Cold war

Cold war: (n) a state of political hostility between countries

It happened over the summer between sixth and seventh grade.

When we returned in the fall for football practice, some of the guys in the locker room had hair on their balls. Some didn’t.

Needless to say, this developed class warfare.

Those who had been endowed with hairiness were also convinced that their “hanger” was “better hung.”

Having no follicles sprouting black shrub, the other boys were at a loss to rally much of a defense. For two weeks, it literally created a separation on our football
team…over pubes.

Supposedly not having it was hilarious to those who did.

Even though the coach sat us down and explained puberty, and that the rest of the “penile Chihuahuas” would eventually sprout some overgrowth, there was still a cold war for most of the football season, until nature took its course.

Now, you may wonder why I begin this essay talking about junior high school football. I do so because I don’t believe that we, as men, ever progress much beyond it.

Whether we’re comparing our gross national products, our armies or our missiles, there is certainly not much difference from the locker-room jabber that caused so much tension and brooding in junior high.

Maybe we should just go ahead and call it a “cock war” instead of a “cold war.” Maybe such a revelation might stir a consciousness of the futility of comparing strength and might based upon physical virility.

Is it really necessary to know how many times the world could be destroyed by nuclear weapons, or might it be intriguing to contemplate clever and inventive ways to avoid it?

If you don’t want to fight, stop comparing.

It’s that simple.

The minute you feel the need to compare what you have–especially favorably–to what others have, a chill will fill the room.

If it gets cold enough, unfortunately, somebody may want to warm it up.Donate Button



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Chump: (n) a foolish or easily deceived person.

Self deception eliminates the possibility of blaming anyone else–and the best ways to be self-deceived are to be arrogant and defensive. I have done both.

I didn’t need to, but I was so afraid that I would be left out of the complexion of the new face of an idea that I got really fussy, picky and
ultimately intolerably pushy.

I became a chump.

Truthfully, there is no way to avoid becoming a chump unless you acknowledge the parts of yourself that initiate such a transformation. If your Dr. Jekyll does not recognize the stirrings of your Mr. Hyde, you will certainly find yourself apologizing for the actions of your lower self.

I find there are three things that always bring out the worst in me:

  1. Jealousy
  2. Fear of losing my virility
  3. And failing to sit down and realize what I have before I demand more.

I become a chump.

Unfortunately, there are people across this country who know me only as a chump because I’ve never had the chance to change my image, in front of them … to champ.Donate Button



Butterfingers: (n) a clumsy person, especially one who fails to hold a catch

It was a perfect early summer day.

I was of an age when virility still oozed from my being and I was the father of children who were old enough that playing with them was fun.

We had joined with a couple of other families to go to the park. We did races, played some basketball and even tried some silly little mind twister games.

Allowing for a bit of humility, I dominated in every category. My kids were convinced that their dad had skipped the entire step of posing as Clark Kent, and had merely exposed himself as Superman.

Then someone suggested baseball.

I hate baseball. I don’t like to watch it; I don’t like to play it. I could probably go into vivid detail about how the game moves at such a snail’s pace that your muscles have time to relax, only to be alarmed once again with the arrival of activity.

So I placed myself in the position of pitching the softball. Within eight or nine throws, I was pretty proficient. I batted pretty well, too–even though I had a tendency to over-swing at the ball, grounding out. But I picked up a couple of singles and one double. It looked like I was going to survive the horror of the great American sport with my “Man of Steel” profile intact.

Then here comes kryptonite. Yes–the stuff that turns Superman into a jellyfish.

It was the last pitch of the game. One batter left. And it was made even easier, because the young lady hit the ball straight up in the air in front of the plate.

All I had to do was step forward four paces and catch it.

I heard my family cheering in the background as the ball–now in slow motion–came tumbling toward my grasp.

In that flash, self-doubt entered my mind.

Should I catch it with my hands, or should I let it come into the bread basket of my chest and cupped arms?

