Sunday, June 27, 2010

It’s all in the delivery


Most readers would agree that Chucks a fairly talented dude. An endless source of solid advice and practical solutions to even the trickiest situations. So it will come as somewhat of a surprise for Chuck to admit that from time to time he manages to put the old size 12 slipper in his mouth. Ok, to be honest, it doesn’t really happen from time to time, it was a one off but Chuck didn’t want anyone to feel bad or inferior.

The occasion?

Well Mrs Long had procured tickets to a sporting event and Chuck was fairly excited to be attending. With the game commencing at 7pm, Chuck was making preparations at around 3pm. With Mrs Long now in the 8th month of pregnancy and still working a full 50 hour week, Saturdays tend to be the day that she puts her feet up and tries to recharge the batteries.  As part of the battery recharging routine, Mrs Long will often try to squeeze in an afternoon nap. Ordinarily this is not a problem as it allows Chuck to perform web-based research (code word for goofing off and surfing the net). However, with a sporting event to attend, Chuck was keen to be organised and on time.

It’s probably important to mention that there was absolutely no reason for Chuck to be getting ready at 3pm for a game that started at 7pm, especially considering it takes no more than 30 minutes to get to the venue. What can Chuck say, the pre game atmosphere is important!

Anyway, by 5pm Chuck felt that it was time to wake Mrs Long from her slumber and get the ball rolling. As most would know, an afternoon nanna nap can be one of the most difficult things to spring back from in quick fashion. There’s something about warm bed sheets that sap the energy from a person. Needless to say, an already fatigued Mrs Long was barely alive  and somewhat sluggish in her preparations.

And then Chuck said it;

“Come on Mrs Long, dig deep.”

There was an awkward moment of silence as Mrs Long straightened, turned to face Chuck and then retorted, “Dig deep? You fucking try digging deep with 10-15 extra kilos hanging off the front of you!!”

Chuck, thinking quickly, replied, “Some of the weight is on your bottom”, and then proceeded to dodge the saucepan coming at his head.

It’s a completely harmless comment – unless said to a heavily pregnant woman and Chuck took the fiery rebuttal on the chin as he so rightly deserved.

It did get Chuck thinking about some of the other nuggets that have been dropped in Mrs Long’s presence in recent times. No one has openly tried to jack her off with their comments and as stated in a previous post, Mrs Long has been pretty rock solid throughout the pregnancy emotionally speaking so perhaps some of the things that have been said around her have washed over without setting off the alarm. Other comments have not gone unnoticed.

One of Chuck’s favourites was delivered by the gangly Asian coffee maker at the local café. He’s a lovely dude although his English can be a little rough at times. In fact, it’s so rough that Chuck normally just smiles, holds up 2 fingers and that’s enough for two coffees to be handed over. Anyway, Mrs Long’s one vice throughout the pregnancy has been her morning coffee. This isn’t surprising since the coffee shop makes awesome coffee and Chuck drinks enough of it to keep Michael Jackson awake so the newborn is going to be a coffee drinker at some point – may as well develop a taste for it right off the bat.

So on one particular morning, Mrs Long stopped in for her daily skinny cappuccino. On this occasion (Mrs Long was probably 7 months pregnant) the gangly young chap looked at her, pointed at his stomach with a concerned look and mouthed, “Are you sure?” Of course this was enough to send Mrs Long apoplectic. Chuck’s favourite line from his dear wife was; “Since when has our local barista been moonlighting as a fucking obstetrician??”

Chuck thought better than to ask Mrs Long to watch her mouth around our unborn child.

The second comment that went down like a lead fart was a doozy as well. After a couple of hectic weeks at work, a couple of people around Mrs Long dropped this line in her presence; “I might get pregnant so I can take a year off too”. That sent the dial into red on Mrs Long’s engine. What amused Chuck once again was that one of the people who said it was a bloke. Forget comments about weight, looking like you’re going to pop, maternity clothes and the food that you’re eating, that comment may be the one that sends a pregnant professional over the edge.

The comment is a dud for a number of reasons: 
  • Firstly, no man could ever go through childbirth without multi epidurals. Men just do not have any tolerance for pain and can’t see the bigger picture (in this case a child). Most men would forgo the child if there was an option to avoid the pain
  • Chuck assumes that having an infant isn’t days filled with playgrounds and coffees (especially not at our local café with Dr Strangebrew working behind the espresso machine). There’s a bit of work involved in keeping the little sucker alive.
  • Suggesting that 9 months of carrying and supporting a womb parasite is a worthwhile trade-off in order to gain 12 months away from work is all well and good until you actually have to do it. Chuck’s fairly confident that right now at month 8, any thoughts of a second child are quashed right around the time Mrs Long uses the toilet for the 5th time during the night.
  • And of course stepping away from a promising career can be extremely daunting and raise all kinds of concerns about ones professional relevance (Chuck has tempered this issue by offering to resign and write Reality Bytes full time but only on the condition that full time hired help is brought in) 

Chuck would love to hear some of the fantastic comments said to or heard by mothers out there and how they were handled.

In order to avoid any more oral foul ups, Chuck’s taken to communicating with Mrs Long via correspondence so that the words can be proofed before being offered up. Obviously this has lengthened any conversation by about 2 hours, but the trade off is that Mrs Long isn’t dropping F bombs around young ears anymore.





Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Art of Husbandry


You know, its not easy being a successful husband. Chuck pretty much has it down pat it must be said but everyday there are challenges that get tossed at you that if you’re not mentally prepared can just eat you alive. A lot of dudes out there will be nodding their head and thinking about the time they got balled out for not putting down the toilet seat or leaving dirty dishes in the sink. You can nod all you like fellas but that shit is kindergarten. That’s the sort of stuff you figure out when you first move in with a woman and you’re seeing if you can make it work (which is always tough because you’re often blinded by the in-house pussy that you now have). Sharing a roof with fresh VJay has scrambled the thought processes of many a man.

No Chuck is talking about the higher level sensory and emotional challenges that pop up from time to time in a marriage that can trip you up if you’re not highly attuned to your partner and adept at managing. Don’t get Chuck wrong on this one though, it’s most definitely not a tenure thing. Just because you’ve been with someone for a lengthy period of time does not mean that you can handle all obstacles on the course of life. Jesus, Chuck has witnessed many people who’ve racked up a number of years together who are so out of tune that they have no idea that an issue has appeared until its belting them over the head with a hand bag.

Its probably a bit unfair talking like this since not everyone is a distinguished husband like Chuck but it’s definitely worth putting the subject on the burner in the hope that it lends a hand to those less switched on.

This post isn’t about being an awesome husband, but it is about having the ability to read a person and have an idea of what may or may not get a negative response when something is said or done. A lot of the times, these things are commonsensical but of late, Chuck has born witness to a few examples that have beggared belief.

Anyway, the basis for today’s post arises from a simple request from Mrs Long that if handled poorly could have lead to disaster. Instead, Chuck fell back on his instincts and rolled with the punch.

The request?

“Chuck, I’d like to attend breast feeding class”

At that, Chuck looked up from his novel and said “ummmhmm, that’s probably a smart move”

Now Chuck must state on the record that despite being heavily pregnant, Mrs Long has not been an emotional train wreck prone to over reaction*. In fact other than one or two occasions where fatigue had set in, Mrs Long has been a joy to be around for the duration of the pregnancy**.  She has been upbeat, incredibly productive and inspirational***.

*It’s probably important to stop this post right here to point out that Chuck’s last sentence was a great example of how he has risen to the upper echelons of husbands. 

**That was another example

***A third example just in case anyone was grasping some of the basics.

Thinking that he had finished being an all round wonderful husband, Chuck returned to his novel.

“It says on the website that partners are encouraged to attend. That breastfeeding can be difficult” Mrs Long continued.

Chuck’s first thought was to say “Well Chuck doesn’t have any problem sucking on a titty so he doesn’t need any assistance” but thought better of it. Now obviously most blokes wouldn’t want to go to a breastfeeding class. Baby classes were a different kettle of fish since the bloke needs to be a true wingman to help his partner through the process, but what role is the dad going to play in getting the kid to suck on a boob?

It is at this point that a lesser man may have gotten himself in trouble with a glib remark or a flat out refusal to attend. Chuck is no mere man. Putting the novel down, Chuck looked lovingly at Mrs Long and agreed that it would be a great idea to share in these classes if only for support.

Mrs Long smiled sweetly and began to walk away. She then stopped suddenly, turned to face Chuck and offered yet another sweet smile. Chuck must admit that he thought Mrs Long was about to profess true love. Instead she said, “you’re only coming to check out the titties aren’t you?”

Busted!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

White Line F Wit


Dear Chuck,

My boyfriend had been badgering me over the fact that I had never gone to watch him play sport (football). Frankly I have zero interest in any sport (does Ladies Day at the races count??). After consideration I decided that he is a good lad and that I should at least go and show my support. I ignored the fact that the weather was miserable and ventured to the local ‘oval’.

As soon as the game started and I managed to locate my boyfriend, it became plainly clear that he was a different person. He was running around out of control and clearly pissing the opposition off with his behaviour. I was shocked to see him like this.

After the game, he greeted me with a big kiss and asked how he played. He was back to normal but I was looking at him differently.

I’m obviously not familiar with sport so I’m turning to you to explain this to me

Thank you

Sophia


Dear Sophia,

Let Chuck just say that all Reality Bytes readers whose nasal passages were salivating over the thought of a post on cocaine need to settle down and get a grip of their addiction. No, today we’re tackling one of Chuck’s favourite subjects – Weekend Warriors! Welcome to the world of amateur sport, people. Well Chuck is assuming that you’re talking about amateur sport here Sophia although after watching a number of football codes over the past week, that sort of behaviour was on display at the professional level as well. We had soccer players falling down in stiff breezes, rugby coaches using racist remarks and Australian rules players with buried rape charges (thanks to the local constabulatory).

Men going berserk while playing amateur sport is part of the fabric of life. Chuck distinctly remembers the moment when he decided never to play mixed sport again. The scene? A netball match on a Tuesday night. The incident? A game where the opposition was brutalising Chuck’s team (most would find it surprising that a superior athlete like Chuck would ever be on a losing team, however Chuck is but one man…at most two, and is no match for 6  / 7 others).  As the opposition was running up the score, a ball squirted away and a female team member and male opponent dashed after it. It was a neck and neck race until the bloke hip and shouldered the woman out of the way so that he could claim the ball. The female was knocked to the ground where she landed awkwardly and broke her arm. Now Chuck’s not talking hairline fracture, Chuck’s talking bones snapping and then protruding through the skin while the arm skews off on angles God never intended it to.

The female team member was in severe pain and the team rushed to her aid. The male opponent not only protested the penalty call of the umpire (suggesting that she was unathletic and simply fell), but also asked for the woman to be dragged off the court so that the game could commence. If Chuck wasn’t a man of peace he would have violated this dude in a frenzied attack.

Nonetheless, the netball equivalent of Michael Jordan received a lifetime ban from the sporting facility and the female team member ended up with steal plates and a grotesque scar that ran down her forearm.

