Previous installments: Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Also check out the official Livin' Large FAQ, Cast List and Flow Chart.

Well, dear readers, I have another confession to make. Identifying Aimee as my high school sweetheart was not, technically speaking, totally and 100 percent accurate. But it was never my intention to deceive you. No, really.

When Livin' Large began, I honestly had no specific plans for how long the story would last or how detailed it would become. I figured I'd write five or six posts worth of anecdotes and that would be it. At best, I hoped to milk a couple weeks worth of content out of it before the well ran dry.

However, I miscalculated in two ways. First, I somehow forgot that I'm a natural storyteller. And I'm not necessarily talking about my ability to spin a yarn -- although I do have something of a knack for it. The fact is, I love telling stories. That's part of why I started Basketbawful in the first place: to have a forum for sharing the basketball-related stories that had been back-and-forthing their way among my friends for years.

Now, as BadDave will no doubt attest, my tendency has always been to over-tell stories, cramming in as many little details as possible. Specific words and phrases, gestures, facial expressions, clothing choices, times and places. It's like Grandma Bawful's famous homemade spaghetti sauce. The more herbs and spices she used, the better it tasted. Just as long as she went light on the bay leaves.

My second misunderestimation had to do with reader interest. I figured the hard core bawfulites would enjoy this series...period. But it seems my narrative has struck a chord with a lot of people. The funny thing is, back when I was working for Deadspin, I pitched the idea of running this series on that site. Will Leitch, who was still the high muckety-muck at the time, was like, "Whoa there, settle down, young fella. Let's stick with the content people want to read."

I was actually kind of embarrassed. I mean, here was Will frickin' Leitch more or less telling me the story wouldn't "sell." I'd gone into that pitch with the intent of running the story here if Will turned it down, but the way he turned it down killed my enthusiasm. So that's part of the reason you all had to wait for something you didn't even know you were waiting for.

Now...where was I? Oh, right. So I didn't know how much of my sad and awkward past I'd be sharing in these posts. It was easy and convenient to say Aimee was my high school sweetheart. It kept things clean and allowed me to move on to the meat and potatoes of the story. And she was my high school the very tail end of things. But in reality, the girl who had me in the grip of irrational infatuation for most of my high school career was a girl named Cindy.

The bad news: she had a boyfriend until the last half of our senior year. I just kind of hung around waiting for her to break up with him. When she finally did, I was helplessly trapped in what my buddy Statbuster calls "The Nice Guy Zone." Statbuster's theory goes thusly. Women have four types of men in their lives:

1. The guy they're f***ing.

2. The rich guy.

3. The gay guy.

4. The nice guy.

The guy they're f***ing, that's self-explanatory. The rich guy is the person they turn to when they need help (and by "help" I mean "money"). The gay friend is the person they feel safe snuggling, shopping and talking about guys with.

The nice guy, however, is the one who gets stuck with all the responsibilities of being a boyfriend without getting any of the nookie. The nice guy helps the girl move, stays up until 3 a.m. listening to her problems, eats an entire carton of chocolate ice cream with her after she's broken up with the guy she was f***ing, etc. The nice guy believes in his heart of misguided hearts that dogged determination and just plain old being there for her will eventually make the girl fall madly in love with him.


For two years of high school, I was Cindy's nice guy. When she and Carl -- who was an utter tool, by the way, even more so than me at that time -- went splitsville, I assumed I would just swoop in and pick up the pieces. But as we said back then: psyche! Cindy wanted no part of dating me, despite having spent a year or more claiming that, "If I hadn't met Carl first, we'd be dating."

The worst part? She almost immediately fell for and started dating a guy who came out of the closet right after we graduated. She chose the gay guy over me. Ouchies.

We actually did go on a few dates, which included the Senior Dinner Dance, after which I told my mom we had shared "a really great hug." And it was a great hug...but it was also a sure sign that I was the nice guy. (And maybe even the gay guy for getting my panties in a bunch over a damn hug.)

Fast forward to my freshman year in college. Cindy actually did send me a letter during the first or second week. But it was one of those "Oh, gee, it's so nice to have a pen pal who went away to college!" kind of things. Like Greg and Gauvin, Cindy chose not to leave Kokomo. Like Greg, she was attending classes at IUK, the local community college. Her letter was nothing but trivial banter like IUK is good, hope you're enjoying classes, the family cat had kittens, I dusted my room today, my sister just got her braces know, stuff I couldn't have cared less about. You see, I had made a conscious choice: I was no longer Cindy's nice guy.

Meanwhile, Cindy went from getting all my love and affection to getting none of it. Suddenly, she didn't have me around to provide sympathy or arm candy if she wanted to go to her sister's school play or whatever. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and that may well be the case, because now, deprived of my constant and unrelenting presence, Cindy missed me. A lot.

And so it was that she called me.

Her call was so totally out of the blue that I almost didn't call her back. My first instinct was, "Okay, what does she want? What went wrong? How much crying am I going to have to listen to?" But the flipside of my budding cynicism was the very real desire to have human connections. I had started to become a hermit during the first few weeks of school, and it sucked. Big time. So there was no harm, it seemed, in revisiting an old friendship.

At least, that's what I thought. Of course, this misconception proved that I hadn't been listening to my more worldly roommate when he very wisely (and surprisingly) told me, "Guys and girls can be a lot of t'ings, but dey cannot be friends."

I called Cindy back. She was thrilled to hear from me. After some idle chitchat -- things here are fine, how are things there? -- things got serious.

"Matt, I've been doing a lot of thinking," she said, and men of the world should beware when a woman starts a new conversation thread by telling you she's been thinking a lot. "Sometimes you don't know what you have until it's gone."

To my credit, I sensed what was going on. For once. My first instinct was to avoid, so I said, "I know what you mean. That's always the first thing I think when I realize I don't have any more clean underwear."


"Sorry," I said. "You were saying?"

"Uh, right, okay" she stammered, caught somewhat off her guard by the mention of my soiled undergarments. "Anyway, I've been really missing you. Missing you so much that sometimes I can barely stand it."

"Huh," I said. "That sounds pretty unhealthy."

"I know," she said, either ignoring my sarcasm or just not getting it. "I talked to my mom about it, and she said I needed to call you. So...I called."

Silence. Wait, make that uncomfortable silence.

"Matt," she said with a deep sigh, "I have no right to ask this. You were always really patient with me, and I know I screwed things up, but if you're still interested, if you still want to, I mean, I don't even know if you're dating anybody, we haven't really talked in a long time, I have no idea what's going on in your life, and we used to talk so much, and..."

"Whoa, wait, calm down," I said. "That sentence would send Mrs. Stepp (our old English teacher at Kokomo High School) into cardiac arrest. Just, you know, calm down, use a few periods, and tell me what's on your mind."

Now, see, those are the kinds of pithy things you can say when you just don't give a you-know-what. Again, I had escaped the Nice Guy Zone, and I wasn't going back behind those iron bars.

"What I want," she said, and it sounded like she was choking back a sob, "what I for you to give me another chance."

More uncomfortable silence. This time, I was the one to break it.

"Look, Cindy," I said, "I have to be honest with you. I'm trying to date Aimee right now."

