Saturday, May 26 , 2018, 4:31 am | Fair 52º


She Said, Z Said: You’re Not Getting Older, You’re Getting Odder

Eccentric hobbies? Must be a guy thing

Z: It’s your birthday this week. Feeling the urge to start a new hobby? Thinking about getting a tattoo, or maybe learning how to yodel?

She: I have plenty to do, between family, jobs and Facebook. No time for yodeling this year or clog dancing or canasta. Why do you ask?

Z: It just seems like people of a certain age start to get more and more eccentric.

She: I am not of a certain age.

Z: No, no, of course not. I don’t mean you. I mean our friends.

She: Like who?

Z: I hesitate to say, because I feel like I’m outing him. He shared this dark secret with me, and now I’m throwing him under the bus in public.

She: You don’t mean ...

Z: Yup. Our friend M (initial only, for the sake of privacy) is learning ventriloquism.

She: That’s got to be a joke.

Z: He has a red-haired dummy. Mortimer Snerd.

She: He couldn’t have just gotten a mistress?

Z: He’s driving his family crazy with embarrassment, which apparently is a bonus.

She: Since when is quirkiness a sign of middle age?

Z: M was always quirky; this just nudges him into uber-quirky.

She: Sure, but ventriloquism? That makes Steve Carrell’s stuffed rats in Dinner for Schmucks seem almost normal. Pretty soon he’s going to work up a vaudeville act and take it on the road.

Z: I like when Koss asked, “Is he going to start hanging out with those other creepy guys, the puppeteers and the mimes?”

She: Wouldn’t that be funny if you became his most normal friend?

Z: But it’s not just him. I remember when E got into Claymation.

She: Claymation can be pretty creepy, too.

Z: Nobody ever made a Claymation movie about Chucky.

She: I bet someone has.

Z: And then we have A, who spends all of his spare time researching shoes, orthopedic inserts and tennis rackets.

She: Don’t forget solar panels and sunscreen. He knows an awful lot about sunscreen, but does that really count as a hobby?

Z: It does when he says, “I may not know much, but I know orthopedic inserts.”

She: Then there’s L who went to a Kings game and decided he wanted to join a hockey league.

Z: I can see that.

She: But the guy had never been ice skating in his life.

Z: Honestly, makes sense to me.

She: And J who has supposedly become the sugar police to the point that nothing but raw fruits and vegetables and quinoa are acceptable foods in his house.

Z: His kids wanted to go to McDonald’s and he read them 26 pages of research about why it was a bad idea.

She: I’ve noticed a trend with all these eccentric guys — they’re all men. Did you all watch the same movie where the guy buys the Corvette and gets a girlfriend, so now you can’t do that because it’s cliché?

Z: It is odd that we don’t know too many women with eccentric hobbies.

She: Not to generalize my gender, but I think any extra time we get is spent socializing with our friends. Even when we try different activities, we’re more likely to bring a buddy.

Z: So why do you think our guy friends keep getting older and odder?

She: My theory is that people start to get a little bored in their daily jobs and lives, and start looking for something to keep them interested.

Z: I thought drinking and affairs were supposed to take care of that.

She: Or trying to become a rock star when you don’t play any instruments?

Z: Hey! That’s a serious business opportunity I’m looking into.

She: Yes, dear.

— Throw your voice over to She and Z by e-mailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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