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Authors: Denis Leary

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BOOK: Why We Suck
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    And the new flaws she comes to discover about her always-evolving self? SHE lays out on the table for all the world to see, watch, talk about and touch.
    Listen-don't sit there searching for my hidden, ironic tone. There isn't one.
    I am way way, way way, Way Into Oprah.
    She can do no wrong.
    Let me explain:
    First off, every single woman you or I know has a place to go to listen to other women talk about what women like to talk about which is pretty much almost any subject you can raise outside of professional sports, removing back hair and inexpensive but sturdy hammers.
    Meanwhile-I'm sure Oprah could find a way to touch on even those manly subjects.
    Did you see Michael Jordan on Oprah?
    So here we go:
    I just Googled Oprah and came up.
    I sped through space to and typed "back hair" into the search engine and guess what I got? Information on unwanted hair and how to remove it and where to go to get it done. Specifically mentioned? Hair on the back. On MEN'S backs.
    I did the same with "hammers." I got Oprahed over to Oprah's DIY site, where the toolbox she suggests you keep at home includes a hammer section that-after much testing and research-prefers that you buy an OXO Good Grips 16-ounce rip-claw hammer for $12.98.
    Oh. My. God.
    Or should I say Oh My Oprah.
    Wait. I gotta Google something else.
    Hockey sticks.
    What do I get?
    Dr. Mehmet Oz-one of Oprah's many medical friends-talks to hockey legend Mark Messier about being a role model, how he stays fit and what kind of equipment he uses.
    Mark Messier-one of hockey's all-time toughest, meanest, scariest competitors-has been on Oprah.
    You cannot beat her, guys. She will Oprah-ize any subject you raise.
    I am literally just going to pick random guy-type titles I know that a Million Man March Of Men Of Any Color would not only find funny to type onto an Oprah site, but at some level would have a very basic, slovenly, man interest in:
    Semen count?
    Ten entries, including Are Vasectomies Dangerous? and Can A Woman Be Allergic To Her Husband's Semen? (The answer is yes, by the way, and not just after a long day left alone with the kids.)
    You get Oprahed over to an interview with author Paul Joannides featuring his book The Guide to Getting It On.
    Make my penis bigger?
    Thirteen thousand two hundred and ninety-four results-including A Man's Dipstick and Treating a Broken Penis. I didn't even know you COULD break your penis. Bruise? Yeah. Scrape? I've done it (there was a girl, half a bottle of cheap vodka and a faulty zipper involved). But break? The mere thought makes me shudder.
    Make my penis smaller?
    Thirteen thousand two hundred and forty-six. Including Weight Loss And Penis Length-where Oprah says if a man loses 35 pounds he may gain one inch of penis length, which in my case means that in order to gain another five inches I would eventually have to become just a cock with feet.
    Now I'm just going to type in words you would never expect Oprah to say:
    Three entries.
    C'mon, man. Oprah doesn't use that word.
    Here's a flurry of more practical male topics:
    How to hit a baseball-1,755 entries.
    How to make a woman come-18,898. (Stop laughing-it's the actual number that's listed right now.)
    I'm just spitballing here, guys-flying by the seat of my pants now:
    Fixing your truck-700.
    Punching a guy in the face? 3,793.
    It's amazing. Now I'm just gonna focus on totally silly male fantasy theses:
    Big nipples? 3,509.
    Nipple hair? 1,383.
    Blow jobs? 2,510-including a section called How Sex Is Like Pizza. With one of her male doctor friends. Jesus.
    Areola. One entry. Which is one more than
    Remember the potential perfumes for dogs I mentioned earlier in the book? I picked one and stuck it onto Oprah's engine.
    Guess what?
    Ass lint-36 entries.
    I give up. I give in. I give away my subscription to ESPN The Magazine in favor of O.
    It's insane.
    Like most men-until this very moment-I had no idea. I didn't know about until I pointed out the Michael Jordan interview-I was only planning on parsing Oprah from notes I had already made, but now?
    My life has changed. My Google goggles no longer bear the fog of testosterone-driven prejudice.
    I can't get these answers from any existing sports channel. Scores? Yes. Scrotum health headlines? Not a chance.
    Has Chris Berman ever mentioned the possibility of a broken penis during NFL Prime Time?
