Prego and the Feminine Mystique

There was one of the few episodes of Northern Exposure I watched in which Dr. Joel
Fleischman asked the sage-like Chris Stevens "What do women want?"

His response: "They want the same things we do only in prettier colours."

I guess that's evident in this Home Depot colour swatch from Disney. It seems that our little princesses are indoctrinated early on in their affinity for footwear. This is shortly before they are trained in the art of holding one's blouse whilst bending over to pick up your belongings -- a completely necessary maneuver, since if you're 18 or 180, we will attempt to sneak a peak at yo' bid'ness. (Keep them legs crossed, too.)

Apparently our affinity for great breasts stems from biology, where somewhere in the nether-regions of our minds a little voice says, "Jesus. Those mammoth mammaries could conceivably feed 20 children until adulthood."

Physical attributes aside, there are inherent differences between the genders that are inexplicable by non-scientific types such as myself. A few years ago, for example, a friend's toddler waddles into the kitchen towards her uncle. She spots him, throws her arms up in the air and says, "Hold me."

My friend turns to me and says, "Boy, they start that sh*t early, don't they?"

Apparently, they do. It's some kind of protection thing, especially after coitus, but sh*t, baby. I've got to get up for work in the morning.

There are many other instances where the hes and shes don't see eye to eye. A few years back, when my wife and I first moved in together before we got married, we got back from the grocery store. Keep in mind that I'd never lived with a woman besides my mother and sisters. When I unpacked the groceries, I looked at the cold cuts and decided to make myself a sandwich. That's just how we roll. My wise friend Jay once said, "That's how you know you're a guy. When you like stuff like snakes... and helicopters... and sandwiches."

It seems women like sandwiches, too. As I sit next to the "Someday-to-be-Mrs. P" and take a bite, my eardrum is pierced with a shrill, "You didn't make me one?!" followed by a diatribe of indignance that came from left field.

"Uh... I figured if you were hungry you'd have come into the kitchen instead of plopping down to watch TV." My pragmatic response fell on deaf ears as her demeanor changed from zero to livid in about 38 seconds.

For monts thereafter, whenever she started what I construed as an irrational argument (98% of them), I'd simply say "Sandwich. Sandwich." I guess that was just a feeble effort to thwart the inevitable "venting" that the fairer sex needs once in a while. There's no stopping it, gents. It's like trying to shield yourself from a tsunami with a Titleist™ golf umbrella.

They can blame it on all the syndromes they want (they f*cking corner the market on them), but in their wake they leave a weak man quivering or an even weaker man swinging at them.

The inexplicables abound, yet even the strangest idiosyncrasies are explained, usually. On a night out, for example, your wife or girlfriend might decide to go to the pisser at the bar, place her purse in front of you and say, "Watch this for me, would you?" I'm not much of a conspiracist, but I equated it with a little territoriality. The female animal, marking her territory with a $200 Burberry (further proof of my lack of understanding), ensuring that all the other female predators in the bar don't pounce on her man-bone.

Hot Female: Ooooh. Unattended stud.
Hot Female #2: Ta-ken. Look. There's a Burberry in front of him.
Hot Female: F*ck it. I'm moving in for the kill.

I maintained this theory for a while until I asked a friend's girlfriend about the 'purse-leaving' stratagem.

"So nobody steals it."

I'm convinced she was simply being a good soldier, just giving name, rank and serial number. Maybe under duress, if I wielded a hefty telephone book, she might have cracked.

"Yes, Prego. You're riiiiiiight! You're riiiiiiight. We're staking our claim!"

Then there's the sh*t I just have no explanation for. No man does.

As I walked in downtown Chicago with a female friend, my eyes were drawn to some off-the-chart hotitude. "Whew. I like."

My female friend replies, "Pregoooo. She's wearing nude pantyhose." As if this somehow should diminish my desire to pounce on some kibbles.

What the f*ck does nude pantyhose have to do with anything?

As with any crazy male/female conundrum, I usually get a second opinion from a female such as my sister Zilt (as crazy a specimen, if there ever was one).

Prego: Zilt, what's the deal with nude pantyhose?
Zilt: (aghast) Oh my god. Chick-a-to-wah gah!*

* (Cheektowaga is a Buffalo suburb, known for it's pink flamingoes on the front lawns, crustily hairsprayed coiffs and general détritus blanc cheekiness)

So nude pantyhose is apparently tantamount to 70s bush on a string bikini? I was left bewildered with that one, particularly knowing that it's a removable garment. Perhaps they're just fuzzy dice in a t-top Camaro or a more tasteful vehicle. Either way it was the tip of the iceberg of what I don't know about women.