That incident really made Chuck stop and take stock of amateur sport. What leads mild mannered men to turn into crazed lunatics once they step onto the field of play?

Don’t get Chuck wrong, there’s nothing like a bit of fierce competition. Chuck has played amateur sport at a reasonably high level and has competed as hard as anyone. But there is that fine line between competing hard and being a fucking annoying knob. It sounds like Sophia’s boyfriend sits squarely in the annoying knob category, especially when you consider that a total non-sports fan picked it immediately.

So why do dudes act like this? In a lot of instances, amateur sport is an opportunity for them to live the dream. You don’t often see really good amateur athletes acting like F wits (although it definitely does happen). It’s normally a marginal guy who never quite cut the mustard when he was younger who takes things super seriously and drives everyone around him crazy. These guys typically have a chip on their shoulder (I should have made the team when I was 14, the coach played his son over me etc etc) and use their time on the field to show the world that they were wronged (like some talent scout is sitting on the sidelines slapping themselves on their head and saying “fuck, I hate myself for not signing that guy”).

White line fever often strikes guys with limited athletic ability (the amateur stage gives them a chance to prove to everyone they can compete) or some physical liability – specifically being short. Little man disease runs hand in hand with white line fever. You know the guys, the ones who check in less than 5’6 who resent the fact that they are short and hate the world because of it. They step onto the sporting field and want to roar like a lion to prove to everyone that they belong.

Some guys are just flat out nuttier than squirrel shit when they start running around and a bit of physical contact is involved. Chuck once played in a touch football game where some dude lost his mind and spear tackled a chick, driving her head and shoulders into the turf and then celebrated like he’d just stopped a winning drive in the Superbowl…..until about 5 seconds later when the testosterone stopped pumping so hard through his body and he realised what he’d done. He then burst into tears and subsequently paid all her medical expenses. His only explanation was that he had no idea what he was doing.

Chuck has also found (meaning that he hasn’t conducted exhaustive medical and psychological research like on some of the other points) that there seems to be a correlation between guys going berko on the sporting field and how they are when they imbibe a little too much. From Chuck’s experience, white line monsters tend to also get a bit aggro when on the drink. The demons that appear when the juice is flowing on the field also pay a visit when they consume the devils water. It’s like the alcohol unlocks whatever it is that causes the crazy behaviour out on the track. These guys aren’t necessarily knocking back a beer then looking for a brawl, but they do seem more inclined to go snappo once they’ve had a few cans.

As far as your boyfriend goes Sophia, it’s hard for Chuck to make an accurate diagnosis as to what’s causing the problem since Chuck has no understanding of his physical shortcomings or the chips that may be on his shoulder. The advantage that you have is that you aren’t interested in sport and you’ll probably never see him act like a fuckwit again. The downside is that from time to time he’ll come home a little worse for wear after someone on the opposition tires of his act and belts him.

Oh and one final Chuck nugget! Guys with white line fever often have small dicks! (Chuck has spent enough time in change rooms to know….and don’t kid yourself, every bloke is checking out what his competition is packing)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Poop in the ‘Gina


As loyal readers will know, Chuck is inching closer and closer to delivery day – that is, the arrival of an heir or heiress. It has been an exciting time thus far and as the due date approaches, Chuck and Mrs Long have been taking many of the necessary steps in preparation. Purchasing clothing and equipment, restructuring the household – you know, all the fun stuff. But what’s been the most worrying part of the whole process is those occasions where Chuck and Mrs Long sit down and weigh up the experience both have had with infants. Most people have friends or family members who’ve had kids and get experience or exposure by association. Not Chuck and Mrs Long. Any of Mrs Long’s friends with children live in other states and Chuck, well Chuck doesn’t really have any friends, let alone friends with spawn.

Ok, Chuck does have one or two friends and even a couple with children and it is these people that have given the Chuck the upper hand in one key area – changing a nappy. The tally in this field reads Chuck 1, Mrs Long 0. Unfortunately, Chuck’s nappy changing experience has not filled him with vast amounts of skill and expertise. In fact, it may have actually scarred Chuck. Let Chuck recount the experience in its entire stench filled detail.

A number of years ago Chuck had the opportunity to return to the United States to pay a visit to a former employer and mentor (Barry for the story’s sake). Chuck had learned many life lessons from this man and the trip was an opportunity to repay the teachings with a small token - dinner. Chuck was insistent that it was on his coin and once the offer was accepted it was decided that the wife (lets call her Missy) would take the opportunity to get dressed up. This necessitated a haircut. With Barry at work, Missy posed a relatively simple question to Chuck; “Can you watch the kids?”

Now Chuck’s not too bad at all with children and thought nothing of keeping an eye on them for 90 minutes or so. It’s important for a quick scouting report on the 3 offspring in question. There was a 7-year-old boy – totally low maintenance. A 4-year-old with fire in her eye and an 18-month-old little girl. Missy instructed Chuck on a few finer points such as don’t let them play with fire and assured him that the only problem he may face was the baby wetting herself which in itself wasn’t too much of a problem because the 4-year-old was well versed in changing nappies.

How hard could it be?

Chuck was regretting that thought the minute Missy pulled out of the drive way as the 4-year-old fell and ate a mouth full of gravel while attempting to run and wave her mother off. Chuck quickly swung into action, first making sure that all teeth were present and accounted for and then soothing the situation with comforting words and probably more importantly the offer of chocolate.

