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Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The Dude 

Most men have at least one friend who drives their girlfriends batty. This friend is usually a slovenly deadbeat - an obnoxious drunk and habitual stoner who parties way too much for her taste. She feels he is a bad influence on her boyfriend. He has a low grade telepathy for knowing just the wrong time to drop by (always uninvited), and he stays for hours situated on the couch mooching beer and weed and doing things like belching and talking with his mouth full that infuriate and outrage female sensibilities. For sentimental reasons, or out of a misguided sense of loyalty, or because they like to let their wild idiot side play out vicariously through him, men will not cut this guy loose. They seem to romanticize their one friend who is living free outside societal constraints, perhaps because they feel that they have been tamed and forced to settle down. For whatever reason, guys will obstinately defend their friend and chuckle indulgently even as they have to bail him out or loan him money for the infinite time. They refuse to find fault with him,

“Poor dude! He just has the worst luck! The cops completely overreacted. Talk about police brutality.”

“He just keeps dating these girls that turn out to be psycho bitches that screw him over completely! Oh, by the way, he needs a place to stay so he’ll be moving in for a while.”

Even though the girlfriend will try to undermine their friendship with all the effort and dirty tactics of the CIA destabilizing communist friendly governments in Latin America, the boyfriend, no matter how pliable and whipped in every other aspect, remains stupidly, stubbornly loyal to his friend. It enrages the girlfriend that she can’t win this one battle, which makes her hate the friend all the more.

I had an old boyfriend Birmingham who had a friend just like this named Tony. In usual fashion Tony got thrown out of his current living arrangement so my friend took him in and let him sleep in a room in the back of his apartment. The room was small and there was only space for a bed, but somehow Tony also managed to cram his extensive porn collection, which was about as large as the Library of Alexandria, into the room as well. He had inherited the collection from his long time bachelor brother when he got married and it was Tony’s single largest material asset. Girls of every nationality performing every fetish imaginable were represented on the porn's pages, many of which were expensively laminated. Because space was limited, porn was strewn about in a thick porn carpet around the room and in large, precarious piles, stacked up as shamelessly as New Yorkers and LL. Bean catalogs. There was even porn shoved between the mattresses, poking out like a dust ruffle or lettuce leaves from a sandwich. Tony didn’t bother using a mattress cover or fitted bottom sheet and had only a grimy sheet laid across the top, only partially covering the stained mattress. His room, which had no door, was quite a sight, and girls would stand before it in mesmerized horror like a bird before a snake.

The worst part about Tony was that he would inconsiderately monopolize the single apartment bathroom. He would either spend hours locked in there with his harem of porn or anchored on the toilet in peristaltic spasms from all the cheap cocaine cut with baby laxative he had done the night before. No one else could, or wanted, to use the bathroom.

Tony eventually moved on but one day my friend was telling me about how months after Tony left he opened up a Monopoly game and found the magazine Swingers of Birmingham. My old boyfriend suspects that Tony had been interrupted while perusing it and had hurriedly shoved it in the Monopoly box. I asked where it was and my old boyfriend said that he had thrown it out because it was absolutely disgusting, full of very unattractive hillbillies, about the level of glamour and taste that you would expect from Hustler's Beaver Hunt (link not safe for work). I would have given anything to see such a thing. I remain deeply disappointed to this day that I didn’t get to see it and I still haven't forgiven him for throwing it out.

Comments:
My cousin Adam might have a copy of Swingers in Birmingham; he has always had an extensive porn collection. When I was nine or ten, he tought me how to hide a Penthouse inside the cover of a Dynamite (or was it Bananas) magazine. Boy, was my mom surprised when she was cleaning and flipped open the magazine...
 
beaver hunt.

that is hilarious. i'm wiping tears away ....

i'm so glad your back.

matthew
 
this character study is all too true. however, there is also the female counterpart. in a nutshell, she's the girlfriend's friend who is excessively catty, superficial and/or bossy. typically, she bores easily, judges everyone, prefers zima or cider as drink of choice, and idolizes oprah.

i think secretly (or maybe unconsciously) The Dude and Catty Wench long for each other, but don't know how to get past themselves and connect. tragic, really.
 
Just doing the rounds to say that the new site (based loosely on observations concerning the unique dilemma that is being British) is officially open for business. Theginpalace is dead, long live ohisay. Or something. Cheers, see you soon. :]

http://www.ohisay.co.uk
 
Heh. My senior year of college, I was cleaning out the closets of the off-campus house I was living in, which had been inhabited by students for at least 30, 40 years. I think I was avoiding graduate school applications.

In the depths of one of the six million closets, I found a porn stash--small booklets in black and white in their original manila envelope, fairly vintage or possibly even antique. Setting them aside for later study, I went on with the cleaning, finding a dead rat, and a disco ball among other treasures. By the time I got back to them, one of my male housemates had absconded with it, so I never did get a good look.

Missed opportunities.
-wm
 
"Nice cinematography, man."

Ick. Tony.
 
Hello C, I just finished reading your Tony vignette and I must say it was quite funny and spot on, although I do have to plump for taking credit for the "Porn sandwich" analogy.

Hope all's well - I happened to be studying blogs for a company marketing project (I'm sucking the corp. tit at EBSCO now) and I remembered you had an established blog running, so this afternoon I've been perusing your entries for the "good of the company" all the while advancing seamlessly toward quitting time.

I'm very sorry to read about your mother's passing - that sucks.

Anyhow, say hey to E and Billy Jack and Syd. And a question: would you mind if I use you as an intel source re: blogging and internet communities? EBSCO is heavy into interactive now and I'm in the thick of it.

On another note, I'm using your blog a grist to cajole Kirby into starting a Trauma/Burns intensive care unit nurses blog - she's always got a slew of good/ weird/sad/funny stories - like this week, she saw brain squeeze out of a bullet wound to the head of a murderer cum suicide flop, as if the grey matter were issuing neatly from a tube of toothpaste. That was the day before a toothless Cajun felt compelled to satisfy himself as Kirby was attempting to take his vital signs. He stayed at it with vigor until K, in her blunt way, told him he'd better return his anteater proboscis (he evidently had missed his bris) to it's tent or she was going to administer a special paralytic that would sort the situation for his foreseeable future.

Well - gotta get back to mining the salt.

Take care,

Russell
 
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