We don't always have such differences of opinions, the lasses and I. Yesterday I saw two cute girls talking at the supermarket -- one of them slightly more visually striking than the other. As I grabbed my Sapporo and made my way back I saw that they were walking pretty damn close to each other. "Man... They're lesbians!" I quickly decided to walk down their same aisle in hopes they decide to show some affection. Sure enough, right in front of the cereal they decide to have a tender embrace. "Woo-hoo!"

Lame-ass comic Paul Reiser quipped on lame-ass show "Mad About You" on men and our voyeurism where lesbians are concerned:
"They're girls, it's fun and I agree with both of them."

Unfortunately our society isn't as forgiving when the fellas want to get huggy. As far as tolerance towards male homosexuality, we're still in the Mesozoic Age. It's not like it'd yield the same reaction from me as the ladies did. I won't go tying any gay males to a lamp post to beat them senseless. It'd be more like, "Hey guys. One of you have change for a twenty?"

But girls? I get it. I really do. I got it when I saw the lady with Cerebral Palsy making out with the business lady while holding on to the walker. I got it when the two punk rock chicks made out with each other at the Buzzcocks concert. See? Some things I do get.

The sandwich? Nude pantyhose? Purse dropping? "Hold me?" I'm still working on my baccalaureate. Sh*t. Sometimes I still feel like I'm in third grade.

Mrs. P asked me to go buy her a pregnancy test today. Where the f*ck do they keep those, anyway? Near the tampoons, since it's a cooch thing? In the baby section, since that's what it's going to result in? Near the toilet paper, since it involves piss? Well, I finally found it near the festering 'chocha' ointment, for some reason.

Hopefully it's positive. Hopefully it's a girl. Maybe a daughter can help me figure all that crap out. I doubt it, though. She'll probably just drive me to utter a phrase all fathers dread:

"You're not leaving the house like that. You look like a hooker."

Or if I'm lucky, she's a lesbian.

Siskel and Roper Gave it "the Finger"

My friend Skip and I were swilling a couple of wobbly pops Tuesday night when some goofy comedy came on. It was some POS called Without a Paddle and, despite increasing crapitude as the film progressed, we watched the whole thing. There was enough comic genius thrown in to warrant one sitting, but that's about it.

About halfway through the 'film', Skip laments, "They don't make movies like they used to... Like Easy Money..."

I begged to differ. I said, "Yeah they do, Skip. It's just not about us anymore. In a few years all the little f*ckers you see around us are going to say, 'They don't make movies like American Pie anymore.'"

Every once in a while you have to sit down, crack open the cranium, plop the grey matter down on the mantel and sit down for some crappy Hollywood viewin'. There's a goddamned crapload of it, that's for sure. I usually reach for the comedies, since they lend themselves to mindlessness.

Joe Wack of Hairshirt fame hosts this week's . In an ode to Cliffhanger, the Sly Stallone vehicle that he considers the "Sh*ttiest Film of All Time," he invites you to pay homage to what you consider the worst movie ever - so crappy that you watch it over and over again and mire in its grandiose crapulence.

So what is it? Beaches? Red Dawn? Youngblood? Boys on the Side? It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World? Hangar 18? My brother still breathes fire about that one.

Get your tickets, walk over to the snack bar and make your way up the sticky aisle of Hairshirt Cineplex. Boo and hiss to your heart's content.


Saturday Sunday Night Four-Play! - Volume 6

It's a nice feeling to have survived another wedding. Actually, they'd be a little more fun if the music didn't suck so much ass. It rained men, we were family and we had friends in low places, but I felt for the poor souls going home with whiskey d*ck and nothing to put a little sizzle on the home fires.

That's where this week's featured Four Play! artist would have come in handy. Froggy lounge lizard Serge Gainsbourg would be an inspired addition to an otherwise vapid wedding DJ repertoire. His quirky and jazzy pop tunes would spice up the cocktail hours before the coup de grace "Je T'aime Moi Non Plus" (his steamy duet with 60's tart Jane Birkin) sends the guests home ready to tear off a piece off of post-wedding ass.

Sh*t... it was banned on a handful of European airwaves for a reason. Erections and creamed panties might have had something to do with it.

Mr. Gainsbourg died in 1991, but his Euro-trash legacy lives. Homme-boy is infamous for appearing pickled on a French TV show with a pre-druggy Whitney Houston and telling her that he "wanted to f*ck her." I might have tried the same line on the missus, but she was more drunk than I. Damn...

