On First Tasting Carrot Soup

A visit to the bank this a.m. confirmed what my psychic powers had been flashing for several days – I’m completely broke.

It’s nothing new – at least for me. Presumably there are guys who never ever find themselves in this state of penury, but I console myself with the macho thought that they’re a bunch of old women in disguise who are never in debt because they don’t have the chutzpah to take a risk.

This is bollocks as I well know, but my occasional deliberate delusion ‘ain’t no sin’ in my book.

I’ve always found it really, really tough to ask a Friend to sub me, even though he knows he’ll get it back. I see it as a reflection that I’m less of a guy, somehow. Once you ‘let go of mummy’s hand’, as it’s phrased in the WMD Guide, you automatically acknowledge the Aloneness inherent in being a guy, or at least one with Balls.

I suppose that’s why I’m so hostile to the general idea of Benefits. It’s the dependency which they carry with them in their under-belly. They’re like a drug. You’re tempted to try the heroin ‘just once’ and before you realise it you’re dependant on the fucking stuff. Your balls are transformed from being a source of Courage, Action and Risk to a pair of not-so-pretty decorations.

So…how to survive the rest of this week……..

I’ll have money in a few days time. I have a job which pays me a pittance but I don’t let this worry me as I enjoy my work. The organisation is a Charity which concerns itself with the welfare of teenagers. The changes to their lives which we bring about you can actually witness. The guys who work for the Charity really Care.

I think ‘Caring’ is a terrific word. I use

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it a lot. It’s very useful these days when the word ‘Love’ is tricky even to actually say for some guys; they think it makes them sound like they’re a pussy.

There’s also the big, big problem with ‘Love’ because when you say ‘Love’ the other guys hear ‘Sex’. It’s distressing the way these words have become so distorted that for many guys they mean the same thing. ‘I love you’ means ‘I wanna shag you’. As a result, for me, I’m very into using Caring.

It’s actually a word that became fixed in my mind when I was 14-years old. I suddenly contracted appendicitis and was rushed

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into Halifax infirmary where they ripped it out. (It was a tough little fucker….only joking.)

For the first 24 hours after the operation they wouldn’t give me any solid food, just orange juice through a straw.

Then on the second evening a nurse brought me some carrot soup.

She also brought me a couple of pillows so that I could sit up slightly otherwise, she said, I might tear the stitches eating. So, in this slightly odd position, she spoon fed me the soup.

As I was lying there it was as if a bell rang in my head. ‘I’m being Cared for’, I realised; ‘this is what’s known as Caring’. I’ve never forgotten it, a truly Happy Day.

But now for today, and how to magic up some moulah until pay day……

Shit Happens

Increasingly I am coming to the conclusion that the WMD Guide is right on-the–button where it states Fear is every guy’s greatest enemy.

However, what I am less comfortable with is that many psychologists are of the opinion that the deepest Fears are those which relate to a guy losing control over himself. This is based on equating the idea of loss with that of becoming a victim and its implied loss of manliness.

I can see the connection between victimhood and

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a reduced sense of manliness; I’m told (on good authority) that it’s a condition experienced by many guys when they get banged-up. However, I don’t quite understand why Fear should be such a major element provoking it. Surely, not being “in control” is an increasing part of life. (I’m visualizing being in the dentist’s chair or in a plane about to land.)

I had a personal experience of “losing control” yesterday which, frankly, is too embarrassing to speak of. Guys don’t like to talk seriously about sex, me included. Let’s just leave it that my “holding on” technique didn’t “hold on” long enough.

So, why would not “being in control” qualify as being a guy’s worst Fear? After all, what about Fate? Okay,

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it doesn’t have that sour, negative, malevolent element that you can anticipate when Fear seeks to caress you with its tentacles, but Fate can certainly throw you for a loop. It can really mess up your plans, but with Fate, a guy just, well, deals with it.

After he’s finished cursing and whatever juvenile tantrums he’s re-working (the opportunity having presented itself) what does he do? He struggles, and copes.

Avid readers of the Guide—the guys who never leave home without it—know that Struggle gets high praise in the world of What Men Do. As it says in the Glossary:

Struggle-the relentless challenge whereby an Adult remains mentally and emotionally alive.

So, with the occasional intervention of Fate, a guy struggles and copes. But a sudden strike of Fear seems to automatically lead to a shriveling of the nuts, a lessening of Courage, and if its victim is going through a particularly rough patch (or, in some cases, if the Full Moon is on the horizon), a sense of defeat, sometimes almost of despair, can follow.

Thinking positively, I suppose you could say that Fear and Fate both present the same thing—challenge. If this is true, then it becomes a question of our response. In other words—Attitude. Invariably, our response to Fate is positive; to Fear, it’s negative.

There’s a great bit in the Guide about Attitude—based on the writings of Victor Frankl and his experiences in a Nazi concentration camp—how a positive Attitude embracing future plans gave some guys the will to survive the horror.

We really need to remember this when Fear pays us a visit. Put simply, Fear prompts a loss of Balls.

Doing It Your Way

The physio says I’m the only guy to whom he gives a monthly massage who puts his gear back on in the order that I do.

My process is to climb into my socks, then my shirt, leaving my nuts for further airing. I pay the bill, check the date of my next appointment, finally ‘slipping into something un-comfortable’ (as I call it). That’s me doing it my way.

Like a lot of guys I suspect, it’s important to me to do stuff my way. My father was very strict so much of my early life was spent doing everything his way. Up to the age of fifteen or sixteen I automatically sought security in conformity with others. It was only when I began to get ‘out there’ that things changed – radically.

Fortunately I’ve been ‘out there’ quite a bit; I haven’t always lived in Halifax (and by ‘out there’ I don’t mean I’ve also spent time in Huddersfield). The more guys you come up against as part of your daily activities, the more you realise that every guy has his ‘own way’.

