Monday, December 23, 2013

The Outdoorsman

The bear burst out of the tree line and for the moment caught Will Mittleback by surprise. However, it didn't take long for the rugged outdoorsman to gather his wits and do what any manly guy would do in this situation. He grabbed his Winchester from the sling on his shoulder, squared around and confronted the charging, roaring grizzly. He then shot a single round into the ground right in front of the beast.  The earth literally exploded at its feet. The man-eater skidded to a stop just ten feet from Will then stood on his back paws.  Extending his 800-pound frame to the sky and towering above the unmoving human in front of him, he let out a loud, vicious roar to let the ruddy-complexioned man know who was the boss. However, Will never flinched.  Instead, he howled back at the beast to let him know that he was not impressed enough to move.

"Will! What are you doing?" A familiar voice behind him intoned.

Will turned and faced his wife, perturbed she had dared to come up behind him like that. "I'm raking the leaves just like you asked!"

"Well, that's a funny way to do it," she said, pointing at the rake in his hands, leveled like a rifle and aimed at a tree in front of her husband.

"I was taking a break," he replied. "Getting ready to wrap it all up."

"Good, 'cause dinner will be ready in about ten."

Jill Mittleback went back into the house, but not before sniffing her disapproval of his behavior and adding a disgusted shake of her head. Will furiously attacked the leaves at his feet letting them know he was firmly in charge—of his life as well as the growing pile of autumn decay.

Behind him, he thought he heard a sound. He twirled suddenly and discovered a bear sitting and pointing a paw at Will. The large grizzly let out a haunting belly laugh and rolled onto its side, his front legs hugging its round belly.

"What's so funny?" Will asked, puzzled.
"The mighty outdoorsman. Felled by a little sow," the bear chortled.

Will ignored his adversary and finished raking the leaves, with the sound of giggling accompany his every move. With the last of the leaves safely whisked into the huge pile, he grimaced and walked back into the house, Bear laughter echoing in his ears.

This is an excerpt from a short story in progress that is meant to be a tribute to "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" by Jame Thurber. With a movie about to premier, I thought something truer to the short story needed exposure too. Nothing against the movie (which I haven't seen) but at least read the short story before you go. Oh, the picture at the top is of me at Glacier National Park. I thought this blog might need a picture to go with it, so why not?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Turn up the Stereo (type)!

(not that type of stereo folks, jeez)

There was a recent ad by Pantene Shampoo (it ran mainly in the Philippines) that attempted to show how women can be stereotyped differently than men—even when doing/acting the same as men.

I think it’s a clever ad, and do have to agree that people stereotype other people all the time. It’s probably human nature.  The thing is, it’s not just women. Men are stereotyped for their actions just as much, if not more than women (yes, you may remember another blog about stereotypes, it dealt more with looks).

For example.

A man who cries is a wimp; a woman who cries is sensitive. 


A man who is single after 30 is gay; a woman is carefully examining her options.

A man who keeps a clean house is gay (oops, a repeat stereotype word; popular to use to disparage men); a woman who keeps a clean house is normal/orderly.

A man who wears a suit and tie every day is a cog-in-the wheel/suit/robot; a female who does this is trying to break the glass ceiling.

A man who drives an expensive car is flaunting his wealth; a woman who drives an expensive car has broken the barrier and moved up in the world.

A man who complains about an ailment should “suck it up;” a woman who complains about an ailment shows more concern about her health.
So there is no doubt that both men and women stereotype. Whether it is bad or good probably depends on the situation. And who does it more often is debatable, but unprovable. So we'll probably keep on stereotyping and making guesses about people without much knowledge of the facts. At least it gives us bloggers something to write about and is good for conversations at bars.
(Okay, this picture really has nothing to do with this blog. It's just that I'm stereotyped as the type of guy who likes to post sexual pictures to his blog, and well, I didn't want to disappoint—plus I like this picture).

