Books, Ben, and Patience

Two other quick book notes.

My son, Ben Baur, has launched an online book review program, “The Shirtless Dude’s Book Club.” It is what the title says. He comes on, takes off his shirt (he lives in L.A., so it’s OK. Not like Minnesota or the North Pole.) He’s using a platform called Periscope, which I had to download onto my phone. It’s pretty simple. It’d have to be, or I couldn’t use it. It allows him to use his phone’s camera, shows him who’s on, allows people watching to ask questions.

The Periscope show broadcasts live, then they’re available on Periscope for two days. He also uploads them to youtube so they’re available for virtually forever (albeit, without the interactivity.)

The next one is scheduled for 7 p.m. Eastern time Monday, so that gives anyone interested a chance to get the Periscope app and figure it out. You can see one of his earlier ones here.

What impressed me is how well it works. I’m not just being a proud dad when I say he comes off as charming, thoughtful, funny and passionate about the books he’s talked about.

Ben is an actor, trying to make it in one of the hardest businesses there is to succeed in. He’s had a lot of online success, done commercials, filmed a movie last summer, done stage in New York and L.A. He’s putting all the pieces together and I really think he’s on the edge of a breakout, where everything comes together. He’s really good, and the Shirtless Dude’s Book Club shows another side of him.

There’s also a very funny clip he did a few weeks ago, part of something he calls “Ben Attempts,” in which he tries things he’s never done before. This one shows him trying (and succeeding!) to ride a bike, which he was never able to master as a kid. As one of the people who ran along behind him holding the bike seat, then letting go and watching him totter and fall, I couldn’t have been more delighted,

Anyway, give it a look. It’s fun.

And another thing –

I received a book as a Christmas present last week, and I’ve decided not to read it all at once.

It’s “Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy,” by the improbably named Dinty Moore. That’s his real name, just liked the brand of canned beef stew. I read an article about him in The Writer magazine; he’s also a writing teacher and a funny guy and has a lot to say on the subject.

For the book, he asked a group of essayists to write questions about the craft to “Mr. Essay Writer Guy.” The questions (there are twenty of them) are mostly quirky and kind of funny, touching (usually tangentially) on the craft of essay writing. The first, for example, asks “Mr. Essay Writer Guy” how to write about former girlfriends without coming across as a male chauvinist pig. The answer is, to perhaps not be a male chauvinist pig. He then offers some advice about a writing persona, then illustrates it with a delightful essay on “Of Old Girlfriends,” which begins with these lines:

First of all, I am grateful.

And I wish there had been more of you.

But I fully understand.

Anyway, there are 20 such sections. Christmas is typically a busy day, but by the time it was over I realized I was already halfway through the book. I stopped. I put it down.

This is clearly one of those books that you could read in one gulp. But how much more fun, more rewarding and special, to sip at it. To pick it up periodically and dip into it for a chapter, then set it back down, knowing that you’ll pick it up again in a few days for a delicious morsel of wit and wisdom.

Still haven’t finished the book, and I’m enjoying it a lot.

Agony at the Barnes & Noble

It was agony. Exquisite agony.

I have a gift card from Barnes & Noble. It’s really a nice gift from my kids, and Monday evening we went down to the big store on Veterans Boulevard to spend it.

But it was not as easy as it sounds, not by a long shot. Everything looked so good!

“I’ll take one of those, and one of those, and one of those,” I thought as I wandered the aisles. But that was impossible, of course. $35 – possibly two books, if I ponied up a few bucks of my own.

My first choice was “City of Death,” James Goss’s novelization of a Douglas Adams script for “Doctor Who.” The story (for the fourth Doctor, played by Tom Baker) is sort of legendary. On a Friday they realized they were supposed to start shooting a four-part episode on Monday, but they had no script. Adams said the producer, “took me back to his place, locked me in his study and hosed me down with whiskey and black coffee for a few days, and there was the script.” The four-part show is still among the most successful in the 50-plus years of Dr. Who. The novelization came out this summer.

I found another couple of paperbacks, any one of which would have padded out the purchase if I went into pocket for about five bucks. But then I saw the Elvis Costello memoir, “Unfaithful Music.” Costello is a great artist and an interesting guy, and his life is apparently quite – unusual. So I thought maybe that and something cheap.

