I am sitting in my big, comfortable, black leather, manly poppa chair in my living room, growing a new, thicker, and more tangled crop of chest hair, stifiling the screams of agony coming from some shocked muscles that thought they had retired several spring trainings ago, and reveling in the smell of sweat and gasoline that’s sinking up the old jeans I’m wearing.
I spent the afternoon in a Manly way. I was felling trees with my chain saw. Then I tossed huge logs into piles that stacked all the way to the roof. Well…part of the way. Then, when I was sure my Lady Wonder Wench was watching out the window, I stalked all over the property for signs of bears or other predatory wild life, which haven’t actually been seen here since the James Madison administration…but my Lady Wonder Wench was watching, so I figured I’d go stalking around with my shotgun ready…just in case. All in an afternoon’s work for a Manly Louie-Louie Generation guy.
I love revving up that chain saw. Every time I do it, I know she’s watching out the window. And when I came in after felling the trees, clearing the property, and protecting her from saber tooth squirrels, I noticed a little quiver in her voice when she said, “Oh my God are you all right?” My manly reply was of course a simple, “Of course woman”… spoken in my most resonant bass-baritone voice.
But I sometimes wonder if she’s faking it. Because my friend Charles the Lawyer called while I was out there being manly. All she told him was “I was, out in the yard.” “I was OUT IN THE YARD.” “I was OUT IN THE YARD” is like saying the guy who won the Indy 500 was out driving around. “I was out in the yard”…right…like Babe Ruth was a baseball player. Like Donald Trump has hair. I was out in the yard.
As you guys know, it is sometimes difficult for a Louie-Louie Generation guy like me to get his wife’s attention. In a good way I mean. In a manly way. I have often gotten my wife’s attention in less positive ways. Like the Saturday morning last year when she noticed my college buddy Jerry coming down our driveway, with his wife…and five kids…and I realized I hadn’t mentioned they were coming…for the weekend. I don’t know why things like that sometimes slip my mind. Or while we were in an airliner at 35,000 feet, going 500 miles per hour on our way down to Florida to watch a week of spring training a couple of years ago, and she asked me where I had put the tickets…and they were still pinned to the bulletin board in the kitchen. That got her attention. And I remember once observing to her that her friend Rose is really built. I shouldn’t have done that. And for some reason she absolutely refuses to pay any attention to me…and in fact she often runs out of the room, every time I say…”WATCH THIS.”
Dick’s Details Quiz. All answers are in the current podcast,
1- We get around 41 miles to the gallon…of what ?
2- What kind of merit badge did the older girl scouts get during WW2 ?
3- When did the Post Office make it official that babies are delivered by storks?
Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.
I’m a sexist. I like being manly. I can take my shirt off on a hot day. Nobody stops telling an off color joke when I walk into a room. I can open applesauce jars. I get to look at my Lady Wonder Wench…she’s got to look at me. As far as I’m concerned, chocolate is just another snack. I looked up manly in a thesaurus, and here’s what it says the word means: Audacious, bold, brave, confident, daring, dauntless, dignified, fearless, firm, gallant, hardy, heroic, hunk, muscular, noble, powerful, resolute, robust, self reliant, stately, strong, Stud, vigorous. Virile. Yes. I liked that. Especially that stud part. But then it added a word that blew it for me. Macho.
Macho is not manly. Macho is for wimps who are trying to impress the other guys. They’ are so afraid of the other guys…they strut, and make a lot of noise…and they don’t do the number one thing a guy is supposed to do…take care of women…and especially one woman. They’ll tell you women can take care of them selves. And that’s true. Some of these same words can apply to the best of women. Bold, brave, noble, resolute, self reliant, stately, strong…but there’s a word that macho guys always miss. It’s a word that figures prominently in that document that the manly guys in the powdered wigs and funny hats wrote in Philadelphia all those years ago…”We pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor…” Our sacred honor.
What an honor it is when a woman who can take care of herself, trusts a man enough to allow him to protect her. I guess one of the many fears that a macho guy must have is that he won’t be up to the job. He won’t be able to protect her. So he won’t try. Wimp. There’s a story about a guy who’s facing exactly that threat, in the Night Connections 2 Personal Audio CD, and in the current podcast. It’s called, “Not Again.”
I wrote that from first hand experience. It’s hard…losing your job…for the most manly of men. So much of what you think you’re worth comes from doing your job well…if you’re not careful when you get fired, you can actually lose track of yourself. Especially when there’s a woman in your life who does you the honor of letting you protect her…and you have to tell her…you lost your job. That’s tough for the woman too. You know what my Lady Wonder Wench said when I got fired at NBC radio? She said, “You will always be THE Dick Summer.” She wasn’t going to let me lose myself.
“Not Agan” is from the Night Connections 2 Personal Audio CD. If you like it, you can just keep the current podcast. Or if you want a fresh copy, download it from the Night Connections 2 icon on the home page.
I didn’t really cut down a lot of trees today. Just one…little one. And the pile of wood was really about enough for one long winter night’s fire. And my Lady Wonder Wench probably giggled about my stalking any stray saber tooth squirrels with my shotgun. But that chain saw really does get her attention. Vroom, vroom. Manly. Bold, brave, noble, resolute, self reliant, stately and strong. Manly. And actually womanly too.
So what makes the difference between manly and womanly. Testosterone, I guess. If you want to be manly, you’ve got to be a decent person, and have enough guts to trust your testosterone.
That stuff really grows the hair on your chest too.