“Man, this is how ya gotta do your hair,” Jimmy explained to me as he began his follicle ritual. Half a bottle of hair gel dripped from his palm and between his fingers while he carefully strategized which section of hair would contribute to which rock-hard spike standing on its end. “Every time I go to the bar, I do my hair like this. And every time I get a chick’s number. I’m tellin’ ya, bro, you gotta start takin’ notes from me.”
I sat on the lid of Jimmy’s toilet as I waited for him to finish up so we could finally leave. I stared up at him with my elbow on my knee and my hand holding up my face. Jimmy looked back at me through the mirror’s reflection and read my impatience. “Buddy, you can’t rush this kind of thing. It’s an art.”
I leaned against the back of the porcelain throne and rolled my eyes. I had known Jimmy since kindergarten and if I hadn’t, I probably would have hated the guy with a passion. We grew up together, went to same elementary, junior high, and high schools together. Shortly before graduation, we decided we wanted to continue the trend, so we applied to the same college. Jimmy studied to become a Phys Ed. teacher; I went into the liberal arts and majored in English.
After finishing his Michelangelo-esque sculpted hair, Jimmy turned to me and I noticed he was wearing a skin tight Hilary Duff t-shirt. I squinted my eyes and tilted my head slowly in confusion.
“What? It’s ironic!” Jimmy insisted with a half-smirk on his face.
“Wait, what? How is that ironic?”
“Cause, I’m totally not into Duff, but I’m wearing the shirt, so it’s funny.”
“That’s not ironic. That’s just kind of stupid.”
“Whatever, bro, you just don’t get it.”
“I’m studying English. If anyone gets irony, it’s me, and that’s not ironic.”
“Buddy, why do you gotta be such a geek about this stuff? That’s the reason why chicks don’t dig ya.”
“In case you couldn’t tell, I am a geek, I always have been. Almost twenty years of knowing each other and you still haven’t figured that one out?”
Jimmy shook his head and walked away. As he exited the door of the bathroom and walked towards his shoes at the front of his apartment, he added, “Yeah, but you’re not even a cool geek, like those Big Bang Theory guys. Chicks are totally into those kinds of geeks. Tonight at the bar man, you gotta tell the chicks you’re a science major, in like Biology or somethin’. They’ll totally be into you then.”
I stood up from my makeshift seat and headed for the bathroom doorway and leaned against the wooden frame around the doorway. I adjusted my glasses briefly before I answered back, “I freakin’ hate that show! And I really doubt that girls will like me better if I emulated a bad nerd stereotype.”
Jimmy finished slipping on his large, white skateboarding shoes with tattoo flash along the side. “Whatever, dude. Let’s just go. We gotta make it to the bar before 10 or else we’re gonna have to pay cover.”
Jimmy had received some notice from the girl who cuts his hair that a new bar had opened and it was going to be a hot spot in town. For some reason, he always insisted I go to these bars with him. Nights at these bars always proved entertaining though. On a normal night out, Jimmy would emasculate another hyper-masculine male, drink more alcohol than Paula Abdul in an entire season of American Idol, spend more money than I had for groceries that month, and get a girl’s phone number or bring a girl home.
That night was particularly cold. I had my Vans shoes on, a pair of jeans, and my black hoodie zipped up all the way. I didn’t do much with my hair, just combed it to the side a bit. Jimmy insisted on not wearing a jacket. He felt admitting it was cold was emasculating. I gave up arguing with him about it back in January; minus forty weather and he insisted on not wearing a jacket.
The bar wasn’t too far from campus but it wasn’t exactly a student hot spot either. The main patrons at this establishment were oil rig workers with way too much money, cocaine dealers, and the girls who are into that kind of thing. The specified gender roles in this place always astonished me: the males were defined by what they did for work; the females were defined by who they were sleeping with.
Thankfully we made it to the bar before they started charging cover, but the building was already packed with off-balanced tattoo print t-shirts and cheap looking hair extensions. The music was blaring from the speakers with a steady thump thump thump. The room was generally dark aside from the stage lights at strategic places in the bar and the moving coloured lights. I stood still for a minute and scanned the room for the possibility of an available table and the clearest path to get there. But my scanning was to no avail. I found myself a secure area against a wall, generally away from most of the other people in the bar, but still with a good enough view to people watch and have a good chuckle or two to myself.
