The Ultimate Alpha-Male (Yes, that’s me…)

It has been brought to my attention that women want confidence, and that’s what I need to hold on to them. Women want a man with his act together, someone who knows what he brings to the table, who isn’t asking a woman to take care of him or fill a void. Someone male. Preferably with big, ripped abs.

I suppose they’re right. They should want those things. They should want a confident alpha male. Who wants a snivelling girly-man who needs constant reassurance? They want men, dammit!

So I am putting together my CV. I will attach this to my back at all times, right next to the “WEIRD” sign. In this day of constant advertising, it just seems natural, like a boxer with a casino ad in temporary tattoo on his back. This will take the form of a list: My alpha-male accomplishments since birth. Think I’m a panty-man, too much of a sensitive pussy? Think I can’t make a relationship work because I don’t feel good enough about myself? Ha! I snort at your short-sightedness. I laugh at your inability to look past my lack of chest hair. I chortle at your continued insistence that you don’t want a man who pees sitting down.

You don’t know me. I’m all man. I am a Samuel L. Jackson, a tall Humphrey Bogart, a black Jack Bauer. And don’t you forget it. Or I’ll do that thing where I clinch my hands together and move my arm toward you really quickly, where it then hits your face! Yeah! Take that! Your pain shall be immense, and incapacitating. Feel my wrath! And then, before you even had a chance to think about attacking me in return, I will be long gone… whoosh!, just like that.

You don’t think I’m enough of a typical male? I’m too self-loathing and feeble? That I’m too sensitive? You just wait, bitch. I’ve got Full-Scale Male Credentials. I can prove it. Because evidently, this is what women want, right?

My CV will look like this:

1972 – Upon exiting my mother’s womb, doctors were stunned to find I had stencilled lyrics to the Rolling Stones’ “Under My Thumb” in the birth canal. Also, they found circumcision near impossible because of my massive, almost elephantine testicles. Overheard in the delivery room: “This kid’s going to be one hell of a baby-maker someday.”

1973 – I share a nursery with a little nymph named Nicole. By withholding a rattle until just the right moment, refusing to poo while Nicole is in the room, and being generally uncommunicative, I drive young Nicole wild. There are other babies who share their plush toys and do not fling their poo at her, but Nicole finds them dull and too easy. The year ends with Nicole heartbroken when I decide it’s not working out and that I’d rather spend more time drinking my own drool.

1975 – I bite the head off a toy bat. It was an aluminium bat.

1976 – I learn how to read, years earlier than my family expected. I use this newfound power to write letters to girls in my pre-school, telling them they should really lose some weight.

1977 – My family buys me a toy phone for Christmas. I then tell Sharon, the five-year-old next-door neighbour, that I’ll call her, and then I don’t.

1978 – The first of my little sisters is born. I make a vow to be exemplary in every aspect of my schoolwork and social life, so that she will feel inferior and grow up with self-esteem issues.

1981 – My mother, as our family struggles to make ends meet, says she needs to find a job. I tell her that if she were a real mom, she’d stay home and take care of her children.

1982 – Next-door neighbour Sharon comes over to play. I tell her I’m watching the football on telly. And to shut her bloody trap.

1983 – I learn that flatulence not only disgusts people, but, in fact, is quite funny. I commence to fart every time I’m in mixed company. Years later, I will refine this process, adding open flame.

1984 – I start secondary school a week late because I refuse to ask directions to school.

1986 – A new girl moves into the neighbourhood, named Tanya. She makes many friends, but I am her favourite because I am unresponsive and mysterious. One night, with parental approval, I spend the night at her house. She asks me to come over the next night as well, but I refuse, because I’m sleeping with all her friends.

1987 – I score my only goal in youth league football when the goalie is distracted by an asthma attack and I trip on the ball, sending it spiralling toward the goal. In years, this story will be told thus: “Well, I was being chased by wolves, you see, that had been released onto the field by Nazi sympathizers. Meanwhile, a waterboy with Down’s Syndrome was firing an AK-47 at me while I ran. Fortunately, I avoided them all and scored the winning goal, which was huge, since the Libyans had kidnapped my family and had threatened to anally rape our dog had we not won. It was right after this that I stopped the bullet meant for the President.”

1988 – To try out for my school football team, I am required to take a physical. The female doctor asks me how I’m feeling. I look down, grunt, and act like I didn’t hear her. When she asks again, I exclaim, “Forfucksake, I’m fine! Fuck! What’s with all the questions? That’s all I get from you! Nag, nag, nag, nag, NAG!

1989 – While showering after a football game, I see my cousin naked. I beat the shit out of him, because, man, he was looking at me. You know… in that way?

