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The things we ask guys to do

By Jennifer M. Latzke

Men, listen closely and pay attention, because I will not be repeating this.

I could lose my Cowgirl Cred if I do.

We women don’t give you nearly enough credit for the gross jobs we make you do around the house. You squish bugs and remove hair clogs from drains that could make a crime scene investigator gag. You stand on ladders and put up Christmas lights and clean gutters, putting your lives in jeopardy for the holiday spirit or routine home maintenance. You wrangle wayward rodents and reptiles that breach the domicile’s perimeter, and do so while the females in your life are crying or screaming or both.

You make sure the cars have fuel, oil is changed regularly and tires are rotated. You handle power tools even though you have less than a zero urge to be a handyman, all because someone saw something crafty on Pinterest and she decided it needed to be done.

Most importantly—and I cannot stress this enough—you handle dead critter disposal.

Now, I’m a mature, responsible, independent and confident woman. For crying out loud I grew up on a farm. There’s little that freaks me out and I can cowgirl up to do almost anything that needs to be done. Mostly because I’m single and there’s no one I can routinely wrangle to do it for me. Sure, I might drag my feet, but eventually I get the gross stuff done, with a few exceptions.

I don’t handle snakes. I don’t handle giant crunchy bugs (the small crunchy bugs are OK, though.) And I don’t do dead critter disposal.

That, my dear readers, is one of the few things I’ll ask a guy to do for me. Without hesitation, it’s my kryptonite.

All that changed yesterday, when some dumb pigeon decided that my front yard needed to be his final resting place while in the middle of a Kansas July heat wave.

This, obviously, was one task that couldn’t wait for me to sweetly inquire if one of my male buddies could come over at his earliest convenience and handle the situation for a case of a beverage of his choice. Dad is in Montana and my brother is four hours away—and I didn’t think either would appreciate a call to drive hours to take care of one deceased pigeon.

Nope. I had to do this myself, and fast or else Mother Nature was going to make it worse. Great.

So, I came home from work, and changed into my dead critter gear—shorts, T-shirt, tall boots and veterinarian gloves. I found my shovel, and then I stood over the pigeon for about a minute trying to screw up my courage to do the task. I said a little prayer, scrunched up my face and scooped.

It all went according to plan. I made it to the trash bin without something falling where it wasn’t supposed to fall. Once I was done I was free to do my special heebie-jeebie choreography in my front yard. Complete with girly squeals and a few tears. I followed it up with a medicinal application of an icy beverage and a scalding shower.

Yes, I probably set back women’s liberation decades. Yes, I am a shameful representation of everything that is awful about spoiled daddy’s girls.

You caught me. And I don’t care.

There’s got to be a reason we keep men around, ladies. And, there are only so many jars that we need opened in a year.

Now gentlemen, you’ve probably guessed that we females keep mental ledgers of your rights and wrongs. But you just aren’t privy to the scorekeeping. Well, here’s a little hint.

If you, a male, dispose of a dead critter without being asked by a female, you earn generous points in your ledger. We will allow you a brief heebie-jeebie dance break without deducting points for less than “manly” behavior. Oh, and trust me, you want the bonus points for refraining from making fun of her or “wiggling” the aforementioned dead critter in her face.

You’re welcome.

As for me? I will never take my male compadres for granted again. And I probably owe back pay to my dad and my brother for years of handling the gross stuff while I stood by and cringed.

Bravo, gentlemen, bravo. The brownies are in the mail.

Jennifer M. Latzke can be reached at 620-227-1807 or jlatzke@hpj.com.

Date: 7/15/2013



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