Step one to romantic cuisine: Insert beer can into chicken cavity

Meimagen, by their very nature, are grillers of food. If you follow me on Facebook, then you know I love grilling everything from steak kabobs to bacon-wrapped bratwurst. This is because grilling, aside from providing men with a legitimate excuse to drink beer and play with fire, is actually a sign of romance and affection dating back to the discovery of fire itself.

We know this thanks to recently discovered cave paintings depicting what archeologists believe is a romantic meal prepared by a Neanderthal named Glork soon after the discovery of fire.

According to archeologists, the sequence goes like this:

Painting one: Glork makes a small fire using a careful mixture of embers, dry leaves, and an assortment of twigs. He then douses it with liberal amounts of highly flammable liquid, creating a massive fireball that scorches the roof of his cave.

Painting two: Glork adds a marinated pterodactyl drumstick to the fire and begins drinking an unidentified beverage.

Paintings three through six: Glork continues drinking a lot more of his unidentified beverage.  Continue reading

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Eight years ago tomorrow, I was exactly where I was meant to be

imageEight years ago tomorrow, I stood at the altar, watching as my wife crossed the courtyard toward the church. I remember smiling so much my cheeks hurt; I remember the pride and appreciation I felt knowing I was about to be her husband; and I remember a momentary breeze lifting a strand of hair away from her face, like God’s finger gently brushing it aside as she entered the chapel.

As with any rare occasion when we don’t enter a room together, our eyes found each other immediately. So much was said to each other during that long walk to the altar, not in words, but spoken between our two hearts — in a language we had been fluent in from the moment we met.

Oct. 28, 2006:
My search for a red rose after making the hour-long drive to Salem for our first date had put me behind. Coupled with the fact that I hadn’t been on a real date in nearly 20 years, had lost 23 pounds since my divorce several months earlier, and was driving a Plymouth Voyager mini-van, I technically had four strikes against me already. Plus, after several weeks of chatting together on Match.com and long evening phone calls, she had finally posted her profile picture. When I saw it, I realized I wasn’t only in danger of striking out before our date even started:

Heck, I was batting out of my league. Continue reading

Consequences you can expect from horrible pick-up lines I overheard

image I’ve been ridiculously happily married for almost 10 years now, so the singles bar scene is a long-forgotten memory. Or maybe just a deeply repressed one.

At least until yesterday.

That’s when a friend came to town and invited me out for a quick beer. As we began catching up over Dos Equis, we couldn’t help but overhear a series of pick-up lines being exchanged by a group of 20-somethings who — at least in their minds, and thanks to several happy-hour pilsners each — had assembled a list of clever lines “no woman could resist.”

Their words, not mine.

In a moment, you’ll understand why.

As a service to single men everywhere, and in particular to that group of 20-somethings once they’ve sobered up, I felt obligated to jot down some of those “fail proof” pick-up lines and explain — through a “trial” and “error” format — what they can expect should those lines leave their mouths in the general direction of an actual living female, intoxicated or otherwise. Continue reading

Men: The key to romance? Don’t be afraid to look foolish

(A year ago today, the lovely and talented Sisterwives invited me to offer a man’s perspective on Valentine’s Day. I saw it as my opportunity to open the lines of love-communication between the sexes. As the Day of Love approaches, here’s hoping men and women get something other than a busy signal…)

imageSince the dawn of time, man has feared Valentine’s Day. I’m a journalist, so you can trust my facts on this. And because I’m a man, you can also trust me when I tell you our fear isn’t because we don’t want to express feelings of love and romance; it’s because we are afraid of looking stupid while doing so.

This fear has been documented as far back as prehistoric times, in a pair of cave drawings paleontologists say depicts a caveman named “Glork” trying to court a cavewoman.

Image one: To demonstrate his masculinity and win a cavewoman’s affections, Glork fights a saber-toothed lion

Image two: Glork is eaten

Millions of years later, though the risk of being eaten by a large predator is relatively low (not counting cougar attacks), men still fear that their attempt to express love could lead to a fate worse than death: EmbarrassmentContinue reading

Because sometimes love can overlook a man who drives a mini van

imageNine years ago tonight, I had my first date. I was 40. It’s not that I hadn’t been on other dates in my life. It’s just that, from the very first moment we took each other’s hands, none of the others seemed to matter anymore.

Because nothing compared to this one.

The best one.

The last one I’ll ever want.

