- - - - - -

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader presents for your link reading pleasure some items he found over on the Art of Manliness site.

Theodore Roosevelt motivation posters.

Winston Churchill motivational posters.

Hunter S. Thompson motivational posters.

And finally… Ernest Hemmingway motivational posters.

Then after you feel all up and motivated… You can click here to see some de-motivational posters.

Carry on.


On behalf of all the the Divas, I would like to offer a correction to their essays on “What Makes a Man Sexy:”

Manure-spattered boots.

Le Club des Hommes: Hand

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader, today, will bloviate on the chosen Men’s Club/Diva’s topic. That topic is: Who really has the upper hand in the different stages of a relationship? During dating is it typically men? Then after marriage is it typically women?

Well, your Maximum Leader turned this question over in his mind again and again. The more he thought about it, the clearer his views on this subject became. And as his thoughts became clearer he realized his post was becoming shorter and shorter.

Why you ask yourself? Because to put a really fine point on it, women always have “hand.” When you are dating there might be slight backs-and-forths in the “hand” department. But in the end the woman always has “hand.” Marriage is pretty much the same deal. From time to time a man might find himself in a position where he believes he has “hand” over a woman. But this perception is really an illusion.

Yes dear minions, if a man perceives that he has more “hand” than does a woman in whatever stage of their relationship he is deluding himself. Because the woman - and the woman alone - posesses the neutron bomb of “hand.” This is to say that she has a vagina. So long as this biological fact remains a fact a woman will always have the “upper hand” in a relationship.

You see, men, for all their bluster and machismo, are rather simple creatures. Provide a manwith food and shelter and the only other things he needs in life are sex and television. (NB: Television can be replaced with computer games/internet porn if you like.) The mind of a man is warped by sex and the pursuit of sex. When we aren’t consciously thinking about sex our unconscious libido is doing the thinking for us. This is why a man can - at any moment - have an erection. He might be in the middle of a business presentation, brain surgery, a NASCAR race, anything really; when suddenly his “little friend” suddenly becomes alert and ready for action.

Because of this simple fact a man is always willing to trade “hand” for sex. And if you are always willing to trade away any “hand” you may have earned - it can really be said that you possess no “hand” at all.

Here endeth the exposition.

Read more on these other quality sites! Phin, Jameseyboy, Stiggy, Teafizz, The Wizard, Sadie, Kathy, Silk, Paula, and Phoenix.

Carry on.

LCdH: Parental Rights, Further Commentary

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has read with great enjoyment the comments to his Men’s Club post below. He’s enjoyed the commentary so much that he’s decided he needed to write a second post to address some of the additional topics that have been raised on this hot-button issue.

The first one to tackle is a succinct comment from Kathy of Cake Eater Land. Kathy writes:

But what about the woman’s right to control her own body? You kinda
skipped over that bit. ;)

A ha! If your Maximum Leader may channel the Joker for a moment. “Hello Benny. It’s your Uncle Bingo. Time to pay the check.”

Here is some check paying. First off, your Maximum Leader approached the question set before the Men’s Club from a purely theoretical point of view. Perhaps he should have been explicit about this. Kathy correctly points out that if you frame the argument from the point of view of “it’s a woman’s body a she has a right to control it” then you must take a completely different tack with your argument. Indeed, Kathy’s point is reflective of how this issue is actually adjudicated in our nation at this time.

If you start with the assumption that a woman has full control of her body, and further assume (as we do in this country) that at least to a certain point a fetus is nothing more than a tissue mass growing inside the woman then it only makes sense that the woman should have the only say in whether to abort or not. This is pretty much the “settled” jurisprudence of our day. It is a perfectly logical and cogent argument to advance. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t agree with it, but he certainly understands it.

Your Maximum Leader determined to construct an argument based on how he thought about the subject. If one starts by assuming that a fertilized egg is a human life, then you have three people (mother, father, & child) and their respective rights to deal with. Your Maximum Leader, rather than deal with all the possible permutations of situations, made another unstated assumption in his previous post. He assumed that the people involved in this ethical/moral/legal dilemma were not married. Indeed, all the possible variations on this theme can boggle the mind, so for the purposes of his discussion he will continue to assume that insofar as this topic is concerned, the man and the woman are not married.

