Swinging in the Rain

by Matt Delaney | 11/13/97 6:00am

Check this out, bachelors. Here's the info tip on what you need to be a single man going into the 21st century.

Chest hair is a must. When you hit that awkward puberty age as a kid, chest hair becomes important. I had chest hair when I was younger. Literally. I had one hair. I felt so inadequate compared to the other kids. The guy next to me on the schoolbus had the body hair of a 1970s porn star. We were in Boy Scouts together. I was learning campfire safety, he was working on his Chest Hair Merit Badge. I think I never had chest hair as a kid because those guys in the Speedos you see at the beach were stealing it all from me. Everybody knows these guys. The older men in tiny bathing suits who have hair everywhere; chest, back, arms, knuckles. Hey, forget the sunblock, they've already got a UV protective layer of hair on their body. These guys definitely don't need The Hair Club For Men. They need their membership in that club taken away permanently.

Scents are definitely in style this season. You can always tell how single a guy is by how much cologne he's wearing. Single guys have all kinds of scents; cologne, aftershave, lotions. Fifty-year-old married guys are lucky if they've got an evergreen air freshener in the car.

For the young swinging single man on a date, cologne is an obvious necessity, but cologne commercials...what is going on there? I never understand these things, nothing makes sense. Waif-thin women, weird plots involving monkeys, muscular semi-naked men. What's the marketing strategy here? To make me smell like a monkey? And about the last thing I want to visualize on a date is anything involving a naked man.

Besides cologne, the new style for men is to be tone and in shape. With all those fitness ads on TV now, there's a lot of pressure for guys to have a very athletic look. I'm taking this seriously too. I'm showing up to dates in sweatpants and cleats. I'm wearing a headband. We go out, she times me in the 40-yard dash, we go get something to eat.

After you eat, the club scene can be a fly-dating alternative. When I'm out at a club I really hit the scene to make an impression. I go all-out on the dance floor now; I've got it all. Seriously though, I wear tights, a cape, I'm like Batman. I've got a utility belt around the waist, with everything I need; colored lights, smoke bombs, lasers. So I'm dancing, throw down a smoke bomb, shoot out the laser beam. That way I don't even need a dance club anymore because I'll actually be one.

But when you're at the club, between single guys, I'm giving two thumbs down to the butt slap as a greeting. With anything masculine, like football or lumberjacking, the slap is actually macho, "Hey, nice goddamn play out there! [Slap]" Some guys are so masculine they could slow dance together and it would be alright. Construction workers at the job sight, "Hey, that's some nice goddamn cement work! Now drop that welding gear, and hold me tight you big lug. I just made some warm banana bread."

The farther away you get from the masculine, the more the butt slap turns from macho greeting to some sort of weird butt touching. I'd prefer a good butt slap to some sort of soft butt rub. "Isn't that sunset beautiful? [Rub, Rub]" At least the slaps got some enthusiasm--it's definitely a hit-- but the rub is a little too vaguely sexual for my preference.

And finally, after you and your other go back to your place...word on the street is that waterbeds can be all that. I'm not a waterbed guy. All that floating, its too much like being out on the high seas. I'd be afraid the girl would start talking like a pirate for no reason, "Arr, ye sea dog, hoist up the Jolly Roger and come to bed matey. I'm wearin' me peg leg." That would kill the intimate mood for me. Especially the peg leg part.

So that the inside track on the successful single scene. Next session I'll be covering gold chains, robes, and intimate lighting. So, like Gene Kelly, you too can be Swinging in the Rain...but only if it's raining out.