But then I wandered through the young adult section. I write young adult/middle school, and it’s always a good idea to keep abreast of your field. What’s selling? What’s the style, the subject matter, that the middle school crowd is going for? No vampires or zombies for me, no fantasy magic (or magicke, if you prefer,) no dystopian futures. I have nothing against the genres, you can’t argue with success. They’re just not my thing. I saw several books I thought might be both entertaining and instructive.

But then I went upstairs to the history section, and I was lost. There was a new book on the battle of Waterloo, a book on Nixon, another one on Queen Victoria’s mysterious daughter, Louise. Basically two out of every three books in that section looked like it’d be a great read.

And then I remembered a book I’d seen in the library. I already had a book checked out when I noticed it, but I took a note to make sure I remembered it next time I went to the library. (These days, when I “take a note” of a library book, I take a picture of the cover.) I looked it up on my phone, got the title, and found it.

“They All Love Jack,” Bruce Robinson’s new book on Jack the Ripper. It’s a massive tome. He starts by lining up the “Ripper-ologist” industry and mocking them. Then he tears into the hypocritical morality of the Victorian era (I read the first couple of pages) before setting out for his quarry. It looked fascinating. And it was exactly $35. That would be the one.

I went back downstairs with it and started collecting the family But the more I thought about it, the less comfortable I was with my choice Great book, hours and hours of reading. But did I want to spend $35 on a book I could borrow for free from the library? Why would I do that? That’s the point of the library.

It also doesn’t seem like a book I’d read frequently. Shelf space in our house is limited, and most of the books on them are ones we’ve read more than once. Some of them, such as “The Lord of the Rings,” “Stardust,” “Dog On It” and “If Chins Could Kill” we’ve read repeatedly. I suddenly wasn’t feeling as good about the planned purchase.

And then it hit me. A book I’ve read two or three times, had been thinking about just recently, and which I knew for a fact was not available at the local library. I took “They All Love Jack” back upstairs and replaced it on the shelf. (I’m like that, I worked several years in bookstores.) Then I went down and found it.

“Good Omens,” by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. The funniest book ever written about the end of the world, better even than Douglas Adams’ “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.” And the more background you have in religion, the funnier it is. I’ve read it several times, everyone in the family has read it at least once and expressed interest in reading it again. Great book. We’d left our copy on St. Croix three and a half years ago when we move back to the mainland.

And unlike most other titles by Gaiman and Pratchett, this one is not anywhere in the Jefferson Parish Public Library System. It’s just a guess, but I suspect the fairly sacrilegious nature of the story, with the forces of Good and Evil poised to do final battle. The infant anti-christ has been misplaced and there’ll be hell to pay if the big boys downstairs find out. So the demon in charge teams up with his opposite number. The angel and demon have been on Earth 6,000 years and really don’t want their cushy assignments to end.

And that’s what I bought. I’m delighted, and am already halfway through the book – and even spotted a joke I never noticed before!

But there’s a snag – there’s always a snag, isn’t there? The book was only $15. I’ve still got $20 on the gift card and am going to have to go back and go through all this again.

There’s also this. The gift card was NOT a Christmas present! I got it half a year ago, for Father’s Day. It took that long to decide how to use slightly less than half of it.

Some may be shaking their heads and saying, “John, you’re an idiot. This is NOT a problem.” Well, I probably am an idiot. But just because this is a good thing, doesn’t mean it’s not a problem (you may quote me.) It’s a good problem, but still a problem.

But I won’t dwell on that today. I’ve got a great (re)addition to my library, one that I’m sure I’ll read several times and the rest of the family will enjoy as well. And next week I’ll have to get to the library to return the book I’ve been reading the last few weeks and look for that Jack the Ripper book. A guy’s gotta keep occupied.

Fa La La La Folicles

Here’s my beard. Ain’t it weird? Don ‘t be skeered, just a beard.” – George Carlin

Since my friend, Mark Summers, and I entered the pirate realm as creators of the ersatz holiday International Talk Like a Pirate Day and became Cap’n Slappy (Mark) and Ol’ Chumbucket (me,) I have always been the well-trimmed buccaneer of the duo. Mark hasn’t touched his beard except to push it out of the way when he eats or drinks for at least ten years and possibly much longer. (When did we do “King Lear?” I don’t think it was that wild then.)

Anyway, I was always the more dapper one. But then, sometime last summer, my beard trimmer broke. And I didn’t think much about it, but my beard started getting longer. When I finally noticed this fall, it was getting a little crazy. It started twisting and curling in ways I never expected. If only the hair on top of my head (when I had hair on the top of my head) had been that wavy.

