Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A Moroccan Adjustment

Here in Agdal, on Follow the Leader, there is a club-cum-billiards hall that always grabs my attention whenever I walk by because of the larger-than-life silver statue of Elvis Presley which graces its doorway. This creation is a thing of wonder; in fact, it's just how I imagined what the love child of The King and the bizarro towering statue of Michael Jackson (see cover of History Volume 1) would look like if they mated. And this got me to thinking about pool. But not the innocuous game of billiards one finds indoors. Rather ...

Pocket Pool (or pocket billards).

It is my belief that many many many Moroccan men are obsessed with realligning the contents of their crotches (i.e., the billiards which Allah gave them) in public and on an hourly basis. The first few times I noticed this jiggling of the netherparts, I gasped in shock and modestly averted my eyes. I soon realised that if I were to react in this manner all the time, I'd be walking into traffic, getting hit by cars, or falling into the ubiquitous speluncular gaps in Rabat's sidewalks.

Why? Why do they do it? I am at a disadvantage here: women are not plagued with this problem - in fact, it's one of the few physical inconveniences that Allah did not give us (apparently, menstrual cramps, the agonies of childbirth, menopause and the accumumation of sweat under our underwire bras were deemed sufficient). I consulted my Magic 8 Ball and it told me to "try again". Not helpful. I turned to the Internet. It appears that men generally engage in pocket pool for different reasons. Sometimes (or so I've read), it is so that they can be the chief & sole architects of their own sexual gratification. Do men really move things about for this reason? - who knows? Men become more mysterious to me daily (I mean, isn't it messy?). So I asked a real live possessor of said billiards, who wishes to remain anonymous (husbands! yeesh!), about the need to adjust, and he swears that the act is performed soley to de-squish and reposition. Okay, I'll buy that. At least, I want to buy that. But my girls don't need to be constantly manipulated when I walk the streets - perhaps women just have more efficient and technologically advanced undergarments than men.

This leads me to my next observation (ahhhh, the things I ponder on the way to the grocery store) and that is: who exactly is engaging in this sexual sleight of hand? All men? Not exactly ... then which segment of male society? It appears that the worst testicular offenders are Moroccans wearing suits. Jellaba'd men might have a hand in it too but, for the most part, I haven't noticed it. Perhaps their loose flowy garment and whatever they wear beneath minimise or negate the need to play with the fire down below. Yes, pants are definitely the common denominator - be they suits or jeans. In my mind that suggests that the problem lies either with tailors (and an injudicious measuring of the inseam) or the quality of male underthings. I know, I know - it's hard to believe that the problem might lie in the gazillion knockoffs of Tommy PullMyFinger briefs available in the medina ... but just maybe ...

I confess that I don't know if the average Moroccan male engages in a little game of pocket pool as an act of aggression (sexual or otherwise), or if they're even aware that they're doing it. Maybe it's unconscious - who knows? It certainly transcends age and class barriers: young and old and the haves and have-nots are all equally obsessed with their pool cues. Perhaps it's a little bit of everything but, truth be told, I don't even need to know the reason. Men: just stop touching yourselves or, if you have to, try a little discretion. Or try closing a door behind you.

The bottom line is: I don't much like it. Is there a solution to this manipulation madness? Better cut suits, more comfortable undies? Perhaps the liberal use of talcum powder down below? Or how about a generation of mothers who tell their sons to just give it a rest, of wives who tell their husband that it's not appropriate to touch their testicles in public? Resort to a few time-honoured Old Wives Tales: tell them that they'll go blind, grow hair on their palms or, better yet, that it'll fall off completely. All I know is that it's a little disconcerting to be standing directly in front of someone, engaged deep in converation, only to see that hand move down lower & lower ... knowing that he's moments away from putting the right ball in the corner pocket. Enough already!


Anonymous chrisso said...

Well, thanks for keeping my opinion anonymous :)

I truly believe that, at least for more civilized men, this "sport" is due to improper support in the region. Are you listening Fruit of the Loom? Also, why do tailors make the pants with 3 piece suits so tight?