I chose poorly.

As the ball descended, I cupped my hands against my chest to cradle it. It hit me just below the neck and bounced to the ground as the runner from third base scored and the other team won the game.

I received no pity from my children.

They did not say, “Nice try, Dad” or “It could have happened to anyone.”

Matter of fact, on the drive home I could have sworn I heard my youngest mutter, “Butterfingers.”


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Breakfast: (n) a meal eaten in the morning, the first of the day

It is part of the “wearing a coat” syndrome.Dictionary B

When I was a younger man, I often walked out into Ohio winters in a short-sleeved shirt, portraying to those lads and lasses around me that I was so engorged with virility that my body was nearly aflame.

Every attempt by adults to get me to wear a coat was eschewed as being “weak,” comically unnecessary.

I had much the same feeling about breakfast. Although I was a fat guy, I never ate breakfast. So all my food consumption fell within an eight-hour period–from noon to eight o’clock at night. Then I would go without any consumption of treats for sixteen hours.

It made me grumpy and actually ended up causing me to overeat–because once I was unleashed at the noon hour, I was a consuming hellion.

I don’t know why I didn’t want to eat breakfast. It was just that cool kids did not sit down in the morning in front of a plate and have their mommies make them bacon and eggs. I could have eaten cereal, but that would have required a bowl and retrieving milk from the refrigerator.

It was easier to walk out of my house coatless, nearly freezing to death, on an empty stomach–to prove that I was truly a beast of the wilderness.

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Brawl: (n) a rough or noisy fight or quarrel.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to share this story–maybe because it drains a quart or two from my virility if I relate it in truthful detail.Dictionary B

But many, many years ago, I was walking the streets of the inner portions of a large city. I was with two friends, and we were “feeling our oats,” as they say–studly and strong.

In the process of our little jaunt, we were confronted by three other dudes, apparently residents of the neighborhood, who found our presence distasteful.

We probably should have cooled our heads, relaxed and been respectful of this trio of locals, but we just kept boppin’ along, trying to ignore them.

They didn’t want to be ignored.

So a series of insults were flung back and forth–some questioning our relationship with our mothers, others suggesting that these adversaries perhaps wore pink tennis shoes.

Long story short, it was squaring off to a fight.

We were about to have a brawl with people we did not know simply because nobody was willing to back down.

That’s what a brawl is–an unplanned fight that occurs because conversation is implausible–and violence suddenly and unexplainably seems logical.

Right before we were ready to mix it up (and by the way, I do not know what that would entail, since none of us had ever been in a fight before) I suddenly got cold feet, tingly balls, scared bowels and a chill going down my spine.

I didn’t want to scuffle.

I didn’t want to be a coward.

So I raised my hand and said, “Stop. I’m sorry. I can’t do this. I have a heart condition.”

I do not know why I did this or why I chose to claim a debilitating disorder. But for some reason it diffused the situation, and the three guys looked at me like they were eyeballing their grandpa.

They gave me permission to walk away.

And shortly after I eased by them and tiptoed down the street, the remaining five decided they had lost interest in the fight, exchanged one last round of macho bullcrap, and the two groups went their separate ways.

My friends thanked me for being so inventive in avoiding the skirmish.

I learned that night that brawls are to be avoided at all costs, even if you temporarily have to feign geriatric.

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Bald (adj): having a scalp wholly or partly lacking hair.Dictionary B

I am bald.

People often contradict this statement, telling me that I still have some hair on the sidelines of my playing field, but the landing strip has been completely cleared.

The top of my head is free of hairy situations.

I fought it for a long time–because it starts pretty early. Matter of fact, if you are destined to be bald, you may notice it in your teen years, when finishing a shower and combing out your hair.

Too much of it is ending up on your brush.

Also, there is the frightening revelation, through the well-placed mirror, of having to admit that the back forty of the scalp has started failing to yield crops.

