Thursday, May 13, 2010

(Man) Guy Banter 101

“Hey, when you’re done washing your car you can come over and wash mine.” *chuckle chuckle*. This is what I heard when I was washing my vehicle with my two boys.

This is a great example of guy banter in the context of a perfect setup. Let me explain.

Exhibit A: I am doing a labor intensive task that most people need to do which creates a common experience we both share. Others may include: Raking leaves, hanging outside Christmas lights, spreading bark dust, spraying weeds or washing windows. I did not include working on your car because you may make the embarrassing mistake of asking him to do work that is only specific to that vehicle. This may lead to an unsuccessful banter reply of, “You need work on a 1957 Ford Thunderbird supercharger?” However, if a man is banter certified, he will let a comment pass with a smile and the nod of his head.

Mowing the lawn was not included on the list. In order to have a successful banter you must be heard loud and clear. Nothing stops a banter dead in its tracks more than a, “What?” Repeating banter is like saying a punch line twice because people didn’t get it the first time. However, most guys who are worth their salt would never shame another man in this way. You may only see this in young men who had banterless dads or who have not yet learned the unwritten rules of banter. If you want to take a chance with sign language you are more than welcome to do so. Just make sure it is very clear what you are trying to communicate. For instance, wiping your brow with the back of your hand or a thumb up to say, “I respect what you are doing.”

Exhibit B: If I am out washing my car you could assume it’s a nice day and that I have time to do so. If you guessed a sunny Saturday afternoon you would be right. With how happy this guy was I could assume he slept in on this particular Saturday, drank his coffee, read the paper, and then left the house for a brisk walk with his spouse. On my end you could assume I have time to wash the car. Visual evidence would support this in that Beast has the hose and Fire has a cloth. I am bonding with my two young sons rather than just trying to get a job done in a hurry.

Guy Banter 102 is soon to follow

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