I had to use scissors to keep in check the hair around my lips or it would end up in my mouth with every bite of food. And Tori wasn’t fond of that much hair from my face getting into her face, and I do like kissing her.

So top of my Christmas list this year was a new beard trimmer, and Santa came through. Here are the before and after pictures, taken on Dec. 25. (I admit, it also helps to pull my hair back, but when you’re going for the hairy scary pirate look …)

File Dec 28, 11 35 54 AM

And a bonus picture. One morning in mid-November, Tori was cleaning out the bathroom medicine chest and happened across a jar of hair gel, which she gleefully began running through my beard. The resulting pictures convinced me that, yeah, I definitely needed a trim. And now I’ve got one.

The Story of the Sacred Cow of Christmas

Gather round, boys and girls, and I’ll tell you all the story of the Sacred Cow of Christmas. STOP RIGHT THERE! I told you to sit down.

YOU – Will this be a loooong story, John?

ME – It sure will, and it’ll get even longer if you keep interrupting! Now stop fidgeting, pour me a little more of that egg nog – Don’t be stingy with the brandy! – and settle back. Alright then.

Once upon a time, back in the late 1960s, when Tori was just a wee slip of a girl, she and her mother and father and brother moved to the Philippines. Her mother, Janet, wanted to keep all the traditions of Christmas for the kids, but the Philippines were on the other side of the world and they didn’t have a lot of the things the family was accustomed to, including no Christmas trees with twinkly lights and glass balls and candy cane ornaments and what not. So Janet had to improvise.

She got something to decorate – Tori was a wee sprat at the time and today doesn’t recall if it was a palm tree or just a stick or what. But it was enough for Janet to decorate with local capiz shells and angels and – this is the important part – a collection of cheap plastic animals – chickens, goats, sheep, fish and a cow. Christmas was saved!

Fast forward about 20 years. That wee slip of a girl had grown into a beautiful, vivacious woman who I had the good sense to marry just as quick as I could convince her to say yes. (And that took some doin’, but that’s a different story.) We were living in Oregon, and we still had the shells from the Philippines, and fish and the angels – and the cow. It was a little the worse for wear, the garish paint had mostly chipped off and it had lost a leg (rear, right side, I believe) but we hung it on the tree every year, a tribute to family and memories and good times.

And one year – late 1990s or early 2000s – we were decorating the tree and one of the kids – Ben? – picked up the cow and asked, “Why are we putting a cow on the Christmas tree? And why does it only have three legs?”

We could have told him the real story – it’s a good story – but we’d already told it once or twice. Besides, what fun is that? What’s the point of having kids if you can’t fill their heads with harmless nonsense?

So on the spot, Tori and I made up a whole involved story about the cow being in the manger and witnessing the birth of baby Jesus. “’The cattle are lowing,’” we reminded them, from the song. “’The poor baby wakes.’ But what if the cattle weren’t lowing. Maybe the poor baby wouldn’t have woken up, so the cow saved the baby’s life.”

“But why does it only have three legs?” we were asked.

“Well,” we said, thinking fast. “It was a long trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem, and then Mary had to give birth and that’s hard work, so they were tired and hungry. So the cow gave up its leg so they could have something to eat.”

We even made up a song to go with it. Join in, kids, you know the tune and the words are easy.

O Christmas cow,

O Christmas cow,

Your roast beef delights us.

O Christmas cow,

O Christmas cow,

Your roast beef delights us.

You sacrificed your leg so that,

Jesus could have, his breakfast

O Christmas cow,

O Christmas cow,

Your roast beef delights us.

Ah, good times. A few years later, when Ben moved to New York, we even recorded the song and sent it to him.

We still have the cow, of course, although it’s not currently on the tree. It’s in the box of Christmas stuff in our storage shed in Albany, Or., where it’s been since we moved in July 2008. (Yes, we still have the storage shed on which we pay monthly rent. It makes sense, but that’s another story. Get me more egg nog and I’ll finish this up.)

So fast forward again. Couple of days ago Ben was part of a live webcast for a series he’s in (These People, very funny, check it out online.) It was their Christmas special. Afterwards, the cast stayed on camera while the audience asked questions, and one of the questions was, “What are some of your special Christmas memories?”

There was a moment of silence, then Ben finally said, “When I was a kid we used to hang a three-legged cow on the tree, it was supposed to be the sacred Cow of Christmas or something. We even had a song about it.” One of the other cast members asked, “Do you remember the song?” Ben denied it. There was no way he was going to be coaxed into singing that on-camera. But I don’t believe him for a second. I’m sure he remembers the song.

