A Semi-Saintly Thanksgiving.

I was sitting in my big, comfortable, black leather poppa chair in my living room just now, thinking about Thanksgiving. Among other things, Thanksgiving is an anniversary for me. It was on Thanksgiving night a lot of years ago, that I started the Men Are Saints campaign on WNBC radio. I called it the M.A.S. appeal. Men are saints. The idea came from remembering a Thanksgiving watching what happened when my Lady Wonder Wench, and our daughter Kris, our Daughter in Law Brenda, and our Sister in law Beth were scurrying around preparing dinner, while the guys were…otherwise occupied. And I had an actual thought.

 I realized that men are seldom given credit for our sensitivity, our intelligence and our selfless behavior. For example, here in the Northeast, Thanksgiving is usually celebrated on a cold day. So where do we men traditionally encourage our women to spend the day? Right. In the warmest room in the house. The kitchen. While we, on the other hand, in a manly display of selfless courage, throw ourselves in front of the tv screen to protect our loved ones from the terrible effects of the cathode rays that squirt out of the picture tube. And how much credit do we men get for that traditional self sacrifice? Right. None.

And think about this: How often have you seen a relatively innocent Louie-Louie Generation man at a raunchy bar go over to a woman he has never even met, and invite her to the safety and comfort of his very own apartment to get her out of that dangerous environment? And what reward do we get? Right again. None. But we soldier on as we always have, even in the face of this shameful lack of appreciation. That’s the basis for the M.A.S. appeal.

As you can imagine, the M.A.S. appeal is frequently not well received by certain people with more evolved levels of social sensitivity, and mostly higher voices, although Big Louie, his own bad self, the chief mustard cutter of the Louie-Louie Generation has tried to explain that it’s testosterone that causes the bad reputation that so many guys enjoy, and we’re therefore not responsible for our sometimes strange thought processes, and the things that we frequently can’t help doing.

Louie says a guy’s brain swims in this sea of testosterone, which absorbs some of the shocks of a guys life to which we are all exposed…like hitting a button on a radio and getting an unexpected blast of Yanni’s music, or getting hit in the head by a baseball, or being exposed to high levels of excess verbal communication. Testosterone, you will remember, is a preservative. And a preservative stops stuff from maturing. I seem to have a lot of testosterone, which protects me from many of the harmful effects of maturing…which is probably why the Men Are Saints campaign seemed like such a good idea to me in the first place.

Dick’s Details Quiz. All answers are in the current podcast.

1-    What does Big Louie say is the second best part about the birth control pill?

2-    What’s the hardest way I can think of to start a rumor?

3-    What do American men and women do most often when they get together in leisure time?

Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.

One of the things I’m thankful for is that we lucked out on neighbors. Lots of nice folks around here. My door bell rang a while ago, and it was my next door neighbor  Randy. I call Randy, “The Fish Whisperer”… as in “here little fishy…come to pappa.” As soon as I opened the door, there was the distinct aroma that can only be acquired by a guy who has spent all day in an open boat with two other sweaty guys. He had a smile on his face that was so wide, his ears were drooping, and he was carrying two very substantial gift pieces of trout in a plastic bag. Randy likes the fishing as much as the eating. Maybe more.  I don’t think he really cares how many fish he catches. He always says it’s called fishing, not catching.

 Fortunately, Randy’s wife, Bernadette is a very understanding lady. She has no problem with Randy going off with the guys to spend a day fishing. Just as my Lady Wonder Wench doesn’t mind when I go down to the airport to fly my little plane. I usually tell her I need to fly the maneuvers the FAA requires to stay current for flying at night or in the clouds…and she gives me that wifely eye roll and smile that says…”Don’t hand me that, just go and have some fun.”  

 But when Bernadette or my Lady Wonder Wench go away…it’s a slightly different dynamic. Bernadette is going for a short trip next week. Now, Bernadette and Lady Wonder Wench are good friends. And they watch out for each other. I heard them talking the other day, and Lady W.W. was telling Bernadette that she’ll keep an eye open for women going in or out next door while Randy is home alone. They both laughed, because they both know that Randy doesn’t fool around.

 But it’s an interesting perspective. It’s almost like they were tapping into the male fantasy world. Think about it. What a fantasy. This imaginary, lust crazed Catherine Zeta Jones look alike sees Bernadette leave, and leaps on poor defenseless Randy’s bones. I hate to tell you, but even though Randy is a reasonably nice looking young guy, it almost never happens that way in real life. Actually, in real life, on the Summer sexy scale, if you will agree that my Lady Wonder Wench is a 10, and Catherine Zeta Jones is a 9, then Bernadette comes in there very comfortably with a solid 8 plus. So why aren’t Randy and I the ones who get worried when the girls are on the town? I guess either we’re too dumb, too self confident, or simply have better things to do. We’re a couple of comfortable guys.

 And I am thankful for my very comfortable, and very happy life. I’ve been lucky. Lots of people…aren’t. Like the woman in the story called, “Just Enough” from the Night Connections 2 personal audio CD. She still goes to work every day at that little airport. She knows all the guys. When they come in to refuel their planes, she always says…please be careful. Most of them give her a little hug when she says that, because they all know what happened. I’ve even seen a few tears leaking out from behind some very tough guy’s Ray Bans…when they smile and say…sure. I’ll be careful.

If you like “Just Enough”, you can just keep the current podcast. Or if you want a fresh copy, you can download it from the Night Connections 2 icon on the home page.

 I’m thankful for my very good life. Which probably proves that you don’t have to be terribly smart to have a good life. But you should be smart enough to be really thankful, and more than just on one day a year. And one of the many things that I’m thankful for is the fact that the Fish Whisperer who lives next door, is comfortable showing up late at night… fresh from a fishing trip…with a big dumb grin on his face, wearing a stinky sweatshirt and jeans…and carrying a couple of big chunks of recently wiggling fish. He’s no saint, but he’s a good guy. And between us, we have a couple of wives… who think we’re still sexy enough so that they can at least kid about having to be on constant guard against fantasy ladies who look suspiciously like a lust crazed Catherine Zeta Jones.

One Response to “A Semi-Saintly Thanksgiving.”

  1. jeff says:

    I still listen to Alice’s Restaurant Every Thanksgiving. I first heard it when you played an edited version on WBZ many moons ago. It has now become a tradition in our family.