey, not predator. Where tomorrow there will be nothing but a cheap and tolerable substitute for a stool will gather dust in an empty room in an abandoned house no one could possibly imagine that just hours before was the site of unspeakable horror that—I assure you—no one will ever speak of again.