    Has there been one single president who ever warned the male population of this country about Severe Penile Impairment?
    Is there a chapter or verse in the Bible that bemoans a potential de-boning?
    No, no and no.
    But Oprah tackled it.
    Oprah took the time to tell us how it could happen and what to do if it did. Never mind where to get the best rip-claw hammers. (Another good name for a band, by the way.)
    I look at ESPN and now and I snicker with a newfound snickularity. Memphis beats Tennessee-so what. The Rangers qualify for the playoffs. Big deal. I wanna watch Sidney Crosby going top shelf with a twisted wrister while the goalie is fooled out of his jock strap and underneath all the action the sports ticker tocks up the really important stuff:
    Your penis could break in half!
    Big nipples may be more fun!
    Rubber deck hammers-the best of!
    Details just ahead!
    I want an Oprah And Friends round-table section halfway through every episode of SportsCenter.
    I want Gayle King to co-co-host Pardon the Interruption, running down a Twelve Topics In Two Minutes chunk of Man Stuff That Matters-sure LeBron James may be averaging thirty points a game but how are his testicles doing? Has he had them checked? Does he know that Dr. Oz says testicular cancer is the number one form of cancer for men between the ages of fifteen and thirty-five?
    I doubt it.
    I look at Oprah now and I see why she doesn't want to run for president. Why she hasn't had kids. Why she does what she does day after day after day after day:
    We ARE her kids.
    She is the be all and end all-the queen bee the queen mum the voice of reason and insanity and hilarity and disparity-becoming president would be a step down for her. It would only suck her power away. Would she be able to ask The Pregnant Man about his clit/penis if she were in the Oval Office? No. Could she discuss the best bras for buxom girls as she sat with visiting heads of state? No. Can she hold a press conference in the Rose Garden and ask a male medical friend to explain how eating pizza can help you get your husband hard? Hell no.
    Oprah is where Oprah belongs-right there on the hot plasma rectangle that hangs on each of our walls, illuminating our bedrooms and kitchens with a warm fire of unending, uplifting infotainment.
    Celery-Colored Sheets. Wow!
    Little League Pedophiles. Oooh!
    Cybill Shepherd On Menopause. Train Wreck!
    She loves us she feeds us she makes us get fit she sends us out shopping and makes us redecorate she shields us and warns us and reminds us to have good sex bad sex food sex fat sex she gives us a sharp crack across the knuckles about race and religion and rich food and she makes us READ goddammit READ-read new books read old books reread the books she told us to reread last year-she is your teacher your mentor your multidimensional mensch she is actually married to us which is why she has no husband and will never have one:
    That's how much she cares about us.
    Which is why instead of asking Oprah to become the president I am demanding an amendment to the Constitution-the Oprah Amendment. The people have spoken for decades on end and the results flow in every single day across the world-Oprah is The Ultimate Decider.
    Not George Bush not Prick Cheney not the Senate not the Congress-it's The Big O, baby.
    I suggest we make every sitting president visit the Oprah set once every three months to listen to a million little questions about how he or she is doing on the job.
    There will be no lying.
    There will be no deceit.
    No man can lie to Oprah and a roomful of Oprah women.
    It's the power of O.
    You've seen it yourselves with James Frey.
    She will roast you and toast you like a fine hamburger bun.
    Those gorgeous eyes, those luscious locks cascading down those round, chocolate cheeks-no man can look at her and get away without telling the truth.
    I don't care Who You Are, Who You Might Think You Are or how many big, burly guys are calling you God's Gift To Mankind. You get put in front of Oprah-all the bullshit turns to smoke.
    And once the smoke begins to clear?
    Strap yourself in, stud.
    Roger Clemens would Misremember and Disunderstand and wriggle and wraggle until she caught him square in her Cocoa Gaze and then he would try to look away and quote His Heroic Stats and hold up each of his Seven Cy Young Awards and she would still be sitting there-brown glare glaring, arms folded across her aqua turtleneck chest-waiting for the truth to ember its way out of his gimungo, drug-thumping head.
    And then it would happen.
    He'd realize that women-especially Oprah's women-would trade all those expensive trophies in for twenty pairs of Jimmy Choo shoes.
