Young adulthood is a time for experimentation. Careers, relationships, and state altering substances are just some of the things that are fair game. Now while I preach hugs over drugs ten times out of ten, I will say that something like steroids can be helpful for the terminally ill, injury prone, or those who suffer from a lifetime’s supply of gangling awkwardness (guilty). And since all those symptoms are sometimes hard to come to grips with, here are some ways to tell your friends are juicing up. Just be careful bringing it up or you might get catch a rage induced tilt-a-whirl backbreaker.
No, I’m not talking about the stuff that you sometimes do with the girlfriend after some Red Bull Vodkas and a supposed eye bang with some random from across the bar. This “a” stands for AGGRESSION. Like that time you thought breaking a two by four with your head like Bruce Lee was a good idea only to learn that he was using trick wood. Basically, if you’re out with your friend and he pops someone in the face over a brief and short debate over something trivial, then a red flag should be raised.
Random acquaintance: Hey I went to see that musical “Wicked” last weekend. It was awesome.
Your friend: Nice. Isn’t that the one with the more mature Sesame Street characters?
Random acquaintance: No. Actually that’s called Avenue–
(Your buddy hits the random in the stomach and headbutts him to the ground)
Your buddy: (wipes the blood from his forehead and wipes it on the face of the unconscious random) Avenue what, &*%$#?
2. Weird Back Pain
Follow me on this one as it will make sense soon enough. You say what’s up to a friend of yours with a playful slap on the back. He winces and then instantaneously flips you over Daniel-san style. Just accept the fact that outrageous aggression will always be a sign. Anyway, your friend isn’t crying out in pain because of a cracked vertabrae or some wimp stuff like that. It’s because you smacked him on a popped back-ne bump. Look it up. Back-ne is a common steroid symptom that no Neutrogena will fix that. So, to sum it all up, out of the blue back pain is a pretty god indicator that your friend enjoys the effects of that syringe syrup.
3. Douchey Fashion Trending
A rapid increase in muscle mass is too easy and also too vague so I’ll look past that one. But let’s just say that with that your buddy goes from zero to Bonds in a short period of time. All of a sudden you start seeing an inordinate amount of graphic tee’s (more than three is a cause for concern) that are about two sizes too small. What if he starts asking questions like “How much does a good Ed Hardy run for, bro?” Don’t freak out about the Ed Hardy part. Freak out about the “bro” at the end, though. Little known fact: verbal ticks are an oft ignored steroid symptom and the word “bro” is the one word that comes up the most. But anyway, small tees usually mean that your friend is looking to put the artillery on display. Er go, your friend might be a juice head. And if you’re looking for visual confirmation, might I point you to the complete first season of “Jersey Shore.”
4. Random bottles of Axe and fake tanner around the house
Steroids aren’t just a look. They’re a state of mind. And while the physical changes are obvious, that’s all circumstantial. If you want to dig deeper, look no further than changes aesthetic upkeep. Has your friend bought out Costco’s entire Axe supply? Is his EBay search history coming up with a lot of inquiries into home tanning beds? So, if you notice a lot of Axe products, be on alert. And just remember, it’s the steroids talking. It’s not the person you know. It’s someone else crying for help.
5. Sudden human anatomy interest/knowledge
Is your friend talking about muscles and bones that neither one of you knew anything about a month ago? And while you might not be a regular Alfred Einstein yourself, this guy is the person who stuck tweezers in a light socket and wondered why he shorted out the power in your bio lab. Simple explanation: now that the physique is getting wicked ripped, he wants to start looking up steroid side effects. He isn’t thirsting for knowledge so much as he’s thirsting for the juice. He wants to know just how busted he’ll end up after all is said and done. If you want answers to that, after you’re done looking at Jersey Shore, I can direct you to the physical state of wrestling legend Superstar Billy Graham and the credibility of former single season home run Mark McGwire. Take your time and soak those in.
6. “Of Mice and Men” out. “Bodybuilder Monthly” in
Mind follows body, right? Or is it body follows mind? Maybe I’m the one on steroids. Anyway…wait where was I? Oh yeah. Notice a weird subscription to “Veiny Bicep” on the coffee table? Are there centerfolds of guys in fuscia Speedo’s cut out and taped all over the house? Homoerotic as it sounds, unless you see your friend kissing a guy, just assume that your friend likes what the ‘roids have done for him and the pictures are a goal for him. It’s an end result. He wants forearms the size of Popeye’s and calf muscles that would make an NFL running back question his very manhood. And that’s cool. You know, until…
7. His girlfriend says his balls have shrunk
(shuddering) The very thought of this just made the hair on my normal-sized sac stand up. You can have your suspicions. And they can either be spot on or just completely out of line. So go right to the source or, in this case, the next best thing. Unless you’re looking for a beating, you’re not going to go look at your friend’s junk. It’s bad form. But by constitutional law, his girlfriend is required to know what her man’s gonad’s look like. Look it up in the subtext of the “right to bear arms”. So if she says his balls are getting smaller, then it’s a pretty safe bet to start assuming that something is rotten in Denmark. You know, if you want to bypass the last six tell-tale signs.