Tag Archives: the understander

The Understander Wins Another Award, Pushes the Envelope

I have recently been informed of my nomination for the illustrious Liebster blog award.  I didn’t fact check this, but it seems that Liebster is a German word that means something along the lines of dearest or beloved or favorite.  I’m quite content with not proving this to be otherwise.

This award is for blogs that have less than 200 followers.  I’m not sure where my nominator got the idea that this was the case – I, alone, am following myself on over 300 different email addresses – but I was already nominated and I’ll be damned if you’re taking that from me.  Like the Versatile Blogger Award, which I scooped up a few weeks ago, this honor comes with baggage.

The Rules:

1.  Thank your nominator

2.  Link back to your nominator

3.  Give your top 5 picks for the award

4.  Inform your top 5 picks

5.  Post the award on your blog

Ok, so here I go:

1. & 2.  Thank you, Bittercharm!  (P.s. I was going to do this regardless.  Please don’t feel that this was forced upon me by “The Rules”.)

3.  As I mentioned in my Versatile Blog Award posting, I am new to the blogosphere and don’t have an extensive list of sites in my library.  I don’t want to name the sites that I did in that posting, so here are a few that I should have listed there and regret leaving out:

4.  Yes, I will do that.


Who's your daddy?

To celebrate the occasion, some of you might have noticed that the site got a makeover.  As The Understander becomes more of a household name, I felt that this layout would better facilitate smooth browsing for the several billion visits I expect in the upcoming weeks.  What do you think?

To my loyal fans, I know what some of you are thinking.  (Remember, I am a psychologist*.)  Just because I’m an award-winning blog writer, I want to assure you that I am not going to sell out and go all mainstream.  I’ll leave that to the cast of Wild Hogs.  (Please note: I did not see this movie.  If by some extraordinary anomaly, it was actually good, I still do not apologize.  There is no excuse for a promo poster like this.)  I’m a badass motherfucker for life.  And now that I’m a big time badass motherfucker for life, I feel the need to prove my edginess to you.  I’ve decided to push the envelope a bit further and tell you a little story about my latest experiences crapping shit out of my asshole.

But before I enlighten you, I think it is necessary that I give you a short bit of backstory:

Before my freshman year of college, I never even knew that some people wiped themselves sitting down.  I was taught to do so standing up, and I am ashamed to admit that I wasn’t rebellious enough to question otherwise.  Nevertheless, one day, I found myself in a college dorm bathroom having a pleasant conversation with a friend when he, all of a sudden, seemed to leave his stall, totally forgetting an important part of the pooping process.  It was at this point that my mind was blown and my perspective on life forever changed.  I even wrote a poem about it for my English class.  My teacher didn’t really like it (I got a C), but I refuse to believe this isn’t genius.  It is written in the spirit of Hamlet’s most famous soliloquy.

To stand or not to stand
That is the question; 
Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The acidy smolder of Third World butt gravy,
Or to take a double dose of Imodium,
And by opposing, end it.  To constipate, to sleep; 
No more; and by a sleep we say we end
The stomach-ache and thousand natural rumbles
That assplosion is heir to – ‘tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d.  To constipate, to sleep;
To sleep, perchance to elude agony and humiliation, should prematurity find itself running down your leg.  Ay, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of constipation agony too will come,
We must shuffle on this mortal coil,
Must choose to stand, or not.  There’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life,
For those whom choose to wipe erect,
Must spread a cheek with their free hand, and balance an awkward stance.  Still it is not unsoiled,
The pangs of despised love.  But it’s your way, all that you know,
That patient merit of your nurturing kin.
When will you yourself might your quietus make
With a bare tear of TP? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary rote? 
You, they bear you. 
But there is another way.  You first learned of it in college, in the community bathrooms.
Your friend seemed to have shit, and then just walked out of the stall, neglecting to wipe his sullied asshole.
But neglect he did not.  Clean was his brown eye.  Simply, he chose not to stand. 
You never even knew that was possible. 
So you started to experiment yourself.  How did he do it? 
Between the legs? – You got pee on your arm, and your hand dipped into the mud salsa.
Lean to the side? – You wiped shit on your cheek, and then fell off the john.
You pinched your wrist in a bow, and cramped up in a hover. 
How, oh how, did this wizard clean his ass so well?
Perhaps there is some occult method you cannot quite fathom,
The undiscovered technique for swabbing one’s bum, no master returning. 
It puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those itches we have
Than wipe of ways that we know not of.
Thus uncertainty does make cowards of us all, 
And thus we must ask again,
When will you yourself might your quietus make
With a bare tear of TP? 
To stand or not to stand to wipe; that is the question for thee. 

