Walk it off versus help me I’m dying here

sick in bedEarlier today I read a post by Insanitybytes22 in which she attempted to debunk the “myth” that “men get sick and turn into giant, suffering children, who think they’re dying.”

Well, I think that IB, as I refer to her, is half right. But then she’s also, by definition, half wrong. Let me explain.

As a member in good standing of the male gender, I feel compelled to point out that there is a stark difference in male behavior due to an injury versus due to an illness.

When we are injured, or injure ourselves, power tools not withstanding, we have been told since early childhood to “just walk it off.”walk it off

Be strong
Be a man.
Be stoic.
Don’t be such a pussy.
Don’t be a wimp.
Stop acting like a little girl.
Take it like a man.

And so that is what we do when we are injured. We grit our teeth, gird our loins, and deal with the pain. That’s what we “real men” do. Give me a Marlboro and a swig of Jack Black and I’ll be fine.

But when we are sick, be it the common cold, the flu, the stomach virus, whatever, we revert to being little boys seeking out our mothers to comfort and console us; to wrap us up in a blanket, to kiss our fevered brow, and to tell us everything will be fine.

The trouble is that women don’t understand this and their maternal instincts seem to kick in with equal vigor whether we’re injured or sick.

And that’s an issue for us guys. The last thing we want you to do is to mother us if we’re injured. We’re not little boys, we are MEN. We can take it. We’ll just walk it off.

That bone showing through my thigh? It’s nothing. I’ll just shove it back in place and get back to work.

That finger that just got chopped off while using the jig saw? No biggie. I still have nine others.

Just because I fell off the roof while cleaning out the gutters and am lying here on the ground not moving doesn’t mean a thing. I’m just taking a short break.

man coldBut if we catch a cold, all bets are off.

My nose is running.
My eyes are watering.
I feel achy.
Oh my God I think I have a fever.
Where’s the thermometer?
Maybe you should call the doctor.
I’m dying here.

That’s when we need you to come to our aid. Show us that you understand how miserable we are feeling and how helpless we are. Hold us, reassure us, and make us feel all better.

See, it’s very simple. A man doesn’t “turn into a giant, suffering child, who thinks he is dying” if he’s suffered an injury. So just leave him alone and let him “just walk it off.”

But if he’s got even the slightest cold, he most definitely does turn into a giant, suffering child, who thinks he is dying. So come to his aid, comfort him, and make him feel cared for and secure.

It’s no mystery.


Posted by on September 30, 2014 in Blogging, Society


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You’re toast

You're toastI knew as soon as Bill walked into my office and sat down with a heavy thud in the chair on the other side of my desk that this was not going to end well.

“Would you mind telling me what the hell you were thinking back there?” He was clearly not a happy camper.

“Whatever do you mean, Bill?” I inquired, sarcasm oozing from my tone.

“You know goddam well what I mean, Frank.” Bill’s face was red with rage. “You could have cost me this deal. Now I have to go repair the damage you’ve done if there is any hope of winning this account.”

I didn’t respond. I leaned back in my chair, put my hands behind my head, and stared back at Bill.

A formidable man, Bill stood at six feet five inches tall and weighed in at, I dunno, 250; maybe more. He was also the top grossing salesman in the company for the second straight year. He was what you call a “rainmaker.” A formidable man indeed.

“Well,” he said, breaking the brief but awkward silence. “What do you have to say for yourself?”

“Oh, you’re probably angry because I told the truth. Is that what you’re upset about?”

“Listen you little twerp,” he snapped. “You’re part of my sales team. Your job is not to tell the truth. Your job is to help me close the business.”

“Even if it means lying to the prospective client, misrepresenting our capabilities, and saying yes we can when we know the answer is no we can’t?”

I didn’t think it was possible, but his face turned even redder than it was before. “Goddam it, Frank. You know that selling is not about what you say, it’s about how you say it. You just have to learn to lie with confidence.”

I shook my head. “Bill, a lie is a lie, no matter how you say it. Let me ask you a question,” I continued. “How many happy clients do you have? How many of the clients you’ve sold will even give us a reference?”

Bill stood up slowly. He leaned his massive frame forward, put both palms on my desk, and in a truly menacing voice he said, “You’re off my team, Frank. You’re a liability. And if you’re off my team, no one else is going to want you on their team, either.” He then turned and literally stomped his way out of my office.

But right before he stepped through my office door, Bill stopped, turned around, pointed a finger at me, and said, “You’re done here, Frank. Finished. Kaput. You’re toast, man.

And I was, indeed, toast. The next day I was called to HR and given my proverbial walking papers. My services at the company were no longer needed.

Three months later, Bill, too, was given his own set of walking papers. His clients were jumping ship, complaining about over commitments during the sales process and on not being able to deliver the level of service he’d promised. Several had sued the company for breach of contract and non-compliance.