I wonder, do men in kilts play Pocket Pool? No, but they sometimes play the bagpipes!


2:01 p.m.  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

Which brings us to the joke....

Woman tourist: Is anything worn under your kilt?
Scots: No ma'am. Everything is in good working order.

2:04 p.m.  
Blogger knarf said...

The problem is boxers.

The solution is briefs. Except they're pretty gay looking.

The compromise is boxer briefs. Good looks ~and~ support, in the same package.

OTOH, even though the problem may be ill-tailored trousers ("sure, that's the way they measure pants - IN PRISON!"), I truly believe that adjustments can be made in a discreet manner so that the whole world is not clued in to one's discomfort. Those boors who insist on heaving things about with no regard for modesty are (I'd guess) merely "showing off" - for what reason, I can't imagine.

Does it turn you women on? Am I missing something?

5:59 p.m.  
Blogger squindia said...

oh my gosh. A few weeks ago I was trying on some shoes. The salesman had kneeled down to help me put them on correctly and when I decided to make the purchase--he stood up, and with his crotch not more than 2 inches from my face, proceeded to adjust himself for more than 5 seconds. I couldn't help but burst out laughing as I looked over to my friend to see if he had noticed.

It was an intimate shoe purchase.

Didn't phase him in the least though...

6:39 p.m.  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

I don't wish to speak for all women Knarf but no, it's not a turn on.

Squindia: Sooooooooooo glad you laughed!

8:43 p.m.  
Blogger ByronB said...

Perhaps we should all wear lycra?

9:14 p.m.  
Blogger knarf said...

byron b,

As a lycra-wearing cyclist (I get teased about that by others), I can tell you that would work, but if you don't have proper bike shorts, with the chamois crotch, there will be - ahem - modesty issues.

But, I can tell you, I rarely if ever need "shift" with the bike shorts on.

9:51 p.m.  
Anonymous Cath said...

Alas, the gangsta/hip-hop fashion trends have not infiltrated Moroccan culture.
One doesn't have to worry about crowding "the boys" when the crotch of one's pants is hovering around one's knees.
To quote the poet: Fo-shizzle.

11:56 p.m.  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

Cathy, with a little help from Gizoogle Translating services, I give you this response: Hey cath,
unfortunately we do have tha homeboy wannabes - gangsta rap is popular hizzle among "the youth" but real niggaz don't give a fuck. believe it or not, tha ventilizzles of "izzy boys" doesnt prevent thiznem frizzay steppin' wit themselves ... like grandfatha like fatha like son.

1:04 p.m.  
Anonymous Cath said...

Hmmm . . . I stand corrected.
You're one hep Cat in Rabat.

1:22 p.m.  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...


1:50 p.m.  
Anonymous Cath said...

In Canada, the gansta culture is limited to white boys with names like Cody and Dale, who live in the suburbs and drive their mom's Ford Taurus wagons.

2:19 p.m.  
Blogger knarf said...

Yo, dog,

You don't get into Toronto much, eh?


2:30 p.m.  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

Cath: I believe the term for them is whiggers.
(Now I want to sit back & watch an episode of "The Trailer Park Boys"!!

3:02 p.m.  
Blogger knarf said...

J t' th' R is in the hizzle, yo!

3:32 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I once had a male friend here in Rabat who was also bothered by the, ahem, constant repositioning.
One day, he just point blank told the offender (a colleague) that he was giving him an hour off to go see the doctor. The scratcher looked puzzled and asked why.

My friend said, you keep scratching yourself and it is revolting. You have obviously picked up some kind of STD and you should go get yourself checked right now so you can get some strong anti-itch medication. He said this quite loudly near all the secretaries who had complained to my friend about the scratcher. They all couldn't help laughing and the scratcher has not scratched since.

Well, my friend has since left so the creep might have returned to his old ways. Should we start carrying doctor businesscards around with us Cat?


10:04 p.m.  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

Business cards? "Specializing in Crotches"?????


1:37 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paging Dr. Testes!!

1:43 p.m.  

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