So, where are we? If you accept that there are three people in the equation then the matter can be made as complicated as one wants to make it. For the purposes of brevity and clairity, your Maximum Leader just put down the basic points to his theoretical position. All things being equal, if a woman wanted to terminate her pregnancy, and the father of the child did not the ethical calculator in your Maximum Leader’s tips towards life for the baby. This is certainly a considerable pain for the woman. There is emotional distress, physical distress, pychological distress involved in pregnancy. Even a desired pregnancy. To have external forces prolong n unwanted pregnancy would surely cause complications and problems.

But now one starts to hit the underlying issue of responsibility. Here we can bring in some of Ally’s comments. Ally wrote:

Okay, first, you cannot possibly claim that the responsibility of a child born would fall solely on the father with no aid of child support for the woman. It doesn’t work that way on the flip side - women sue for child support from men who do not want the children the woman insisted upon having.

If your Maximum Leader may indulge for just a moment in some glibness… He can claim whatever he would like on his blog. You may choose to disagree. (At least until the Mike World Order comes… Then disagreement can be quite costly to you.)

Your Maximum Leader made his argument in a quick “cutting the Gordian Knot” type of way. All things being equal, if a woman gets pregnant and determined she doesn’t want to have a baby; but the father of the baby wants to take responsibility for the baby; then he should be allowed to do so. The father should be required to assist the woman financially during the course of her pregnancy - for the good of the child that he wants. And the woman should take care of herself and the baby if for no other reason than to avoid harming or killing the child intentionally. (Which in this hypothetical case would seem to be an action that should come at some criminal cost.) But when the pregancy is concluded the two parent should go their separate ways FOREVER.

Your Maximum Leader feels this way because of his overdeveloped sense of responsibility. If a man feels strongly enough to want to keep a woman from aborting his child, he should be prepared to go it alone. The woman has already determined that she does not want to be responsible and thus is aborting the child. In your Maximum Leader’s mind this is a serious decision to take. And once entered into there should be some finality to it.

Conversely, your Maximum Leader believes (theoretically) that if a woman becomes pregnant she should notify the father. If he does not want to take responsibility for the child, but the woman does, she should be prepared to go it alone.

As your Maximum Leader has said before, this is a hypothetical argument. We all know that current family law looks nothing like what your Maximum Leader is describing. But current family jurisprudence also doesn’t promote responsibility or societal stability - in your Maximum Leader’s mind.

Ally makes a second fine point when she wrote:

Second - if you want the right to have a say on something that is occurring outside your body, marry her. Then you stand some chance of actually having a being that is allowed to reach the oxygen-breathing stage. Otherwise, we will have to make it normal practice to remove a fertilized egg and bring it to term in an artificial womb. Having a child brings life-long change to a woman’s body….if she doesn’t want that, you are going to have a hard time trying to equalize fathers’/mothers’ rights.

Whoa! Lots of good stuff here. Your Maximum Leader heartily agrees that two ought not to procreate except in the context of marriage. To do so otherwise, he believes, is irresponsible. Hence his fixation with radical responsibilty in his argument. You either are or are not going to be responsible for a child. If you are and the other parent isn’t then you ought to be prepared to do it alone. The system we have now makes people pay for irresponsibility (sort of) after the fact. Well… It actually makes men pay for their irresponsibility after the fact. If that societal crutch were removed, perhaps it would promote more thoughtful decision taking at an early stage.

Next your Maximum Leader will just say that insofar as he can see in our day there is no equality of fathers’ and mothers’ rights. Family law is quite slanted in favour (rigthly or wrongly) towards women. Only by taking a step towards radical responsibiity could some sort of equality start to emerge.

And then there is the science fiction aspect of artificial wombs. Well, it is sci fi now, but as he said before, it is going to happen… Probably sooner rather than later. Once you get an artificial womb you will start to see fewer and fewer pregnancies among (at least) married people with some money (or health insurance). This is not to say that there will be fewer children. Just if the technology is out there your Maximum Leader thinks a significant number of women (and their husbands) will choose to use it. Why wouldn’t you? Less strain on the woman. Potentially it is safer for all involved. There are lots of upsides to artificial wombs.

So… There are some comments and (hopefully) clairifications on your Maximum Leader’s earlier post.

Further discussion is welcome.

Carry on.

