A shepherd, or sheepherder, is a person who tends, herds, feeds, or guards herds of sheep. The word stems from an amalgam of sheep herder.
Once upon a time, there was no Twitter. There was no Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram. I’m talking about nine, maybe ten years ago. Only.
People still talked to each other, back then. On the streets, in the kombis, in the pub, even at home … we would actually look in each other’s faces and use our words. Oh, the good old days.
Of course, human contact is so fucking last-decade now, and this tech and myriad social apps have given us more than just new ways to avoid the people we love; there’s a whole new lexicon involved as well.
Besides the truly awful “bae” and “thot”, after “selfie” and “dead”, comes our word of the day – “friendzone”.
Ah, good old friendzone. It sounds almost cutesy, even fun. Like some wonderful social utopia where everybody’s cool and nobody’s a hater. Instead of what it really is – a romantic purgatory!
I was laughing with the Mouse the other day, watching The Hobbit; The Battle of the Five Armies. You know the story, right? Well, at least some version of it. The perfect friendzone setup.
Legolas (pretty elf-prince warrior) was deeply in love with Tauriel (plain low-class elf warrior), but she was crazy about a dwarf. A dwarf! So they ran around adventuring together, and he was all in love, but she was, like, all dwarf all the time.
Then she got in danger, and Legolas, being the princely warrior he is, actually rode a troll (you have to watch it, it’s ridiculous) into a building, made a bridge across a yawning chasm using this crumbling building, and ended up sticking a long knife through the skull of poor Bolg, the orc who had the temerity to attempt the murder of Legolas’s lady love. She who loved a dwarf.
Still with me? Good. Now, the typical male specimen of the Zone Rider does this kind of thing. Not killing trolls obviously, this isn’t fantasy fiction. But they do this kind of shit.
Taking the chick out, being a “best friend” and a shoulder, buying her meals, picking her up when she needs a ride, paying for drinks hoping that someday, somehow, he’ll get a little more than a chaste kiss on the cheek at the end of the night.
Now back in my youthful, carousing, rabble-rousing, hell-raising, skirt-chasing days, we didn’t have cute little names like “friendzone”.
We called these guys “Shepherd”.
We were the wolves, the girls were the sheep, and the Zone Rider was a shepherd. Our job was simple – separate the sheep from the guardian, whether that meant getting him drunk or not, and … well … eat.
It was almost a game, really. You could always spot the shepherd. He was always smiling, trying to be fun and protective at the same time. Showing interest but jealously guarding the chicks who never wanted to be guarded at all.
I almost pitied anyone in that situation, especially one particular chap who shall remain unnamed. This gentleman was deep “in his feels” for a certain young lady, and she knew it. And boy, did she milk it.
This dude was her driver, her cider-supplier, her Mereki meat machine. According to legend, she even puked in his car once, and all he did was clean it up himself. Such a nice boy.
But she didn’t care, and she seemed to engage in coitus with everyone around but him. I mean, this honey probably fucked everybody else but this guy (and if she didn’t she sure tried). That’s not a judgement of her, by the way – there’s nothing wrong with girls liking sex. In fact … never mind. Another day.
Anyway, he eventually gave up, married someone else, and this evil witch (out of pure malice, I guess) THEN offered him the cookie. That obviously made him cheat, then she made sure his wife found out (Facebook now existed, you see). I know!
But I digress.
I just find it interesting how language evolves over time. In fact, just to bring a little bit of that old school back, I’m gonna go down the pub on a Saturday night and cause shit.
Anyone I witness riding the old Friendzone Bicycle, I’ll start calling him Shepherd. Just to see what happens.
If you read in H-Metro that some drunk kid bottled me at the Scud & Nanny, you’ll know why.
“He died of being an asshole”.
In conclusion, it’s time the young men of Zimbabwe rose up and freed themselves from the chains of Friendzoning.
Kid, if she hasn’t given you the nookie by now, she never will. Stop taking that girl out and buying drinks for her friends.
Stop going to the movies with her, so she gets to watch flicks then ditch you to go out with an asshole later that same night.
Stop being such a nice guy – you’re gaining nothing from it.
That girl is not your friend, she’s just using you to get free stuff and at best, as a standby penis.
You, young man, are much better than just some pretty girl’s standby penis. Go and find some other girl who’ll treat you like a man, instead of a puppy with a driver’s licence.
Is your name Shepherd? No? Then stop being one, boy.
Find your balls.