My Man Card and the International Bank of Manliness

“Thank you for calling the International Bank of Manliness, This is Sheila. How can I help you?”

“Hi Sheila, my name is Shannon and I need to check on the status of my Mancard. I don’t think it’s working.”

“Hello, Mr. Shane…………”

“No, no, it’s Shannon.”

“Sure. Ok, Mr. Shaneman.”

“Shannon. Forget it. Anyway, I tried to use my Mancard this morning and it came back denied.”

“Tell me what happened Mr. Shawnly.”

“I hate you already. Ok, so I was driving to work and a jackass in a Jeep cut me off. It was pretty rude and I wanted vengeance. But when I tried to flip the guy off and curse at him, I couldn’t quite do it. It was almost like I was afraid he would pull an assault rifle out of his gun rack that was displayed and riddle me like the first scene in Robocop. I was quite embarrassed.”

“Hmm, mmmkay, let’s see what I can pull up here.” (computer clickity-clack, clickity-clack)

“Okay, I see the problem Mr. Suezpod. It seems that your account is currently in the Pink stage.”

“For the last time, it’s Shannon, it’s on your damn computer screen. What does Pink mean? Why isn’t my Mancard working?”

“According to our records we have you flagged for several emotional outbursts over the last year and we have had to suspend the use of your Mancard.”

“What emotional outburst? I’m a freaking rock, baby! There are no emotional outbursts!”

“The computer states that you have several instances of crying over the last year and that has affected your status with us.”

“…………………”

“Mr. Shannendoah? Are you still there?”

“Um, crying. Um, you guys know about that?”

“Yes, Mr. Shamrock, we know all. According to our records, over the last nineteen months you are turning into something of a sissy.”

“Ok, now you are just saying my name wrong to piss me off. Look, I can explain all of this. I had a daughter nineteen months ago and, well, it kinda changed me. How am I not supposed to cry at the birth of my daughter?”

“That is not the instance we are talking about Mr. Shrek. Crying at the birth of a child is completely acceptable according to your Mancard contract. It was the other times.”

“Um, what other times, I have no idea what you are talking about.”

“We show that six months ago you cried while watching the end of the movie Glory.”

“Huh, yeah, I suppose I did that. Have you seen that movie? It’s a tear-jerker, I tell you.”

“Yes, I’m sure. We also show that you let a single tear fall while listening to a song.”

“Yeah, but it was a song that spoke about fathers and daughters. How am I supposed to keep that together? I mean, come on. I’m not made of stone, ya know. Cut a guy a break, Sheila.”

“Sir, we do allow some exceptions but the fact that you have cried three times over the past year is more than we can allow. If we made an exception for you, we would have to make it for everyone.”

“What do you mean three times? There was no third time. I’m made of steel. Sheila, don’t bust my balls here. I need my Mancard reinstated.”

“The third time was this past weekend. You cried in your car a little bit. I’m sorry, sir, but because of that last infraction we can’t reinstate your Mancard at this time. You are in probation status until your emotions are held in check.”

“Shit. But wait, that last time was because my daughter didn’t want me to leave and held onto my leg like a little leach. It broke my heart to peel her off. I had a softball game and was feeling like a worthless father. I’m telling you, Sheila, becoming a father changes you. Like, to your core. Being superficially tough just isn’t that important anymore.”

“I’m sorry, sir, but I do not make the policy here. Until your emotions are in check, you will remain in Pink status.”

“Donkey balls.”

“Sir, I would appreciate it if you watched your language. Now, if you don’t cry for another four months you can upgrade you to an active member and reinstate your Mancard.”

“What about my history? I only cried like twice in my twenties. Doesn’t that count for anything? I was tough, I swear to God. But, you know, kids. Things change.”

“Yes, sir, your account history is very impressive but I’m afraid that recent events are more of our concern. Four months of good behavior and you can have your Mancard back.”

“Um, Sheila…………..”

“Yes, Mr. Shouldman?”

“I have a son that will be born in October, um, that may be a problem.”

“Congratulations, sir. Of course, he can have his Mancard immediately and you may be able to use his at times. We appreciate your membership but if you will please turn your Mancard over to your wife, we would appreciate it.”

“Um, ok.”

“Please instruct her to keep it next her to rom-coms and as soon as you are in good standing again, she can give it back.”

“Ok”

“Mr. Shannon?”

“Yes, Sheila?”

“Are you crying right now?”

“No, shut up.”

“Sir, this will add another month’s suspension.”

<<<<>>>>

Previously Published on Hossman-at-Home

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