With enough carnage taking place outside, Chuck decided to take the action indoors. These children were on a carefully measured dosage of television so Chuck capitalised on this by throwing on the box, which had the effect of immediately neutralising the 7-year-old, who morphed into one of those kids who locks onto the TV and who’s attention cannot be broken while a picture is being transmitted. One kid covered, two to entertain. The afternoon progressed well with Chuck playing the role of ringmaster and keeping the two girls entertained.

About 50 minutes into the experience, Chuck’s highly tuned nose began picking up the pungent smell of faeces. Every instinct in Chuck’s brain screamed that he should pull a CSI move, find some Vicks Vapourub and smear it under his nose, thus neutralising the smell. The baby made her way towards Chuck and the smell became overpowering. Chuck looked at his watch and determined that both he and the baby could surely tough out the next 40 minutes or so until Missy got home. Chuck then imagined himself sitting in his own shit and decided that he couldn’t allow another person to do the same.

Chuck enlisted the 4-year-old who dutifully went off and returned with a box of baby wipes and a new nappy.

Chuck prepared the materials and positioned the baby.

In hindsight, things always look so much clearer and make more sense but at the time Chuck thought nothing about having the baby’s head at his knees and the offending area at the furthest point away from Chuck. The ramifications of this decision have scarred Chuck for life.

Anyway, Chuck asked the 4-year-old to play the roll of surgery assistant and made the first incision to remove the soiled nappy. Almost as soon as the nappy was opened the stench overpowered Chuck and the vomit reflex kicked in. At the same time Chuck was struck with the uncomfortable realisation that he now had his friend and mentor’s naked little girl in front of him. While this would not have caused Barry any concern whatsoever, for some reason Chuck was overcome by a sense of awkwardness. Chuck worried if he had overstepped the mark here?

So while fighting off the urge to barf, Chuck was also grappling with a crisis of confidence over his decision to power ahead with this move. The shit, the nausea and the fragile state of Chuck’s mind actually caused Chuck to start giggling. At the same time the 4-year-old (holding her nose) began to giggle too. This led to Chuck laugh hysterically, which of course led to tears rolling down Chuck’s cheeks. The tears caused the child to ask “are you ok Uncy Chuck?”

By this stage Chuck could barely breath but knew that he had to press on. Grabbing a baby wipe Chuck began the heinous task of wiping away the foul smelling baby poo. Once again, hindsight is a wonderful thing. The fact that the baby’s head was at Chuck’s knees meant that the only wiping technique Chuck could use was bottom to belly button. This fact will become important in a few short paragraphs time.

No matter how many times Chuck wiped, the tissues continued to be caked with shit. It was like a bottomless pot of baby turd. As the pile of baby wipes began to resemble a small mountain the cordless phone rang. Still laughing uncontrollably with hands caked in baby poop, Chuck answered the phone. It was Missy checking in. Chuck’s only words were “get home now” before hanging up the phone.

Once again, thinking back on that, Chuck can only imagine what a parent would think when confronted with a barely breathing babysitter imploring them to get home ASAP.

Anyway, after a couple more wipes the shit fountain had subsided. Chuck asked the 4-year-old to go in for a closer look to see her sister was cleaned up and ready to be re-clothed. She leapt into action. In what can only be described as a testament to Gods creation, she grabbed her sister’s ankles and snapped her legs down and apart so that she was in a hard core split position. It was like she was a chicken carcass being prepared for stuffing. The 4-year-old then lowered her head and stared directly into the infant’s nether regions. After a split second, she recoiled and with a look of wonderment said to Chuck, “Uncy Chuck, there’s a hole in her ‘gina!”

Of course this stunning revelation sent Chuck into another fit of wild, hysterical laughter, which rendered him useless for another 2 minutes. Chuck managed to collect himself and asked the 4-year-old, who was now shaken herself, if the area was clear of poop. Pulling herself together, she snapped the legs down again and steeled herself for another look. She peered intently into her sister’s undercarriage and after a lengthy look sat back and in the most serious tone ever uttered by one so young exclaimed, “Uncy Chuck, there’s poop in the giiiiiina!”

Chuck was by now a shattered man. Grabbing baby wipe number 53, he passed it over with the strict instructions to gently get the remainder. She showed deft touch and removed the offending faeces with minimal effort. Wanting the nightmare to be over, Chuck hastily slapped on another disposable nappy, dumped the entire pile of baby wipes into the trash and poured an entire bottle of bleach over his hands to remove any excess crap.

Chuck had just sat down when the door exploded open as if Missy had kicked it in (which is fairly understandable considering what Chuck had given her to work with over the phone). She was clearly expecting blood or broken bones but was instead met with 3 happy children (the 7-year-old did not move during the entire episode) and one slightly frazzled Chuck.

By the time Chuck had finished recounting the tale, Missy was on the floor howling in laughter.

The key lessons from all of this? 
  • Never underestimate how hard you can make even the simplest of tasks.
  • Never try to change a nappy with the arse away from you.
  • Never wipe up.
  • Never stop marvelling at how flexible infants are (as evidenced by the snap splits the 18 month old performed – with the help of her sister).
  • Never think you can block out the smell of faecal matter. 

The good news for Chuck from all this? It couldn’t get much worse……..please tell Chuck it couldn’t get much worse.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Ball Hawk


Chuck Long is going through an interesting phase in life ladies and gentlemen. This is going to surprise a lot of loyal readers who regularly tune in to Reality Bytes for strength and reason in turbulent times, but Chuck is afraid he needs to admit that the old axis is causing things to spin a little wonky at the moment. Of course when things get tough, Chuck rolls up his sleeves, evaluates his testicular fortitude and gets down to business.

