Women, the proof is in. Guys are descended from dogs. Darwin was

wrong. The evidence is overwhelming and irrefutable. Y'see, being as

there is A) every indication that this, and not that old ape story, is

true, and being as B) it's what women have suspected for a long time, and

C) I'm a guy and well qualified by my checkered credentials to put forth

this hypothesis. It's a theory that I have formulated while ruminating

about the aftermath of divorce. Guys are dogs in the pet shop window, and

there's a big fire sale on 'em right now.

 

Not that interpersonal love relationships with guys aren't enough of a

roasting, burning, blistering hell and the emotional equivalent of the

Dresden firebombing to begin with. Let me just throw this sheaf on the

blaze.

 

First point of proof: I was married. Not that I'm down on that

particular institution, but it's by far the best cure for love that I can

think of. Four years minus a year and a half of separation minus eight

months of forced celibacy minus twenty four thousand hours screaming about

the toilet ring, add it all up and it spells L-U-V! Tyson never got it so

good from Douglas. Looking back I feel like I must have been saying,

"yeah, go ahead, thumb screws are nice. Bamboo under the fingernails, oh

you shouldn't have! Hunny punkin sweety!"

 

It's way too easy to get married nowadays anyway. I personally got

married at Albertson's Instant (as in "just add water") Wedding Chapel at

the corner of Wilshire and La Brea in Los Angeles. Big plaster wedding

cake, contact paper stained glass, the whole bit. Spared no expense. We

went on the Newlywed Game after that - and won - another proof positive

that the marriage was doomed from the start. The state should have a

mandatory requirement that prenuptophytes have to give away half of their

belongings to someone they hate before they get married. That'll make 'em

think twice about it.

 

Now before I come off sounding a little too bitter, there is a good

side to all of this. Now that I'm a bachelor on the Uno Mas Tour, I know

what the other option is. I can make educated decisions based on a

realistic desire whether I do or do not want to be emotionally pummeled.

The only thing better than being a bachelor once is being a bachelor

twice.

 

I've found that there are also a lot of preconceived notions about us

guys who qualify to put the big D before our descriptions in the

personals. F'rinstance, the idea that all divorcees are jaded sex

maniacs. Patently not true. Marriages just don't go bad overnight. A

divorce is not made up of tow healthy, well-balanced individuals who are

having great conversation and great sex and enriching each other's lives

until one day it just snaps. Nay, divorces are made up of two

serial-killer wannabes living under the same roof whose neuroses are

diametrically opposed. They claw at each other like Tasmanian devils in a

blender until one or both of them gets tired of it and they bail. After

months, maybe years of deprivation from things like talk, support, sex and

food, they come flying out of there with a healthy appetite. That's all

it is. All I wanted immediately upon being divorced was to be in the

company of a female and do something innocuous like talk. God, how the

single waste that precious commodity. Join a monastic order and take a

vow of silence or spend countless nights with someone seething under the

covers mere inches away from you and even the most senseless prattle will

be like music to your ears. Trust me on this.

 

The second thing that the freshly emancipated want to do is get laid.

Gotta be frank with you on this one. It's partly a matter of wanting to

reinforce one's desirability after being so undesirable for so long, and

it's partly a matter of just wantin' to do that skin thang. Aah, to be

buck naked with an undiscovered human being! It's like that which has

been denied to you for so long is now yours! Revel in it! Consort

deliciously, for the other option is to back to the Land of Marriage where

Mister Wiggly gets a steady diet of bread and water. I asked a friend if

she felt the same way after being divorced. She confessed to having

fantasies about hiking up her skirt, jumping up on the bar and screaming

"LINE 'EM UP!" But hey, it's normal. Let he or she or it who is without

sex cast the first stone.

 

Okay, so the bad side of being divorced is that it eventually leads to

dating, and dating of course is the deepest pit in hell. I swear to God

it was invented by Goerring, Goebbels and Ilsa Koch and they're all down

there yukking it up in the brimstone right now. Think about it: Hitler

was on a date when he got blown up, and I bet you any money he set the

fuse himself. ADOLPH: "So vot do you vont to do?" EVA: "I don't care.

Anything you vont to do". K-BOOM! Dates can be broken down as hours of

insipid chatter about siblings, movies and previous dating disasters

followed by end of the evening angst or strange couplings or both. Repeat

when necessary, or until you begin to bite yourself. Insert your own

dating hell scenario here.

 

I spend a lot of first dates wishing I were a lab animal instead.

Whattayawannado? Ennythingyouwannado. My God! I must be dating

myself! Well, I want to smear myself in coal tar and shout obscenities at

strangers from the top of the old gas works like I'm the devil himself,

how about you? I want to get convicted of a felony and sent up the river

this evening because I've always been intrigued by prison movies, how

about you? It doesn't take me telling you that there's nothing worse than

a bad date except maybe a quadruple wisdom tooth extraction without

anesthesia. On the other hand, there's nothing better than a roll in the

hay except maybe a brand-spankin' new Toyota truck. I ain't got no Toyota

truck, and the Catch-22 is that there's no way to get to the truck dealer

except by dating. Go on. Walk through the coals.

 

I tried to circumvent the circumstances of dating by only going out

with women who were married or had boyfriends. The logic was: if they're

already attached and if it's not to you and thereby there is no danger of

attachment ergo it's not a date. It's just good old fashioned usury.