"Aimee," she said. Despite the fact that she had just been on the verge of tears, she made the name sound like a hiss. See, here's the thing. Aimee and Cindy had a very interesting little rivalry during high school. Neither one of them was willing to be my girlfriend, but they both wanted to be the primary (maybe even the only) girl in my life. So naturally they hated each other. And I mean with a red-hot, fiery passion.

The funny thing is, I'm not sure they ever even spoke directly to each other when we were in high school. I don't know that they ever actually met. They didn't know each other. The only thing Aimee knew about Cindy was what I told her, and vice versa. That was enough to create a dark and festering dislike. When I brought one up to the other, it was like I was pouring a bucket full of crawling insects on them.

"Well, I think that's a mistake," Cindy said.

"Thanks for your concern," I said, feeling genuinely offended. "But like you said earlier, you have any right to pass any judgment on my personal life. You had your chance and blew it."

Once again, she sounded like she was going to cry. And of course I felt bad. I had been harsh. Maybe not harsh by normal standards, but Cindy was an emotional girl. Telling her that she'd blown her chance with me was like kicking her in the baby maker.

"Look," I said, "I'm sorry..."

"No," she interrupted, "no, you're right. And I probably deserve it."

"Still, there's no reason for me to be a jerk about it," I countered. "All that's in the past now. I mean, based on my reaction, I think I must have had some leftover bitterness. But I'm over it. So, you know, let's start fresh."

I could almost feel her smile over the phone. "Sounds like a good idea."

"But," I said in warning, "I still want to date Aimee, and if that happens, and if you really want to have a fresh start, you've gotta be cool about it."

"I understand," she said, although I could tell she wasn't happy about it.

We finished up with some light chatter. When I finally hung up, Mat started laughing, and I mean laughing hard.

"Aw f*** me, man" he said between guffaws, "that was some serious shit, wasn't it?"

"Yeah," I said, plopping onto my bed. "It sure was."

"Now I feel a little better about missing Shelly," he said. "At least I don't have to put up wit all dat."

"Well, I'm so glad I could help you out."

I tried to study but it was pointless. The conversation with Cindy had left me drained. However, it had also filled me with a little piss and vinegar. Here was Cindy, a girl I had spent years longing for, finally coming around and realizing I was worth dating. What the hell, then, was Aimee's problem? I was getting tired of waiting, tired of her excuses, just flat out tired.

When I called Aimee that night, she was in a crappy mood. That sealed it. It was time to go on the offensive. "You know what," I said at one point, "this is bullshit."

"Whoa, what?" she said, clearly shocked. I never cussed to her. "What's bullshit?"

"This whole mess of a relationship we're in," I said. "Wait, I'm sorry, we're not in a relationship are we? And why is that again? Oh, right, because you can't figure out what in the hell you want. Well, guess what? Whatever you may think, I'm not going to wait around for you forever. And trust me, when I'm gone and dating someone else, you're going to regret it."

"Dating someone else?" she said, and it sounded like she was reeling. "Why, is there someone you want to date?"

"Well I sure as hell want to date someone," I said, practically yelling. "If you're not interested, maybe I'll ask Susan out."

"I knew it!" she said. "I knew Susan liked you."

"Oh, come off it," I said. "I was just using her as an example. But who knows? Maybe she does like me. And if she doesn't, I bet I can find someone else who does."

Now it was time to drop the hammer.

"Hell," I said, "maybe Cindy wants to give things a try."

That did it. Now Aimee was pissed. "I can't believe you just said that," she spit out. "After all the crap Cindy put you through, you'd really consider dating her?"

"How is what she did to me any different than what you're doing?"

Ah yes...even more uncomfortable silence.

"You did not just compare me to Cindy," she said in a voice of forced calm.

"Actually, I did," I said. "And you don't like it 'cause you know I'm right."

"I don't like it," she said, "because Cindy's a bitch."

I'm sure you can guess how I felt about that comment. And let's just say that the conversation didn't improve any after that. Eventually it ended with bad feelings and slamming phones. And I thought, very seriously, that me and Aimee might never talk again.

"Damn, dude," Mat said, laughing once again at my expense. "You're having a rough night."

I didn't have the strength of will to respond. I slipped into some shorts and a t-shirt, and then crawled into bed. Even Mat's damn Heineken light couldn't keep me up that night. I didn't stir when Jennifer showed up and (one assumes) pleasured Mat in her own special way. I was dead to the world.

But the last thought I had before drifting off to sleep was that maybe it was time to move on. Meanwhile, the the answering machine was blinking with messages that Mat probably shouldn't have ignored...

Livin Large: the official Flow Chart 2.0

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Oh man, this keeps getting better and better!

Just dump Aimee already, and start dating this Cindy chick. If you can make a girl jealous to the extent that she calls another girl a bitch, you know that a win-win situation for you is at hand.


Anonymous reggyray said...
How naive I was to think that there were only a couple of love interests in your life during the course of this story

Blogger Sturla said...
Yes! You finally grew a pair!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
another cliffhanger!!!

keep up the good work bawful!

REading this gives me something interesting to do while i'm at work...

After Italy you should come visit Greece... I drove here in my tiny car on tiny roads and right now i'm enjoying a drink with absolutely no ice in it whatsoever...

Anonymous Baguete said...
Who was hotter, "bodily speaking"? Aimee or Cindy?

Are you still in touch with them?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"after which I told my mom we had shared "a really great hug.""

rolling on the effin floor laughing

made my day

Blogger ramon12 said...
should we expect AnacondaHL to update the official flow chart as the new characters come in to the story?
Is there another Jennifer to represent Cindy on the chart?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
yet another great post....keep them coming!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
made my day better
can now knuckle down to study
cheers bawful :)

Blogger Richard Zhang said...
The clean underwear comment was pretty classic, and a problem we've all run into before.

Anonymous dunkside said...
Boo-yah !!!

"Oh, right, because you can't figure out what in the hell you want."

And that, my friend, was the exact moment your balls dropped !!!

And I'd like to say something about Mat. From the story he doesn't really come off as a giant asshole. Ok, he did things that pissed you off, but I can't help thinking that had you not been as uptight as you were, you might have gotten along with him better.

For example to me it didn't seem like he laughed at your expense after you finished talking to Aimee, but more like he was kinda impressed with you growing a pair. I guess that was the most empathy he was capable of.

At least that's how things seem to me from your stories.

Blogger Nick said...
Well, at least you didn't get berated by Buzz "Pisses the Shit out of Me" Bissinger on live television.

Blogger Esco said...
I would have laughed the same way Mat did. Even though my freshman year at college was a good mix of Mat's and yours, meaning, basically dividing the amount of chicks Mat slept with by 2. And that was only last year. I rock. Moving along, you're finally growing some balls. Pause. And, I hate you for that cliffhanger. And I love the site. Looking forward to the rest.

Blogger Dan B. said...
While it was nice to pinpoint the exact moment that your balls dropped, I don't foresee this ending well. Just a hunch.

And by the way, being the nice guy sucks. I know this from a lot of experience, sadly.

Anonymous RunBoilerRun said...
I need to take notes from Bawful's boldness in this episode. Guys can be just as frustrating as girls FYI.

