Friday, April 29, 2016

A Bathroom Policy For Everyone

So apparently Target’s new bathroom policy has created three groups of people: those who applaud its inclusivity, those who find it morally abhorrent, and people that would pee next to a transsexual clown as long as the facility was clean.

Most opposed to Target's new policy would give you the following scenario:

Pete the Perv puts on a dress, declares himself a woman and sneaks into the women’s restroom to either sexually assault a defenseless young girl or clandestinely-record footage of female patrons relieving themselves.

Most advocating for Target’s new policy would counter with:

Both of those actions are already illegal (and against store policy) so why shouldn’t a private business be allowed to set its own bathroom policy in order to be more accepting of everyone?

I have secretly been attempting to get my wife to boycott Target for years (for financial reasons) and it turns out that she falls in the third category. As best I can tell, getting her to boycott Target would require them tying a kitten to a Harry Potter book and setting them both on fire. So I have decided to speak on behalf of the silent majority.

Let’s face it: when it comes to relieving oneself, no one likes an away game. We all prefer to conduct our business at the home office, but there are times when road games get penciled into the schedule. In those circumstances, I am looking for a few very specific items as a part of your bathroom policy:

Reasonable Cleanliness – I once walked into a rest area in Arkansas and found a turd shoved into a tube sock lying in the middle of the restroom floor. Also, wipe down the stall walls every once in a while. There is nothing like glancing around only to realize that you are in a booger museum. I would rather use a spotless bathroom with gender-fluid Pat than a filthy one with staunchly-hetero Bill.

Soap, Towels, and Toilet Paper – This is common courtesy. If you are going to offer a sink, provide the necessary accessories to utilize it. Same with the toilet. Otherwise it is just accommodational-entrapment. I find this especially aggravating when the proprietor has taken time to hang a sign that encourages you to “Wash Your Hands for Good Health” and yet only give you the opportunity to moisten the germs already present on them.

Baby Changing Stations (especially in men’s rooms) – Contrary to popular belief, there are fathers and grandfathers who change diapers and what we really wish to avoid is having to lay our child on the counter next to someone cursing loudly because there is no soap or paper towels. Also, please follow the manufacturer’s mounting instructions. There are times to cut corners and just use 2 of the 4 provided wall-anchors, but compromising the structural integrity of an infant Murphy-bed is not one of those times.

No Token Paperwork – Please don’t patronize me by placing an “Hourly Restroom Inspection” sheet in a plastic frame behind the door. If I have to read a spreadsheet in order to convince myself that you are cleaning your restroom then you are doing it wrong.

Restroom Placement– Conveniently-located and clearly-marked is the name of the game. Ever tried to pee at a home improvement store? You always have to dodge forklifts and slip down an alleyway. Our local Books-A-Million always has so many boxes stacked up by the men’s room I feel like I am being allowed behind the counter at the UPS store.

If you choose not to go to Target for moral reasons, stand strong and please contact my wife and explain to her why she should do the same. If you are proud of the stance Target has taken, buy more stuff than usual and then contact my wife to tell her that whatever she was going to buy is out-of-stock. If you are pretty certain that, policy or no-policy, your local Target wouldn’t notice if a urologist opened a satellite office in the women’s restroom; hold it till you get home.  

If I misrepresented anyone’s views, please feel free to let me know in the comment section (it is gender-neutral).

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A Woman's Place

I have previously expounded upon the practice of Christian Domestic Discipline and the use of spankings to keep the misses sufficiently agreeable toward the HoH (Head of Household). However, I realize that some men are somewhat skittish when it comes to the “physical readjustment” of their spouse’s attitude. Fortunately, the website is here to guide your journey.

Featured articles include “How God Made Man Superior to Woman” a rather lengthy tome peppered with biological charts and insightful excerpts about:

Domestic Roles – “I believe it is Biblical that a woman’s place is in the home: not saying she can never go out, but that caring for the needs of her husband, her children and her home should be the focus of her life.”

Perpetrators of Mass Shootings – “Some children are raised with two loving parents, and maybe even a mom who took care of them when they were little. They are simply born evil and sadistic and psychotic, plain and simple.”

