Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Game (Or: Thinking About My Buddy While Showering)

When I was younger, I sported the “bowl cut.” 

It was massively popular back then, and every boy tried to pull off the look of Rider Strong from Boy Meets World.

I am told he is dreamy.
The only problem was that I have always had thick hair.  My bowl cut ended up being more of a massively wide popcorn-bowl-cut.  It appeared to be more of a helmet of hair than anything else.

Eventually, I cut it significantly, opting to go for the “front-wave” look, which every other boy had already moved on to.  Everything was cut short and brushed down, except for the bangs, which were gelled to stand upright, acting as a lip for my scalp.

Or, as I see it now, a giant frown atop my head.

After cutting my hair, I went over to my best friend’s house to watch a Flyers game.

“What do you think?” I asked, daintily using my hands to showcase my hair*.

*It would take another two or three years for me to come to the manly realization that “Sup bro?” is the only way to greet a friend, no matter how funny you are trying to be.

“I like it,” he said, sporting the same exact haircut.

We sat down to watch the game, which was already midway through the first period.

After a few minutes, he turned to me and said, “And just a tip: you won’t have to use as much shampoo now.”

I remember, even that young, being shocked at the unnecessary redundancy of his “tip.”

At the time, I didn’t make fun of him for stating one of the most obvious things that anyone has ever verbalized to me in my life.  But it was one of those things that stuck with me throughout the years.

Even today, at least once a week when I turn over the bottle of shampoo and squeeze some into my palm, I think of his voice*.

*Just so we are clear, I shower once a day.  I only think of his statement once ever seven showers.

“You don’t have to use as much shampoo now,” I hear him say, and I squeeze the bottle a little bit lighter.

It is funny, most of the time, when this thought of this distant, specific memory pops into my head.  It was such an absurdly superfluous statement for him to make that it is still comedic gold to my sensibilities after so many years. 

But it is also slightly frustrating.

He and I have been friends since pre-school and have had countless conversations about every topic known to man.  Why is it that this one sentence has stuck with me for so long, and probably will stick with me for the rest of my life, plaguing my mind anytime I lather my hair?

It reminds me of The Game.

No, not that The Game.

I was introduced to The Game this summer while I was living in Las Vegas with a handful of other poker players.  We decided not to go to any of the casinos that night and instead sit around the house and hang out with each other with the necessary chaperone of beer.  While deciding what to do, someone suggested that we play Chinese H.O.R.S.E. (an insane combination of every poker game imaginable).

“We play that all the time,” I said.  “Let’s play another game.”

“Dammit,” my friend Brandon* said, “I just lost the game.”

*Check out his poker/life blog, Confessions of a Young PLOfessional

“What game?” I inquired.

“You don’t want to know,” he said. 

He was wrong.  I really wanted to know, especially after him saying this.

But in hindsight, he was right.  I really didn’t want to know.

And being the humane person that I am, I will now offer you the opportunity to stop reading.  Just go and read another post if you don’t want to know what The Game is.  It is something that you will be stuck in for the rest of your life, especially if you have friends who are also a part of The Game.

Still here?

I thought so.

“The Game is something you are always winning,” Brandon explained, “until you think about The Game.”

“Okay,” I said, still not quite following.

“But you can never really win The Game,” Brandon continued ominously.  “Because you lose The Game anytime you think about The Game.  Anytime a friend informs you that they just lost The Game, you just lost The Game too, because he made you think of The Game.  For the rest of your life, you are a part of The Game, and you never beat The Game,” he concluded.  “Until you die, I guess.”

Whoa.

Brandon went on to inform me of my new duty as a contestant of The Game: Anytime I lose The Game, I must inform all of my friends who are a part of The Game that I just lost, thus starting a ripple effect of losers of The Game.

I uphold a rather relaxed implementation on this statute of The Game.  There are simply too many people to tell, and I don’t want one of them to eventually murder me.

My friends, on the other hand, are weak-minded individuals who lose The Game inordinately often and seem to cherish their duty to tell me so.

So yea, I lose The Game often.

I gave you fair warning, dear reader.  And don’t get mad at me if at some point in future posts, I randomly insert the statement “I just lost The Game.” 

