Picture the scene

You’re at school/college/work/biweekly cult meeting. Its lunch time. You decide to approach a group of “lads” who, you overhear, are discussing something laddish. These conversations cover topics such as farming, GAA, girls or “birds” as they like to be called, drinking, whey protein powder, wrestling bears in the woods with John Cena, or other manly things in hushed muttered tones.

You approach the group. You’re wearing some sort of novelty t-shirt which sports an ironic slogan; an image of Dobby, underneath which reads the title “but first, let me take an Elfie”. You’re heavily armed with an extensive knowledge of first-generation Pokémon, Harry Potter, noughties Emo music, and the innate longing not to be alone. “Hello” you say. “Well what’s the craic”, replies one work boot clad lad, positively high on the indifference he’s feeling by your presence. “So”, you reply, “how about those sports teams huh? Pretty sporty amirite my bros? I mean, ‘dudes’ haha, definitely dudes… ya like girls?”. At this point they’ve put a cigarette out on you and walked away. Now, it should be pointed out that this is a fairly extreme example and if you converse with anyone in pseudo-American gibberish despite growing up in rural Ireland, you deserve to be shunned from the conversation.

Not Lad Enough

Even if you have some knowledge on these topics, relaying it in a sufficiently laddish way may often prove to be too slippery a task for you less laddish types. For example, a lad may say something like “Did ya see *insert name of footballer here* last night? Fuckin’ unreal, some fuckin’ man for one man hey”. Even if you like football, your ability to converse with lads will be hampered by your un-laddish conversational technique: “Err yes, I think you’re right it was a good match. Really good that player is. I like the manager he seems really nice. He’s big and cuddly”.

The problem here is a simple one. You are not “lad” enough.

How To Be A Lad

We here at Oxygen.ie know your pain and so have compiled a concise list of tips which, if you follow, will leave you feeling more macho than Danny Dyer injecting himself with a testosterone infused steroid smoothie.

  • Wear a high vis vest. Builders do this, and everyone knows they are real lads. Tough and cool. If you wear a high vis vest, people will know this about you too.
  • There should always be some sort of object in your mouth. The obvious one here is a cigarette. Whichever way you want to spin it, the fact is this: smoking is cool. And it will make you look hard. If you absolutely insist on not smoking though, then chew on a lolly pop. An increasingly popular choice for lads, both cool and hard, has been to chew on the end of a pen. If you want to be really cool, a tooth pick is a classic. Finally, for the more discerning hard lad: an e-cigarette. This is even cooler if you take up vaping despite never having even smoked before.
  • ‘Accidentally’ pull your top up while giving your torso a scratch, thus exposing those mediocre abs, or, if subtlety isn’t your forte, just skip all pretence and flash bystanders by removing your top altogether.
  • It is essential to walk around with one or both of your hands down your pants. Lots of lads do this for some reason. Please note that your hand or hands should be firmly situated down the front of your pants, highlighting the groin area, and not the back. This will not look cool or hard. If you do this correctly however, two things are certain: you look hard and women love it.
  • Speak in short grunts; the fewer words the better. One-word sentences such as ‘sound’, ‘grand’, and ‘yeah’ are your bread and butter.
  • Never blow your nose. Snort and spit.
  • Perfect the hard lad walk. Walk with your head up and mouth open. You don’t have time to close your mouth, you’re a fuckin’ lad. Also, shoulders. Its all about the shoulders. Either go full McGregor and walk with your shoulders swaying wildly like two sentient beings willing to escape from their torso prison. Or, position both shoulders as far out in front of your body as possible and fix them there for the duration of your journey.
  • A generic tattoo is a must. Think something like a tribal design. But it must be generic. Any sign of free thinking or non-conformity is gay, certainly not what a lad would do.
  • If you’re into GAA, put down other lads by slagging them for being “on the bench”.
  • Insert random swear words into sentences. This is a simple and effective strategy for cementing your “hard ladness”. Next time you go your local shop after school, try the following: I’ll have a bastardin’ Dairy Milk there Mary ya prick – note the aggression here. Aggression is also good, and it should be employed frequently. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have anything to feel aggressive about, just pretend.

Final advice: if in doubt, just keep spitting.

By James Simcox