Testosterone Deficiencies – “Either way you slice it, most relationships between men and women do not work well when the wife is more intelligent and makes more money than the husband. In the rare instances where it does work, I guarantee you will find a feminine man who is low on testosterone, or a man who had a domineering and aggressive mother who beat his father down.”

Now before any of you godless feminists get all up in arms and trouble your woefully underdeveloped brains, there is also an article that highlights the areas that a woman is superior to a man such as her ability to “smell better” and “taste better.” There is even a rather elaborate graphic of a female silhouette that reminds us that a woman has more fat which “gives her that curvy look and cushy feel.” Seriously, who wouldn't trade equality for the olfactory capabilities of a bloodhound and the body contours of an overstuffed sofa?

While some may be tempted to find offense at describing a human being like the interior of a Buick, it is worth  remembering that women also have been given the spiritual gift of cleavage, “A woman’s breasts are a blessing from God to man.”

Other topics of interest include:

Women in Pants – “if a woman’s father, husband or pastor allows her to wear pants then there is no sin in her doing this as long as the pants she wears pertains to a woman and not to a man.”

Social Etiquette – “A man cupping his wife’s breasts in the kitchen may be ok when no one is around but he should not be grabbing her breasts when they have company.”

Women in Politics – “In no way does the Bible EVER paint women in leadership roles as a positive thing, but it is something God uses to shame the men into action.”

Dealing With A Lazy Wife – “If you have money then as a form of discipline you should have confiscated your wife’s credit cards and not given her weekly money. Hire someone to come in and help with the laundry and house work.  As far as meals go out to dinner by yourself and do not take your wife.  Make sure there are is some food for her in the house as that is something you are required to supply her with as her husband.  But it does not have to be fancy food.  Make her eat sandwiches."

There are areas of glaring incongruity such as the lengthy article about Kate Upton. The site’s author defends his son’s right to hang posters of Kate Upton in a bikini on his wall. While I have neither the time nor the motivation to discuss his reasoning behind the decision, it struck me as a quite the dichotomy given his stated purpose for women:

"God intended for you to marry a man and then serve him with all your heart to the very best of your ability. God intended for you to have children (if you are not barren) and to care for those children. God intended for you to care for home and make it haven for your husband and your children."

Any role falling outside of these parameters is dismissed as “selfish-ambition” or anti-Biblical and yet in reference to the aforementioned bikini wall-art he says,” In regards to women’s bodies, my son knows most women don’t look like Kate Upton, that is why she makes the money she does, because she is so exceptionally beautiful.”

One wonders how a single, childless, out-spoken entrepreneur who has (at least to some degree) transformed her own immodesty into a business empire would be worthy of his admiration since she has so clearly forgotten her place. Indeed, were all women to take his advice his son would have nothing to adorn his walls but bikini photos of Charles Spurgeon.

The blog is authored under the pseudonym Larry Solomon. According to the site, “The reason I do not use my real name is the same reason that Christ hid himself from Jews” He further identifies himself as a once-divorced middle-aged Caucasian Baptist who works in technology and has five children.

I have a suspicion that the reason Larry Solomon chose anonymity has nothing to do with Jews and everything to do with the likelihood of becoming the subject of the first-ever Snapped Mini-Series. Mr. Solomon, whose chosen surname is likely a reference to his breathless endorsement of Biblical polygamy, and I share much in common (at least demographically speaking). We are both married Caucasian-male parents who have spent their professional careers in the field of technology. 

As a fellow blogger, I must also admire his prolific output. The sheer volume of posts from someone with a full time job and five kids is staggering. I can only assume his capacity to pursue his own goals and passions are conversely dependent upon his wife’s ability to suppress her own.