So what has caused this latest seismic shift? Finding activities that Mrs Long can partake in at this late stage of her pregnancy. Chuck knows many of you will be glancing up to the title and assuming that Chuck has Mrs Long dive bombing his plums like a bird of prey (and now that Chuck’s typed that it sounds like an awesome idea), but alas, swinging off Chucks nuts is not the only thing Mrs Long has found to entertain herself.

Being saddled with an active partner pre-pregnancy is enough of a challenge as they have a tendency to need to be in perpetual motion. Mrs Long’s affection for activity is headlined by her passion for climbing hills. Chuck often joked that her idea of a great time was finding the biggest hill she could and climbing it. There are two advantages to this mentality 1) she tends to be highly motivated and energetic & 2) she isn’t morbidly obese.

So the challenge in the Long household is finding activities that a once athletic and active woman can undertake now that she is severely up the duff. Hill climbing is well and truly out the window (thank fuck!) now that Mrs Long’s heart rate explodes getting out of bed and she has bouts of breathlessness while sitting at her computer at work.

Once a normal woman gets past about 32 weeks of pregnancy* they are packing anywhere from 1.75 to 2.5 kilos of womb parasite around with them plus the additional beef that comes with pregnancy. On top of that, their belly is now so big that they can no longer see their feet and turning usually requires a 3-point manoeuvre. Mrs Long has had a tough time getting her shoes on lately so anything too strenuous becomes a major problem.

*Male readers let Chuck fill you in on a little secret. Pregnancy is not 9 months. Its 40 weeks / 10 months which completely threw Chuck off the scent since all you ever hear people talking about is the 9 months of pregnancy. Don’t feel too dumb, almost every first time father Chuck has spoken too admits that they got slightly scrambled at some stage of the process trying to figure out when in fact the little sucker was coming.

So Chuck has come up with a couple of ideas for couples to try and then in true Chuck Long fashion - the ultimate activity for heavily pregnant women.

The movies – Chuck’s rationale here is that once you’ve had a kid you end up becoming one of those people you used to mock when they said ‘the last movie I saw was Star Wars…….the original one”. You’re not going to be heading to the flicks on a regular basis anymore (unless you become a total dick and take an infant with you that invariably starts wailing at some stage during the film). You may as well cram as many as you can in now. The downside? High probability that your woman will need to hit the toilet at least 5 times and the round trip will take 10 minutes in the dark.

Dinner – much like the movies, not really something you can do with a newborn child (unless of course you are the same dick who takes an infant to the movies). Chuck would advise men however that it is probably not the best idea to take your lady to a super upmarket restaurant and then indulge in a degustation menu with accompanying wine. This is basically torture to a woman who obviously can’t drink and has to be subjected to you feasting like a king. Additionally her stomach is getting so severely squeezed by the spawn that she can barely get any food in. Doing this is basically like rubbing the meal in her face. And yes, Chuck made this mistake…only once.

Sporting events – the pregnant lady can sit down, enjoy the spectacle and follow her favourite team. Ok, Chuck’s not kidding anyone, it’s just awesome to be able to have a few beers and then have a chauffeur for the ride home.

Baby shopping – yeah, we’re getting a little thin on ideas at this point but it can be a fun activity and definitely gets you thinking about the impending arrival. The downside to it is that you’re already thinking about how you’re kid will look in public before the little tacker is even born.

On a side note, Chuck was confronted with one of the more shocking things that he has ever seen on Monday. After attending birthing classes, couples were informed that sensible underwear was a smart move for the mother in the days /weeks after birth since they’ll likely be oozing blood and a fishing line g banger is probably not the most appropriate thing to be holding maternity pads in place. With that in mind, Chuck and Mrs Long set out to purchase some transition underwear (from post pregnancy to fully operational). The first thing that Chuck noticed was that there was not a great deal of options in the ‘full brief’ section and that most women under size 16 are not catered for in any way, shape of form.

When Mrs Long did stumble across a pack that fit her petite derrière, they were of the variety that features sides that are about 10 centimetres high. Seriously, who wears these monstrosities? Mrs Long put them on and immediately Chuck understood why elderly people struggle to get sex. They were fucking heinous!  Anyway, Chuck pledged then and there to do whatever he could to aid Mrs Long in a speedy recovery just so that those tents can be burned.

And finally the ultimate activity for heavily pregnant women?

Golf

Ok, stop rolling your eyeballs and hear Chuck out, he’s never steered you wrong to this point.

Chucks not suggesting the pregnant lady should play.

Look, blokes aren’t going to be hitting up the course too much in the coming weeks and months after birth so it gives them a chance to have a hit while life is less complicated. For the lady, you have the opportunity to take a leisurely stroll around what is usually a well-manicured garden, spending time with your partner, chatting away during the walk and mixing in some less than strenuous activity. Of course there are downsides to this activity, one being the possibility of being struck by a wayward golf ball and another being exposed to an ugly side of your partner when he misses a putt and launches his club across the green.

What Chuck found to be an additional upside recently? Well since Mrs Long is pregnant, she can pretty much get away with anything so as it was late in the day when Chuck and Mrs Long tried this shared activity, Chuck had Mrs Long pick up any stray golf balls she happened to stumble across. After 5 holes she was on an unbelievable pace (something about heightened maternity eyesight Chuck is guessing) and when questioned by a golfer who’s brand new ball she’d swiped, all she had to do was show some belly and offer “whoops, baby brain, I thought it was one my husband lost on the last hole”.

Not only did Chuck get quality time with the mother of his unborn child, but he ended up with quite the golf ball windfall. A true ball hawk indeed (although swinging off Chucks ball bag really would be better come to think of it).

