The Fourth Hang At The Other Laundromat

September 23, 2010

[Teddy and C.O.D.Y the Robot Who Hangs Out are standing near the counter.]

TEDDY: I’m sorry, but Darryl’s dad is a loser. Last night was not what I expected.

CODY: You didn’t like the hang? I thought it was good hang.

TEDDY: A good hang? A GOOD HANG? That was not a good hang. That was a middle-aged man, three hangbots and me playing darts. There weren’t any chicks. There weren’t any chips. Darryl’s dad needs to buy better beer, too. Stroh’s is the absolute worst. Does he do it as a joke? Like, welcome to my house; now you have to drink Stroh’s.

CODY: No. He just likes Stroh’s.

TEDDY: What a loser. The worst part was those hangbots. One of them, the tall one –

CODY: Lonnie?

TEDDY: Yeah, Lonnie. He wouldn’t stop asking me to hang out this week. He’d say, When are you free to hang? Let’s hang. And I’d say, I don’t know, I’ll have to get back to you. And he’d say, How about tomorrow? How about Sunday? What’s your number? I gave him the L-mat’s number. I don’t want him calling my cell. The weirdest part was that he wanted me to hang with him at the bus station. He said it’s a good spot. I was like, Dude, that is a terrible spot to hang. And he said, Naw, it’s a gnarly spot. You got all these folks coming and going, so many people to talk to, so many people to hang with.

CODY: Lonnie does want to hang all the time. And in unorthodox spots. But what’s wrong with that?

TEDDY: Because if you’re constantly asking someone to hang then it takes away from the specialness of the hang. You can’t smother a friend in hang requests. Even if you want to hang with that person all the time, it’s best to limit the hangs. Space them out. And if you’ve never hanged with someone before, don’t try to hang one-on-one with them the second you meet them. And don’t suggest weird hang spots, like a bus station. Stick to normal spots, like a bar.

CODY: Or a laundromat?

TEDDY: Only you, Cody. You’re the only guy who gets to hang at the laundromat without judgment from me.

[Terry gives Cody a noogie.]

CODY: Niiice.

TEDDY: Oh, and that other hangbot. The one with the poncho.

CODY: That’s Opie.

TEDDY: Opie was a piece of work. So he asks me how the ladies are treating me. I say, Eh, not too great. I explain that I was seeing that hybridbot, Josephine, but things aren’t going well. And he says, Why not? And I say that I’d rather not go into it. And he says, What’s the matter, brah? Just like that: What’s the matter, brah? Like he’s my best brah. Opie is not my brah. All I know about Opie is that he wears a poncho and he sucks at darts. After I landed a triple 20 Opie came up behind me and slapped me on the ass. I don’t even know this hangbot and he’s already playing grabass with me and trying to get me to dish lady-talk. It was too much too soon.

CODY: Opie’s a cool bot, but yeah, he does try to force a heavy hang too soon.

TEDDY: And another thing I didn’t like: Darryl’s dad was always trying to one-up me.

CODY: What do you mean?

TEDDY: I mean, in conversation. He asked me what sports I played in high school and I said baseball. I played right field. And then he says that he was starting pitcher all four years. And I say, That’s cool. We went to state once. And he says, We went to state three years in a row and we won my senior year. So that’s that. It happened with darts, too. In the second match I land a double eighteen right off the bat. What does Darryl’s dad do? He guns for eighteen and closes it out. Just to one-up me. And do you remember when Opie told everyone that I was having trouble with a hybridbot? Yeah, well, Darryl’s dad said that he had fucked four hybridbots. He even fucked two of them in one night, and one of those was Josephine. So he was one-upping me with high school sport, with cricket and with ladies. Oh. And! He asked me how my summer’s been and I said that I went to Lake Cumberland for the weekend with family. Instead of saying, oh, that must have been fun, or, oh man, Lake Cumberland is great, you know what he says? He says he just got back from a week in Nice. In France.

CODY: Niiice. Nice. Niiice.

TEDDY: Not nice. Darryl’s dad is a boomer. Boomers are always trying to prove themselves, I guess. The point is, it was a bad hang. Those dudes need some hang rules.

CODY: Hang rules?

TEDDY: Yeah, rules for hanging.

CODY: But if you have rules for hanging, doesn’t that take the fun out of the hang? Shouldn’t a hang not have any rules?

