Panama And The Champ Have A Long Chat About Street Harassment

NYC Street Harassment

Panama: So, street harassment has been getting a lot of traction as of late. There are panels, discussions, shouting matches (which may or may not actually constitute street harassment depending on if the man is louder methinks), Twitter town halls, Twitter shouting matches (“tweet harassment” perhaps?…), etc. Basically, the conversation about men making women feel uncomfortable has reached a critical mass. To wit, the definition according to StopStreetHarassment.org is:  any action or comment between strangers in public places that is disrespectful, unwelcome, threatening and/or harassing and is motivated by gender or sexual orientation. 

In its simplest form, basically men need to stop talking to women unless women say something first. Hmm…if I say “smile sister!” and I’m smiling at the same time, is that harassment? I’m really curious about this. What’s your take on it?

Damon: I took part in a HuffPo live segment about street harassment last week. The producers reached out to me because of a piece I wrote for EBONY (“I Stopped Telling Women to Smile“), and I was the lone male voice with three women—including Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. Because of the show’s format, I didn’t get much of a chance to speak. But, when I did, I offered some background about what prompted me to write the EBONY piece.

That said, I am a bit ambivalent about some of the articles and discussions about this movement. No one—well, no one in their right mind—would deny that random shouts, catcalls, and insults do occur and can make women feel violated and even physically threatened. Also, this type of behavior can escalate.  I’ve heard stories from numerous women about them politely declining a man’s “invitation,” and that “invitation” quickly turning into an insult or even violence.  
 
But, some of this conversation has gone as far as saying that men should never do a “cold approach”—basically, unless a woman has made it clear she’s interested in being approached, he shouldn’t say a word—and I don’t agree with that. I think we (men) can stand to be a bit smarter and more considerate with how we approach women we’re romantically interested in, but we do still have to approach. And, sometimes these approaches may happen while on the bus, or at the gas station, or on the street. 
 

You know, I do think most men understand the difference between considerate approach and harassment, and most women know the difference as well. But, it seems like the tone and tenor of this conversation is being set by people on opposite ends of the spectrum: women who seem to consider all unsolicited male attention to be harassment, and men who say things like “Man, if I can’t give random females compliments on their tiddies, how is the human race gonna survive??? They should be happy I even took the time to notice they asses!”

PanamaI think that you may be right. It probably is mostly the fringe element that’s driving the majority of the conversation, as the Internet is largely responsible for. I mean, if you let the Internet and FOX News tell it, well…don’t let them tell anything. I think men could be a lot smarter and less icky when talking to women on the street. I just don’t know if we’re supposed to stop talking altogether. Like can I say, “hello beautiful”? Or is that like borderline. Perhaps its like backhanded harassment…on the street. And to be fair, I agree. I’m not trying to trivialize the movement. I’ve seen and heard some pretty atrocious things said to women who were doing nothing more than existing. That’s not nice. And the guys who managed to do so clearly were pretty disgusting people. I guess, my curiosity about it is more of, like, would women prefer (I realize I’m asking a man) for nobody to ever say anything? Is positive stuff okay? Hell, I’m afraid that if I say hello to a woman and say she’s beautiful I may get like, hit with the street harassment whistle or something. Wait, is there a street harassment whistle? If not there probably should be one.

Damon: I know women who carry whistles. And mace. And tasers. And tiny dogs that shit in their purses. I also know a woman who showed me how she holds her keys when she’s walking somewhere alone at night so that they form a de facto knife. 

I don’t know any men that carry those types of weapons. (Or purse-shitting dogs.) And, while I’m aware many men carry guns, I don’t know—well, I don’t think I know—any who do. I also don’t feel compelled to go to the bathroom in groups, I don’t think twice about taking my eye off of my drink if I’m sitting at a bar, and I’ve never intentionally made sure to wear more conservative clothes so I got less unprompted attention from the opposite sex when catching the train to work.

I’m bringing this up because we (men) have a tendency to downplay or just completely ignore the fact that while the world is a dangerous place for all of us, it’s even more dangerous for women. It’s almost like how (some) White people will downplay or completely ignore the effect racial profiling can have on us.

