Issue #114 – “The Glossary” – September 10th, 2007

-Well folks, it’s finally here.  This month officially marks ten years since I began emailing Ruminations from my freshman dorm room in September 1997.  Ten years!  Quite frankly, I can hardly believe that I’ve been ruminating for a decade.  To celebrate this milestone, I will be sending out some very special issues of Ruminations this month.  This week’s edition is a glossary of some select terms I’ve referenced, popularized, or coined in the past 113 columns.  For longtime readers, I hope it will be a trip down memory lane.  For new fans, it’s a fun way to get up to speed on the key points I’ve been ruminating about for the past ten years.  Either way, I’m sure this will be unlike any glossary you’ve ever read!  Also, for reference purposes, the issue and year in which the term first appeared follows each definition.  I hope you enjoy, and thank you for joining me to celebrate ten years of Ruminations!

The keyboard shortcut that allows you to quickly switch from the web site you’re fucking around on to a complicated-looking spreadsheet just as your boss walks by.  [#60, 2005]

-“Appetizer Russian Roulette”
When you’re ordering first and you’re not sure whether to gamble and get an appetizer – thus risking sitting there eating while the other person is not.  [#44, 2003]

-“The Bad Basketball Game Theory”
Idea conceived by my friend Brian that bad basketball games are a great place to pick up chicks.  The thinking is that when two bad teams are playing, dads who have season tickets give their seats away, presumably to their hot daughters.  Ergo, bad basketball games are often filled with hot chicks.  Note: zero data backs this theory up.  [#66, 2005]

-“The Balls Theory”
My hypothesis that when going out with a group of guys to an exclusive club, your chances of getting in are inversely proportional to the amount of testicles present.  If it’s just me, I’ve got a 2:1 shot.  If it’s me and a friend, we’ve got a 4:1 shot.  Four guys?  8:1 shot, and so on.  [#34, 2003]

I’ve always had a thing for chicks in wife-beaters, more commonly known simply as beaters.  Ladies, please take note: wife-beaters are white!  If you’re wearing anything but white, or anything with rhinestones or designs of any kind, that’s not a beater, it’s a fucking tank top.  [#41, 2003]

An event of epic drunken debauchery, as in, “Dude, New Year’s Eve is gonna be a fucking bloodbath!”  See also “DBD” and “Match Day.”  [#80, 2005]

-“Booty Call Button”
The feature on my old Nokia that let me quickly turn off my outgoing Caller ID, thus blocking my identity from being revealed in the missed call logs of chicks I tried to hit up at 4am but who didn’t pick up.  [#32, 2002]

A girl who always finds a way to bring up her boyfriend in just about every sentence she utters, even if you’re not hitting on her, i.e.: “My boyfriend thinks this, my boyfriend did this, my boyfriend said this.”  Somehow, though, her boyfriend is never around, probably because she’s really fucking annoying.  [#40, 2003]

My childhood friend and roommate in Manhattan from 2001-04.  Notorious for describing his meals in detail and claiming to be able to tell the difference between 1% and 2% milk just on sight.  Ridiculed in Ruminations for once having his girlfriend sleep over in our tiny apartment for 95 nights out of 100.  Currently married to said girlfriend and still living in New York.  Fun facts: my second book, “Ruminations on Twentysomething Life” is dedicated to Brian and my Best Man toast at his wedding was seventeen minutes long.  See also “The Bad Basketball Game Theory” and “The SAT Bet.”  [#20, 2000]

Stands for Clustered Birthday Phenomenon.  Occurs when you all of a sudden receive a dozen different Evites from friends of various backgrounds all inviting you to celebrate their birthdays on the same night, at the same time, and in one of the three same bars.  [#55, 2004]

-“Cell Phone Survivor”
When the address book on your cell phone runs out of memory, so that every time you want to make room to add a new number, you have to scroll through all your current contacts, find the one you like the least, and delete them.  [#24, 2001]

-“The Code of AFS”
AFS stands for Anything For a Story.  All guys operate implicitly under the Code of AFS, which requires them, while hooking up, to try do something weird or outrageous just so they can tell their friends about it later.  See also “Total Recall.”  [#93, 2006]

-“Cruise Friends”
When your friends go on a cruise with their family, meet other kids on the cruise, and then annoyingly keep in touch with them afterwards.  Essentially the twentysomething version of camp friends.  See also “January Tan People” and “The Triplets.”  [#34, 2003]

Someone who works from home.  Can often lead to strange habits, such as my tendency to sniff the tub of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter in my fridge when I’m bored.  [#82, 2006]

