Years ago, I was having a business meeting with a self-described cowboy from northern California. He looked something like a cross between Willie Nelson and Yosemite Sam and had a personality to match. As we waited for an associate to arrive at the meeting, small talk dissolved into the sort of woman-debasing lewd discussion that typically arises from having eight men in a room from highly mixed backgrounds but with enough commonality for each to want to outdo the rest.
Think of it like this: men are pigs. Does that help?
Anyway, it was at this stage of the conversation that this West Coast cowboy made a brag that caused the room to erupt in admiring guffaws and left me chuckling politely because I didn’t want everyone to realize I didn’t get it At all.
He’d proudly called himself a minute man.
Such a man, he explained, was able to go from flaccid to erect to spent in under a minute flat. “I don’t even have to take off my hat,” he elaborated, pointing to the worn black Stetson atop his head. His description amid a room of hearty laughter included a long line of disappointed women.
In my social circles, this would be cause for disparagement or even decrial, not esteem. Why would there be pride in the fact that he was incapable of satisfying a woman? What subcultural elements are so pervasive that they crossed the age, region, and religious boundaries in that room, leading all but me to laugh?
In the years since then, I’ve seen no answer. I’ve seen similar situations play out, where unfunny was funny to make a sale or please a boss, but this room’s demographics went past those norms. I’ve seen similar confessions where laughter came in, but it was of a collective self-effacing variety, and these men were far prouder.
Look, I’ve been a minute man more times than I’d like to admit. It happens from time to time, and in specific circumstances, it’s handy for both of us. But any other time, I just don’t feel like my wife got significant bang for my buck like I’d ripped her off.
I’m anything but proud of it.
So what was the deal with that guy? Or all of them?
Anyway, that’s something you can be thankful for. At least you’re not that guy.