Also, we have to be real with ourselves. I seriously doubt any woman you say hello to is going to blow the harassment whistle on you, and I seriously doubt you believe that too. It feels like the internet-based pushback or even ambivalence about this movement from men is based on semantics. We (men who read and shit) know how to act around women, know what harassment is, and aren’t going to have our off-line interactions with women affected by this at all.

I will say one thing though: I don’t think it’s a good idea to ask women how they prefer to be approached. Aside from shit that goes without saying—i.e. “don’t grab my ear,” “don’t have breath that smells like Newark”—if you ask 10 women that question, you’re likely to get 10 different answers.

Plus, no one—women, men, Gucci Mane—knows what they want, anyway. Seriously, sometimes it seems like life is nothing but a quest to learn exactly what you don’t want. And, when you finally do figure out what you want, you die.

Basically, life is like a very eclectic hood strip club.

Panama: Damon, sir. Mr. Champ. I do believe we’ve got some growth there. I sense the empathy and attempt at understanding the other side. I’d shed a tear if I hadn’t already let the song cry. So  yeah, you’re right. Women have to deal with an entirely different set of circumstances than we do. I have a daughter and I’m already scared about what’s possibly happening to her when I’m not around. So I see your point. Ladies….I get it.

On another note, I disagree about asking women how they want to be approached. Hell, that’s the only way to get data and find a middle ground. So what you get 10 different answers; I guarantee that they’ll all be at least “okay” and won’t include the words, “hey redbone, let me bust it wide open” or “how about you do something strange for a little piece of change” or “I got your tuition in my wallet, guh…twerk something”. Or my current favorite that has yet to work…”guh…I know you want this dih!” Not that I’ve actually tried it. Nope. Not even twice.

So for me, I would be curious as to how women would like men to approach them ideally. I feel like we’d get a mix of grand sweeping gestures and scenes from Belly. Really though, it would probably look like Love Jones. Here’s a stick in the mud, Darius Lovehall, the patron saint of Black romance was a real life stalker. Like an actual one. That isn’t street harassment, that’s a felony. But I’ll bet some women would find that charming. So to quote poet laureate and philosopher king, Tyrese, what am I gonna do?

Damon: Yeah, Darius definitely did some arrestable shit in that movie. That nigga just showed up at her door…after getting her address from a receipt…and after being told by her that she wasn’t interested, but he’s the Black patron paragon of coitus procurement??? It has to be the baby hair.

And, the reason why I don’t think asking about approach best practices is useful is that they’re too variable and arbitrary. Lemme put it this way: What Jane says is the best way to approach her (“Just say hi and make me laugh”) might not work when Jack tries it. But, later that night, Jim gets Jane’s number, and all he did was nod in her direction. (It was a “sexy” nod, according to Jane, but just a nod nonetheless.)

Oh, and let the song cry on deez.

On How To Be A Man (Well…A Very Particular Type Of Man)

I see you're following tip #25 "If you ever see your father with this hair style, strangle him."

I see you’re following tip #25 “If you ever see your father with this hair style, strangle him.”

Bacon. Things wrapped in bacon. NBA basketball. Asses. Asses wrapped in bacon. Milkshakes. Music produced by the RZA.

Although I pride myself on being discerning and occasionally (and annoyingly) particular, there are a few things that always capture my attention, regardless of their quality. Yet, despite my affinity for each of these things, they all pale in comparison to my love for lists. Preferably random-ass lists found on the internet.

Naturally, when a friend shared The Unofficial Goldman Sachs Guide To Being A Man with me yesterday, I had to stop everything I was doing and consume. Created by @GSElevator and John Carney, it’s comprised of 60 or so tips on, well, how to be a man.

How do I personally feel about the list? Did it meet my measure of mandom? Does it ascend to the height of he? Well, let’s see.

Below is the entire list, with my comments in italics.

  • Stop talking about where you went to college. (Agreed. At a certain age, only politicians and male strippers still care about that.)

  • Always carry cash.  Keep some in your front pocket.

  • Rebel from business casual. Burn your khakis and wear a suit or jeans. (Or, better yet, never buy a pair of f*cking khakis you f*cking nut-less monkey.)

  • It’s okay to trade the possibility of your 80s and 90s for more guaranteed fun in your 20s and 30s. (In other words, act like a 17 year old Black male.)

  • The best public restrooms are in hotels: The St. Regis in New York, Claridge’s in London, The Fullerton in Singapore, to name a few. (Um…yup.)