Jimmy wasted no time once we made it inside. Before I knew it, he was no longer in my direct vicinity. I stood on my tip-toes and looked across the standing area to find Jimmy already at the drink buying counter, already with three drinks in his hands, and already chatting up two blondes in leopard-print mini-skirts. I stood back in awe as I viewed the fascinating art of the human mating rituals.
After Jimmy was done with what I’m sure was an engaging and intellectual conversation, he approached me with the three drinks in his hands: two short glasses in his palms and a tall glass carefully balanced between the two short glasses. He looked up at me, smiled, and yelled into my ear, “One of these is yours, but I don’t remember which one!”
I stared at Jimmy for a second, lowered my head slightly, and pointed at the middle, tall glass. “One of these Things is Not Like the Other” was playing in my head. “I think that’s it.”
Jimmy jutted his arms towards me slightly as I removed the burden of the third glass from his grasp. “That’s why you’re the smart one, broseph!”
I leaned back against the wall, crossed my arms and sipped my anonymous cola product. Jimmy started for the dance floor with both arms in the air and his head bobbing to the obnoxiously loud bass pummelling through the speakers. I watched Jimmy on the dance floor and suddenly felt like I was documenting some bizarre Steve Irwin safari expedition.
Here, we see the bar-going-male, or homo-gluteus, perform the mating dance ritual to try to attract the attention of the females. The mating dance does attract the attention of other males quicker than it does the females, making competition fierce between the males for the opportunity to mate. Competition is fiercer than I thought it was going to be. All different breeds of the bar-going-male are present at this mating dance. The homo-gluteus-emoticus with his distinctive side combed hair that covers half of his face and his attire that is quite similar to the females’. Then there’s the homo-gluteus-Liddelous, distinctive for his tribal tattoos, which have no meaning, all along his arms and his desire for physical combat that outshines his desire for mating. And finally, the homo-gluteus-situationous, best distinguished by his desire to constantly show his abdominal muscular development and the large spikes on his head best used for defence against other males and to attract the attention of the females.
I began to laugh out loud thinking about my expedition into the jungle of the club. Unfortunately, the wrong homo-gluteus-Liddelous spotted me giggling at the wrong time. I was then approached by a pack of three homo-gluteus-Liddelouses. The middle and clearly dominant of the group gave me a shove against the wall.
“What’s so funny, queer?”
I stared at the middle dominant for a second to try and estimate my chances for survival. His Puma sneakers were laced up tight, the seams of his pre-faded and pre-torn jeans glowed under the black light, his t-shirt boasted the name of what I deduced to be a tattoo artist I had never heard of, and his eyes stared not just at me, but through me like a bullet through a piece of paper.
I looked up, stretched my neck as far back as it could go to be able to look the middle dominant in the face. The two submissives that flanked the middle dominant were dressed virtually the same as their pack leader, but their stares weren’t as severe as the middle one’s was. I began to shrivel down as the pack descended upon me further.
The middle dominant, still shooting through me with his magnum glare, repeated his question. “I said, what’s so funny, queer?”
Then, like Zeus just dropped down from the heavens, there was Jimmy, standing to my right, wielding the same magnum glare right back it like he was Dirty Harry.
“Yo, you got a problem with my bro, here? Cause if you do, then you got a problem with me. Ya got me, bro?”
The middle dominant folded his arms and smirked in amusement while his two submissives looked at each other and laughed. “What, is this guy your boyfriend or something? You guys queer together or what?”
Without any warning, Jimmy wrapped his arms around me, grabbed the back of my head, clenched a handful of my hair, and laid onto me the most passionate kiss I had ever received. Our faces collided in full force then melded together. The stubble around my mouth and along my face folded into Jimmy’s perfectly shaved cheeks. It was full, open-mouthed, and tongue-inserted. His right hand groped my left breast. For a moment, I simply froze, unable to comprehend the taste of Jimmy’s tongue as it caressed mine. I began sweating in panic, trying to anticipate what would come next once Jimmy ceased to violate my tonsils. For a moment I believed that Jimmy and I were the lion and before us was Hemmingway, rifle in hand ready to annihilate us. The kiss lasted ten seconds before Jimmy pulled away and re-engaged his magnum stare against the pack.
