Before the war

Once so close and yet so far
Heads up you’ll see the door’s ajar
Where empty trough
The search for meaning
Again the proof
You’re backward leaning

Turned away by rays of light
Morbid distress
No will to fight
Malaise:
In anger admit defeat
First they fall
Then retreat

Angst, the rouge in Antebellum
Brought down, the despised
spew
forth
venom

Invasion

Narcissists may be our last line of defence in the event of an invasion. They have been studied by psychologists and social scientists. They have perplexed boyfriends, girlfriends, wives, husbands, children, friends, coworkers and voters for millennia. But don’t rehabilitate them just yet. In case Earth is invaded, we may need their unique soul sucking gifts to reduce Earth intruders (thanks Björk) to pillars of salt, muddied with twigs and branches.

Narcissists will never lose. Their only goal is to destroy you. They will do whatever it takes to achieve that. What guarantees your destruction by a narcissist is being in their field of vision. If they perceive your existence, you have become a problem, and it’s game over for you. The only way to avoid being destroyed is to avoid them completely.

That’s why we will need them to neutralise the most unkillable extraterrestrials in the known universe: The Borg and Q Continuum.

Borg
The Borg are collectively aware and do not speak as separate individuals. The Borg were once “flawed and weak”, but developed into a cybernetic species in an effort to evolve and perfect themselves. These two points make the Borg vulnerable to counterattack: They are not perfect yet and they speak as one voice because they live in “harmony.”

Narcissists are gifted at finding flaws, insecurities and emotional triggers and adapting to them so they can manipulate targets. They are also skilled at pretending to fit in with societies and cultures. They will ingratiate themselves and go through the motions of blending in, committing with utmost devotion to the sole objective of being more Borg than the Borg themselves.

Their blind devotion to all things Borg will get them promoted to Super Master Borg Ambassador in short shrift. Once they’ve earned that trust, they will switch up and launch a takeover of the collective, effectively destroying its integrity.

Remember how the Borg quickly adjust their shields to phaser frequencies? Well, that will offer no protection because narcissists excel at waffling. They’re inconsistent. They constantly change their “principles” and “theories” but only after you’ve made yourself amenable to the set they’ve just made up. They are particularly awesome at saying one thing and vehemently denying it zero point zero five milliseconds later.

This endless fluctuation will drive the Borg mad and melt their circuitry.

Game, Earth.

Q
The Q are immortal, extra dimensional beings but are not absolutely omniscient or omnipotent. They possess the power of instantaneous matter-energy transformation and teleportation, as well as the ability to time travel. They can move entire star systems with their minds.

Aha! No one can beat them, you say? But trust me, narcissists are gifted at finding flaws. Immortality and time travel have three side effects that work against members of the Q Continuum. These side effects are boredom, curiosity and a seemingly infinite capacity to calculate outcomes based on mathematical principles. In other words, Q are happy go lucky and are always right.

Narcissists, on the other hand, have a palpable lack of curiosity. In their minds, they are always right and their truth is the only one that matters. They don’t care about things like evidence, investigation, scientific studies or obvious in front of their very eyes stuff. Narcissists love to say, “I don’t care about that” really fast. Don’t bother explaining to them the need to make the link between what they said now and what they said milliseconds ago. They don’t follow threads of thought or consider the merits of your argument. They are only concerned with making you wrong.

All narcissists can do this to some extent, but the Q can be annihilated by a special elite class of narcissist. This narcissist is known as the Mega N.

… to be continued

New tax penalties for single women

Government introduces new tax penalties for single women and fashion bloggers
by Sheila Riceampeas
SB NEWS
April 27, 2015 09:15 GMT

The Government has announced in the 2015 Spring Statement and 2015 Finance Bill, tax measures that are likely to be welcomed by men who have been unable to find girlfriends in the dating pool, bars and pubs.

Three tax measures are intended to support peer-to-peer introductions; online dating services; dental clinics; hair salons and fitness clubs.

  1. From April 2016, a new tax penalty of 10% will be introduced for women who do not register their relationship status as “in a relationship” on HateBook. All women are required to register their relationship status with local councils. Verification documents may include vacation photos, party videos, xrated chats, and not safe for work videos.
  2. The Government will be introducing an additional 20% income tax for all fashion and beauty bloggers who fail to register as being “in a relationship” as of April 2017.
  3. Finally, the Government will build on its promise to stamp out antisocial behaviour among unmarried women with relationship training, love life inspections and registration centres throughout the country.

The introduction of the tax penalties will encourage more women to develop the skills to attract men and keep them interested. Relief will therefore be offered to men who have said they are not having any luck picking up women in bars, nightclubs, restaurants, train stations, book stores, or hotel lobbies.