And so, what once was routine became an act of experimentation.  I was like a young Isaac Newton, desperately searching for the best way to clean myself.  In short time, I realized that sitting down inherently spread out your butt cheeks.  When combined with a gentle outward anal push, one is given a short window of opportunity where some of your inner butt hole is exposed.  If you want a truly clean ass, you’ve got to wipe this white, as I like to say.  This was the strategy I was using yesterday, when the following incident occurred:

All was going according to plan.  I had sat down and excrement had evacuated from my southernmost orifice.  It was a machine gun sort of poop that went “plop, plop, plop, plop”, sort of like skydivers jumping out of an airplane.  When all was cleared, I proceeded to wipe, using the aforementioned method I had developed over the years and found to be most effective.

I was doing that gentle anal push thing that I mentioned while simultaneously – and elegantly, I will add – I brushed my butt with the paper.  I am not sure what caused it, but for whatever reason, I released my sphincter too early.  Like an elevator door closing on an unsuspecting passenger, my butt lips trapped the toilet paper, tearing it into two very dissimilar pieces.  In my hand, I was left with a piece about the size of a large button and the shape of an Astro Pop.  The rest of the three perforated sheets were dangling from my butt like a fishing lure.  It all happened too fast for me to react.  The paper began to soak up the shitty toilet water, and like fire following a trail of kerosene, it made its way to my butt.  I slapped and swatted at it like it was a bumblebee.  I screamed at frequencies I didn’t know I could emit.  I jumped off the seat and felt liquid of unknown origin hit several different spots on my body.  My efforts, however, were all in vain.  If my asshole were a stick of dynamite, I would have exploded.  In this movie, the hero did not escape.  The water was cold, and I felt defiled.

But, believe it or not, this was not the worst of it. It wasn’t until my next visit to the toilet that I realized just how affected I was by the experience.  When it came time to do the cleaning thing, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  It was like I knew how to do it in theory, but couldn’t put it into practice, like I was trying to hit a baseball or being forced to write with my left hand.  I’m not sure of this, but I think it’s very possible that, in the history of psychology, I am the first documented case of Post Traumatic Wiping Disorder.  I wish I could leave you with better news, but this is pretty much where I stand at the moment.  I am lost and confused and scared.  I probably have a long and rocky road ahead of me.  Although I always imagined it would be for something more accomplished than this, at least I’ll probably have something named after me.

* amateur


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On Ingenuity, or Things Only the French Could Possibly Understand

I was in the market for a new backpack, and I somehow stumbled across this example of (insert adjective) ingenuity:

The Wear Your Seat, the latest in back accessories

Evidently, it was designed by a French person and it is called the “Wear Your Seat”.  It is made out of a semi-rigid foam cushion that, if behaving as intentioned, molds to your back.  I spent some time ruminating on this curious seat/back accessory.  Here are some of my thoughts:

  • If you want to have a seat on your back at all times, then you are probably the type of person that enjoys sitting down and not moving around a whole lot.  If this is the case, then having your seat attached to you wouldn’t actually matter, considering you’re not going to be getting up in the first place.  To many, I think this logic will seem obvious.  But I suppose that if you’re so lazy to actually want a seat affixed to your back, you might also be too lazy to think all of this through.
  • There are some people that are well aware of their laziness but would like to change their ways.  They keep telling themselves that they’re going to get their asses off of the couch.  They’ve set goals and resolutions.  The “Wear Your Seat” provides them with the security of knowing that they’ll never be stranded standing.
  • It seems that it would be harder to walk with this seat on your back, which would force you to sit down, which ends up being ok because you have a seat attached to you.  There might be some sort of creepy political analogy involved here.
  • Perhaps this designer was targeting the vast market of people that wish they were snails or turtles.
  • Perhaps this designer was actually 8 years old.
  • Perhaps this designer thought that they could sell this thing to Google, because s/he read that they let their employees take naps there.  Google declined, though, because they actually have EnergyPods built with NASA technology, which happen to be way cooler.
  • Perhaps only the French could comprehend something so romantic as the “Wear Your Seat”.


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On Jobs, or In Defense of the Used Car Salesman

I like to consider myself a seasoned New Yorker.  I like to think that I’m not easily fazed, and that I can walk the city streets without giving anyone a second glance.  I like to think these things, but they are far from the truth.  I am a highly evolved individual, and I can’t help it if I am curious.

