I grew up in what would now correctly be considered a toxically masculine culture. Casual homophobia and racism were part of my cultural landscape, as was fighting, bragging, guns, and hunting. To a sixteen-year-old me, there was no greater insult than to be accused of acting feminine, and no greater show of weakness than to back down from a physical confrontation. Almost as bad as the ultimate cowardice of running away from a physical confrontation, however, was to over-prepare: The euphemism of bringing a gun to a knife fight. By the honor code I lived by, this was unthinkable. In fact, most of the teen boys my age wore a belt knife every day, even to school. We engaged in serious fistfights without ever considering drawing the deadly weapon from our own belt.
In my days of squandered youth, I spent precisely
There was a famous griffin called the
And it was two AM or somewhere close.
But you knew Nessie was everywhere right?