Finance Minister Spahm Bherger has said that single women “spend too much of their income on scented candles, handbags, shoes, lacy underwear and cosmetics.” He further said that, “women with boyfriends or husbands tend to make meals at home and do laundry. We believe that the new tax measures will help more men to have their nutrition and intimacy needs met at home.” News of the crackdown has caused a surge in the number of registrations at Kindr, BindHer and Gatch.com. Independent matchmaking services have also seen a surge in customers.

Bella Donna, a pole play choreographer at PolinEX, has said she will need more staff to help teach scores of women who have registered for nightly pole and lap dancing lessons. Some fashion bloggers have seen the new tax measure as a way to make quick cash. They offer wardrobe arrangement, makeup and etiquette lessons via Skype.

Fashion blogger Raga Muffintop charges $50 per hour for body licking lessons at her tiny apartment in the city. Clients bring their own ripe bananas or Twinkies to class. Ms Muffintop provides the whipped cream, maple syrup or chocolate sauce at no extra cost.

According to the Spring Statement, the Government will not recognise unmarried same sex couples. This means that women will not be able to pretend they are in relationships with their single girlfriends in an attempt to avoid paying the tax.

Finally, the Government has also announced its intention to introduce new online systems. These are the Social Engagement Kickstart Scheme (SEKS) and Seed Injection Scheme (SIS). These systems are geared at providing legal insurance to companies as encouragement to relax rules about staff relations and sexual harassment policies, making it less problematic for busy women to flirt with men and get boyfriends at work.

The schemes are likely to be of interest to not only nerds and geeks who traditionally have no game, but also to speed dating providers who wish to provide lunchtime dating sessions for corporate clients.

Divorced women and widows will also be penalised.

What are your thoughts on the proposed changes? Tweet us: @kissmycinnamonxyz

Endless Quest

On a much lighter note, this post is about the endless quest for alien life. It started when I read the poem A man’s heart and told The Hallucinating Angel, Nidhi, I wanted someone to feel this about me:

She makes my heart pound with just a blink
And leaves me in this state of pique
She has become the centre of my universe
And I shall keep revolving around her for eternity to come.

Excerpted from A man’s heart on Hallucinations of an Angel.

Nidhi suggested we create lists and publish them on our blogs. “Breathing” was my first item, but that was not good enough, so we talked about the details. You can see her handwritten list at Hallucinations of an Angel.

I was talking to a friend last evening and we joked that I should call this “the search for aliens.” Because who can take me except for Martians?

I managed to fill a page with my unreadable scrawl. Don’t read it… Look at the stickers.

Endless Quest

The Stigmatization of Seeking Medical Care

Guest post by Lady Quirky, a nurse practitioner who blogs at Accidental Boxer
Please visit her blog, Accidental Boxer, to read the full version

Social media is a dangerous place for sick people. In our conspiracy theory soaked culture, we are at the mercy of armchair diagnosticians. The stigmatization of seeking medical care has become rampant in our holistic, organic, supplement inhaling society. I do believe there is a role for complementary medicine; however it should not replace sound medical advice.

Every day, I see things that make me cringe. Self-appointed experts who have “done my research,” are perpetuating a cycle of misinformed self-righteousness, the exact thing that they accuse the medical establishment of doing.  Someone posts that they have been diagnosed with cancer. Immediately, there are a plethora of well-meaning supporters.

  • You can fight this!
  • Stay strong.
  • My cousin’s aunt had a friend’s husband’s cousin had that EXACT cancer, she beat it by eating the placenta of a virgin.
  • Take this vitamin, I do. I did not get cancer.
  • Go to Mexico and get peach pits- they are proven to cure cancer.
  • The FDA wants to hide the cure, so they can sell you chemotherapy.
  • Ignore that doctor, you can beat this if you try hard enough.
  • No one dies from cancer.
  • Read this website.
  • Prayer cures everything!
  • Your flu vaccine gave you cancer.
  • Eat organic vegetables. No meat. Vegetarians don’t get cancer.
  • Avoid gluten, it gives you cancer.

A lot of patients out there had crappy doctors. They were not treated as a whole person. As a reasonable, responsible, and rational person, you have an obligation to be an informed consumer. This is contingent on your ability to discern the validity of your sources. If you believe that your healthcare team is corrupt and seeking to harm you, then you have an obligation to seek care elsewhere. If you feel that your provider is inept, you need a new healthcare provider.

Healthcare providers seek to provide safe, effective, and accessible care. Evidence Based Medicine means that your doctor is adding to their knowledge base with continuing education, in order to take the best care of you and your family. They collect information about you (the patient) and use those findings to seek answers. They also understand the difference between correlation and causation.

