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I walked across the street from my house over to Jed’s. Jed has been my best friend since First grade, through high school and beyond. We joined the marines together and served in the same platoon during Gulf War I. He was my best man; I was his. We have worked in the same factory for years and even moved onto this street with our families within months of each other. Jed was first; I came next.

I knew that on Saturday mornings Jed would be wrenching on something in his garage. He was always working on some big project or another. The garage door was open but the day was bright, so my eyes could not pierce the shadows of Jed’s domain, but I could hear him. I heard the ricketing of a turning ratchet, a clang as sheet metal hit the floor, and cuss words sharp and stifled to keep them from floating on the air up to the house and disturbing the morning peace of his wife smoking a cigarette, choking down coffee and contemplating her husbands murder while their two sons zombied out watching cartoons

The garage was separate from the house, of course, at Jed’s insistence. According to the Tao of Jed, the garage had no business being attached to the house. Every possible obstacle should be set to keep the wife from wandering in and wondering what her husband might be doing. The absence of a wife and kids in the garage promoted inner peace and harmony. If Jed had more money, he’d buy a second piece of property all the way across town and happily have his whole garage, complete with tools, grease and his pride and joy, a hydraulic lift, hauled down Main Street in broad daylight with a parade and much fanfare.

By the cuss words I heard, I knew Jed was in fine form. It would be a good day. I could almost hear the beers chilling in the dusty, full-sized fridge in the garage corner. From the darkness came a voice calling my name.

“Morning Ted!”

I walked into the darkness and suddenly I could see. On the lift and under the wrench Jed had a just-last-night-perfectly-working-with-only-a-slight-knock car half dismantled with guts strewn across the bare concrete floor.

“Morning Jed. At it already and without my help I see.”

“Ted, if I had to wait for you we’d never see Saturday. Someone had to goose the rooster in the ass so he could wake the sun, that someone was me. I’ve put in three hours already.

“Maggie’s pissed at you again, heh? You’re sleeping on the couch again, aren’t you?”

“Hell no…, well, yes I’m sleeping on the couch but that’s by choice. Maggie doesn’t have any reason to be mad at me. I’m pissed at her.”

“So why isn’t she sleeping on the couch?” I asked

That fired Jed up. “That’s exactly what the hell I’m talking about. If the woman’s mad at you, you sleep on the couch, if you’re mad at her, you still sleep on the couch. A woman just don’t know her place in this modern world anymore.”

“Correction, my good friend, it’s us men who don’t know our place in this modern world. I think we lost something somewhere. And I don’t know exactly when.”

“You know what Ted, it’s so seldom you’re right, but you’re absolutely right.”

“Thanks, Jed.”

"Don’t mention it. But you’re right and I’m wrong. It’s not the women who don’t know their place… it’s us. Somewhere we lost sight of the fact that we’re men. Those women libbers got us men so ass backwards with the notion of ‘getting in touch with our feminine side,’ and that hippie bullshit of ‘getting in touch with our feelings,’ that some otherwise perfectly normal men are going soft and sensitive and a few are turning faggot on us. Somewhere along the line the man lost his dominance, his prominence, his standing in the world. Somehow man has been made the footstool of woman.”

Jed started waving his hands in the air. His right hand still held a steel ratchet. “Before you know it we’ll be so gadamn soft the commies will just march right in here and we’ll cheer ‘em on.”

“Hate to be the one to break the news to you, Jed. Commies are obsolete. It’s the terrorists on the move now.” As I said this, I grabbed two beers from the fridge and handed one to Ted. I wanted him to settle down a little. It sounded like he'd had a rough night.

“Commies, terrorists, its all the same thing,” He popped open his beer and took a sip. “This country’s going to hell and it’s the woman’s fault. No, that ain’t quite right. It’s not entirely their fault. Their thinker’s broke. The flaws in their genetic makeup are finally coming through. They’ve been broke for so long now it’s a wonder no male scientist has declared all women to be defective and set up some sort of research institute to help men fix the women.”