1990 – I drink my first beer. Upon finishing it, I exclaim, “Wow! This really does make ugly chicks less repulsive! This stuff is amazing!”

1991 – My first week of uni, and I attend a freshers party. I hand out then-up-to-date copies of this CV. I am immediately selected as their chief party organiser.

1995 – I buy my first Nirvana record. It, like, really speaks to me, like, on a really deep level.

1997 – I persuade a girlfriend to give me her virginity by explaining that “everyone’s going to think we did it anyway, so we might as well. Besides, um, I, like, love you or something.” I tell her I don’t want to use a condom because “I want to be as close to you as possible.”

1998 – I break up with my girlfriend and sleep with all her friends.

1999 – In August, I have sex with seven females in six days, with a combined age of 125.

2001 – In October, I visit New York, buy a NYFD uniform from a Salvation Army store and wear it to various Manhattan bars while sitting alone in a corner, pretending to weep while looking at an empty pint glass. I break another record by having sex 57 times in a week.

2003 – I get Amy Chen really drunk and bed her, thereby completing my goal of promoting diversity by shagging a girl from every major ethnic group.

2005 – After an unfortunate three-week stretch without sex, I discover roofies, and the sky is the limit.

2007 – I set a personal record in January by waking up in my own piss and/or vomit six times in one month. This record is broken five times by September.

2010 – I am selected as one of London’s “20 Most Eligible Bachelors” by GQ magazine. I am lauded for my “burning mystery,” “quiet sensitivity,” and “virile masculinity.”

*Sigh* OK, ladies… so this really is what you wanted… right? Right?! Good. It is now time to take a number. Step right up. The line, as always, forms in the back…

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I can live without semicolons!

Writers try to make concessions to what interests readers but inevitably they end up writing about what interests them. I spend so much time writing that punctuation looms large in my life. However, I recognise that a lot of people couldn’t care less about it — or “could care less” as the expression has become even though it doesn’t make sense.

There are nine punctuation marks in that first paragraph of mine and they all serve a purpose. The period, full stop or dot used as an unequivocal stop to a flow of words is one of the great inventions of all time. It’s simple and there’s no doubt about what it means. It’s interesting that it has recently acquired a whole new use in computer language as “com”. When you speak it, you say, “dot com,” not “period com.”

I especially like dashes in a sentence, like the one in my first paragraph, although I don’t think they were even an acceptable punctuation mark when I started taking English Language and Composition classes in primary school. A dash is somewhat similar to but different from three dots in a sentence… if you know what I mean.

Commas are useful in making the meaning of a written sentence clearer to a reader but copy editors seem to have turned against them and I don’t understand why. There are fewer commas going around than there were, say, 20 years ago. (I’m not sure, of course, whether it’s the editors or the writers who are using fewer of them, but I often have to re-read a sentence to understand it because of a missing comma.)

I like using parentheses like that occasionally, too. It indicates the thought is sort of a side remark being made to the reader. If you use brackets, they convey a different meaning. Parentheses are rounded marks to set off a group of words. Brackets are a different shape, usually with right angles at top and bottom. I think of them as strong parentheses and hardly ever use them even though there are keys for them on every keyboard.

No one writes as he speaks and no one speaks as he writes, but when you put words down on paper, you ought to be able to hear yourself saying them. If you cannot, the chances are that what you have written is stilted, stiff and too formal. You can’t write exactly as you speak, though, because it would be repetitive and rambling.

The advantage the written word has over the spoken word is that you can think a moment about what you want to say and how you want to say it instead of blurting it out. When we speak like that, we usually recognise that we haven’t said what we meant accurately so we rephrase it and say it again. On paper, you have the opportunity to say it right the first time.

There is one punctuation mark I have never fully understand so I hardly ever use it. That is the semicolon. The colon is a practical divider of ideas and I often use one, but I rarely use a semicolon because I don’t know what it does. I don’t even know why it’s spelled all one word instead of being hyphenated as “semi-colon.”

The semicolon is a period over a comma. If you use a period, a comma, a colon, question mark, quotation mark, hyphen, dash or bracket, you know what you’re doing, but what does a semicolon do? Is it sort of a colon? It is used to separate ideas in a sentence that are more different than when you use a comma but not so different as when you use a period. This bears no likeness to the use of a colon and so, seems to make no sense.

But after four centuries, it would appear the semicolon has finally achieved its true calling. The semicolon: helping people wink online since the 1990s!    😉

Kill them all!

Ex-boyfriends are loathsome creatures. They are soulless monstrosities, spawns of Lucifer, with fiery tentacles sprouting from their foreheads and coarse, hairy scales blanketing an ember, callous skin. Their minds are black clouds, electric storms sending out noxious currents of malignancy. When they look deep inside, they see a pit of foul nothingness, rancid, rotting nether. They are not exclusive or solitary. They are all worthless faeces, not content to flounder in their own detestable filth, instead spreading their wretched disease to anything they would deign to soil with their wretched presence.

