Thursday, June 28, 2012

What can I say? Not much, I'm a guy

Great, now I have email envy.
I caught a glimpse of my wife’s Facebook page and noticed she had 15 messages waiting to be read, and that was just since yesterday.
I’m lucky if I get 15 emails in a month let alone in a matter of a few hours.
But when you think about it, it really does make sense. Not that I am a friendless dork, but it is a reflection of the genders.
The majority of my Facebook friends are of the man persuasion and men only say something if they have something worth saying.
I am not inferring that women have nothing worth saying, but they do have a lot more to say than a man does. This has been scientifically proven in some lab somewhere by some scientist type person.
Actually I believe it was a male and female team who made the discovery. Oddly enough the woman scientist’s report was much longer than her male counterparts. Go figure.
Men email like they talk: they keep it brief and only when it is necessary. Women also email like they talk: only all of the time.
OK, calm down ladies I know that is an exaggeration and you do not talk incessantly. I apologize. Really, I mean, that. Honest I do.
But it is a hard, cold fact that my wife spends much more time chatting with friends online, on the phone or in person than I do with my man buddies.
Usually when I hang out with the guys we are hunting each other with paintball guns or beating each other up in martial arts, neither of which lends itself to much talking other than, “Ouch, that hurt.”
To which the reply is usually along the lines of, “Oh, poor baby. Did the big, bad paintball hurt you?”
Those comments are followed by more obligatory remarks of a demeaning nature between the two parties and often the rest of the gang joins in so as not to miss out on the fun.
There is not a lot of sympathy when it comes to simulating war.
And unlike my wife, I could spend an entire afternoon hanging with the guys and gain very little in the way of personal information.
The Missus on the other hand, can talk to a friend she has not seen in a year and 10 minutes later know every detail of every major event of the past 12 months.
It is quite impressive actually.
When guys get together we will spend the first 10 minutes just contemplating how tasty our frosty cold beverage is before entering an in depth discussion on the important things in life – like how the Canucks are doing.
Guys also need a reason to get together: working on a car is my personal favourite because what man does not like to get greasy and use tools.
But there are many other reasons for men to get together such as sports, and um, I already mentioned cars, um, how about motorcycles, yes, we get together to help each other work on motorcycles. And sports, don’t forget sports. There are a lot of other reasons, but I don’t feel like listing all of them right now.
Anyway, my point is women can get together for no reason and spend hours chatting it up without any catalyst for discussion. I know, have seen it happen.
Men need some sort of vital subject to focus on. Hey, I don’t make the rules, I just try and live by them.
Work and how much it sucks will also do as a man topic. Women too indulge in work bashing so I guess that one is a draw.
I would ask some of my buddies what they think about all this, but my car is running fine and we have no paintball planned for the next few weeks.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Men are emotional lunkheads

“Well you should have known how I was feeling.”
OK, ladies, let’s get something straight: unless you come right out and tell us, we don’t know - ever.
Men never know how their significant other is feeling. While it may be obvious to her, it is obscure information to the creatures that are men.
Men are, for lack of a better term, emotional lunkheads.
We are not in tune with our own feelings let alone yours, so on behalf of every man on the planet I ask, no I beg of you, please just tell us what you want us to know.
If we ask, ‘Is something wrong?’ and you say ‘No’ to us that means nothing is wrong. To women it means ‘Yes, and you better figure out what it is in a hurry.’
Most men would readily accept you telling them how you are feeling. Subtle hints work about as well as a trying to surf on a screen door.
Moderate hints and even blatant hints also do not work all that well. So to save everyone a lot of hassle please just come right out and tell us.
If men had the ability to express their emotions they would. But that part of our brain tends to be dormant most of the time and waking it is quite difficult.
Ladies, if there is something you want to explain to us perhaps take a second and try to think like a man beast.
The first thing you have to do is scratch your butt. I am not sure why, but somehow that interaction is like a kick start for the male brain.
Now don’t go reading too much into that, like where the man brain is located. I don’t know why it works, but it does.
Next, when you start to explain how you are feeling dumb it down – a lot. When men think of emotions they do so in a similar manner as they think of colours.
When men think of colours red is red. Orange is orange. Pumpkin is not a colour – it is something you turn into a Jack-o-lantern. I don’t what fuchsia is, but I am told it is also a colour. Same as taupe. I have no idea what tope is, but my wife wants to paint our hallway with it.
When it comes to emotions there is happy, sad, angry (that one most men can recognize), annoyed (another one we know by heart but occasionally get confused with angry) and other basic emotions.
Please, for the sake of all mankind, do not expect us to interpret several emotions at once on our own. That has disaster written all over it. Men deal with one emotion at a time and even then it can be a bit of a challenge.
Does this mean men can be insensitive clods who just lumber their way through life and deal with emotions on the most basic level? You betcha it does.
My wife is often frustrated (another emotion the man brain can confuse with angry and annoyed by the way) at my lack of ability to express my feelings.
She even once claimed I was emotionally stunted and not in tune with my inner feelings. Right again, good job.
But it was not just me, it is almost all of mankind. Womenkind can talk about their feelings as easily as men can talk about sports, or cars or any other subject we find interesting.
Men are just not wired to communicate effectively on an emotional level and that drives many women crazy. See guys, there is an upside to the situation already.
I have tried to explain to my wife time and again how the man brain works, but only after we heard an expert speaker talk about it did she begin to believe I was not an emotional lunkhead, but just a regular guy.
Which in many cases can be the same thing and once you realize that ladies, life can be a lot easier for all of us.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Man's best friend is really quite revolting