    He'd scratch his itchy, guilty, steak 'n' cheese-eating chin and come to see-there is no escape from Oprah.
    He would wilt into a frenzied flopsweat of Dismisremembering and Reunforgetting and finally just break down and admit that his big fat ass-abscess was in fact the result of a giant set of jet-fueled human growth hormone injections. The Mighty Rocket would fall back to earth in a puddle of his own pretension.
    Congress couldn't crush him.
    The Commissioner Of Baseball couldn't lay a finger on his wide, sneaky back.
    But Oprah could.
    She would swat him aside like an insect.
    Just imagine the other possibilities: con artists, accused murderers and just plain free-ranging dolts.
    Speaking of all three:
    George Bush would chuckle it up with a smug shrug and some fumble bumble Texas twang pulled out of the bottomless pocket of his nitwit pitter pat before Oprah's glaring brown orbs began to produce long, un-laughing pauses and suddenly-the man in charge of eight bad, ugly, idiotic and financially foolish years for this country-would come to realize he was surrounded by a sea of unimpressed faces bobbing calmly atop Oprah's Angry Ocean.
    The guns in the Harpo studio are almost all female and they would be pointed firmly at his prep-school privileged grin as it slowly waned into a grimace and he knew the only way out was owning up to how ridiculous it was for the American people to elect and then RE-elect a guy they thought they could "have a beer with," when in fact that same guy was a recovering white-knuckle alcoholic and would have to have not "a" beer, but six or ten or twenty-three before calling his old coke dealer and getting the Secret Service to pick him up an eight ball, two quarts of Jack Daniel's and a bag of small, nonchokeable pretzels.
    It wasn't God who was talking to Him-it was Cheney hiding behind and using a really deep voice.
    You saw what happened when Tom Cruise went on the show-picture George Bush hopping around on the guest couch like a circus pet on crystal meth and you'll see where we are going: you work in the White House, you answer to Oprah. Four times a year. I guarantee we'd all be better off.
    Men in particular.
    We'd know not to lie, cheat and steal.
    Because-just like answering to your mom-Oprah and her army would be there waiting for an explanation.
    Talk about the ultimate system of checks and balances.
    We'd learn to do the things Oprah and the girls put on our "Things To Do This Week" list.
    We'd learn to let the woman talk.
    We'd learn to listen and stay in the other room and watch TV-let the girls do the shopping and make all the key decisions-from The Best Value In Ball-Peen Hammers to What Color Hammock.
    We'd keep our mouths shut and do all the grunt work and expect no credit but get paid back with pizza.
    Which might just be a code word for oral sex.
    Just ask Steadman.
    You punch his name into the Oprah engine and it comes up empty.
    Areola 1; Steadman 0.
    Doesn't that say it all?
CHAPTER 14 - Does This Bomb Make My Ass Look Fat?
    That's what the female terrorist said to her husband minutes before they left home-probably late-to launch a double suicide attack.
    Every husband or boyfriend has heard some version of that question-just switch out the word "bomb" and replace it with dress.
    Or skirt.
    Or blouse.
    Or shirt, hat, car, house, sofa, pen, bed, city, country, hemisphere-you get the point.
    Every man who lives with a woman has had to sit in that hot seat-in the bedroom, in the hallway, in a hotel suite, almost anywhere-and offer up glowing accounts of an endless stream of outfits that-each after each-apparently "make" her ass look fat. It's never her actual ass that is too big, it's the way the ass looks in some Nightmare Pair Of Designer Jeans or a One Of A Kind Evening Gown or These Goddam Stupid Imported Capri Pants or even Those Old Jeans From Four Years Ago when the ass WAS tiny and looked so incredibly edible you felt like slapping it and throwing her onto the bed right then and there.
    Joseph did it with Mary.
    Hitler did it with Eva Braun.
    Randy Gerber is doing it with Cindy Crawford as you read this sentence.
    Trying to divine the best way to-evenly and with a strong, calm voice-discuss her derriere.
    Yet-no matter what man you may be-you cannot utter even a sliver, of one tiny teeny slice, shaved off just a corner-of one kernel-of the truth.
    It looks fine, honey.
    It looks great, sweetheart.
    Babe-I love the way your butt looks in that.
    Those three alone'll get you into enough trouble.
