Ask Jonah: Rompers, bedtime stories, sauna rooms, and Jonah’s fun fact of the day

Where can you turn when life throws a wrench into your plans? Who will lend an ear, reserve all judgement, and simply listen when you’re in need of answers to life’s toughest questions? Your mom, dad, or dearest childhood friend? No. You ask Jonah (with the neck tattoos). Have questions? Send them to opinion@gateway.ualberta.ca. 


When do I become a man?

I chuckled aloud when I read this question as I had recently come across an article whose author claimed manhood is what you make it, and for him that meant wearing a male romper. A romper is basically a pair of coveralls with the arms missing and the legs cut in half. However, I’m not in favor of bastardizing a pair of coveralls to try out the romper-equals-manhood thesis. But I like the idea that manhood (womanhood, brotherhood, sisterhood, or neighbourhood) is what you make it. I feel that most card-carrying existentialists would probably agree too. So you can try living a different philosophy. And if you don’t feel like doing any fancy book learning, wearing a romper might generate a good Snapchat story and your own version of manhood.

What’s a good bedtime story?

When my sister and I were small children and would visit my grandparents, Grandma would occasionally read us a bedtime story from a big yellow book called The Adventures of Curious George. And last Christmas, my aunt and uncle’s family gave me a small yellow book called Keep Curious and Carry a Banana: Wisdom from the World of Curious George. I find that reading Curious George stories have always been good before bedtime. My favorite Curious George story from the big yellow book of my childhood is the one where the man in the yellow hat gives George a bicycle and George rides around town getting into all sorts of mischief. That particular story, which was read to me as a child, might speak to why I spent a decade of my adult life riding a motorcycle around and getting into my own version of mischief.

 Steam or sauna?

I actually didn’t know the difference between a steam and sauna room until the fitness centre in the Van Vliet Complex closed for renovations in May and for a few weeks I went to the Saville Sports Centre to work out. The change room in Van Vliet has a sauna room and the Gold Locker Room at Saville has a steam room, and I have used both amenities. The sauna room is dry and is heated with an electric element while the steam room has plumbing that spews hot vapour into the space. I favour the sauna over the steam room because when I leave the sauna I’m not wrinkly from the water. But you’ll likely encounter social weirdness in either hot space you choose to use after a workout. It was my second or third time using the steam room at Saville and I stepped into the space to discover a dude in the nude doing some stretching. And back during the Fall term, I stepped into the sauna at Van Vliet and encountered a dude in the nude reading The Gateway magazine — actually that dude was me. Although I can’t speak to the health or fitness benefits of a steam or sauna after a workout, I do know that, regardless of the room you choose to use, you’ll come out hot and slimy.

What’s your fun fact of the day?

All of my responses are gluten free.


Who is Jonah?

He’s 29 (but he’ll tell you he’s 30), and he left a career as a ticketed automotive service technician to study English and Philosophy at the U of A. Just like you, Jonah doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up, and has never held a steady relationship for more than a year. But he does own his own house, rides motorcycles, and is 4-0 as an amateur boxer. So, if you need advice from a guy who claims to have “seen Fight Club close to 50 times,” and has a tattoo of Curious George holding a banana, all you have to do is ask Jonah.