Beards are good. So are motorcycles and beer and booze generally. All these things make me feel like a man. Goddamn I love being a man. I wear pants, unless I don’t want to wear them, in which case I’m not wearing pants but I still feel like a man.
I have manly conversations with other men that have beards and wear pants and like beer and god damn it’s majestic. Real men talk like real men; pick any random lumberjack or tuna fisherman and just listen up – that’s what a man sounds like.
Manliness requires that you speak like a man. And speaking like a man requires avoiding certain words. Words that make you sound like a pervert. Words that are used by bed-wetters and a certain kind of doctor. Some words are just plain wrong.
Recently my colleague Joseph Kerrington used the word ‘panties’ in a conversation and it occurred to me that Kerrington does not have a beard – and that looking at another man while he was saying the word ‘panties’ made me squirm.
The word ‘squirm’ makes me squirm; it sends shivers down my spine. It is like fingernails on a blackboard. It is like having a live fish in your underpants.
I have had a live fish in my underpants and I know what it feels like, I am qualified. I know what I am talking about. If you have Greek friends and play drinking games with shots of Ouzo for long enough you will eventually end up with a fish down your pants. I guarantee this. Greeks are manly men. They are the Persians of Europe. You don’t fuck with Greeks or Persians and if they say that a fish is going in your pants because you were the last to finish the shot then you just put the goddam fish down there and take it like a man.
There is a clear conclusion to be drawn: there are words that a man cannot say lest it compromise his manliness. Here is a draft list based on shitty words that Joseph Kerrington has used in the last week. Note: Joseph Kerrington does not have a beard and has never had a fish down his pants.
Squirm (ok, this one is mine, not Joseph’s).
Note: god help you if you ever have to use two or more of these words in a conversation. Use the word ‘smear’ and ‘penile’ in a conversation and you know you’re screwed.