  • Never stay out after midnight three nights in a row … unless something really good comes up on the third night.

  • You will regret your tattoos. (Eh. Just don’t half-ass them. If you want a sleeve, get a f*cking sleeve, not a skeleton key you’ll wish was a sleeve two years later.)

  • Never date an ex of your friend. (Depends on what you mean by “date.”)

  • Join Twitter; become your own curator of information.

  • If riding the bus doesn’t incentivize you to improve your station in life, nothing will. (Hmm. Rosa Parks rode a bus. And so did Idris Elba in Daddy’s Little Girls.)

  • Time is too short to do your own laundry.

  • When the bartender asks, you should already know what you want to drink. (Same goes for when you’re at Panera.)

  • If you perspire, wear a damn undershirt.

  • You don’t have to like baseball, but you should understand the concept of what a pitcher’s ERA means.  Approach life similarly.

  • When people don’t invite you to a party, you really shouldn’t go.? And sometimes even when you are invited, you shouldn’t go. (Filed under “things introverts say.”)

  • People are tired of you being the funny, drunk guy.

  • When in doubt, always kiss the girl.

  • Tip more than you should. (Filed under “things bougie black people do”)

  • You probably use your cell phone too often and at the wrong moments.

  • Buy expensive sunglasses.  Superficial? Yes, but so are the women judging you. And it tells these women you appreciate nice things and are responsible enough not to lose them. (Nah. I’m good.)

  • If you want a nice umbrella, bring a sh*tty one to church.

  • Do 50 push-ups, sit-ups, and dips before you shower each morning.

  • Eat brunch with friends at least every other weekend. Leave Rusty and Junior at home. (And your arteries as well. If you’re eating brunch every weekend you won’t be needing them for much longer anyway.)

  • Be a regular at more than one bar.

  • Act like you’ve been there before.  It doesn’t matter if it’s in the end zone at the Super Bowl or on a private plane.

  • A glass of wine or two with lunch will not ruin your day.

  • It’s better if old men cut your hair.  Ask for Sammy at the Mandarin Oriental Barbershop in Hong Kong.  He can share his experiences of the Japanese occupation, or just give you a copy of Playboy.

  • Learn how to fly-fish.

  • No selfies. Aspire to experience photo-worthy moments in the company of a beautiful woman. (Someone must read VSB)

  • Own a handcrafted shotgun.  It’s a beautiful thing.

  • There’s always another level. Just be content knowing that you are still better off than most who have ever lived.

  • You can get away with a lot more if you’re the one buying the drinks.

  • Ask for a salad instead of fries (Pussy.)

  • Don’t split a check.

  • Pretty women who are unaccompanied want you to talk to them.

  • Cobblers will save your shoes. So will shoe trees.

  • When a bartender buys you a round, tip double.

  • The cliché is that having money is about not wasting time. But in reality, money is about facilitating spontaneity.

  • Be spontaneous.

  • Find a Times New Roman in the streets and a Wingdings in the sheets. She exists. (No comment. And, by “no comment” I mean “definitely!!!”)

  • Piercings are liabilities in fights.

  • Do not use an electric razor.

  • Desserts are for women. Order one and pretend you don’t mind that she’s eating yours.

  • Buy a tuxedo before you are thirty. Stay that size.? (If you push this back to 35, I wholeheartedly agree.)

  • One girlfriend at a time is probably enough.

  • #StopItWithTheHastags

  • Your ties should be rolled and placed in a sectioned tie drawer. (Yeah, we’ve definitely reached the “past my pay grade” part of the list)

  • Throw parties. But have someone else clean up the next day.

  • You may only request one song from the DJ.

  • Measure yourself only against your previous self.

  • Take more pictures.  With a camera.

  • Place-dropping is worse than name-dropping. (!!!!!!!!)

  • When you admire the work of artists or writers, tell them. And spend money to acquire their work. (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

  • Your clothes do not match. They go together. (So your clothes are in a relationship? Hardy har har. I’ll be here all night, folks.)

  • Yes, of course you have to buy her dinner.

  • Staying angry is a waste of energy.

  • Revenge can be a good way of getting over anger.

  • If she expects the person you are 20% of the time, 100% of the time, then she doesn’t want you.

  • Always bring a bottle of something to the party. (And don’t be the triflin negro who leaves with one.)