Anyhow, for those of you familiar with Monsieur Gainsbourg, here's a selection that might make you go blow the dust off of your CDs. New to Serge? Sacre bleu!

Pour votre plaisir.

Wake Me At Five
Initials B.B.
Sous Le Soleil Exactement
Je T'aime... Mon Non Plus


"Prego Will Be Out of the Office Until...

I' ve been carted off to a "friends-in-law" wedding in Lake Plaid, NY. It's actually a good time so far. I'm on my way to a night of watered-down Manhattans and shitty over-cooked ziti noodles. I just finished the jesus part of the day... the only other thing that could chafe me today is the obnoxious wedding DJ. If I hear the "Electric Slide" tonight, I'm definitely going to have to "crop dust" the dance floor. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it's passing gas, then walking around spreading the aroma.

Sunday Afternoon Four-Play tomorrow, so keep the cobbles and panty-hamsters on ice. In the meantime, pop by Sereena's for this week's roundtable - this week's topic, the 'perfect song'. Something I'm not likely to hear tonight at the reception.

Alright, pinches... I'm off to smile politely.


Saturday Night Sunday Morning Four Play! - Volume 5

If you have a bottle of Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais around, hide it tonight unless you want to refer to your next-born child as the 'whoops' baby.

Yeah... Chris Isaak's got that effect. At least I always thought so. If I were single and entertaining a lady, he'd be the first CD I reach for. Barry White might work if I were entertaining a hooker and Kenny G would work on the pimply banker chick your friend set you up with, but for sheer smoothness, you can't beat Mr. Isaak.

He's the kind of artist that deserves to be huge but flies under the radar, which adds to his appeal. I'd hate to be as sick of one of his gems as I am about "You're Beautiful" or that insipid "Bad Day" song (not that I cared for either of those klunkers to begin with).

You might remember him from such videos as the one with Chris and the hot chick romping topless at the beach with sand all over her b-cup titties. He's got that soaring vocal range that sends the cat out of the room when you try to sing along... so don't, but...


Pretty Girls Don't Cry
Two Hearts
Don't Get So Down on Yourself
Can't Do a Thing to Stop Me


Dear Prego (Or Why I Don't Write Advice Columns)


My mother says I'm tearing our family apart. On Mother's Day, my 8-year-old daughter teased her 9-year-old cousin, asking who'd like her last bite of dessert. When he said he wanted it, she said, "Just kidding!" My nephew went running into the house wailing like he'd been hit.

I was in the middle of telling my daughter what she did was wrong and she should apologize, when I heard my brother, "Harry," ask my nephew why he was crying. My nephew said my daughter had teased him over the dessert, and Harry said, "Well, she's a little bitch!" I was horrified. My daughter and sister-in-law heard it, too.

When I went inside to talk to Harry, he told me he didn't mean it that way and that he could say anything in his house that he wants. My daughter and I left, and I haven't talked to him since.

He has apologized to my daughter with numerous justifications for what he said, but he hasn't apologized to me for what he called my daughter and the way he talked to me. We have had two family birthdays since then (including another at my brother's), and my daughter and I haven't attended either one. My mother is taking Harry's side, saying I'm too sensitive and the word isn't that bad. Am I wrong to think that calling an 8-year-old a "bitch" is horrible, degrading and uncalled for? -- SISTER OF A TRASH MOUTH

DEAR SISTER: Probably not. But your brother has already apologized to the "injured" party for what he said, and he does not owe you one. I'm voting with your mother. You have already punished yourself and your daughter enough by missing out on the family birthday parties. Enough, already!

Dear Sis':
Man, can you hold a f*cking grudge. No wonder your daughter's a little sh*theel. My sister used to pull that jive-ass move... only she'd lick the last piece of cake, instead of saying, "Just kidding." On one occasion I said, "F*ck it. What's a little saliva among siblings," and wrestled the last goddamned Ho Ho ® from her chocolate-coated meathooks. It was a little soggy, but it hit the spot.

Now, onto your bid'ness. Rather than purse your lips and trot off to the trenches, fight fire with fire. Tell my nigga "Harry," he's right - she's a bitch. You might want to add that he's raising a mealy-mouthed p*ssy in the process. He seems to have cobbles himself, putting you in your place in his crib, but what's with putting up with the sobbing 9 year old? Time to tape the little wuss to the garage door and fire hockey pucks at him.

On the plus-side, I'm sure your husband appreciates sitting out the chafing family functions, but you seem like such a (here's a word that might 'horrify' you) cooze, you probably have him scrubbing your menstrual panties instead... a job "Harry's" kid will invariably land when he ties the knot.


