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Next up is menís affirmative action
Itís the Pitts
By Lee Pitts

Our society is doing everything she can to make women out of men these days. This thought hit me like a ton of loofah sponges as I found myself in a store and I couldnít tell by the clothes I was looking at if they were for men or women. I was searching for dress pants but I couldnít find a pair that didnít have pleats in the front.

Remember when only womenís dresses had pleats? Of course that was before men wore earrings and had rhinestones in their belts.

Donít get me wrong, Iím all for feminism and if women want to be more like men they have every right. But please, there are a few of us men left who donít want to be girls. We donít want to get in touch with our feminine side and for that matter, doubt if we ever had one.

The final straw came when I learned that there are some women who are making a living posing as fix-it men. Shameful, just shameful. At the rate women are taking over menís jobs weíll soon need an affirmative action program for males.

I donít blame women, but I wonder where all the men are that are supposed to be fixing faucets, unplugging toilets and repairing the dryer in their own households. Call me old fashioned but Iíd never hire anybody to do something that I can do. Weíve never had a gardener or a housekeeper and I change the oil in the truck. Iíve never had someone else cut my toenails for me, nor have I called a veterinarian to pull a calf. I even gave myself a haircut once, which is how I got in the habit of wearing a hat 24/7.

Oh sure, there are some things Iíd never attempt. I probably wouldnít try to perform liposuction on myself using the shop vac and a skinning knife. Speaking of suction, I donít drain our septic tank either. Everything else I do.

So when the dishwasher broke and my wife suggested that we call a professional plumber I blew my top. Women still donít understand that when they say something like, ďWeíll spend more money having you fix it than we would if we just called the plumber,Ē that we men take it as a direct challenge to our manhood.

Unless you rent your home, or move every two years, fixing stuff around the house affords men their last opportunity in society to proclaim their manhood. Thereís nothing quite like strapping on the old tool belt and using power tools to get the testosterone flowing.

So even though Iíd never actually fixed a dishwasher before, or even seen inside of one, I said, ďItís got a motor, how complicated can it be?Ē My wife looked at me like I was dumber than a Crescent wrench.

In no time I figured out how to open the dishwasher and remove its contents (mostly plates and silverware). A-ha, I saw a fan blade just like in a car. The radiator had to be near. This was going to be easy. (I never did find the carburetor.)

ďI just have to go to the hardware store for parts,Ē I told the wife, which she knew were code words for asking for help. Before going to the hardware store I loosened my belt so my pants would fall to the level of a plumbers, smeared some pipe dope all over my hands and stuck a pair of water-pump pliers in my back pocket because I am a VIP at the hardware store and I had a certain image to maintain.

Wouldnít you know it, the person working the plumbing section at the store was a woman. There was no way I was going to ask her how to fix the dishwasher so I asked the guy in the floral department who didnít know a ratchet from a hatchet.

Back home after what couldnít have been more than an hour, perhaps five, my wife asked if I had located the problem yet. ďI sure have,Ē I said going on the offensive. ďIf you would have just changed the oil regularly this never would have happened!Ē

As I write this I am still trying to find the problem... and some key parts that have gone missing. In the meantime, did you know that sudsy dishwater will remove grease and pipe dope stains from your hands if left to soak for extended periods?

This farm news was published in the Nov. 22, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.