#2. Laughing at Things That Aren't Funny
This seemed appropriate to include here because I like to think that at least one guy will read the title and then run down and make a joke about laughing at my article because it's not funny and then he'll feel clever that he turned my words against me without ever having read that I totally saw it coming right here and I also made love to his mother. Sweet, tender love. We didn't call each other names. We just grunted a little, and after, she made me eggs. And they were all right. They were all right sex eggs. From that guy's mom.
Anyways, have you ever heard this as a punchline to a joke -- "no soap, radio"? "No soap, radio" is the verbal embodiment of a pantsing. It mocks you in front of others and makes you look like a fool who forget to put on underpants today. Here, let's see it in action:
Two bears are in the tub, doing friendly bear tub stuff. One bear says to the other, "Pass the soap." The other bear's monocle pops out and he says, "No soap, radio."
Are you laughing? So help me God, you better not be. But if you told this joke to two other people, and one of those people was in on it, your friend and you could laugh, and there's a good chance the third person, the "mark," if you will, will start laughing simply because you and the other guy are laughing.
The joke is a psychological experiment, sort of an Asch conformity experiment where people are basically tricked by being in a room full of people who all give the obviously wrong answer to a question to see if the marks will conform to the group and also give the wrong answer, even though they know it's wrong. Or, in this case, laugh at something that isn't even funny, just because everyone else laughs. It's mindfuckery at its finest.
In terms of comedy, you can see it at work every day on TV. Laugh tracks in shows are there to let you know when to laugh. There's really no other reason. If something is funny, you'd probably know it on your own, right? But thanks to helpful laugh tracks, you're cued every time something is supposed to be funny in an effort to convince you that According to Jim is actually hilarious and not the sitcom equivalent of an anal speculum. It's tricking you into thinking you missed something if you didn't laugh, and no one ever wants to be the idiot who didn't get the joke. Like if someone told me that when Godot finally showed up he had to borrow cab fare and then they laughed, I'd totally laugh too so I don't look like a dummy, even though I've never heard of Waiting for Godot and have no idea what that joke means and I didn't make it on Twitter last week, either.
#1. Shaving the Pubes
Show of hands, who here has pubes? Please only answer if you're over 18, I don't want to be a felon. According to study after study, women especially but to a great degree men as well feel a curious, unspoken social pressure to shave their junk. As far as I know, as the owner of junk myself, there isn't really a faction of pube haters out there going by some cool gang name like the Smoothies or the Crotch Watch trying to convince the world that pubes cause cancer or got Obama elected or whatever. So where does the pressure come from?
Lots of people point to porn as the culprit, suggesting that we see images of sheared folks strutting about all smooth as a doorknob in porn movies and that makes us all want to run out and buy razors, but if that were true, wouldn't we all also be peeing on rubber-mask-wearing gardeners in our dimly lit dungeons?
Likely porn had a hand in it (ha ha, like fisting!), but then it branched out into locker rooms and other places where we're forced to interact nude-like with others and that one porn girl was gallivanting around showing off a vagina that looked like Patrick Stewart glistening in the mist of a YMCA bathroom and it made other women feel self-conscious about their sex fros and so they weed whacked them down to size and it sort of blossomed from there. As far as dudes go, that scene in Harold and Kumar in which Kumar explains that it makes your junk look bigger pretty much nailed it.
Experts will assure you that there's no benefit to shaving your pubes, and in fact, it's worse to shave than not shave, as you make it easier to contract any number of infections and diseases. I also have it on good authority that there is something less attractive than a field of ingrown pubes burbling up through red-rimmed little pustules, but it involves Indian sewers and open-mouth kissing Don Imus.