By Beau Smith
[Ed’s Note: Beau is still taking care of family business this week. He requested we reprint this column, one of our all-time favorites, to tide you over. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.]
Roger “Big Rog” Smith (1935-1990)
Not a day goes by without somebody? usually uninvited? gettin’ the urge to tell me what they feel a real man is. They feel some secret kinship with me? like they had my back in a bar fight during the old days? or maybe even that I gave a good donkey dump what went on in their hamster powered brain.
Truth is, I don’t need someone else to tell me what a real man is. That’s something I already know. My dad, “Big Rog” Smith, taught me that a long time ago. I in turn have passed that knowledge on to my son, Nick. Like all alpha males of the Smith clan, in time, he will pass it on to his son. For it’s a well known fact that men in the Smith clan always produce more men. It’s in the sperm. Our boys swim hard, strong, and don’t give up until that egg has been saturated with all the manly ingredients that ya need to make a testament to testosterone.
Sometimes it’s just plain dangerous for me to walk by a fertile woman. What was that Ol’ Stan Lee said, “With great power comes great responsibility”? Yeah? well? I try.
Anyway, I thought I’d take today to pass on to ya what bein’ a real man is all about. It’ll save ya the trouble of botherin’ me with your version. Sober, I might fake interest in what you’re sayin’. After a few beers? trust me? I’ll be ignorin’ ya? and you’ll know it.
As always, none of this is in any particular order. Let’s just pretend we’ve been drinkin’ a lot and that most of this seems to make perfect sense to ya.
FAMILY: Ok, most of us are saddled with other humans that we are blood related to. It’s not by choice, but it’s the hand that’s been dealt to ya. Take those cards, shut your mouth and play em’.
MOM: Your mother is always a saint. Anybody else says different, you sort em’ out real quick. No other choice there. Someone insults your mother? even if she is crazy? you slap so much hurt on em’ they’ll believe that a body cast is their best suit of clothes. If you’re ever called an S.O.B. then you do not let up until that person in the wrong feels good and sorry. Your mom’s cooking is always the best. You never let your mom pay for anything. Ya never cuss in front of your mother. Even if she’s like Livia Soprano you just sit, smile and say “Yes Ma’am you are so right?” She made the ultimate sacrifice by bringin’ your cryin’, self-soilin’ body into this world and haulin’ you around for 9 months. You will always owe this woman. From this feat alone it proves that women are the toughest people on Earth. Given a choice, you’ll never see us guys lined up to give birth to a child.
DAD: This is the man that brought ya into this world with a wink of an eye and a smooth line. The man that can take ya out if ya step out of line. This is your hero. Not some Johnny Jerk-Off that does a girly dance after a touchdown or the guy that writes a comic book in dark, ultra-serious prose and it looks like it was drawn by some Nancy Boy at the local Starbucks. This is the man ya learn your life lessons from. He may not be some big shot CEO of a company or a fireman that saves lives. He may sell cars, shoes, or do someone’s accounting. But he is the man that cares more about ya in his own manly way than anyone else on this planet. You treat him with respect. You listen to what he has to say. From the ages of 13 to 20 you’ll think that you know more and that he is just lost in days long gone, but you are so very wrong, amigo. Your dad is The Answer Man. He’s seen it, he’s done it. He’s there to see you don’t make the same mistakes he did. He’s there to make you a better man than he is. Your happiness and success is his only dream. Make it come true.
BROTHERS AND SISTERS: Let’s clear this up. Older brothers are your boot camp instructors. They’re here to make sure you’re tough enough to stand up to anything. They’re here to torment and punish you into bein’ a real man. If you can survive the shit they dish out on ya, then you can make through anything. They’re here to see that you eat enough grass in the front yard to be mistaken for a cow. That if you rat em’ out to your parents then that head of yours will be lumpy for longer than you wanna know about. An older brother is here to toughen your sissy ass up into a man. Granted? only they have the right to whup up on you. If any outsider ever lays a hand on you, then your older brother will stand up for the family name and put more stars and stripes on your enemy than the American flag. You’re also expected to learn these fighting tactics as he displays them upon the bully that stole your lunch money. There’s a purpose for everything.
Younger brothers are here for you to torment without mercy. You just follow the reverse duties of an older brother that I have mentioned above.
Older sisters. They are more menacing than an older brother. What they lack in physical power they double in metal torture. They are cerebral assassins. They can break your will quicker than a room full of terrorists. They make the bad guys in Rambo look like Queer Eye For The Straight Guy. It’s a big sister’s job to prepare you for the torment and misery that you’ll have to endure with your first wife. Like a batch of cookies, first wives should always be thrown out? they rarely turn out any good. A big sister, along with her henchmen? her best friends, will treat you like a lab rat prime for strange and terrible experiments. PLUS? being raised by a real man father, you will not be able to hit your older sister. First rule of being a real man is that you don’t ever hit women. So she has that goin’ for her as well. Until you get stronger and bigger than her, you are a living target, and your main line of defense has to be “Run and Hide”.