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Meat is Murder


Sorry Smiths fans, this post isn’t going to be a paean to the original kings of emo depression rock. Chuck actually has a serious topic to tackle:

Dear Chuck,

How can I stop feeling like I am merely a piece of meat to be consumed and discarded by men.  
I dress conservatively, do not go clubbing, nor do I sleep around, yet I am "meat".
Or is that what women are to men, regardless?

Respectfully, Fellie Minyon.


Dear Fellie,

In the self-help classes that Chuck facilitates, one of the first actions Chuck has the class perform is to move around the room and look each class member directly in the eye. They say the eyes are the windows to the soul so this exercise allows class members to go door-to-door and check out among other things how a person perceives him or herself (and as a side benefit - early warning signs of eye disorders such as cataracts). So many people have relationship problems because they have self-perception problems.

Having a room full of people understand what some of your issues are will eventually help you get through the problem yourself. These people can be your brothers or sisters in arms and help you through. The process of eyeballing a person and getting a read on them is incredibly important (which is why the Dog Whisperer – Cesar Millan is always staring mutts down).

The reason Chuck is telling you this Fellie is that without the benefit of checking out the back of your retinas, Chuck can’t really get an accurate gauge on you, however having said that, Chuck is going to fall back on his years of experience and expertise and suggest that you may have an issue around how you think of yourself.

The telltale sign for Chuck was the line “yet I am meat”.

You can dress a pig up and teach it to act in a certain way, but if deep down it still thinks of itself as swine, it’s going to get porked!

Now before you get uppity, Chuck is not calling you a pig so relax.

It sounds like you’re taking some basic steps to avoid ending up with blokes who’ll merely chop you up and move onto their next conquest. Dressing conservatively, avoiding clubs and not tossing your pussy around are definitely ways to avoid being used and abused. However, Chuck knows plenty of women who dress like hookers, spend all their times at bars and clubs and sling their poontang around like it’s going out of fashion who’d tell you that they don’t get treated like meat. A lot of guys have fantasies about poking a librarian Chuck hopes you realise.

So what’s the problem?

It sounds like the blokes you are letting into your inner sanctum are the wrong type. If you continually feel like flesh, it probably means that you’re going after or attracting the sort of guy who is only interested in boning you.  You say that you’re taking steps that should reduce the sleazeball attraction factor, but without some background on where you’re meeting these dudes Chuck cant comment for sure.

The best way to find decent blokes is through a referral network. At least in this way you can get a scouting report on a guy before you receive the hot beef injection. If you can hook up with guys who have been referred through friends then the likelihood of being churned and burned is reduced because if they are decent friends they’ll want to avoid setting you up with a scum bag. The problem you have is that your friends may be sluts and therefore pushing your flange on to any bloke they know. If your friends are in fact dirty ho bags then do not use this method of meeting guys.

While most people suggest not shitting in your own nest – that is, not dating co workers, Chuck doesn’t have a problem with it as long as you do it in measured does. You obviously don’t want to take a run at every guy in the office but if you’re strategic you can observe and pick up office vibes on blokes to determine whether or not they are an option as a romantic partner.

Finally, another surefire way to meet a guy who isn’t a meat grinder is to join a religion. If you can find a bloke who turns up to church on a semi regular basis, you can be fairly sure that he isn’t the type to poke and run (of course unless he is a priest). The down side to that is that they’re also unlikely to want to bone you. Don’t fret though; most guys can be broken since the power of the penis will normally override the power of God. Either that or they’ll propose early in the piece on order to get some action.

The other key piece of advice – change your self-perception. Find a mirror and take a good hard look at yourself. You need to view yourself as an asset and make sure that you are treated accordingly. Its not easy to suddenly change yourself from the used into the user but you need to understand that you will be taken advantage of if you allow yourself to be. A lack of self-confidence often leads people to giving up the coochie early in the relationship because they feel they’ll lose the other person if they don’t. But that’s not always the case. Take a look at the stock market, as supply decreases, demand increases. In your next go around with a bloke, don’t give it up so early and see how the guy reacts. No guy who is only interested in pussy is going to do the gary groundwork for a month to get it (unless you are a freaking supermodel – but in that case, most blokes would want to hang onto it).

The only time the “decrease supply / increase demand” analogy thing doesn’t work is if you’re a real bitch in which case most dudes would boot you to the curb. Not worth the hassle.

Not all men treat women like meat – just most. No that’s not true, some blokes treat women like meat because they are wired that way (and often work for the Taliban). Other blokes treat women like meat because they’re going through a phase (just got dumped) or are young. And men will treat women like meat if they are allowed to. In reality, the vast majority of men are looking for a partner. So what Chuck is trying to say is that there are decent blokes out there who’ll treat you well no matter what you wear or where you hang out. You have to determine if you’re prepared to be treated well and then you need to find one of these blokes – that’s the tough part!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

F.E.A.R


A couple of posts ago Chuck introduced his protégé Walter, who asked the question “Should I take a crack at my divisional manager?” As background to that post, Walter was leaving his job; his divisional manager was single, attractive, successful and cagey as fuck (old school expression for what today is described as a Cougar). Of course Chuck weighed up the pros and cons for Walter and then advised him to “march onwards young soldier”. In the subsequent days, the Reality Bytes inbox was bombarded by readers desperate to know how Walter made out in his quest. It had all the makers of an epic tale except for one part – Walter lost his nerve at the last minute despite all signs pointing to him actually having a chance.

At the time Chuck tabbed Walters’s experience – Fear of Failure and promised to revisit the topic. Well guess what? Today’s the day.

