Growing up I would go to Darien Lake, an amusement park near where I lived. I would be totally amazed by the people that ran the games at the park. They would always have a microphone and would rib people into playing whatever game they had going. As a kid I thought that running the games would be the ultimate job because you got to be on a microphone, you got to talk shit, and you really didn’t have to work.
There was one game that totally transfixed me, they had a booth where the person would guess your weight, age, or month of birth within a certain range. Every time I went to Darien Lake I would go and watch the person who ran this game with sheer amazement. I always thought that one day I could be like him…
Sadly though as I grew up I realized that I would never be able to work at Darien Lake and run that game. Was it due to a horrible tragic farming accident? No. Did we move away? No. It was something that was much worse, I learned that I can’t judge people’s ages for shit. Weight? Not a problem. Birth month? I can get lucky. Hell, I do well predicting sporting events. But someone’s age and more specifically a female’s age… I go from being a reasonably intelligent person to a complete fucking idiot.
Case in point one: When I was little adults would always ask the question how old do you think I am to my younger sister? Of course my sister would throw out a random number which would be off. All the adults would laugh and do the whole what a cute kid thing. The sad thing is like 90 percent of the time I thought she was right… I knew at that point that I had no ability to judge somebody’s age
As I got older this disability turned into something that could be potentially troublesome. I made sure that I only dated girls that I met out at bars because at least they had to be 21 or close. I figured I would let the bouncers make the age decisions. In fact this system worked so well that when I left college I moved to another college town so I could continue to get laid without running the risk of going to jail. I doubt my defensive of, “Your honor I seriously thought she was 22″ would hold up. I was officially in full on David Wooderson mode:
Eventually though I had to leave the college town lifestyle and had to go out in the real world. Out in the world alone, I was left with my poor age choosing ability. The trouble then began. You see I don’t want to be the dirty old guy checking out a 15 year old girl. Or the older guy inviting some 19 year old out to a bar for drinks because I think she is in her twenties. But I have no ability to tell the difference between a 15 year old girl and a 24 year old girl. That entire age range is lost on me. Being a warm blooded male I want to check out the ladies, but I don’t want to be the leachy child molester type.
Of course my radar hasn’t improved: I was at the mall almost a year ago and there were these two females ahead of me on the escalator. Both were wearing low cut jeans, half shirts, and had the purse like backpacks thingies slung over their shoulder. I was checking them out and was thinking, “Wow these are two hot college chicks maybe I should attempt to flirt.” When we got to the top of the escalator I got a full look at these two ladies, one was in her teens and the other was her mother. Good going Kevin… Way to pick em out.
So I have decided to ask the ladies around the world to help me out. I was going to suggest that you could wear a certain color bandana to clue me in on your age but well let’s just say I stumbled across this one day, destroying that plan:
The Handkerchief Code
The code was a means to know before meeting someone, whether there was anything in common in terms of sexual interest, which was, to be honest, the focus of gay male life in the San Francisco of the late 1980’s.
The code went something like this:
A handkerchief in the right pocket meant that the man preferred being on top, “giving” if you will, while a left pocket position meant a “receiver” or bottom player.
The color of the bandanna, and how it was knotted also had meaning.
A green bandanna meant that the man would have sex for money. This was usually worn by young runaways, or very buff athletes.
A black bandanna meant Sado-Masochistic play.
A yellow bandanna indicated water sports, or playing with urine as a sexual fetish.
A brown bandanna meant sex play with excrement.
A red bandanna signified “Rough Trade” or a willingness to engage in dangerous, violent or rough sexual activities.
A white bandanna meant ‘vanilla’ or very straightforward and non-kinky gay sex, and if it was accompanied by a small teddy bear stuffed beside it, in signified a desire for tenderness and cuddling. Seeing that combination always made me smile.
An orange bandanna meant “any time, anyplace, with anyone, in any fashion”. Orange was the color of the indiscriminate sexual adventurer.
A violet or lavender bandanna was the rarest, it signified a homosexual transvestite, who preferred a feminine expression.
Yeah so um… scratch the handkerchief idea… But next time I see someone with a yellow bandanna I will be vomiting.
So how about this… If you are under 18 please wear the following while out in public:
It takes all the pressure off of me and I will be able to live the lifestyle I was previously accustomed to, hitting on as many females as possible. Who says the Muslims don’t do anything right?
If you want me to guess your age, go ahead ask in the comments below and I will show you the true lack of talent that I have.
(Originally posted: April 4th, 2006)