A week after Bill was let go, the head of HR gave me a call. She asked, now that Bill was gone, if I would consider returning to the firm in my former role.

I thought about it for around 30 seconds. “No,” I responded. “I think not.”

This post was written in response to the latest Writing 101 assignment: Write a post with roots in a real-world conversation. For a twist, include foreshadowing.


Posted by on September 30, 2014 in Blogging


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A very, very fine house

splitlevel1Monday’s are always busy days for me, work-wise. In fact, when I woke up this morning, I already had 28 work emails awaiting me in my inbox.

That’s mostly because a lot of people I work with are back east, while I’m on the west coast. Thus, they all had a three-hour head start on their Monday morning, which means I start out my day playing catch-up.

That said, today’s Writing 101 assignment says, “Tell us about the home you lived in when you were twelve.”

Sorry folks, but as much as I know you all are just dying to know about the home I lived in when I was 12-years-old, and as eager as I am to tell you all about it, I just don’t have the time today to do so.

So suffice it to say that our house was a very, very fine house.


Posted by on September 29, 2014 in Blogging


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Red Sox World Series ChampsBack on April 1st of this year I published a post, From first to worst. In that post I wrote:

This is an unmitigated disaster. It’s almost the end of the baseball season and my beloved Boston Red Sox are in last place.

Of course, if you know anything about baseball, you know that my post was tongue-in-cheek. After all, it wasn’t “almost the end of the baseball season.” In fact, it was the very beginning of the Major League Baseball season and the Red Sox had played just one regular season game, which they lost to the Baltimore Orioles, 2-1.

The Sox won the World Series in 2013. That put them at baseball’s pinnacle — the top of the heap. They were the best team in professional baseball last season. So I was highly confident that, despite losing their opening game of the 2014 season, they would do well this year, too.

After all, with a few notable exceptions (yeah, I’m talking about you, Jacoby Ellsbury, you traitor), it was the same team as the one that went all the way the prior year.

Oh how wrong I turned out to be. Today marks the last day of the 2014 Major League Baseball regular season. The “postseason” kicks off on Tuesday.

Sadly, the hapless 2014 Red Sox have pretty much been near or in last place during the entire 2014 season, as you can see from the chart below. (Don’t ask.)

2014 ALE Pennant Race

I guess the one prescient thing I did say in my April 1st post was this:

Ay yi yi, it’s gonna be a long, grueling season.

And that, Red Sox Nation, is exactly what it has been.

Yes, I do now live in San Francisco, and so I do sort of follow the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A’s, both of which teams have made the playoffs this year. But for the past 20 years I have lived in the heart of Red Sox Nation, and so, at least for a while, I am still a loyal Boston Red Sox fan.

Wait until next year.


Posted by on September 28, 2014 in Sports


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Food fight

Say no to pumpkinsI got a lot of grief from a lot of people when I mentioned in passing on a recent post that I love fried calf’s liver and onions. A few of you said you like (or at least don’t mind) liver and onions. But most of you said “eww,” or words to that effect.

So then today I see this Daily Prompt, which is all about “favorite food quirks.” The more exotic, the prompt suggests, the better.

I can honestly say that I’m not a picky eater. I’ll eat just about anything, from red meat to pork to chicken to pretty much any kind of fish. Even raw fish, as in sushi. And raw clams and oysters, too. And I love Maryland blue crabs, which, sadly, I can’t get here in San Francisco.

I don’t consider any of the foods I consume to be “exotic.” In fact, I don’t even consider myself to be an adventuresome eater. I won’t even try eating things like mountain oysters, sweetbreads, or brains.

Spicy superwormsMy daughter has been trying to persuade me to eat bugs, like grasshoppers and worms. Seriously.

But I have to admit that, while I like some green veggies (edamame, snow peas, snap peas, and broccoli), I don’t usually go for the green.

Nor am I a fan of veggies that are red or orange, like red and orange bell peppers. Yuck.

And speaking about orange food, just yesterday author and blogger C.S. Boyack, over at Entertaining Stories, wrote a post about his favorite time of the year — fall — and went on and on and on about pumpkins.

The last time I looked, pumpkins are orange. And they are pretty much awful tasting things, much like virtually every other orange veggie. I commented on his pumpkin-laden post and said,

I guess I’m just not a true fall devotee, since I don’t like pumpkin-anything. Not even pumpkin spice lattes. No pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, pumpkin candy or cookies, pumpkin ice cream.

Well, that comment started an exchange between the pumpkin lover and me, and that exchange went as follows:

Pumpkin porter in a box?
Pumpkin cookies with a fox?

Not pumpkin pie in a pan.
Pumpkin latte — not a fan.

Surely pumpkin vodka is your fix.
Have a snort with Stevie Nicks.

