Volume 2, Number 1 -- January, 1997
Well hey kids, the ol' skipster's back. Hope you are all alive and well after the holidays. Of course with the losers that read this column it wouldn't suprise me if a few of you had bought the farm, and I doubt if any of you could ever remotely be classified as well. Just kidding folks, you know that I love each and every one of you. With that mental picture before us, let's move directly to the heart of this month's adventure. It is February, gents - cold, wet, windy and miserable. Football is over, baseball hasn't started yet, hockey won't be interesting for another month or so, and Roller hockey isn't even on the Radar yet. So, what is the perfect thing cheer our weary souls? An extension of the football season? Early spring training? Perhaps the NHL on a real network? Nope, we have Valentine's day, the holiday that makes us all long for the relaxing days of Christmas. I am of two minds on this one, guys. On one hand, if you are the sort of guy that is ...well...a scumbag 364 days out of the year, this is your day to make it all better. Some flowers, a nice dinner, maybe some candy and...boom! ...all is forgiven.
If, on the other hand you are like yours truly, a true romantic in the classic sense, then this is a minefield you would do real well to avoid if possible. All year I treat my sig/oth like the queen that she is, I surprise her with flowers, I take her to dinner. Hell, I even write her poems. So what could I possibly have to worry about on this of all days, you ask? Expectations, Jack! By the time V-day rolls around, she's expecting a damn BMW with a red bow on it. Candy, flowers, dinner - hah! If that is best I can come up with on V-day, I don't see her naked for a month (before your little minds can come up with any cracks about that last line, let me assure you that my sig/oth is well worth seeing naked, not that a loser like you will ever find out about that).
Who is to blame for this fiasco, you might ask? What sort of cur would set men up to be knee-capped on a yearly basis? I know what you're thinking, and you are wrong, this time it wasn't a woman. No, the rat fink that did this deed was male. Not only that, but a male for whom I would normally hold the deepest admiration. Valentine's day was created lock, stock and barrel from the overly fertile imagination of an advertising executive. How do we sell more flowers? How do we unload all that heart-shaped candy? How in God's name are we supposed to get rid of all of these moronic edible underwear? I'll tell you how, by holding the gun of celibacy to the head of every man in America if he doesn't deliver the goods. Oh I'm sure it seemed like a good idea at the time, but CFL expansion into the United States probably seemed boffo at one time as well. The fact of the matter is, what started out as an advertising ploy to bump retail sales in February is now threatening to destroy manhood in America as we know it. I can only hope that the swine that perpetrated this evil deed has a special place in hell. I hope that he is eternally a chubby third grader, who every day for the rest of eternity has to sit and watch every other kid in the class get a V-day card. Meanwhile he sits at his too small desk and stares at his too big V-day card box. That's what I hope happened to that man.
You can see the change in the commercials. Where we once saw, "Show her you love her with flowers." We now have harried and harassed men, looking like extras from "Planet of the Apes" during the hunt scene, scrounging about 7-11's at midnight looking for those cheesy rose/panty combinations. That's right, men buying panties in a 7-11. What's next, tampons at the hardware store? Keep an eye on the ads this year, men. Watch and see how many use not-so-subtle threats of horrible punishment for the man who doesn't deliver the goods. Why last year, even Al Bundy went out shopping for the wife. I don't know what your ideas of right and wrong are, but I guarantee you that this is wrong under any belief system.
I myself have been caught in this nasty trap more than once. I recall a time that I patiently explained to my sig/oth my objections to this ugly little extortion-fest. I was subdued, I was reasonable, I pointed out all of the wonderfully romantic things I had done for her during the course of the year. She was demure, she listened politely, she even nodded in seeming agreement during portions of my little spiel. I thought to myself, "Skip old boy, you've got this one beaten." Do you know what she said to me then? " That's all well and good," she said, "But if you don't give me something to acknowledge Valentine's Day we will never have sex again." If that doesn't wrap up the spirit of V-day in a nutshell, I don't think anything does.
So what can we do? Are we to allow our manhood to be snuffed out like a child's birthday candle? Shall we sit quietly and watch while our sons and their sons are forced to pay larger and even larger ransoms to retain the use of their privates? In a word, you bet your bippy. Why, because we are lying, no good scum, and you just know that the minute you attempt to stand firm and ignore this pseudo-holiday, some greasebag with a dozen roses will swoop in and play Romeo to your beloved's Juliet. You just know that even if every man in America were to take a solemn vow to "Just say no," to V-day and all of it's trimmings, it would do no good. Within half an hour, the morally challenged among us would be stocking up on candy and polishing their datebooks. You want to know why the world will never truly be at peace? Because even when faced with something as purely evil as Valentine's Day, do men stick together and weather the storm as brothers locked in a common cause? No, we sell each other out in a heartbeat to get a little loving from the fairer sex. We are a pathetic and mean little species, my friends. Is it any wonder at all that the apes took over in the end?