I have ADHD. I was not diagnosed as a child, and have a complicated educational background as a direct result of no treatment. Now, I am a Nurse Practitioner with an excellent college track record. My son was diagnosed earlier. We knew what to look for. We are not on the same treatment. What worked for me, did not work as well for him. We have utilized medication and dietary changes, along with behavior modification.

There are people (I call them “asshats”) who judge me for my choices regarding my family’s medical care. They did their research. “ADHD is Bullshit!” “ADHD is invented by pharmaceutical companies because they don’t want to cure cancer or AIDS.” If only I were a better mother, I would have sought their advice prior to seeking a professional.

Every situation is unique, and it is dangerous to assume that one person’s story of a cure is applicable to you, or even accurate. Most people use anecdotal evidence as their go to for sharing what they understand about a disease. Frankly, it is a private matter, and it should be left to the patient and their medical team to evaluate.

There are a multitude of factors that must be considered, and a proper risk/benefit analysis should be performed. In other words, are the potential benefits worth the potential risk? This should include treatment options versus opting not to treat.

Here are some tips for offering medical advice:

  1. Just Don’t.
  2. Tell long stories about exactly what they need to do.
  3. Offer the website for the new miracle cure.
  4. Invite them to your prayer circle, which provided many cures.
  5. Judge their lifestyle choices and condemn their morality.
  6. Gossip about others’ personal medical conditions.
  7. Create an action plan for intervention. They really do need your help, they just don’t know it yet.
  8. Actually, go back to the first point (1) unless you are a trained medical professional whose opinion was sought.

Come on everyone, stop assuming you are an expert because you read something on Wikipedia, Web-MD, some blog, or Fox News. Do not use the guy down the street who once knew someone who had a friend who ___ (fill in the blank). Please find a professional.

To Whom this May Concern

Bad things can happen when we take shortcuts to judgement. I am reminded of one of my favourite films, Match Point, where a young former tennis pro marries into a wealthy upper class family after carefully playing to their assumptions. I recommend the film to anyone who wants to understand how fixed, ready processed ideas can leave us vulnerable to manipulation. Skyfall‘s villain, played by Javier Bardem, tricked MI6 into handing him their entire database. The ploy was convincing because he was difficult to capture and lives were sacrificed to protect his identity.

A person can deliberately take offence to what was said in order to create dissonance and use the heavy mist of emotions to avoid speaking in truth about the real issues in question. Dramatic cosplays may backfire if the other person is wise to that strategy. Let me explain why that stuff does not work on me. First, consider three non fiction essays I’ve published here: One called GOYA; another about how to act SMART and most recently, one called Bread. Second, notice that in practice, they work in harmony, like this.

I happened on a poem from a writer, in which he identified himself as “racist.” I didn’t accept that he was one. That was me giving someone the benefit of the doubt. Even so, I was stung that he wrote how if a dark skinned male passes by his open garage door, he feels that the person will jump him. I have dark skin, so I felt unfairly judged.

This is how I reacted.

I asked him if the feelings were real. He said, yes. Then, we had a short discussion about the differences between the privileges afforded by his superficial identifying features and the privileges I’ve enjoyed after working hard to earn them outside of my comfort and safety zones. I said something like, I have learned to take control over my environment as a result of not having everything handed to me. I also let him know that even if we don’t have the same ideas, we can be decent to each other. I extended my best wishes and invited him to delete my comments if he found my presence on his blog disconcerting.

His response may surprise you. He thanked me for my comment and said, “I need more dark skinned friends” after inviting me to read and comment on his blog. I accepted his invitation and found out that we both enjoy fine wine. This discovery warmed me and so did his recommendation for a place to sample some delicious wines on my next trip to the United States.

The reason I’m posting this commentary here is to say this. Welcome to my universe. In it, I can make the choice to not jump down someone’s throat, be offensive, unkind and disparaging just to be confrontational just because something seems provocative. On this occasion, I may have met a fascinating person. I still feel some tension but I am willing to give this a try.

To whom this may concern,

When I am aware of an assumption of mine, I test it by asking the other person to present their side. A stranger, who does not know me and could have tossed out my opinion, chose instead to engage in conversation on a sensitive matter.

We could have torn each other to shreds with words. We chose not to do that.

Why not you?

Warmest regards,
Sabiscuit

Infrared (B of B)

Marta
Bend your knees. Move your head slowly. Yes, got it. Do not move for 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Lock!

Jemmes
Ready or not, Hobgoblin. Time to sell it.

Hex 
Uhhm… I can’t get money out of the machine.

Jemmes
Burgess, you have one minute to rendezvous with the busker.

Hex
I can use a pin? My hair is down today, but let me see if I can find one in my …

Jemmes
We have him for five minutes but let’s not bank on him, so to speak.

