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Sunday, March 11, 2007

A Peck On The Cheek

There was an awkward moment the other day as I tried to leave a friend's housewarming. The theme of the party was officially 'South American' but most of the people there were wearing Hawaiian shirts. A Bruce Springsteen cover band (one of the band members also lived in the house) were playing Beatles tunes and most of the guests were attempting to play various objects as instruments. I was due to get up at four in the morning so I had decided to leave early, at around eleven o'clock. As I bid my adieu to Miss B and leaned in to kiss her goodbye she backed off. 'Not on the lips,' she informed me.
'Since when?' I asked, a little bit baffled.
'Since when? Since always.'
'Are you high?'
Now, because what I write here is from my point-of-view, I can only recount how I remember things, skewered as they generally are. Two years ago, when Miss B returned from London, we had caught up to recount gossip and she had left a kiss on my lips after our chat. Since then I had generally assumed that that is how the relationship was when it was time for departure. Being a bar guy for about a decade it is generally not unusual for male and female staff (and better yet, female and female staff) to plant platonic kisses on each others lips. It's cool. It's like a different level of friendship.
The equivalent of the kissing-friends-on-the-lips thing, to translate it into guyspeak, would be on par with being able to call a black guy a 'nigga' without it being meant to be offensive. And they in turn would be able to call you a washed-up child molester without meaning you any ill will either. But its a scary step. Make a racist comment too early on in the relationship and you may face a savage beating. Or a drive-by where his "homies" will "pop a cap in yo' ass" with his "nine". Fo shizzle.
Naturally, one can always go too overboard. Just because your friends are cool with being your nigga (or gook, or wop, or hebe) doesn't mean you can take the piss. Too often I will go into 'white plantation owner' mode and start demanding my black friends to pick cotton from the field and refer to them as 'Boy'. Which is going too far. It'd be like trying to stick your tongue down a friend's throat.


Blogger Gorilla Bananas said...

That's a crying shame, Fatman. She shouldn't go back on a lip-smooch. And "Not on the lips" is the kind of thing a hooker would say. You could have replied "OK, on the tummy then."
At this rate, even Kitty won't let you kiss her.

4:54 am  
Blogger Fatman said...

I have it on good authority that hookers do kiss clients ('Johns' in prostitute parlance) on the lips. The myth that street girls don't kiss was perpetuated by the evil film Pretty Woman where rich, gerbil-loving idjit Richard Gere finds love in walking sperm bank Julia Roberts.

2:54 pm  
Blogger SassyAssy said...

Have you considered breath mints?????

1:20 am  
Blogger Yawn said...

I don't understand this.

"Or a drive-by where his "homies" will "pop a cap in yo' ass" with his "nine". Fo shizzle."

That sounds American, but is it exported and regurgitated American or am I completely wrong in my assumption that the Fatman is Australian?

I in no way claim ownership of such negroidspeak, as I am as far removed from it as the average Australian, despite the fact it is going on down the street from me and is not something I participate in. (I participate in Messkin speak.)

It's just as odd as me saying things like "Kookaburra get out of the gum tree and throw a shrimp on the barbie."

9:14 am  
Blogger Yawn said...

I'd also like to add that it's about time that someone spent 5 minutes in the year 2007 acknowledging the Richard Gere-gerbil connection. That rumor- knowing that there were people odder than meself- kept me going through the 80s and 90s.

9:16 am  
Blogger Fatman said...

Oh I is Australian. By that I mean I watch American movies, listen to American music and read books written by Americans. Then call Americans names for participating in that idiot war. A war which we are sadly part of.

11:31 am  

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