Boy Diagnostics: What His Air Guitar Technique Tells Mikki Halpin
Boys are mysterious creatures. Our crack researcher, Mikki Halpin, has uncovered a smart new way to learn more about your boy.

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The Extremely Public Strummer

Technique: You're sitting in a bar, having a general get-to-know-you kind of conversation. Suddenly a lame Pearl Jam song comes on. Does your guy groan in disgust? Or at least remain silent? Or does he close his eyes, pick up the imaginary Stratocaster, and have at it like you aren't even there?

Analysis: The Public Strummer is more interested in making music with himself than with you. Key to his pleasure, though, is the public and performative aspect of his playing. In the romantic arena he tends to get crushes on unattainable girls whom he sees as queenbees, or important in his social circle. Thus he can yearn for them, and discuss his yearning for them with everyone ad nauseum, but never actually have a relationship.

Tip: Laugh in his face.

The Nietszchean Solo Artist

Technique: Around the house he plays a lot of music. Obscure noise like Yar Null and Zeni Geva, but also some cheesy guitar gods like Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. What the hell does he get up to, alone in his room with the music playing? Every time you walk in, he abruptly drops his hand to his lap and looks annoyed.

Analysis: The Nietzschean Solo Artist does not want to join a band or make any other commitments. He is highly creative and sensitive, but wholly focused on himself. He is often suspicious of others and fears that they might try to steal his essence, artistically speaking. Tends to have a lot of half finished projects--novels, grad school applications, etc.

Tip: NSA is often an oral sex superstar. Enjoy it while you can.

The Aimless Noodler

Technique: He's three hours late and you're getting annoyed. When you call, he makes small sheepish sounds and meekly explains that he was really getting into his new MIDI setup. You would have gone to the movies alone, had you known he was utilizing his computer skills to live out his adolescent fantasies.

Analysis: Sheepish is the key word here. This is the kind of guy who will forget to pay his bills for months, then whine about the mean companies trying to serve him for what he owes. The Aimless Noodler often feels that he is in a battle with time: it gets away from him, there is never enough of it, and he likes to feign productivity by staying up late.

Tip: He won't stray. As long as you can remain properly comforting (and gradually take over most of the responsibilities in his life), you've got the guy for good. Unless, of course, someone else who wants him more turns up the pressure: he cracks easily.

The Furtive Picker

Technique: Driving to a party, his favorite band comes on the car stereo. He keeps his hands on the wheel, in the correct ten and two o'clock position, except at red lights. Whenever the car is stopped, he leans back in his seat and lets a few riffs glide off his fingers. When the light changes, he resumes driving safely.

Analysis: The Furtive Picker doesnt really know how to have fun. He is always conscious of limits, boundaries. He secretly thinks that having multiple orgasms is a form of showing off. He's got his career planned to the most minute detail.

Tip: Your parents will love him.

The Boy in the Band

Technique: He's go a great bunch of guy friends and they hang out a lot. You're OK with that--you're secretly planning to set some of them up with your single friends. But they have an unnerving group bonding ritual where they play all play air guitar TOGETHER.

Analysis: The Boy in the Band has some intimacy problems. Because no relationship can ever be as strong as the one with his buddies (or with the girls in his band, if any), he is unwilling to put any effort into one. When questioned about his feelings, he will react with confusion and hostility.

Tip: Join the band.

Additional Variations

Technique: Screws up face in an orgiastic display while performing. Strangers often attempt to perform the Heimlich.

Analysis: The Man Who Plays in Pain secretly fears he will be exposed as a fraud. It doesn't matter if he isn't a fraud at all; he still fears exposure and will maintain an aura of deep passion at all times.

Tip: You want a tip for this guy? You want to see that face in bed?

Technique: Adds an open-mouthed twist to his playing, and always plays with that blank, deer in the headlights look.

Analysis: The Flycatcher looks really stupid when he does this. Do we really need to analyse it for you?

Tip: Often trainable.    <end>