Random Musings - Man Rules or The Art of the Insult

Thursday, January 07, 2010
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] NOW it was serious. A double-dog-dare. What else was there but a "triple dare you"? And then, the coup de grace of all dares, the sinister triple-dog-dare.
Schwartz: I TRIPLE-dog-dare ya!
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Schwartz created a slight breach of etiquette by skipping the triple dare and going right for the throat!

Yes, there is an etiquette to what seems like random insults  amongst men. Some people like to argue that men are simpler then women or that women are more emotional than men. Now, I don't know if this true, but I do know that there is a definite set of rules when it comes to the favorite male pastime of insulting their friends.

Born from years of Alpha male posturing in school yards, there are rules to be observed when insulting friends. For example, let's look at sports. This probably the most common place to see men talking smack to each other. Some if might seem quite mean, like "A two legged dog can run faster than you" or vaguely amusing like "My 90 year old granny can shoot better than that". How does it work? Well, let's observe the following matrix:
Man Rule
Modifier
Giving a friend grief over their sporting prowess
Unless… when they have had a bad game, like going 0-6 in a softball game
Unless… They are on the other team, then all bets are off
Unless... it is an after game beer drinking session, then it's fine
Unless… It's golf, in which case any ribbing should be appreciated, because laughing at golf is the only to keep you from killing yourself
Unless… Said friend is known to A:) Break their clubs B:) Throw their clubs C:) Throw punches
Addendum: Modifier 5 applies to any friend who takes their sporting prowess way to serious and has a tendency to dwell on past glories. These guys are not to be trusted to take a joke after drinking or before, for that matter.
See what I mean? Rules that must be strictly obeyed. What about joking about a friend's significant other? This is out of bounds unless the following modifiers are observed: Unless… They have caught their partner cheating on them or have left. Unless… you really don't like your friends partner, in which case snark is out, since your own issues with said partner may surface. Unless… See sports Addendum 1. That guy is pretty sure it wasn't his fault. Addendum: After a requisite period of time has passed following a breakup or divorce, ribbing your friend about their life choices is once again perfectly acceptable.

It is never acceptable to insults a friend's mother or sister, Unless... they started it. Addendum? See sports Addendum 1. That guy will hit you. Even if he did start it.

Insulting a friend's appearance or other physical trait is a time honored area of ribbing amongst men. Unless… well this is always true. Nothing is funnier to a guy than a "Your Face" joke, or some other similar snark about receding hairlines, growing beer bellies or implied penis size. Unless… said friend has had a partner leave over it. Then it is not funny. Unless… They got it "fixed". Well that's not true, because a friend getting a toupee or hair plugs is HYSTERICAL. Unless… See sports Addendum 1. That guy thinks he is god's gift to the world. Addendum: If a friend makes self deprecating remarks about themselves regarding their appearance, then insults are redundant.

Are there any others? Of course, how about any insults or snark over what a friend considers his talent to be. These should not be approached lightly, no matter how much they suck at it. Unless… They think they are a good singer when they are not. In which case, you should take them to a Karaoke bar as much as possible. Sometimes, something that funny is too good to pass up.

As for the guy in sports Addendum 1? Seriously, dude, why are you friends with him? He's a douche. Do you like getting verbally abused by some guy who has a penis smaller than yours? Didn't your daddy spank you enough as a kid? I mean, really, what are you thinking?

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