    And even when The Ass Under Consideration does, in fact, measure up to the finest of all Ass Ethics and is, indeed, still sexy and juicy and oh so delectable-she will not hear anything positive that flows out of your mouth no matter how it is offered up. She needs to primp and pose and gape and prowl and turn and frown and gaze over one shoulder and then do the same over the other shoulder and then flip her hair back and start the whole goddam process right from Outfit Number One again.
    And you have no choice but to sit and wait and watch and wait and bite your hungry lip.
    I'm convinced the burka was not invented by some crazed Arab hell-bent on following religious conventions-it was just a hungry husband who wanted to make his dinner reservation on time. If she's forced to wear only one thing-how hard could it be? (I know I know-even as we speak, Muslim wives around the globe are trying on brown burka after brown burka-wishing that somehow just one of them would make their sacred asses disappear.)
    I have spent over twenty-five years going through this exercise two or three or sometimes five evenings a week with the exact same woman-my wife Ann. So at some point a while back I decided to give in and stop swimming upstream and you know what?
    Something wonderful happened.
    By letting all the anger go, by allowing the distemper and the exasperation to just slip away, by forcing my ire and chagrin and my miff and my tiff and my huff and my puff and my pique and my dander and the speeding express train of torrential goddam curse words about to explode out of my mouth to-instead-evaporate (and by staving off my hunger with a wad of roast beef wrapped in Swiss cheese)-I had a revelation:
    Relax, man. Just relax.
    It's not your wife.
    It's this really hot chick trying on different outfits.
    Which means-at its basic, most raw and bottomest best:
    You get to see a sexy girl nekked.
    And once you embrace that theory-man, have you ever hit the jackpot. 'Cause if you love your wife and she's still got it going on-wow.
    Sit back and swoon, brother.
    My wife looks better than ever and I gotta tell ya-it's like you're at your own private fashion show.
    Wait-it's better than that.
    It's like you're simultaneously watching a fashion show AND you get to be backstage at the exact same time.
    She tries on an outfit-then she saunters around in her bra and panties looking for another outfit.
    She takes that outfit off-and her bra-so now she is topless! Holy shit.
    Then she puts on heels and tries on a cocktail dress.
    THEN-she decides she has a VPL-Visible Panty Line (ya gotta get the lingo down pronto)-so she slips her panties off and-if you're lucky-decides the dress makes her hips look too full so she takes that dress off and goes in search of another-MEANWHILE you now have her naked and in stiletto heels wandering back and forth right there in front of you-God, what a gift from above.
    When I was a teenager, a hot chick strutting her stuff in your bedroom was considered an impossible event and here it is happening multiple times a week for free? I'm telling you, fellas-once you use my system and take what we used to think of as a task and reimagine it as a fun-filled hobby-it just doesn't get any better than this.
    What I do now is run downstairs and stuff some beef in my mouth, get changed real quick and then sit on the edge of the bed in the master bedroom and let the games begin:
    I don't think that's the right dress, honey.
    VPL alert, honey-VPL alert. Let's get those panties off.
    I think we're gonna need a bigger set of heels, honey.
    I like that top but try it without a bra.
    It turns being late for dinner into an entirely different animal. Look-we get ready to go out by grabbing one of our two dinner jackets-check to make sure there are no holes anywhere or at the very least only one or two small pinhead-sized holes and maybe a couple of minor coffee stains that really don't jump out at you because the jacket is brown to begin with PLUS the barely there dollop of mustard that sits in a splotch on the shirt you just grabbed off the floor of the closet is a bigger concern because throwing the thing through a ten-minute cycle of Dewrinkle in the dryer ain't gonna make the yellow disappear from a white shirt but that's why you wear a yellow tie and tie it extra long and voilа-two palm-prints of Aqua Velva 'n you are more than ready to rock 'n' roll.
    Her? She likes to linger.
    And look.
    And linger.
    And-here comes the good stuff-primp and preen and reach and flounce and stride and ankle and stretch and parade and-maybe my personal favorite-sashay.
    I love it when my wife sashays.
    You should feel the same way when your girl does it.
    Happy wife, happy life. Not to mention lots of giant boners.
    Let's take this theory and run with it.
BOOK: Why We Suck
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