Recently Archie asked me what S&M meant in Rihanna's hit song by the same name. Normally I'd be as flustered as any other parent confronted with a similar question from their six year old child, but thanks to something that happened to me 15 years ago I had an answer ready.
In 1996 I was working for an insurance company in Newark. The job wasn't anything great but it was a fun work environment: lots of young, fun-loving and weird people with plenty of idle time on their hands. One day I got on a down elevator with two co-workers. One was Sanjay (not real name), an Indian male in his late 20's who worked in IT. The other was Hercules (real name), a Greek guy who bore a strong resemblance to John Belushi until he opened his mouth. Not only was Hercules not the funniest guy around, he was pretty weird to boot. Every once in a while he'd come by my desk and ask me "should I do it? Should I do it?" No intro. Invariably I'd give him a puzzled look, get no further explanation, and reluctantly reply "go for it man, go for it." That was pretty much all I knew about Herc.
So it's Sanjay, Hercules and me on the elevator. Hercules immediately starts packing his Marlboro Lights against his arm: PACK-PACK-PACK-PACK-PACK. I never understood that move. Sanjay is in the other corner, and he cannot keep his head up. I asked him if he was okay.
"Oh I am so tired, so very tired!" he said.
Herc leveled his gaze at Sanjay. "What you need," PACK-PACK-PACK, "is a little R," PACK-PACK-PACK, "and R," he said.
Sanjay was puzzled. "Tell me," he asked, "what is R and R?"
Hercules had the voice of a late night FM radio jockey. "A little Rest," PACK-PACK-PACK, "and Relaxation." Sanjay beamed, took pleasure in Hercules' mellifluous flow.
I got involved. "You could probably also use some S&M."
Immediately Sanjay exclaimed. "Aha! Sweets and Money!"
Hercules never looked at me, only at Sanjay. "I'll explain later."
First floor. PACK-PACK-PACK.