It is important for both male and female Reality Bytes readers to put down their double decaf skinny lattes and reflect upon those times that you’ve spotted an attractive specimen across the room, felt the loins tingle and decided that ‘now’ is the right time to make an approach. Once you’ve done that, calibrate those times with the number of occasions that you’ve actually acted on that impulse. Chuck’s guessing that there will be a significant difference in the two figures. Of course there will be a group of people out there who are either shameless or have taken the necessary steps to concur their F.E.A.R*

*There is no reason or acronym behind the F.E.A.R, it just sounds awesome to Chuck when he spells it out and it’s also one of Chucks all-time favourite songs. In fact, the whole thing works better if you read F.E.A.R and say it in your mind as Ian Brown sings it. If it helps matters, check the song out now (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uk8j3z53tGM) and come back to the post. You will not regret it!

Anyway, the act of asking someone out has actually become one of the most daunting activities a person can undertake. So often, individuals would rather smoulder intensely for extended periods of time while satisfying their dreams with a lubricant and tissues rather than actually acting on the urge. People are so gripped by the F.E.A.R of being rejected that they never take a shot. Don’t get Chuck wrong, he too was once so addled by the F.E.A.R that he passed up countless opportunities to engage with the opposite sex despite even the most outwardly visible signs of reciprocal interest.

So how did we get here? Good question.

Let’s be honest with ourselves for 5 minutes. We’re all so worried about having our egos bruised that we avoid putting ourselves in situations where we may lose – fear of failure or the F.E.A.R as Chuck likes to call it. Despite being constantly told by our parents, coaches, teachers and religious leaders that “it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game” we all become intrinsically aware that that statement is totally bullshit and that winning is all that matters in all facets of life (actually the religious leader will be telling you that it’s all about how you cup his nuts while he’s forcing his penis on you, but that’s another story). Everything we do in life is graded or commented on making it very easy to rank yourself against those around you. 

This way of life then breeds humans who have egos and like to succeed, meaning that they don’t take losing at all well. This mentally has infected every component of life including romance and relationships. People hate making the first move because they don’t want to be rejected. It always amuses Chuck to hear about breakups. People who have been dumped either admit they were dumped and then play the “I didn’t see it coming” card or lie and say that they ended things. You never hear people say “yeah I was pretty much a deadbeat who fucked it up and I deserved it”. We want to paint ourselves in a positive light at all times because our ego can’t handle realising that we may in fact be a loser.

Of course there are people who do realise that they are a loser and it is these people who cut their arms and listen to emo music.

And on the other hand, there are those people who have confidence to burn and even when they fail are able to write it off as a blip on the radar and keep on keeping on.

So how do you avoid the F.E.A.R? Don’t get Chuck wrong, there is no switch that you flick to turn it off. However, you can combat it in a few ways. A couple of things you need to consider:
  • If you are going to take a random shot at a chick at a bar you need to find a bathroom mirror and have a frank conversation with yourself first. Chuck’s not kidding here either, there has been plenty of times (on romantic, career & sporting levels) that Chuck has been confronted with a situation and has excused himself to a bathroom in order to look himself in the eyeball and make rational judgements). The first question you need to ask is “is this person in my league?” You have a small window of opportunity here so you don’t want to find some absolute dime piece (10 out of 10) and take a shot at her with minimal groundwork (small talk) if you’re an obese slob with stains on your shirt. That’s not to say that obese slobs don’t deserve love or that dime pieces don’t fall for obese slobs, but Chuck’s talking about minimising your chance of failure here.
  • Be sensible in regards to who you are having a crack at. For example, even though you may have had a smouldering desire for the office hottie, if you haven’t given him or her the slightest indication that you are interested or sensed that they may be interested in you, think how confronting it is going to be if you just spring a random date request on them. To make matters worse, if they decline your stuck working with them. While Chucks on co-workers, be smart about the level of person you’re going after. People in more senior roles than you are likely to reject overtures (unless they are senior executive males and you’re a buxom babe at least 20 years younger) for fear of damaging their career by chopping up a minion.
  • Alcohol always helps although your returns diminish once you tip into the pissed stage (especially if your object of desire is sober)
  • Always go in with a positive attitude. Walking up to a babe thinking you have no shot means that you have no shot.
  • Try and be clean. You will get rejected if you look an smell like a homeless person.
Really the key is to pick your targets wisely and give yourself every chance to do well. At the end of the day, the key to all this is remembering that you have nothing to lose. A rejection is merely someone declining an interest in you. If you approach the situation in the right way (and have followed some of Chucks above tips) you are giving yourself every chance. It shouldn’t be a crushing blow to your soul if you’re rejected. Keep your eyes on the prize, if you can pull it off you’re the ultimate winner!
So what was Chuck’s turning point? What enabled Chuck to get past the F.E.A.R? You may remember Chuck’s drinking companion who used the pickup line “Would you like a moustache ride?” Well he also lived by this credo:

“If I walk up to 100 women in a bar and ask each one of them if they’d like to fuck me, I may get 99 no’s (and a few slaps to the face) but if one says yes, the night is an absolute success”.

People, that statement right there is the antidote to the F.E.A.R

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Moustache Ride


Hi Chuck,

My fiancé has decided to grow a beard. It looks terrible and feels horrible. I’m sure I’ve read comments by you disparaging facial hair. Could you expand on the topic and hopefully talk him out of it?