Last week, while in line at the bank, I noticed a man wearing a beautiful suit on his body and a long, oily, braided rat tail on his head.  It was a Tuesday at 10:00 AM, and I immediately thought:

“What sort of job could possibly necessitate the wearing of a suit and yet permit the wearing of such an outrageous hairstyle?”

Expensive suit


Rat tail hairstyle

= How the heck do you make a living???

I quickly ran through a list of possibilities in my head:

  • Prison breaking consultant
  • Exotic animal salesman
  • Circus owner
  • Treasure hunting venture capitalist
  • Professor of quantum physics
  • Spokesperson for the Hare Krishna
  • Motivational speaker for the video game industry

I came to the conclusion that this guy was awesome, and that whatever it was he did for a living was probably something that I could get into.  I had some time to kill, and so I decided to tail him for a little bit (pun intended).

After making his deposit, we walked north a couple of blocks and headed into a bodega.  I rummaged through the Doritos, inconspicuously, while he bought a falafel.  I analyzed this to be further evidence that I was dealing with a worldly individual, and the fact that he gobbled it down so sloppily – seemingly unbothered with the tahini sauce drizzling from his chin– led me to be almost certain that he’d spent time in the developing world, where napkins were a luxury he had learned to live without.  At this point, I had to reconsider my initial question:

“What sort of job could possibly necessitate the wearing of a suit and yet permit the wearing of such an outrageous hairstyle and a face full of dried up tahini sauce?”

I could only think of one answer:

  • One where he was the boss

I was becoming more and more enthralled with this guy, and so you can imagine my disappointment when we ended up at a used car dealership.  This was far from the glamorous life I had expected for my new friend.  I wondered why someone of such obvious aristocracy would choose such an average employment.  It just didn’t make any sense!

After a few short moments of being utterly flabbergasted, I realized that I was being judgmental.    Aside from the nightmares that Matilda had given me, I had never had any personal experiences with any person from this profession.  Used car salesmen get a bad rap, and I was being that dumb sidekick kid that follows the bully around.  I was being totally uncool.  Who was I to say that this means of living was not worthy of the thrill and adventure that my new friend obviously demanded?  For all I know, it could be the most exhilarating trade out there.  After all, it can’t be easy.  I mean, anyone with two feet and a talking mouth can sell a new car.  But a used car, now that’s a challenge!  It’s a risk!  It’s a role of nobility, only fit for the lover of the underdog!  Yes, I see it now!

As I watched my newest friend examine his teeth in a car’s windshield reflection, Emma Lazarus’ famous sonnet came to mind:

“…Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. 

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

This man was doing for cars what America did for immigrants in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, and that I can respect.


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On Tattoos, or A Really Awesome Practical Joke

It has recently come to my attention that there is a woman, somewhere in Ohio, with this tattoo actually existing on her back.

Flies swarming around a steaming pile of shit tattoo

The story, as it evidently goes:

Once upon a time, Rossie Brovent was dating Ryan Fitzjerald, a tattoo artist.  For whatever reason, Rossie cheated on Ryan with one of his friends.  Rossie did not tell Ryan, but Ryan knew this.  He chose not to confront her immediately, though.  Instead, when Rossie asked him to tattoo a scene from the Chronicles of Narnia on her back, he took the opportunity to permanently brand her with a steaming pile of shit.  Rossie became very mad and tried pressing criminal charges against her now ex-boyfriend.  She found herself legally unable to, though, as just prior to the tattooing she signed a consent form stating that the design was “at the artist’s discretion”.  Rossie claims that Ryan tricked her into drinking cheap wine and taking tequila shots before signing the form and getting the tattoo.  I don’t know Ryan personally, but this doesn’t seem like an outlandish accusation.   At the time of this writing, Rossie is suing Ryan for $100,000.

So far, I’ve got this bout scored 3 points to Fitzjerald and 0 points to Brovent.

Point 1 goes to Fitzjerald for completely commandeering the Googling of “Rossie Brovent”.  It’s one thing to take away her right to choose a tattoo, but taking away her right to an unbiased Google search is a whole other level of mean.

