Monday, June 15, 2009

15 JUN 09: Mister Guy

The countdown stands at six days until Father's Day. People thinking about Dad in Columbus have all sorts of possibilities to consider. Somehow I think you can do better than a gift certificate for a free car wash, but that's one candidate....

I've mentioned here before that Father's Day is a challenging time of year for me. Plenty of gifts for men are on sale, and I could use some of them. But I feel guilty about buying them, because I've never been a father. No one's even dragged me onto the Maury Povich Show, to take a DNA test.

But last week, WDAK's "Morning Show" revealed there's good news for single males like me. Two brothers in Indiana have declared today "National Man Day." It's a day for doing "manly things." Somehow I get the feeling a drive to Iowa to marry another man would NOT count....

The organizers of National Man Day offered several suggestions of things I should do....

+ Play football. Outside? In mid-June? Can the Columbus Lions have a "run the field" day inside the Civic Center?

+ Go hunting. I can do that without leaving home. You may remember our experiment with wine and cockroaches.

+ Watch "Rocky" movies. He was one of my favorites when I was a boy, alongside Bullwinkle J. Moose.

Lists such as this force me to consider how manly a man I really am. You see, I haven't even played touch football in 20 years. I haven't seen a feature-length movie in a theater in almost 28 years. And my idea of "hunting" these days is searching for the lowest-priced gasoline.

Many of the residents of my apartment complex are single men -- and the neighbors admittedly do manly things which put me to shame. Over the weekend, one of them decided to have a cookout after 11:00 p.m. By comparison, I settle for making Hamburger Helper on Friday night and reheating leftovers in the oven.

Some of the neighbors also act like men, when it comes to their beverages. They dump empty beer cans under a tree for the mysterious "can man" to pick up. At least, I assume he's picking them up later. Either that, or a new landfill is developing within walking distance of the Government Center.

It's almost enough to make me have a very unmanly "pity party" for myself - but then I stopped and thought a bit more. I do several manly things, which I don't think my neighbors even try. For instance, I can't persuade them to join me for Thursday night poker tournaments - as if they fear I'll take their rent money and leave them homeless.

One of my Sunday projects at home also had a manly element to it. I tried to wrestle a long stiff cord which I think is for cable TV in the living room, but which seems to double as an antenna. It's the closest thing to alligator wrestling I ever want to try....

The goal was to pick up broadcast stations better on my HDTV, and even tune in the big station which I haven't been able to watch since Friday. But the stiff cord refused to cooperate, even when I tried to set it up by the living room window. I never thought an attempt to watch golf on WRBL would bring down a set of blinds.

And then there's exercise. I'm able to jog five or six days a week at this time of year, and work up a good sweat even when the distance is poor. So why is my manly older neighbor thinner than I am, when all he does is push a lawnmower every couple of weeks?

So we wish a happy National Man Day to all guys like me. And if you're a female feeling slighted - I'm sorry, but International Women's Day has been around for decades. If your luncheon group or crochet circle didn't mention it in March, blame them.

Now let's check what made news on Sunday, if anything....

+ The Ledger-Enquirer reported a Southwest Airlines plane made a safe emergency landing at the Columbus Airport, on a flight from Chicago to Fort Myers, Florida. Hopefully the Airport Commission hurried out to wish Southwest a warm welcome, and invite the airline to arrive and depart from here much more often.

+ Newsweek magazine rated Columbus, Auburn and LaGrange High Schools among the top 1,500 public high schools in the country. But Columbus's ranking of #687 is down more than 300 positions from last year. Did THAT many students leave when Principal Susan Bryant was forced out?

+ A group of Muscogee County students began a trip to Washington, for a national history essay contest. I happen to attend church with one middle school girl, who won first place in Georgia for a paper on Blackbeard the pirate. I have NOT seen this essay, so I don't know if she discovered Blackbeard invented "Just for Men."

+ The pastor of Greater Shady Grove Baptist Church told WXTX "News at Ten" Georgia Power is donating land on Second Avenue for an expanded parking lot. We'll see if that pastor returns the favor, by holding a giveaway for room air conditioners.

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