4 feb 1999  

¿quien es mas macho?

Lizzie's husband Mike, the mechanic across the street, the guy with the garage that is the center of all guy-ness in the neighborhood, had a birthday yesterday.

First off, let me say that he and I are different kinds of fellows, for example, he would never use the word "fellows". It's just a tad on the fey side for him. His youngest son is in the local high school wrestling program, yet, for Mike, that's a smidge on the touchy-feely side, apparently firing up homo-erotic allusions to the extent that he'd just as soon pass on attending his son's matches. The inclusion of girls in the wrestling program still hasn't been enough to remove it from the realm of the glistening gladiator movie, even in the face of the suggestive body configurations he'd witness were he to attend.

But here's the deal; that's who he is. No one ever has to tell him to just be himself. He's in no danger of assuming airs. And that's one of the reasons I like the guy. What you see is what you get, and what I see is a good man.

When I first got to know Mike and Lizzie, I wondered, as one does with any couple, what it was they saw in each other. Like most couples who've been married a long time, one will gripe about the other, with a mix of truth and tease, and it reaffirms what we all know -- marriage is work. One night, a couple of years ago, in their kitchen, Lizzie was telling a story about something that happened to her at work, and she told it in her usual engaging girlish manner, animated and laughing. Mike, as he leaned against the cabinets by the sink, just gazed at his wife with a look that said he was completely in love. No stupid grin, maybe he wasn't even listening. But his eyes told the whole story. He was proud to have married this delightful woman.

But, as I mentioned, he and I are really from different tribes. While he'd be out hunting mastodons with his trusty Sears Craftsman spear and a Coors, I'd be perfectly content here by the fire sending my smoke signals and sipping a smoothie. I must warn you, however, not to conclude too much from this, or make assumptions that the women of men with spears smile any broader than the women of men who blow smoke. As Letterman says, this is an exhibition, not a competition; please, no wagering.

It's because of this difference that he's just so damned hard to shop for. Oh sure, I could get him a case of duct tape for his birthday, or a twelve-pack of beer, but hell, anybody could do that. When you like a guy as much as I like Mike, you want to get him something that says "Hey, I know you, pal. And it's only because we share this manly yet non-physical how-'bout-them-Broncos intimacy that I can offer you this token of my esteem."

For a while I thought I was going to have to get him one of them nekkid lady calendars for the garage, but then, in what may have been divine intervention, a Great Gift Idea floated into my field of vision last week while I did the grocery shopping. There, in a little yellow box, midway up the shelves in the health and beauty aisle, was the item.

Yep, real ground up pieces of bull balls, conveniently packaged in pill form, perfect for those occasions when you just can't get enough leverage on the torque wrench.

The labeling leads me to believe that these are, um, were Mexican bulls, and seeing as how the bulls and I share the same ethnicity, I can safely predict we should be hearing the first opening snorts coming from across the street just after moonrise.

note to self: pick up get well card for Lizzie.

today's music:

"Spanish Pipedream" -- John Prine -- JOHN PRINE ANTHOLOGY: GREAT DAYS


today's wisdom:

"Men like women with a past - because they hope history will repeat itself."

- Mae West