A deceptive silence hangs heavy and oppressive in the air. Tick, tick – the day grows longer, yet the silence remains, stifling as ever. And then – a shriek of unfathomable pain pierces the stillness. Gumby has perished.
The womenfolk glance across the hall with a sober gaze beyond the propped door into the Den of Masculinity, the Cave, the Abyss, one eyebrow held aloft in mutual scoff. The gaze is shifted to each other. Heads shake in hopeless resignation. The Feast of Masculine Bonding has commenced.
The men innocently term it the “LAN party.” However, we, the Women of Commiseration, have gained the Wisdom to Know Better. Computers are networked in eager expeditiousness while we womenfolk shield ourselves behind a wall of mint mochas and online wedding dress searches. And then, the Faygo Moonmist begins to flow. To the men, Faygo is the glorious, caffeinated liquid divinity available at the dollar store at the bargain price of a dollar for three liters – “keeps the mouse finger sharp.” To the women, who know better, Faygo Moonmist is the nastier generic version of Mountain Dew of dubious origins that alters the chemical makeup of our men’s bloodstream and liquefies their once-brilliant minds. An average of 1.5 to 2 liters is consumed per male in any given eight-hour period, and bodily necessity constitutes the only reason for which the male bonding rituals are temporarily halted. Female heads shake in incredulity as one arises from his gaming glory to answer the call of nature, only to forfeit hand-washed hygiene in lieu of acquiring another nuclear missile.
“Male-bonding,” per se, as we the women have discerned, consists of sporting bulky headphones to prevent the threat of communication between the respective parties so that they can more efficiently fling grenades, missiles, and other assorted weaponry at each other. Yet, we must not be so brash as to deny that they do not possess any capacity for socialization. Yes, there is that random phrase that escapes the lips of the Silent Ones. We might not term it necessarily witty or coherent, but it is dialogue nonetheless. They are primarily periodic and imperative sentences no more than four or five syllables in length. Often, they are rhetorical. “Pass the Faygo.” Then, at a time of unprecedented outreach to one another in mutual camaraderie, we hear, “Have you ever re-spawned yourself in the freezer?” A masculine bond has been forged. Tears well up in the feminine eyes. The Age of Mutual Exchange has come. A new day dawns.