Friday, October 19, 2012


The other night, as I drove home from my manly occupation of pecking at buttons on a keyboard and moving a mouse around, I got bored with the radio station I was listening to. Most of the time I listen to a Chicago Cubs game during the commute, but since it's October, well ... never mind.

As I took a trip around the radio dial, I stopped on a station as my ears beheld a song from the past. You're probably wondering what kind of masculine, he-man type of melody would catch the fancy of a macho type of guy like myself. You're probably thinking it has to be something from the Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin. Alas, I wish it were only so.

No, the song that I turned up the volume for that day was by none other than, I can't believe I'm admitting this … Madonna. In my defense, "Material Girl" is a real toe-tapper.

Normally a guy as confident in his manhood as myself, wouldn't have been that concerned about his musical tastes that afternoon, however, a series of recent events have raised some red flags in my once virile brain. I believe that a conspiracy is afoot.

Ever since my son has moved out of the house and gone to college, there has been a slow, ongoing process by my wife and daughter to turn me into a woman. At this time, I can't really prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt, but allow me to present my evidence to you.

Exhibit A
I haven't been complaining as much as I usually do about my wife watching "Dancing With The Stars." I didn't used to know the difference between a samba and a waltz, and I didn't care. I used to put up a fight for the remote control when that show came on, but now I'm just a big old girly-man sitting in my chair just waiting to see what number that Bruno guy will hold up on his sparkly ping-pong paddle.

Exhibit B
A couple of days before the whole Madonna thing happened, I accidentally wore one of my wife's socks to work. That's right, I inadvertently cross-dressed. But it wasn't my fault! Whoever folded the socks (and I think we all know that could not have been me) combined one of my black socks with one of her black socks. I thought that there was something strange when there weren't any extra holes in the one sock.

I went through an entire day at the office with one of my Size-12 feet wearing a woman's size-whatever sock. The little heel part was wadded up in the middle of my shoe for most of the afternoon. The worst part is that I most likely have another pair exactly like it waiting for me in my sock drawer at home, and the chances that I will inadvertently cross-dress again are fairly high.

Exhibit C
My entire upstairs bathroom has been turned into a chick paradise ... from the absence of bar soap to the overabundance of hair care products like shampoos, conditioners, gels, mousses, sprays, barrettes, brushes, picks, hair dryers and curling irons. Admittedly, if you don't include my back, I don't own that much hair anymore, and what I do have can be handled rather nicely with one of those little black combs we used to get on picture day in grade school.

Exhibit D
I just used the phrase "rather nicely."

Exhibit E
I can't get enough of that "Honey Boo Boo" television show. I couldn't watch a major league playoff baseball game the other day because I was totally invested in the adventures of Honey Boo Boo and her hillbilly family. This doesn't, in and of itself, necessarily make me a woman, but combined with the other events, doesn't make me very much of a man either.

So as I sit here tapping this column out on my cute little silver keyboard, in the back of my mind, I'm thinking of finding a different occupation that will get me back in touch with my more primitive, manly characteristics. Maybe I can be a lumberjack up in the Yukon. Maybe I'll learn to be a heavy equipment operator and carve a highway out of the side of a mountain. Or maybe I'll get a 10-gallon hat, grow a big mustache, sit on a horse and watch cattle cross a stream while smoking Marlboros.

However, for the time being, with the economy the way it is, I guess I'd just better learn to live with the job that I have, so I can at least pay some of my bills. Because after all, like my home girl Madonna says, "You know that we are living in a material world. And I am a material girl."

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