But more importantly, out of all the Christmas memories he could have shared, that was the one his mind jumped to. It was pretty special. And it went all the way back to Janet trying to make the holidays special for her family, half a world away. It made the holiday for us. I get a little teary just thinking about it. But that might just be the egg nog.

Merry Christmas from the Baurs.

Back to Work

Yes, I still live. I’ve just been otherwise occupied. My apologies.

Haven’t written much. Had a cold that laid me low for 10 days. Got busy with work. The sun got in my eyes and the ball took a bad hop. All excuses, and lame ones at that. Just ran across an article about the essayist Dinty W. Moore, who kicked me in the ass when he said, “I don’t believe in inspiration. I believe that you sit at your desk, and you push your pencil around, and you feel lousy about yourself for a while, and eventually, you start writing.” So back to work.

Actually I do feel as if I needed to recharge my batteries. And the good sign is, ideas are starting to bubble again, things are starting to connect and I’m getting excited about the story I want to tell. So that’s hopeful.

I spent a very frustrating two weeks wrestling with the cover for the hardcover special edition of “Chrissie Warren: Pirate Hunter.” Won’t bore anyone with the details of the fight, but every time I tried to upload the cover file, the printer’s system wouldn’t accept it because it said it was the wrong size, and it would give me a different size. And every time it gave me a different set of numbers. Poor Katherine, my cover artist, turned out four different files, none of which it would accept. Just about the time I decided it was time to look for a different printer, I tried one more time with the original file and it worked just fine. No idea what the problem was. All I know is the hardcovers should be delivered just about the time we get home.

We’re in Knoxville, Tenn., visiting our friends Robyn and Daniel for Thanksgiving. Took about 10 hours to drive and my butt will never be the same. I’m getting old.

Daughter Kate is cranking away on her Na-No-Wri-Mo project and is almost done with a week to go. This is her fourth time through. Good for her.

Went to the doctor for my six month checkup, after nine months. My weight was down, not as much as I’d hoped but down pretty significantly. More important, my cholesterol was down, and the LDL (bad cholesterol) was  way down. So we are encouraged to continue. I’ll see him again in February and I WILL meet my weight goal, despite the fact that Robyn bought an 18-pound turkey.

What else? Seems like there should be more, but no, I think that’ll do for now.

Happy Thanksgiving!

27 Ways to be a Modern Guy

Last week The New York Times Style section ran a column on “27 Ways to be a Modern Man.” It was either a parody or the stupidest thing I’ve ever read. Just stupid.

I’m pretty sure it was a parody, because no one could be that fatuously pompous, and no one in DeKalb, Illinois, (the author’s home) knows what Kenneth Cole oxfords are. But if it was parody, it was a little too subtle. Only one or two of them were so over the top as to be completely ruled out. Mostly they were just obnoxious.

The problem with the piece is that the author has never met a guy. He’s met lots of men, but apparently no guys. They are NOT the same thing, as Dave Barry has spent a career cataloging. Men belong to organizations like Rotary and the Trilateral Commission and do important, world changing, serious things. Guys belong to groups with names like the Cavemen and do things involving archery and beer and blowing up vacuum cleaners, often all at the same time.

The author has spent his life in the company of men, despite the fact that his last name, Lombardi, is one of the great guy names of all time.

So here in the name of equal time, I am offering the “modern guy” equivalent of the insipid “modern man” offering. I’ve put Lombardi’s suggestions in italics, followed by the guy’s response.

27 Ways to be a Modern Man – Modern Guy

Brian Lombardi, man, and John Baur, guy

1. When the modern man buys shoes for his spouse, he doesn’t have to ask her sister for the size. And he knows which brands run big or small.

The modern guy does not buy shoes for his wife or girlfriend. Ever. It’s impossible to get it right. Even if he manages to get the right size, he’s sure to get the color or style wrong and possibly be off on the exact number of feet. The modern guy also wonders why the modern man can’t ask his wife what size shoe she wears. I mean, she’s right there and she probably knows. Or at least look in her closet, if you’re going to do something as foolish as try to buy her shoes.

2. The modern man never lets other people know when his confidence has sunk. He acts as if everything is going swimmingly until it is.

The modern guy’s confidence never sinks. Never. He is always sure he’s capable of anything from replacing his brake pads to installing electrical wiring in his new storage shed. He thinks he’s unstoppable, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary. The modern guy’s wife/girlfriend is always hiding his toolbox, but he keeps finding it.

