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The New War

I was just lounging around the house, resting from another full day of throwing away the mail and erasing my answering machine tape, when it occurred to me that I might best serve my greater community at this point in history by lobbing a few shells at that most elusive, indestructible, and knee-trembling enemy: The Fairer Sex. (I use the word "sex," of course, in its most abstract, wistful, subjunctive sense. I use the word "fairer," of course, just to get everybody riled). It is my belief that it is past time that we brought the so-called gender war to the next level, past the petty sniping and the intrasex kvetching and the book publishing by people who, to judge from their press photos, haven't had sex since the last Year of the Rat.
      What I'm saying is, put on the full metal jackets and start digging trenches. Camouflage up and paint your faces. Apply lipstick and adjust your teddy (wait, that's a different article). And do it all for Your Country and
Father Earth. Because, in selflessly intensifying the war, in fearlessly facing the enemy, unflinchingly staring her down, imagining her with skintight fatigues and a whip (sorry, there I go again. Bear with me, brothers-in-arms)--in escalating hostilites, I say with firm resolve, we are so near solving the major problems of the 20th century, and, I humbly add, Western Civilization. By internalizing what was previously extra-societal aggression, we defuse the need for international warfare. And by making procreational sex more difficult than, say, synchronized underwater calf-roping, we also solve that overpopulation bugbear. Ah, the beauty of problem solving. It makes me all tingly just thinking about it. I'm a problem solver, yessir. No problem too big or too small. No problem too tall or too short. No problem too curvaceous or too deliciously slender, hips undulating suggestively through a little cotton sundress (control. Control. Alright, comrades, I'm ready to go on).
      To continue (my trigger finger is itching so that I can barely type, I swear): I was at a coffeeshop the other day--where I like to go dressed to the nines, simply reeking of height, excess wealth, a full head of hair, and general availability... and then read a book, ignoring everybody as if I were at home in bed. I was sitting there, as I say, completely engrossed in my sixth reading of
Hop on Pop, when I overheard a quite cacophonous series of screeches from the abutting table. These cackling creatures, without stars upon thars, were discussing, with no consideration of me at all, their hair. You heard me right, fellow cohorts, their hair. Hah! A long conversation on a cropped subject, it was. Yep, bebobbed, the lot of 'em. Not a flowing tress anywhere (that wasn't mine). I adjusted a bobbypin, and awaited further gibble-gabble.
      True-life conversation:
      "I know men like long hair," says
Huck Finn hair, "and it's beautiful and all..."
      "But who has
time for it," Prince Valiant hair interrupts. "This way I just get up and shake my head and I'm ready for work."
      "True," adds
Harpo Marx hair, thoughtfully. "Men should understand that we don't have time for all that crap anymore."
      Oh-ho. The sun comes up. Women are
busy. Busy, if I remember from other suns also rising (Ernest Hemingway hair), saving the world from the depredations of the male ego. So leave all the gels and mousses and Grecian Formulas to the unctuous vanities of men, who, if we weren't occupied combing and primping, would no doubt be invading Cuba or indiscriminately slaughtering tiny, helpless baby penguins who never even pecked at us. Oh-ho. Ah-hah. [At this point I was so beside myself and indignant, I had to go to the little boy's room and apply some fresh blemish cover.]
      When I returned to the table, apparently relatively pimple-free (in a rough-hewn, rugged sort of way), I stumbled upon these pearls, cast about my cloven hooves:
      "If he thinks I'm going to wear a dress," offers
Navy Pantsuit, "just because he happens to..."
      "He actually said that?" asks
Shorts and Sneakers. "I mean pointed out the dress and everything?"
      "Yeah. In a damn
      "I'd have killed him," threatens
Faux Fur with Baseball Cap. "Next he'll be wanting to chew your food."
      I don't want to chew anyone's food, I bravely thought to myself. These feminine personages are welcome to their own food, which seems to contain some sort of chemical inhibitors that effect the nervous system. Or effect my nervous system. God, I don't know, I'm so confused. They're not going to try to think like me anymore, that's clear. Maybe if I thought like them: Let's see, women like guys tall, dark and handsome; but I can't kowtow to that female prejudice; next women will be wanting to tell me how to build my scale-model battleships; well, by God, I'll walk on my knees, blanch my skin, and develop a chronic drool. That'll show 'em. And if they don't love me anyway, I'll complain of the genetic flaw of the female psyche, preferring Antonio Banderas over me for such foolish reasons.
      As luck would have it, I was just talking to Antonio the other day, and this was his take on the straight skinny (so to speak):
      "Ina my country, it iza very simple. You canta fight
Father Nature. It iza understood that men are men, strong like the horse, you know, and women are women, softer and nicer, how you say, like the flower unfolding. This will never change, no matter the politics, no matter the nothing. Some don't like it, maybe--women no so soft, men no so hard {he laughs here} but it goes on, the dance of love. These others, it is sorry for them, but what can I do. If they will stop this loud noise from their mouths, maybe they hear Nature with their ears."
      Well, all I can say to that, Antonio, is obviously you Asians over there in Spain don't understand the benefits of The New War. Such old-fashioned Romantic blubbering will get us exactly nowhere. I suggest you get with it, gaucho, and quit lolling around like some prehistoric knight-errant, being led around by his lancelot.
      No, there can be no progress until we realize, or admit under hypnosis, that everyone's instincts are actionable, if not outright criminal, and proceed accordingly. So quit pussyfooting around on ice as thin as an eggshell, fellas, and tell those womyn what you really think. Be real myn. Only remember, if there is any actual fighting, to be mentally and physically prepared: use a mousse with extra-firm hold.
In a pile
Upon a log
Over the water
Third from the bottom
Secreting my own hard shell
Tom Turtle

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