Hex
… What card?

Marta
We’re in, in and in. Nesting code for surveillance loop.

Jemmes
I told you the infrared sensors would be the way in. We just needed to beam it some candy.

Burgess
Hiya, it’s cold out, eh?

Hex
He asked me if I needed a card but I already had my Victoria’s Secret one…

Busker
Yeah, waiting for a friend, ya know.

Burgess
You look like you could use a shower and a hot meal. Tell you what, why don’t I … give you my last forty dollars and you can see to it?

Hex
Wait… Hulloooo! That’s Burgie, my date. He’s giving the poor fellow some money. It’s …

Marta
Nice work, Hobgoblin. We’re all set. Wrap it up.

Hex
so … if it’s alright, can I hang up already?

Busker
Thanks, man. That’s solid love, man. Peace.

Burgess
Don’t mention it, brother.

Jemmes
Fantastic display, everyone. We now wait six hours to sell the decoy. In the meantime, gather on the fifth floor to prep for phase two.

Two weeks

Two weeks

Midst night it breaks,
like a
potent fire;
does not put out.
Sweet
white
harmony dissipates.
Love was,
“Betrayal,” meet “Desire.”
Plural eyes her life’s force renew.
Resurrection, hurry along,
woah, do me do.
Chaste the lark, unsung the blues,
warming lyric palettes, cooling lusty hues.
Two weeks, recall, I was so into you.
“Ah! Love, you know why it cannot be you.”

 

Mathilda’s Corner (A of B)

Mr
Bay Bee Gott Bank call centre. How can I help you?

Hex
Uhhm… I can’t get money out of the machine.

Mr
I’m not seeing any transaction information here. Did you enter your PIN correctly?

Hex
I can use a pin? My hair is down today, but let me see if I can find one in my …

Mr
Ma’am a P I N is a passcode. Did you enter it?

Hex
No.

Mr
Was your card grabbed?

Hex
No… What card?

Mr
Your ATM card. Did you insert it into the slot?

Hex
OMG… When I opened my account, the banker guy said I could get money from an ATM whenever I want.

Mr
Did you get a card for the ATM, ma’am?

Hex
He asked me if I needed a card but I already had my Victoria’s Secret one. So I said it’s okay.

Mr
Have you ever used an ATM to withdraw cash before?

Hex
No.

Mr
Do you have a PIN for your Victoria’s Secret credit card, Ma’am?

Hex
No, I just give it to the counter people. But I need come cash right now because this guy outside my building asked me for some change for coffee. I don’t jingle so he said I should get some from the machine.

Mr
I see. You will need …

Hex
Wait… Hulloooo! That’s Burgie, my date. He’s giving the poor fellow some money. It’s …so … if it’s alright, can I hang up already?

Mr
Yes, Ma’am. You should…

Bread

IMG_0005I do not eat bread, wheat or gluten containing food products. I have an autoimmune condition called celiac sprue. I was diagnosed in 2009, six years after my cousin died of colon cancer.

It took three years to get that definitive diagnosis because I have multiple autoimmune issues.

I have slept in hospitals over weekends to get every part of my body scanned for every possible cause for the symptoms.

I have spent nights in hospital after uncontrollably vomiting. After being drip fed nutrients, fluids and antiemetics, I went home, had showers and walked into my office to start another day.

The ironic thing is that I grew up in a vegan household. I was told that wheat is a toxin and I should not eat it. I thought that was nonsense but I went with it because I was asthmatic and sensitive to just about everything. I was put on a diet to control my body’s reaction to everything.

I am happy with my current diagnoses, thanks to the expertise of eight different medical professionals in three countries. I no longer need asthma or allergy medication. That is because I restrict wheat, gluten and all the things I’m allergic to.  I also stay away from anything that irritates my digestive system.

I have not had a cold in one year. The last time I caught cold, I was under a lot of stress. My food was also contaminated with gluten, wheat or other things.

I do not eat bread, wheat or gluten containing food products: This is where a lot of people stop listening.

Even if I say that I have been diagnosed with celiac sprue, otherwise intelligent people question my intelligence, my integrity and the competence of medically trained professionals. This is done in a passive aggressive attempt to change my mind.

One person, who helped scrape me off the floor at work after I couldn’t stop throwing up (separate autoimmune condition), asked me, six months after that, if I went to a doctor to get a diagnosis. She knows about my autoimmune issues. She has the contact information of four of my specialists in her phone. I was shocked.

When I say, “I can’t eat bread because I can’t digest it” some people choose to hear me say, “Bread is bad for you and you should stop eating it. If you don’t stop eating it, you are a bad person.” They react to what I did not say.

