Every day, I'm finding that as a supposed "'adult' with a college degree and the veil of respectability that it affords, there are a great number of things that I can no longer do without jeopardizing the job that I don't have, ending up in jail or further sacrificing the dignity that I never had in the first place. Some of the rules are obvious, others are tricky, and most are so entrenched in my day to day activities that it will be a daunting task to let them go. Nevertheless, it has become quite clear that in order to contribute to our society as a full-fledged "'grown-up,' I must clean shop and have a juvenile-joy yard sale. Not knowing exactly which hobbies must go, I had Mom make a list.
Paintball inside the house. I spent the latter two years of college living in my fraternity house, which is not unlike living at the combined epicenter of an earthquake and a nuclear bombing, except that you can count on there being porn on TV at any given moment. At some point early in my senior year, the practice of shooting nay, sniping one another from hidden vantage points became popular, perpetuated primarily by yours truly and my trusty rusty Stingray II. This tradition continued hole-riddled plaster walls and stained carpet be damned until a counter-assault had someone drop a pack of firecrackers just feet from my head. I stuck to reading after that.
'Tagging' other males. I doubt that there has been a dumber pursuit in the history of history than a group of males who go around punching each other in the balls. Yet, sure enough, sophomore year was spent alternating between constant states of anxiety and pride, depending on whether or not I was the pursued or pursuant in the tag-game. The game much like the participants was simple: you simply tried to deliver a devastating blast to someone's nards during any given day. As the game played out, it saw sacks of flour dropped on the groins of sleeping dupes who forgot to lock their door, as well as running up-and-under tags from behind on anyone dumb enough to "talk to someone in the hallway." By the end of a single semester we were all sufficiently sore and, lacking any willing testing grounds, wondering whether or not any of our respective looms had any fruit left in them. Still, regardless of how amusing it is to see someone writhing in agony on the floor, I doubt it translates well to the business "board meeting" environment. (Though I am offering cash to anyone who yells "Power Point!" and then pokes their boss in the nuts as he stands up to speak.)
That thing, where you take and hold deep breaths and have someone ram you in the chest, and then you pass out, and hit your head on the foosball table en route to being a crumpled, bloody heap on the floor, and it's cool. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you probably also have a job, a stable relationship and all of your appendages. If you know what I'm talking about . . . man, were we serious?
Drinking to the point of explosive upchuck, black out and pass-out. The other day a friend stumbled into my room after a rowdy Friday night and proceeded to tell myself and a group of on-looking friends about the prior evening. As far as he remembered, he had run away from the bar at which we were drinking, staggered a few miles at three in the morning through the ghetto, wound up scrogging some strange chick in the dorms across campus, puked on her bed, ran away again and passed out in the quad. This news was met with a standing ovation and gauntlet of high-fives. It won't be in three years. Wives generally don't appreciate that kind of evening. Nor do bosses. Or, in this kid's likely situation, his parents.
There you have it, the first part of what I'm sure will be a voluminous list of things I can no longer do as a "'real adult.' I hope I'm not facing these prohibitions alone, but even if I am, dignity was never a cause I championed. Best of luck, everyone. I'm here for support.
As an aside, please help me bring "nards" back into circulation. It's far too fine a word to have ever fallen into dormancy.
This update has been sponsored by Jesus Christ himself. In other news, Eric's got a new column out today called "My Bros." So check that, check these hotlinks, and have a TGI-riffic weekend.