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Posts tagged ‘men’

Leftover Wars – The Final Battle

It’s Donut Monday at  at 3pm and I’m on day 5 of staring at a single piece of bacon sitting in a clear plastic container in my fridge since it arrived late last week. It looks lonely and confused. It’s a class B felony to instill willful neglect on such a tasty morsel in the Donut Monday household with a minimum 1 day ban on chores during football and the option for me to eat aforementioned tasty morsel without repercussions. I could and should eat it right now like a ravenous hungry male lion king but I know this is a trap that has been carefully placed by the only other species that dare challenge his reign – the lioness aka Mrs Donut Monday who “claimed” to be full and brought this piece of bacon home from breakfast out last Thursday in the aforementioned to-go container. Not that this action is out of the ordinary for her.  I’ve seen her first hand drop kick any hovering waiter who dares to prematurely remove a plate and cross forearm windmill block an approaching fork from anyone else at the table she shares as long as there is a reasonable amount of food for later consumption. A single piece of bacon meets that threshold it seems but there’s much more at stake here. I could now see this  to go order was clearly a throw down test of wills between man and woman and the sweet elongated strip of meat goodness  that would ultimately decide the winner, and she had bet large money on the swine.

My track record up until that moment had not been strong. Since our initial courtship I have conservatively obliterated somewhere in the range of 30 meals that the wife had staked claim to for later consumption. I suspect this phenomenon occurs in most other relationships. It’s just one of the differences in the DNA between man vs woman that surfaces during long term co-habitation/aka marriage. A woman orders a meal based on a game-plan where crafty planning can stretch a doggie bag to make 3 additional meals over 7 days. A man takes a different approach and orders a meal based on 3 part rating system

If I order a meal and finish it will it be free and I’ll get my name on a plaque on a wall next to morbidly obese past customers?

If I don’t finish the meal will other men mock me in shame and will my wife start to wonder why I can’t get the job done?

If I don’t finish the meal and deny leftovers out of false bravado how much will  I hate myself when I stake claim on the leftovers my wife will leave unattended in the fridge later that evening?

At first any self inflicted food ownership violations were met with playful banter with minimal repercussions.  But as the violations stacked up over time and she realized no leftover was truly ever safe,  pity gave way to frustration, anger and ultimately threats of sewing my mouth shut. I quickly realized the negative reaction upon confessing to my sin was a direct correlation depending on the anticipation of the illegally consumed leftover multiplied by the complexity of replacement. I call it the Highly Anticipated Nourishment Detriment Syndrome or the HANDSoff effect.

For instance eating the last 2 slices of pie from our local pizza joint only scored a manageable 4 on the “You Suck” scale as I could quickly make amends within a quick call and 20 min drive to make a pick up. On the other end of the spectrum, consuming the remainder of a shrimp burrito recently hauled back all the way from her favorite burrito joint in her college hometown 100 miles away scores a solid 9 with a ten minute sustained stare-down like a man who was just caught clubbing a baby seal.

Back to the single piece of bacon in the present moment which has been tormenting me the last 5 days. I decided early on to to fight the good fight and represent manhood full on knowing that I’m a seasoned pro that is going to own the bacon situation and not let it own him. I document my journey along the way.

Thursday Day 1 – I check to see what the expiration date on cooked bacon under the notion that the threat of food poisoning will mitigate my primal urge to consume. No data exists. Studies show no bacon has lasted longer than 30 minutes before ultimate consumption in 150 years of studies in controlled environments.

Friday Day 2 – Bacon themed nightmares begin. I bolt up out of bed that night in a cold sweat when my wife won’t stop the car to pilfer free Premium Center Cut product from a jackknifed Oscar Meyer delivery truck on the side of the road.

Saturday Day 3 – During my daily refrigerated pork surveillance, the 9 year old asks if he can eat this last piece of bacon in the fridge and for a moment I contemplate letting him just to see what happens. I imagine poison darts shooting out to cut him down mid bite or a trap door opening up beneath him and I think better of it. I let the boy live atleast till Sunday and re-evaluate my options.

Sunday Day 4 – 37 minutes. Turns out that’s how long you can stare blankly into an open fridge before you permanently screw up the cooling system.

Monday Day 5 – I gather the family in the kitchen and announce there is no Santa Claus just a moment before I eat the singular piece of bacon in one bite. I figure better to embrace the role of scoundrel and control my destiny. On the plus side it’s one level higher than that of an accused baby seal clubber.