I love bread. I like fancy, cute bread. I have good taste in bread. I like the way bread looks and the way it smells. I have friends who make bread for a living. I visit their kitchens often and they prepare gluten and wheat free treats for me to enjoy. I buy bread for friends who marvel at my quality standards because I don’t eat it.

Of course, this post has nothing to do with bread. It has to do with listening. If only we would listen to the essence of what someone is saying. Pay attention to what is said and ask questions. Get over assumptions that opinions that differ from ours will shake us from our firmly held convictions. Someone has to do it, and I practice with bread.

Updated December 28, 2015

Pecs Bowen responds to 48, Single Men Only

Please Stop Watching Porn
x Pecs Bowen

If you are a man and you do not watch porn, this is not for you. If you are a man, have watched porn and are repulsed by it, this is not for you. If you are a man, you have sex with women and you watch porn regularly, please continue reading.

It is my humble request to you, to please stop watching porn.

I am not asking you to stop watching porn because it degrades women or objectifies them, not also because it is hypocritical on your part. While you fight for the cause for women to have a life of dignity, you also contribute to the demand side of that profession. No.

I am asking you to stop watching porn for the sake of women who come back home with you to make love. Sex is such an incredible activity. Two people naked exploring each other’s bodies, learning ways to pleasure the other, building a rhythm, discovering a tempo, having a deeply personal experience together, something which is their own.

You do not need to take lessons or read a tutorial to know how to please a woman. It is something you can learn slowly and over time. Women do not really care if you cannot keep time or how many positions you switch or whether you look like one of those fellas in pornos. We really don’t.

What matters more is how much you are into it at the moment. What matters is the intensity of your need for us, what matters is the passion, intensity and caring at the same time. But these are general things, what your woman specifically wants cannot be learnt from a movie. You will learn it by spending more time with her in bed, by experimenting a bit (use your own imagination for this please, you will be surprised how much fun you can have if you just improvise on the spot) Read her body and moods and just be there with her wihout any preconceived notions on what works and what doesn’t.

I think it is silly, how many men, when it comes to dealing with, talking to or having sex with a woman leave their brains behind. They think we want what popular media says we want: Candlelight dinners, wild long lasting sex, a happily ever after. (Sigh.) How silly can you be?

It really breaks your lover’s heart when she learns that all that you ask her to do in bed, you do because you have seen other men do it to other women in a porno. You probably are expecting from her the same fake noises, and the same over the top enthusiasm for those gag things and those toy thingies.

We are not stupid you know. We have seen pornos. We have seen how men treat women in them. So if you treat our bodies like that, we know that while your heart is in the right place, your mind is somewhat perverted. And goodness gracious, what a turn off that is.

So please, please stop watching porn and make love us any way you want. Just not like how they do in porn films.

Much Concerned,
This Woman

Socialite Media

Jupiter
Your wife asked me to talk to you. I see that you were admitted after having a panic attack. Panic attacks are caused by stress. Are you overworked?

Neil
No, it’s a name-only job. On weekdays I’m at the horse farm. I’m in the city on weekends.

Jupiter
If you don’t talk about this now, you’ll have another attack and we’ll be back here. What happened right before you collapsed?

Neil
I’ve just finished a fencing lesson with John Tam, the designer. He asks me to follow him on Instagram. I do. I notice he has 4,000,000 followers. I scroll through and count twenty posts. I suddenly felt a tightness in my chest and here we are. Completely unrelated, I’m sure.

Jupiter
Let me do a quick check… His account has been active for … a month. And… I see that you have nine hundred thousand followers. That’s a good number.

Neil
I’m the COO of a global NGO. I have two thousand paid employees. I should be instantly recognised. Nine hundred thousand followers is unacceptable.

Jupiter
From what I see here, your posts are about your vegan diet, and you in … very tight-fitting …. running outfits and … what’s this one?

Neil
Pheasant farm in Latvia. I cooked that outdoors on a grill. Rock salt, rosemary, olive oil. Instant hit with my three Fortune 500 CEO guests. Only two thousand likes. I mean, it’s not a hamburger, so no one’s interested.

Jupiter
Okay.

Neil
You know what? I want to create a panel… of designers, professors, chefs and editors. I want to chair that panel. We will judge profiles and grade them for quality. Cut out all of those followers, delete all of those likes.

Jupiter
You could hire a PR firm to fix this for you.

Neil
This is what I hate now. Asking someone to help me to become popular. I don’t want anything from anyone.

Jupiter
Is this a competition between you and your friend?

Neil
There is no competition. I mean, what does he have? I have more influence than all of these trending people. Some of them don’t even have jobs. They can’t afford my lifestyle. It makes no sense that they are more popular when I have more prestige.

Jupiter
I see that the situation is causing some stress. So we should get you on some medication and schedule a session to talk?