Le Club des Hommes: Paternal Rights

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is joining you this Thursday to write about a hot-button topic for the Men’s Club. Indeed, he can’t remember the last time a truly serious and polarizing issue was the topic for the Men and Divas.

This week we discuss the rights of fathers. Specifically, does the biological father of an unborn child have a legal right to block an abortion? Furthermore, can a woman who has aborted a child without notification of the father be subject to “damages” should the father want to pursue a civil action?

You see now that your Maximum Leader wasn’t joking when he said this was a hot-button issue.

The very terms used in the framing of this post can inflame people. Unborn Child versus Fetus is the most glaring example of how the terms of the debate can influence the direction of the debate.

Your Maximum Leader has made no secret of his position that human life begins at the point of a fertilized egg. Furthermore he has said that he is against unnatural termination of pregnancy. (He says unnatural because there are many “normal” yet tragic circumstances under which a pregnancy may terminate - or miss-carry.)

Now, having reminded his readers of this point allow him to say that he understands the many objections to his position. In a number of cases the arguments against his position are thoughtful and valid - if you accept a few basic premises. Unfortunately, most of these premises have to focus on the viability of a child/fetus. Thanks to modern science a child/fetus that was not viable in 1972, or 1982, or 1992 or even 2002 may well be a viable life today. Viability is a moving target. It is conceivable that in your Maximum Leader’s lifetime there will be artificial wombs into which fertilized eggs may be implanted and grow to full-term. Recognizing the futility of using viability as a criterion for life your Maximum Leader uses fertilization. At which point the genetic code of a human being exists.

So any argument your Maximum Leader might put forth on this topic is, naturally, informed by his belief in when life begins.

So… To address the first issue, should a biological father have the right to prevent a woman from aborting her unborn child? In your Maximum Leader’s view a father should have the ability to prevent an abortion.

A father should have this right because, if one views the unborn child as a person with rights; the parents have equal custodial rights to the child. (In this your Maximum Leader will assume that a court hasn’t already intervened in some fashion to abrogate the rights of one or the other party.)

Now, having stated this point, your Maximum Leader will continue. If a man were to exercise this right to prevent an abortion a number of other positions naturally seem to follow from the decision. By choosing an abortion, the woman has made clear her intention to not want to be a parent to te child. The man, by exercising his right, has made clear his intention to want to be the sole parent to the child. The trade-off in this situation would appear to be that the woman would have the baby, but then would have no further obligations to the child. All responsibility for the child would fall upon the father. Furthermore this situation should never be allowed to change. The woman should not be allowed to change her mind years later and sue for joint custody. Nor should the man be allowed to sue for support down the road.

Having a child should be a considered decision entered into jointly by a man and a woman who want to be parents. Unfortunately this is not the case in modern society. One would hope that the process leading to parenting would be 1)find a spouse; 2) establish a stabile home; 3) have children. The recent studies by the Brookings Institution showed that among poor women the process is essentially reversed with children coming first, then the spouse, then the stabile home. Some women, no doubt, realize upon getting pregnant that they aren’t ready to be a parent. This realization leads to abortions in many cases. But the tragedy is that birth control is widely available and could prevent the situation from ever arising.

But your Maximum Leader digresses…

So your Maximum Leader does believe that a father should be able to exercise paternal rights to intervene to save the life of his unborn child?

What happens if he’s not told that he was, before the abortion, going to be a father? What if a man hears that a former fling/girlfriend/wife had an abortion - and he figures the child could be his? This is a very tricky question.

Your Maximum Leader will say that, if there was a way that paternity could be established between a man and the unborn child; then some form of damages might be awarded to the man should he take the matter to a civil court. But that is a big if… How exactly would one do that? Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure.

Now, your Maximum Leader will admit that through sheer laziness he is not touching on many issues that could and probably should be mentioned at least in passing in this post. Well… Sheer laziness is not precisely true. This has been a challenging week at the Villainschloss. He hopes that next week will allow more time to create bloggy goodness.

For other views on this topic check out the Men: Phin, Stiggy, That One Guy and Jamesy.

For the ladies check out: Kathy, Silk, Phoenix, and Sadie.

Carry on.