I find it quite astounding that, somewhere out there, I’m actually considered one of them!

I hate them all. I hate the musicians, the footballers, the sensitive art students… I hate the childhood friends who unwittingly grew into something more and the one her parents just loved and it’s-a-shame-it-never-worked-out. I hate the ones with brown hair, blonde hair, ginger hair, floppy hair, short hair, no hair, glasses, contacts, laser surgery, post-grad degrees, stock options, work permits, tattoos, nice eyes, nice shoes, geographic proximity, happy home lives, positive future with this company, ability to laugh amiably at life’s peculiar peccadilloes. I am not specific.

Some in pop psychology would call this the virgin/whore complex. All men want a woman who is a hellion in bed but has never been with anyone but them. That’s shit. How clichéd. It is not that simple. It is not a matter of emotional irrationality. I am not talking about me here, or what goes on in my head. I am talking about the fact that all ex-boyfriends are evil demons who must be vaporised, preferably in a violent, tremendously painful way. (Perhaps ripped apart by wolves, or surgical vivisection without the benefits of anaesthesia. That might be nice.) I give you nothing but facts. I am a writer. I did nothing to facilitate this truth. I simply report it. Please, don’t blame the messenger.

Perhaps they once did something nice. Perhaps they came at the right time in her life, perhaps they transitioned her to the grownup world, perhaps they were sweet and caring and not-the-right-person-but-sweet-nevertheless-and-they-are-wished-well. These are ruses the ex-boyfriend uses to draw you in, to make you feel that they are harmless, that they can be trusted. They are not to be trusted. They are evil. Did I mention the tentacles? I think I did. In case I didn’t, they have tentacles — fiery ones.

Perhaps they even wish you well. Perhaps they are happy she is with someone who cares deeply for her. Perhaps they hang around merely to hold onto a friendship, cherishing what made her special, happy to just have a part in her life. Perhaps they don’t even think about her, except to hope she is happy. Again, more shit. This is how they get you. Their nefarious ways know no bounds.

Out there somewhere, there are ex-girlfriends. They are in my past, no longer applicable to my life, obviously… duh! I am certain they all think of me as the selfless, amiable, spirited imp that I naturally am. I contributed something to them. I made their life appreciably better in some small way. I am a fond memory. This makes me decidedly different from ex-boyfriends.

They are bad. They molest children and dropkick kittens. They ignore Mother’s Day, love Limp Bizkit and often, when no one is looking, commit acts of such carnal degradation that Satan himself would frown in disapproval. I’ve heard rumours that they know goats in the biblical sense and have killed men simply for snoring too loud. These are rumours. You know what they say about rumours. They are to be believed. They are to be accepted as gospel. Retribution shall be ours.

I am not like them. I am pure and intend only well. I have a soul and vitality that cannot be suppressed. Their ilk is not like me. Thank God. Thankfully, I am different. Thankfully, I do not share their vile ways. That I am excluded from them, I feel so fortunate.

Please, take this column not as a bouncy lark, or a whimsical commentary on the state of human interaction. These are serious matters. This is not a time for irony, or humour, or even complacency. Our long national nightmare is not over. If we are not vigilant, they will infiltrate our institutions. They will take over our society and all we hold dear. We simply have no choice. Extermination is our only option. These are not criminals who can be rehabilitated. They are worthless scum, barnacles feasting on our nether regions. We must take them out, without prejudice. It is essential that you, reader, join me in this quest.

I have made it very easy for you. I have compiled a list.

Steve, Andrew, Frank, Scott, Duane, Mike, William, Eric, Tim, Matt, Amir, Alan, James, Chris, Brian, Jamie, Dennis, Sanjay, Ken, Tom, Karl, C.J, Jason, Ryan, Jeff, Ravi, Travis, Kyle, Troy, Robert, Jonathan, Ian, Neil, Patrick, Wayne, Garth, Phil, Paul, Rick, Charles, Tony, Jeremy, and David. Those are, to the best of my calculations, the names of the men who have ever dated anyone I have ever dated. I do recognise that many of these are quite common first names. I have allotted for that. If you come across an individual with any of these monikers, it is imperative that you dispose of them on sight (except the David that is me, of course), by any means necessary. It is possible that you will not be executing the exact right individual. Some of them, I may even call friends. But that is fine. In the face of this menace, certain sacrifices must be made.