3. The modern man is considerate. At the movie theater, he won’t munch down a mouthful of popcorn during a quiet moment. He waits for some ruckus.

In the movie theater, the modern guy is the ruckus.

4. The modern man doesn’t cut the fatty or charred bits off his fillet. Every bite of steak is a privilege, and it all goes down the hatch.

OK, this one actually applies to guys as well. He’s never going to throw away a bit of beef (which he would never call a “fillet” for fear of the grief his pals would give him.) When his wife or girlfriend tries to take his plate away he’ll complain, “Hey! I wasn’t finished. That’s the good part!” even if there’s nothing left on it but some gristle and charred bits,

5. The modern man won’t blow 10 minutes of his life looking for the best parking spot. He finds a reasonable one and puts his car between the lines.

For the modern guy, securing the best parking spot in the lot is why god put him on this earth. He will stalk the perfect parking spot like a tiger after a dentist. When the perfect spot opens up he will race to it like a Formula One driver, knocking over pedestrians and cutting off other drivers for the chance to get that space.

6. Before the modern man heads off to bed, he makes sure his spouse’s phone and his kids’ electronic devices are charging for the night.

The modern guy is slightly intimidated by his children’s electronic devices. But he accepts as part of his parenting duty the importance of teaching self-sufficiency to his kids (and his wife.) They are responsible for their own stuff. It’s not his job to plug in their phones etc. That’s not how the world works.

7. The modern man buys only regular colas, like Coke or Dr Pepper. If you walk into his house looking for a Mountain Dew, he’ll show you the door.

First, Dr. Pepper is not a cola at all, let alone a regular cola. It’s some weird mutant drink that looks like cola and tastes like sicky sweet death. The modern guy likes Mountain Dew because it’s the best for creating epic belches. This is a well-known fact that all guys learned in high school. But he’ll only go for the soft drink if he’s driving, or about to perform surgery, or about to perform surgery while driving. Otherwise, he’ll have a beer, thank you. Nothing too fancy. (And it seems to this guy that the Modern Man is kinda touchy if he’ll toss you out just because of your choice of beverage.)

8. The modern man uses the proper names for things. For example, he’ll say “helicopter,” not “chopper” like some gauche simpleton.

The modern guy recognizes that nomenclature equals ownership. If you name something, it is yours. If you control the language, you control the thing. So the modern guy is constantly making up names for things. And he knows that a chopper may once have been a helicopter but is now a motorcycle, and ridicules anyone who thinks otherwise. He also knows that anyone who uses a phrase like “gauche simpleton” today almost certainly spent his high school years getting wedgies and being shoved in a locker.

9. Having a daughter makes the modern man more of a complete person. He learns new stuff every day.

Having a daughter scares the hell out of a modern guy, who remembers exactly what he was like as a teenage boy. He learns new stuff every day. Most of it horrifies him.

10. The modern man makes sure the dishes on the rack have dried completely before putting them away.

10. The modern guy doesn’t put the dishes away. What’s the point? You’ll just pull ’em out and use ’em tomorrow. They’re handier right there in the rack. Hey, if he washed them, consider yourself lucky.

11. The modern man has never “pinned” a tweet, and he never will.

The modern guy doesn’t think you  pin a tweet, they are two completely different social media. That’s why the modern guy suspects this whole “Modern Man” column was an elaborate hoax.

12. The modern man checks the status of his Irish Spring bar before jumping in for a wash. Too small, it gets swapped out.

The modern guy doesn’t realize the soap is gone until he’s already in the shower, so he washes with shampoo.

13. The modern man listens to Wu-Tang at least once a week.

The modern guy will turn up the radio when Wu Tang is played by the oldies station, because it reminds him of the ’90s when he was in high school. He hasn’t bought music since the year after he graduated from college, and mostly listens to Bon Jovi, Springsteen and the Stones.

14. The modern man still jots down his grocery list on a piece of scratch paper. The market is no place for his face to be buried in the phone.

The modern guy doesn’t make shopping lists. He knows what he’s going to the store for – “food” – and doesn’t want to be bogged down with trivialities like what kind or how much.

15. The modern man has hardwood flooring. His children can detect his mood from the stamp of his Kenneth Cole oxfords.

The modern guy only knows what kind of flooring is in his house if he installed it himself. He doesn’t know what “Kenneth Cole oxfords” are, but would make fun of anyone who was bragging about his shoes unless they’re Nikes.