“Yeah? So What? And if you three don’t beat it you’re gonna get the shit kicked out of you by a queer! So back the fuck up before I embarrass you in front of this entire club! Do you really want to be the dude who got his ass kicked by the guy who was just making out with another guy?”
The dominant looked back to his submissives, then shrugged at us and gave a passive aggressive “Whatever” before he walked away.
Jimmy stepped in front of me and cocked his head to the right to signify that maybe we should leave. I stared at Jimmy for a second, unable to articulate how I felt about what just happened. Yes, I was alive and undamaged and there was no physical confrontation in the end. But, at the same time, his tongue was just in my mouth. I wanted to look at him differently, like what he did was just terrible. But it wasn’t. He was still Jimmy, he was still saving my ass from getting beaten by some bullies, and he was still my best friend.
I zoomed past Jimmy and headed for the first exit I could find. I was putting my keys into my car door before Jimmy was even through the exit doors. Jimmy sauntered over slowly. I unlocked the car doors and Jimmy got in the passenger side front seat and slouched back against the window.
As we began our drive home, I looked over to my slouched friend to whom I probably owed my life with tears building up in my eyes. “Jimmy, those guys were seriously going to kill me. I was a dead man standing. Thank you so much.”
Jimmy averted his eyes from looking out the front window and looked towards me with a cocky smirk. He then gave me a quick shove that pushed me lightly against my door.
“Quit being such a queer.”
 This isn’t the first time Jimmy suggested I take notes from him. In junior high he insisted that I study off of his notes for a social studies test. We were looking at current affairs and he had written in his note book “this is bullshit; a country wouldn’t bomb another country for oil.” I think my hesitation to take notes from him on anything is justified.
 Actually, not “for some reason.” I knew the exact reason. I didn’t drink, so I was always able to drive him. To his credit, he was fair in how he treated me when I did drive him. He always bought me pop if there wasn’t courtesy pop for DD’ers, and if we arrived late to some ‘bouncin’’ hot spot, he would pay my cover. Seemed like a fair trade at the time, but now I can’t help but feel like I was Kato to his Green Hornet.
 Come to think of it, Jimmy probably thought he was teaching me things. In reality, he just proved really amusing for me. Friday night television was nowhere nearly as funny as some of the things Jimmy would say or do on some of these nights. Sure, I always sat back and played the fly on the wall, but I never got involved. No harm, no foul.
 Got to love the over-testosteroned tough guys, always trying to prove something by doing something stupid.
 It’s actually astonishing how far back these people have actually set women’s roles.
 That’s right, folks! My deduction in identifying the non-alcoholic drink amidst Jimmy’s first round of booze is what made me the smart one between the two of us.
 I really know how to pick the best times to think of a good joke and have a laugh to myself. Even funnier was that my first instinct in this situation was to try and rationalize with the significantly un-evolved males that were ready to beat me into primordial ooze. Luckily, I came to my wits and realized that they have the logical strengths of a FOX NEWS reporter. I was fairly certain I was doomed.
 You have to appreciate that his repetition of a question started with “I said.” I guess it was a rhetorical question, so “said” would technically fit in this scenario, but I also severely doubt he was able to deduce the kind of question he was asking while he salivated at the prospect of killing little ol’ me.
 I could tell that Jimmy wanted this punk to tell him that he felt lucky.
 Jimmy later explained to me that most of the time guys who pick fights randomly like this are in fact, cowards, and just try to find anyone smaller and meeker than they are to challenge and assert their dominance upon. The minute anyone stands up to them, they back down. Classic schoolyard bully scenario.
 This wasn’t the first time Jimmy saved my ass from being severely beat down either. Hell, that’s how I met the guy. First week of kindergarten three other kids started picking on me because I wore glasses. Jimmy stepped in, punched one of the kids in the face, and made the other two back off and cry. He always said it was worth it because it was his first fight.
 He was probably looking around to make sure he wasn’t about to miss out on a girl who hadn’t seen him kiss another guy yet.