Point 2 goes to Fitzjerald for the same reason.  You might be thinking, “Say what!?  If you Google “Ryan Fitzjerald” you’ll read all about what he’s done.”  Well, you’re right, but think about it this way.  When faced with the fact that his girlfriend was cheating on him, he remained cool, calm, and collected until the timing was right.  This means that he stays composed under pressure.  To come up with the idea of tattooing a giant pile of shit in place of the Narnia request means that he is smart.  He got her drunk and made her sign a consent form which means he covers up his tracks.  The fact that he actually went through with the whole thing tells us that he is relentless.  So, let’s summarize.  If you Google “Ryan Fitzjerald”, you will learn about a composed, smart, and relentless individual that knows how to cover up his tracks.  These seem to be highly sought after qualities in the corporate world, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he got a job offer after all of this.

When I was a kid, my friends and I would often play the “How much?” game.  This involved asking each other how much we would have to be paid to do completely ridiculous things.  For instance, I would ask my friend, “How much would I have to pay you to chew on tin foil for ten minutes?”  Or, “How much would I have to pay you to stick a Q-tip in your pee hole?”  The point of discussing this is to show that even at the tender age of 10, we knew better than to ask for a measly $100,000 to have a pile of crap tattooed on our backs.  Point 3 goes to Fitzjerald for managing to get off with such an unambitious lawsuit.  I’ve been trying to figure out why Rossi would ask for so little.  It seems to me that, in the back of her mind, she knows she’ll be crawling back to him.

And so it’s scored: Fitzjerald 3, Rossi 0.


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The Understander, an Award-Winning Blog

It seems that I was recently nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award, by Fishin’ for Chuckles, as I noticed in one of the comments of my last posting, and by Topiclessbar, as I noticed through reading his site.  I am new to the world of blogging and am therefore going to consider this – whether accurate or not – as the Academy Award of blogs.  I am, therefore, honored and would like to thank my nominators and the rest of you that have become enlightened enough to realize that this isn’t just “some stupid blog that I waste my time on when I could be trying to go out and get a real job.”  I think we can all agree now that it is, in fact, genius and that it is only a matter of weeks before I am paid exorbitant sums for a few weekly witticisms.

This award is dedicated to all the teachers that told me I'd never amount to nothin'. It's all good baby bay-bee.

From what I’ve gathered, there are some stipulations to wearing this badge, though.  The fine print:

1.  Nominate 15 fellow bloggers

2.  Inform the bloggers of their nomination

3.  Share 7 random things about yourself

4.  Thank the blogger who nominated you

5.  Add the Versatile Blogger Award pic on your blog post

Ok, so, anyone that knows me will tell you that I’m a rebel and an outlaw.  I can’t be controlled.  I’m like a wild stallion, except no wimpy kid could ever tame me.  (Yeah, I just referenced The Black Stallion, what you gonna do about it?)  Normally, I would scoff at such a disdainful attempt at authority.  But in the face of such flattery, I suppose I will oblige.

1.  As I mentioned earlier, I am new to the world of blogging and, therefore, don’t know 5 bloggers, let alone 15.  So, I’ll just nominate as many as I know that are deserving.

  1. Boom for Real (Music stuff)
  2. Rejected Book Plots (Self explanatory)
  3. Jacob’s Elevator (Random stuff)
  4. Too Soxy for my Shirt (I am not a Red Sox fan, but I can appreciate her passion and humor

2.  Ok, I will do that.

3.  Hmm …

  1. My left foot is a size 11 and my right foot is a size 6.5.
  2. I once ran a 4 minute and 36 second mile, holding my breath the entire time.
  3. People say I look like a younger, more physically fit Brad Pitt.
  4. For a practical joke once, I sprayed Mace in my friend’s contact lens solution.
  5. I have eaten this gummy bear in a single sitting.
  6. I can fly.
  7. I hold a patent for clear tissues.

4.  Thank you, Fishin’ for Chuckles and Topiclessbar.

5.  Already done.

Well, there you have it.  Let the fame and fortune begin!


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On Indelible Memories, or When to Give the Homeless Man a Buck

When a baby sea turtle hatches from its egg – buried in the sand – it will climb its way to the surface and immediately head toward the water. If something should block its path, it will find a way around it.  It must.  Or it will die.  The turtle has only one goal in this world, and that is to make it to the ocean.  It knows to do this purely from its instincts.  All of the decisions that it makes to reach this end are based on this drive, which has been given to it by genetics over millions of years.  This is one of the ways that an animal will make decisions.