I am a weak yet fulfilled man

Long Live The Annual Guys Getaway

Mancation….Guys Weekend Away…Boys Trip. Call it what you will just don’t forget to call me if you’re putting one of these bad boys together. Since the beginning of time when Fred and Barney would take a road trip with their fellow Water Buffalo brethren into the prehistoric minivan and head off to Rock Vegas for to blow off some steam and throw down some bets (Did someone say b.b.b.b.bet, bet bet?) men have come to love the ritual of the annual guys getaway. It’s the only reliable environment where you can take  a collection of otherwise responsible set of dudes who are generally upstanding citizens and have them voluntarily subject themselves to photo documented acts worthy of extortion. For evidence I present you with Exhibit A.

Exhibit A

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These are men in full scale annual guy trip mode. Note their temporary departure from self pride fueled partly by brotherly companionship and partly by the 19 beers consumed by the time this picture was taken…at 11am. You may think this picture is an anomaly but I’ve trained this crew to willingly put on an umbrella hat in public during perfectly sunny days at major sporting events for 10 years running. Do not underestimate the alluring power of the annual guy getaway. That and 19 beers.

I used to think that guy trips were just something you only did in your college days but when you are that young with little or no responsibility your whole life at that moment in time is practically in constant guy trip mode. Your only concern when you return from a trip at that age is whether you left the beer fridge open while you were gone and whether you will get the damage deposit back on the house boat rental (You won’t). I suspect the allure of the guys trip fades for those in retirement age as well given the abundance of down time already readily available or because there is only a 78.3% chance you’ll survive the ordeal.

It’s actually us middle age dudes that truly embrace the guys trip and get the best return on our investment. We are in the sweet spot of life where downtime is rare and you don’t pass up the chance to break out of the normal routine. Nothing makes you step up your game and temporarily loose your mind on a testosterone filled excursion knowing that when the sanctioned debauchery ends  you will pack your bags to head home to start a 48 hour diaper duty shift, face a shit ton of work to catch up on and a get a freshly updated HoneyDo list from wife who’s looking to collect on all the man point credit cards you charged this trip to to get out in the first place, with interest. But that’s not for another 3 days 7 hours and 15 minutes from now and it’s time to live large.

Like most things in life there is a hierarchical pecking order in the various preferred formats of the annual guys trip. Any quality time away with the guys is a good thing but the first annual trip is always touch and go and the casualty rate is high. The rule of thumb for a first time getaway is invite 30% beyond trip capacity knowing some never make it past the budget talks, others get D blocked from the boss on a last minute conflicting business trip and then there is the rare occasion where a poor soul gets machine gunned on his front lawn within visual range of their target getaway vehicle by the wife who was never properly briefed on the original mission. We attempt to recover the body later.

Any guy getaway that makes it to year 2 is officially considered a tradition according to worldwide man code which instantly upgrades your weapons cache for counter assaults in subsequent years by aforementioned barriers to entry. Void where prohibited. The gold standard is the annual guys trip established before you even settled down to got married and have kids. This pre-nuptual agreement term was recently upheld in a challenge in front of the Supreme Court of ManJustice. You’re grandfathered in and can play the tradition card every year with no expiration date. “Honey you know I want to be home for Christmas with the family but we’ve been doing our annual guys Halibut Be Thy Name  Alaska fishing trip since 1986 and I can’t let the guys down.  The key is don’t miss even one year or you loose all your accrued vesting and we won’t see your ass on that trip again until the kids are out of college.

Annual girl getaways, while fully endorsed and encouraged by my fellow male brethren,  don’t come together nearly as easy. Women are much more polite then men and will try to work around everyone’s schedules to find a compatible time before an entire year has gone by and they have to start over for the following year. If they do actually agree on a  time there’s talk of what to bring, what kind of clothes to pack and pre-planning some excursions. No such silliness on guy getaways. Without prior notification or planning guys just show up in front of your house the same day each year, the car filled with beer based on a 24 bottles per person per day consumption rate and poker chips. No words are exchanged. For girl getaways, themes will change every year and there’s debate and discussion about what to do to “build on the experience”. Yawn. Men invite the same other men every year, wear the same shirt, order the same beer and sit in the same chair and if someone’s in their chair they will crop-dust  the area until the perpetrator is forced to exit from lack of oxygen. Don’t mess with tradition.

One final little tidbit on the subject of guy getaways. Contrary to what you see in the movies and outside of any excursion involving Charlie Sheen, most men I’ve seen don’t completely loose our minds on these kind of trips and do stupid shit. If  someone new is initiated into the excursion and shows up with hookers and coke they are quickly excommunicated from the group and shunned from existence. The fact is we’re not out to cheat and break laws. We just want to drink beer, shun responsibility for a few days and have something to look forward to next time around, which according to my calendar is a mere 187 days away and counting!