Neil
Talk therapy for Instagram? I’m offended by that. This is exactly what I’m talking about. No matter what I do, I get no respect…

The Not Shall agreement (3 of 3)

Panda
Terms to be discussed.

Gabbe
Let’s stay away from technical language. I want to just be frank and open so there are no misunderstandings. This is a mediation and not a deposition.

Panda
I’d like to state for the record that all verbal agreements, yes, affirmative, okays and alrights are valid unless stated in the record.

Gabbe
Duly noted.

Horlick
What’s first?

Vanessa
You mean, what’s only. Money. That’s why we’re in this room. Would you marry me if I had … didn’t have … four hundred million dollars?

Panda
That’s liquid. Plus six hundred million in assets and climbing.

Vanessa
Don’t be vulgar, Stanley.

Neil
I’m not…

Vanessa
No, no. This is what you aspire to. You’ve done nothing but shop since we started going out. I watched that documentary by your former boss. I realised that I can buy the love of a doting husband.

Panda
Strike that from the record. It is an emotional statement meant for contextual purposes only and does not constitute a basis for this agreement.

Tori
Noted, and so stricken.

Gabbe
Would you like to say something, Mr Ross?

Neil
I’m insulted and hurt, so no.

Gabbe
Perhaps we should continue to the first items on the agenda. You have them listed here as “Not Shalls.”

Vanessa
They’re like commandments. I learned from my mother’s first three marriages that there is the need for honesty. It makes everyone clear.

Gabbe
Do you have an opinion on this?

Neil
I can’t believe you’re painting me as a gigolo. You know I am attracted to you. The fact that we’re getting married makes us equal.

Vanessa
You’re attracted to me? How sweet you are. As for equality, why don’t I give my money to charity and become a stylist?

Neil
No problem. Do it.

Panda
Your father left you stewardship of his estate and controlling interest in his group of companies. You can’t just give away your obligations.

Vanessa
Thwarted by vested interests. What luck for you, my darling little duck.

Neil
That’s a nasty thing to say. I’m not here for that.

Vanessa
I know I’m not pretty.

Neil
Please, there is no need to feel insecure. I’m committed.

Panda
But, what are you committed to?

Gabbe
Uhmm… May we proceed with the list?

Panda
All my client is saying is that she is a human being with feelings. She wants to retain her self respect.

Gabbe
Would you like to say something reassuring before we continue, Mr Ross?

Neil
This is hard for me, as I feel a lot of this is private.

Horlick
Let’s just get on with the list.

Panda
Not Shalls.

Eli
Here’s my handkerchief.

Neil
Just cut out the theatrics!

Vanessa
This counts as emotional abuse. Discounting my feelings. Calling them theatrics.

Neil
This is abuse, ganging up on me with this team of lawyers.

Vanessa
You didn’t complain about my team when they got you a coffee and a quick chat with Bruce.

Eli
Let that be stricken.

Gabbe
Not shall everyone be overreacting, please.

Vanessa
Okay, can we please just punch this out? My biological clock is ticking.

Gabbe
Not shall one: Both partners shall not deviate from a strict vegan diet. Meals outside of the home are to be prepared at a list of approved kitchens in each of the following territories.

Neil
Wait…

Vanessa
You told me you were a vegan when we met. You only buy organic vegetables. You only eat out at Soigné. You swim three kilometres every morning. That’s why we connected. We had so much in common.

Neil
I need …

Gabbe
Do you agree or do you disagree?

Neil
Yes. I mean, yes, I agree.

Tori
Noted.

Eli
Not shall two.

Gabbe
Not shall two: Both parties shall not deviate from a strict regime of physical, aesthetic and emotional upkeep.

Horlick
That’s three things.

Eli
Blah, blah. One category, upkeep.

Gabbe
Upkeep includes scheduled appointments with physical trainers, physicians, aestheticians, and Kabbalah teachers. Appointments may include therapy, counseling, physical examinations, semen sample submissions, drug screening and biweekly STI panels.

Neil
I can … Yes. I agree.

Gabbe
Not shall three: Both parties shall not break a period of strict celibacy after the conception of each child, for a period of one year. After which, relations may continue by mutual consent.

Vanessa
It’s part of my religion. Celibacy during pregnancy and after childbirth.

Neil
What religion? You liar. We do it three times a night now.

Vanessa
His religion is Oscar de la Renta, Tom Ford, Comme des Garçons… I respect his religion by letting him use my Amex Black Card to the maximum limit. Every month.

Eli
Stated for the record: Miss Plank respects her future husband’s religion and has supported him fully while they are engaged.

Gabbe
Religious intolerance is strictly prohibited. Respect for either party’s religion is a non negotiable, I’m afraid. Now, do you agree or disagree?

