The Guy Code is a set of unspoken and unwritten rules that determine the proper interaction for men in what might otherwise be an akward situation. The Guy Code is often taken humorously or with rolling eyes even by men, but the truth of the matter is that the Guy Code appears to be the result of at least
several centuries worth of evolution in social interaction between men. Though it has varied through the ages, it appears to have truly begun to take root among the more noble classes in the 12th
and 13th Centuries
, during the age of Chivalry
Of course, during this time it was the job of the male to provide for his family, and a man's worth was largely determined by his wealth and power. The nobility
, however, had an obligation as the result of this towards those he derived his power from, called noblesse oblige
. In theory, it meant that the noble, in turn, would guide, provide for, care for, and protect the lower castes who paid his taxes. In actuality, it was taken about as seriously as a mission statement
is in any large corporation; knights were rarely in shining armor, and when they were, it was usually a good time to run and hide.
However, the important thing is that the idea was so appealing it became mimicked through the lower classes, even as chivalry among the nobles became more complex through passing generations. Only nobles were generally allowed to own weapons, so while the rules of non-lethal dueling
were observed publicly by courtiers
, gentlemanly fisticuffs
were taking their own mock set of rules by the peasantry who wanted to emulate their perceived betters. In the less combative circles of gentlemen competitors, cards were played by nobles whereas the soldiery and serfs
played dice. In the more romantic circles, rules developed around the courting of ladies, and soon young men not of blue blood
saw fit to imitate this, in order to appear more sophisticated and thus, a better catch.
Then a wonderful thing happened. Several wonderful things. The first was Shakespeare
, who's comedies inspired nobles to emulate the peasants. After all, they'd seen it in theatre, why shouldn't it be as fun? As Europe gradually decreased in warfare over the centuries, countries settled into their comfort zones, making alliances rather than declarations of war, military men, with their own seperate codes of honor, returned to their homes and mixed with society. Of course these men were often heroes to the general public, and nobles and peasants alike emulated them as well. The military men, worried they might be too brusque for proper society, studied the nobles to determine how to act when re-entering social encounters.
The end result was that each group of men generally imitated every other man, in hopes of appearing to be something they were not. In the last couple of centuries, we have observed The Guy Code being practiced repeatedly in wars; sometimes both parties stopped for a game or two before resuming killing each other. Mixing between camps at night was not uncommon. When pistols came into common usage among civilians, there came to be a code of arms, and even a code of pacifism, where the wearer could wear a peace ribbon
in lieu of irons
. In theory, it meant he could not be shot, or it would be considered cold blood.
Rules grew and changed, and multiplied, and disappeared when their usefulness was through. Every country around the world has its own set of rules pertaining to The Guy Code, and sometimes it even varies from one part of a city to another. But they always keep the same three common elements in mind: fighting, games, and women.
I won't even attempt to describe what The Guy Code is in Texas
, but rather I will present three Guy Code Rules that seem to exist in every male social structure I've witnessed.
- Do not kick another man in his vitals.
- Do not be a sore loser or a sore winner.
- If her latest ex is a friend of yours, wait X days before asking her out.
There are few things worse than breaking The Guy Code; it destroys friendships, relationships, and sometimes leads to death. Those are among the less tragic consequences. Adolf Hitler
, for instance, probably has the World record for breakages of The Guy Code, or at least is very close in the running. It sounds like an amusing little quip, but had Hitler observed The Guy Code, he would have at least not opened death camps, and wouldn't have blamed others for his own shortcomings.
So in conclusion, this: No matter how frustrating it seems, The Guy Code is what prevents men from becoming little better than animals, and inspires them to become a little better than human.
God Bless The Guy Code.