And my wife is not a cow.
You may find this hard to believe, but fat middle aged losers with chronic halitosis and a bellicose disposition have trouble making friends.
But enough about NewWifey(tm).
Ok, ok. I’m actually talking about me. Surprise.
Yeah, so, I have no friends. Sure there’s NewWifey(tm), and by extension some of her friends are mine as well. But I don’t have any guy friends. Buddies. Homies I can hang with and talk about sports and tits and…well, what else is there? Homies I can grab a beer with and complain about women and punch them in the chest when they bitch about my halitosis.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my female friends. I can even grab a beer with some of them, and one or two even appreciate a good rack – NewWifey(tm) included. But it’s not the same. For one thing, if you playfully punch women in the chest they tend to do stupid things like call the police, or die. It’s not the same.
It’s been this way for years, too. Thirty three, to be precise. The exact amount of time I’ve been a radio god. When I made the decision to go into broadcasting all those years ago, the tradeoff was the immediate jettisoning of my social life. I moved for my first gig. Then when I made the Big Leagues my shift was from 11pm to 7am. Two years later it was 1am to 9am. TEN YEARS later I advanced to 3am to 11. And now: 4:30am to 12:30pm. Oh, and add an hour’s driving time onto each end.
It’s not just that I’m too tired to have a social life. It’s that who was I gonna call at 10am on a Tuesday and say, “Hey, you up for a beer?” Don’t get me wrong, most of my reprobate buddies would indeed grab a brewski at 10am if given their druthers. But…they all have jobs. REAL jobs, with real hours. If I did ask, they’d come back with, “Sure, but make it 6 o’clock“. 6 o’clock? For almost 20 years, that was an hour after I’d hit the sack!
And of course, the inevitable. We all got married. Which meant weekends were always bad for one or another of us. “Gotta clean out the gutters apparently, bro, sorry.…”
After a while then, I was off the radar. Absence may make the heart grow fonder, but it makes the brain forget things. Like me. I haven’t had a buddy even call since 2006. Not that I’m counting….
I was bemoaning all of the above to NewWifey(tm) a few weeks ago after having downed 3 bottles of Holland House Cooking Sherry in a row, feeling very sorry for myself after having seen a particularly nice set of jugs on the r/ThanksForTheMammaries subreddit and realizing I had no one to excitedly call and share my amazing find with.
This is why NewWifey(tm) is my best (female) friend: she sympathized with me. “Those are very, very impressive airbags on that girl, you’re right. I’m sorry you can’t hoot and grunt over them with a buddy.” She patted my head.
What a babe. She gets it.
But that doesn’t help me get a bud. I was still sad.
However, for the past couple of years I’ve been covering the “NXIVM” cult shenanigans, from the accusations, through the trial, to the continuing shenanigans of its non-incarcerated members. And it hit me the other day that for all the brain washing, sex slavery, branding with glowing hot irons, puppy killing (probably), and all the rest…they were all good friends. Yeah, they were mostly women, but the overarching point wasn’t lost on me: groups organized around common interests – or brainwashing – foster real friendships among the members.
That was it! I just needed to join a group, albeit one with more men and less slavery. Although if push came to shove, I’d settle for just “more men”.
I hit up the Interwebs and found a group that looked promising.
I decided to tell NewWifey(tm).
“Honey, guess what? I’m gonna be a Boy Scout!”
She looked at me with a look I’ve seen more times than I can count. Like I just told her I was going to start wearing spats. “You can’t join the Boy Scouts” she said. “It’s for boys. It’s right in the name.”
“Nuh-uh. I googled it. Adult men are hired to keep them from killing each other. They get a uniform and everything!”
She sighed. “WHY do you want to join the Boy Scouts? You hate kids. And you hate uniforms. Not to mention you couldn’t start a campfire with a can of gasoline in the middle of the Dixie Fire. Why?”
“Because I’m lonely for male company. I could hang with some of the scout masters after we tie our knots or make a park bench or whatever those loser kids do. I could have guy friends!”