16. The modern man lies on the side of the bed closer to the door. If an intruder gets in, he will try to fight him off, so that his wife has a chance to get away.

The modern guy starts the night sleeping on the side of the bed closer to the door, because it’s closer to the door and he didn’t want to walk all the way around. He usually ends up on the couch because his wife couldn’t sleep through his snoring.

17. Does the modern man have a melon baller? What do you think? How else would the cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew he serves be so uniformly shaped?

Does the modern guy have a melon baller? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Actually, he might, but he doesn’t know that’s what it is or what it’s for. The only fruit of any kind served in his house was prepared by his wife or girlfriend. Unless you count apple ale.

18. The modern man has thought seriously about buying a shoehorn.

The only thing the modern guy has thought “seriously” about in the last seven years is the backup quarterback on his fantasy football team. “Weeden or Hoyer? Weeden or Hoyer?”

19. The modern man buys fresh flowers more to surprise his wife than to say he is sorry.

The modern guy bought flowers to surprise his wife exactly once. He spent the next three days explaining that he hadn’t been cheating on her, hadn’t done anything more boneheaded than usual, hadn’t forgotten their anniversary. “No! Seriously! I was just trying to surprise you!” He finally put an end to it by apologizing for something, although he’s not sure what. He’s never going to make that mistake again.

20. On occasion, the modern man is the little spoon. Some nights, when he is feeling down or vulnerable, he needs an emotional and physical shield.

The modern guy doesn’t know what any of those words mean. Little spoon? Feeling down? The last time he felt vulnerable was when he was teaching his three-year-old son how to hit a baseball, and the kid hit a line drive right into his crotch. Kid’s a natural.

21. The modern man doesn’t scold his daughter when she sneezes while eating an apple doughnut, even if the pieces fly everywhere.

The modern guy will laugh when his daughter sneezes while eating an apple doughnut (though he’ll wonder how an apple doughnut got mixed in with the order. He’d specifically asked for a dozen chocolates.) Then father and daughter together will invent a game that involves seeing who can shoot a piece of doughnut from their nostril the farthest.

22. The modern man still ambles half-naked down his driveway each morning to scoop up a crisp newspaper.

The modern guy is a little surprised to learn that anyone still has the newspaper delivered to his home. He has, on the other hand, often been seen outside wearing only shorts and flip flops while watering the lawn. He assumes he still has the physique he had in college. He is wrong, but nothing, not even his neighbors’ complaints, will change his mind.

23. The modern man has all of Michael Mann’s films on Blu-ray (or whatever the highest quality thing is at the time).

Who? Michael WHO? The guy who wrote for “Starsky & Hutch” in the ’70s, and produced the 2006 “Miami Vice” movie? Someone collects his work? Why? To use as coasters? The modern guy has the first three “Fast & Furious” movies on Blu-ray, but now he streams everything online. But he does bring out his old DVD of “Patton” every now and then, because – “Patton.”

24. The modern man doesn’t get hung up on his phone’s battery percentage. If it needs to run flat, so be it.

The modern guy can tell you every spare outlet at his office, the grocery store he frequents, the gas station and his church if he has one. He has to be ready in an emergency, like hearing there’s a new video online about a guy trying to help an old lady cross the street and he ends up getting hit in the nuts by her cane. Comedy gold.

25. The modern man has no use for a gun. He doesn’t own one, and he never will.

The modern guy has a handgun locked in his safe. At least he’s pretty sure he put it there in 2007. That’s the year he lost the key to the safe while he was on vacation in Fort Meyers, Florida. He hasn’t needed any of the things he thinks are in there so he hasn’t bothered to try to get it opened since then.

26. The modern man cries. He cries often.

The modern guy last cried when watching “Brian’s Song,” when Billy Dee Williams as Gale Sayers gave the “I love Brian Piccolo, and tonight when you get down on your knees I want you to ask God to love him too” speech. A LOT of guys were sniffling and mumbling about having a cold after that one, I promise you. The original “Brian’s Song,” not the pointless remake. “Ol’ Yeller” tears him up, too.

27. People aren’t sure if the modern man is a good dancer or not. That is, until the D.J. plays his jam and he goes out there and puts on a clinic.

27. The modern guy doesn’t care what anyone thinks of his dancing. In his mind, he’s a combination of Baryshnikov and Mick Jagger, especially when he’s had three or four beers. And after five, he’s happy to hit the floor and prove it.