TEDDY: You shouldn’t have to think of the rules while you’re hanging. It’s not like I would recite the rules before starting a hang with some folks. But it’d be nice if everyone went into the hang knowing a few general rules. It’s like when you play baseball. The ump doesn’t read the rulebook before the pitcher throws the first pitch. But every player knows the rules going in and that makes the game more fun. If  a base runner didn’t know he had to tag up when his teammate’s fly ball was caught, and he ran the bases anyway and then got tagged out, the game wouldn’t be as fun for everyone else.

CODY: I see. So, what are the hang rules?

TEDDY: Here are a few off the top of my head: Now, these are rules for hanging with dudes and hangbots who you don’t know well. If you’re hanging with close friends, it’s different obviously.

1. Don’t pry about love lives. You can ask: How are the ladies/dudes treating you? And if they say, very well, then you can ask him/her to elaborate. And if they mention that they’ve been seeing someone, say, Good for you and leave it at that. Don’t ask if they’ve fucked. Don’t ask if she/he is pretty/handsome or cool or a loser or whatever. You can ask what the person does for a living. The general rule is to gauge how much they want to reveal. If you ask how the ladies/dudes are treating them and they say no, you should say, I’m sorry to hear that. Don’t ask why not. Maybe they’ve just been dumped. Maybe they cheated on their girlfriend with a sex-crazed hybridbot and they feel terrible about it.

2. Don’t push future hangs on someone you don’t know. If you just met the person or bot, simply hang with them at the hang you’re currently at. Get to know them. Find some common ground. Maybe you both like to play darts and, in the future, you’d like to arrange a darts hang. So be it. But don’t schedule future hangs early on in your first hang. It will be off-putting. And if you do arrange a future hang, don’t choose a weird spot. Like the bus station, or Linens N Things.

Oh, I forgot to tell you, Lonnie wanted me to go with him to Linens N Things to return some sheets his ex bought him. And I was like, Dude, I feel your pain, but that’s something you have to face on your own. Anyway:

3. Go easy on the grab ass. You can slap your best buddie’s ass whenever, but not a new hang partner’s ass. Maybe he has a hang-up about being slapped on the ass. Maybe he recently had hemorrhoids and he’s still recovering. Maybe he still has hemorrhoids. Be aware of the many reasons why he wouldn’t want you to slap his ass. That said, if later on in the night folks are getting rowdy and there is plenty of grab ass going around, by all means indulge yourself.

4. Try not to one-up in conversation. When someone says, I went to Siesta Key for spring break, don’t immediately say that you went to St. Thomas. St. Thomas is better and more expensive. You would be one-upping them. Instead, you should say, Oh cool, how was it? Ask questions about things they say; feign interest if you have to. Don’t respond by saying a similar thing that you’ve done. This will only turn the focus of the hang to you. It won’t create healthy conversation. It won’t even be a real conversation. It will be two people barking at each other. Another example: If the person you’re hanging with says that they’ve been enjoying a new show on HBO, and you don’t own a television, don’t immediately say this: I don’t own a television. This is one-upping of a different sort. You’re implying that you have no interest in what they’re about to say and you never stoop so low as to enjoy the thing they have enjoyed. You’re saying: Stop right there and ask me why I don’t own a TV and I’ll tell you all about the periodicals and novels I’ve been reading lately. Instead, you should say this: Oh, what’s the show like? And after they tell you about it, and they ask what shows you enjoy, only then can you say, I don’t own a television.

5. If you’re chatting one-on-one with someone and they tell you a reasonably private thing about themselves – such as: I’ve been having trouble with a hybridbot – don’t announce that piece of information to everyone at the hang. They can decide who to tell and who not to tell. Unless they said don’t repeat this ever, you can tell other people at the hang and at future hangs, but only in a one-on-one chat. Do not make a hang-wide announcement.

CODY: You make some good points, but I still think hangs shouldn’t have rules. That’s why you hang in the first place: to get away from rules. Work has rules. Hanging should just be hanging.

TEDDY: Fine. But those dudes need to learn how to hang. I guarantee the darts hangs will be better if they read my rules. Hear me out: I’m going to type these up and print them out and give them to you. The next time you hang in Darryl’s dad’s basement, tape them next to the dart board. That will send that boomer a message.

CODY: But he’ll just take it down before other guests see it. It’s his basement, after all.

TEDDY: Then tape it to the front door so all who enter his house see my hang rules.

CODY: I don’t know, man.

TEDDY: Cody. Do it or you’re fired.

CODY: Draaag.

NEXT: Who Let The Dogs Out? Woof, Woof Woof, Woof

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