After you become bigger and stronger than her, then she suddenly becomes nicer to ya or just ignores ya. They know this day is coming and they follow the plan like a pro. With all smart women? as a man you just find yourself lost and confused? but glad the torment is over. Ya learn from it and ya move on.
Younger sisters. Well, here’s a different case. You can’t thump on them like you would a younger brother. Even if they annoy the crap out of ya. Oh, you can twist the heads off their Barbie dolls or tell her that her Ken doll is really G.I. Joe’s Bitch. Things like that. As an older brother, it’s up to you to protect your younger sister. This job will carry through most of your life. You are the back up fear factor for your real man dad. When pimple faced teenage fools come around to date your younger sister, you are there to be your dad’s eyes and ears when your sister is at school. You will always be ready to step on some punk’s neck for tryin’ to do to your sister what you’re tryin’ to do to someone else’s sister. You know the plan and you are there to foil it for some other baboon. Always remember that your little sister will never be as smart as you, even after she graduates with a degree in physics and you’re changin’ tires at the gas station. You still know more than she does. You will also be there to make sure the moron she marries always walks the line. Ya pull him over during the wedding and kindly tell him that unless he wants to wear his private parts as a bolo tie, then he better treat your sister like she was gold. Remind him that there is no where on Earth he can hide from ya. Do it with a smile? that always freaks em’ out.
WOMEN: This is the most difficult subject to figure when bein’ a real man or any kinda man for that matter. Let me tell ya, it’s supposed to be that way.
First news flash? especially for those really PC members that are readin’ this column and gettin’ an education. Men and women are different. They’re supposed to be that way. To me., the word “Unisex” is a cuss word and no one should ever be allowed to use it again.
Let me make this clear? men and women ARE equal. Men have some advantages and women have others. It all equals out in the end. I thank God every day that men and women are different. Yeah they have befuddled the hell out of me, but that’s ok. It adds to the excitement and the whole process of relationships between guys and girls. Trust me? there is supposed to be excitement.
One of the first things that I gotta lay down to ya about women is this? Real Men do not hit women. It’s a matter of a few things. Respect is the first one. You should have respect for the weaker sex. Men are physically stronger than women. That’s just the way it is. Why would anyone wanna beat on someone that is no match for ya? A real man is secure with his strength and power. You do not impose it on a woman. I don’t care if she is throwin’ mental anguish on ya and has burned your CGC issue of Fantastic Four #1. There are others ways of handling those situations. Hittin’ her isn’t one of em’.
My dad laid that law on me at an early age. I never forgot it. I also never forgot that he said if I ever did hit a girl he would land his 250 lbs on my head and I would learn that way. That incentive was good enough for me. Plus as I got older I realized that women are very special. Why mess that up? Especially when there are plenty of stupid loud mouths in the world just beggin’ for a good ass kickin’.
You can spend your whole life tryin’ to figure women out. That’s the beauty of it? you got your whole life to have that fun.
As I mentioned before? first wives are generally hard lessons in life. There is nothing more dangerous than an unhappy woman with your paycheck. Ya usually get married for the first time between the ages of 18 and 28. All of your friends get married then as well. It seems like the thing to do. Now I’m not sayin’ that it’s just the woman’s fault that things don’t work out. I think it’s a matter of two parties not bein’ honest with each other. The guy goes into it thinkin’ that he doesn’t have to change and the woman goes into thinkin’ that the guy is a work in progress and she’ll iron out the wrinkles as time goes on.
Both should know what they want, who they are and what’s not gonna change before hand. I can’t stress that enough. It shouldn’t be a subject of knowin’ when to pick your fights. Nope. If you’re gonna marry somebody then you should look at that person as bein’ your partner when the chips are down. Somebody that’ll help ya bail water from the boat? not make more leaks. Also, to put it in more manly terms? somebody to let ya know when there is a pool cue comin’ at ya from behind. If she can swing a beer bottle at the attackers head, even better.
LOVE AND LUST: Two different things , yet the same. If ya got love and lust for a woman that you’re in a relationship with? then you hold on to that as tight as ya can and DO NOT let go. As Alpha Baboons, we all have lust. Just the way of the beast. We all have the urge to spread the seed to as many as possible? natural law and instinct. We can’t help it, but we can control it. Just as women have that natural desire to have the best material to produce the strongest offspring. As humans, most of us have learned to control these urges? in most cases. We all fall from grace now and then? so I hear.
