12 January 2004

You May Not Want to Believe Me, But I Hold the Key to the World In My Hands


Before I get into the Unconquerable Postulates (TM) and the InterMale Relational Topics (TM), I first need to point something out.

--The Philadelphia Eagles are not only the worst 13-3 team in the history of the NFL, they are also one of the luckiest. True, they are in the NFC Championship Game, but saying such is the equivalent of bragging that you are the tallest midget in the circus. Eagles fans (and people from Philadelphia proper, in general) are widely considered--and rightly so--to be the most abomidable and disgusting sports fans in the country. So if you are one of these Eagles fans, take note: The Philadelphia Eagles did not win yesterday's game. The Green Bay Packers clearly gave it to them. Aside from McNabb, who showed only flashes of brilliance, no one else came to play yesterday and they all benefited greatly from the Pack's lack of defense and Favre's last second dimensia.

Just wanted you all to know that. I'm not even an NFC fan. I just hate the Eagles. Also allow me to point out that, if the Eagles are lucky enough again to beat the Panthers (whose defense will likely swallow whole the pathetic "Offense" of Philly), they shall be lambasted outright in the Super Bowl, a crushing defeat yet again for a crappy city.

On to greener pastures...


Please ignore the fact that the title sounds obtusely homoerotic. These three issues for verbal conveyance can be used at any time in almost any situation if you need to simply associate with those around you. Basically, if you ever need to establish common ground with another male for any reason, you can bring up any of the following. Examples include:

--Hanging out with a group of your buddy's friends whom you are meeting for the first time
--Male friends or male family members of a girlfriend
--Co-workers at a new job

Sadly, the ladies will likely be unable to vibe with these three topics, but then again this post is not intended for such vile beasts (I'm kidding. Mostly.).

1) The Contra Code--I have to say at the outset that I cannot take credit for developing this IMRT. This practice was initially introduced to me by one of my gurus and favorite writers, The Sports Guy. He brought this up in a column probably a year or two ago.

The premise is simple: seeking to establish unity in a group of males with whom you are not familiar, simply recite the following:

"Excuse me...Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A Select, Start."

The room will be awash with glee and someone will immediately yell out, "THE CONTRA CODE!!!!!!" This IMRT works 100% of the time it is used in circles of North American Males.

The code, as any red-blooded American between the ages of 18 and 30 will recall, was the code in the Original Nintendo game Contra to cheat the system, beat the man, and receive 99 lives. It almost guaranteed you could soar through the game with vitality to spare. And EVERYONE knew about it. Everyone.

I have field-tested this IMRT on many occasions, usually whilst drinking. It almost always brings a round of drinks to the table, and if nothing else, promotes some lively discussion while making you an instant cultural hero.

WARNING: Should you encounter one or more American Males aged 18-30 who do not know of the code, or encounter a female who has more than a passing knowledge of such, extracate yourself from the premises immediately. DO not pass "Go", do not collect $200, and may God have mercy on your soul. Be extremely wary of males who do not know "The Code", as they are likely communist operatives. Also be on the lookout for females who possess too much of either video games or sports. Severe evil lurks inside of these individuals. Trust me. If there is no room to run away, bricks may be thrown.

2) The Middle School Dance Excitement Survival--Talking about this literally put me laughing on the JMU Freshman Mailroom floor back in 1999. It's an experience so common to males of any age that it is easily considered universal and transcends many geographic, religious, and time-specific barriers.

The average 13-14 year old male is one of the most highly excitable beings in existence. The onset of puberty combined with the right breeze can send a skyrocket of blood and hormones to the unsuspecting crotch with a ferocity I dare not trifle with (more on this in a bit). Combine this with the fact that Middle School Dances are a breeding ground for the first real Female Body Contact (The Slow Dance), and you have the most frightening issue in the World of the Teenage Boy: The Spontaneous Erection.

