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People are funny, aren’t they?

Of course I don’t mean YOU … I mean the “other” people … the ones who aren’t us!

Dr. Seuss knew that and made an incredible living making up strange and unusual and funny characters that kids and adults love to laugh at.

Bartholomew Cubbins, Lorax, Sam-I-Am, Cat in the Hat, the Grinch…

Sometimes when I’m around others, I imagine what Dr. Seuss would do and say to describe them… it’s way better than the old nerve-busting adage of pretending that you see people in their underwear.

Mind you, Dr. Seuss could see them in their underwear too and then just carry on from there.

Hey! I just realized that Dr. Seuss doesn’t even put underwear on any of his characters.

Dr Seuss characters

Dr. Seuss would have material for 5 new books if he popped into the gyms I go to.

Not kids’ books. Nope. Adults’ books. Very adult.

I visit the changerooms of 3 different local gyms each week. One is for spin class and boot camp class, another for weight training, one more for swimming. OK, four different gyms … one more for yoga class …

In the changeroom, I’ll encounter other guys preparing to hit the gym and sweat, or returning to shower away the buckets of sweat they’ve just earned.

It’s a manly sort of place with mixed uggg-mmmm scents of armpit BO and Axe body washes, and soggy socks, and Gillette shaving creams. Kind of like a high school gym class rehash.

Work-a-day clothes are shed and shoved into oblong grey metal lockers. Stretchy nylon and lycra and cotton are layered over the muscles and love handles and multi-toned tattoos. Some bodies are tanned, fully-muscled and toned. Other bodies are big and floppy and sallow.

This testosterone set – needing a dose of sweat and muscle-pumping energy – then heads to the weight room, or the CrossFit box, or the spin class.

An hour later, we all return, one by one, soppy, sweat-soaked, and groaning.

Sweaty dude

Then it begins.

Chatter. Conversation. Boy talk.

Often it’s simply a pair of us engaged in conversation as we peel away the salty-wet togs … routine discussions of weather and impending workouts … pleasant words exchanged in polite, amiable tones.

Then one-by-one, others enter the room … and … as the numbers increase the tone of the conversation quickly changes.

Testosterone and machismo levels rise measurably and the group becomes more pack-like, wolves gathering for a meat feast. There is a new dynamic at play.

It becomes more manly and blue-collar. Soon the room is more BLUE with words than it is blue collar.

Whether we’re discussing cars, or sports or work issues… the F-Bomb becomes a required interjection at a minimum of once per sentence.

Often more.

I start to see how the pack feeds off each other as normally calm, straight-laced guys morph into something else and it becomes apparent how gang-bang rape scenarios might unfortunately play out. The inhibitions and control sensors go haywire.

I don’t feel comfortable. I don’t participate. I watch and listen.

It’s almost like the Need More Cowbell sketch from SNL with Will Ferrell and Christopher Walken… someone must be saying… “FellasI need more F- bombs”!!

more-cowbell

F-BOMBS are the main item on the conversation slate. Subject matter doesn’t matter. F-Bomb interjection is what is important now.

But. I’m not a good guy for F-Bombs. For me, the word FUCK is a little something that I pull out rarely and in a more romantic, teasing sense than what I’m hearing here in the changeroom. But that’s just me.

F-Bombs sound forced and girly coming from my mouth.

They don’t just roll off my tongue as if I were saying “Hi, how are You?” like they do with these guys. They sound more like, “So, I was having my nails done the other day…”. Yup, girly.

If I said them in this setting, I’m pretty sure the other dudes would pull their towels tightly around their naughty bits and turn around as if Mrs. O’Grady, the stern, ancient French teacher just walked in on them.

F-Bombs are laced with power. Power.

F-Bombs have their place. Place… and time.

And I think the fellas in the changeroom are losing out on something by overusing their weapon.

They might be well advised to holster their F-bomb usage and keep it in their arsenal for full impact. These are weapons that should be used carefully and smartly.

Carpet F-bombing loses its strength and meaning when the listener turns off their hearing and goes underground until the heat is off.

Used judiciously, F-bombs make people snap to attention and know that something important is happening. Something needs to be listened to. Something critical is about to happen.

Years ago, when my Mom – who never ever swore –  said, “Hell’s Bells” after hearing that my sister’s finance had been married previously, you could have heard a pin drop 100 metres away. The world just caught its breath and went silent. Her outburst was that powerful.

So, I’m holding onto my stockpile of F-Bombs. As I pull on my underwear and socks I’ll keep listening in the changeroom.

I’ll still smile at the boys when the words turn blue. But I’m not going to join in.

I know that Dr. Seuss wouldn’t approve of such language. Or would he………

Seuss F-Bombs

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