So, you’ve got yourself a brand new baby.
Congratulations. I mean it. But it’s time you start thinking about what you’re going to do when you bring your newborn home from the hospital
You were passed over for a big promotion last year and the neighborhood to which you return is not as placid and, admit it, gentrified, as you had indicated on your vision board.
After all, the liquor store on the corner attracts that bearded homeless Gulf War vet who spits anti-Semitic vitriol at passersby and the youths smoking Kools behind the Stop N Go are much too pierced and tattooed for your comfort.
Your days of driving twenty minutes into the suburbs to buy your Riesling without confrontation are over. Like it or not, once that bundle of joy came sliding forth in a fusion of viscera and placental bile, the responsibility of protecting him or her from such irritants is yours alone.
It’s not really fair when you get down to it but, then again, what is?
Millennia ago, women selected their mates based on the suitor’s ability to wrestle a sabre-toothed tiger into submission while she and the baby ran for higher ground. Nowadays, with such immediate threat removed, you were most likely picked because you were the only man who approached her at the club without comparing her ass to a brick shithouse.
But the problem is, instincts die hard and a tiny kernel of your wife’s reptilian brain still expects you to get your caveman on when the situation deems it necessary. Remember when the doctor said it would be six weeks before your wife is again able to have sex? Well, that vulva will remain indefinitely dry if you sleep through a home invasion wearing a sleep apnea mask.
Your family needs to know that when shit hits the fan, you’ll be waiting with bandoliers across your suspiciously oiled chest and a Bowie knife in your jackboot.
Would John Matrix let a band of hooligans break into his house and harass his family? Hell no. And neither should you.
It doesn`t matter that you are a doughy, asthmatic accountant whose last fight ended in grade school defeat to a girl two years younger, you need to convince any would-be intruder and, most importantly, your wife and kid, that you will fist fight Bill Duke to the death in a Howard Johnson to protect them or she will leave you for a middle-aged man who still rides a skateboard. And I’m not going to let you let that happen.
- Sign up for boxing classes in a real boxing gym. You can find boxing classes for cheap at the local YMCA but try to avoid these if possible (especially if the class ends with “cize”). If you insist on being cheap despite my warning, you will be humiliated. Boxercise classes are dominated by women in far better shape than you can imagine. They never grow tired and they will look upon you with pity when you start begging for a water break ten minutes in. Although you will look out of place at a hardcore boxing gym with your belly fat bursting from beneath your too-small varsity sweater, you can more easily remediate masculine embarrassment than feminine.
- Hunt big game (anything from deer to polar bear) and don`t be shy about leaving the carcasses in your backyard for days on end as a lesson to the rest. The smell (and barbarity) of animal carcasses putrefying in the sun will drive your neighbors crazy but civic grief is the price of manliness. Get used to it.
- Unplug the security alarm and let the robbers see that you’ve done so. You want thugs to think you want them to break in.
- Assembling a baby’s crib is tedious and soul-killing but you must resist the temptation to pay someone to build it. Any man who builds it for you automatically becomes the baby`s father. For extra points, build the furniture shirtless and do it with a tool belt around your waist even if the instructions don’t call for a single tool.
- Chop wood in the dead of winter wearing only a wife beater. I don’t know what you’re going to do with a backyard full of chopped wood. As a matter of fact, the pile of pine clubs will most certainly be used as weapons against you in the event of attack.
Perhaps I’m not the best person to listen to.