Stands for Don’t Be Dumb.  Traditionally, I write the acronym DBD in black Sharpie on the back of my left hand before any night of drinking I predict will turn into a total bloodbath.  This is meant to remind me during moments of severe inebriation not to do or say anything stupid.  Has almost never worked.  [#95, 2006]

-“Downstairs Bathroom Guy”
The guy whose bathroom gets fucked up when you throw a party because his is the only one on the ground floor.  [#77, 2005]

-“Drive of Shame”
A variation on the walk of shame in which you have to awkwardly drive the other person home in the morning.  [#100, 2006]

-“Duck Hunt”
A bar or situation where girls are shooting down guys right away.  [#102, 2007]

-“Dude/Chick Ratio”
The most important attribute that guys consider when determining whether or not to stay at a bar.  Can be determined upon entering a bar, scanning the crowd, and taking count:  “OK, let’s see.  Dude, chick, dude, dude, dude, chick, dude, chick, dude, dude, chick, dude, dude, dude, dude, dude, dude.  Dude, let’s get the fuck out of there!”  [#31, 2002]

The autonomy to fart whenever you want.  Usually the first right a boyfriend gives up upon entering a relationship and the first right a husband takes back upon getting married.  [#103, 2007]

A wedding where many of the male guests are frat brothers of the groom (derived from the words “fraternity” plus “wedding”).  Freddings often involve a lot more drinking and the occasional tuxedo-clad human pyramid.  [#66, 2005]

-“Fuck Me”
My sign-off used to conclude every Ruminations column, beginning with the very first email in 1997.  The term usually follows a story in which I find myself in an unenviable position or in which I realize I’m an idiot.  Although I’m not quite sure why I originally used the term “Fuck me,” it has now become a general exclamation of frustration.  “Fuck me” is also sometimes misinterpreted to mean “have sex with me” though I rarely if ever mean it that way.  Fun facts: all instances of the term were removed by the publisher from my first book, “Ruminations on College Life,” for fear that its use would make the book harder to market.  In my second book, “Ruminations on Twentysomething Life,” the term was included and used to end every chapter.  [#1, 1997]

-“The Get-Out-Of-Life-Free Card”
When your completely directionless friend who has never before expressed any interest in studying law but really doesn’t want to get a job all of a sudden decides to take the LSATs.  [#31, 2002]

My girlfriend from 2004-05 in New York.  Actual name never revealed in column and was known only as Girlfriend.  We broke up in 2005 when I moved to Los Angeles and long distance just didn’t work out.  Ironically, in 2006, she also moved to Los Angeles, though we never got back together (possibly because I think Santa Monica and West Hollywood are far enough away to still be considered long distance).  Now referred to as “Ex-Girlfriend.”  [#50, 2004]

Originally coined at Penn by me and my buddy Roby while we were pledging together in the spring of 1998.  Used as a synonym for “dope,” as in, “Check out that chick by the bar, she’s gourmet!”  After I first introduced the term in Ruminations, I was thrilled when fans wrote me to say they were trying to inject it into conversation as much as possible.  Now, whenever I hear someone describe a girl or a new pair of sneakers as gourmet, I think back to Roby and I as pledges sitting around in our own filth.  Which is totally not gourmet.  [#49, 2004]

-“Halloween Walk of Shame”
When you hook up on Halloween and then have to stumble home the next morning wearing your costume.  [#32, 2002]

There are “Haves” – those who are already married or about to tie the knot, and “Have-Knots” – those of us who still think of weddings as really expensive open bars with cover bands.  [#94, 2006]

-“Hide-the-Beer Day”
The day before Family Weekend in college that you spend emptying the alcohol out of your fridge, throwing out all the empties on your coffee table, and taking down all the pictures of you drunk off your ass from the wall.  [#3, 1997]

-“The Hook-Up Cycle”
Derived from the term “hitting for the cycle” in baseball, in which a player hits a single, double, triple, and home run in the same game.  Hitting for the hook-up cycle means hooking up with a freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior in the same week.  The closest I ever came was my first Homecoming at Penn in 2001, when I fell one junior girl short.  [#88, 2006]

-“January Tan People”
Those fuckers who go away every single winter break and return home bronzed to perfection while you spent the last two weeks shoveling snow.  Often the same people who have cruise friends.  [#45, 2003]