The problem with Middle School Dances is that, often, there is a Dress Code involved that includes a tucked-in shirt. This is extremely bad news, as it negates the possibility of a working Waistband Tuck (details, again, in a bit). But, as young lads, we are helpless. We have just begun to notice that girls are not icky; in fact, they smell rather nice, have pretty hair, and have grown inexplicably attractive mounds on their chests. This, unfortunately, presents a force of nature that will forever encompass our being, and at this cruel stage of adolescence, we are unable to rationalize the complications of the matter. When asked to dance (or on the rare occasion we did the asking, because girls were far more advanced in the art of...intergender communication, at this point), we oblige willingly and excitedly.

The Slow Dance starts out innocent enough, but problems arise when the two individuals draw closer to one another. And closer. And closer. The girls know what they are doing the whole time; why else would they have asked us to dance? However, only when the bodies touch do the males realize the complexity of the situation, and then a stream of consciousness erupts that enact too many important, yet ill-timed, questions: Why did she ask me to dance? Why are we so close? Does she like me? Do I like her? What are those lovely bumps inches from my neck? What in th...oh no.

And there it is. Without warning, a Grandiose Pocket Rocket has sprung, and your first thought is that it will take weeks for it to go away. Frantic, your mind searches for a solution to the Worst Problem in History. Finally, realizing that you're only 30 seconds into a four-minute song, it hits you--you must proceed with a Pelvic Backaway (TM). Amazingly, the bone structure of the Teenage Boy allows you to keep your head, chest, and legs connected to that of your dancing partner, while only slightly arching the buttocks outward and disconnecting your pelvis from the proceedings. Were you to stabilize your racing mind and look around, you would realize that every other male in the vicinity is doing the same. All are in luck, as during The Slow Dance the lights are low. Your worst fear is that the disco ball will stall or someone will get creative with the spotlight, announcing to the world that the tent in your pants is ready for the evening. This rarely, if ever, happens, and though it might not seem possible at the time, your trouser treasure should recede in the 2-3 minutes of song you have left. Should it not, you can always immediately fake a lower back injury or a need to tie your shoe for an extra minute as the lights go up and the problem rests.

Though the reenaction of the Pelvic Backaway (TM) is usually a needed visual representation, I think you know what I'm getting at. There is no male on the planet who will not appreciate its inclusion in general banter, especially if a witty story is to follow. It can also lead into a discussion of....

3) The Waistband Tuck--Ever see the E! True Hollywood Story of Milli Vanilli? Gripping stuff. Particularly entertaining is the segment of the interview with Rob Pilatus (I'm officially assigning him the role of Milli--he's the one who offed himself in '98) discusses the fact that they didn't want to get exposed as frauds. He told the interviewer they were desperate to NOT win the Best New Artist Grammy because everything would be found out. "All we were thinking is, 'Don't get the Grammy, don't get the Grammy,'" he said in his thick German accent. "And then, we got the g*ddamn Grammy."

This is, more or less, the feeling that sweeps over you during a Middle School Dance (or...well, anything, really) when you feel a stiffy coming on. It's the "Oh please no, oh please no, oh pl...F*CK" that sweeps over you. To guard against the unfairness of nature, men have invented and perfected the Waistband Tuck.

It's operation is simple, as my reader Stephanie correctly surmised: upon the onset of erection, one quickly feeds a hand into the pantal/crotchular affected region, gently lifts the penile organ, places it against the lower-lower abdominal region, and carefully folds the waistband of the undergarments over top to protect it. The result? A non or almost near-non showing of a full-force erection. An untucked shirt completes the transaction, hiding your boy from all scrutiny. Though the method sounds complicated, it can be performed by even the clumsiest or inexperienced of males in under two seconds. It has become second nature to many of us.

The only pitfalls come when A) there is the aforementioned NonCasual Tucked Shirt or B) one is wearing a thin short, such as a gym short.