  • Avoid that “last” whiskey. You’ve probably had enough.

  • Don’t use the word “closure” or ever expect it in real life. There may still be a mortally wounded Russian mobster roaming the woods of south Jersey, but we’ll never know.

  • If you are wittier than you are handsome, avoid loud clubs(Some very practical goal post shifting here.)

  • Drink outdoors. And during the day. And sometimes by yourself.

  • Date women outside your social set. You’ll be surprised.

  • If it’s got velvet ropes and lines, walk away unless you know someone.

  • You cannot have a love affair with whiskey because whiskey will never love you back.

  • Feigning unpretentiousness is worse than being pretentious. Cut it out with the vintage Polo and that ’83 Wagoneer in Nantucket.

  • The New Yorker is not high-brow. Neither is The Economist. (Damn, I wonder what brow VSB would be. Basement brow? Sewer brow? Zion in The Matrix brow?)

  • If you believe in evolution, you should know something about how it works.

  • No-one cares if you are offended, so stop it.

  • Never take an ex back. She tried to do better and is settling with you. (Hmm. I agree with the first part, but not sure about the second.)

  • Eating out alone can be magnificent. Find a place where you can sit at the bar.

  • Read more. It allows you to borrow someone else’s brain, and will make you more interesting at a dinner party – provided that you don’t initiate conversation with, “So, who are you reading …”

  • Ignore the boos. They usually come from the cheap seats.

  • Hookers aren’t cool, and remember, the free ones are a lot more expensive.

  • Don’t ever say, “it is what it is.” (What if it’s at the end of the day?)

  • Start a wine collection for your kids when they are born.  Add a few cases every year without telling them.  It’ll make a phenomenal gift in twenty years.

  • Don’t gamble if losing $100 is going to piss you off.

  • Remember, “rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men.” (As are lists.)

That’s it. Any additions or subtractions?

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

On Kinda, Sorta, Maybe Finally Getting Why Women Hate The Term “The Friend Zone”

it starts early

It starts early

From sharing an experience with it to giving men a few tips on staying out of it, there are few subjects I’ve touched on as often as the concept of the friend zone. Although I did “invent” a term to describe what happens when women are caught in it, most of this discussion has been, if not male-centric, told from a decidedly male perspective. And, when you talk about the friend zone from a decidedly male perspective, it makes women out to be manipulative, conniving, cock-teasing assholes. (Which some are. But, that’s another topic for another day.)

Considering that I am, in fact, a man, this is somewhat understandable. Since women are generally considered to be the ones deciding to damn someone to the friend zone—and since this seems to happen much more often to men than it does with women—they (women) have the “power,” and it made no sense for the powerless (men) to even consider empathizing with them. Whenever I’d hear a woman lament the loss of a friendship she “thought she had” with a guy who turned out to be crushing on her, I’d offer her a candlelight solo with the world’s smallest violin. (The name of the song? Boo f*cking hoo, Bitch Pt. 2)

This all changed yesterday, and I can thank MTV for that.

I was upstairs eating watermelon when the Gay Reindeer called me to watch this show she just turned to. I pretend not to hear her, hoping she’d lose interest and make some eggs or something, but she called my name again. This time, too loud for me to pretend.

As I walked into the living room, she explained the premise. It was a reality show about people with secret crushes on close friends. Naturally, it’s called Friendzone. The segment I watched featured a guy (“Jake”) who had fallen in love with his homegirl (“Jane”). He never shared any of this with her, though. Instead, he told her about this girl (“Kim”) he met over the internet and developed strong feelings for. He was soon going to meet Kim in person for the first time, but since he was so nervous, he wanted Jane to come with him. She agreed.

Fast-forward a couple days. As Jake and Jane wait at the date spot for Kim, Jake drops the bomb. Kim doesn’t really exist. All those feelings he expressed for Kim a few days ago were actually his feelings for Jane.

After hearing this news, Jane made a face I have never seen a human person actually make. She looked like she wanted to crawl inside of her own mouth. And, after seeing that face, I kinda, sorta, maybe finally got it.

Now, I don’t know how close Jack and Jane really are. But, let’s assume they were sincerely BFFs. And, if they’re sincerely BFFs, I kinda, sorta, maybe get how Jane—and any other woman—could be pissed about the love bomb.

