Relationships are all about sharing.  You reveal your inner thoughts and the values that make you who you are and through the exchange, you grow closer to the other person.  Women are more favorable to this concept than men.  Its not that we don’t care about revealing ourselves, its just that we recognize we have a lot less to share and, before long, we’re going to run out of material.

Guys are pretty basic when it comes right down to it.  We have our essential needs and we rarely go beyond them.  By contrast, ladies are multi-layered and complex.  To see this difference in action, go to a fancy dinner.  All the women will be concerned with the colors of the napkins and how they’re arranged on the table.  They guys will only care if the napkin can wipe up their drool.

The mindset of men has always confounded my wife, who can’t quite grasp why we still act in ways better suited for surviving the last ice age, why we urinate in the shower every morning, and why we have such an overwhelming preoccupation with French Maid’s outfits and cleavage.  So, to help her understand the essentials of “guyness”, we watched “The Outlaw Josey Wales”, undoubtedly the greatest western of all time.

Painting of The Outlaw Josey Wales

The Outlaw Josey Wales

Naturally, it was magnificent.  It always is.  Like John Wayne’s “True Grit” or Humphry Bogart’s “The Treasure of Sierra Madre”, it only gets better every single time you watch it.

When the end credits rolled, my wife snuggled a bit closer to me, smiled, and said “It was OK”.  It was her consolation statement, meant to respect my feelings and values.

I recoiled in horror.  “This relationship is over!” I declared, not really giving a damn about anyone’s feelings or values.  I only cared that I’d so badly misjudged a woman whom I thought had real long-term potential.  Obviously, spending any more time with her could only prove a further waste of both of our lives, although I was flexible enough that I would consider delaying the end of our relationship long enough to allow her to make me dinner.

For her part, she regarded me as if I’d freshly returned from hunting Mammoths.  “You’re acting like an ignoramus.”

“Stop using words I don’t know.”  I demanded.

“How could you not know what an ignoramus is?”

“How could you possibly think that the greatest western ever made, was merely OK?”

She shrugged indifferently.  “It was kinda slow and there really wasn’t much of a story.”

“No story?  Weren’t you paying attention when Josey shot the two pilgrims in the woods?”

She thought about it a bit and then shook her head.  “When was that?”

“About a half hour before the four guys in town got shot.” I explained.

“I thought they were in a shack with an Indian woman.”

I began counting the incidents off on my fingers.  “The two with the Indian woman got shot after the guys in the woods but before the guys in the town.

“So, when was the town?”

“Right before he shot everyone in the wagon train.”

“I can’t remember.” she admitted.  “It was all the same.”

“No it wasn’t.” I replied.  “The guys in the woods had the drop on him.”

“Didn’t the guys in the shack have the drop on him too?” she challenged.

“Yes, but it was completely different because in the woods, he killed them with a hidden pistol.  In the shack, he did a twirling trick with his revolvers and then shot them.  He had to do that because they weren’t as stupid as the other guys.”

“Which stupid guys?”

“The dead ones.”

She tried to review it all but then just gave up.  “At the town?”

“No, they were the dead guys BEFORE the town.  Weren’t you paying attention?  He shot the guys in the wagon train after he shot the guy in the town, … unless you mean the bounty hunter that he shot a bit later on.  That was in another town.”

“You mean the guys at the farm house at the end?”

“Those guys were the posse that was chasing him.  They were left over from all the guys he shot with the Gatling gun in the army camp.”

For emphasis, I mimicked using a Gatling gun in the living room, hoping that the visual reference would spark her memory.

The concept obviously didn’t translate as well as I’d hoped.  “If he had a machine-gun,” she began, “why wasn’t everyone killed in the beginning?”

“It wasn’t a machine-gun.  It was a Gatling gun.”

She bit her lip in that cool way that in other circumstances I would have found terribly sexy but in this case, I found only mildly reassuring.  At least she was trying to follow the logic of it all and that hinted that she might be worth keeping around, even after she made me dinner.  “If he had a machine-gun, they would have died.”

“They did die.” I said, my voice mirroring my frustration.  “Josey shot them later in the showdown at the farm.”

“With a machinegun.”

“No, with two Colt Navy .45 revolvers and a .38 caliber pistol.”

For further emphasis, I pantomimed Josey firing away with his twin revolvers.

She waved her hand dismissively, unimpressed by my illustrations.  “You mean his pistol things.”

“They weren’t ‘pistol things’.  They were Colt Navy .45 caliber revolvers.”

“Why don’t you just call them guns.  There really isn’t any difference.”

“That’s like saying there really isn’t any difference between the Batmobile and the Partridge Family Bus.”

The Original BatMobile

The 1960s Version of the Batmobile

“Why do you like the Batmobile so much?” she wondered.

“Because it spun fire when it started up.  It was black and chrome and had a super-cool windshield.  What’s not to like?”

“Its a car.”

“IT’S THE BATMOBILE!”  I protested.

“Whatever.”

I sensed that she realized she’d crossed a line with her disregard for the Batmobile.  I was about to press this very rare advantage in our verbal dispute when she knocked my line of thinking right into the gutter.

“Did you really watch the Partridge Family?”

The Patridge Family Bus

The Restored Partridge Family Bus

I have to admit, it was a clever trick question.  It put me in a position where I’d either have to lie and compromise my integrity or tell the truth and risk losing some serious man points.

“My parents watched it.” I answered weakly.  “It was the only TV in the house.  I didn’t really have a choice.”

Now some might find fault in my tossing the blame onto my deceased parents but I was desperate.  I still recalled the show well enough to know the Partridge Family’s manager was named Ruben Kincaid and their bus had a sign on the back said “Caution: Nervous Mother Driving”.  Had those facts come to light, the number of guy points I’d have lost would have been overwhelming.  Worse still, she knew that I knew more about the bus than I was letting on.

“What about the Speed Racer car?”

“That was a cartoon and the car was stupid”.

She raised an eyebrow, suspecting that I found Speed Racer’s slick white racecar a bit more appealing than my words indicated.  I tried to blank out my memories of cartoon Trixie and Racer X, fearing that by some psychic manipulation, she’d be able to detect that knowledge as well.  Somehow it worked, because she switched tactics again.

“What about that Bond car?”

Aha!  Now we were back on familiar and comfortable territory.  “Which one?” I asked confidently.

She wasn’t certain and she scrambled to come up with a reference.  “The one in the film” she finally answered.

“Sean Connery drove an Aston Martin and Roger Moore drove a Lotus.”


James Bond and the Ashton Martin

Sean Connery and the Ashton Martin

“I liked Pierce Brosnan.”

I scowled.  “Pierce Brosnan was never James Bond”.

“Yes he was.  I saw him in one of the films.”

I took both her hands in mine and looked her deeply in the eyes.

“Pierce Brosnan was never James Bond” I repeated in a loving but forceful manner.

She started to argue but then suddenly stopped, recognizing the underlying criteria in my reply.  With that revelation, she took her first step in understanding what it means to be a guy.

“Sean Connery?”

“Exactly”

Satisfied with her accomplishment, I allowed her to make me dinner.

She allowed me to do the dishes.

Detailed Carving of Josey Wales

Statuette of The Outlaw Josey Wales

 

Screen Used Josey Wales Colt 45 Navy Pistol

Actual Film Prop of Colt Navy 45 Pistol from “The Outlaw Josey Wales”

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