Call the Happy Homewrecker. The major drawback is that boyfriends and

husbands have a tendency to sniff out bird-doggers like me and shoot them

in the butt. I like my butt and I have a thing about pain. I also have a

thing about liars and it made me a liar by association so I gave it up.

And I still ain't got no truck.

 

So we're still here on the downside of dating which is that it

eventually leads to the next and most insidious stage of the disease which

is called The Relationship. Oh yeah, you've done it all. You're sadder

and wiser now. You've got it all figured out or you're just plain tired

and lonely so you go and get hooked up. Or of course you meet someone who

is genuinely interesting and fun to be with, but that doesn't happen to

any of us now does it? The Crowning glory of the whole thing is the

acceptance of the new and overused title of BOYFRIEND (or GIRLFRIEND).

 

I've got a particular abhorrence of that term to the point of panic and

flight. The last time somebody mentioned that word I made a me-shaped

hole in their living room wall and was halfway home while the last

syllable was still wet on her lips.

 

So what do you do? When I get asked about what title should be used in

conjunction with my name in casual conversation ("like, what are we?

Friends, buddies or boyfriend-girlfriend?"), I like to take out a handy

chart that looks something like this:

 

BOYFRIENDS BUDDIES FRIENDS

 

...and I say, "Okay. If I'm your Boyfriend, that means I go in the

column with every guy who broke up with you or who you broke up with after

he drove over your feet or slept with your best friend or got drunk and

puked on your prom dress or who knows what other kind of torture. I for

one do not want to be associated with that, so the Boyfriend column is

out. Buddies are people that you just do the Drinking Bird or the

Horizontal Bop with, but beyond that there's nothing. I don't want that

either. Friends are people who used to be Boyfriends or Buddies, but you

keep them from telling your darkest secrets or slashing your tires by

making them your "friends". Lord knows I don't want to be in that

column." So I add another column that looks like this:

 

JACK LUCAS

 

...and I say, "now barring you dating someone else with exactly the

same name, I'm the only one who can be in this column. I'm just me.

That's all I can be. I DIG IT." 'Nuf said.

 

Oh, now we're somewhere. We're in a Relationship. Yes, that peculiar

institution that comes with its' own set of unwritten rules. Call it what

ya wanna, it's going on with no end in sight and your friends are asking

you "how's so and so", you're deep in the "R" territory. She knows that

you snore and crack your knuckles and love the Raiders and don't like

cream in your coffee, and you know that she hates being pinched on the

butt and being called "hon" and just adores that way you curl you lip up

like Billy Idol. And oh yes, that "L" word has been unsheathed and

brandished for all to see. Whee doggies, we're in a Relationship fo'

sho'. Be forewarned: this one is damaged goods and doesn't come with a

warranty. So before you get too comfortable with the status quo and start

imagining that he'll come around to your way of thinking - STOP! DANGER!

PELIGRO! THAT'S NO GUY, THAT'S A DOG!

 

Consider the horrifying similarities. You found this adorable little

puppy at the pet shop fire sale. He has a cute little yap and a sweet way

of waggling his little behind so you don't mind if he covers your face

with spit and pees on the rug every once in a while. Then you take him

home and put him on a leash. Oh, but he hates this. He'll whine, he'll

growl, he'll strain on the lead and practically yank your arm off. Then

you feel sorry for him and unsnap the leash. No sooner have you done this

than zzzzing! He's off! He's barking at everything in sight, peeing on

everything, sniffing crotches, baying at the moon and hanging around with

the big dogs from down the block. You call after him but all he'll say is

"it's a dog thing! We run in packs! We've been doing it for thousands of

years!" Then he'll cock up his hind leg for one last whiz and disappear

over the horizon. Then you go home and wait and wait and wait. He

doesn't show and doesn't show and doesn't show. Eventually, by some

miracle he does show and boy are you pissed. So you say, "What do I look

like? Some kennel where you can park you flea-bitten ass any time you

feel like it? I demand respect! I'm a human being! I've been worried

sick!" Of course he'll get all droopy and his eyes will wet and he'll

whimper until your heart just bursts and you break down and pet his l'il

ol' head. Then he'll jump up and bound around and do that little doggie

dance that you love so much in the first place and your hooked again.

Damned to Doggie Hell. But that ain't all! If he comes back and finds

you with another dog, woe is you. Being the immensely territorial canine

that he is, I-pissed-here-so-it's-mine-forever is the law. He'll curl

back his dewlaps and start snapping faster than you can yell heel. Even

in the infidelity is groundless, it's the fastest way to get a real good

secretion of the Macho Gland.

 

You can apply this theory to any guy you've ever dated and it will ring

frighteningly true. I know. I'm a guy. I once saw a lady wearing a

t-shirt that read "The more I know men, the more I like my dog". I told

her they were one and the same thing. Burn the pet shop down, baby. She

looked at me like I had snakes for hair.

 

Now before you start feeling like a fire plug, think about this. I've

been there. After all this pessimistic diatribe, I can say that after

every fire in the pet shop, there's another great fire sale. I may smell

like smoke and I may be a little singed, but I still work. And I'm for

sale. Cheap.

 

Navarone Gunn

40 South Chickenpotpie

Michigillinois, Ohiowa - South Minnebraska, U S of A!