Disclaimer: I do not own South Park, and I make no profit from this work.
Boys Will Be Boys
Boys, Wendy Testaburger decided disdainfully, should be the subject of an extensive university dissertation. With psychological evaluations, neurological studies, and MRI scans. Because boys just made no sense.
She had made a life's hobby out of watching boys (however you wished to take that) and had not once come within a thousand miles of discovering the key to their wild, erratic, and illogical behaviour.
This morning had been a fine example. She usually caught a lift with Kyle to school these days (while she was reluctant to associate too much with the likes of Eric Cartman or, on a bad week, Stanley Marsh, Kyle was the only other remotely intelligent person in the entire state. She had to talk to someone. And anyway, he was a good challenge at chess.) and, upon getting out of the car again, had distinctly heard the phrase "Jewmobile" uttered in the vicinity.
Cartman and Kyle were perfect examples of the nonsensical behaviour of boys. Wendy was fairly certain that Cartman hadn't actually uttered Kyle's name since the eighth grade, and she wasn't sure Kyle had ever called him Eric. Nowadays, even Cartman was rare. 'Fucktard' was more common, or nothing at all within hearing range of Kyle's Mom.
That in itself wasn't confusing in the slightest. Wendy could think of several girls she would choose different addresses for than their given names. It wasn't even confusing that they didn't seem to like each other - again, Wendy could cite a thousand examples of why they were quite right to hate each other.
No, it was the fact that, despite the name-calling, physical fights (and you'd think Cartman would learn that Kyle had earned that aikido black belt in ninth grade for a good reason) and pranks to get each other in trouble, Cartman and Kyle seemed to be (dare she say it) friends.
When push came to shove (and it had to be one hell of a shove) they would actually look out for each other.
They acknowledged each other's birthdays, they moved in largely similar social circles, Kyle had leant Cartman money knowing he'd never get it back, and when Kyle's beloved Great Aunt Aggie had died last year, Cartman had actually showed a tiny, tiny bit of sympathy.
Heading into the building that morning, Cartman had paused imperiously on the stairs to yell, "Move your faggy ass, Jew!" over his shoulder like a strange lord giving orders. And though Kyle had rolled his eyes and muttered something obscene and distinctly unflattering under his breath, he had quickened his pace.
What the hell kind of friendship was that? They practically abused each other, and didn't seem to care!
But Cartman was a weird kid anyway. Wendy suspected severe psychological problems. No, weirder than Cartman was the friendship between Stan and Kyle.
When they were kids, it had made a lot of sense. They'd shared similar interests (poking Kenny's corpse with a stick), a similar sense of humour (though what was funny about those Canadian 'comedians' was beyond Wendy) and a similar survival instinct (kick Cartman in the balls before he kicks you). Up until high school, there hadn't been anything weird about them.
But since? No, since was stupid.
They had deviated wildly, and should have grown apart. Wendy and Bebe, once in each other's pockets, hadn't spoken in three and a half years. Bebe was hanging out with the cheerleaders, smoking pot, and alternating between shagging one of the guys on the track team and shagging Kenny. Whatever brain cells she'd had were being murdered by pot, tobacco, and alcohol.
Wendy wasn't into that. She wanted college and a career, wanted equality for women, wanted to change the world for the better. She didn't indulge in recreational drugs - that was just stupid. Bebe was stupid for doing it.
And so they had parted ways.
By rights, Stan and Kyle should have done the same thing. Stan was on the football team, went to Raisins at least once a week, held and attended house parties that ended up with the cops being called out, and went through random girlfriends like other boys got through cheeseburgers. He was a nice guy - always had been, even Wendy had to admit it - but he wasn't bright, and he was the male equivalent of a social butterfly.
Kyle spent his time hacking computers for the hell of it, reading scientific journals to piss off his mother (she wanted him to be a lawyer, like his father) and running a slightly illegal gambling circuit in the geek underground of the state, betting on the outcome of chess tournaments.
Yet Wendy knew for a fact that they were still best friends. It just wasn't possible. What did they talk about?
But how many times had Wendy arrived at Kyle's car after school to find the pair of them sitting on the hood and plotting revenge on Cartman? How many times had she gone to parties in the younger years of high school, only to catch sight of the pair of them thieving knickers from the host's sister's bedroom? Why, when Stan and a few of his football buddies had taken a road trip last summer, hadn't she been surprised to learn that Kyle was going too?
That's how close they'd stuck. That Stan's football buddies knew Kyle, and got on with him. What other chess gambler could say he was on first-name terms with the captain of the football team?
It made less sense than the Cartman-and-Kyle hate-but-not thing.
"You just can't talk about anything anymore!" she'd said to Kyle, the one time she'd brought it up.
He'd looked at her funny then, and said: "What would we want to talk about?"
Wendy based all her friendships on talking. She couldn't fathom a friendship where you didn't talk.
"What do you do, then?"
Kyle had shrugged. "I dunno. Watch baseball. Piss off the fatass. Do shit. Y'know. Stuff."
In the middle of the last spring semester at high school - ever, and there was a scary thought - Kyle and Kenny had gotten into a fight in the middle of the main corridor between the laughable Maths department, and the nearly-nonexistent English department. A full-blown, fists flying and blood splattering the tiles type fight. In the end, the janitor had turned a bloody hose on them, but they'd kept going until they were gasping puddles of testosterone in the middle of the hall, and half the school was cheering them on.
"Don't you fucking say that to my little sister ever again," Kenny had thickly, through a broken nose and split lip.
"Whatever," Kyle had returned, and probed his jaw gingerly. "I think I lost a tooth."
"Two teeth," Kyle had amended.
"Good," Kenny had said. "You broke my fucking nose."
"Good," Kyle had agreed.
They had helped each other up off the floor, and bitched in unison when the principal came screaming along the hallway, foaming at the mouth about discipline and tempers and hormonal responses and just not good enough. By lunchtime, they had been sitting at the same bench and watching the tenth graders with their scarily short skirts again, like the objectifying little chauvinists that Wendy maintained they were.
And it didn't make sense.
When Wendy thought about it, none of Kyle's friendships made sense. And he wasn't typically masculine. He didn't really care about sport, and he didn't have a string of girlfriends. He did have a dirty sense of humour, but high school had taught Wendy that there were girls with far filthier ways of thinking than boys.
So if none of Kyle's friendships made sense, what hope did other boys have?
Yes, she thought, listening with half an ear to Kyle blithely ignoring Cartman's anti-Semitism, and Kenny whispering to Stan that they'd laced Cartman's drink with laxatives that should be kicking in in five, four, three, two... - yes, boys and their interpersonal relationships needed some serious, serious study.