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Fellas, why are you like this?

It has never been documented in popular culture or online, but you have been around it if you are friends with a man: when boys get together they tie their penises into pretzels and start cracking wise in poor English accents. Popular phrases related to this phenomena, which you’ve absolutely heard in real life and are not fabricated in the least, include “Mates, my down-belows are a proper tossabout,” “Chaps, the tallywacker’s as bowed as the river Thames,” and, of course, “Oi! Me knob’s crossed innit?” To reiterate, this is real.

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I’ve seen countless male friends and acquaintances strut around performing a horrific rendition of the King’s English with tangled junk, and you have too, because, as I said, this is an actual thing that happens. My friend Brittnyce once asked me, “Why do all my male friends make their wieners into zipties and is this related to their dreadful English accents?” All I could do was tell her that, yes, this is a hallowed and 100 percent authentic tradition that’s part of becoming a man. It happens, in real life.

I had to find out the degree to which this was A Thing (a blogworthily high degree, it turns out), so I texted my friend Drewlen and asked how often he hitched his wang into a figure-8 and popped off about the bloody Tesco. “I do it all the time,” he told me with a chortle. “It’s a way to bond with your buddies and also practice your traditional English phrases like ‘This bloody trouser snake’s in a maze of its own making’ and ‘Jibjab the parsnip.’” He added, “This is a verifiable pattern of behavior that enough men participate in to necessitate the blogging of a trend piece on it, so please make sure to universalize what I told you.”

Why do men—lots of ‘em—do this? Some say it’s because “jolly as a proper eel pie kickabout on a Sunday,” while others I asked who partake in this mysterious behavior told me it’s a way to reconnect to some sort of elemental manhood, and in the process, try to heal a wounded masculinity. Perhaps the knot tying is an attempt to suture the up the psychic damage inherent in trying to keep one’s head afloat in an unjust world. I don’t know what the English accent is for, but I can tell you this much: this is all extremely real, and now you know about it.