Le Club des Hommes: 3 Questions

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader must have forgotten to leave instructions with his ministers concerning last week’s episode of the Men’s Club. It was the one where we men were supposed to raise three questions of the fairer sex that puzzle us.

You know the type of question of which your Maximum Leader speaks? Surely you do. But just in case he’ll give you an example. Why do women actually ask men if a particular outfit makes their arse look big? Can there be a right answer to that question? If a man says “yes” it causes a scene and prevents him from gettin’ any good luvin’ for a while. If he says “no” the woman thinks he might be lying. These are the weighty matters with which we concern ourselves today.

But just to be interesting, your Maximum Leader has decided to channel his ministers and what types of questions they would like to ask the fairer sex…

In the mode of the Minister of Propaganda:

1) Are you interested in me because of my wit and charm, or is it my wholesome Liberal political philosophy that turns you on?
2) So? Would you like to go out and catch a flick then head back to my place; or should we find a nice coffee house and monologue for hours about the evil neo-con conspiracies now besetting our great Republic?
3) Would you like me to show you something I learned from Bill Clinton?

In the mode of the Foreign Minister:

1) So, visit the Biergarten often?
2) Whaddya say we head back to my place? I’ll show you my big guns then I’ll see how good you are blowing off a few rounds?
3) What? I didn’t mention that there’s a time for fuckin’ and a time for sleepin’? And sleepin’ time isn’t the same as cuddle time?

In the mode of the Poet Laureate:

1) Have you ever considered the relationship between scatology and the early Byzantine Iconoclasts?
2) Is your Buddha-mind also connected to your Buddha-sphincter?
3) Have I shown you my little alien friend? The Cosmic Import is his name.

In the mode of the Smallholder:

1) Are those real? Because if they are I’d sure like to practice by technique?
2) I’ve got a ram back at the farm. Would you like to come over and have me show him to you?
3) Would you like to test fly the button fly?

And finally in the mode of your Maximum Leader:

1) Do you know how you could best serve your Maximum Leader’s… needs?
2) Would you be willing to undergo massive reconstructive surgery to make yourself look a bit more like the dreamy Jennifer Love Hewitt?
3) Would you like to learn more about pseudo-benevolent autocracy darling?

Now if you are interested in real questions go an read Phin, Stiggy, Jamesy, and Nugget. Or for the ladies questions check out Kathy, Silk and Phoenix. The lovely Sadie is taking a little brea…

Carry on.

Men’s Club: Great?

Do men always have great sex? No.

There’s a difference between satisfying and great. A man is capable of having satisfying sex almost every time. For a guy, it’s pretty easy to figure out what’s satisfying, and what isn’t. I’ll leave that to the reader. But great sex? No, not every time.

Great Sex is not the same as satisfying sex. It’s hard to define. Great sex comes in many flavors. It can mean getting jumped in the kitchen after coming home from dinner. It can be long and leisurely in a hotel room. It can be whatever.

I don’t think most college age people have a clue what truly great sex is, though I’m sure many guys will argue that point. A guy in his early 20’s, who is just amazed that he is getting laid may say any sex is geat sex. To him, maybe that is the case.

Being married with kids, great sex is hard to come by. You try and fit one in before the kids wake up. Or you fight sleep to try and get romantic when the kids are at their grandparents for the night simply because you’ll feel lame if you don’t. Satisfying? Probably. Great? No.

For more check out Phin Jamesy, Stigmata and Drunken Wisdom. The ladies Kathy, Chrissy and Phoenix.

Smallholder’s Single Chick Detection Methodology

Mention you have a cow.

The organic hippie chick granola hotties will be all over you like a hobo on a ham sandwich.

Le Club des Hommes: Is She Single?

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is pleased to resume his part in posting in the weekly forum of topics covered by the Men’s Club and Demystifying Divas. Alas, this week you, dear readers, may have been better served if the good Minister of Propaganda had written on this week’s subject. You see, this week we are dealing with the topic of “How can you tell if someone is single?” Alas, your Maximum Leader is happily married (but not so happy that he wouldn’t entertain offers from… Oh… The dreamy Miss Jennifer Love Hewitt…). Since your Maximum Leader has been married for a while, his ability to spot a single woman has grown dull. But our Minister of Propaganda is single and always looking to make the acquaintance intelligent left-of-center women. So, as you can see, the M of P might be able to shed more light on this subject than your Maximum Leader.

