Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I'm back and Steph is awesome

Well, kids, I'm back from Vegas, and I have some bad news. I have turned into a giant daiquiri. Such was my mania for daiquiris this trip that I was drinking them right up until we boarded the plane to come home. Vegas was awesome although I should tell you that apparently they have moved it out of the state of Nevada and into a convection oven. I know I was shocked, too, but then I was basted in a sunscreen marinade and baked for 4 days at 115 degrees.

I will tell you more about Vegas later, but there is nothing I can write that is funnier than the email I received yesterday from Steph so I will be posting that instead.

Quick sidenote to Abby Sides: thank you so much for your wonderful compliment. I think you give me too much credit and are way too nice, but I will not hesitate to throw the fact that you called me brilliant in my friends' faces. Seriously thanks. That was awesome!

And now onto Steph's brilliance:

To: All the girls
From: Steph
Subject: Observations of a scientist...

Ok…I really missed you girls and I have to ask that you do not leave again without me. Thanks.

But while you were gone, I became something of an anthropologist. I immersed myself in a foreign culture, blended into those new surroundings, and studied intensively the behavior patterns of this mysterious breed…I entered the world of men. (PLEASE! Don’t leave me again, it was soooo scary!)…I have to share my findings. The subjects accepted me easier than I expected, though technically I've known them longer than you fine ladies, lived with some of their kind, and let’s face, I’m totally dating Gordon so they had to take me in…they quickly dropped their guards with me around and I was able to observe and record their native habits.

Log Book: 6/2/06 – 10pm. I joined the men at a downtown bar. They are all dressed up. They have showered, dressed in clean clothes, sans hats, and they don’t smell. I’m confused. Why this behavior? They enthusiastically greet me with shots. They can’t stop speaking of the $2 beers at the downtown bar! They speak of NOTHING else. I see one of their kind following my companion (Jace) towards a group of rather asexual looking females. Meeting women? What? I go in for a closer look. The one they call "Woody" is checking out bartender butts with a woman, a lesbian. Yes, left to their own devices, they meet lesbians and become creepy butt watchers. The others sit in the corner and cheer the low cost beer.

12am – The men head to a dance place. Interesting. Bar Fly. They buy beer. The conversation now has changed. They speak of NOTHING but the $4 price of beer. NOTHING. They follow the music to a basement dance floor. Gordo says, "Let’s own the dance floor." Thank God, Christy has arrived. She and I watch in horror as the men bump and shake with each other, ignoring anyone that isn’t part of their already established pack. At one point, Drew, squeezes by two women, lightly touching one on the shoulder to make space as he dances by. Matt snaps his fingers and says "Oh no he didn’t." I ask this one, to what he is referring. "Drew better not talk to girls." I point out to Matt he was merely passing by and being polite. Matt looks visibly relieved.

2am – The men decide to go home. Somehow Gordo ends up in a car with Christy and me. Weird, right? I mean, we are dating, so naturally he has to come home with me. He has taken his beer with him. When scolded the next day, he comments, it was $4! Gordo nods to sleep and is unable to tell Christy where he lives. She drops him off on a road off Madison, hoping it is right. She reports the next day she was convinced he was entering a neighbor’s home when dropped off, he was so incoherent.

Log Book: 6/3/06 – 1pm. Football. We lose to a team with a very scary woman. Gordon accidentally hit her when he batted down a ball. She turned crazy. Next play, she runs up to Drew and pushes him down after the play has stopped. The ref blows whistle on her. These men get beat up by women.

2pm. Treehouse. A pitcher of beer spills to the ground. The crowd in the back patio loudly boos Gordon, the culprit of the spill. Drew immediately drops down to all fours and laps the beer off the sidewalk. He screams for a straw. Strangers from all sides throw straws at him. He slurps the beer. The crowd cheers. He stands, smiling, proud, covered in dirt and dripping beer from the chin. I believe this is the greatest accomplishment in mankind. Odd species.

4pm. Table next to group of men have sing off. Guns and Roses songs fill the air. Each team trying to outsing/outshout the other. Dogs in the distance howl.

5pm – Finally the men see fit to leave bar and the hour long sing-a-long ceases. The crowd’s joy at the men’s exit is palpable.

10pm – I get a phone call from one of the men. I am so accepted in their culture they invite me out. I have just returned from a girls’ night so I thought this would be the perfect juxtaposition for the study. I meet "Kevin" at Grafton. He spends 15 mins at juke box. We meet his coworkers. We are huddled together at front of bar, leaning in close to hear over the "tunes" he played, lit by the light of candles. Looking very romantic to outsiders I’m sure, but we were discussing Beaudry’s weekend hook-up...I feel stares of strangers. I feel glaring glances and piecing eyes. I look up. Prosecutors descend upon us. I am sure the office gossip will be who the eff is this new girl with Kevin. Awesome, Kimmy, awesome! Crack-hor owner convinces us to play phone game. We text the same message to a friend, at same time, we see who gets response first. Men reply to men first. Women reply to all at same time. Interesting.

12am – We meet rest of group at their headquarters, LVT [ed. note: this is the local dive bar the boys make us go to every single weekend]. Paul speaks for long time about physical therapy his pinky finger is under-going. I wonder how men would handle childbirth…Gordo wants to beat up stranger because he is ugly and with hot girl and all men know the "rule"…you are allowed to "update" no more than 2 spaces. She is a 9, he is a 3, this guy is updating 6 spaces. Gordo feels entitled. Loyd speaks of desire to be coupled with a girl in a relationship. No wonder, boys are kind of dull alone, they need girl to add excitement. A heated game of Rock, Paper, Scissors begins. It lasts for 40 mins. I cannot make that up.

1am – A man rides his bicycle into bar. Man is caked in dried blood. Man looks at me. Paul jumps into seat beside me. Kevin immediately stands up. Loyd attempts conversation. Man leaves. Though I am struck by instant protective aspect of men.

1:15am – I stretch and consider leaving. Drew reads my mind and commands me to sit down. I am one of the men tonight, I am not allowed early exit. Loyd says this is a place we could stay into until 3 for them. Kevin claps his hands. I roll my eyes. Gordo walks over with cigarette. He places cigarette to mouth, purses lips over it, a tiny little pouf of smoke fills air, he smiles and winks. Does he believe he is John Wayne? All men begin taunting.

1:30am – Men suddenly decide Las Vegas is not in country, therefore, all men are single. They do a shot (pineapple upside down cake) to celebrate. That is extent of celebration of bachelorhood.

2am – Bar closes

2:05am – Bartender takes away drinks. So much for theory they own place and can stay late. Thank God!

Conclusion: While Girls were in Las Vegas!!!!! Men played rock, paper, scissors, and shook their butts for each other. Girls rule!


Anonymous said...

A haunting protrait of survival and community. Like Jane Goddall and Diane Fossey before her, Steph Bayer effectively and poignantly brings us along on the journey she has braved, reminding us that these mysterious creatures are our closest evolutionary relative. Her descriptions of the group's inchoate human-like emotions chills us to our very core. A must-read.


Oh, that girl. said...

This is awesome! YOu should submit this to Anthropology Weekly

russ said...


Tom said...

google RPS25. It's awesome, a rock-paper-scissors variant with 25 gestures (I especially like "devil" "alien" "man" and "snake")

along with a chart listing all possible outcomes.

seriously, I'm like three days away from having the whole thing memorized.


Mordja said...

A broad stroke generalization of stereotpying the male spec.... oh who am I kidding. That was dead on. Any city, any day, any group of guys. Well done.