Blogger Unknown said...
You know why those high school/teen movies are so popular? Cos people can relate to them. They watch one and think "goddam I was that dude/girl" (hopefully not both). This is why Livin' Large is so great. I don't think there's a single guy out there in the wait the entire space/time continuum who hasn't experienced being the "Nice Guy". Chris Rock has a routine about it, except he calls it the "Dick in a jar".

Anyway, this is awesome cubed, no wait AWESOME cubed. People here are talking about a movie...hell, I'd buy the book.

Blogger Thinking Man said...
Classic man just classic. I'm a casual basketbawful reader who has become a regular. This reminds so much of my freshman year in college when I unknowingly dated two girls who were high school rivals, but who pretended to be friends. That's when I learned what frenemies were.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Anonymous #1 -- My 18-year-old self soon comes to a similar conclusion.

reggyray -- I'm the last person who's going to say anything about you being naive.

Sturla -- Yeah, well, you kick a dog long enough...

Anonymous #2 -- Ah! I'd love to visit Greece! Alas, I'm heading back to the states. I never made it to Rome, either. SAD FACE.

Baguete -- Aimee had a more curvy, feminine body than Cindy did.

I maintained contact with both Aimee and Cindy for a few years after college. Heck, I was an usher in Cindy's wedding (and she wanted me to stand up on her side of the wedding party, but her groom put the kibosh on that). Eventually she ended up having five or six kids and we fell out of touch. Aimee and I talked on and off and then eventually drifted apart. I've stayed in touch with her dad though.

Anonymous #3 -- But it WAS a great hug! Oh...nevermind...

ramon12 -- I can't speak for AnacondaHL, but I wouldn't be surprised.

anonymous #4 and #5 -- Thanks!

Richard -- Indeed. Although, come to think of it, I've probably made too many underwear-related jokes over the years. It always just pops in there.

dunkside -- Well, Mat was a human being, as far as I know. And nobody's evil all the time. It just doesn't happen. Mat was fine when our respective needs and desires didn't come into conflict. But when they did...

Also, I know this has been something of a dead period for Mat in this story, but trust me, it's going to pick up.

Nick N -- Very, very true. And don't get me wrong. Will's a sweetheart, and he gave me a lot of freedom when I was working for him. He just didn't like that particular pitch because Deadspin is all about "breaking news" stories. That's what pushes their page views, which drives revenues, etc. I get all that.

Esco -- Now, I thought the standard rule was to always divide the number of women a man claims he's slept with by three to determine the actual number of women he's slept with. Or is there a better formula I don't know about?

Dan B. -- Well, you know what they said: If things didn't end badly, they wouldn't end.

And if you're stuck in the Nice Guy Zone, you've come to the right place. Here are five easy steps for getting the hell out of there.

Step 1. Kick a kitten, even if nobody's around to see you do it. It's all about getting into the right mindset. Also, you can substitute "kitten" with any other small, furry creature.

Step 2: Put on a wifebeater, even if it's hidden under your work shirt. Again, it's a mindset thing.

Step 3: Find somebody bigger than you are and insult them directly to their face. "Bigger" doesn't necessarily have to mean physically larger. For instance, you could pick on somebody shorter but wealthier or more influential.

Step 4: Next time you talk to the woman who put you on the Nice Guy leash, let her know who's boss. This can be as simple as saying, "I'm the boss, yeeeeeeaaah!" or dipping her pigtails in a bottle of ink. Pro tip: Be creative.

Step 5: Tell her, "You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen..."

RunBoilerRun -- Fair enough, fair enough. I don't think either sex has it easy. All this stuff should be a lot easier...shouldn't it?

Thinking Man -- Oooooo, frenemies. A deadly subspecies to be sure. They can usually be recognized by the telltale way in which they slyly criticize the way their mutual frenemy dresses, applies makeup, bakes pies, whatever.

Niko -- The worst thing about the Nice Guy Syndrom, IMHO, is that you can usually pinpoint the exact moment when the last brick got spackled into the wall of Nice Guyness. You know, the time you could have kissed her, or danced up on her at a club, or whatever, only you didn't make your move. So while she will admire you for not taking advantage of her moment of vulnerability, you've also shown an unwillingness to be bold and take chances. And that, my friend, is the Doorway to the Nice Guy Zone.

Blogger XForce23 said...
Seriously, you can't make this up. When people said before we could make an HBO mini-series of your freshman year, they were not kidding

Blogger Sambuu said...
are you installments getting shorter? but they sure are getting better...

Blogger Basketbawful said...
RunBoilerRun said: "I need to take notes from Bawful's boldness in this episode."

Don't get me wrong. I'm not a life coach or anything like that, but to increase your boldness, keep two things in mind:

1. You're the star in the story of your life. That means your world revolves around you, not some schmuck who's treating you less well than you want and deserve. As the writer of "The Sexy Adventures of RunBoilerRun," you have the authority to write people in and out of the script. That's power. Use it.

2. Remember, you really have nothing to lose by being bold. I mean, yeah, there are people who won't be able to take it, especially guys (most of whom have egos that are exceedingly fragile). But if they can't take it, chances are you didn't want them in your life to begin with.

Trust me, if I could go back, I would spent a lot more time telling Aimee what I thought. Which probably would have killed things between us...and in all honesty, that probably would have worked out well for the both of us.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Sambuu -- I'm not measuring them, to tell you the truth. I basically just sit down and write until I reach a point that feels like the end.

Blogger Utahraptor said...
So Bawful, what do you have that made Aimee, Cindy & Susan fall for you? You must have an irresistible charm or something?


Blogger Nick Flynt said...
And now the main character develops. It's like we reached a climactic point not only in your life, but in this epic tale.

Soon, we'll find out that you have angry sex with someone to get your frustrations out. Later you gain a vice, and then cure it. Then the story ends and we all say that you need to tell us more about your life.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Utahraptor - Isn't it obvious? It's the horns. Just look at bawful's picture. What lady could resist the irresistible charm of those fingerhorns? That's it isn't it bawful?

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
1) Maybe this was supposed to be one of the more frowny installments of Livin' Large, but I think this part was by and far THE funniest yet.

2) Underwear comment was absolutely brilliant. Like, I wish I could intentionally be that awkward just to occasionally mess with girls.

3) Deadspin pulled a Verizon by not pulling the trigger on the iPhone of this story. Not saying Basketbawful is AT&T or anything, but whatever, you get the point what a monumental lost chance that was!

4) DVD Bonus #1: I thought for a while what to put on the arrow between Matt and Aimee. My first thought was "high school sweetheart", but something just felt wrong about that. Now I know why. The second was "high school girlfriend", but again, there wasn't evidence of it, including her whole "primary but not gf" game. That's how I came up with "high school girl-something" which inadvertantely has become the best descriptor.

5) DVD Bonus #2: One of the original ideas for the character sheet is to put Mat and Matt in the center and have the relationships spread radially, many character sheets have this structure. I didn't think after Part 11 there was enough named characters to do this, and I managed to pull it off in a top-down config. Not anymore.