My last name.  The correct pronunciation is “KAY-ro” (it kinda rhymes with J.Lo).  My last name attained additional significance in 1982 when my parents accidentally named my baby sister Caryn, not realizing our first names rhymed.  To avoid confusion, friends started calling me by my last name and to this day, everyone – friends, fans, co-workers, doormen, even girlfriends – have always just called me Karo.  [#38, 2003]

Technique adopted by some of my buddies who troll through my friends on Facebook or MySpace looking for hot chicks to message.  Note: many Karospacers are imposters.  Ladies, if you are Karospaced, send me a message and I’ll let you know if they’re actually my real friends.  If they are, feel free to bang them.  [#79, 2005]

-“Laying Groundwork”
Initiating contact with a girl via email or text message approximately one week before you are likely to see each other, thereby making it seem like you aren’t all of a sudden calling her out of the blue to try to hook up once you get in to town.  [#93, 2006]

-“Look for the Ring”
The act of looking at the hand of the chick you’re hitting on to see if she’s wearing an engagement or wedding ring.  Doing this never even occurs to most guys until they’re about twenty-four and accidentally hit on a married chick for the first time.  [#31, 2002]

-“Magic Hour”
Occurs between 2:30 and 3:30am in New York City bars and refers to the window of time when girls are just drunk, tired, or lonely enough to respond to guys’ advances.  In cities such as Los Angeles in which last call is at 1:30am, magic hour simply does not exist.  [#77, 2005]

-“Martini Run-Off”
Occurs when drinking a martini or buying one for a girl and half the fucking thing spills all over your hand because the glass could not be more poorly designed.  [#42, 2003]

-“Match Day”
Annual event in March when fourth-year med students find out where they “match” – i.e. where in the country they will be spending the next five years of their lives as residents.  After matching, said med students go out and get obliterated.  In 2005, Match Day fell on both the first day of the NCAA tournament and St. Patrick’s Day, making it an absolute bloodbath for newly minted doctors.  [#63, 2005]

-“My Friend’s Band”
The band that your annoying buddies always want you to come see, usually in the form of: “You guys should totally come to this bar tonight.  My friend’s band is playing.  They’re really good!”  Note: they’re not good.  Everyone’s friend’s band sucks.  [#38, 2003]

That dork in the front of every college classroom who never says anything, but just nods his head in approval at whatever the teacher says.  See also “Splash Zone.”  [#14, 1999]

A derivation of the condition “pee-shy,” in which people are unable to urinate in crowded public restrooms.  I consider myself only pee-introverted, meaning I can still go, it just takes me a bit longer.  Coined in a Fenway Park bathroom as I tried to take a piss while wearing a Derek Jeter shirt and being screamed at by dozens of Red Sox fans.  [#86, 2006]

Someone hired by a bar or club to tell everyone they know about a party that night and then stand outside and not let anyone in.  [#34, 2003]

Stands for Random Couple Friends.  These are the groups of couples you’ve never seen before that your buddies all of a sudden start hanging out with once they get engaged or married.  [#65, 2005]

Stands for Random Drunken Injury.  Occurs when you get fucked up, hurt yourself, and then the next day have no idea why you have a sprained ankle.  [#45, 2003]

-“Recovering Frat Boy”
The lifestyle I have chosen to espouse.  Simply put, being a recovering frat boy means leaving college behind but always trying to instill some of that glory into your post-college life.  Put even simpler: work hard and play harder.  You don’t have to have been in a fraternity to be a recovering frat boy.  You don’t even have to be a boy.  All you have to do is accept that college is over but that your quasi-Peter Pan lifestyle can be almost as much fun.  In other words, it’s not, “I won’t grow up.”  It’s more like, “OK, I’ll grow up, as long as I can still throw up once a weekend.”  [#43, 2003]

-“Refill Limbo”
Occurs when you’re having casual drinks with friends, they order another round from the waitress, but you still have 3/7 of your beer remaining and are momentarily unable to decide whether to order or pass.  [#41, 2003]

-“Relationship Extra-Value Meal”
When a guy asks a girl to be his girlfriend on a major holiday, such as her birthday or Valentine’s Day, thus positioning their anniversary to henceforth fall on said holiday.  This makes the anniversary easier for the guy to remember and enables him to combine two gifts in one every year.  [#61, 2005]

The title of this column.  The term “to ruminate” is officially defined as “to go over in the mind repeatedly, to engage in contemplation, to reflect, to ponder.”  Over time, I think that “Ruminations” has become the perfect title to describe the meandering observations in my columns, but in hindsight, when I first started calling my emails “Ruminations” during my freshman year, I’m not even sure I knew what the word meant.  I must admit, though, it still kind of pisses me off when people email me and mangle the title by calling it “ramifications” or “rumblings,” or even “relicitations” – which isn’t even a fucking word.  [#1, 1997]