Both of us were recently divorced after long, unhappy marriages. We both had two children at home. And both of us had joined a dating website a month earlier within a few days of each other. Fate, it seemed, had already set things into motion. Nine years and one pair of wedding rings later, I’m still thanking fate each and every day…

Oct. 28, 2006:
My search for a red rose after making the hour-long drive to Salem for our first date had put me behind. Coupled with the fact that I hadn’t been on a real date in nearly 20 years, had lost 23 pounds since my divorce several months earlier, and was driving a Plymouth Voyager mini-van, I technically had four strikes against me already. Plus, after several weeks of chatting together on Match.com and long evening phone calls, she had finally posted her profile picture. When I saw it, I realized I wasn’t only in danger of striking out before our date even started:

Heck, I was batting out of my league. Continue reading

Men: Consequences you can expect from really bad pick-up lines

(Because you can never emphasize enough the importance of avoiding these kinds of ridiculous pick-up lines, especially since my oldest daughter is now out on her own in the dating world, I decided to post this column from a couple of years ago as a public service message. Trust me: It could save lives…)

image I’ve been ridiculously happily married for almost 10 years now, so the singles bar scene is a long-forgotten memory. Or maybe just a deeply repressed one. At least it was until yesterday, when a friend came to town and invited me out for a quick beer. As we began catching up over Dos Eques, we couldn’t help but overhear a series of pick-up lines being exchanged by a group of 20-somethings who — at least in their minds, and thanks to several happy-hour pilsners each — had assembled a list of clever lines no woman could resist. Assuming, of course, the women in question were all desperate to gain U.S. Citizenship.

As a service to single men everywhere, and in particular to that group of 20-somethings once they’ve sobered up, I felt obligated to jot down some of those horrible pick-up lines and explain — through a “trial” and “error” format — what they can expect should the words actually leave their mouths in the general direction of an actual living female, intoxicated or otherwise. Continue reading

Warning: Dating at oxygen bars could lead to heavy breathing

image It all started with bottled water.

That’s when we, the consumers, put our collective feet down and cried out in a united voice that there was a little thing called The Law of Supply and Demand! And that we’d be willing to break that law for the chance to purchase an already free and abundant earthly element if it came in a squeeze bottle.

The latest trend is oxygen, which can now be purchased at a growing number of hip “Oxygen Bars” around the country. To prepare for your first venture, you must visualize the atmosphere of an oxygen bar.

[Pause here to catch clever irony of last sentence.]

[Thank you for waiting.]

Picture a singles bar with attractive people all sitting around conversing. Now, take the wine glasses and beer bottles away from these people and replace them with plastic oxygen tubes draped over their ears. Add to this sexually charged atmosphere the constant hum of an oxygen pump… and there you have it!

The terminal-care ward on “Grey’s Anatomy.” Continue reading

Want to date my daughter? This video could save your life

As my youngest daughter approaches the end of her middle school years, she has been catching the unwanted attention of teenaged boys. And when I say “unwanted,” I’m mostly talking about me. Statistically speaking, I was a teenaged boy once. I know what goes through their minds, at least when they’re not eating, sleeping and farting. But during that hour when they aren’t doing those things, they should be ashamed of themselves. That being said, if those same teenaged boys knew what was going through MY mind when I see them looking at my daughter, the teen pregnancy rate whould drop by 90 percent, with the other 10 percent being investigated by the Catholic Church as “potential miracles.”

So before the summer begins, I’d like to offer this video to any teenaged boy thinking of dating my daughter. It’s only 15 seconds. And there’s some language.

But it just might save your life…

Consequences you can expect from horrible pick-up lines

image I’ve been ridiculously happily married for almost 10 years now, so the singles bar scene is a long-forgotten memory. Or maybe just a deeply repressed one. At least it was until yesterday, when a friend came to town and invited me out for a quick beer. As we began catching up over Dos Equis, we couldn’t help but overhear a series of pick-up lines being exchanged by a group of 20-somethings who — at least in their minds, and thanks to several happy-hour pilsners each — had assembled a list of clever lines no woman could resist. Assuming, of course, the women in question were all desperate to gain U.S. Citizenship.

As a service to single men everywhere, and in particular to that group of 20-somethings once they’ve sobered up, I felt obligated to jot down some of those horrible pick-up lines and explain — through a “trial” and “error” format — what they can expect should the words actually leave their mouths in the general direction of an actual living female, intoxicated or otherwise. Continue reading

Reasons even a straight man can benefit from watching The Bachelor

image (I had the laps in judgement distinct privilege of being a guest contributor over at Long Awkward Pause today. Here’s an excerpt, along with a link at the bottom. Sorry it’s not the sausage kind…)

Hi.

My name is Ned and I watch The Bachelor.

I’ve been a heterosexual for 17,155 days and counting.

I can see the looks of confusion but that’s okay; I’ve gotten used to it. In fact, I used to hide my Bachelor/Bachelorette watching…

“Hey Ned, how about that Trailblazers game last night?!?”
“Yeah, man! They really dominated the paint!”
“What are you talking about? They LOST!”
“Oh, right. Uh, I got tapped out for a house fire and missed the second half.”
“Was everyone ok?”
“Yeah, but the girls who didn’t get a rose were pretty upset.”
“Wait… what?”

(Read the rest at Long Awkward Pause…)