As an animal grows older, it will accumulate experiences and store them in its brain as memories.  When it comes time to make decisions, this more experienced animal has the ability of accessing these memories to use in their decision-making.  Sometimes the animal will do this consciously, like when you decide to stop picking your nose after remembering that you just wiped down the toilet seat at the gas station restroom and didn’t wash your hands.  And sometimes, this is an act of our unconscious mind, like when you use the highest pitches of your voice to scream, “Aaahhh” when you happen to look down and see a spider in your lap.  Regardless, this is another way that an animal will make decisions, and it is the type that I would like to discuss today.

Every now and then we will have an experience that leaves an impregnable impression on our long-term memory.  These moments are special not only because we can return to them throughout our lives, but because they change us.  They provide us with a greater basis for making decisions, and for better or worse, this allows us to grow.  It is at these times that we truly build our character.

What does it take for an experience to have a lasting impression on our minds?  What sorts of experiences make the cut, and which fall short?  I haven’t quite ironed out the answers to these questions yet, but I do think I can give an example of one.

Recently, I was walking down the stairs to my local subway stop when I saw a homeless man asking for money.  This isn’t too out of the ordinary, and I wouldn’t have taken much note of it had it not been for his condition.  It was sad and astounding and intriguing all at the same time.  It seemed he must have been breaking some laws of nature by still being alive.

He only had one shoe on, which made sense after seeing how abnormally swollen one of his feet was.  I only knew of one shoe in the world that might fit him and Ronald McDonald was already wearing it.  He was sporting gray sweatpants with an obvious pee stain on the front and caked in shit on the back.  When I say “caked in”, I mean that it was not just a stain, i.e. a permanent discoloration.  It had texture to it, which makes me believe that it squished through the fibers of the cotton and solidified as a sort of paste. I knew this was shit and not just mud because flies were literally swarming around him.  His hair was short with the exception of a random dreadlock coming out of the side of his head.  It reminded me of an asymmetrical version of the blue, opera singing woman from The Fifth Element.  I never imagined a living thing could smell this way.

Opera woman from The Fifth Element

So, I was pretty relieved when I saw him approach the woman in front of me.  Next time, I would help him out, I thought.  For now, they were doing business, and I didn’t need to interrupt them.  I quickly shuffled past them, swiped my card, and spun through the turnstiles to safety.  I must make a note here, that the turnstiles at this stop are not the horizontal ones you find at most stations.  They are the vertically spinning full body ones, more akin to a small revolving door.

HEET Turnstile

I felt terrible for this man, of course, but this is NYC.  These are the sorts of things that you encounter on a daily basis, and the unfortunate reality is that they exist and we can’t always do something about it.  I realize now that I sound like a defeatist, and I don’t like that.  But it’s true.  Besides, this man didn’t need a dollar or a subway ride.  He needed a hospital or a time machine.

The woman was dressed professionally.  She was probably on her way to work, at some place important enough to require a dress code.  I heard her apologize for not being able to help him as she rummaged through her bag for her MetroCard.  She should have had it out and ready.  This just gave him all the more time to haggle her.  Which was really her fault, as she should have had it out and ready.  What if there was a bunch of people waiting to swipe?  Now, that would just be inconsiderate.  I was sort of rooting for him now.  Com’n, lady, just give him a buck or two.

The train began to approach and I heard her tell him one more time that she was sorry, she couldn’t help him.  I felt bad for this man, but I understood.

The train pulled into the station.  She found her MetroCard, swiped it, and you wouldn’t believe what happened next.

The man, with a quick, elegant, and gentle motion – like a father ushering his son through a busy crowd – pushed his way into the turnstile with the woman!  It was like some type of magic or gymnastics trick.  Just when she thought she had lost the guy, he was squeezed right up behind her, pee-stained sweatpants to Barneys skirt.  If I hadn’t known better and he wasn’t in such appalling condition, it could appear that they were just some frivolous couple flipping the bird to The Man.  But I did know better, and I thought she was going to burst into tears.  Whether this was from sheer terror or disgust, I couldn’t quite say.  I tried to catch some glimpse of this man’s expression, but his face was hidden, nuzzled too snug with the woman’s head.  I wondered if he had gotten a boner.

Once through, without any acknowledgement of the affair that they just had, the man hobbled his way through a door a couple of cars down.  She at least deserved a, “Thank you” I felt.  “It was a pleasure sharing a metro fare with you!” or “Thanks for the ride!” would have been even more appropriate.

Through it all, she was a fairly good sport.  She didn’t scream bloody murder or turn around and curse him out afterward, or anything like that.  Although obviously disturbed, she seemed to have accepted her place in this situation:  She had made the decision to not help this man out.  This man made the decision to help himself out.  This meant that, for a brief moment, they would be in intimate physical contact.  This was the risk she didn’t realize she was taking.