Men Are Like Cars and I Need a Man-Up

I believe men are like cars and if that’s true then I’m a 1971 baby blue Dodge Dart with a Slant-6 engine, aka the 1971 Donut Monday Man. I’m not the fastest or the prettiest but I rarely break down and we both consume large quantities of semi flammable liquids, typically on the weekends. Also like cars, you never really know what exactly will break down once you put more than a few clicks on the highway of life. I’m 41 so in the car vernacular my odometer meter just passed the 60K mark. The warranty has long since expired but as long as you keep up the maintenance this baby has alot of good years left in him. Yet no matter what you do there are some rather quirky things that come up over time that you don’t anticipate having to deal with, whether you’re talking about a middle aged car or a middle aged man. For instance.

Cars sometimes get oil leaks.

The 1971 Donut Monday Man now experiences the occasional pee leaks. I attribute this directly to a flaw in the overall design of the 1971 Donut Monday Man related to the bladder storage tank. It was made too small. My capacity to hold pee never achieved higher than a 3 year old toddler’s output and that’s a problem after drink #3 on a hot summer day. This widely known design flaw of the 1971 Donut Monday man is well known to the point that my friends and family commonly call me “thimble”. I’m the annoying guy in the window seat on the airplane that has to get up 4 times for a 2 hour flight. Since that time I insist on seats next to the aisle in movie theaters and sporting events and even then I end up missing key plot lines and grand slams, especially if the beer if flowing that day. I break out in a sweat at the mention of a night out on a party bus. I want to buy one of those discreetly hidden urine containers you wear under your pants but my wife is worried about a possible breach while she’s sitting next to me. Frankly I don’t blame her.

Cars sometimes have computer glitches, especially newer cars made recently. Stuff like initiating your left turn blinker and the car seat warmer kicks on. Let me tell you that’s fun in July.

The 1971 Donut Monday Man’s pinkie fingers sometimes fall asleep at night when I sleep on my back. Ummmm…WTF? I know! The first time it happened I woke up in a panic and thought I was having a stroke, and a lazy one at that. Turns out that was wrong but hence forth the phenomenon is now lovingly referred to as Stroke Pinkie. How and why this only affects my pinkie fingers I don’t know but the concentrated affect must not be enough to wake me up immediately as when I do finally come to it feels like I have 2 slabs of dead baby finger meat on both hands. I imagine hours of no blood circulating to the body part I rank #24 of most important body parts I don’t want to turn black from lack of circulation and fall off my body, ranked just before my ear lobes and 4 ranking spots higher than bottom lip. I imagine a life much less fulfilling where the loss of my pinkies would mean I can no longer give a proper Shaka sign, rock out at hard metal concerts and my Vulcan Salute would forever be off balance. The only solace I could take from the tiniest of dismemberment is that my nail clipping output would instantly be reduced by 20%. My wife sees this as a strong upside so its unclear how unhappy she would be if a woke up pinkieless. Similar to thimbleitis, this strange phenomenon has also become common knowledge in my family to the extent the term is now used as a weapon in day to day teasing. “You throw a ball like you have Stroke Pinkie!”

Cars, especially those exposed to harsh Canadian winters, are susceptible to rust.

The 1971 Donut Monday Man, also exposed to harsh Canadian winters during his earlier years gets the occasional toe fungus. Let me tell you even my best power moves to put Mrs Donut Monday in the mood for frolicking (typically cash payments) can be undone in an instant if she gets a glimpse of those bad boys. I’m thinking this fungal issue may be linked to the fact that I have yet to get around to wash any of my hockey gear, skates included since sometime in the late 90’s but I can’t be absolutely sure. The doctor offered to prescribe an antibiotic but it meant I would have to give up drinking during the treatment and I couldn’t quite figure out what I’d do with the extra 2 hours every day I would not be in the bathroom peeing.

Cars batteries can sometimes go dead.

The 1971 Donut Monday Man 190 lb burger injected body is lucky to get 6 straight hours a night in the parking garage of life. How is it that the older you get the harder it is to sleep though the night? I heard it but never believed it until recently. I chalk it up to constant years of waking up due to  pee outs, night feedings, barfing, crying and the sometimes even my kids wake me up. And yet during the day I not only crave but need a power nap which I can take just about anywhere. At my desk, At the movies, virtually every Raiders game. But my favorite place now is the car. It’s not unusual for my wife to send me out for a quick grocery run and I return 2 hours later very refreshed and full of vigor sporting dry drool from a slumber fest in the SUV parked in front of the Safeway. Because of this I’m now no longer allowed to grocery shop without supervision.

Cars sometimes get flat tires.

The 1971 Donut Monday Man has yet to experience that phenomenon 🙂