We're All Damaged

Monday, February 9, 2009

Honk if You Bonk

The other day I was walking through my neighborhood in London. As a foreigner here in the Mother Country, I’ve done my best to embrace British culture, which is why I was dressed like George Michael in the Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go video.

After stopping off for my usual tea and crumpets, I spotted some frightening hooligans nearby gathered around a work truck. As you may know from Guy Ritchie movies and footage of soccer riots, British hooligans are a violent, angry bunch. And, despite my startling resemblance to David Beckham, they don’t seem to like me one bit.

Normally I would have turned and run frantically in the opposite direction. However, these particular hooligans were different. I noticed that, quite cleverly, they’d attached a handmade sign to their truck that read, Honk If You Bonk!!!!!!!!

Now, I realize that to some people, Honk If You Bonk!!!!!!!! may sound awfully uncultured—even offensive. But to me, on that drizzly morning, as I stood shivering in my short-shorts, it represented something far more profound. It represented hope, and, above all, the need to be loved. You see, before I discovered self-tanning cream and Pilates, I too was in search of love. I longed for that one special person who would—emotionally speaking—bonk me for the rest of my life.

And so I finished my tea—slowly, it was very hot—and I marched right up to those swearing, drunken hooligans, and I said, loud and proud, “Hello, lads! My name is Matt Norman, and I bonk!”

I remember very little after that, but this morning, when I woke up in the hospital, I felt true sadness. Was I sad because of the many, many broken bones? No. Was I sad because they’d carved Wanker into my forehead with a screwdriver? No. I was sad because, yet again, I had felt the unkind fist—and crowbar, and two-by-four—of isolation.

Someday you will accept me, my furious, gap-toothed brothers. I look forward to that day—perhaps a fortnight from now—because it will mean that I, finally, belong.

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