As the doors to the train closed and we began to pull away, I couldn’t help but think that this would be an experience forever etched into this young girl’s memory.  How could she ever again encounter a homeless man in the subway station, refuse to give him money, and not think that he might slide right in beside her anyways? No, I’d be willing to bet that from now on, she will make room in her budget for situations such as this.

And what about the homeless man?  How much easier that must have been than to sit around all morning waiting until his pennies added up.  I’d also be willing to bet that from now on, this will be his strategy of choice for situations such as this.

And for me?  Hell, I’m with the woman.  He won my money.


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On the Origin of the Bass Face

Everyone likes music. If you are going to disagree with this statement, then I must immediately psychologize you to be an obnoxiously argumentative person. Just relax for a moment and go with it. Pretty much absolutely everyone likes music.

Music, or as I like to call it, organized sound, has been around since basically forever. Although I couldn’t find the article, I think I remember reading that archaeologists found it buried near the campsites of Neanderthals somewhere. Regardless, it is ingrained into our souls and is as much a part of the human essence as our fear of public humiliation or the urge to spit off of high elevations. It possesses a strangely unique power over our spirit. Unless you’re watching some sort of audio visualization program, music is something that we cannot see, smell, taste, or touch, and yet, we feel it. We feel it inside of, us gently massaging the tenderest parts of our hearts. Music has the ability to alter our mood, and it can even stimulate the physical movement of our bodies, which for most people is termed “dancing”. It has been reported that some people have become so overcome with dancing that they wouldn’t stop even in the face of death. If, for whatever reason, you have exceptional control over your body and refuse to let music overpower you, you become “such a boring person that never wants to do anything.” This stark reality is pretty unfair because kids are taught to control their impulses in school.

Every person will feel music differently, and people will seek out the conditions that allow them to gain as deep a connection as possible to this special place in their hearts. You might find one person putting on a tuxedo and sitting silently in a tiny wooden seat for three hours, while his neighbor might be in a Midwestern cornfield drinking malt liquor and spreading STD’s while wearing a scary clown mask. For many, though, the ultimate way of feeling music is to become musicians create it themselves. Of this group of romantics, no faction feels the music quite as intense as the player of the bass guitar.

The bass player is known for their role as the keeper of rhythm. If you listen closely, you can even hear their input in some songs. Because their job as musicians is pretty much the easiest one around, they have a lot of extra concentration and energy they can devote to making impressively silly faces to express just how intense their connection to the music is. This facial phenomenon is known as the “bass face”, and no self-respecting bass player will shred the instrument without one.

There are all sorts of different bass faces. Some of the more common ones include:

The trying to kiss you on a roller coaster face

The I'm going to chop you up and bury you in a swamp face

The taking my first shit in 8 days face

The sunlight in my eyes when I just got up face

The hey little girl, want some candy face

The having a root canal face

The sucking on a lemon face

The I'm so going to date rape you later face

The what the fuck is that face

The I'm coming face, as seen on the standup bass

The I'm totally sleeping face

The I'm not even going to pretend like I'm playing this thing anymore face

The cooling down my soup face, as seen on the standup bass

The Night at the Roxbury face

The motorboating face

The "Noooooo" face, as seen in movies when the villain does something awful to the hero

I don’t play the bass, but I have one. Someone left it at my apartment after a party and didn’t see it worth a return trip to my place. It’s old and crappy and one of the strings is broken, but it does make sound. With my bass guitar in hand, I set out to discover the cause to this curious condition.

I recorded a series of videos of myself making nonsense noises with the instrument. In each video, I intensified the contortions of my bass face, with the last one resembling some sort of exorcism on camera. I then posted them to YouTube, and awaited feedback on my skills.

Unsurprisingly, people loved my videos. They received thousands of hits, and it seems I even inspired others to do their own research as “response” videos came pouring in of people doing their own bass face. What is important to note, though, is that there was a direct correlation between peoples’ appreciation of my playing with the amount of deformity on my face. This led me to an astounding scientific breakthrough:

Whether they know it or not, musicians, and especially bass players, make extraordinary faces while feeling the music as a result of an evolutionary adaptation to convince people that they actually know what they’re doing on stage. Subject to the rules of natural selection, the players with the most outlandish faces will be the ones that are the most convincing.

In the end, it is a dog eat dog world out there. In the life of a bass player, this means that you better get your bass face ready.


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