This is not to say that your Maximum Leader has nothing to contribute on this topic. Far from it. You see, now that your Maximum Leader is married and has reproduced from time to time single women just present themselves to him. As he remembers this was also the case when he was unmarried, but in a serious relationship with a woman.

Your Maximum Leader has found that being a father in certain situations is a sure-fire way of attracting single women. By this he means that when he goes out places with one of his brood, without the company of Mrs Villain, he is often approached by single women. Not just any places mind you, but he’s always found that the same type of places suddenly show themselves to be “single women” zones.

For example, your Maximum Leader was out with the Wee Villain (aged 16 months) at the beachover the summer. Your Maximum Leader was just out for a walk in the evening to get a little exercise. He was stopped no fewer than three times by young women who wanted to coo over the Wee Villain. The Wee Villain would play “shy” and “hard to get” which only intensified the cooing of the young women. Your Maximum Leader would ask the cooing women if they had kids. The answer was the same. “No, I’m still looking for the right man.”

This caused your Maximum Leader to think. Why would a woman looking for the right man stop a man who was walking around with a baby? Well, the plainly evident reason is that at some level of that woman’s mind she knew that the man with the baby had already been shown to be the “right man” by someone. And since the man was alone, there was a chance that due to some unknown circumstance the man might be available.

This thought is in line with your Maximum Leader’s experience when dating. Indeed, many men have similar experiences when they are dating. You know the experience of which your Maximum Leader is speaking. The one when a man is single and not seeing anyone there can often be long stretches where no woman is apparently interested in him. But if a man is seeing a woman things are somehow different. If a man has decided to date one woman exclusively it is as though he is now surrounded by a mystical “taken aura” visible only to other women.

And when a single woman sees the “taken aura” she is intrigued. Why is he taken? He must have something going for him? After all, no sensible woman would date a man that didn’t have some redeeming qualities. This is a man who should be investigated further.

Yes loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader can remember a number of times when he was seriously dating a woman and he had to fight off the single women who were interested. (Well… That might be a bit of hyperbole there. But he can remember at least one time - and perhaps two (damn the alcohol!) - when he did have to fight off a woman who was all over him.) It seems as though the only sure way to be certain if a woman was single and interested was to be unavailable.

Yes you read that correctly. The only way for a man to be certain a woman is single (and interested) is for the man to be unavailable to women other than the one with whom he is in a relationship.

That is sorta weird isn’t it? Only by appearing “harmless” is the man able to truly know if a woman is single. Otherwise there is always the game. The game of “exchanging glances, buying drinks, trying to think up witty opening lines, then establishing a baseline of interest, then trying to arrange a less chance encounter.”

So there. You now have your Maximum Leader’s thoughts on this topic.

For other manly thoughts check out Phin, The Wizard, and Stiggy. For the feminine Divas view check out Kathy, Silk, and Phoenix. (And Sexy Sadie too - who refused to conform to convention but gave you a sneak peek into next week’s topic.) Also check out Nugget and Jamesyboy.

Carry on.

Men’s Club topic — “Emotional Men”

I would have thought the Ministers here at Naked Villainy would have wanted to re-start the Men’s/Diva’s topic discussions with a bang and have one of the others start us off, but alas, I have drawn the short straw and have to get the ball rolling for the team.

The first topic for discussion is rolled up in the ball of wax called “Emotional Men”. Specifically, how emotional do women want us to be? - Why don’t we share our feelings? - If we show emotion, are we really being strong men? - Do women really want the strong silent type?-

(NOTE: Its hard for me to lump married and unmarried folks together, and life is sooo much more different when you are getting “the milk for free,” that I am going to drop that and just talk about how all this hoo-ha relates to marriage. For those of you not married and are bored already, now is the time to start surfing for porn.)


The simple answer to all of that emotional gobblety-gook is that we, as men, are screwed.

The thing is, if a women deep down really wants an open emotional partner that expresses concerns and affection freely and openly, I am willing to bet that she has probably married someone who doesn’t say a freakin’ word about anything.

This is a conditioned response that probably started with the relationship we had with our mothers. We have learned (actually, we have been taught) that the more we say the more trouble we get in. If we open up, what we might have said gets us in trouble because it probably wasn’t the “right” thing, and if we don’t say anything, we get in trouble for not doing our “share” in the relationship. We men have been in the game long enough to know that the trouble you get in for not sayin’ nothing is less than it would have been had we actually said anything.