Pumpkin soup is not to my taste.
Pumpkin cake is such a waste.

Would you, could you, in the park?
Pumpkin muffins in the park,
With Elvira, of the dark?

Would I, could I, in the alley?
Pumpkin protest in the valley.

Take your protest out to sea.
Let this squash byproduct be.

Pumpkin ale, there’s nothing finer.
You could drink it with The Niners.

I will not drink a pumpkin brew,
I shall not eat your pumpkin stew.

I will not taste a pumpkin muffin,
I shall not try your pumpkin stuffin’.

Then you sir, I’ll leave in town,
With your ever faithful hound.

I shall take my pumpkin hoard,
And sell it in another ward.

I think I’ll get some Chinese food
And lose my pumpkin attitude.

It’s time to stop this pumpkin fight
And enjoy the rest of this starry night.

And I shall take back Stevie Nicks,
With her pumpkin vodka fix.

We shall go down to the park,
With Elvira in the dark.

So I say good night to you.
We shall make our pumpkin stew.
Who knows what all we will do.

For what it’s worth, I do love carving jack-o’-lanterns. There’s nothing quite like taking a sharp kitchen knife and gutting a gross-tasting pumpkin with it when it comes to working out one’s innermost aggressions.


Posted by on September 28, 2014 in Blogging


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I’m pissed

Poop bagsThis is going to be somewhat of a rant because I’m pissed.

As you know — or if you didn’t, you know now — I live in the city. I call it Urbia because it’s surrounded on three sides by Suburbia. Well, actually, it’s surrounded on three sides by water, since Urbia is located on a peninsula. But you know what I mean.

So what is it that I’m pissed about this morning? Well, I’m glad you asked.

If-Your-Dog-Poops-You-ScoopFirst, I’m pissed about dog poop. No, not about dog poop, per se. I’m pissed about dog owners who let their dogs poop on the sidewalk and don’t bother to clean it up.

When I walk my dog around the streets of Urbia, I carry around a poop bag. If my dog, in her search for just the right spot to lay down her load, does it where there’s even the remotest possibility that someone might step on it, I turn my handy-dandy poop bag inside out, reach down, and wrap her crap the biodegradable, recyclable, compostable, Earth-friendly poop bag.

It takes two seconds. Then, as my dog and I continue our little outing along Urbia’s streets, I deposit that loaded poop bag into one of the city’s numerous trash bins, which will be emptied at some later point by Urbia’s finest trash bin emptiers.

Come on, people. If your dog poops, you scoop.

Second, I’m pissed about broken glass. Why do people carelessly toss glass bottles anywhere they want? Urbia has kindly provided trash receptacles on nearly every corner on nearly every block in my section of the city.

broken glass on sidewalkIs it too much to ask that when you get done drinking that bottle of beer or that pint of Jim Beam, you take it and deposit it into one of those trash receptacles? Are you that lazy (or drunk or inconsiderate) that you have to drop the glass container on the sidewalk at the precise spot that you took your last big gulp?

I wear shoes when I’m outside. Most of my fellow human beings do too. But my dog does not, and while the pads on her paws can take a lot, a sliver of broken glass is not one of them. Stop being such an asshole.

Third — and this has nothing to do with living in Urbia or with walking my dog — I have to work today. It’s Saturday. But some idiot salesperson committed to a prospective client late on Friday afternoon that we’d have a proposal in that client’s hands first thing Monday morning.

Of course, that idiot salesperson couldn’t write that proposal if his life depended upon it. So when he said “we’d have a proposal,” he really meant that I would have a proposal. “We,” in this case, translates to “me.”

It’s another beautiful, sunny, 70 degree day in Urbia and I have to sit at my computer writing a proposal.

I’m pissed.

This post is written as part of Linda G Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. Today’s prompt: Use an ordinal number, i.e. first, second, third and so on.


Posted by on September 27, 2014 in Blogging


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Why I have declared today to be International Doobster418 Day…


Woo Hoo! Today is International Doobster418 Day. Please celebrate by having a hot dog without a bun for dinner tonight. (And don’t ask me why, ask msmonsterful.)

Originally posted on Pouring My Art Out:

By now, most of you are aware of that post we are working on here… the one that has 32,640 comments.. we are still raising that number every day and I recently sent the information into the Guinness Book Of World Records people to see if we can actually get officially recognized as ‘The most commented upon blog post not run by a celebrity or a corporation’.

Well, that post… which you can find the link to right over there at the top of the sidebar, and please, leave a comment and become a part of history… has been going on so long and gotten so big that nobody could remember who left the first comment… until a crack group of crack squirrels, researchers, and loyal minions dug all the way back through all those comments, and according to them, Doobster418 left the very first comment.

You know what that comment was?


View original 85 more words


Posted by on September 26, 2014 in Blogging

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