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THE FUNNY PAGE: The Summer of (my) Discontent

Now that I have the attention of all three of my loyal readers (hi Dad!), allow me to explain the meaning behind this statement. As most of you know, I have been blessed to have been shackled to a fine piece of womanhood named Sophie for over two decades, and for the most part, they have been happy and satisfying years. Early in our relationship, we (we being she) decided that the smartest course for us was to share financial responsibility for all our household expenses. We each had tasks assigned to us…she would pay the rent, I would pay the utilities, she would deal with the taxes and I would sign the checks for the car payments. This went well right up until the repo man showed up at our door and we didn’t answer because the power was shut off and the doorbell wasn’t working. After that, we had another family meeting and we (she) decided that it would be best if she took over the handling of our expenses. I graciously concurred.


May 28, 2009
By Steve Milcik

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Now that I have the attention of all three of my loyal readers (hi Dad!), allow me to explain the meaning behind this statement. As most of you know, I have been blessed to have been shackled to a fine piece of womanhood named Sophie for over two decades, and for the most part, they have been happy and satisfying years. Early in our relationship, we (we being she) decided that the smartest course for us was to share financial responsibility for all our household expenses. We each had tasks assigned to us…she would pay the rent, I would pay the utilities, she would deal with the taxes and I would sign the checks for the car payments. This went well right up until the repo man showed up at our door and we didn’t answer because the power was shut off and the doorbell wasn’t working. After that, we had another family meeting and we (she) decided that it would be best if she took over the handling of our expenses. I graciously concurred.

To make up for the fact that her financial workload had now increased, I agreed to take a larger slice of the home duties under my wing. Grocery shopping became one of my new tasks, and I attacked it with relish. The start button on the dishwasher, no longer the elusive item it once was, became the target of my index finger. I navigated the technical dials, timers and flashing LED lights on the laundry machines, reading them as an astronaut would interpret the dashboard gadgets in a NASA space shuttle. I even mixed the bleach and soap with the precision of a chemist. Folding laundry now meant picking up my dirty socks and putting them in the laundry basket instead of back in the dresser drawer. Vacuuming and dusting also fell under my purview, and though I had never been formally trained in these ancient mystical arts, I completed them with skill and grace. After the first week, Sophie called another meeting. Apparently, vacuuming the cat was not considered as cleaning the house, and she was less than impressed with the $180 dollars worth of Choco-Puffs now stored in the cupboard. My explanation that I had a 1 in 50 chance of finding a Spongebob Squarepants action figure in each box and that I was weighing the odds in our favour did nothing to assuage her, and these responsibilities were quickly snatched away from me. Now, all that was left to me was the manly art of home-improvement, an area that I knew I excelled in, and that I was born to do.

Well…if you’ve read any of these columns, you know how that went.

Flash-forward to today, a day like many others but one that was soon to turn dark. Sophie arrived home from work and I noticed a strange glow in her eyes, one that I had seen before. She pointed at a dining-room chair, ordering me to sit. With an evil grin she told me that she had been to the bank and spoken with our financial advisor, Julie. Together, they had arranged to refinance our mortgage and secure a large home renovation loan. Hope soared within me for a moment, the thought of having a thick budget to work my tool-magic with was causing my heart to flutter. I envisioned the bright and shiny rental equipment I would need and quickly made a list: nail gun, compressor, concrete saw, paint sprayer and a big sign that read: Man at Work! I quickly came crashing back to reality when I realized my role in this home-improvement scheme would consist of getting the hell out of the way. Sophie droned on about what she planned to do…tearing up the wall-to-wall carpet and replacing it with hardwood floors, a complete paint job which would include our cathedral ceilings, two new closets so that she could store her shoes and handbags in alphabetical order (Gucci comes before Prada), an Italian tile job around the fireplace…the list went on and on.

I snuck away as she began flipping through architectural magazines to show me the colours she had picked. I slinked away to my only refuge, my personal zone of silence, to contemplate what this meant to us, and to me. Sitting in my car, I reflected on my life up to this point. Who was I in our relationship? Sure, I brought home the bacon every two weeks, but was that all I was, a cash-generator? Then it hit me, hard. While I was no longer the traditional male half of the marriage, the one who would put up shelves or knock down walls, the one who would do the taxes and deal with bankers, there was still one very important role that I not only was very good at, but one that would never be taken from me.

I was the STUD.

Yes…the bringer of pleasure, the bootylicious hunk of male passion that every woman dreamed of, and needed in their lives. I was her Harlequin romance, a combination of hormonal magnificence coupled with the allure of every erotic fantasy she had ever dreamed of. I was MAN, all-man, and no matter what, this was something she would never take away from me. Brimming with newfound confidence, I strode into the house, slamming the door behind me with reckless abandon. I walked up to Sophie, invading her space, and gathered her up in my strong arms. Pressing myself into the nape of her neck, I growled the poetic, almost Shakespearean words that I knew would allow me to once again take back a modicum of power in our relationship. “Howzabout a l’il nookie-wookie, sweetcheeks?”

“Not this year dear…I have a headache.”

Steve Milcik writes from Montreal, Que., and when he isn’t on his knees begging for a bit, he sells rental software for Orion. Feel free to fill his in-box with spam at smilcik@orion-soft.com.


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