Neil
Damn you. Yes, I agree.

Gabbe
Not shall four: Both parties shall not exceed an interpersonal proximity of two hundred kilometres in radius to be activated at agreement signing, until the youngest child reaches the age of majority.

Panda
That’s eighteen.

Neil
I agree. This is sounding like a jail sentence.

Horlick
Please strike that last passionate flourish from the record.

Tori
Duly stricken.

Vanessa
That’s why they call wives the ball and chain. He’s already accustomed to it. Frank Müller watches at Christmas. Family friend discounts at Versace. Homes in Athens, Rome, Berlin.

Neil
This is getting ridiculous.

Panda
It is called a prenuptial agreement. If you had the money, we would be negotiating the installation of cameras in her eye sockets.

Vanessa
I would not show up on his radar, in the first place. What was her name again? The model you said you wanted to buy?

Neil
That’s an awful thing to say. That was pillow talk. Fantasy …

Vanessa
She’s nineteen. Right… Her name is Roja. She is a starving model, a high school dropout, who is almost half my age. I hired her as my full time personal assistant. You can stare at her all day, but if you so much as sniff her. If I can’t get pregnant, she’s agreed to be my surrogate.

Neil
You’re sick.

Vanessa
I’m a paying customer!

Panda
Not shall five, please.

Gabbe
Not shall five: Mr Ross shall not engage in paid or unpaid employment with any employer other than the Gareth E Plank Memorial Foundation, as its chief operating officer.

Neil
Okay, finally, something I can agree to while keeping my manhood. Yes, I agree.

Vanessa
Thanks for not asking if it’s a paid gig.

Neil
Screw you!

Vanessa
Actually, when we’re finished here, that will be your only duty as COO.

Eli
Ha! Chief “Operating” Officer. I get it. What?! That’s funny …

Vanessa
Shall we continue?

48, Single Men Only

If you were a spornosexual dandy in your twenties and thirties, forty was the year you were smoking hot. You could do no wrong. Women wilted at the sight of you and men wanted to be you. The first thing you needed to be an expert at when you hit forty was how to be with women. I don’t care how much you suck at your job, this was the most important skill you needed to have at that age.

If you weren’t lucky enough to have won the style sense lottery, are unhappily single or divorced but gainfully employed and reasonably sane, this post is for you.

You are not a small animal, so stop acting like one. First, do not compare women to inanimate objects. It’s not a compliment. If you think she’s beautiful say, “You’re beautiful”. That’s it. If you like her say, “I like you.” No explanation necessary. Never try to be poetic or descriptive about why you like her. If she wants a man to read her poetry she should join a book club. Because a woman with that as a priority will bring you nothing but misery and pain.

Second, never initiate a conversation with a woman when you feel horny. You’re going to mess up. You’re going to put your foot in your mouth and she’s going to slap you.

Image courtesy Brent Music Reviews Why is that leopard pretending to be you, Cee Lo? The universally scorned Cee Lo Green is forty years old and is the perfect example of a man who has a seriously high opinion of himself. He is still living in his twenty something past. He needs to take stock before forty eight. Note how the small leopards in Twitter ate him after he gave in to his animal instincts.

Assess yourself before you wreck yourself. Think of all the wonderful things about yourself that you admire. Your humour, your good looks, your charm, your ability to use eye contact to melt panties. Now strike all of those things off your list because no one sees you that way.

In other words, don’t be a pompous oaf. If you’re overweight, balding and lumpy; take medication for diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease before drinking half a bottle of cognac; have erectile dysfunction and smoke like a chimney, please leave the woman’s tiny little breakout alone. If she’s younger and fitter than you are, it is simply oaflike to use the fact that she’s over the age of eighteen against her.

By the age of thirty seven most men have a working knowledge of who they were at twenty seven. Socially, it is not a requirement for men to constantly reassess and update themselves as they grow. Women have a better advantage because we always see ourselves as we are going to be in ten years.

Now imagine reaching forty eight and interacting with women as if you’re twenty seven. Are you having problems getting women to stay interested? That’s why.

Listen. It’s really important to pay attention to what is being said to you. Assume she’s not speaking in metaphors. She knows exactly what she’s thinking and she’s telling you exactly what’s going on in her mind. Ask lots of questions if you don’t understand. Be direct and use simple phrasing. It’s what forensic scientists, economists and Nobel prize winning physicists do all the time.

Third “animal point”? Stop making out in cars. Get comfortable first. Her breast is not a horn so don’t pump or tap it. I don’t want to hear any of that crapiology from the 1920s when people were passing syphilis around like it was cornbread. It is 2015. There is no excuse for you to not know how your body works. The Playboy Channel is not the way to learn. Your superhuman ability to sustain an erection for days is a cause for concern. Borrow an anatomy textbook from your local library and read it from beginning to end.

