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  • Writer's pictureMr. Jamoke

Hot Air

He strutted into the house party like a heavyweight champ walking into the ring. Chest out, chin high, no eye contact, shoulders swinging excessively side to side with immense swagger, this badass clearly meant business. His entourage of douchebag hype-men followed in his footsteps talking smack.


“How many beers are you gonna drink, Malcom!?”………. “You fags have enough beer in this house or what!?” “You bitches don’t know what’s coming!”


I admit that, at first, I was taken aback by the gasconade. Like a guy who goes all-in on a 3, 7, 10 rainbow flop in poker after no early action whatsoever, you can’t help but shake your head for a second in astonishment. Big, bad Malcom had me bewildered.


But then one of his sycophant hype-men showed his tell: He looked out at nobody in particular, at a gap in the crowd, and proclaimed: “He’s gonna drink you under the table.


At that moment I grinned ear to ear like the Grinch. At that moment I knew that Mr. Malcom was a total phony. Why was his boy looking at nobody in particular? You just walked in with the heavyweight champ of the party world so why too timid to make eye contact? Also, why the superfluous threat? You just called us all “fags” and expressed your concern about the amount of beers in the house, seems odd that you’d feel the need to triple down on your boy’s ominous intentions.


Shortly after this moronic comment was made to nobody in particular, my buddy and I turned to these two pretty girls we had previously been too chicken to talk to and told them: “Malcom’s night is gonna end early. Watch.”


It took all of 10 minutes.


The first sound was the thud of his body dropping to the floor. The second was the deafening echo of a 1000 pounds of fake hype crashing down to earth. Malcom had just chugged his third beer. Less than a minute later he was being dragged out by his humiliated entourage, arms draped around his buddies’ shoulders, legs dragging behind him.


A decisive knockout. Pathetic.

This boxing classic (Bud Light vs. Malcom – 3rd Round Stoppage) happened almost 20 years ago. Nonetheless I find myself, unfortunately, having flashbacks to this incident somewhat regularly.


Why, you ask? Well, the reason is that I regularly encounter charlatans, fakers who act hard but pack no actual punch and soy boys.


At work I have the “privilege” of supporting VP level execs at major firms. These gasbags come in talking a big game about “transformation” and “strategic shifts”. They get paid big bucks to make big decisions. Yet, without fail, the grand dreams and proud declarations devolve into emails like: “Can you change the box on slide 4 to be dashed as opposed to solid?”. I also regularly receive panicked phone calls: “Our customer asked me a question but I’m not sure exactly what he is asking. See if you can figure it out and give me three slides responding to what he MAY be asking?”…………. You little bitch. You pathetic excuse of a “leader”. You’re the regional president of the company yet you’re obsessing about font sizes while displaying the apprehension and insecurity of a first-day intern.


My gym is also full of fakers and pretenders. Just the other day two guys in their mid/late 20’s came in to presumably lift weights. Yet, they spent most of their time taking pictures of themselves, doing re-takes, and posting to the internet. There was about a 10-minute spell in which the only exercise either of them performed was about 8 bicep curls. During those 10 minutes the cross-fitter next to them probably did 100 burpees and flipped 20 truck tires. Even my chubby-ass threw about 400 solid shots at the heavy bag. ………… Well done boys, for every internet friend that you may have fooled into thinking you’re hard there are another 10 people in this gym that now know for a fact that you’re total pussies.


The soy boys though, that’s a recent development for me:


We should hang out, man. Just keep in mind that I’m vegan and I don’t drink.”


You’re vegan and you don’t drink? So what the fuck are we gonna do when we “hang out”, go to the theatre and drink Sprites? Perhaps we can pre-game with a dinner of leaves and kombucha…….Get lost dude.


20 years ago, a young man named Malcom fraudulently asserted that he can chug beers. 20 years later I’m seeing his legacy of charlatanism in all facets of life: From the gasbags in corporate America, to the Instagram pretenders, to all the fake men with crippling, self-imposed dietary restrictions. The only difference though is that, as adults, we’ve adopted the wrong attitude. Rather than reluctantly accommodating or merely ignoring the phonies and frauds, we need to do what we did 20 years ago and rush to expose them:


“Hey Malcom, Malcom, I got you another beer, buddy!”

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