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Monday, October 3, 2016

Proof Men Suffer From Labor Pains, Too.

     

     I’m a regular guy and mill worker with strong links to my extended family.  Case in point:  one day last year I awoke at 1 a.m. with a very uncomfortable feeling in my stomach, cramps and a feeling of nausea.  Nevertheless, I went to work. But I felt terrible all morning.
     
     Then I was in for another shock.  At approximately noon, I heard the clear voice of my mother who had passed away five years earlier.  She stated the name of my niece, who was pregnant and due to give birth at any time.  Because of that, I got on my cell phone to check out if my niece was in labor.  There was no answer.  And then the pain I was feeling got even worse.  I was almost incapacitated.
     
     I decided to phone my sister who lives close to my niece, but before I could punch in her number, the pain that had been tormenting me stopped as abruptly as it had started.  Somehow, deep inside, I knew that the end of my misery meant that my niece had given birth.  When I told my co-workers, they just looked at me with disbelief—which isn’t really surprising since I’m six-feet, two inches, with Elvis-style sideburns, and weigh more than 240 pounds. To show I was right, I called my sister again—and sure enough, my niece had had her baby.  She’d been in labor since about one in the morning, the time my own internal cramps had begun.  And she had given birth at the exact time my pain had ceased. 
     
     I now have a tremendous appreciation for what women go through.  I once had a three-inch gash across my forehead due to a work-related accident, but this labor pain stuff was even worse.
     
     Unfortunately, my labor pains have started again on a daily basis.  All week long, sometimes in the morning, sometimes at night, I break out in a cold sweat and feel like screaming in pain.
     
     Now I’m worried that my new empathy is making me experience the labor pains of local moms-to-be—every one of them!
     
     At least, those ladies eventually wind up with a beautiful child in their arms.  But, when my sympathetic labor pains ease, I have nothing to show for it.  What am I supposed to do—“man up” and take it?

     Name withheld on request.
  

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Crop Circles Turn Up On Hairy Guy's Back



     I’m a man with an excess body hair problem that has made me the object of ridicule since puberty. At the age of thirteen, when most of my buddies sported a whisker or two, I grew a full hipster beard to hide my acne. I became successful with girls, I guess, as sort of a whiskery novelty item.
     
     But things went haywire over the next few years. By sixteen, I had thick tufts of wiry black hair on the top of my shoulders and so much “fur” on my torso and legs that the gym coach made me wear a full-body wet suit during swim class. He said he was worried my loose hairs would clog the filter, but I think he did it just to humiliate me.
     
     I became an introvert. After graduating from high school, I took a job as a night janitor in an empty office tower so no one could see me. I threw in the towel and gave up on shaving. One Christmas I dyed my beard white and played Santa Claus at a shopping mall. I wound up being so popular with the kids that I quit my janitor gig. Now, I’m already booked solid for the next two holiday seasons. Amazingly, I earn enough as Santa Claus every winter to take the summer months off—when I allow my beard to go back to black.
     
     This is where my problems with crop circles began. My confidence renewed, I started going out more, even venturing to the beaches of Lake Michigan near where I live. I’m sure I must have been a ridiculous sight to some eyes, what with thick body hair everywhere, but secretly knowing I was the region’s #1 Santa Claus helped their wisecracks roll off my back.
     
     Then one afternoon, while on my favorite remote part of the beach, I woke up from a pleasant slumber to notice something strange on my back. Parts of it were completely bare. Large clumps of hair were in the sand surrounding my towel. I ran to my car two hundred yards away. Looking in the rear view mirror, I got the surprise of my life: an intricate pattern had been shaved on my back hair.
    
     I thought I had been the victim of pranksters until three months later when I saw an online photo of a crop circle that had appeared in a farmer’s wheat field. Shockingly, it was the exact same pattern that had been fashioned in my body hair earlier that summer. I immediately emailed the website, but they didn’t want to do a story on me because my hair had grown back. I lacked visual proof.
     
     That was a crushing disappointment. However, I will swear to this day that the same entities that created the crop circle in the farmer’s wheat field cut the pattern on my back.
     
     I feel honored that I was chosen as the first human “canvas” for their 
mysterious art.

     I thank Edgar Allan Poe Community College for offering me this forum. However, due to the sicko current trend of shaming hairy men, I choose to remain anonymous.