As Bawful will be in flight tomorrow, I'll post a ver.2 to hopefully quell some of the cries for a weekend update, including my own.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Buck Nasty: I think that story is coming in the sequel to Livin' Large: "Year Five".

Anonymous dustin said...
i just realized im stuck in the nice guy zone. f*** me.

Blogger chris said...
Bawful: As much as I want to read "Fifth Year" next (as does AHL)..."The Sexy Adventures of RunBoilerRun" sounds rather intriguing as well, Matholomew.

Anonymous marty said...
i can't believe somebody wouldn't want you to post this on their site. i get disappointed every time it ends and i have to wait til tomorrow for bawful's coming of age story. tell me we get a full summer of this before returning to normal. i'm off work for the summer and reading your posts is my first daily activity.

Anonymous Clyde said...
Basketbawful do you ever smash these ladies?

Blogger Unknown said...
Awesome story!!! The really great hug...underwear...Mat's reaction! Perfect!

And another cliffhanger! I can't handle it!

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Utahraptor -- I think it's because I'm such a gentle lover.


I would guess it was because I was tall, had big hands, funny, intelligent (despite how I act on this site), and very attentive. That talking thing? Chicks dig it. Oh, and don't forget about my kickass finger horns.

Buck Nasty -- Hm. Sadly, my biggest vice at that time was Larry Bird: A Basketball Legend. And chocolate chip cookies of course.

NarSARsist -- See above.

AnacondaHL -- Whew. I'm glad you (and everybody else it seems) was able to see the humor in it. I finally got sick of being kicked in the face and lashed out a little bit. Looking back, I realize I didn't do that nearly enough, and I honestly believe Aimee needed me to put her in her place from time to time. Live and learn.

Ah, I'll look forward to your spreadsheet. Just so you (and everybody else) know(s), I really am going to try to knock out part 14 before I board the plane tomorrow.

dustin -- Uh oh. Sorry. It's almost impossible to escape. At best, I give you 50/50 odds. Your best bet is to become an uncaring hardass who only occasionally shows glimpses of human emotion. You'll pay for it later if you give her everything you have for free.

chris -- I second that. Remember: she's 5'1". As another short friend of mine used to say: "This little baby packs dynamite.

marty -- I'll stretch this out as long as I can. We might get through a healthy chunk of August. I'm also going to try and throw some more Worsties out there before it's all said and done.

As for returning to "normal," I plan to make some formatting changes going into next season. Nothing major, just some tweaking, but Worst of the Night will probably become an every-other-day thing.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Clyde -- A gentleman never tells. By the way, ever listened to Meat Loaf's "Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad"? That is all.

Eric -- Re: Mat's reaction. I really wish I could get across how funny-sounding and booming his laugh was.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I was stuck in “Nice Guy” jail during my first year at your University. During my second year I figured it out and the rest is history.

Young readers - take bawlfuls lessons to heart.

Blogger chris said...
Bawful: I think in the fall, alternating between your epic storytelling and Actual Commentary on the Association would be sweet. But do what you gotta do.

And crap, I think this part of the story is the one that has hit home for me so far... :P Not that my situation was an exact facsimile of yours, but certain aspects of it just make me want to facepalm...form yself.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
chris -- We all facepalm sometimes. Some of us, like, ahem, yours truly, have done it more often than some.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
By the way, can anybody tell by my comment frequency that this is my last day in the Italian office?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
You need to write a book. Seriously. This is some good shit. I know I will pay to read it.

Anonymous aaron said...
In the intro you said that your 'narrative has struck a chord with a lot of people.' How much has your site viewership increased with the introduction of Livin' Large?

Also, it's really cathartic for me to read your account of breaking free from the friend zone in your freshman year of college, since I went through roughly the same thing, at the same time, myself. I wasn't stuck in two different friend zones, though. That seems infinitely more difficult. You're probably lucky it all ended with some sarcastic phone calls and not a trip to the school belltower with a high-powered rifle -- which is probably how it would have gone for me.

Blogger chris said...
Bawful: You know, some day about 10 years from now, I can't wait to hear your extended tome on your current job. LOL.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
It's like you're actually working in Europe now!

Blogger chris said...
BTW, I kinda disagree with your idea that you should have been bold towards Aimee, leading to better things for you and her respectively:

Well, yeah, that IS true, but come on, some sacrifices just had to be made in the name of entertaining blogging!

Blogger chris said...
AHL: If Matholomew is AT&T, we all need to make a collect call to his 18-year old self to provide him some much needed wisdom. Well, except for this episode where it seems like he generated it all his own...somehow.

Does this make Big Mat, uhm, 10-10-321 in your eyes? Or MagicJack?

Blogger Unknown said...
Bawful - Mwahahaha, the finger horns. I knew it! Stop pretending like the rest of the stuff had anything to do with it.

It's rather funny that you simultaneously ignored one Big Mat advice ("Guys and girls can be a lot of t'ings, but dey cannot be friends") while employing another piece of his advice ("You need to tell dat ho what's up").

AnacondaHL - Let me know if you need any help. Anything for a little extra content.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Damn it. That was really weird. It posted my name instead of my s/n. So yeah, it's me that offered to help, AnacondaHL. Don't get freaked out that you suddenly have some random helpful stalker.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
chris: ??? I can't really tell if you understood my analogy (albeit, geeky and obscure analogy) or not, but Apple originally approached Verizon as the network for the iPhone, but Verizon declined the deal because they didn't think it'd do well. Apple then went to AT&T, and we have today's result. Not the greatest business decision, eh?

Also, since I don't have Basketbawful's googleanalytics, and this blog doesn't generate enough traffic for Alexa or Google, here's a Google trends representation on the growth of Basketbawful, in terms of search keywords. Note the large spike we're currently in.

Blogger chris said...
AHL: Actually, I got your analogy, but I'm trying to figure out how to extend it. :p

But can someone explain why "gatorade conspiracy" created a traffic spike as much as Livin' Large has?!

Blogger Wild Yams said...
I wish I'd commented earlier, so I could have nipped this "Nice Guy Zone" nonsense in the bud. Come on people, the commonly accepted term is "The Friend Zone". For any guys who are in it, I'm sorry, you're there to stay. Don't listen to Bawful when he says you might have at best a 50/50 shot of escaping it, cause the odds are nowhere near that good (check into ladder theory for this). The only way to escape The Friend Zone is if something catastrophic happens to the girl and you happen to have incredible luck in being in the right place at the right time. If you're in The Friend Zone with some girl you really like, what you should do at this point is tell her you can't be her friend anymore because you want to have sex with her, and then just not talk to her anymore. It won't get you laid, but at least you'll stop teasing yourself.

I think that Mat is not 100% right that men and women can not be friends. Usually that's true, but in my experience it actually can work, but only after you've had sex with each other and decided neither one was really that interested in it after all and that you'd honestly just be better as friends. In most cases though, Mat was right.

I think RunBoilerRun brings up something interesting about how men can be the same way. I think honestly men and women aren't much different when it comes to a lot of this stuff (dating and whatnot); but men end up bitching about women because (if they're straight anyway) that's all they have experience dating, and vice versa for straight women with men. Nobody finds insecurity attractive, that is absolutely universal, and men and women can both be equally flaky and indecisive. Anybody can be an asshole, regardless of their gender.