(images courtesy of

Thursday, October 24, 2013

This is about SEX

 One of the most common conversations I remember having with various exes is the one they start by calling me a sexist. I'm sure you've encountered this too as it's one all males face when we stare just a little too long at the female at the bar wearing Daisy Dukes.

We're sexist pigs because we're attracted to, well, attractive women.

It doesn't matter that when you first meet someone, all you have to go on is looks. Oh, sure, after you know someone for a little time you begin to know about their habits, likes, dislikes, etc. The thing we call personality. But at first, it's just looks.

Since women don't ever make the first move, they can claim that they are not like this (it's their superiority pose). Men though are pigs because we act on biological urges. We make the first connection based on how pleasing the female is to the eye.  The problem here (besides what I mentioned about first contact) is that women do not understand the difference between sexism and sexuality.

Webster’s  defines sexism as: behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex.

Men are not stealing glances at that cute woman's legs because they believe the female cannot be good at their job of accountant, it's because we're thinking about how we can get to the point where we’re running our hands over those shapely legs.

We don't think that the only thing a woman is good for is for having sex, we're thinking HOW can we get that woman to HAVE sex.

We’re not stereotyping them as only good for sex, it's that we are craving them FOR sex.

This doesn't make us sexist pigs. It makes us sex-crazed pigs. Big difference.

Women don't seem to get this. For example, they lump us sex-crazed types in to the same group as the GOP politician or Moral Majority type who say that women should stick to the kitchen.
Oh, I'm sure there are sex crazed GOP representatives too. However, don't throw us normal guys in with those who believe that women are not as competent as men in everything or with the likes of those white bread heathens who think it's okay to force women to have unwanted ultrasounds.
(photo: Leslie Danovich)
And truth be told, women are just as bad. How often have you heard some female drool about Justin Timberlake or the Boss or some guy with a set of six-pack abs? Of course, they won't do anything about it, nor admit that they are basing this craving on looks (or fame, wealth, etc,). In other words, classic double standard.
They typically will say that they are just asserting themselves as sexual beings (although they are not asserting themselves by trying to meet the male) and are not sexist and thinking that all that the male is good for is sex. Obviously, men who do the same thing (be assertive) are sexist.

Another classic example of women not knowing the difference between sexism and sexuality, is in clothing. Men are attracted to females who wear skimpy or provocative clothing. Women view this as sexism even though we are not thinking how that woman in the tight latex pants is incapable of being a successful lawyer. No, we're thinking about how we can peel off those painted-on latex pants once we get her to the bedroom.

Women do the same thing all the time. They cast longing glances at the guy in the $600 Italian suit, but don't give a hoot about the guy with the Dallas Cowboy sweatshirt. They claim they are not being sexist by thinking of men as only good for showering them with money. They are being sexual by dreaming of a life with a man who knows how to dress for public excursions. I should also point out how this relates to their being just as superficial as men, but I discussed this before, so we'll skip this for now.
 So once again it's a no win situation for the male. Basically, if a woman doesn’t like some action by a man, he’s a sexist.  There is no use arguing because you will just be cast further into the sexist pig category. It's best just to try to change the subject and do your best to not get caught stealing a peek at that woman who just walked into the bar in the shortest miniskirt you ever saw (which the man is scheming on how to remove).

 Where did that miniskirt disappear to?
(images courtesy of

Monday, September 23, 2013

Join the Write Club: A Thurber Brigade Side Step

Okay, this blog doesn't have anything to do with relationships, men, women, sex, love, dating or the usual things I cover here at The Front. However, since this blog site was originated as an ode to James Thurber's "The War Between Men and Women," it seems only appropriate to take a side step and include one blog about writing. This is a short essay I wrote a while back about different "clubs" writers might join if they go down certain trails. I'm throwing in a few writer-type pictures just to make it more visually stimulating and to keep you from slipping away. So for all you budding writing-types (or those who like reading):

Welcome to the Club

 Which club to join?  Late at night, while avoiding some writing, I often try to choose between the many seeking new members.

