Thursday, September 18, 2014

Manual Shifter



One of my wife’s biggest pet peeves is seeing a grown man “reorganize his change” while in public. She concedes that while there may be times where such manipulation is necessary for one’s ongoing comfort, common courtesy dictates one perform such actions in the men’s room. We have had several discussions about ensuring that our son does not resort to this type of behavior when he is older.

The latest incident we witnessed occurred when we were checking out of a rather upscale hotel in Nashville. As my wife and I walked toward our car, we passed a group of people waiting for the courtesy shuttle. There was a group of older ladies, a middle-aged couple, and a young family waiting under the canopy for the complimentary lift to the airport. As we approached, the middle-aged man was apparently taken by a sudden urge to modify his orientation and grabbed enough crotch to make a major league pitcher squirm.

This was done in full view of the assembled crowd and his movements were so exaggerated that we feared the seam of his shorts would give way. Having successfully reseated his eggs in their basket, he re-crossed his arms while sporting a look of smug satisfaction. My wife was incensed (and I certainly wasn’t clamoring for an encore) but the incident sparked an in-depth conversation about the socially accepted methods of assuring one’s testicular comfort.

While most self-respecting males will engage in an inconspicuous round of pocket pool or perhaps even try and work in a few “slunges” (side-step/lunge combo), there does seem to be a growing number of American males willing to cut to the chase in mixed company. I have assumed that these were all cases where the urge was simply too strong to ignore but there have been a few cases where it reoccurs to the point there may be a medical issue.

In my wife’s defense, there are some guys that appear to be constantly taking inventory rather than addressing genital distress. To them, I would say that, barring an accident, there is no need for a recount between showers. Or perhaps they feel that such behavior conveys a sense of hyper-masculinity. I believe that line of reasoning was permanently nullified by Rosanne Barr’s infamous 1990 performance of the National Anthem.     

There is also the possibility that this series of movements is simply used to convey derision. While undeniable expressive, it is difficult to perform a while driving and therefore is often shelved in favor the middle finger. Regardless of underlying intent, we will be teaching our son that there is a time and a place for upsetting the apple cart and the lobby of an Olive Garden is not one of those places.

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