Saturdays are for Stories

Man’s Bane

What was Paul’s thorn in the flesh? Despite the fact that there are too many theories tucked away in obscurity, I have discovered the answer. Actually, I’ve always known the answer, just as every man actually knows the answer. You see – Paul’s thorn in the flesh is the bane of every man. By The Man Code of Ethics we are sworn to secrecy. What can I say – you are born into the club. By this code we are bound to ensure that our secret is to never get out lest we, like Samson, are conquered by a mere she-devil. All these interesting theories about the bane of man are merely defensive tactics, not of Shock and Awe, but of Stop-n-Gawk. It is mildly humoring to discover what position women take on this subject. The more successful Stop-n-Gawk tactics include women, money, toys, cars, tools, books, fine cigars, red meat, cognac, and gardening. Please note that every one of these theories is WRONG!

Being a fine, upstanding gentleman I am going to out all the other men in the world by exposing our bane here. Please note: within 24 hours a smear campaign against me will hit the airwaves. This way no one will believe my “silly claims” and man’s secret will still be safe. Of course, the media’s lies will all be nonsense driven by chauvinism. Well then, you are reading at your own peril for “they” may run a smear campaign against you too.

Think you know man’s bane? Here’s a true story – see if you can’t find it. A few weeks ago, on a Friday, I allegedly was trying to go home after a long work week. Going through the customary routine of gathering my personal property, locking cabinets and closing computer systems I gave my enthusiastic goodbyes as I embarked into the night. Coming to my car, I tossed all my belongings into the back seat while climbing into the driver’s seat. Searching my pockets I looked for my keys. I went from one pocket to the next to discover no keys. Getting out of the car, I stood and did the standard patting down of all pockets. Then I continued the pat down checking pant legs (you never know). From there I did a thorough check of the car. Still, no keys. I rechecked my steps throughout the work day at least three times. This search took over thirty minutes. It didn’t help that we actually had plans that night and now were running late. I finally had surrendered to the fact that I had lost my keys. Just as I was about to call Rachelle to pick me up I checked my pockets one more time – and guess what, that’s right – there they were. I had to have shoved my fists in my pocket fifteen to twenty times as I diligently searched for the keys (SIGH).

This would have been a happy, cuddly story for everyone if this was the end, but sadly, it is not. The next morning I went out to do some work on both our cars. After a time, I needed to make a quick trip to the Auto Store. To my chagrin – and the smiling faces of women everywhere – I could not find my keys. I just had them. I just finished unlocking both vehicles. Where could they have gone! Another torrid inspection over thirty minutes topped off with screaming and kicking but still no keys. This time I was sure the only place they could possibly be was my tool bag. I looked through it at least three times, but no keys. I took each tool out until the bag was empty, but no keys. Finally from pure exhaustion combined with frustration I forfeited to my keys. They won and I lost. Sadly, I couldn’t even find a white flag to waive in surrender.

The keys remained incognito the rest of the weekend. Finally, on Sunday night, I decided to give that tool bag one last look. Pulling the zipper and prying the edges open, I peered into the gloom of the bag to see the sparkling beauty of the jagged edges of my keys glisten in the florescent, artificial light shining from above. There were angels singing “Hallelujah” in the background.

Now, you may hear this story and think that man’s bane is his inability to see what is right in front of his face, but you would be wrong. You might read this story and think our bane is impatience, but again you would be wrong. You see – man’s bane is a living being who thinks and deceives and gets its kicks by torturing us. In a very real sense, it has declared war on us men. If you missed that then you missed our bane. Man’s bane is…..keys! That’s right, from the days of Paul up to our own our bane has always been the key. Keys are not the lifeless piece of metal they appear to be to the unassuming. The evidence is in every story every told by a man about lost keys. The keys really were not there just a minute ago. Those keys got up and moved to an undetectable high vantage point and watch us frustrate ourselves for their own pleasure. Then just as we succumb to despair they return to where we actually left them. That way not only have we succumbed to despair, but now we look stupid too.

My message to keys everywhere – I’m onto you and now others know too!


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