The Grover blame game comes back to bite in the ass.

Sometimes a photo arouses a memory.  Just the photo, itself, alone, elicits a thought, something you’ve heard or experienced in the distant past.

This photo did that for me. It reminded me of an old joke, one of my favorites, one I’ve repeated so many times that my delivery has been perfected to an illustrious comic degree.

 

 

So the joke…I’ll throw a twist in and tell it in first person.

 

I was nervous as hell.

I had gone out with Emily on 3 dates but this was the first time I’d been to her house, and the first time I was to meet her parents. As happens when I get the jitters, my stomach begins to rumble and rebel. It’s been lifelong curse that when life calls upon my nerves of steel,  my stomach falls to gassy knots. It’s hard to feign dignity when my guts are scrunched up in imprisoned farts.

Anyways, I drove to Emily’s and as I walked up the sidewalk, my stomach began to rumble. As if on cue.  Horribly.  I thought about running back and looking for a public restroom but I was late so I continued to the door.

I knocked, uneasily, and was dismayed when a man in his 50’s answered the door.

“Ed?” he asked simply.

“Yes, I’m Ed. You must be Mr. Cromwell I replied.

He nodded and waved me inside. “Have a seat,” he told me, gesturing at a large, blue sofa that sat in front of a television set tuned to a cable news channel.

My stomach’s discomfort grew in intensity.

Gas built with unrelenting persistence. As I sat on the sofa, I saw that an old, sad looking Bloodhound mix had been laying on the floor all this time. As my explosive stomach pressure built, I strategically sat where my feet rested near the old dog.

Mr. Cromwell sat in a recliner on the opposite side of the throw rug.

I could hear the faint rumbles of my stomach as I nervously idled by.  We sat in uncomfortable silence. Mr. Cromwell smiled at me and comforted, “Emily should be down soon.”

I smiled weakly. My stomach was killing me and all I could think about was this gas that would not leave me, and in fact, only grew in intensity. It consumed my existence.

Finally, unable to hold it, I release a plume of noxious fart.  It came out much louder than I anticipated.

Mr Cromwell looked at the dog, “Grover!”

Aha. He thought it was the dog. Relieved, I carefully released another little tortured biscuit.

“Grover!” Mr. Cromwell barked.

Somewhat grateful that I could now deflect my anxious flatulence on Grover, I released a third sputter of machine gun air biscuits. The sound was tremendous but I could not help it!  At least Emily’s dad thought it was the dog.

“Grover, I”m warning you!” Mr. Cromwell yelled. “Get out of there before he shits all over you!”

 

The emasculating chore of being a Shopping Wingman.

Commiserate/empathize/sympathize…

For a language/grammar dweeb such as I, that I’ve been all my life, I’m keen to the semantic difference. And in this case, I assuredly inform the reader: it’s empathy! An extreme form of empathy, to be sure. Like a combination of empathy and commiseration;  I like to make up words.  Maybe something like empathiserate.

That’s it, dang it.

I feel pure, unadulterated empathiseration for some of these fellas.

 

 

 

Their misfortune?

Why, they “willingly” went shopping with their wife/girlfriend/sigother, and as us dudes can attest, the exercise of shopping, to the female mind, is not one of results or effect.  Women shop with the ostensible aim of emotional saturation and immersion.  For men, shopping is reduced to a constructive, efficient activity only;  shopping holds little joy for us.

Not so for women.

They receive an enigmatic brand of stimulation from browsing through racks upon racks upon shelves of merchandise with nary a productive expectation in mind that follows the male zero-sum model of entering and exiting a brick & mortar merchandise outlet.

 

 

The male mind expects an equal and counteracting result to exertion; something comes from something. So it follows with shopping.

If I walk into a store, I expect that, 1) I will search for something I need and have in mind to augment an aspect of my life that is wanting at the moment, and 2) I will analyze the store’s choices, considering price, features, aesthetics, and 3) thus informed and educated, will make a final decision and extract said item from its fastening, place it in my bag, wherein I, 4) will proceed to the register to pay for the items and exit the store ASAP.  An efficient, minimalist visit to an establishment whose role it is to sell to me, the buyer.

 

 

But shopping, for the female, is an unfathomable magical draw, as mysterious to men as their sense of orgasm.  For women, it goes something like:

1) She will look at a store item, analyze, consider, deliberate, consider the infinite possibilities that the purchase of said item might have on her, her acquaintances, strangers and the general fate of mankind, then 2) not convinced of the results of her boundless consideration, will hesitantly, even resentfully, hang the item over her arm in case something else evokes her visual field for an approach and its possible rise in her purchasing pecking order, and she 4) will proceed to the register where she will pay and tediously file away the receipt, for it is a given that, 5) she will decide the purchase is not quite what she envisioned or emotionally sustained and, 6) she will return the item to the store for an exchange.

That said, when we are lassoed into acting as Shopping Wingmen by that special woman in our life, it is possible to maintain some dignity, even masculinity; it is difficult when you are dragged into the most onerous, repulsive, boring activity in the world which you allow only because you want to maintain the peace (or because you actually possess some selfless flexibility), but men must not  necessarily degenerate into effeminate saps or children when faced with such a predicament.

You, kind sir, can still maintain some self-respect and dignity in the face of such dehumanizing torture. Be a man!

 

**archive**

“Sarah, if the American people ever find out what we have done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us.” Lament of the elites embodied, soon to be buried.

If social media was even half as prevalent in the 1980’s as it is now, it would be interesting to see how Iran/Contra might have played out.  Iran/Contra was one of the final bouts of old economy politico-elitist shenanigans we were shielded from enduring.

I’ve always felt this George H.W. Bush’s digestive spectacle in Japan (to kick off the final lame duck year of his Presidency) was a sparkling metaphor, a symbolic upheaval of all the repressed opportunistic and back-room corrupt gorging that could no longer find solace in his distended belly.

In the spirit of honesty and accountability, I can’t come down too hard on the guy.

He was the embodiment of “absolute power corrupts absolutely” which is a curse that follows all our political leaders.

A recursive affliction that those who seek such an office are prone too.

Rest In Puke, dude.