So I intelligently took my early twenties to grow long hair, nearly to my shoulders, to celebrate this brief juncture of time when my virility could be expressed by the efforts of my follicles.

It was great fun.

Matter of fact, I continued to sport this bushiness until the dissipation of northern foliage on my dome began to make me look like Benjamin Franklin. After a while, it just gets silly.

Now I realize that the best way to handle baldness is to be bald. I even understand why some guys who are suffering under the condition just go ahead and shave their heads.

Because it is true in life that we gain wisdom by picking our fights. And honestly, demanding your hair to remain or placing fake hair in its stead is just not victorious.

Yes… most guys get a “Dear John Letter” from their lovely locks.


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Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Align: (v) 1. place or arrange in a straight line. 2. to give support to a person or cause

The technician was frustrated.

He could not for the life of him get my 1957 beat-up Chevy to align its wheels so that they were balanced and equal.

I had brought the car in for the process because it was bumpy and the tires were wearing out very quickly. Unfortunately, the uneven treat wear was on the inside of the tire, where I couldn’t see it so I always thought my tires looked like they had tread–right before they blew out.

But try as he might, he could not get the tires to align.

I’m sure he was curious why my car was in such bad shape. You see, I was a teenager who had inherited this piece of junk, and treated it as if it were a WWII surplus tank instead of a more fragile mobile.

Case in point: I’d heard about an unpaved road that ran alongside a local river, which was great fun to drive on, and also park with your girlfriend. So without doing any reconnaissance whatsoever, I picked up my lady and we drove down there in the dark, found the bumpy road, and before we realized it, came face-to-face with what appeared to be about three-and-a-half feet of water, which had come over the trail due to recent heavy rains.

Well, there was no way to go backward in the dark. After all, there was no actual road.

So pulling together all the elements of my immaturity, I drove through the huge puddle, rocking and spinning, until after about ten minutes, I freed myself to the other shore, only to discover there was an embankment that went straight up a gravel hillside, to meet up with a highway above.

The climb seemed impossible. Yet what was more unlikely was me calling my parents to tell them that my car was stuck on a non-road somewhere near a piece of over-run river.

So I gassed it up, climbed, and after about the fourth or fifth attempt, banging and crashing my car into the hillside, I made it to the top as my girlfriend cheered my mighty virility.

So even though the technician was baffled by his inability to get the car straightened out, it seemed completely logical to me. After a while, I just told him to do the best he could to align the wheels.

“Just try not to make it too bumpy, so I won’t kill too many tires.” He rolled his eyes but quietly went to perform the task.

Aligning things is tricky business. Especially if you’ve done your best to bust things up.



Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Affectation: (n) behavior, speech or writing that is artificial and designed to impress: e.g. the affectation of a man who measures every word for effect

Carlotti loved women with a burning passion that seared his soul with a fire of desire over the fabulous feminine flowers that paraded before him. It was a concoction of tenderness mingled with a ferocity of energy that at times made him feel as if he would be of danger to a young maiden, yet greatly relieved when only pleasure came her way.

Although he felt this bursting exuberance for all the daughters of Eve, it was Darnella, the Lovely, who was the center of his attention, and a fuel to his consuming fire.

Complicating his drive and vigorous vitality was the fact that he was a vampire, so blended with his gentle touch was the uncontrollable desire to not only smell, feel and embrace the object of his affection, but also … to taste it.

But an additional grumbling and growling deep within the confines of his inner being was the awareness that because of an inter-marriage generations back in his family, he was also a werewolf.

How could he take the fragile Darnella and possess her with the entire magnitude of his virility without endangering her with the violence of the wolf?

Carlotti was a man possessed and obsessed at the same time. Nothing could keep him away from his Darnella. He desired to absorb her–not just for now, but for all eternity.

Ladies and gentlemen: affectation.

Or better phrased, a sampling of 21st Century American Literature.