Good Saturday morning friends,
The wind has laid, finally. I feel like I can breathe now. It really has battered us, our homes, our fences, our shingles. But today is a good day and I have a story from my dad for you.
Hanging with Watoshy, in ’95
Sitting there playing with my bacon and soft scrambled eggs ,my roomie’s voice came to me as if in a dream.
“So what do you guy’s talk about on your Wednesday night boy’s night out?’ She asked slowly sipping her cup of java.
That question is being posed by countless hundreds of thousands of wives in as many countries as there are wives to ask the thing.
My mind goes back to the night before. There are five or six guys sitting around a too-small table that is covered with beer steins and ashtrays so that you can’t get comfortable.
What do we talk about? Banal chatter. Inane conversation. Most of these conversations would put the proverbial fly on the wall to sleep faster than a shot of Ny-quil.
One member of our group is halfway in his cups and he is talking incessantly about making an eagle on the 4th hole at Crosswinds Golf Club. His audience, a male nurse, nods his head and pretends to listen intently.
Another member expounds on the relative merits in the difference between East coast women and their counterparts here in Oklahoma. The rest of us listen half heartedly and try to decide, should I have another beer now or wait five or six minutes.
Looks are deceiving. We aren’t just sitting here getting stupid. We are male bonding. Getting in touch with the inner man. Getting in touch with that beetle browed individual that lives in all of the male species. That Cro-Magnon type that laughs a loud, raucous laugh that predates the invention of the wheel. That huge, hairy-chested, callous, double hauled man who laughs in the face of danger.
I’ll call him Watoshy for the sake of conversation. Women don’t understand Watoshy, but then women aren’t supposed to understand. Women are here to jerk on that spade bit when Watoshy starts to roar. Women are here to help us up when we get to drunk to dance. Watoshy likes women, he just doesn’t bring one out with him every time he decides to go to Ned’s.
Anyway, it takes a lot to waken Watoshy. He lives in every man that you know. He is sleeping, just waiting to be awakened by some pointless male chatter, or by some sports activity such as a rousing game of eightball, or a spirited game of ping-pong. Maybe a night of poker playing or just a lot of beer drinking.
Suddenly one of our group says that he put his boss on a plane to Pittsburgh earlier that day, and now his boss wants him to work all weekend, uncompensated.
Watoshy stirs and grumbles in his sleep. An imperceptible moving of the shoulders goes ’round the table as we watch the speaker out of the corner of our eye, wondering how he will take this bit of news.
Beast that he is, Watoshy comes awake, shakes his head. He is hungry and begins to feed off this emotionally charged bit of information.
Another of our group says that he and his main squeeze, a buxom blonde named Stella, are no longer a twosome. Serious trouble. So we all make noises in support of him.
Watoshy is fully awake by now. He looks around the rapidly filling room, he has made male contact and Watoshy feels good.
Val springs for another round of brews. We all watch the last speaker, his face is white and his hands squeeze the now empty beer glass as he conveys this last bit of information.
Watoshy rises and makes a full circle of the room, stopping at a table filled with college men, he joins them in a rendition of an old drinking song.
Later…..much later, outside the lounge, my brother and a lifelong friend trade friendly insults and pummel each other around. Nothing is meant by it, it’s just Watoshy flexing his muscle knowing that he has the rest of the night and that it belongs to him.
“Remember those girls from college?” says one friend, “you could tell them anything and they’d believe it. I sure miss the seventy’s.”
“Yeah, they were gullible,” says my brother. “The military girls were my favorites though, talk about gullible.”
“Gullible girls,” someone ought to write a song about that.
“Worked half the time though,” says my brother with an evil grin.
I stared at the sky hoping to witness a supernova when I heard J.R. say why don’t we adjourn to his house for any unfinished business or an unopened bottle of Jim Beam.
Watoshy is feeling 18 and slim once again, and the mood is infectious as I hurry to my pick-up.
We’ll all feel bad in the morning, but what the heck. We’ll live. All of us. Besides, you gotta play hurt sometime.