It is my duty, after all.

But don’t feel too bad, because in writing this post and making the connection between The Game and shampooing my hair, I am going to lose The Game every time I take a damned shower.

Or see a shampoo commercial.

Or talk to my best friend.

Or write a blog post.

Dammit.


-Youngman Brown

50 comments:

  1. That was probably the most articulate explanation I have ever read regarding The Game (which of course I've since lost thanks to this post).

    I too knew the pain of thick, unmanageable hair growing up. It most often resulted in a clean buzz (which hardly uses any shampoo at all!!)

    And yes, Rider is dreamy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My sister really thought he was dreamy. Still does, I would imagine.

      And yea, I think the only result for thick-haired dudes like us is to resort to the buzzer.

      Delete
  2. This is a funny post.
    Have to say, I've played The Game myself.
    Eventually it gets tiresome.

    Good to see there's
    Another bowl-cut boy in the world, since
    My hair was the
    Exact same way.

    And if you read the first letter of each line of this comment, you just lost.

    ReplyDelete
  3. OMG, I've lost The Game 3 times now! Do you KNOW how many people I have to alert now? When your radio starts crackling with the Emergency Broadcast System message, it will be that I lost The Game!

    I couldn't go to the other site because you had simply MENTIONED The Game... for us Playas it was already too late.

    Can't you keep that to yourself? Yeah, I know, the rules... wish I was a cheater now.

    WG
    http://itsmynd.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's typically a 5-20 minute grace period in which you are allowed to clear your brain of The Game.

      Delete
    2. I can't because I've lost the game 4 times now. Thanks for nothing, its on my mind for the rest of the day now. And since I don't have an account with any of your listings (sigh) once again this is Sheila the Anonymous commentor.

      Delete
  4. There was a guy at my school with red hair, who used to have the same 'lip', we called him Tintin. I swear, he was the spitting image of him! As for me, I spend a ton on shampoo and conditioner. I have long hair and I wash it every day. I have to, if I don't, the crows start circling! Serious ick fest!

    I won't lie, The Game sounds like an awful lot of work. I'm lucky that I'm such a spaz and have trouble remembering things! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw the poor guy.

      And you are lucky that you don't remember!

      Delete
  5. I lost The Game a long time ago. You should have put up a picture of yourself instead of someone else! I am sure you modeled your cut for somebody, hopefully not for your Best Friend. That would have been really creepy with the whole shampoo conversation and all...

    Yes, I know, go back to bed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll have to dig up an old picture of me back in the day and post it up here for your viewing pleasure.

      Delete
  6. LOL! In sync today with the hair posts? I remember the "flip". Only difference is, my brother bleached is bright yellow. I hated the yellow flip, but that's what the boys wanted....hahahaha

    The real question is do you switch up your shampoo everyday? You can't use the same shampoo everyday or you'll go bald!!

    P.S. The Flyers? You really are near Phili. Not even the Devils? Sigh...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great minds think alike, I guess!

      No, I don't switch up my shampoo everyday, and I've never heard of this lore of losing one's hair if you use the same shampoo.

      And yes, the Flyers for life. I LOVE THEM. I'm originally from PA, just outside of Philly. Don't tell me you are a Rangers fan. Or worse: Devils.

      Delete
    2. Islanders!!! U missed my post on stalking out Nino Niederreiter... I don't follow it too much now but I used to loveeeee Steve Webb.

      Delete
    3. Yes, I definitely missed that one, fortunately :0

      You poor girl, cheering for such a bad team.

      Delete
    4. You didn't list the Islanders on your hated list!!

      Well, I'm a football fan. Hockey is just ehhhh...

      But, I did get very upset when we lost the opener to the Panthers. Like rly, the Panthers?

      Delete
  7. I'm not playing The Game - does that make me a winner?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Technically, yes. But deep in your heart you are aware of it and are therefore a part of it.

      Delete
  8. I've never heard of The Game. Now that I have does that mean I'm playing it? Yes? Fuck. Just one more thing for me to continually fail at in life. I also have a feeling that I'll be thinking of you now every time I shampoo my hair. Well played.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I'm sorry. You are now a part of it.