Thank you

Dessie


Dear Dessie,

There is a strong possibility that the reason Chuck is adverse to facial hair is the fact that he is cursed with bright orange hair follicles on his face. It would be one thing if Chuck’s head hair was bright orange - at least then there’d be some sort of facial symmetry. When your hair is dark and your facial hair resembles the colour of a Hazmat suit there is very little you can do on the face fleece front. Any growth just looks flat out stupid.  Perhaps if Chuck’s beard matched his rug he’d have a different take on beards, goatees, moustaches and fu manchu’s. Since it doesn’t, Chuck will exercise the right to eviscerate all forms of facial hair – yes jealousy is a vicious animal.

The topic of facial hair actually reminds Chuck of the worst pick up line he has ever witnessed in person. Sitting at a bar in the US, Chuck’s drinking companion spotted a little piece of crumpet across the room. He got fairly excited, gulped his beer, asked for a refill and then stated to Chuck “I’m going to ask her if she wants a moustache ride”. If this took place today, Chuck would look his buddy in the eye and say “That is the dumbest line ever” but this event took place in Chuck’s younger days and quite frankly he was intrigued to see how the crumpet would react. As a little background, the bar Chuck was in was called ‘Saddles and Spurs’ and was the sort of place that you ate peanuts and threw the shells on the floor… it didn’t exude class.

Anyway, Chuck’s buddy ambled up to the crumpet and delivered his line. Chuck braced for the sure fire face slap but was amazed when she smiled uncomfortably but then engaged in small talk and then a deep and meaningful. Chuck’s drinking companion strolled back 45 minutes later with her phone number and subsequently chopped her up a week later – the line obviously had merit. Interestingly enough, post coitus, Chuck’s buddy learned that this lovely little thing had actually sired 4 children to 4 different guys so perhaps rather than a line with merit, Chuck’s buddy just knew how to pick loose women!

Back to facial hair.

Over the last few years the beard has made a stunning return to fashion. Chuck’s not talking your Hagrid number, but a manicured covering of stubble that is no more than 5 millimetres long. Another interesting phenomenon is the line beard or the neck beard, most often popularised by overweight men who use it strategically to indicate they have a chin. Next time the Biggest Loser is on, pay attention to a few of the fatties and their facial hair. Chuck guarantees that at least one of them has a line beard that runs from their ears and across their jawbone. Typically a grossly overweight mans chin is lost as his neck fat swells. This cheeky use of facial hair is an attempt at cutting the fat and highlighting that there is a chin lurking under there somewhere, just waiting for its chance to get out. With the population continuing to grow outwards, you can expect a whole lot more of these bad boys on the streets.

Men will always get jack of shaving since it’s a total pain in the arse and then decide that they are going to grow some facial hair to avoid it. The vast majority of men start this quest and then realise that its itchy, women hate being near it and it looks stupid and they rapidly shave it off. Some guys stick with it and then feel naked without it. Chuck would recommend that you play the “it’s too itchy and I can’t kiss you anymore” card as soon as possible to encourage your fiancé to shave it off. Your other option is to grow out your body hair in solidarity. As soon as he sees your overgrown bush and hairy armpits, he’ll get the message and get out the razor blade.

If he does persist, despite you now looking like a tree hugging hippy with your koala ears and hirsute pins, then it’s important for Chuck to rank the various types of facial hair from stupid to completely stupid.

Stupid

Light beard

This is the beard that is well kept (no high cheek hair, no neck beard) and trimmed regularly to keep the facial hair short. The down sides are; A) its prickly, and you look like you put a lot of time into maintaining your facial hair.
Goatee

The goatee incorporates a moustache and links to a growth on the chin. If done properly, it looks very much like you have an addiction to huffing paint.  It is a useful tool for blokes who don’t have much of a chin.
Chin only Goatee

A tuft of facial hair on your chin only. Often used by dudes with a massive cleft in their chin (because a cleft doesn’t always look good and it is a nightmare to shave the hair inside of it)
Moderately stupid

Flavour saver aka soul patch

Kind of a waste of time piece of facial hair, a patch of hair just under your bottom lip that takes it name from the fact that if you provide cunnilingus you may end up with love juice on it. The downside? If you have one your chance of licking pussy is greatly diminished.
Line beard

Admittedly Chuck has been very hard on the old line beard but it does have it’s time and place. It actually looks quite good on black hip hop artists and maybe black athletes. It DOES NOT look good on any white person.
White Trash

Neck beard

The neck beard is just flat out feral. There is very little good about it and would itch like a motherfucker.
Fu Manchu

With fashion being a circular thing, it’s inevitable that the Asian inspired Fu Manchu will make some sort of return. With a moustache and then a downward line of hair on each side of the mouth giving the wearer the look of a true weirdo, it’s only a matter of time before all the kids are doing it.

Completely Stupid

Moustache

There is just no practical reason to have a moustache (unless it is Mo-vember and even then you look like a dick). The only people who look good with a moustache are paedophiles and dictators (ok, for some reason, blokes over 58 seem to be able to pull it off as well, and Tom Selleck). The downsides to a moustahce include; looking like a paedophile or a dictator, getting food and milk stuck in it and having dried snot on it. The advantages are that you don’t need to trim your nose hair.



Full beard

The only time you should ever have full beard is if you’re living under Taliban rule or you make a living creating survival documentaries. No woman enjoys a man with a big old bushy beard and they just look fucking stupid. Stop being lazy and trim the bastard back!
At the end of the day, your man is going to do what he wants to do, no matter how dumb he looks. It is a known fact that in the early stages of facial hair, guys look fairly decent (unless you’re Chuck and your beard glows in the dark!) Perhaps you could indulge him in the early days and then encourage him to experiment for a month or so (and then have everyone you know who sees him tell him how shit it looks). On the other hand, you could insist that for every day he persists with it, he owes you a full-fledged moustache ride. That’s a win for you right there!