First, it is a stealth form of emotional terrorism. Sweet? Possibly. But, definitely stealth. You’re basically forcing someone to immediately acknowledge, access, and respond to a feeling you’ve been stewing for years. It’s like getting a 9th grader out of bed at 3:30am and telling him he’s taking the SATs right now. 

Most importantly, while we (men) might think “I like you so much that I want to add f*cking to our friendship” would be flattering, I kinda, sorta, maybe finally get how it could be deflating. Why? Well, she’s likely hearing “I thought you were my friend. Now you’re telling me you were just waiting for an opportunity to f*ck me? I thought you actually liked me.” Now, this isn’t always true. Sometimes, the guy legitimately values the friendship, and just happened to catch feelings. But, more often than not, while he may “like” her, the like is somewhat based on the condition that she’ll eventually fall for (or f*ck) him.

Also, the term “the friend zone” does kinda, sorta imply that there’s something fundamentally wrong with just being a woman’s friend. Obviously, it may not be the type of relationship a man wants. But, something as rare and valuable as a friend probably shouldn’t be thought of with a negative connotation.

Jack eventually learned his feelings were unrequited. Which, as any man who’s ever made that type of confession knows, sucks. We all know this already, though. Movies have been produced, books have been written, and songs have been created because of it.

Most of that content tends to leave out one tiny detail, though:

It sucks for her, too.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: Should Men Have Any Reproductive Rights?

pregnant-black-woman

***I originally answered this question in my weekly Madame Noire column yesterday, but I thought the topic was so interesting that I decided to expand on the answer and post it here.***

Hey Damon,

The other day my friends and I were watching this show about adoption and in this particular episode, this couple, who’ve been dating for a year, accidentally get pregnant. The woman, who already has a child, wants to keep the baby, but also understands that her boyfriend has said explicitly over and over again, even before she got pregnant, that he never wanted children. And would inevitably resent a child if he were to ever have one. The woman ended up giving the child up for adoption, reluctantly at first and then in the follow up, she’d made peace with her decision.

The whole thing was upsetting to watch because it was clear that the woman wanted to keep the baby but only if the man wanted to keep the child as well. But it also made me consider the lack of rights most men have when it comes to parenthood. Are there so many absentee fathers because men who never wanted to be fathers just couldn’t and still can’t see themselves being responsible and present for their children? Conventionally, we’re told if a woman gets pregnant that it’s completely her choice whether she decides to have the child or not. Ultimately it is but, as a man, what role or say do you think men should have in all of this?

—Forced Fatherhood

Dear Forced Fatherhood,

Damn. This wasn’t exactly a soup question. I’m going to answer this the best I can. But, before I begin, I will also say that there are people much smarter than me who study, read, and write about this particular issue much more often than I do, and after reading this, I’d research their thoughts and opinions about this as well.

Questions like this bring to light how culturally unbalanced our concept of child-rearing tends to be. While men are socially expected to be active and loving fathers, we’re also socialized to believe that a tiny bit of sperm is our only meaningful contribution to this entire process. Think about it: If men and women are supposed to join forces to raise children together, why are little girls the only ones “allowed” to play with baby dolls? Why aren’t teen boys encouraged to consider babysitting as a source of practical experience (and extra income) the same way teen girls are? Why don’t we throw baby showers for men?

I know these questions seem silly, but they only seem silly because we’ve been taught it’s a silly idea for little boys to play with dolls and have any type of experience handling and taking care of babies…which is a silly thing to be taught.

Anyway, the question of pregnancy rights is one where the right, socially accepted answer—that women have complete say over whether a child will or will not be born—has some inherent “wrongness” to it. As mentioned earlier, both men and women have to collaborate to create a baby. So, logically—even considering the fact that women have to carry—a man should have equal say on whether to keep it.

But, in this case, that particular wrong of a man not having any say is better than any alternative solution.

Yes it’s “unfair” that men don’t have any legal say on the decision to keep a baby, especially since he will be legally obligated to provide for that child for the next 18 years. But this “unfairness” is for the greater good.

If you allow men to have legal say over whether a woman can keep a baby, you’re restricting her legal right to have complete dominion over her body.

