Ask Matt Labash

Ask Matt Labash: The perils of breast-centricity, and a mean n’ green guide to evicting your roommate

Matt Labash Columnist
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Hey Matt,
What’s the big deal about boobs?
Sue J.

Are you talking stupid vulgarians, as in Mencken’s booboisie? Or are you talking the chesty mounds of flesh with nipples on the end? For our purposes, we’ll assume the latter. And I don’t know what the big deal is, truth be told. Make no mistake, I have nothing against breasts. I’m quite fond of them actually. Breasts are our friends. Without fail, all the women I’ve been attracted to have them. Though as a legs n’ butt proponent, I’ve always held that nice pins and a firm heart-shaped onion serve as much more accurate indicators of physical attractiveness and all around fitness.

Therefore, I’ve never understood the disproportionate amount of attention breasts receive. In the old days, breast-centricity made more sense, as they were the most visible distinguishing characteristic between men and women. But now that roughly 34 percent of Americans are obese, a good portion of the male population has them too. So you saved your pennies, went under the knife, and now have a coveted pair of D-cups? Big deal. So does the guy having his third chicken fried steak at the Old Country Buffet — and his are natural.

Breast-centricity is just one more example of how our priorities are all out of whack. Everyone obsesses over all-important cup size, when the band size is more of a long-game concern for men. Sure, your lady friend might be an ideally proportioned 34C, right now. But maybe what you should be shooting for is a 54A. Forget about breasts like twin fawns, which feed among the lilies, as the Song of Solomon had it. Gravity will eventually have their way with them, and they could very well come to resemble two hippopotami lazing down at the watering hole. What you really want in a mate is a woman with a big, strong back. After all, when you’re old and infirm, who else is going to haul your chicken-fried-steak-eating lardass out of bed, so you can catch the Early Bird Special down at the Old Country Buffet?

Dear Matt Labash,
I moved into a place in January of 2010.  I had a roommate I loved, but he had to leave in August. He wasn’t able to give me a month’s notice, so I had only one choice in roommates, someone who my landlady would approve and who could pay right away.  I thought things would be okay, but it turned out that he lives a promiscuous lifestyle, attracts mold in the bathroom, and helps with no chores. He has since told me he was leaving, and then changed his mind. He is very disrespectful to me, and I feel lied to and manipulated. His motto is, “If you don’t like it, you should leave.” It seems he doesn’t understand my point of view. How can I help him understand what I’m going through, and convince him to move out? – Caitlin Whelan

This letter is troubling on several levels. But most troubling of all is that your roommate “lives a promiscuous lifestyle” and “attracts mold in the bathroom.” If the two are related, you might want to leave now, lease be damned. If you must salvage possessions, only do so with a hazmat suit and Clorox bleach.

One of your first mistakes, I should point out, is being a woman, and having a platonic male roommate. These living arrangements work out only in the rarest circumstances, such as with Jack, Chrissy and Janet in “Three’s Company.”  And even then, they are usually rife with misunderstandings, mistaken identities, and Mr. Roper errantly thinking that Jack is gay. Men tend to be slovenly and take up more space. Therefore, if you’re not having amatory relations with your male roommate, there’s not much upside for you as a woman.

But I don’t mean to curse your darkness with my peculiar brand of feminism, since I’d much rather illuminate your path with my forward-thinking brand of environmentalism. In the spirit of John Muir, Rachel Carson, and other pioneers who have gone before me, I will now share with you the Mean n’ Green Guide to Passively-Aggressively Evicting Your Roommate. Before we get to that, I first recommend sitting down with him over drinks  (I suggest Mike’s Hard Lemonade — cold, summery refreshment with a malt-liquor twist) and sharing your concerns as honestly and transparently as possible. See if the two of you can’t forge ahead in the spirit of mutual consideration and understanding. If that doesn’t work, there’s no earthly reason why you shouldn’t ruin his life, and save the environment while doing so.

A few years back, I did a piece in the Weekly Standard in which I spent a “No Impact” week living as environmentally conscious as possible.

All the lifestyle adjustments this required are too involved to recount here, but the long and short is that I had to not throw things away, to leave toilets unflushed, and to sit around in the dark a lot. Kind of like how I lived before going green — but with tons of additional moral superiority.

Doing so gave me the boots-on-the-ground experience that will provide your solution. Just tell your roommate that your landlord is reducing rent by giving credits for all the reductions you can make in carbon consumption. Then become an eco-terrorist in your own home. Why wipe your nose with Kleenex when you can start an organic booger wall right there in your living room? That’s a twofer: think not only of all the virgin forests you’ll spare, but how you’ll heal Mother Earth by not giving the room a harmful gloss of Duron, which is responsible for “off-gassing” (the kind of off-gassing that continues to release volatile toxins into the air after paint application, not to be confused with the cruciferous bouquets you’ll leave for your roommate after eating all the locally-grown cauliflower you’ll purchase from your Urban Farm Collective).

Under the Mean’n’Green program, toenail clippings aren’t just for flicking at your dog or using as makeshift toothpicks anymore. The ever-helpful biodegradable fungi in them can give you a good head start on composting right there in your kitchen. Water conservation means less flushing — why lose several gallons a throw when 20 percent of the world is plagued by drought? Instead, take care of your solid waste disposal needs by wearing adult diapers — reusable cloth ones, of course, which you can hand scrub with his toothbrush and then air dry in his bedroom. Whatever you can’t get down the sink can be used as organic fertilizer  in your pesticide-free garden. And if your roommate thinks the Daikon radishes and baby fennel have an unpleasant aftertaste, well tough turds, as we environmentally-friendly types say.

Remember, for this to work, you have to give yourself over completely. If the excruciating smells and general lack of hygiene don’t break his will, the screaming sanctimony and E. coli infections probably will.

Matt Labash is a senior writer with the Weekly Standard magazine. His book, “Fly Fishing With Darth Vader: And Other Adventures with Evangelical Wrestlers, Political Hitmen, and Jewish Cowboys,” is now available in paperback from Simon and Schuster. Have a question for Matt Labash? Submit it here.