This is NSFW, but this video of baseball legend George Brett telling some rookies about a time he pooped his pants is a perfect example of how men tell stories. In fact, this might be the quintessential example.
Watch the video, try not to laugh too loudly, and then we’ll discuss a few key points about male storytelling:
So what did we learn?
First, being on a professions sports team is probably fun as hell. Second, there are key elements of a guy story:
- Self deprecation. George Brett is telling other grown men about how he, a grown man, pooped his pants one time in Vegas . . . and is good for one or two pants-pooping per year. It’s a classic, typical guy move where stories where you look like a chump, as long as they’re far away enough in time, are hilarious and endear you to other guys. Remember: COMEDY = TRAGEDY + TIME.
- Oddly specific details. I love the key details Brett gives here. They just give the story a certain verisimilitude: what he was wearing, “three-quarters” and not “half,” and the quality of his bowel movement at the conclusion of the tale.
- It involves a friend. I love how, just like newer every classic guy story, Brett’s involves some ne’er do well pal of his who was on hand to lend some clothes. I love it.
- Subject matter. The best, most insanely repeatable, and legendary guy stories involve one of three things, or a combination thereof: (1) sex, (2) bodily functions, or (3) almost dying. The best involve all three. Don’t take my word for it ladies, ask literally any man of any age that you know about this. And I’m including “getting into a fight” into category 3.
- The ending. “Hey, who’s pitching today?” Now that’s how you stick a landing.
You can use these key points in your own writing when dealing with stories male characters tell to other men (rarely are women privy to tales such as these), or in devising a ridiculous situation for your male characters to get into.
And yes, ladies, this is how gross we are when we are amongst ourselves. Be glad we hold back when you’re around.