As far as love? well, most times it can be grown and developed. Over a long period of time it can really flourish into a lifetime of wonderful partnership. Then sometimes, amigos? it comes outta nowhere and hits you like a Mexican rodeo. You see someone and things go off in ya that revert you back to primal man. That inner baboon comes forward and you don’t even know your own friggin’ name. You can’t explain it and you don’t even try. You just know that this is someone that you’ve gotta know. You have to see why this person has tied you to the bumper of love and is draggin’ you around the Dairy Queen parkin’ lot like a string of empty cans.
It could be a look that she gives ya, it could be the way she talks, walks or even the way she breathes. You don’t know, but ya wanna find out. If you’re really lucky then she might even feel that same spark for you. If so? go with that feeling? let the baboon run a little longer. Feelings like that maybe come once in a lifetime if you’re lucky? if it comes twice then you are truly blessed.
Now with this kinda thing all reason and logic can tend to be thrown out the window. No real way to be prepared for that, but it happens. All I can say is that you only go around this life once? and it really isn’t that long. They say you should always grab that brass ring when it comes around? well, I say you should not only grab it, but hang on to and swing like a monkey on a tire. If ya don’t? you may be passin’ up on the ride of your life. Remember? I’m talkin’ about love here? lust was the other paragraph.
Anybody can lust. Not every one can love.
People do really fall in love, amigos.
KIDS: Real men are good fathers. Havin’ a child is the greatest gift you can ever get. It’s a life changin’ thing. For me it was the first time I ever put anyone above me in my life. It changed me in so many ways I cannot begin to list em’. I will tell ya this? they were all for the better. I was not what I thought to be a “kid person” before that. Never has anyone done such a 360 turnaround. I took care of my son from day one. Up at 4am, with him, changin’ more diapers than I could count and not carin’. He was my kid and I was glad to do it. Yeah? I was tired, didn’t get much sleep, all that new parent stuff, but let me tell ya, I wouldn’t trade it for nothing. I’d do it all over again. When I wasn’t at work he was with me. I took him everywhere. When his mom and I busted up we became even tighter. Some folks get hooked on drugs, whiskey, sex, whatever? well? I got hooked on bein’ a dad. I cannot describe the sensation of seein’ him grow from a baby to a man. He is now on the verge of being 21. I have never been prouder. My only regret is that my dad, Big Rog, is not alive to see what a fine young man Nick has turned out to be. Well? I take that back? .I know that dad hasn’t missed a thing. He’s been there with us all the time.
Maybe one day I’ll be there to see Nick’s kids grow into manhood.
When I got married to my second wife she came with 2 young boys of her own. I had to factor that into my thinkin’ and plans as well. Took about 2 seconds. I decided right then I would treat em’ and raise em’ as my own. I have? they are both fine full-grown men now. I couldn’t have written that script any better. Nick has great brothers and I have 3 fine sons.
I’ve gotta say? I miss raisin’ kids.
FRIENDS: Real men have real friends. Friends that you can count on to back your play when that time comes. I’ve always said that if you can go through life with just one true friend then it was all worth it I’ve been very lucky in my life. I’ve got a small group of what I call my “Earp Brothers.” I even have one great friend I’d call my “Doc Holiday”. You may know him? I mentioned him in my last column, Flint Henry. In comics I’ve been blessed to have some friends that are Earps. The Earps reference comes from my life long love and study of Wyatt Earp. If ya call it a fetish I’ll make sure to beat your ass O.K. corral style.
Some of my Earp Brothers in comics are Chuck Dixon, Ted Adams, Billy Tucci, Scot Eaton, Mitch Byrd, Bob Wayne, Dwayne Turner, Ed McGuinness just to name a few. There are more in comics, they know who they are, but I’ll save ya the trouble of having to go down the list and not see any British writers on it.
My very best friend is a guy named Ray Crabtree. Been my best buddy since 1966. We were best men in both of our different marriages, even married best friends both times. We decided to quit that stuff? it was borderin’ on being just plain weird. I’d take a bullet for Crab. He deserves mention here.
I can see that I’ve gone on way too long here. Jason Brice at Silver Bullet is gonna have some sorta New Zealand fit if I go on any further. I’ll wrap it up with a few quick Real Man facts for ya.
Thanks for hangin’ in there with my endless ramblin’.. I’m a hard man to shut up. Ask others? they’ll tell ya.
Other Real Man Facts:
Real men don’t start fights. They finish em’. Once and for all.
Real men don’t bully. They beat em’.
Real men will take a dog over a cat every time.
Real men wear boxers or nothing at all. Briefs are nothing more than “training pants.”
Frat boys are nothing more than ass whuppin’s waitin’ to happen.
Real men like real women with curves. Runway models should keep runnin’.
Real men think free beer tastes the best.
Real men keep their word.
That’s it for this week, amigos. Sorry I got so long winded? .aw, Hell..no I’m not. It was good for ya? I was buildin’ your character. Print this column up and paste it to your forehead and make others read it.
If ya need something, let me know. I’m not hard to find?
Cowboy Warrior King
The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507
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