“Oh, that” she said. “Ok, I get it. But I don’t think the Boy Scouts are a good fit. For one thing, you’d just end up telling that stupid Boy Scout joke and getting kicked out. I give you a week. 10 days, tops.”
“Well it is a great joke” I said. “‘How do Cub Scouts become Boy Scouts? They eat a Brownie.’ How could they not appreciate a joke like that?”
“Yes, it’s very unfair” NewWifey(tm) said. “But that’s the world we live in now. Why don’t you try something like the Masons? I don’t think there are any kids in that one, so you could tell all the stupid jokes you want.”
“Masons?” I said. “A club dedicated to canning vegetables?”
“Not Mason jars, idiot. Masons as in masonry. You might like them. They wear funny looking robes and have secret handshakes and lots of silly toys and rituals. Did you ever see the “Stonecutters” episode of The Simpsons? Just like that, but without the cool theme song.”
“I’ve seen that episode. I’m lonely, not retarded. Pass.” A thought hit me. “Who are the guys who wear fez’s and drive tiny cars? That doesn’t sound retarded.”
“That’s the Shriners, and they’re part of the Masons.” she said.
“There’s the chamber of commerce, but you know nothing about business. Besides, they let women in. The Knights of Columbus is for Catholics, so your atheism and Pope dartboard instantly disqualify you. I don’t think the Moonies are desperate enough yet to take you.” Her brow wrinkled. “Hey, how about the Elks? They’re all guys. No stupid robes or rituals either, I think.”
“Elks, huh?” I said. “Well I like the name. I understand they’re delicious, too. Ok, I’ll look them up.”
And I did. Turns out the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks has been around for a while, emerging originally as a way for actors and entertainers in New York City to get drunk on Sundays, a day when the law didn’t allow bars to open.
I read a bit more. They do have some stupid ritual stuff, and a robe or two seems to get dragged out for some infrequent shindigs. But they seemed more lighthearted and overall less retarded than the Masons. And although they have to let chicks in thanks to a lawsuit in the 90’s, it seems not many women want to join. Probably because of the name.
“Hey honey” I yelled. “How would you like to be a Cow?”
“That’s what female Elks are called. I’ve decided to join the Elks, and they let women in. So you can be a Cow!”
“Fuck them! No woman in her right mind would join a club that names women that.”
(FWIW, female members of the club are actually called “Lady Elks”. But you KNOW every male member in the land has told his wife they are called Cows so they would give the same response NewWifey(tm) gave. The club probably has fewer female members worldwide than I have teeth.)
All that was left to do was fill out the form and wait for my card. I hustled over to their Membership page, the top of which states, “To be eligible for membership in the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, you must be a citizen of the United States over the age of 21 who believes in God.”
Hmm. Well, they’d accept two out of three, right? I mean, we’re talking about a club that started as a way to skirt local laws so they could get shitfaced. The God Clause is probably just for good PR. But I had to be sure, so I fired off a “This ‘God’ requirement is just a nudge nudge, wink wink thing, right?” letter to the Membership Department link.
The next day I got a curt reply back from Rick Gathen, Grand Lodge Membership & Marketing Manager. It was not ‘nudge nudge, wink wink’.
“Dear Tom, to be a member you must be:
Not less than 21 years of age
A believer in God
A citizen of the United States who will pledge allegiance to and salute the American Flag
Of Good Character
Not even a “Yours truly”.
Shit. And when did they add “Good Character“? That’s TWO things I fail on now!
So…I am not an Elk. And my wife is not a Cow.
Who names their club after a meat animal, anyway? That’s retarded. Screw ’em.
If only Heaven’s Gate were still around, I bet they’d have taken me. I’d have gotten a pair of cool Nike’s and a purple blanket too, dammit.
Oh well At least I’m not married to a cow.
Ciao, kids! And if anyone reading this feels like dropping by for a beer and maybe a punch in the chest, you’re more than welcome. Except the chicks. Sorry. You go join the Elks or something.