Fourth animal point. The law of reciprocity applies. Before you start inspecting manicures for length and sustainability, see your above list of flaws and pick them apart at home. Be thorough. At forty eight did you really ask her to gag on it? Alright, get an unpeeled banana and shove it down your throat to see what it feels like. Try something a bit more rigid and unyielding up your rectum. Jam it in. Ask someone to yank on your hair really hard and pull it out. Tell them to ignore your pleas to stop. Try waxing the hair off your legs. Pull hard through the pain. Don’t cry. I know you’re bleeding, but just go with it.

If you say you’ve enjoyed all that, you are lying. But that’s what you sound like when you talk to women about “passionate lovemaking.”

Shut up. Awkward silences help you to assess the way you feel in the space that you’ve created with each other. Your job is not to entertain a woman. She should know how to entertain herself. You’re simply enjoying her company and that’s all any woman should ask of you.

Good luck.

Stay here and watch us roar (2 of 3)

Neil
I am entitled to an apology.

Marcus
I don’t think so. What was done to you? What is your grievance?

Neil
Well, you used a public forum to discuss information that I brought to you in confidence.

Marcus
Wait, you thought I went on national television in front of the entire United States of America specifically to tell people about your sorry, self loathing ass?

Neil
You mentioned me as an employee.

Marcus
That’s what you are. A minion, actually. I see the way you are around celebrities. You take all sorts of abuse. Now you’re here in my office asking me to apologise for violating your rights. You are a liar and a hypocrite. You have no integrity, so do not front with me.

Neil
When I came to you I was not an employee, I was a client. That disclosure was a breach of privacy. It’s unacceptable. That is a violation of my rights.

Marcus
Breach of privacy. Did you consult a lawyer? Or did you wiki law that?

Neil
Not yet, but when I leave here, I am going to do exactly that. Find a lawyer.

Marcus
Don’t mistake my question for fear.

Neil
You don’t have to be “afraid” of me. I am just a “minion” …

Marcus
First of all, you didn’t sign a contract before the meeting, nor did you pay the retainer. So, we were just having a conversation. Do you recall smugly asking the other managing partner in this firm to fetch you a lemon water, which she humbly brought to you? That counts as us entertaining you in a social setting.

Neil
You’re a bully.

Marcus
Prior to which, you accepted my offer of a job interview for a stylist position at this firm and happily said yes to our offers of personal favours, which included a meeting with your favorite fashion designer.

Neil
What…?!

Marcus
I was not obliged to do any of those things for free, but as you accepted them, they are goodwill offerings. Goodwill is an intangible asset. It has a price tag. That was waived in service to a person in need of a job and a boost to his self esteem. Kindness, or in legal terms, an unfair advantage. We get tax write offs for that.

Neil
You’re not serious. There is no way…

Marcus
I’m not here to convince you. You were happy to get an unfair advantage over other qualified applicants, but in return for my kindness, you are now offering to sue me? Typical. Smutmeister.

Neil
What did you just call me?

Marcus
I called you a piece of shit.

Neil
I quit, because I am going to rip you a new …

Marcus
Listen, you are not going anywhere. You will stay in this job. You owe me for the exposure I gave you. If you leave this office before six o’clock, you will never find a job in any industry in the United States or any other industrialised country. You will languish in hand to mouth low paid wage hell in mosquito infested mud holes in central Africa for the rest of your days.

Neil
Are you serious?

Marcus
I was born serious. You hate yourself and you walk in here to down rank women like us who aren’t “your type.” That’s what makes you the perfect fit for our firm. You will take abuse to stay around people whose status will distract you from how worthless you feel as a person. We wanted to help you out, but you don’t ask to meet an heiress or a rich older widow. You ask for someone who will be impressed by a Tom Ford photo op. You have no ambition. For the love of crunk!!!!!

Neil
It was an example. You took it the wrong way.

Marcus
Let me play back the portion of the conversation in which you said you didn’t want acquired taste, which is clearly another way of saying …

Neil
That’s not necessary.

Marcus
You’re going to lie to me now? You are arrogant, rude, and clueless. Do you really think I got Carla Paine’s undivided attention because I’m a lightweight? And then you physically threaten me.

Neil
I did not…

Marcus
Yes you did. Because what? Your anger is powerful enough it’ll make me stand down? Your preference for bed mates is none of my business but when you use that preference to make value judgements on women who are not “your type”, you will get slammed in the public domain. You have two options. Stay here and watch us roar, or go service a few lonely French nurses in the armpits of Africa.

Neil

Marcus
That’s exactly what I thought. The rent is due. Go back to work. I am watching you.

 

…to be continued