-“The SAT Bet”
In our junior year of high school, my friend Eric bet Brian that he could not break 1400 on the SATs.  Brian ending up getting exactly 1400.  Eric subsequently claimed that getting 1400 is technically not “breaking 1400” and that a 1410 was needed to win the bet.  Brian argues that scoring a 1400 is synonymous with breaking 1400.  Personally, I agree with Brian, but almost twelve years later the argument continues and neither side has paid up.  [#33, 2002]

Pronounced “sib” and short for “surprise body.”  These are girls who, when you remove their bulky clothing while hooking up, turn out to have amazing bodies.  Unfortunately, very rare.  [#78, 2005]

-“Secondary Confirmation Status”
Conferred upon a friend who you no longer trust to set you up on blind dates.  Originally applied to my Wall Street buddy Rob after he set me up with two girls who, let’s just say, weren’t anyone’s type.  Now at least one other trustworthy guy must see a girl before Rob is allowed to set me up with her.  [#35, 2003]

-“Sexual Loitering”
When your one-night stand does not leave promptly the next morning.  [#64, 2005]

My fraternity brother and currently a surgeon in New York.  Notorious for his prodigious success with the ladies.  After we graduated, he told me how he’d once hooked up with a chick on the roof of our fraternity house – which shocked me because I didn’t even know there was a way to get on the roof in the first place.  [#18, 2000]

-“Slow Walkers”
Assholes on campus who like to stroll leisurely side-by-side up the stairs right in front of you, preventing you from getting by when you’re late for class.  Also commonly seen on the sidewalks of New York City.  I fucking hate these people.  [#14, 1999]

-“Splash Zone”
The first two rows of a college classroom.  Don’t sit there unless you are prepared to get called on.  Often populated by nodders.  Derived from the splash zone in Sea World where the first few rows always get soaked during the killer whale show.  [#14, 1999]

-“Total Recall”
My theory that guys get more pleasure from remembering, telling, and re-telling the story of a crazy hook-up (under the Code of AFS) than they do from the actual hook-up itself.  Derived from the plot of the movie Total Recall.  [#56, 2004]

-“The Triplets”
My high school friends who are fraternal triplets.  Actual names never revealed in column and are instead referred to by their birth order (Triplet #1, Triplet #2, and Triplet #3).  Trips 2 and 3 are also my fraternity brothers.  All three live in Manhattan.  Known for going away on vacation and coming back with cruise friends.  Trip 1 lives with his girlfriend, Trip 2 is single, and Trip 3 is married.  Ironically, Trip 1’s girlfriend is also a fraternal triplet.  Just imagine what that wedding party might be like some day.  Best Men and Maids of Honor will be tagging in and out of the ceremony like some sort of black tie WrestleMania.  [#33, 2002]

-“Two-Man Spotter System”
Technique my buddy Chi and I used to take naps when we sat in adjacent cubicles on Wall Street.  When tired, I’d call out a number that corresponded to the amount of minutes I wanted Chi to let me sleep before throwing a stress ball at my head to wake me up.  And of course, I’d do the same for him.  Note: system does not work if you always forget to wake the other person up.  [#71, 2005]

-“Wasted Happy Hour Chick”
Girl who comes straight from work to the bar and is still there at midnight even though her colleagues are all gone, she’s lost a shoe, and she’s been carrying around her laptop bag for seven hours.  Easy prey and can usually be found dancing wildly by herself in the corner.  [#63, 2005]

Perhaps the term I’m most proud of creating.  Used to jokingly refer to a person whose eyes are a little too far apart (i.e. the opposite of a Cyclops).  Often employed to describe a chick at a bar.  A telltale sign you’ve spotted a wideclops is that she’s looking right at you but you can only see one of her eyes at a time.  May be incorporated along with other glossary terms as the following conversation between two guys demonstrates: “Hey man, you think that girl is a SB?”  “Doubtful.  Plus I already talked to her – total boyfriend-mentioner.”  “That sucks.  Let’s bounce then – it’s magic hour but the dude/chick ratio in this place is way off.”  “Hey, we’re only here to see your friend’s band, I knew the bar would be a duck hunt.”  “Wait, what about that wideclops in the beater over there?  She’s pretty gourmet.”  “Dude, you know you have to look for the ring – she’s married and surrounded by RCFs.”  “Fuck me!”  [#64, 2005]