Donny B. of Everything in Moderation
hosts this week's on the topic of advice columnists. Does having a bad day result in bad advice? What if they start losing their patience, like the guy at the amusement park who's been asked a thousand times where the sh*tter is? Stop by for a good read.

Also, apologies to Steven V. Funk for shirking my roundtablin' duties last week.


Saturday Night Four Play! - Volume 4

Though I have no compunction in digitally siphoning music, (I have over 1,200 store bought CDs and a plethora of vinyl) I do find a bit of a moral dilemma if the musician/band are still active or have a pulse... Therefore, this week's featured artist is an inactive one with no pulse.

Freshly deceased Arthur Lee of Love referred to himself as the 'first black hippie', but don't hold that against him. (The fact that he thought of himself as a hippie, not the fact that he was black... I don't suppose anybody's dumb enough to hold blackness against anyone)/ Anyhow, I thought I'd give a nod his way. After having Forever Changes on the CD changer for a month or so, my wife finally asked "Who is this?" That usually means she likes it, otherwise she'd ask "What the #%** is this?" instead.

Not that a ringing endorsement from Mrs. P. warrants the glare of the Four Play! spotlight, but what the heck. It should account for something, given her layman's ear for tuneage.

Pleasant and palatable psychedelia with lofty vocals.... Ahhh. I can smell the incense burnin'.

Here, then, are four tracks from Love and the late-great Arthur Lee.


Alone Again Or
Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hilldale
Little Red Book


Six Years Older Than Jesus

The following words escaped my lips today:

"Oh yeah? I went to boot camp there twenty-one years ago."

Ah, it seems like yesterday I was defecating in a doorless stall with an audience of a dozen or so other constipated recruits. But no, it wasn't yesterday. It was 7,665 yesterdays ago, 50 lbs. ago & a full head of hair ago. Hot college freshmen weren't born yet, and those that were born that year can now drink to their heart's content (or at least until they fall backwards off of the bar stool with their legs in the air).

Yup, today Blogger automatically updated my profile to indicate I've completed my 39th revolution around a flaming ball of gas (Louie Anderson). Save the accolades & well-wishes. I attribute my longevity to looking both ways before I cross the street & getting the hang of the whole respiration thing. That was a bitch.

August 9, 1967:

Grgmpnbtrhh... gasp. (cough). Inhale exhale. Inhale exhale. Inhale exhale. Inhale exhale.

It's pretty much been automatic since then. Generally, I do it through my nose, unless it's crusted over with boogers or I'm at the end of a shift on the ice, in which case the mouth comes in to pick up the slack. I try not to waste too much breath, but every once in a while a bit escapes. Audibly.

Here are other things that escaped my lips recently:

"That Little People show is still on the air? Midgets should only be televised on David Lee Roth videos."

Female Hockey Player in Bar: So, you play on a team with a bunch of fags? How's that working out for you?
Me: As long as they can skate, I don't give a flying rat's *ss where they put their d*ck.

A bit of spittle.

Mrs. Prego: Honey, did you pick up the poop in the back yard?
Me: (Fingers in ears - to the tune of Minnie Ripperton's "Lovin' You") La-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la-la... la-la-la-la-la la la la la la la,
dooo doo do do do dooooo, eeee eeeee eeeee eeeee eeeeeee....

"Each of her boobs is the size of Fletchmonster's head."

"(Shudder) Well, there's a sore for sight-eyes."

"You only call them 'Jesus-kickers' when you're talking to daddy. Your grandma and grandpa call them 'sandals'."

"That thing is a behemoth. I meant the dog, not your friend."

"Come to Carmela."

For the 53rd consecutive week: "I think I'm going to start running on Monday."

Here are several utterances that shan't:

"John Tesh? I have all his albums."

"Really? Dr. Phil was talking about that."

"So, anything new with your co-workers, honey?"

"Sorry I farted in front of you, babe. Next time I'll leave the room."

"Oooh. Wal*Mart. Let's see if they have (product) there."

"I Believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried: He descended into hell, the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen."

"Sweet. A wedding invitation."

"Let's go to that place we saw on Rachel Ray."

"Allow me to help you with the laundry."

"I pledge allegiance to the flag..."

"NASCAR is really a sport, when you think about it."

"I'd feel safer with a gun in the house."

I'm reserving these for my last breath:
"If there is a god, I'm f*cked."


(To the tune of Minnie Ripperton's "Lovin' You") "La-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la-la... la-la-la-la-la la la la la la la,
dooo doo do do do dooooo, eeee eeeee eeeee eeeee eeeeeee.."

