The Perpetually Embarrassed Male Preteen

Eleanor Roosevelt once said: "The only thing harder than puberty, is pre-puberty..."

Okay, she never stated that publicly, but it's an important message that still applies today -- ask any dude that's had an impromptu tent pole in their wind pants.



"DAYAD! Stop... YOU'RE EMBARRASSING ME! Debbie's right over there..."

All of us have been this guy (or GIRL), and at one point or another (unless our father is David Duchovny) we've been mortified by one or both of our parents.

Chuck Flannerty was always putting his son Charlie through an emotional crucible. Whether he was wearing plaid on stripes, smoking his pipe in public, or ordering one too many Big Macs a little too loudly. All of it was too much for Charlie to bear.

Charlie was 12 years and 104 days old, and at the height of preteenhood. His dad was no longer his hero or undisputed best friend. The placard fell off what seemed like years ago. Charlie viewed his dad as a burden, and tried his best to deal with him through patience. The hormones of preteenhood had made Charlie very paranoid and very insecure. He'd change his "look" bi-weekly, and his friends just as often.

Nothing enflamed these hormones and insecurities quite like when he was around his crush, Debbie Alexander. Debbie was 13, a foot taller than Charlie, and could probably beat him at arm-wrestling.

Charlie thought he had a chance with Debbie... WHEN HIS DAD WASN'T AROUND. Charlie's dad was such a corny goofball -- making jokes with punchlines coming from a mile away, farting in the minivan -- doing stuff that Charlie once adored, but now abhorred with excruciation.

The peak of prepubescence is denoted by embarrassment. Charlie Flannerty just wished his dad would go away for awhile. No more noogies, no more "bear hugs," and no more talking to Debbie. GAWD!

"I'm not into Robin Hood anymore Dad, cut it out!" Charlie whimpered as he carefully coiffed his hair. Charles Senior just stood in the hallway, green tights stretched to a pea hue. "It was not too long ago when you were into this stuff, Chuck... now you're finally talking to girls... I think I like it!"

Chuck Sr. took the bittersweetness in stride, lamenting while he was happy.

"Just stop, Dad." Charlie felt that already had too much on his plate. Debbie was coming over and he needed his dad to take them to the skating rink. And he'd prefer if Charlie Sr. would get out of his Robin Hood costume, then burn it while they were gone.

"Sometimes I swear you're so immature, DAD." Charlie's dad took this verbal abuse because he'd do anything to reconnect with his rapidly-evolving son. Charlie was also exploring his boundaries -- what he could get away with, what he couldn't -- both with his parents, and with Debbie.

Would tonight be the night of their first kiss? Highly unlikely. As Chuck Sr. dropped off both Charlie and Debbie, he laid a smooch on his offspring's forehead, messing his hair an moistening his eyebrows. Charlie Jr. was on the brink of preteen aneurysm, thinking that the only kiss he'd experience this Friday night would be an unwanted one from his stupid Dad.

Imagine the confidence Charlie would've had if he'd known that Debbie thought all of it was cute.

Charlie didn't get his kiss that Friday night, but in the anthology of life experience, it really didn't matter. He treated Debbie like a young preteen gentleman, and although wracked by nerves, ended up having a good time. Debbie would go on to see other people throughout puberty, and so would Chuck Jr. They'd meet up 15 years later at a high school reunion, and reminisce about mutual memories. When the bases were covered, they embraced and then parted ways. The two of them talked endlessly about everything. Everything except this one embarrassing night for Charlie. A Friday night 15 years ago that neither of them could seem to remember.

Need more Retrospective Dude Content? How about this? Or this? Or... This

Follow me on Twitter and Tumblr

Apache Thunder

Wildmyan in...

Follow these links for previous chapters in the Saga: Where it all Began, Covered Wagon Escape, and The Dark Side of Duluth

Covered in salad dressing, Wildmyan calculated his next move. From the looks of things, it appeared Wildmyan had gotten into a barbecue fight with Greta Van Susteren. But sadly this wasn't the case. As you may recall, Wildmyan had just dispatched the outlaw Geoffrey James back in Duluth. Unfortunately, that still qualified him for manslaughter, so he had to be on his way.


He left that Duluthian bar with 6 shots of whiskey on a barren stomach. Literally. His stomach was like a mutant uterus meant not to have children. To remedy his dizziness and achieve some comfort, Wildmyan decided to fill up "short ribs." Unfortunately again, Wildmyan had actually found some diseased calf meat on the side of Route 61. Thank god his stomach was a mutant uterus. He digested the rotting puppy cow meat no problem.

This is also when he discovered "blue cheese." He swiped a few small buckets of it from the bar counter as left, and took to the blue cheese dressing like a rabid dog to a ham bone, sucking fluidic ounces of it as if it were strawberry milk for a juvenile diabetic.

Wildmyan knew he must continue his way out of Duluth, but the food coma was coming on strong. He had eaten merely 12 lbs. of festering veal carcass, but it was enough to facilitate the slumber. Finding an oak tree about 100 yards off the median, Wildmyan circled it four times, and then nestled at its base.


Wildmyan slept the sleep of a tired warrior that night. What felt like only an hour or two had actually been five hours of aggressive hallucination and rapid eye movement. Those five hours were filled with just about every dream you would imagine an illiterate Southwestern recluse could have. From sun-bathing with coyotes, to playing "cactus football," and even fantasizing love-making to an Apache woman while Amy Grant played in the background.