A time or two I thought about The Suicide Club.  It has some pretty impressive members.  Hemingway, Plath, Sexton.  The dues are kinda steep though.  Almost joined a few years back after a rough couple of rejections.

Some people think I’m already a member of The Drinker’s Club.  Oh, I’ve visited them a few times and discovered some good ideas and stories.  But I’m not a member.  It’s fun to rub elbows with those in the club though.  Why not have a martini with Capote, or gulp down a gin or two with Carver?  Hemingway was there before he joined his last club.  After all, no one ever said you couldn’t be a member of several clubs.

Speaking of dual memberships, F. Scott was president of the Big Bucks Club, but eventually became a member of the Lost it All Club.  Twain joined the All-American Club and the Grumpy Old Men Club.  Shoot, Stephen King’s in the BBC, the Super Prolific Club and the Books-to-Movie Club.  So there’s no reason to limit oneself to a single organization.

I’ve been sorely tempted to join the Left Our Other Needs Yearning Club (LOONY).  Although their name doesn’t make sense, they’re an easy group to fall into.  Many a late night, after pulling some hair out about a disjointed plot, I’ve almost joined after a brief conversation with Kafka.  But I had too much trouble filling out the application form.  Too blurry.  However, the membership list is pretty impressive, so I may keep that one on the back burner.

Which reminds me about paying my dues to the Cliche’ Club.  Yep, I’m a cardholder there.

Disease and Death Club has one of the longest lists of former members, ranging from Chekhov and Carver to O’Connor and Poe.  I’m trying to avoid this club though, and with luck, and regular doctor’s appointments, should be able to refuse future invitations.

A group closely affiliated to the D & D Club is FAD (Famous after Death). There have been times I thought my membership was inevitable, but that’s just when I’m in a pessimistic mood.

I keep joining and quitting the Writer’s Block Fraternity, and I’m getting just a little tired of all the confusion between the PCC and PC groups.  After all, I don’t know any members of the Politically Correct Club who are also members of the Procrastinator’s Club.  So why the confusion? 

So many clubs, so little time.  Oops, that Cliché Club membership keeps popping up.  As a writer, I know I’m obligated to join some other groups. You’re expected to be a member of these clubs, you either drift there or the reading public sends you there.  For now, guess I’ll just wait and see which one comes calling.  I hope it’s the Rags to Riches Club.  It has such good parties.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Years ago, when I was in the Army, my airborne unit was sent to Canada on exchange with paratroopers from that country. On one of our side trips, we stopped in Banff (they had a training facility there!). One night, a buddy and I went to a local bar and ended up trying to pick up a couple of females. They turned us away by saying they were waiting for their husbands. How were we to know? They didn't have wedding rings.

Of course, they could have been lying, or maybe in Canada they don't commonly exchange rings when they exchange vows.  The thing is, they were sending out false signals to us. This is a common female habit.

Admittedly, this blog may sound a bit like the one about Signs, but in fact, this one is more about how women misguide us men rather than just sending hard to understand signals.

The wedding ring scenario is one of the most common. Not the one mentioned above, but the opposite. Women who wear rings on their wedding ring finger sending a message to us guys that it's "hands off!" The thing is—they are not married. They may be wearing the ring because they think it looks nice, or maybe it was an heirloom from their grandmother. Whatever the reason, they are sending us hunters off the trail.

You always hear stories about how men are "breast men" or "butt men", etc. Supposedly this means that this is the feature those guys are most drawn to. What this also means is that there is a certain order we use to scan females to decide if we are attracted physically.

For example, the order I go in is: legs, eyes, hand, and so on. The hand is so high in the ranking because I'm looking for a ring. So if I like the legs, like the eyes, but then see some ring, well, my attention goes to some other person.

It also doesn't matter the type of ring. In other words, even if it's a mood ring, I'll probably lose interest if it's on the right finger. Who knows? Maybe this person is "quirky" and wanted a unique type of wedding ring (I once encountered a woman with a small image of a dolphin).