Mr. Bawful - Someone above asked about whether your site traffic has increased due to this series, but I'm really more curious about if there's been anything else developing as a result of this. Is this getting picked up anywhere else? Are you getting any kind of tentative offers of any kind to develop this in some way? If you haven't yet and you keep this up, IMO it's just a matter of time before you do.

Regarding next season's WOTNs, having helped write a few I think it's definitely due for some changes. Unfortunately the format of them is great, but it's just too difficult to keep doing them day after day like that. You probably need to have more people step up and help contribute to them if they're going to continue as they have been, cause it's just way too much work for you to do by yourself. IMO after reading these Living Large entries, your talents are being wasted by just grinding out Worst Ofs day after day. I think ideally other people could write the WOTNs with you editing them to sprinkle in your knowledge and humor, so that it would give you more time to do stuff like these types of entries. That's my $.02 :)

Blogger Japes said...
Wow, this was one the best installments yet! This reminds me of a very similar experience in freshman year when I finally started figuring women out.

I eventually figured out that you gotta act like you don't care about a woman (even though you really do) and sort of like a mini-jerk to get her to like you. And for me, the reaction was literally instant.

I was "dating" this girl and by dating I mean we went out on several dates and she never really committed to me (sound familiar?). I would always walk her to her classes, etc.

One day I got fed up with the whole thing, I told her I don't want to keep bending my schedule so I can walk her and that this is probably the last time I'll walk her to any of her classes. She immediately changed her tone and started walking me for the rest of the semester! I was like DING!!!

Anyways, I'm going to forward these stories to all my boys because I guarantee that they will all get hooked on this.

Blogger chris said...
Wild Yams: Wikipedia also has an article on being a "nice guy" so yeah.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Yams: Next you're going to reveal to us why there's no such thing as a "homie G"! =D

chris: Even recently, on very prolific forums, I saw a discussion on unintentional phallic symbols mention Gatorade, then immediately post a link to Basketbawful's writeup as proof it'd already been thought of.

chris: Point was, there's "nice guy", and there's "Friend Zone", and even the verb "friend zone'd", but it's not "Nice Guy Zone", just like it's not "homie G".

Blogger Wild Yams said...
chris - What AnacondaHL said :)

Anonymous Anonymous said...
chris - Everyone likes talking about penises or flaming those who do. Just look at the comments from that post.

AnacondaHL - Gasp! Does that mean there's no homie g doggy dogg either??? I'm mortified.

Blogger chris said...
AHL: So when are people going to hyperlink Livin' Large as an alternative to Loveline?! ;)

Blogger Gary said...
I am thinking somewhere around installment 18-20 we need a cliffhanger that ends with.."you can read the rest in my book..."

you've gut us hooked, now just reel us in and make some cash doing it.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Regarding the spike in viewership: As AnacondaHL showed, this is Basketbawful's biggest spike since the Gatorade conspiracy (more on that in a moment). I jumped onto Google analytics, but every time I generate my report the graphic breaks. I just get the official brooken graphic symbol. This might be because I'm in Italy. I'm not quite Internet savvy to understand why, but several sites/services I regularly use haven't been working for me in Italy. I'll be able to get the correct numbers this weekend once I'm home and recovered. (Although BadDave will be in Chicago, so my recovery will be shortlived indeed...)

As for the Gatorade conspiracy, it went wild for a couple months. It even got a couple mention's from ESPN's sports business analyst Darren Rovell. It remains my all-time favorite post.

Yams -- I'm sorry, but I'm not -- I repeat, NOT -- using a term that was popularized on Friends. It just ain't happening.

I do think it's possible to escape the NGZ, although it's improbable. I think the odds are very much situational.

You and RunBoilerRun are correct in that both men and women deal with similar angst and confusion, although I think on a primal level men and women have different instinctual drives...which is part of the reason it's so damn hard to synch up.

I have gotten a few inquiries, which I will be looking into further when I'm back stateside.

Regarding next year's format, I have some preliminary thoughts, but BadDave wants to run a reader survey, so I'm going to keep quiet for now.

Japes -- I hear you man. I'll go ahead and provide a spoiler since it happens outside of this story. At one point in our confusing friendship, Susan told me, "I'll be a lot more attracted to you if you can be a little less into me. Pretend if you have to."

It seemed weird at the time, but I get it now.

Blogger Victor said...
Oh man the things teenage girls say are just so damn funny. Now all Bawful has to do is get Aimee to date him out of spite for Cindy. Brilliant!

I've always thought the gay guy and nice guy were very similar, except the gay guy doesn't actually want the girl so he has a much better chance than the nice guy.

"The nice guy believes in his heart of misguided hearts that dogged determination and just plain old being there for her will eventually make the girl fall madly in love with him."

Oh man this is great because I think so many posters on here can sympathize with that during our teenage years. Men put great value into loyalty, so young guys think women value it just the same. Unfortunately, women are emotionally driven so loyalty's not on the top of their priority list. They need excitement in their lives and that's why they go for "assholes." I'm generalizing of course, but you get the point.

Being the nice guy is kind of like being Lisa Simpson. Nobody's favorite character. Not exciting. Not particularely interesting. But absolutely crucial, because she brings stability to the show.

And on the topic of differences between men and women, I've always found it funny how guys can be too direct and guys often criticize women of being too vague. How many times have you guys complimented a girl and she thought you were just saying it "to be nice?" It reminds me of chick flicks where Girl A will "compliment" Girl B's outfit or something, but only to talk shit about it later. Similarly, it greatly amuses me when a girl says something like "I kept hinting! It was so obvious!"

I'd say 9 times out of 10, problems between guys and girls are from failures in communication between the two sexes.

Blogger Benjamin said...
Bawful, I'm really excited to see you top this, because this one was absolutely brilliant. You're growing up right before our eyes!

"Matt, I've been doing a lot of thinking," she said, and men of the world should beware when a woman starts a new conversation thread by telling you she's been thinking a lot. "Sometimes you don't know what you have until it's gone."

My only question is, did you really say this?
"I know what you mean. That's always the first thing I think when I realize I don't have any more clean underwear."
It's just so brilliant... and perfect... and ballsy... bravo, sir.

Blogger Victor said...
Holy cow big spike in activity from the Philippines.

My favorite Basketbawful moments were definitely flu-like symptoms and Karl Malone's Greatest Hits.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Okay, Evil Ted and I are off for our last night in Pisa. AnacondaHL, chris, Yams, feel free to pubish comments. Just save the one that I've been leaving at the bottom of the queue.

Blogger chris said...
Victor: Pinoy power FTW. Yeah. Sweet.

The Phillippines has its random Phillipine Basketball Association that I've vaguely seen on the not-so-live-from-satellite impoted newsclips from there...It seems like an Asian take on the typical European basketball league.

Say, if your roomie ever decides to leave the world of MMA...he could probably find a job out there in the isles as a big man. Right?

Blogger chris said...
Bawful: Re: your spoiler to Japes - that's part of "Fifth Year," if I'm looking at this correctly...

It seems like you were taken aback by the size of YOUR flow chart, in retrospect - as if this storytelling process has made you realize how much in demand you really were after all. LOL.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
"The Friend Zone" was on the TV show Friends? I don't think I ever watched even one episode of that show (not too unusual for me as I generally don't watch TV shows in general). That term is referenced everywhere though, it's part of the cultural lexicon and now there's no stopping it :)

Since Mr. Bawful made a book recommendation a while back (I just received both Chad Kultgen books, btw), a book I read a few years ago which I thought had a lot of interesting insights into how similar and how different men and women can be, especially in regards to dating, is "Self Made Man" by Norah Vincent. If any of that fascinates you, give it a look.

The "I'll be a lot more attracted to you if you can be a little less into me" thing is really funny, but it's great advice for anyone out there. You're actually lucky she even bothered to tell you that, as most people will just get turned off when that happens. The best relationships are ones that are balanced. Any time one party is more invested than the other, it's probably gonna have issues.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
chris - That's quite the good idea. Maybe he'll carry the momentum from his Alumni game over there. While we're at it, why not try the other CBA (Chinese Basketball Association). As a Chinese person, it pains to see and say this, but if guys like Dontae Jones can drop 40 regularly, surely Big Mat can find some action there?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I'll admit, I only started checking this site regularly because of Livin Large. Before that, I only read the articles that Truehoop linked to. This story is awesome!

The friend zone really sucks. I'm still learning to be more bold. But I'm ready.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

AWESOME! Blowing those iron bars of the friend zone right off the rails.

Keep up the GREAT blog.

Blogger Shiv said...
While I agree with you on most points of the Nice-Guy Theory and spent a significant amount of time in college formulating a Why-Women (and sometimes other people)-Date-Douchebags Theory, which incidentally shares some common elements with your Abusive-Husband-Buying-Flowers Theory, I would like to point out that sometimes being the nice guy actually does work. Maybe not so much in the US though.

Anonymous Nick said...
I've got a good feeling about how this is going to turn out. You played it perfectly by letting Aimee know that you won't put up w/ her BS all the time.

I guarantee this isn't the last we've seen of her. Nicely done...

Anonymous pHLo said...
haha yeah, i think this is the most interesting episode so far, it really drew a lot of excitement while reading it

like some other people already said, u finally seemed to find your balls again xD

keep it up, good series, i been reading through it all but this is my first comment

i hope u had a good time in europe (u'll leave italy tomorrow, right?)
greetings from germany

Blogger Caleb Smith said...
"I eventually figured out that you gotta act like you don't care about a woman (even though you really do) and sort of like a mini-jerk to get her to like you."

Ugh... so many guys says this, but its never been the case with me. I think too many men confuse "not caring" and "being a jerk" with self confidence. In all my succesful experiences with women I've simply acted like myself, but made sure to not be overly nervous or insecure.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
So did you ever date in High School?? And did you ever have any interest for Aimee? and if you didn't, was it cause she was black? (sry, i'm curious) And how well did Mat play in High School? did he ever tell you his stats and stuff?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
i've been trolling for a while now but this latest installment was too great - just had to leave a comment of appreciation.

have you ever considered migrating your blog to wordpress?

Anonymous Badgers said...
Have you changed the names of these girls at all?

Have any of them run across Livin Large yet?

Blogger Steve Lee said...
This has got to be my favorite entry ever. Throughout High school/college I had the Nice guy Disease. I just thought if I was nice enough that these women would see the good in me and the bad in those dirtbags they were dating.

Newsflash: Nice guys = BORING ASS nice guys.

Blogger chuck_wagon said...
This is actual footage of Little Matt after the Aimee conversation.

Skip to the 1:50 mark.

Blogger Zephid said...
"men of the world should beware when a woman starts a new conversation thread by telling you she's been thinking a lot."

Truer words have never been written.

Been really enjoying the story, look forward to the rest.

cheers from FB&G,

Anonymous Anonymous said...
that was bawesome!!

you my friend, are no longer a mangina :)


Anonymous Anonymous said...
Dandruff - I think you mean Latrisse, not Aimee. As for Mat's stats before, I believe Bawful wrote in one of the first parts that he just glossed over the topic and just always claimed to "not remember", which bawful found to be quite curious.

Blogger Japes said...
"The "I'll be a lot more attracted to you if you can be a little less into me" thing is really funny, but it's great advice for anyone out there. You're actually lucky she even bothered to tell you that, as most people will just get turned off when that happens."

This is so true. NO ONE TOLD ME SHIT! I had to find that out the hard way.

Now I can't wait to get to the point of the story where Susan says this.

Blogger Japes said...
"Ugh... so many guys says this, but its never been the case with me. I think too many men confuse "not caring" and "being a jerk" with self confidence. In all my succesful experiences with women I've simply acted like myself, but made sure to not be overly nervous or insecure."

So many guys say it because from our experience, it's true.
Actually that's why I said mini-jerk. Let's put it this way, when you're young and really into a girl, it's very hard to "be yourself". So you have to suppress your natural urge to show her as much as attention as you want. Thus, you act like a mini-jerk and ignore her a bit by pretending you just don't care that much. For me, this has ALWAYS worked. Of course, once the girl REALLY likes you already then you can turn the jerk switch off.

Anonymous iamlardy said...
you, my friend, are a god.

"Hell," I said, "maybe Cindy wants to give things a try."

manipulative, yet not so much.

and the nice guy role actually had a strong run the last couple of years. Now, not so much. and for me, it's more painful than watching lakers lose a 3-1 lead to phx.

hot damn. waiting for the next installment.

Blogger Micah said...
Finally decided to comment, as this reminds me (shocking, I know) of some of my own high school experience. I definitely did the 'friend zone' thing (though spending most of HS alternating between crushes on two of the most popular girls in school did not help).

Bizarrely enough, what ended up breaking me out of it was going to visit my cousin at college senior year - I ended up making out with some random girl for a couple of hours, after which I decided "oh, that wasn't so hard." I'm with Caleb, though - I never really found that I needed to be a jerk, just to be myself and actually be confident enough to say something. Shortly after this, I ended up dating the friend I'd had a crush on for a while - it IS possible.

Anyway, I've been reading this blog on and off for a while (I'm a pretty serious Celtics fan and love basketball in general) but this whole series has kicked it up a notch. Fantastic work, and I'll definitely be following more regularly for the rest of this summer and into the upcoming season.

Blogger Lord Kerrance said...
You mentioned you're still in contact with Aimee's dad. Is the the one who kept schooling you in 1-on-1?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
? If you were asleep when Jennifer came in and didn't wake up how did you know she came in? Read your story every morning during breakfast

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Best advice given to me (at the age of 21) by my older cousin, who's 13 years older than me, is married and she has three kids:

"Girls your age, they don't really know what they want."

This is why you have to switch on/off the "interest". Hell, it works on guys too, think about it: what's more attractive, some girl that's far too clingy or a girl who can give you space from time to time.

Blogger ChiliCon said...
xkcd touched on the friend zone to relationship thing. Your spiel at the beginning made me think of it:

Blogger Wild Yams said...
IMO you don't need to be a jerk or an asshole to have success with women (in fact if your idea of success is a relationship and such, then it's a decidedly bad idea). You just have to be confident, and oftentimes confidence can edge over into cockiness or even pure outright assholishness. I think many "nice guys" who hear this stuff about how being a jerk will get you laid don't really understand that part, and just think that if they direct the anger they have at a woman who's rejecting them into being mean to her that suddenly she'll swoon for him. That my friends will almost never work (unless a girl is really, really damaged).

If you want to have success, you need to learn to just be comfortable with yourself in the presence of anyone. Don't be afraid to voice your thoughts and opinions, especially if those thoughts are "I like this girl". In the long run it's much tougher to let a girl know that after you've really gotten to know her or have developed a friendship, because at that point rejection really does carry the downside of ending a friendship or creating a really awkward situation. It's better to let a girl know up front in a self assured and unapologetic way that you think she's attractive and you'd like to pursue something with her. Do not be creepy about it, and do not go even go into how cool you think she is, how you see a future there or any of that nonsense. And do not chase her. If you tell her you think she's hot and she acts disinterested or worse, uncomfortable, then just remove yourself in an amiable way that doesn't show you sense rejection or are butt hurt about the whole thing or anything like that. Above all be confident in yourself, even if she has just rejected you. Walk the line between letting her know that you want her, not that you need her.

I can't think of a better example of what I'm talking about than this scene from Vicky Christina Barcelona. If any of this stuff confuses you, study that scene and take inspiration from it :)

Blogger Japes said...
"This is why you have to switch on/off the "interest". Hell, it works on guys too, think about it: what's more attractive, some girl that's far too clingy or a girl who can give you space from time to time."

The one with bigger boobs.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
As a fellow graduate of this same university, I am completely enjoying this story. My freshman year must have been just 2 years after yours. Mat was still on the team for a year or 2 while I was there. I'm a huge college basketball fan, but didn't follow this particular team too closely before my freshman year. It's funny hearing about all these expectations that people had of Mat. By the time I got to campus, he was just the huge guy at the end of the bench who never played.

Do you still follow the team? If not, you need to stop with the NBA bs and get back into real basketball!!

Seriously though, keep up the good work. This story is great!

Blogger Japes said...
"IMO you don't need to be a jerk or an asshole to have success with women (in fact if your idea of success is a relationship and such, then it's a decidedly bad idea). You just have to be confident, and oftentimes confidence can edge over into cockiness or even pure outright assholishness. I think many "nice guys" who hear this stuff about how being a jerk will get you laid don't really understand that part, and just think that if they direct the anger they have at a woman who's rejecting them into being mean to her that suddenly she'll swoon for him. That my friends will almost never work (unless a girl is really, really damaged)."

Pretty much sums up exactly what I was trying to say. That's what I mean when I say mini-jerk. Thanks Yams.

Anonymous bizarro said...
whooaaa. now you stroke a chord. I had almost the exact same s*it happening to me. Dated a girl for 4 years, but it was always on and off, with the same ol' story "I'm not sure I want to be in a relationship. See I love our friendship, why blew it?" Except that we blew it a couple of times and at some point it didn't make any sense. We talked marriage, kids and all that stuff but eventually she left the country for a year but in the meantime started dating another guy...Ouch. That was the last straw. I downright ignored her when she came back and met my future wife. Guess who came back in tears, begging for a second, i mean a 10th or 11th chance? You got that right. i tell you what. Girls are pretty mean, lost things sometimes. And they can make your life a leaving hell. Unless you're 7-1 and you don't give a damn.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
bizarro: I like to think that girl #1 in your story is the young life of the "Old Lady who lived in a shoe" nursury rhyme.

Seemingly off topic: Did you all hear that someone taped Erin Andrews nude in her hotel room? It's all over Deadspin and blogs and stuff, but the amount of Internet White Knighting this generated is hilarious. Hey, maybe if I write about how this was a disaster and be the nice guy for Erin Andrews, on the Internet, I think I'll have a chance with her now! My favorite is:

the Rumors and Rants blog, which notes that the video is "creepy beyond belief," but then says that Andrews "looks incredible. She looks better than any of us could have ever hoped. She has absolutely zero flaws. So while I hope they catch this creep, Erin Andrews has nothing to be ashamed of."

Blogger Nick Flynt said...
How did our comment section turn into dating advice? It's making me uncomfortable about myself. Please stop before I pursue litigation.

Blogger Steve Lee said...
btw bawful

WHen are you going to get a twitter? The rest of the twittering world needs to know your story.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
AnacondaHL: Sure did hear about that. Be careful though, as they say a lot of sites with the video that carries a virus with it. From your previous comments you're obviously fairly tech savvy, but just a heads up anyway.

That Rumors and Rants entry is pretty funny. Reading that "I hope they catch this creep" statement just makes me think of the South Park episode "Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy".
Kyle: "Aren't you going to do anything?!! She taking advantage of a little boy!!"
Police Officer: "Yes, yes, you're right. We need to find this little boy right away, and give him a Luckiest Boy in America medal!"

Blogger Caleb Smith said...
Sorry if I misinterpreted you Japes... I do get what you are saying.

I just so often hear that sort of thing from bitter guys who use it in a misogynistic sort of way. I also just sort of have a distate for any sort of "game playing" when it comes to man/women relationships, thus my immediate reaction - "ugh." But I see that's not what you were getting at.

Anonymous Ben said...
As a writer at a student paper in you conference, I'm interested in when you started working at the paper in your college. Did you ever have to deal with the head coach who was so mad at you for "losing" Mat's messages?

Anonymous Ryon!! said...
Up to this point, I compared you to the passive-aggressive wimp I was freshman year. But there is no way I could have ever found the guts to do talk to girls like that! Good Going!

oh and btw, I am one of those new readers who have become addicted to your blog with Livin' Large. Thanks for entertaining me at work, and feel free to stretch the series out as long as possible!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I smell a tv series in the making!

Blogger Tony Christopher said...
Holy shit, Bawful! This is the best one yet. Award winning shit. As a quick and totally tangential aside, I was wondering how you came to be a Celtics fan with all those tapes considering you grew up in Indiana?

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful's on a transatlantic flight right now, but I'm guessing a kid growing up in Indiana in the 80's became a Celtics fan for one reason: Larry Joe Bird.

Blogger entranscend said...
This is some wicked stuff. I feel like I'm reading Harry Potter and waiting for the next book to come out. It's just as interesting and a hell of a lot more relatable.

You are one hell of a story teller! (:

Blogger Japes said...
Nah, it's all good Caleb. Was just trying to make myself clearer.

Actually the jerk switch is for the female's benefit because you're not really a jerk, you're just acting like one to get into her pants...

Wait I mean to get her to fall in love with you, that's it....

Seriously though, better you than a real jerk who will in fact treat her like dirt, just like Big Mat.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
NarSARSsist: When I get home, I assure you I'm going to do everything short of putting a condom on my CAT-5 cable before looking for that video.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Be careful about turning off the jerk switch. I turned it off once I got comfortable with someone after a year or so of dating then ended up getting screwed. It has to come back once in awhile.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
AnacondaHL - And then you're going to add a safe version with your updated flow chart right? Errr...I mean, it's, you know, to make us feel what Little Matt was feeling watching all those girls go in and out of Big Mat's life...Yeah, that's it, it's purely to add to Livin' Large.