Where would the world be without dogs?
They are man’s best friend, loyal companion and are great at cleaning up food dropped on the floor.
I never truly appreciated that last quality until I had my first kid.
Junior spent more time throwing food on the floor than he did throwing it in his mouth – much to the delight of our two hounds.
The dogs were a little put out when we first brought this squawky little thing home, but once he was old enough to eat from a high chair all was forgiven. In fact, the mutts pretty much lived under his high chair.
Problem was, once Junior got old enough to interact with the dogs he discovered that if he dropped something they would pounce on it and soon it became a game.
He would be flinging grub around the kitchen like he was in a food fight and the dogs were lovin’ every minute of it.
Dogs are also good at barking their heads off when a hoard of bad guys are at the gate and about to invade your home, or if someone walks by, or they hear something, or they think they hear something.
A vacuum and alarm system all rolled into one – who could ask for anything more.
Actually I could ask for a few less things – such as a dog’s ability and willingness to eat really disgusting things.
A friend of mine was thoroughly repulsed when he noticed his then three-month-old hound chowing down on a nice big pile of deer droppings.
He literally had to pull the beast away from the stack of mouth-watering morsels and the closer he got to the mutt, the faster the pooch would eat.
I readily admit, I have never sampled deer droppings, or any kind of droppings for that matter, so I cannot definitively say they taste terrible, but I have also never smashed my kneecap with a hammer and I am pretty sure that would hurt.
For some reason their dog finds stuff like that very appealing. He is now 15 months old and still scrums down on doo-doo every chance he gets.
I present you with reason No. 2 why I never let a dog lick me – ever.
Why is that reason No. 2, because reason No. 1 is equally as bad, but more common among our furry, four-legged friends.
Reason No. 1 is universal among canines. While not all dogs eat poop, every dog I have had has eaten their own vomit.
Why? I don’t know. If a cat hacks something up, they look around like ‘Someone better clean that up.’
If a dog yacks something up, they look around like, “Hey, hey where did that tasty morsel come from? Don’t mind if I do.”
And then they do.
Don’t blame me if you find the subject gross. I don’t make them dine on dog upchuck, I am just saying they do it.
Dead things are also a popular entrĂ©e for hounds – the deader the better.
My dog brought in half a dead mouse that the cat killed and left outside in the middle of January. Murphy the Wonder Dog thought the mouse-sicle was the greatest find ever.
He came bounding into the house with his prize clamped firmly in his jaw and I literally had to chase him down to see what it was. I finally got hold of him and he clamped down even harder.
It took a minute to figure out what it was, but as I looked closer I noticed his ‘treasure’ was staring at me with a buggy mouse eye.
I added that to the ever-growing list of why I don’t let dogs lick me – as if poop and puke were not reason enough.
Man’s best friend – absolutely - a very disgusting best friend, but a best friend nonetheless.

