Thursday, October 1, 2015

27 Ways to Be A Modern Man; A Warning From the Future




Damn it all to hell, I’m busy!

I’ve got things to do! I can’t be expected to keep up with everything the manginaspehere sends my way.  Much as I would love to fisk the hell out of this, I simply don't have the time.

I had to offshore this one.

So, I decided to try one of those Back to the Future Part II, delivery in the future Western Union message dealies, to be given to the writer's son when time travel becomes practical.  I included a request to annotate this article and send it back to me at this time and place.  After all, sons are distant mirrors of their fathers.  I felt it only right and proper to get his perspective on this.

And it worked great. The time capsule arrived just now. I haven’t even called Western Union yet. I have to remember to ask about lottery numbers.

Okay, let’s see what this quiche eater’s kid had to say.

Dear Cataline,

I am writing this message for two reasons. One, because it is the initializing event of a causality loop that will result in you saving my life when you heroically liberate a slave labor camp for cisgendered non-women in fifteen years.

And two, because you are just so awesome Cataline, it is truly an honor just to write to you.

(*Cataline blushes*)

I can’t help you with the lottery numbers, those records were all destroyed...

(*oh DAMN it!*)

...in the robot uprising you will lead.

(*double DAMN it*)

But don’t worry you won't need it anyway. And given what happens to the Fed in Biden's first term you wouldn't want a fortune in dollars in the first place.  Regardless, God, how I envy you.  It must be so great to be you.

Anyway, yeah my Dad’s article. Something else I am happy to say didn’t survive the robot uprising.


1. When the modern man buys shoes for his spouse, he doesn’t have to ask her sister for the size. And he knows which brands run big or small.

I’d forgotten all about Dad’s foot fetish. He literally had Mom’s footprint tattooed on his ass. Mom would cry whenever we went shoe shopping which was just about every day.

2. The modern man never lets other people know when his confidence has sunk. He acts as if everything is going swimmingly until it is.

Yeah this was basically Dad between hits of Molly. That was how he always described it.

3. The modern man is considerate. At the movie theater, he won’t munch down a mouthful of popcorn during a quiet moment. He waits for some ruckus.

Dad never went to the movies. He couldn't afford it.  He was a stringer for the New York Times in 2015. Not that it mattered. Mom would never have let him go.


4. The modern man doesn’t cut the fatty or charred bits off his fillet. Every bite of steak is a privilege, and it all goes down the hatch.

Dad never actually understood the concept of steak in any serious way. I can’t think of a more dull, tasteless and expensive cut of meat then filet mignon. It doesn’t do anything, it just earns it rep by sitting in the middle of the cow and doing nothing. No wonder Dad loved it. Sirloin actually made him cry. A lot things did that.


5. The modern man won’t blow 10 minutes of his life looking for the best parking spot. He finds a reasonable one and puts his car between the lines.

We lived in New York City. Dad never had a car in his life. Mom did. She taught me how to parallel park. That made Dad cry too.


6. Before the modern man heads off to bed, he makes sure his spouse’s phone and his kids’ electronic devices are charging for the night.

Dad was very, very OCD but in a sad hipster kind of way.  Even after Mom finally threw him out, he would still sneak in the house and do this.


7. The modern man buys only regular colas, like Coke or Dr Pepper. If you walk into his house looking for a Mountain Dew, he’ll show you the door.

And then he would walk out of it and come back five minutes later with a Mountain Dew and an apology.


8. The modern man uses the proper names for things. For example, he’ll say “helicopter,” not “chopper” like some gauche simpleton.

This was part of his weird hipster OCD thing. Everything had to be called by it’s exact Webster’s terminology or he would have a break down.  He always screamed if someone called his trilby hat a fedora.  I mean just stood there and screamed, wide eyed for fifteen minutes.

9. Having a daughter makes the modern man more of a complete person. He learns new stuff every day.

Actually it was a good thing that he never learned anything from or about Anais. When she googled her own name at five it was the start of long downhill slide.


10. The modern man makes sure the dishes on the rack have dried completely before putting them away.

Mom would yell at him otherwise.  Eventually she started breaking the plates over his head.


11. The modern man has never “pinned” a tweet, and he never will.

Bullshit! He did that all the time. Mainly women’s shoes.


12. The modern man checks the status of his Irish Spring bar before jumping in for a wash. Too small, it gets swapped out.

Again his OCD thing. It really mattered to him which way the toilet paper was hung too.


13. The modern man listens to Wu-Tang at least once a week.

*shrugs*   I listen to old Brad Paisley stuff myself. I know that on some distant plane, it makes Dad cry. *grins*


14. The modern man still jots down his grocery list on a piece of scratch paper. The market is no place for his face to be buried in the phone.

He was too terrified of his phone to carry it on him. He liked to pretend...which was sad.


15. The modern man has hardwood flooring. His children can detect his mood from the stamp of his Kenneth Cole oxfords.

It was also sad that he thought those were high quality shoes. He never got a chance to stamp his feet in a pair of John Lobbs.  Never.


16. The modern man lies on the side of the bed closer to the door. If an intruder gets in, he will try to fight him off, so that his wife has a chance to get away.

Oh shit, I was afraid this would come up. *sigh* Look, this was part of a game that my mom would play with her...friend, I guess you'd call him ...Paulo. Anyway Dad would always lose the fight and then he’d be forced to stay and...watch. No,  Mom never tried to get away.


17. Does the modern man have a melon baller? What do you think? How else would the cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew he serves be so uniformly shaped?

Yeah Dad had that going for him. I just wish to God, Paulo had never found it.


18. The modern man has thought seriously about buying a shoehorn.

I don't know why Dad dithered about this one until the end the end of his life but, yeah he did.


19. The modern man buys fresh flowers more to surprise his wife than to say he is sorry.

Surprising Mom was not a good thing toward the end. But buying Mom flowers would make Dad so happy he would cry.  Then he would cry more when Paulo would take them away from and laugh at him before he gave them to Mom himself.


20. On occasion, the modern man is the little spoon. Some nights, when he is feeling down or vulnerable, he needs an emotional and physical shield.

Paulo did NOT like having to do this for him.


21. The modern man doesn’t scold his daughter when she sneezes while eating an apple doughnut, even if the pieces fly everywhere.

Anais would never have allowed him to raise his voice to her.


22. The modern man still ambles half-naked down his driveway each morning to scoop up a crisp newspaper.

Newspaper? In 2015?! Wow, he was degenerating badly even then.


23. The modern man has all of Michael Mann’s films on Blu-ray (or whatever the highest quality thing is at the time).

He watched the The Keep every night. I mean every single night. He never watched anything else. I don't know why he even had those other movies. He would just sit there glassy eyed watching, The Keep.


24. The modern man doesn’t get hung up on his phone’s battery percentage. If it needs to run flat, so be it.

He gave that advice to everybody. No one could figure out why since they knew he was too afraid of his phone to carry it...with good reason as it turned.  


25. The modern man has no use for a gun. He doesn’t own one, and he never will.

Yeeeaaah, that turned out to be bad call on his part...for all of us.


26. The modern man cries. He cries often.

That was something he taught me and I learned my lesson well. My wife and children have never seen me cry. Not once.


27. People aren’t sure if the modern man is a good dancer or not. That is, until the D.J. plays his jam and he goes out there and puts on a clinic.

That was usually when Mom would start to cry.

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