As I mentioned previously, he does not endorse the use of physical coercion but suggests some rather creative alternatives for a tenacious female helpmate that keeps going broken arrow. Ideas include forcing her to drive an older car (preferably a Pontiac Aztec for severe indiscretions) or delay getting her that new dishwasher that she has been wanting. If she continues down her destructive path, you are even permitted to bring her before the church. While “Larry” chooses not to elaborate on what such a scene might look like, here is my best guess:

Fellow parishioners, I regret that I ask you to assist me in correcting my wife’s behavior. For months now she has made thinly-veiled allusions to “finishing her degree” and on two separate occasions I arrived home to find that the dishwasher and washing machine were both inactive. The silence from the vacuum cleaner is deafening and if she continues down this path we could be looking at a Dancing with the Stars marathon and sweatpants by fall.

I have already taken away her name-brand body-wash privileges and threatened to downgrade her to a non-convection oven but to no avail. It only seems to embolden her. I beseech all of you to join me in a campaign of punitive stares and malicious whispers before she acquires an MBA and a pantsuit.

There is a theory that the entire site is a hoax perpetrated by an Internet troll intent on stirring the pot. I hope they are right, and the views and opinions are nothing more than a satirical ruse. Otherwise we are faced with the grim reality that this middle-aged white programmer is exactly who he says he is.

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Walk-In Clinic Dilemma

Any parent of a young child has been in this situation. It is the weekend. Your child is unwell and their symptoms are vacillating between wait-until-Monday-manageable and emergency-room-alarming. Your options are grim:

1.      Administer copious amounts of children’s Tylenol, vow to ride it out until you can get to the pediatrician and spent the rest of the day or evening worrying that you have made the wrong decision because against all odds they have Scarlett Fever.

2.      Take them to a walk-in clinic only to be informed that “it is viral, pay at the front-desk” and spend the rest of the day or evening worrying that you made the wrong decision because you have needlessly exposed your child’s compromised immune system to a buffet of far more serious communicable diseases.

On a particular Sunday a few weeks ago, I decided to take option 2. Our son was vomiting, running a 103 degree fever, and acting lethargic. So, fancying myself wiser than the average bear, I decided to get right at the walk-in clinic within 18 minutes of it opening its doors. The place was already swamped. I had to take a number and wait 20 minutes just for the privilege of signing in. Meanwhile, I positioned my son and his vomit bucket as far away from the other patients as possible (the one nearest to us looked like a female Unabomber and may have already passed away).

As a final insult, the staff had chosen to loudly broadcast The Food Network on both televisions in the waiting area. This struck me as an odd choice given the likelihood of nausea amongst their patrons. Everyone knows that waiting room etiquette dictates TV Land, The Gameshow Network, or The Weather Channel. I was not even the patient, but another hour of watching Bobby Flay make gumbo and I was going to make use of the sick-bag.

They also had a “children’s area” which consisted of an alcove, one rocking chair, and a dilapidated bead table that still bore the name of the pharmaceutical company that donated it. Despite this, my son kept asking to go to the toy area and I told him that he had to wait until the child that sounded like he had consumption was called back.

Eventually, the coast was clear and I reluctantly relocated our operation to the children’s corner. We were there about 10 minutes when a young girl approached us and inquired as to the purpose of the bucket. I responded that it was just in case my son needed to repeat any of his digestive pyrotechnics from earlier. She then peered into the bucket and asked why it was empty if he had already “thrown up.” I responded that I hadn’t brought his earlier vomit with me. She found the strange enough to ask why I had left it at home. Mercifully her mother interrupted this line of questioning and I was spared further inquiries about the puke-pail.

Once an hour had passed, we were called back for the standard strep / flu test combo. Sadly, they still did not have an available exam room so we were directed back into the waiting area until such a time that a space had become available. In the brief time that we were gone, several more patients had arrived and Bobby Flay had moved on to dessert.

Finally, we were taken to an exam room where we languished for another twenty minutes. My son kept asking the purpose of the retractable stirrups and I think I spouted off some vague analogy about the car-lift that our mechanic uses. The doctor came in and was friendly, but informed me that “it is viral, just wait it out and make sure he drinks plenty of fluids.” I asked them to bill my insurance.
Two and a half hours later we left with a sucker, an ambiguous diagnosis, and exposure to every communicable disease in a three-county radius.