Inhale exhale. Inhale exhale. Inhale exhale. Inhale exhale. Inhale exhale. Inhale exhale. Inhale exhale. Inhale exhale. Inhale exhale. Inhale exhale. Inhale exhale. Inhale exhale. ...


Saturday Night Four Play! - Volume 3

Here in Western New York we're a little privy to Canadian music, in large part because our radios receive their stations and their CANCON rule. I have, therefore, a long standing joke that the U.S. should cut off export of guitars to Canada, lest we be subjected to another Kim Mitchell or Barenaked Ladies recording... but sometimes guitars get in the hands of the right Canucks.

This week's Four Play features a band I consider one of Canada's finest. No, not Rush, but Halifax's Sloan. Have you ever heard a particular song by a particular band and gone, "Who the #$*& is this?" but in a good way?

...and then remember that exact moment whenever you hear them?

For me, I'll always remember when my a**hole friend put a cassette in my 1988 Nissan POS and said, "Here. Check this out," as we drove out to hunt down honeys in 5' of snow.

Ethereal powerpop in it's purest form, ladies and gents. Three original numbers and one tasty cover song. Enjoy.

I Am the Cancer
I Can't Let Go


Cover Boys

A while ago, I wrote a post about the O-Dog designing his own t-shirt and subsequently received rave reviews, including a kind request for a shirt from Rob of Fuquad! fame. I sent him one, of course, proud of my little man's work and happy to oblige anybody who takes an interest in it. I guess it's the way the mind of an artist works.

"You like it? Here. It's yours!"

"Gee. Thanks, Mr. Van Gogh. Are you sure you're not going to need this ear?"

I had no idea that the O-Dog's shirt would end up gracing the cover of a national publication.

Thanks to Rob for having a keen fashion sense, and for appreciating my son's work. Also, good luck to Jacques Roux on his future endeavors.

Tag Nabbit - Part Deux

I done (sic) got tagged by Claire... fair and square. Here's a literary q & a for me to trudge through.

1. One book that has changed your life

Hmmm... I'm guessing some elementary school 'reader' that connected with me somehow. Otherwise, I'd probably be coming home from a long shift at KFC for a long afternoon of QVC and Springer viewin.'

2. One book that you've read more than once
F*ck. I'm an English teacher. I've read S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders more often than I care to. I'm pretty sick of Sharon Draper's Forged by Fire, too.

3. One book you'd want on a desert island
This one. And a copy of Swank magazine.

4. One book that made you laugh
Snaps: The Original 'Yo Mama' Book, by James Percelay

"You're mother's so fat, her blood type is Ragú." Pffffrrrt. Chortle. Ragú. That's rich.

5. One book that made you cry
I spent a few weeks reading the Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis only to find at the end that the whole thing was religous allegory. I felt duped.

6. One book that you wish had been written
A coffee table picture book by Giada De Laurentiis' gynecologist. I know, ladies... I know. "She's got a big head...." "She's too toothy..." As my brother so eloquently put, "I think I'd watch her if she was making a f*#@ing grilled cheese sandwich."

7. One book that you wish had never been written
Anything upon which ANY f*#$ing religion is based. Those things cause more goddamned trouble than they're worth.

8. One book you're currently reading
Moon, by Tony Fletcher. Between work, school, the kids and the 'honey-do' list. Let's face it. A couple pages on the sh*tter, I'm getting through it at a snail's pace.

9. One book you've been meaning to read
The entire Seuss catalogue.

10. Now tag five people - O-Dog, Fletchmonster, any other possible offspring of mine, Fidel Castro and any *sshole who watches "Fear Factor."


Two Lbs. of Ground Roundtable

Sereena X from Metaphor Voodoo's looking to give the USDA a hand in designing a realistic 'food pyramid'. What kind of sh*t would you throw on? Oh sure, we'd all like to fib a little and play ourselves off as healthy eaters.

"Two servings of broccoli" or "a 9 oz. tofu steak."

Come on, who are you kidding? This is Prego you're talking to?

Wipe the pork rind residue off of your pie holes and give her some input.


Shaddapa You Fa-y-y-yce

Another birthday's come and gone here in the Prego household. The O-Dog's just begun his fifth trip around this wretched planet and we celebrated it in style with the greasiest pizza in Erie County. Here's a picture of the delivery guys. The bastards had the nerve to complain about the meager tip.

Things got a little sour when one of them started in with the "Whatsamatta you" routine.

Fortunately, I was able to appease them with a little spumone and a couple extra lire.