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Davis

Davis, California

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Pants Optional

If you were to ask me at this very moment what I think the second-cutest thing in the world is, I would tell you, straight-up, that it’s bromance.

The first, because I know y’all are wondering, is Knut the German polar bear.

Guy love is the kind of close-knit relationship between two straight dudes that just barely straddles the line between friendship and something just a little more. Guy love is patient. Guy love is kind. It is never jealous, dot dot dot, guy love never fails.

In a society where guys are ragged on by their buddies for sponging grease off their pizza, it’s refreshing to see that some are so open about their devotion. I credit the likes of Turk and JD of “Scrubs, who, like Crockett and Tubbs, have managed to balance the expression of their affection while still maintaining socially appropriate levels of manly dignity on TV. Except for JD, kind of.

Male bonding practically constitutes its own genre of entertainment. There are coming-of-age classics like Stand By Me and The Sandlot, tear-inducing sports flicks like Brian’s Song, and crime films like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, to name a few. And we girls get stuck with The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

There’s just something about a friendship between two dudes that can never quite be paralleled by chicks. Two girls telling stories before they go to sleep is nothing special, it just sounds like a scene out of a made-for-TV movie that was based on an Oprah’s Book Club pick.

Like any other relationship, the male bond is tested in bad times and strengthened in good ones. Some guys run from cops with laundry detergent containers full of beer. Some guys rob banks in Bolivia. Some guys paddle and teabag the crap out of each other. Everyone rolls differently.

Check out Exhibit A. We’ll refer to them by their stripper names: Benji Malovina and Sylvester Bateman. I had to wait an hour and a half to talk to them because they went out for coffee, which turned into an intimate dinner, which turned into grocery shopping.

Their relationship began in the dorms freshman year, so there’s a lot of brostalgia between them. They started out as study buddies whose rapport progressed from snack runs at Trudy’s to bathroom visits in the DC via the buddy system. I’d like to point out that the buddy system is ineffective if pedophiles work in pairs.

“Shitting is very important in our relationship,says Benji.Essentially we bonded over shitting in the DC.Indeed, to this day they keep the bathroom door open so they can converse while the shitting commences.

From there out it was all about snowboarding in Tahoe, getting lost in the snow, ice skating in San Francisco and country drives to watch the sunset.We go even when it rains, so we can watch the sun intermingle with the different colors. We talk about nature a lot. And politics,Sylvester reports.

Benji and Sylvester have had one fight, on houseboats. They made up in the bathroom sharing beef jerky and spent the rest of the weekend sneaking into the bathroom to eat beef jerky so that no one would steal it.

“He’s like the malt vinegar to my salt,Benji told me as Sylvester downed a bag of malt vinegar and salt chips.

I really don’t think it gets much more adorable than that. Questions of sexuality aside, it’s clear that these two are comfortably involved in the mysterious phenomenon that is guy love.

I must confess, I’m a bit jealous that I’ll never get to partake in this unique, delicate experience. And I’m a lot jealous that I’ll never be able to sign my name in piss, either.

MICHELLE RICK loves bromantic stories of all kinds. Send her your finest at marick@ucdavis.edu.

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