Because a woman’s need to Bitch about something far outweighs her need for open and honest communication. In my own little psychological experimentation lab (also known as marriage), I have tested this theory numerous times. The results are always the same.

More communication and emotional expression on the man’s side = the deeper “in shit” that he will be when the “discussion” is over.

By the way, “discussion” in a marriage is a misnomer. It’s really more of a lecture. Oh sure, from time to time I will get in a “yeah, but…” or a “Honey I…” but most of the time, I don’t.

What’s worse, though, is when the woman “stops” talking and gives you the look that says “ok what do you have to say for yourself?” In her brain she “thinks” she has asked you a question. What she doesn’t realize though, is that she has actually just strung together about 23 statements, and has stopped long enough to think about more ammunition to shoot at you.

But I just sit there and keep quite because I know no mater what I say next, its going to be the wrong thing. If I make a remark that could be interpreted as an agreement, then I am screwed. But if I make a remark that in somehow refutes any of those 23 statements, I am screwed too.

And its not like there is “make up and be friends again” sex at the end of all this. That might have happened in the early days of dating, or while in that first year of marriage but she and I both know that there is NOTHING that I can do or say that is going to put any moisture in the oyster.

As a matter of fact, that is my new stance on sex and discussion in the relationship. When my wife says to me now that “we need to talk about _____ !” I immediately say, “I am too tired to talk about ______.” I don’t care if I just woke up after 19 hours of uninterrupted sleep (which never happens now anyway with 2 kids), I say “I am too tired to discuss it.”

I figure hey, if she can be too tired for sex, I can be too tired to discuss. And if you women don’t think fuckin’ is as important as discussin’, lady you got a lot to learn about men.

The only time you see a married man who is open and honest about his feelings is when its in the script.
Seeing all those emotional men on tv and at the movies must really warp women’s brains brains about how men really are… Kind of like Cosmo warps their brains about what they should look like.

That, of course, is another topic altogether.

For other Men’s Club postings today check out: Phin, Down for Repairs, Project Bowl and Jamesyboy. For the delightfully feminine side of this topic try out: Fist Full of Fortnights, Cake Eater Chronicles, Just Breathe, and Villains Vanquished.

Back to the Trenches

One Week

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is sure you’ve already hear the news. The news that the Dimystifying Divas and Men’s Club will be returning next week.


Next week.

As in September 29th.

You must be tinglig in anticipation.

Your Maximum Leader said you MUST BE TINGLING IN ANTICPATION!

Much better. He can see you tingling as you read this.

In addition to your Maximum Leader and his Ministers dispensing with thoughts, opinions, and advice on issues of concern to the sexes there will be the other esteemed bloggers who form this elite group. They are, as you surely recall, Phin, Stiggy, the Wizard, Sadie, Silk, Kathy, and newly minted Diva Phoenix.

If you would like to ask the Men or Divas questions on any particular subject, feel free to comment on any of the afore-linked blogs and leave your query.

Remember! Forewarned is forearmed. So be prepared. And don’t forget to tingle.

Carry on.

Rejection - Weeks Late

Here are Smallholder’s two cents on rejection, the diva topic many weeks ago:

The possibility of rejection is further evidence supporting my “If you meet a girl and are interested, ask her out immediately” theory. Guys who take forever to build up their nerves are setting yourselves up for a harsher rejection. After you have spent a week/two weeks/two months building up an imaginary relationship in your head, the young lady’s rejection of your advances will smart more.

But if you meet a girl and ask her out, you will either get positive confirmation of her potential interest without all the leg work or, if she does turn you down, the rejection hurts less because you are not over-invested in the outcome.

My all-time favorite response to rejection comes courtesy of the Foreign Minister. He once approached a girl he fancied to ask for a dance. When she rudely spurned him, his quick-thinking comeback illustrates why Greg is my personal hero: “I’m not being picky. Why are you?”