      And it is never a bad thing to think of me whilst in the shower.

      Delete
  9. Damn I've got to now ring everyone and tell them I've just lost the game...!

    ReplyDelete
  10. The Game makes your life...fun.

    (Is that the movie quote? My memory sucks anymore.)

    You don't need to use as much conditioner now either.

    You're welcome.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ok, now I have heard everything. I should be angry because if one more thing gets piled on my plate my head is going to explode. Strangely though, I feel like I'm part of the club. Thanks to you I will have something to talk about at work tomorrow. Cheers. PS your hair is awesome. And thanks for bringing up when boy meets world...I wonder if I can get it on hulu.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry Claudine!

      But you ARE now a part of a very cool, growing club.

      Delete
    2. i knew it! Thanks for making it possible...

      Delete
  12. LOL I am now all Game-ed out, I just I'm a big time loser haha. It is quite amusing how some little statements always stick with you and what brings them about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is very easy to get Game-ed out. You are not alone, and not a loser.

      Delete
  13. I have been playing (losing) The Game for a bit over a year now. I will forget about (be winning) it for weeks. Eventually, of course, something will allow The Game to claw its way back into my consciousness, leading to me grumbling "fuck, I just lost the game", with explanations all around. Thus its AIDS-like spread continues. The only perceivable benefit of The Game is the extra medication I will receive as a senile old lady for randomly shouting "FUCK I LOST THE GAME" at strangers.

    The Beau just told me (after I told him about losing the game again) that the origins of the game lie in writings by Leo Tolstoy. He wrote of a game he and his brother played wherein they would stand, facing a corner, and try NOT to think of a white bear.

    Obviously, whatever discipline my parents meted out to me was a chocolate cupcake surprise compared to what Tolstoy's parents gave him for entertainment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL!

      I had heard that the game started when two guys were waiting for a train, and they played a game where the objective was to not think about the train.

      Delete
  14. Is this a boy thing? I am rather confused about this whole game thing and shower thing.
    But hey, you have fun with that ok :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Game is universal.

      And thinking about my buddy while showering is something unique to me :)

      Delete
  15. I love how random things like that stick out in your memory. What I love even more is when you tell the person about it and they don't even remember saying/doing it. It's like "But that's what I think of, when I think about you... how can you not remember?!?!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, my friend did remember telling me though, and we have talked about it a lot since.

      He still defends his statement.

      Delete
  16. I honestly laughed at the thought of you two sitting down to discuss shampooing techniques (but I'm sure that it was done in the manliest of manly ways).

    -Barb the French Bean

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was just a passing comment, but if we ever sit down to discuss shampooing techniques then I think we have a problem.

      Delete
  17. 'The Game" sounds fun !!!

    I just lost a bet on a cricket match :(.
    Bad .....bad mood.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Damn, sorry to hear that. I'd rather lose The Game than money.

      Delete
  18. I always know it's time for a haircut when it takes me 2 drops of shampoo instead of 1 in order to wash my hair. A year ago I cut off 22 inches of hair. The reason: it was so long (and ungodly thick) it would wrap itself around my throat and strangle me in my sleep. And my boyfriend, from time to time. So it had to go. The first person I saw gave me the same obvious tip, "You'll use less shampoo now." I still think of it when I get to that point of 2 drops.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha great minds think alike, I guess.

      Delete
  19. You must be very busy making me comment on the same post twice:)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I lost the game before it even started. I lost a game within a game within a game and when I was in THAT game I lost another game (gameception).

    I too sported the bowl cut with my thick ass hair. Seriously, I could break off a comb in this thing. Ryder Strong I was not. Moe from 3 Stooges... yeah, more like that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like we had similar problems growing up.

      Fortunately for me, gameception was not one of them.

      Delete
  21. Rider Strong had the BEST hair. Feel free to use less gel now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yea, and all the girls would go wild when he brushed it back with his hand.

      Delete
  22. OMG! I thought the husband, our British friend Rob and our circle of online friends were the only ones that knew about THE GAME (you just lost). I rue the day I ever found out about the damn game. Arrrgghh!

    ReplyDelete

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