A Truth Universally Acknowledged

In every age of mankind, philosophers and scientists have pondered the unknowable nature of reality and the universe. Though I cannot lay claim to being either, with all our paradigms shifting into post-something, I find myself holding steadfast to the several irrefutable and objective truths I have come to know in my life.

The Drunk Girl Theorem: As the value of x (the number of drunk girls in a group at a club) increases, there is a positive correlation with the value of y (the amount of shots taken). Where x reaches a value of 3 or higher, the probability of z (at least one girl crying in the bathroom) approaches 1. If the y value represents Jägermeister, the z value expands to include physical aggression including, but not limited to: pushing, slapping, weave-pulling, eye-gouging.

Fig. 1: "Why isn't Chad texting me back?"

The “In Both Cases, Directions Help” Law: Nobody drives or gives oral sex as well as they think they do. Present company included, since the way I do both tends to involve me mixing up my right and my left. That trick of the left hand making the L-shape will only get you so far and some people become offended.

Fig 1.2: Yeah, it LOOKS easy.

The Nice Guy Paradox: I’ve gone over this before, but if he has to say he’s a nice guy, he probably isn’t. The corollary of this is that if he says he’s messed up/bad at relationships/a serial killer with mommy issues, he almost assuredly is. In either case, not worth the aggro. Just buy your own drink and invest in some AA batteries. (For the men screaming “But wait! What should we say about ourselves then, eh, smart guy?”: I don’t know. Just don’t say anything. Go find a guy doing and saying things that make him look like a goatse-level gaping asshole and then don’t do or say those things. I’m barely spinning my own plates here, dude.)

Fig 1.3: An all-too-common refrain.

The Long-Distance Problem: Long-distance relationships suck. They just do. You’ll find yourself missing all these things about your partner that you didn’t know you ever noticed, like their handwriting and the way they pronounce the word “delightful”. Over the winter months, you will begin to feel that body hair maintenance is a pointless exercise and you need it for the extra warmth in your empty, empty bed so what’s the damn point? You will start questioning all you ever knew about the concept of home and start thinking it could just as easily apply to a person instead of a place.

Fig. 1.4: Bigger than you think it is.

The Red Wine Effect: If you have been used to liquor for all of your drinking life, you will not view wine as real booze. This will be your first mistake. At some point after your third glass, you will realize that the insides of your lips feel cottony and you will start thinking that it’s really weird that you know so many people whose names begin with the letter L. By the time the last few drops have been drained from glass number five, you will be telling all present, loudly and often, about your genius plan to build an entire house out of Legos. When the bottle is empty, you will be wearing Betty Boop pajamas and a paper crown and you will be crying about a childhood movie about a dog that you haven’t seen in fifteen years. You will forget your habit of chewing on the lip of your glass generally only works when said glass is not as thin and delicate as spun sugar, and you will wind up halting all conversation in the room with a shattering sound. Every head will turn and see you spitting shards of glass out of your mouth with an audible “pleh!” sound and a nonchalant expression that implies this happens every single day. You will pass out on a futon and wake up the next day wishing for the baby Jesus to come and hold a pillow over your face with his tiny, holy arms until you slip into a blissful oblivion that does not contain sunlight or the smell of bacon.


Um. Yeah. Totally universal.


Pencil. Handlebar. Fu Manchu. Pornstache. No matter what iteration it comes in, I have a complicated relationship with the mustache.

It could be daddy issues, I guess. My father can grow a full beard just by thinking about it really hard over his morning coffee. Of course, having been born in the mid-1980s meant that my first blurry exposure to the face of the man who sired me involved a pretty magnificent ‘stache. Like a duckling imprinting, my tiny newborn brain made an irreversible connection between “mustache” and “Dad”. He shaved when I was about a year old and Mom tells me that I stood in the crib screaming bloody murder at his newly fresh-faced appearance. That is not my father, my banshee wailing seemed to say. That is an impostor with a visible upper lip. Unaccaptable. UNACCEPTABLE.