In fact, in case I’ve missed a typographical error, it is acceptable to dispatch anyone with a variation on one of these names; say, Bryan rather than Brian. It is also satisfactory to terminate those whose names rhyme with someone on this list, just in case I remembered one incorrectly. If you happen to find a woman with the name of someone on the list, it’s best to do her too; modern surgery can do wonders for those fearing the full brunt of my wrath. Actually, while we’re on that topic, if you could, would it be possible for you to castrate them before they die? If you could take care of that, it would be greatly appreciated.

Join me, my warriors. We are common decency’s last hope.

Sound the alarm! There are no single men left in London!

Did you know there are no single guys in London? I didn’t know this. It was quite a shock!

In the past, I’ve scoffed at women who say they can’t find a nice single guy. It doesn’t make any sense. There’s a reason the “Men Seeking Women” section of personal ads is five times larger than the “Women Seeking Men” section. To me, it always seemed that if a woman wanted to meet a guy, the process would be a simple one:

1. Walk into bar.

2. Announce, “I am looking for a man.”

3. Wait 5-10 seconds.

4. Repeat if necessary.

Apparently this isn’t the case. I was having a party some time ago, and I was talking to a female friend of mine about who was going to be there. She didn’t hesitate: “Are there going to be any cute single guys there?” This is an attractive, funny, successful woman. It would seem that if she had a desire to be with a guy — a desire I’ll never understand; I guess womankind still hasn’t figured out that we are, generally speaking, a worthless, dead-end gender — actually landing one would be the least of her worries.

But no. She is always claiming that there’s a shortage of single guys. She posed the question to me: “David, seriously, how many of your friends are both single and good-looking?” (I ignored the fact that she was talking to me, a single, good-looking guy; she was “just a friend” after all, although… well, let’s not go there…) I thought about it for a minute:

Hmmmm… Let’s see… he’s stupid-looking… he has Oedipal problems… he’s been seeing the same girl since uni… he wears dirty tracksuit bottoms to work… he doesn’t even work… he has a wart on his left eyeball… he’s gay… he’s gay too… Shit! Where IS everybody?

I think my misconceptions about all of this started at St Mary’s College — the boys-only institution I attended. Neither I nor many of my male friends were ever dating anyway, mainly because none of us were in the football team. The lovelies in the girls-only St Joseph’s Convent just across the street seemed only interested in dating the athletes, and the footballers in particular (yes, this is nothing new), and every one that wasn’t, was either ugly, aiming for sainthood, experimenting with lesbianism or shagging some older guy. On to university, which fosters the mindset that you have to go to the students bar to pick up a girl with some line or gimmick. But all the guys with gimmicks were the athletic guys. Many of my friends today talk about how “wild” they were in uni, how they had loads of sex and drank all the time, recklessly, out of control. Yeah, right… I should have gone to their university.

Since then, to me, the relationship power struggle has seemed to be impossibly balanced toward women. Guys were the ones staring at women’s chests; women were the ones deciding which guy staring at their chest they were going to select. This balance of power seemed so clearly logical that I couldn’t imagine the world being any other way. Guys: Doltish, expendable, interchangeable, dime-a-dozen. Women: Running the world.

But as we’ve got older, the dynamics have shifted, though I don’t think anyone would argue that women aren’t still running the world. I’m not sure if it’s some biological clock thing, or more guys realising that once they trick a woman into liking them, they should just hang onto them while they can, or whatever. But it’s true, in London at least: I know a lot more single women than I know single men.

After thinking about it, I told my friend that I only knew a couple single men who would be at the party and neither of them were really her type. Thinking aloud, I came up with a guy I know who could fit, but I wasn’t sure if he was seeing anyone or not. She was already off and running, peppering me with questions about him, what was he like, how tall was he, where was he from, what’s his family like, so on, so forth. After 20 minutes, she was telling another girl how excited she was to meet “this great guy” at the party. And all I’d really said about him was, “Um, he’s tall. And he might be seeing someone.” She was so excited; a real single male!

I always thought it would take a nuclear war with just one guy and 10 women living in a bomb shelter, but no, believe it or not, in this great city of ours, we have reached that threshold: There are more women looking for men than men looking for women. It’s astounding.

I could analyse this and try to figure out why. I could really attempt to figure it out, decipher what socioeconomic factors are at work. But I have a higher purpose.

(The next two paragraphs are to be read by men only. Thank you.)

Men of England: Guys! Check it out! If you come to London, women will be all over you! Our day has come! I never thought I’d see it either! I mean, they’re actually looking for us now! And they totally want it! I know! Amazing!

Get your arses out here! Everything must go! This can’t last forever! Hurry, before they figure out what’s going on!

I told her that I’m sure there’s a nice guy out there for her. Somewhere. She said she’d try to hold out hope.

My God… could it be true? Have we finally WON?