Wildmyan was a survivor, and he soon got up and rolled around, stretching out from what seemed like either 2/3 of a day's worth of sleep or a violent seizure. He yawned a barbaric yawn, his eyes bulging out of his orbitals, his upper lip nearly commandeering his forehead. Just as it appeared that Wildmyan would slip back to slumber, he saw something. Thinking fast he grabbed something. He worked with this newfound instrument while keeping his eyes out toward the horizon. His stare diligent and steady.

"What a great day to die" Wildmyan muttered as he sharpened the business end of an oak branch. A puma nervously eyed him from a hundred yards away.


The Puma wasn't purring, this mountain lion was eyeing a feast as nearly as big as Wildmyan's previous meal. The cat oscillated her whiskers, lowered her haunches, and CHARGED!

Wildmyan stood still for a moment, contemplating his objective and adjusting his eyes to the Great Plains sun. The Puma leapt for his throat, but hit the ground without securing her victim. Wildmyan spun around, shoved his oak branch spear, and hit nothing but butthole. The puma let out a vicious roar. The cat sensed equal portions pleasure and pain as nine inches of oak branch had been crudely shoved through her exit door.

The cat's gait was compromised, and Wildmyan knew this was time to finish her off. He raised his arms, ready to choke the Puma into the afterlife when he noticed something... empathy.

Instead of choking the feline lifeless, Wildmyan aggressively stroked her fur. At first the Puma coiled back in anger, but then she smelled the road carnage on his breath, she sensed that perhaps her and the Wildmyan might be equals. After a brief toe-to-paw encounter, the Puma lowered her guard. So did Wildmyan. Thus beginning what would become a fruitful symbiotic relationship.

Wildmyan started the next leg of his journey with his new Puma companion. He carefully removed the oak branch from her quivering buttocks, and she thanked him by becoming his animal guardian. Wildmyan now had a dog in the fight, and this dog was a mountain cat.


Need more Wild Western Dude content? How about this? Or this? Or... This

Follow me on Twitter and Tumblr

Your Cat Hates You... Guaranteed


What's the only difference between a house cat and a Bengal tiger?

A tiger is much less of an asshole.

If a house cat could throw around 230 pounds of muscle, the human race would more than welcome a zombie apocalypse to help with their shitty cat problem.

Uncle Randy’s Hosiery Corner

We all have strange Uncles. Shit, some of us have strange Aunts. Unfortunately, this piece isn’t about crazy Mom-sisters like your rapidly-aging Aunt Ruth, or your abominable Aunt Margaret. This is a tractate of one crazy uncle — by the name of Randy — who likes to give mention to women’s unmentionables.



“Chewing tobacco will give you cancer. But if you don’t spend enough time in Target sniffing women’s under-leggings, you’ll totally get cancer too, and you’ll get it right up in your butt.” 

~ Uncle Randy, 2007.

How Much Denim is Appropriate for the Holidays?

This December, Double Down on Denim

I’ve had enough crotch-crimping mornings waking up in blue jeans to know that denim does not bust the charts in premier pajama material. But outside of this very small sliver of preference, this textile is a GOD. It’s durable, it’s casual, and to me, it’s incredibly fashionable — especially for the Holidays. Regardless of which ones you celebrate, observe, or admonish equally with your jaded Uncle Billy.

5 F*ck Yeah Moments from The Walking Dead - Season 5 (Already)

The Walking Dead isn’t even a quarter of the way through season 5, yet the rejuvenation of this series has been so so sweet. So far, there have been five key moments that have made me hop off the couch and positively interject loud obscenities using all of my available testosterone.


All Your Friends Were Already NBA Players

For the sake of argument, let’s say that we all have friends. And let’s say we all have a “big group” of friends. We go to bars together, hike together, attend each others parties, and even combine athletic prowesses in the peerless pursuit of recreational organized sport. None of this is startling. What is startling is that among every group, everyone is some type of NBA player.

For real.

Tasteless Erotic Tales: Claro Que Sí

Her face was an essence of leather. Her palms -- pumice. But her soul was as soft as satin, her heart strings made of silk.

Her hips swayed as she dusted my countertops. Oh, how I wanted to drench her walls.

Her knuckles were twice the circumference of her weathered fingers. I watched as those fingers strode through my soiled linens — not afraid of what they’d find, but afraid of not folding a fitted sheet properly.

I wanted to proposition her, but I didn’t speak the language. I wouldn’t be able to tell if I would be asking her for a sensual encounter, or exclaiming that I needed to place a feral cat in the refrigerator. She had me stymied, and with no idea if she could sense the sexual tension engulfing us.

15 Death Hacks that will Change Your World

What is with all of these “lifehacks” I keep hearing about? Save time on this. Save money on that. Build this wonderful thing out of just a sponge and a clothespin. Can’t we just leave the MacGyvering to MacGyver and be done with it?

It all sounds like a scam to me. An easy life does not build character! A yin is nothing without a yang. Sometimes doing the right thing takes MORE time. And sometimes you’ve gotta go against the grain and be contrarian. I mean, is life something you really want to “hack,” anyway?

For all these reasons and because I don’t need to learn how to better enjoy eating my yogurt, I’ve devised this list of opposing circuitous “longcuts,” AKA “death-hacks.”

18 Reasons Why Peyton Manning's a Cyborg

Ever since his second neck surgery -- and his prolific numbers following -- I've always been suspicious that Peyton Manning had become a government experiment in robotics. In fact, I have 18 VERY GOOD reasons as to why this is probably true:

1. On the gridiron, he looks like a stoic field general. Meanwhile, out East, his brother Eli looks like an inebriated Muppet.

2. He has limited mobility because his feet are actually plastic caster wheels