Wednesday, July 5, 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 billiards).

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 conversation, 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!

No comments: