Metaphor As Illness: Whitlock, Train Rides And The Pursuit Of "Strange Tang"S

Since the deaths of Steve McNair and Arturo Gatti, the world has turned its misty eyes to the prose of Jason Whitlock, who has made sense of it all by analogizing crazily and discoursing on "strange tang" and "young tail."

Between his new column and his last effort, Whitlock has dropped a series of mind-meltingly elaborate metaphors for what you and I know simply as "humping." To wit:

Gardening:

Personally, I prefer June-December romances, but a blossoming May flower certainly could be fertilized into a special, 28-year-old bouquet by a patient and attentive gardener.

As for the life-experience, station-in-life disparity between a retired millionaire quarterback and a Dave & Buster's waitress, well, let he who has never Captained cast the first hoe.

Locomotion/opiates:

The athlete and the wife know it's a lie on their wedding day. He knows he's on a moving train and he can't jump off. She knows she jumped on that moving train and it never really slowed the whole time they were dating. It might've momentarily stopped, unloaded old passengers and re-boarded new ones, but she knows exactly where the train is headed and has a pretty good estimate on just how many miles are left on the trip.

The desperate hope is the marriage will survive until he retires and then the train will stop for good.

That's the biggest pipe dream going. By the time the train stops, he absolutely loves the ride. He can't sleep without the steady hum of the tracks, the rocking of the compartment, the look and the smell of the new passengers.

Addiction:

He's a full-blown addict in desperate need of his next high when they retire his jersey.

That's why he's hitting on teenagers working the drive-thru window at fast food joints. That's why he's proposing to 22-year-old strippers. He has a habit to feed.

Automobile purchase:

They say it's cheaper to keep her. The truth is, most athletes should never purchase anything. Just test drive. That way, the new car smell they love never goes away.

I honestly have no idea what any of this means, but it all apparently has something to do with the inexorable chase of what Whitlock delicately calls "Strange Tang" (which may or may not be related to getting one's "Becky on"):

Strange Tang is the No. 1 topic of conversation inside a locker room. It's not steroids, the playbook or the next opponent. It's gossip about strip clubs, girls met in soon-to-be-visited cities on Facebook and Myspace and getting drunk.

Don't get him wrong. Whitlock's not judging. This is a man who's done plenty of Captaining, you better believe, and he's not about to start casting hoes at addicts who ride trains and sniff cars. Or something.

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