Good luck with that video. I'm sure if those guys with Rumors and Rants can dodge the crap that comes with it, you can too. I look forward to review that comes with it.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Dear lord, you can't make this shit up. The Clippers curse continues, as Blake Griffin goes out with a shoulder injury. Just, wow.

Blogger Nick Flynt said...
Yeah, he suffered a minor injury that has happened to plenty of athletes. As long as his knees are good, I'm good. Fuck all y'all Clipper haters/realists.

Blogger Trev said...
Dear lord, you can't make this shit up. The Clippers curse continues, as Blake Griffin goes out with a shoulder injury. Just, wow.

In other news Blake Griffin's ACL's rejoice being spared for at least another 3 to 4 weeks.

Anonymous Nero said...
Wow when this series living large started, I didnt think i'd be reading it all, haha but between drawing, painting and tattooing, i've made it a point to keep up to date on the story of your freshman years. Im sure youve realized it by now but youve captivated an aduience i dont think you had intended on paying attention, I normally visit this site for NBA news and being a laker fan i enjoy the sarcasm laid out on here daily during the season, thanks for keeping the off season interesting sir.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Looks like photos of Mr. Bawful's famous NBA tapes collection are beginning to leak out on the internet.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I bet his shoulder wasn't even strained. The Clippers probably just said, "WHAT? You want Blake to play with Team USA? Dude, we can't even keep guys healthy for the regular season, hell no are we doubling on with more risk. Oh, he really should go? Well uh...he's injured... yeah... strained one of his multiple groins... errr i mean shoulder...string..."

Anonymous Anonymous said...
remember that dunk on lebron a while back that he censored? heres two views of it:

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Dude, awesome story. If you put this together and wrote a book I think people would buy it. I'm hooked.

Blogger AK Dave said...
I just got into Seattle after driving 2500 miles from Anchorage. I might need to change my name, since the "AK" is no longer really accurate...

Good god this blog has exploded.

Great great posts the last few days!!

Couple of thoughts:

- I'm glad you finally did post this stuff. Too bad you let somebody's criticism prevent you from coming out with this sooner. What else do you have stashed up your sleeve? If the massive reaction you're getting from this series doesn't make you confident in your abilities as a writer, I don't know what will.

- It's awesome to see you stand up and get some get-back in this one! I'm totally cheering for the young you!

- Yams is right- it's called "The Friend Zone". We were all stuck in the friend zone at some point. And in my experience, you CAN be friends with a woman, but as Yams says, you need to get the sex out of the way- otherwise it will be in the back of your mind and slowly destroy the friendship. Once it's been done, and especially if it was kinda whack, you can move on and truly be friends.

- Buck Nasty: dude, I am SO SORRY. I can't even laugh at the whole Griffin thing. It's not funny. It would be like laughing when you found out that your dad lost his job at the Ford factory after 30 years. Not funny. :(


Blogger Basketbawful said...
Yams -- Actually, Evil Ted and I were out celebrating our last night in Pisa. Flight's at 1 p.m. tomorrow, Pisa time. That should allow me to write the next installment, pack, get a few hours sleep and

Speaking of welcome back -- I was earlier anyway -- AK Dave returns as well. Sweet!

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Trip Report: As expected of the Chief of Internet Media Relations of Basketbawful, I have obtained and viewed the mystery video of the week involving a certain blonde sports reporter. No, I will not share it with you. No, I will not teach you how to find it. I watched it keeping in mind that it may be good enough to write a spoof film review for the site.

It is not. As expected, it's boring, and just too tasteless to be made fun of with irony. I can't even confirm/deny she has a smokin' body because the video quality is so bad and the shaky camera just gives this eerie vibe like the guy filming can't control himself right there. That said, the Internet White Knighting is still hilariously bad.

Bawful: it's 7pm EST, meaning 1am in Italy, and I see no Part 14 draft. If you got it, mind if I peek at it to make sure my ver.2 flowchart is on par?

Blogger AnacondaHL said...

Anonymous thelakersfan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Anonymous death_munky said...
just found livin large tonight and read it all the way through... including comments. laughed my arse off, especially when you locked him out in his towel.
Judging by the youtube clip of him wouldn't your alma marta have been better of shifting him over to football or some other sport if he sucked such sweaty balls at basketball?

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Not to get your hopes up, but you should probably take the Google Trends search results with a grain of salt. I'm pretty sure the reason the Phillipines is so high on the list is because Google can't tell the difference between legitimate reader and spam bot server.

Blogger The Dude Abides said...
Caleb, regarding "game playing" -- what typical nice guys believe is "nice" (paying for dinner dates, bringing her candy and/or roses) is frequently interpreted by attractive women as manipulative behavior. A "He's doing all this stuff in order to get in my pants" kind of thing.

As for being in the "friend zone," on two different occasions, I got out of the friend zone totally unconsciously when I stopped being interested in the girl romantically and subconsciously changed my behavior around her (I was soooo attentive before). Consummating the act didn't rekindle my romantic affections either time, which really bugged both of them during the two or three weeks we hooked up afterward. All it did was make myself wonder how I ever could have fallen in love with such illogical creatures.

Anonymous re your comment "Be careful about turning off the jerk switch. I turned it off once I got comfortable with someone after a year or so of dating then ended up getting screwed. It has to come back once in awhile."

Exactly, although I'm sure you don't literally mean being a jerk. It's more like treating her like your annoying little sister, and teasing her without being mean or cruel. Making her laugh often also does the trick.

Matt--Livin' Large is both hilarious and poignant. So many of us see ourselves in your freshman self, before we developed a clue.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Can you edit my email out on the post above AHL?

Thanks man

Anonymous Anonymous said...
google trends is about queries, so if spam bots are querying "basketbawful" then you have an argument - which I highly doubt is the case.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
AnacondaHL -- I haven't started the post yet. Just finished packing, so I might need to get up and do it in the morning before my flight. However, I can tell you that no new women will be introduced in the next installment.

Blogger Trey said...
Dude, thank you for writing. In all seriousness, reading your story made me realize that there are a few ladies in my life I need to tell them "This is bullshit!"

Thanks again brotha.

Anonymous EvilAsh said...
You should really right a book Mat :D

Blogger John Rebel said...
Man u rule(d). As someone around his thirties and in a totally different time, geographical, and sociological zone can tell you, some things DO NOT change.
I only wish I would have learned that way before I actually did. By the way, I've been reading your blog over the last year and a half.
This is my first comment. Your tale is... real.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The more I read this, the more I like Mat and the more I hate little Matt. Big Mat knows what's up.

Blogger Dan Jackson said...
dude - just found this site today - needless to say I didn't get any work done this afternoon but thanks for a great and wonderfully written story - looking forward to the next edition!

Blogger Unknown said...
Terrific writing you really have a talent. I know that there's a small village in Holland that's missing its idiot!

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Our bromance weekend is on, but I just want to add that the very tip of Bawful's anger, no rage, rears its head here.

-BadDave (using Bawful's account because I'm too lazy to sign off and back in.)

Anonymous Anonymous said...
This is like crack....keep it comin...