Over the years, I saw his mustache come and go. Beards arrived and left again. Once an ill-advised goatee dropped in like an unwanted houseguest and only after weeks of a two-pronged attack of pointed ignoring (Mom’s) and impassioned begging (mine) did it leave again. A few years ago, he decided that he’d gone too grey to really pull off facial hair without looking like an elder statesman, so he’s been clean-shaven ever since. Still, the little duckling part of my brain kept the association of the mustache with the paternal. Because of that, It should come as no surprise to anyone (except maybe Freud) that this means for the most part, I am incapable of being attracted to men with mustaches.

Fig. 1.1: Science
Fig. 1.2: Tom Selleck

With this in mind, you can understand that while I support Movember, it basically means an entire month of coming face-to-face with men who are now the human equivalent of a cold shower. Even (especially) men I would normally find very attractive. Because now you just remind me of my dad. I’m having a hard time coming up with an equivalent that women could do to provoke the same response in men. The only thing I can equate it to is if suddenly your girlfriend showed up on your doorstep with a frosted perm and a reindeer festivest. (I can only guess that hardcore hipsters are at their leisure on this front. I don’t know what the hell it is you people get up to, but from what I can see it’s de rigeur in your circles to dress like slutty nursing home escapees, so I don’t even know what to say to you.)

Yet in spite of my mental block with the mustache, I can’t help but feel impressed by some of the ones I’ve seen. A guy I struck up a conversation with downtown last weekend was channeling Teddy Roosevelt. One mild-mannered law student I know is rocking a full-on Hulk Hogan. At least if you’re going to grow a mustache, go hard or go home. If all you can muster are eleven puny hairs above your lip, just… stop. You’re only hurting society.

So go on with your bad selves, guys. Keep that small section of your face warm for this month. But when December comes, please shave it. Better yet, grow a full beard. Both Santa and Jesus know that’s where it’s at.

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Wires Crossed

It is next to impossible to recreate the smell of a hospital. People talk about how hospitals smell like antiseptic, which is true, but it’s only the most easily identifiable base note. The real complexity is in the impossible-to-articulate scent of illness and death and anxiety and sadness shot through with the faintest whiff of hope, like Pandora’s box come to life.

I’ve never liked hospitals, despite my childhood aspirations of becoming a doctor. Unfortunately, I had a scary fainting spell last November that nobody could explain using words other than “holy shit”, so I’ve had to become quite familiar with them. The ER couldn’t figure it out, so they sent me to the neurology department. After several tests, one of which required me to be sleep-deprived and have bright lights flashed in my face (which I’m pretty sure is against the Geneva Conventions), Dr. Mumtaz told me that I was completely normal, brain-wise.

I had the good manners not to laugh in his face.

Anyway, the good doctor continued as I bit the inside of my cheek, the EKG from the ER wasn’t normal so likely it’s some sort of heart problem that’s gone undiagnosed for a while. He did not seem to have an answer as to why they didn’t mention it to me at the time, so I can only assume they did not think it would be the kind of thing to ever come up. You know, because guns shown in the first act never go off in the third.

Long story short, my blood pressure goes down all the time, you know, whenever it feels like it. The lackadaisical slut.

The reason I was at the hospital today was to get a Holter monitor attached so they can figure out what the hell my heart is doing that it’s so unpredictable, which is a fine adjective for loopy manic-pixie-dreamgirls in movies that are all about teaching uptight bankers how to seize the day through the power of feng shui or whatever, but not so much for one of your major organs. The monitor is a sexy little get-up that has about seven different electrodes and wires hanging off various points in my torso. You do not get a photo, since it is not that kind of blog, but this gentleman should give you an idea of what I’m dealing with here. I look like something a bomb squad would be dispatched to deal with, the observation of which prompted my mother to remark that today would be a fun day to go to the airport, because I guess Mother’s Day cards that come from a maximum security prison are just that much more sentimental. Even my boss deadpanned asking if he’d seen me in The Hurt Locker. (Everybody’s a goddamn comedian.)

I really hope they figure out this thing soon. I’m tired of the hospital smell. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go outside and scare the neighbourhood children. I might be able to convince one of them I’m a cyborg.