In the winter, when weekly outings are not possible, the mind roams more freely in search of a topic . . .
Joe Writes . . .
Conspiracy Against American Masculinity?
While canoeing the Grand River I believe I uncovered proof of a conspiracy aimed at the emasculation of the American male.
The long underwear I bought at Costco – a set for my brother and a set for me – does not have a fly. Wrap your head around that and tell me there’s not something fishy going on here. Underwear purchased at America’s flagship retailer, underwear clearly labeled as being for men, does not have a fly.
I’m glad we had pulled off the river and were shielded from view while I fumbled and groped my way to the sad confirmation that my underwear was not on backwards. For just a moment I wondered if I had slipped into my wife’s unmentionables by mistake, an idea quickly-discarded by the certainty that I could hardly fit one leg into her delicates, let alone the whole package (so to speak).
This whole fly-less underwear thing would not be surprising if the offending product were being sold exclusively to men in Stockholm or Brussels, European men having been emasculated eons ago. But this is America and men here don’t pull their pants down to relieve themselves. This cultural norm has its roots in the Old West when the wise man kept one hand free and close to his six-shooter at all times. European men, on the other hand, generally kept both hands free for weaving tapestries or grooming small white dogs.
Please know I am not one who ordinarily gives credence to conspiracy theories. A black helicopter, more often than not, is just, well, a black helicopter. And despite what my friends on Facebook insisted to be true I never believed that Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton were personally coming to seize my guns. Not really.
So just certainly as there is a War on Christmas – “Happy Holidays” my red neck and thank you, Mr. President – American masculinity is under attack. And this attack is well-timed, for who can defend the norms when each day brings fresh revelations of American men at last being called to account for their boorish, degrading and sometimes criminal behavior?
So the times they are ‘a changing. And while the changes are mostly for the better, I hope that men’s underwear-without-a-fly goes the way of the codpiece. The codpiece, as you may know, was worn over a man’s genitals and was all the rage among fashionable European men in the 15th and 16th centuries. The word itself is derived from the Middle English “cod” meaning “scrotum,” and I did not make that up. I never wore a codpiece, but I’m sure it was no more convenient to tend to nature’s call while doing so than it was for me on the banks of the Grand River on a cold December’s day in 2017, not far downstream from Grand Ledge, Michigan.
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The river flows.
As for me and my house, we choose the river.