Another way women mislead us guys, is when they dress provocatively, but are not really on the prowl (of course, when I say on the prowl, I mean they are hoping to meet someone. Women don't ever take the offensive, they leave it to the male to make first contact). So they may have dressed up to impress a girl friend, or more likely, piss off an Ex, but they do not desire to be hit upon. If a male were to throw a line their way, they would become super irritated, and would report back to their girl friends how men are such dogs.

Another common variation on this deception by females includes when they wear a t-shirt with a provocative word/slogan (hottie, playgirl, etc.). Oh, you’ve seen them. They wear a shirt that has “Melons” (or something provocative) written across the chest and the first thing they say to you is “Hey, fella, eyes up here,” while pointing to their eyes. They may be okay with a guy trying to pick them up, but they certainly don't want him staring at their breasts—even though they are wearing a shirt that draws the eyes to that very region.

There's also the notorious smile and nod distraction. The guy passes by her while she's sitting on a bar stool, and she smiles and nods her head at him. Could this be a sign?  We often encounter females on the street or in the hallway who smile casually at us.  More than likely, they are just being friendly and not trying to send a signal. However, when they take the same technique to someplace like a bar but don't mean it, well, it's sending us the wrong message. If a guy were to make a pass at her, she would invariably turn the cold shoulder because she didn't really mean the gesture as an opening. Maybe. We don't know until we take the chance.

So like last blog, we see that males can't win. We keep getting these false messages from females, and end up in frustration. It's enough to drive us to drink. Which, of course, may be a good outcome from the situation. Since women don't show any inclination to changing their behavior and making the first move, at least they should help us guys by wearing signs to let us know that the right guy has a chance. Oh, okay, if signs are too garish, at least quit sending those misleading signals.
A clear signal
(images courtesy of

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Global Thermonuclear War: Stop Worrying. Just Love the Bomb!

In the movie “WarGames,” the characters learn that there is no winning solution to nuclear war.  Recently, I've come to believe that is pretty much the same outcome for men dealing with women. It dawned on me after I heard a female complain about the behavior of some male. His evil behavior dealt with his come-on to her.

When I heard the description, I had to admit that I thought it a bit crude too. However, I understand this situation well. Since it is up to the male to establish first contact (unless the male is rich or a rock star, in which the female will make an attempt), each guy comes up with his own method. Some are smooth, some suave, some clever, and of course all sorts of other variations.

No matter what method the male chooses though, he can't win. There is bound to be some female who hates it or prefers a different method. For those females offended by males who stare at them, there are just as many who like the extra attention.

So I thought the only appropriate thing to do was to present this list of the many different ways and situations that males cannot win in the War Between Men and Women.

Women do not want you to stare at them if you are interested.
Women believe that if they stare at a male, it is a sign that they are interested.

Women think it's yucky (an overheard quote: ewwwww) if the male shows excitement at seeing the female. i.e. an exclamation of "damn," "wow," "woo," etc.
Women want males to be more expressive.
Women love the attention when males express their approval.

If you make an overt pass at a woman she will be offended.
If you don't make a pass at a woman she will tell her girlfriends that you are obviously gay.

— Men who date younger women are disgusting to older women.
Women don't mind an age disparity if the male has money.

Women hate it when you make a pass at them when they are working out at the gym.
Women get upset when they wear a new outfit to the gym and men don't pay any attention to them.


Women are just at the grocery store to shop and hate it when men flirt with them.
Women put on makeup and perfume to go to the grocery store--just in case they run into Mr. Right.

 — Women hate it when a man comes up to them at a bar and hits on them when they are out with their girlfriends.
Women get pissed when they dress up to go out with their girlfriends and yet don't get any reaction from the males (who are obviously gay).
The list is endless, but as you can see, it's mutually assured destruction for the male no matter his action. It would surely be the end of the species if first contact were up to females. However, it's also lucky for humankind that although we males face a relentless D-Day style onslaught, we forever continue to storm that female beach in an attempt to establish a foothold in the continuing War Between Men and Women.

 Establishing a Beachhead

(images courtesy of