I don’t do a lot of the guy things that other Southern men do. I don’t go fishing. I don’t go hunting. I’m as handy at fixing things as I am with brain surgery. I really don’t give a damn about cars. I do like big dogs. I like to drink beer. I think Sports Illustrated is the greatest magazine ever, just once a year. But there is a lot of the Guy Stuff out there I’ve walked away from in my life.
When I worked as a land surveyor the crew had this unspoken code that no one was going to wear a jacket no matter how cold it got. I worked the bush hook so I was going to stay warm for most of the day but early mornings were a bitch. We worked near a lake one day and the wind was blowing about thirty miles an hour and the temperature was close to freezing. All five of us stood out there in the cold declaring that it was one of the warmest days we’d ever seen in January.
I’m done with that. When I’m cold I’m getting a coat.
Guys would rather be run over by a train than admit they’re afraid of standing on the tracks. A friend of mine was goaded into trying to take a golf ball away from a six foot long Alligator. There were three very big problems; the first is he had sliced the ball directly into a marsh were the gator had laid her eggs. The second was he was drinking. The third and biggest handicap was there were women watching. He strode into the grass with a club to take the ball away from the dragon and he nearly got bit, lost the club, lost the ball, and fell into some knee deep mud.
I hurt myself laughing at that one. But I do not mess with wildlife anymore.
There’s a Guy Thing I can’t quite get over, that Woman Thing. I was helping someone split some wood a couple of years ago and accidentally hit my leg with a sledge hammer. The sensible response to this sort of thing is to go get X-rays or something like that, but no. I kept splitting wood and the other two guys didn’t say a damn thing about the blood seeping through my jeans. The bad thing about it was there was a woman there who I had no interest in whatsoever but even a woman like that was enough for me to endanger my health rather than admit I had been hurt in front of other guys.
And the other guys know better than to say anything at all about it because that makes it worse. A man could lose a leg to a gator on a golf course and the only thing anyone could say would be, “Let’s let the next party play through” and that would be it.
I had a bruise the next day that had more colors in it than a box of crayons and I limped for a week. The woman later told one of her friends she thought I was a moron for not going to the ER.
Only a man could take that as a compliment. It’s a Guy Thing.
Mike writes regularly at his site: The Hickory Head Hermit
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