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