I recall one of the worst days of my life in eighth grade. My mother had purchased a three-pack of silk boxers for me and, as we had a heated game in our school-wide kickball tournament that day, I wore mesh shorts to school. The combination of the cool, soft silk combined with constant movement...well, let's just say that I carried books in front of my crotch in between every period that day to mask the redwood growing in my loins (and yes ladies, that's an accurate description--call me). No Waistband Tuck could be performed, as the force of the erection is greater and more consistent than gravity. It takes a substantial material--a khaki or a denim--to visually repel its force. I attempted the Textbook Coverup (TM), but that becomes obvious before you even get to Lunch.

This IMRT can be used any time as well, but is particularly effective when dealing with the goodbyes or during stories of related strife.


A couple of theories, developed by myself and one Mr. Chris Loftus.

1) The Summer of George--after the clocks turned past 11:59 PM on December 31, 1999, the New Millenium was upon us. Some expected Armageddon in the works; we had none. Some expected the world's computers to crash; they did not. But you got the feeling that something was in the air. Something real. Something powerful.

My friends, there was.

Thinking back on the last century, males had traditionally been expected to make the first moves in an intergender relationship. A male was expected to approach the female, chat her up, ask for her number, and arrange a first date. The system dominated our and other culture(s) for at least the past 1000 years. But Loftus and I began to notice something after the turnover...

Girls were approaching us with ferocity.

This was nothing new for Loftus, though he could do nothing about the constant influx of females, as he is spineless and will admit to such. But the ladies never particularly hit on me. Usually I was the one making the advances. However, after that fateful December day, a change of monumental proportions occurred--I began to be noticed. I was getting heat from all corners of the JMU community. Loftus had seen a significant increase in his numbers as well. What the hell could be going on?

The answer was right in front of our faces--the New Millenium had signaled a Thousand Year Long Summer of George. The Fates had realigned. Female Biochemistry had been affected. Social norms were destroyed in an instant. Mark my words, it still is happening, though I am now out of the college environment and cannot statistically reference such with profound accuracy. I got no better looking, "game" did not improve, and I wasn't trying anything. It just happened.

Mark my words, gentlemen. Sit back and enjoy the 21st Century. Don't bother to try to explain it. Let them come to you.

2) Hijacked Bloussant--Around the beginning of Second Semester, 2002, Loftus and I noticed a dramatic increase in the breast size of JMU females. I'm not talking a few more girls with enlarged mammary glands; I'm talking a full-blown Breastal Explosion. At least 50% of the female JMU population was carrying a C-cup or better. I kid you not. I wish I had taken pictures.

Our only possible explanation (and this fit in well with our theory that all females were required to submit a headshot with their Application for Admission to the University, because Jesus Christ, you should see the girls there, my God) is that the Admissions Department had either purchased or hijacked a shipment of the then-popular Breast Enlargement Vitamin, Bloussant (I know you saw the commercials) and fed it into either the water supply or spiked the food at D-Hall. I'm telling you, this has to be true, because the next semester breast size had gone back to the normal level of noticeability.

Speaking of Bloussant, that commercial involved me in one of my most embarrassing moments in history. My roommate Craig's parents came to visit one weekend. His Dad, a super guy, is a man of few words. I was engaging Mr. Metz in a very slight conversation--the how are things, how was the drive, etc.--when talking stalled. As he sat on our sofa in the living room, I moved to the kitchen to get a drink. I turned, asked him if he'd like something, and in the space before he could answer me, as if the volume was set on Level 2,514, the TV blared out the fabled commercial:

"Would you like to have firmer, larger breasts than you ever imagined?"

I froze. Froze. Mr. Metz said nothing. The real horror of the situation was that the TV remote was too far away for either of us to casually reach to and change the channel. So we sat there, saying nothing, unsure of how to proceed. Being the mature individual I am, I hurried to my room, locked the door, and curled up under my comforter in the fetal position, crying softly. I don't know if Mr. Metz ever got his lemonade.

Again, as always, feel free to discuss and leave your comments on all.