The Oakland Post

It’s the hard knock life for this 21st century boy

By Brian Figurski

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I’m a pretty liberal guy here, you guys. I think, in 2013, we’re a little beyond categorizing gender roles by topics.

That being said, it’s been a very hard month for this non-traditional man.

I’ve been meeting a plethora of new folks lately, and that means I have to engage in small talk and act like I have any valuable opinions. Since I’m not inclined to expose just any old body to the strange, diluted me, I usually sift in the awkward silence until they start the conversation. It’s always sports.

I don’t know if it’s my athletic appearance that makes people think I care about sports, or the simple fact I am a carrier of a penis, but everyone who doesn’t know me wants to talk about someone hitting or kicking a ball.

I’ll give you a typical scenario, and one that actually happened at my job the other day. “So that Scherzer game last night! Wowwie! What’ya think of the last inning?”

This is when I reach into my grab bag of automated responses. My choices include, “I don’t care who wins, I just want to see a fair game,” “It was a real slobberknocker, I tell you,” or I just laugh and slam my head on my desk.

Sorry my genitals threw you off, I like poetry and Food Network. I strictly indulge in these hobbies while covered in a blanket of cats.

No I don’t give a fart about Scherzer’s one-hit game. 

Sorry I can’t get behind a sport where a “perfect game” is when nobody hits the damn ball. Might as well down a bottle of melatonin tablets.

The only reason I’ll root and hoot for the Tigers is that if it gets me out of class early, let’s see some touchdowns, boys.

My editor just told me the Tigers were ousted from the playoffs over the weekend and all these references I’m making are outdated and unneeded. 

I really just don’t see the point in small talk sometimes. If our intended interaction time is poised for less than two minutes, instead of asking my preference of Michigan or State (trick question – I’m a “proud” Grizzly,) we can play a game where you hold your breath until I’m done with your transaction. If you pass out, I win.

It’s very assertive to just unload your life onto a stranger and I’ll never do that. I won’t start talking to someone about my iPod with the Urban Outfitters soundtrack on it or a knittin’ kitten sweater convention, so have some respect in not doing so to anyone else with your sports balls.

Unless you’re trying to court someone by overwhelming them with your unique version of entertainment, seal the lips from which words eject.

I’m just a Pinocchio. I guess I’ll never be a real boy until I care about sports in the eyes of the middle-to-upper aged men I encounter. To be fair though, these are the same people that whisper to me about their violent dreams of seeing Obama “taken care of,” so I don’t know how much I can trust their opinion.

I apologize if I offended anyone by not wanting to be heartbroken by the repeated failures of the Lions. I hope you understand that we are just not the same. 

You’re still invited to my spinning class on Wednesday evenings in the rec center.

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It’s the hard knock life for this 21st century boy