Monday, June 11, 2012

What the fork is going on here

Dining together has been a social mainstay since the first caveman conked a dinosaur on the head and invited his buddies to partake in the meal.
Mankind has always placed importance on eating as a group and great banquet halls have been constructed just to facilitate the act of chowing down together.
But as people grew more cultured, the simple act of sharing a meal became more complicated.
I was at a somewhat swanky establishment the other day for a work event that included a fish delicacy.
I asked why fish was chosen and was told, “Oh, just for the halibut.”
OK, you can stop groaning now, I know that is an old joke, but I just couldn’t resist.
Anyway, as I sat down at the table of the fancy pants restaurant I noticed something that caused me great distress: there were three forks.
Hmmmm, let me see. I have two hands and one mouth so why do I need three forks?
Each was a different size and I assumed each had a different purpose in life, but I had no idea what fork was to be used for what food.
They had a big, general purpose fork which I was used to seeing so I gravitated to that utensil out of familiarity. But they also had a smaller fork, and a medium fork. What the fork?
I decided the smallest one had to be used for dessert. Why? Why not?
The medium-sized one had me completely baffled, so I did what any semi-cultured man would do – I ignored it.
I also had two spoons: a large one and small one. The large one was again used for general duty eating while the smaller one was used for stirring coffee. I am not sure why the big one could not do double duty, but I had two spoons so I might as well use them.
I tried to play it cool and watch what everyone else was using before simply giving up and eating my food with whatever utensil I could grab.
I have never been one for fine dining and I felt like a cat at a dog convention. I do know enough to place my napkin on my lap as is social protocol. Again the question why begs to be asked, but that is just what you do, so, like a sheep in a fancy pants restaurant, I did what everyone else was doing. Good thing they all didn’t decide to jump off a bridge.
Fancy pants restaurants also bring the meals in pieces. Whereas non-fancy pants restaurants usually serve their meals in a paper bag.
First comes the salad, then the main course and then dessert. It’s like getting several little meals in one sitting.
But before those little meals are served, it is obligatory the establishment first serve bread that is tender and soft on the inside, but has a crust so hard it could chip a diamond. That way when you bite into the bread, the hard crust cuts your gums and showers you with little crumbs that stick to your shirt and you must spend the rest of the meal casually flicking them to the floor.
I always feel nervous when eating at a fancy pants restaurant because, as you may have guessed, I am not exactly a fancy pants guy.
I always worry that food will dribble down my chin and onto my shirt or a chunk of food will come flying out while chatting during the meal. I try to remember all the little rules and regulations my parents taught me about table manners when I was a kid, but that was a long time ago and I never really paid attention anyway.
Besides all we had back then was one fork for the entire meal, so I am still unsure about why they would place three in front of me at the fancy pants eatery.
Wait a minute. Perhaps I was supposed to use a different fork for each of the mini-meals.
Or perhaps I was supposed to…awwww, who cares?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Wigs for dogs! You have got to be kidding me

Let me start by saying I admire her creativity, inventiveness and ability to make a living doing this.
But the way she makes her living confirms the old adage, ‘There’s a sucker born every minute.’
A woman in the United States (where else could this happen) has made a rather lucrative career out of making and selling wigs.
No big deal you say. People have been doing that for centuries you say. Well, these wigs are for dogs. That’s right, she makes wigs for hounds and business is booming.
When I first heard of this venture I could not believe what I was reading, but it is a legitimate enterprise.
Her website provides pictures of what dogs look like when you plop a wig on their head. Most of them have a please-shoot-me-now look on their face.
The wigs come in various colours and styles and you can even custom order a wig to suit your hound’s sense of fashion.
There is also advice on measuring your mutt for a quality fit. After all, we can’t have Fido running around with a wig that does not fit perfectly. How silly would that look?
After looking over the website and thinking about this for a few minutes I came up with one question: Why?
Why does a dog need a wig? Do people just sit around and look for ways to waste their money?
I have seen, and written about, birthday cards for dogs, tiny doggy boots, little leather jackets for dogs and a variety of other goofy pet items, but wigs for dogs is officially at the top of the list of ridiculous animal accessories.
Many of the wigs have themes such as a bartender style (whatever that is), a Beatles style and, of course, what collection would be complete without the Elvis style.
Not a fan of the King, how about a Sonny and Cher style? Or maybe the Sarah Palin style perhaps? Or the weirdest of them all: the blonde bombshell style.
Yikes, please remember these are dogs and if you are looking at them as a blonde bomb shell perhaps some interaction with a mental-health specialist is in order.
Further investigation revealed there are actually several businesses selling wigs for dogs.
‘Why?’ can not be overstated enough.
‘There is one born every minute and two to take him in’ has never rung truer. Actually there are more than two, there are several purveyors of dog wigs out there to sucker people, I mean, to meet the demand of pet owners who simply can not stand to see their dog run around looking like a normal dog.
And fear not cat lovers, you too can waste your money on a lid for your kitty. Yup, someone is making and selling wigs for cats. There are not as many cat wig suppliers, but even one is more than enough.
The wigs come complete with a carrying case, brush and a little Styrofoam ball that you can store the wig on when the beast is not prancing around the house with it.
And like the dog wigs, the cat wigs come in a variety of colours, styles and cuts.
I don’t get it, but I must admit to holding some respect for the makers and sellers of the wigs.
I don’t know how they started their business, but if I came up with the plan, I doubt the Missus would jump on board.
“Guess what honey? I have a brilliant idea. I am going to make and sell little wigs for dogs. They will come in a variety of sizes and colours and people will put them on their dogs and take pictures. It will be awesome.”
“That’s great Sweetheart, now could you excuse me for a moment I just need to call Dr. Jones to see if your medication needs to be checked.”
But if these folk can make a living selling completely and utterly unnecessary products to suckers, er I mean pet owners, then good on them.