Le Club des Hommes: Pets

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has checked time and time again today to see if the Smallholder had posted this week’s Men’s Club post. Finally, your Maximum Leader gave up wishing and decided to take matters into his own maximum leaderly fist…

This week the topic for the Demystifying Divas and Men’s Club is pets. What do they tell you about someone? How do they affect a relationship with someone? How do they impact you and your “other” (be they “significant” or “insignificant”).

Well… Your Maximum Leader thinks you can tell a lot about someone from the company they keep. This age-old maxim is equally applicable to pets as to people. Allow your Maximum Leader to make a broad generalization.

If your “lady friend” has a house full of cats, beware! This woman will be nothing but trouble for you. Any single woman with more than two cats living with her inside her house/apartment/condo/domicile is trouble.

Le Club des Hommes: Dates

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader, for reasons now passing understanding, was much delayed in publishing this piece for the Men’s Club/Divas Thursday. Indeed this topic, “Embarassing Dates” is a toughy for your Maximum Leader. He doesn’t recall that many embarassing dates. Perhaps he’s blocked them out. Perhaps he didn’t date enough to be embarassed. Perhaps all his first date were embarassing and he was just too egotistical to admit it.

Regardless, one date stands out as particularly bad. So he will recount that experience…

A few months after the Minister of Agriculture was lucky enough to wed the lovely Mrs. Smallholder, your Maximum Leader went to visit the happy couple at their domicile in the suburbs of Chicago. At this point, your Maximum Leader was a not-so-swingin’ bachelor. The Smallholder, being a good friend, started working over Mrs. Smallholder to present him with a list of suitable young ladies who might act as a “date” for any nights out we might have during our visit.

It turns out that a college friend of Mrs. Smallholder was in also living in the area and was open to meeting your Maximum Leader. So one night during your Maximum Leader’s visit, “S” joined us for dinner. As it turns out, your Maximum Leader and “S” hit it off and discovered that we had many things in common.

Your Maximum Leader returned to Virginia, but he and “S” kept in touch. Some e-mails. A note or two in the mail. And phone calls. Your Maximum Leader returned to the greater Chicagoland area and tried to pitch a little more woo in “S’s” direction.

After a little while, “S” agreed to come to VA to spend a few days with your Maximum Leader. And that is where the detail of our story begins.

After picking up “S” at Dulles Airport, your Maximum Leader returned her to the great valley of the Shennendoah in Virginia. It was May (as he remembers) and the weather was great. “S” claimed to love the mountains and wanted to go and see some of the sites along Skyline Drive - a scenic route along the ridge of the mountains.

So the day after “S” arrived, your Maximum Leader took “S” up to the mountains. We resolved to go on a little hike and see the Black Water Falls. A particularly nice set of waterfalls with a nice 3 mile hike beginning and ending at a single parking area.

Your Maximum Leader had done the hike before, so he knew the grade wasn’t bad and that it was a good trail on which to walk and talk and pitch a little woo. The trail wasn’t so difficult or technical that one had to pay contant attention to what you were doing.

And therein lay the heart of the problem.

Your Maximum Leader and “S” drove out to the trail’s beginning in your Maximum Leader’s much beloved 1991 Honda Civic DX. The car was red. Got great mileage. And was fun to drive because it handled pretty well and was manual transmission.

We started out on the trail. The trail began by going downhill to the bottom of the falls. That was the really steep grade. Then there was a gentle arching path back up to the top. Your Maximum Leader and “S” did the downhill stretch in no time. We stopped at the bottom, looked at the falls. And chatted about lots of mindless subjects.

At this point your Maximum Leader started to notice that “S” wasn’t quite as warm and open as she’d been in times past. Indeed she seemed a little standoffish and distant.

Your Maximum Leader, while walking and making small-talk, was going over in his mind how he might change tactics. And around that time he noticed a large tree had fallen across the path. There are a number of ways one can traverse a tree which has fallen across your path. Your Maximum Leader, breaking one of the cardinal rules of hiking, decided to take the glamourous way of traversing the fallen tree. With a few steps of a running start, he bounded over the tree. He hoped to impress “S” with this (rather minor) show of agility and prowess.

Alas and unfortunately for him, upon landing on the other side of the tree his first leg to touch down did so in a small hole covered by a flurry of leaves and blocked from view by the bulk of the tree. This leg became caught and twisted violently as the rest of your Maximum Leader’s (considerable) bulk tried to gracefully and athletically finish the follow through.

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