I know this is a little after the fact, but given that Valentine’s Day is TODAY, I’m guessing that a lot of men are just beginning to realize they’re in serious trouble after coming home last night with nothing but a six-pac and an NBA game schedule. If you are one of these men, then there’s a good chance you are getting into Valentines’ Day mode right…
(Disclaimer: This blog is not responsible for any injuries, heart ailments or claims of memory loss occurring as a result of this information.)
Do not panic! As men, we will stick together and, through the power of the Internet, call upon the romantic wisdom of men from throughout the world and, hopefully, come up with at least ONE good idea.
Keep in mind that, at this point, we are well beyond the flowers and candy stage, and any attempt to utilize such devices will likely result in a mouthful of roses and vase stuffed with chocolate. No, my friends, we must think big. We must think outside the candy box. We must think of something other than Victoria’s Secret; and we must think of something quick.
You may be wondering how I can offer you this up-to-the-minute advice when, in fact, this column was posted last night, while you were sleeping on the couch and trying to recall exactly when you installed a deadbolt on the bedroom door. The truth is, I can offer you this advice because I am a savvy columnist who anticipated the needs of his readers (and his wife) thanks to experience, planning, and yesterday’s timely arrival of our two children — each of whom was carrying a paper heart they’d made for Mommy.
(Do not judge me: Given time and access to Crayolas, I would have made my own paper hearts.)
Because of this, I was left with enough time to establish a special chat room designed to gather helpful tips from some of the world’s most romantic men. What follows is a direct transcript taken from that 30-minute endeavor.
Me> Hello? Hello? Anybody?
I’m sad to say the only hit my chat room got came from someone called Luvmonkey, who wanted to chat about things that had absolutely nothing to do with monkeys. This left one final option, which was to race across the Internet, where I discovered some interesting Valentines traditions from other countries that — by comparison — could make even the most romantically challenged man appear to be…
Well — less of a love dunce, anyway.
First stop: France.
I started here because, as everyone knows, the French are the world’s greatest lovers, a fact that was confirmed by a random poll of more than 300,000 Frenchmen. According to tradition, it was customary for the French to hold a drawing involving young unmarried people, who would go into houses facing each other on the street. They would then call out from window to window, chanting: Vous aux tre mon ami, which, roughly translated, means: My bidet is clogged.
Following this tender courtship, the occupants from both houses would then emerge and, in a fit of uncontrollable passion, secretly confess the name of a good plumber.
I also tried Italy, which customarily had young people in Rome gather at a large, ornamental garden to hear music and poetry — after which they would stroll off in enamored pairs to look for broken sprinkler heads. This custom ended recently when it was discovered that the garden had no irrigation system, leaving Italians to ponder what its young people have been DOING all this time?!?
Okay, to summarize what we know so far: You’re in big trouble, and neither the French or Italians are going to help us. That leaves only one option.
Just make sure you put the Crayons back when you’re done.
(You can write to Ned Hickson at email@example.com, or at the Siuslaw News at P.O. Box 10, Florence, Or. 97439)