And, if you don’t hold men responsible for children they helped create—basically, if you allow men to legally opt out before the child is born—it would ultimately hurt the baby. Also, think of how messy this could be legally. What’s to stop a man who “agreed” to care and provide for the baby when it was conceived to say “Um, nevermind.” three months into term? And, what’s to stop him from changing his mind again once the baby is born?

Basically, the “wrongness” of men having no say in that process is less wrong than what would happen if men did.

Also, I wouldn’t blame the prevalence of absentee fathers on this issue. Yes, people — men and women — need to make smarter sexual choices. There is no such thing as an “accidental” pregnancy, especially when their are multiple effective means of birth control—including the pull out method. (Yes. The pull out method works. It only doesn’t work when you…don’t pull out.)

But while I’m willingly to concede that some men do get “trapped,” most who selfishly skirt their responsibilities do it because…they’re selfish and irresponsible. The pregnancy rights laws and some “lying-ass woman” didn’t jam them up. Their own penises did.

The best solution to all of this is to be in a committed relationship where both parties are on the same page about children, and both parties respect and consider each other’s opinions. Even then, the woman still has the final say. Yes, its unfair, but there’s a small device that goes a very long way to prevent that unfairness from ever happening:

Condoms.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

Who Pays For The 51st Date?

"You're not fooling anyone. I know you just wanted to "take a romantic walk" cause you don't wanna spend any money."

“You’re not fooling anyone. I know you just wanted to “take a romantic walk” cause you don’t wanna spend any money.”

We’ve all heard the story.

Boy approaches Girl while at annual Delta Sigma Theta “Twerk For The Cure” sickle-cell research fundraiser. Girl, slightly impressed by Boy’s confidence despite his quite conspicuous reverse widow’s peak, gives Boy her actual real phone number. Four days later, Boy and Girl go on first date at Irish/Cajun fusion tapas bar. Date goes extremely well. Boy covers tab for this date, as well as the next three Boy and Girl go on. By the fifth date, Girl offers to cook for Boy—a Bougie Black Girl’s way of saying “We go together now, and I’m officially open to the idea of f*cking you.”

Boy and Girl go on a few more good dates—all on Boy’s dime—while both becoming more and more convinced that this is will turn into a relationship.

It does. They officially make it Facebook official eight weeks after the first date. 

I know it’s not the most politically correct and/or progressive thing to say that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to court, but the scenario above—where the man foots the bill for the majority (not all, but the majority) of the dates that take place while courting—is the right way to do things. If you disagree, that’s fine. You’re wrong, but you’re allowed to be.

(Yes, I understand that many of these types of “rules” were crafted at a time when it was just more practical and financially prudent for a man to always pay while in the courting phase. I also understand that it may not make much logical sense for a man to be expected to pay even if the person he’s dating makes more money than he does. But…well, there is no but. Just shut the f*ck up and f*cking do it.) 

But, while the rules and the general financial responsibility of courtship are generally understood and agreed upon, what happens when courtship ends? Basically, we all know who is supposed to pay for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd date, but what about the 51st, 52nd, and 53rd? Is there a “right” way to handle the bill when an established couple is out to eat or any other date-like activity?

In theory, this seems like a question with a pretty practical solution. If you’re a serious couple, you’re likely sharing expenses. And, if you’re sharing expenses, you should—in theory—also share date expenses. But, as anyone who saw After Earth last weekend will remind you, just because something should work in theory doesn’t mean it actually will.

There are people who believe the courting dynamic should last for the entire relationship. Basically, aside from his birthday and those rare and random days when she finally apologizes for some bullshit that she’s always done—and, despite the apology, will continue to do—the man should always pay. Others believe that couples should take turns, which, although this seems to be the most reasonable choice, can get weird if someone starts keeping count (and someone always does).

And, while splitting things 50/50 is the best idea in theory, who wants to be 40 years old and still going on dutch dates with your wife?

I guess the best thing to do is just to communicate your financial expectations before the “real” relationship starts instead of assuming that you’ll both be on the same page. But, while this also works “in theory,” I just can’t see too many women with the balls to interrupt a conversation on a date with “You know this shit’s on you for the next 50 years, right?” while happily clutching a forkful of lobster.

My advice? Just don’t date Deltas.

***BTW, today is Panama’s birthday and shit. So, if you see him today, buy him a shot. If you don’t see him and see me instead, just buy me the shot and we’ll drink in his honor***

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)