This probably sounds a pretty obvious observation but I don’t think it’s quite that limp. It’s very much a matter of translating desire into action. It’s fine for Frank Sinatra to sing

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‘My Way’ and for others to pretend to relate to it, but I reckon the truth is quite different; many guys are still in my 15-year-old condition in varying degrees, afraid to allow their real desires an airing.

I’ve learned quite a bit about other guys from doing karate. In the dojo in which I did my original training I was taught the basic elements of the style by a butcher’s assistant who was a brown belt and bigger than me. He was a rotten teacher because he used the principle of ‘doing it my way’ as part of the initial training. This is the one time I can remember when I actually suffered because another guy was doing it ‘his way’.

Especially punching. His ‘way’ hit me, like, ‘full on’, and it hurt. My punched response was greeted with derision, clearly the attack of a pussy. He said I was just ‘going through the motions’, and that my punching lacked ‘chi!’ (which translates as ‘I’m going to kill you, you miserable little fucker, etc. etc.).

You’d think that in an environment like a karate dojo where there’s a lot of kicking and punching the easy access to a physio would make a lot of sense but we certainly didn’t have one at ours.

If there was any injury that was deemed potentially serious, say to so with your spine, the sensei told you to strip off and lie on your stomach. With his naked feet he would then walk slowly up and down your back, turning at your neck and arse until he heard it ‘click’ back into place. That was ‘doing it his way’.

My current physio gives me a fifty minute rub-down every four weeks. He’s not bashful but I always feel comfortable. He does it ‘his way’ and I’m happy with that.

The only thing ‘weird’ is that there’s bits of me he sees regularly that no-one else – guys, anyway – have seen – me included. I daren’t ask him if my crack is hairier than most (which I’ve long suspected). Mind you, I’m not anxious about it.

Having said all that, I have a suspicion my views on guys ‘doing it their way’ is somewhat skewed by the fact that this represents the guys with whom I’m involved. Because I myself operate ‘doing my own thing’, I tend to be attracted to those who operate in the same way.

Whereas…. increasingly I have an idea that most guys are intimidated by Big Government, Big Bureaucracy and Big Business, mostly ‘cos around age 28 they opted for security over freedom.

Heroes-in waiting, to whom I kind of assume I’m writing, have never had it easy but that’s something to be accepted as part of the deal. Any aspiring Hero has only to look at history. It’s always been a Struggle, but Struggle is ok. Struggle is good. As it says in the WMD Glossary:

STRUGGLE: The relentless challenge whereby an adult remains mentally and emotionally alive.

Think of Hercules. He only had to look at a princess he wanted to shag before her dad demanded an enormous dowry plus the completion of a few odd jobs like cleaning out the stables where a herd of elephants had been holed-up for the past thirty years, and slaying some nine-headed monster that had been causing trouble in the neighbourhood. Fortunately Hercules wasn’t fazed by this providing he could do it ‘his way’ so he said, ‘no problem’.

Fundamentally it would seem that ‘doing it your way’ is like enthusiasm; it makes the difference between Action verses leaving it ‘til later.

In Life terms it’s a good indication of a guy’s Balls, as it reflects the memories of him he leaves behind.

Light From The Green Lantern

Late into my teens… alright – to this very day, I’ve been a sucker for a Super Hero.

I can remember paying particular attention to the Greek and Roman modules we studied at age 10 or 11 –

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especially the grizzlier bits. Later, I watched the X-Men on TV every Saturday morning long after my mates had abandoned cartoons (or so they said).

A Freudian delve into why is not the reason for this piece, although I’m sure it would discover a deep well from which to draw other blogs from: a craving for action in my life; a desire to have untold power; the ability to shoot laser beams from my… well, let’s move on.

The reason that I mention my fondness of Super Heroes in the past, is that I needed to draw some strength from it recently, when I had to sit through the abysmal Hollywood movie, The Green Lantern. But I’m glad I did.

Plot and performance aside, there was something incredibly interesting about the film. This quote from Tomar-Re, a Green Lantern, explains:

Tomar-Re: “Billions of years ago, a race of immortals harnessed the most powerful force in existence: the emerald energy of willpower. These immortals, the Guardians of the Universe, built a world from where they could watch over all of existence: the planet Oa. They divided the universe into 3600 sectors, a ring powered by the energy of will was sent to every sector of the universe to select a recruit. In order to be chosen by the ring, it is said that one must be without fear. Together, these 3600 recruits formed the intergalactic peacekeepers known as the Green Lantern Corps.”

In the film, Will Power is represented by a flowing ‘river’ of green electricity. The ‘river’ is sourced from each and every person in the galaxy, and is the only power great enough to defeat the power of Fear. It is people’s fear that the ‘baddy’ in this film draws its strength from.

For a Hollywood Blockbuster this is actually serious stuff. Although many of the moviegoers probably glossed over this (or left the cinema before the plot got this far) it certainly resonated with me, as in the Guide we have a section about Fear titled, ‘The Indestructible Enemy’ in which it says the following:

“… you will discover deep within your greatest weapon against fear. This is the Power of your Will. Fuelled by your Courage and Positive attitude, the Determination of your Will Power will ensure you triumph over every battle with which Fear taunts you.”

Hollywood and the ability to fly aside, at WMD we really do believe your Will Power can help you be super human. I’m sure we all have people in our lives that have overcome adversity, achieved what we thought impossible, carved a life for themselves having been written off by ‘superiors’, all of these heroes are drawing from the power of their will. Now imagine if like in the film all of our will could be pooled to achieve something… now there’s a movie.

So the next question is then, ‘When is WMD the movie out?’