Monday, June 20, 2011

Time for me to man up

This week I decided to do something that goes against every instinct I have – that’s right I decided to do something manly.

Manliness for some reason is not my forte. Things like quirkiness, silliness, and giddy with girlish glee come to me as easily pants come off a nudist (the manliest of all fetish groups), but things that men do simply do not inspire me in any way.

There is a retarded saying that gets thrown around a lot ‘boys will be boys’. Thanks genius. It is a completely pointless saying that adds absolutely nothing to society, and it is one of the few sentences that if you swap the word ‘boy’ with anything else - still works. Consider these examples:

- Boxes will be boxes
- Salmonella will be salmonella
- Genocide will be genocide

All remain as useless, and as innocent and lovely as the saying ‘boys will be boys’ yet that’s the one that stuck. Try replacing boy in these sentences with random words that I will in no way pick specifically to support my point:

Boy bands suck. Replace ‘boy’ with ‘great’ and you get:

Great Bands suck.

No they don’t, they’re great.

By the way former boy bander Lance Bass wants to start a boy band reality show, he was quoted as saying ‘time to get back to what I was born to do, making the world a far worse place’.

Try this one:

Catholic Priests have a reputation for molesting young boys.

Replace ‘boys’ with ‘IPads’

And you get:

Catholic Priests have a reputation for molesting young IPads.

That’s just stupid, I mean for starters the Catholic Church has been around for centuries, where as IPads are very new, and this makes both the word ‘young’ redundant, and the word ‘reputation’ historically false. Plus why would they molest an IPad? They have so many better uses (Access to facebook to stalk former ‘play things’ to make sure they haven’t spoken up yet).

Point is whoever coined the phrase ‘boys will be boys’ was an idiot. And yet he makes a good point. Because - boys often act ‘instinctually’ boy like. I wasn’t one of those; I was always far more concerned with re-coining flawed phrases than traditional young boy activities like fighting, playing with trucks or circle-jerks.

Still sometimes even I have to man up, and this week was one of those times, I had a major kitchen appliance on the frits (a word meaning ‘not working lets sulk and eat fritters’) and I had to man up and take action. That’s right, my dishwasher broke so I bought a new one and had someone else organize a plumber to come install it. ‘Goooo Dave MAN!!!’

Having a dishwasher installed is not as simple as it may seem. First I had to prepare my apartment. The dishwasher had been broken approximately a week; we are a household of three men in their adolescent twenties and thirties, with immature jobs like writer, IT programmer for the Reserve Bank of Australia, and Anesthetist. So there was no way any of us could figure out how to wash a dish in that week. But once again it was left to me to man up, I bought ‘washing dishes for dummies’ the audio book, and I did in fact figure out how to wash the dishes, which by now included every single thing in the kitchen, including plastic knives and forks, and several ripped up cereal boxes. It only took 4 hours.

Next I had to face yet more idiocy. The plumber called me at the ungodly hour of 8am! Damn you. And why did he call me then? To tell me that he’d be at my place in three hours. Basically - ‘Wake up, wake up, I need to tell you that you can have three hours more sleep if you want to’ thanks plumber. (For the record god now only operates between 11am and 7pm, the rest of the time he is playing with his IPad).

The hardest part was still to come of course. I was going to have to make conversation for an hour or two with a plumber.

‘What is a plumber exactly?’ I hear you ask. Well a plumber is someone who went to a career counselor and was asked:
‘What do you love?’
‘Other people’s toilets, especially crawling behind the urine covered floor of broken ones’ came the reply.
‘Good news, we have two options for that, heroin addict or plumber?’
‘Would I have to eat plumbs?’
‘Nope its all crawling behind the urine covered floor of broken toilets all the time’
‘Yippeee’ and a plumber was born.

I HATE making conversation with tradesmen, and not because of the toilet thing, but because these people are real men. The real reason they take this job is because when they were kids they liked to fight, play with trucks and circle-jerk, and these boys graduate from that into adults who get into fights, drive trucks and circle-jerk, I mean know how to fix things.

Talking to these people panics me for some reason. I just know I am going to be caught out.
‘Fixed anything lately?’ they’re bound to ask me.
‘Yes of course…….. I have penis, um, clearly, um so I, yeah, I fix stuff all the time, I had this wooden thing, that um, had one of those metal spiral things’
‘A screw?’
‘Yeah and I, um hammered it’
‘You hammered a screw?’
‘No no, of course not, I mean………. I’m sorry, I’m a fraud, I’m not a real man, I have never fixed anything, I can’t even fix myself a sandwich, I don’t get it, you keep broken sandwiches around? Why don’t you just buy a new one!!!!!!’

This particular plumber was pretty good. He was very quick to laugh, and he laughed with his whole face and with eyes shut in a way that would have been adorable on a girl (like me). So I set my game plan to turn everything back to a joke, even as he sometimes tried to turn the conversation to manly things. At one point he showed me how to empty out a flooded, broken dishwasher (you pour the dirty water all over my floor) and other times he would mention things about pipes, and glue and other things I know nothing about, but I got through those by being rude and pretending to not hear him, and eventually all was saved, and the dishwasher was installed. We plan to test it out only after dirtying every dish in the place and then playing a game of ‘I hope my roommate puts some of that disgusting pile in the dishwasher soon so I don’t have to’. And I was free once again to spend my time thinking mostly about non-manly stuff.

For the record here is a list of things I can comfortably discuss in more detail and with more enthusiasm than fixing things:

- Barbie dolls
- Toilet paper
- Types of microwave popcorn
- Types of tropical fish
- The symbolism inherent in every afternoon cry
- What it feels like to have a pap smear
- Interesting ways to fit the word rash into a sentence (for example I don’t say I have a pile of vomit on my carpet, I say I have a ‘rash’ of vomit on my carpet)
- Manly fetish groups

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