“What in the hell are you talking about now, Jed. Fix the women. Your fights with Maggie must have your head all haywire. You ever try to fix a woman? It’s easier to hold down a bobcat and brush its coat than to attempt to fix a woman, safer, too."

“Well, it ain’t their fault. It’s God’s fault. He may even have intended it that way. I don’t know. Maybe God wanted to challenge us men and see if we could fix the genetic flaws in a woman’s makeup ourselves."

“What the hell are you talking about Jed? God’s intention? God’s challenge to man? What genetic flaws?

“The woman’s a clone of man,” said Jed matter of fact, as if stating a long-known universal law.

“A clone.” I repeated with a smirk. I knew my friend must have been joking. To my surprise he was not.

“Yeah, a clone. That’s why marriage is such a sick institution and most marriages doomed for divorce.”

“You mean a clone,” I said a bit flabbergasted. I tried to wrap my brain around the concept. “You mean like from a test tube?

“Yeah, just like the sheep they’ve been cloning.”

“So, women are like sheep. How do you figure?”

“Read your bible, man. It’s right there in Genesis. Woman was made from the rib of man. God took our DNA right out of the rib and made a clone of us, with variations: a couple of additions and one omission.”

Jed had me there. I started to see it. “Wow. I never thought of it like that.”

“Makes sense though, doesn’t it? And just like they’re discovering all those defects in the clones of sheep, the same thing's happening to the women, except the defects are mostly in their hormones and in their brains. That’s why they’re so freaking nuts.”

I had to pause to take in the awesome grandeur of his vision. It was solid, complete, a perfectly functional and rational worldview that not only explained the reason for most of world’s ills, but could heal them, too. Jed’s philosophy certainly made more sense than any other explanations I’ve heard on ‘why we are here’ as espoused by the world’s great religions or '-isms.' The prophet Jed had just revealed the true impetus for all men’s existence: man is here to fix the woman. This revelation could bring harmony and peace to all nations as us men everywhere single-mindedly, across the planet, dropped their guns, knives and other petty debates, picked up wrench, hammer and screwdriver and turned to the work right in our own homes: fixing our women.

“Jed, that’s so beautiful.” I toasted to my friend, “I love you, man.

Jed saluted back, “I love you, too, man.”

We downed our beers. It would be a beautiful day, someday, when men finally fix women.


The following comments are for "When Men Fix Women"
by a.k.a. Sas

Is this really how some men view women in their lives? Or just in general? Interesting impression and perspective this gave we view men this way? Absolute? Or do we not try and understand, reach, and compromise with the often time frusturating other sex. Black and white conclusions and thought pattern seem to be the accepted norm. Often wonder why more don't see the unique lessons and learning opportunities within each individual relationship/journey together. Peace, brothers and sisters~

( Posted by: satori [Member] On: October 30, 2003 )

re: Alien
I don't think I delved that deep into it. I'm not that good at being P.C. This really is just a humor piece, and it might even appeal to the Rush Limbaugh fans and racing fans. I'm not that crazy about Rush, but racing ain't all that bad. Anyways, once (and if) you get past the topic, how's the writing? There will always be topics I agree or disagree with, but bottom line, did the author raise his craft to the level of art, regardless wheter he or she is of my same politics? That's the question I ask myself. And to answer your question, yes, this is the way some men view the women in their lives, mercifully though, just a few. Yet it doesn't matter what THEY think, only what I think of it (and women). Thanks for the comment, Sister.

( Posted by: a.k.a. Sas [Member] On: October 30, 2003 )

women's lib
Hi a.k.a.
Well, you got my gander up, so it must be a good piece. As a mother of daughters and a boxer, I would have dropped you in 2 seconds flat if you spouted that to me, ha. A comfortable, smooth easy read.


( Posted by: kimberly bird [Member] On: November 2, 2003 )

re: Women's Lib
Thanks for the critique on the writing style. I'm sure the subject is not your favorite, but we don't have to agree with the material to discern the writing. This piece was inspired by a conversation with my younger brother recently jilted by a girlfriend. I thought his unique view so hilarious that I just couldn't resist using it somewhere. At the very least, this opens a dialogue between the sexes. I can't help but smirk everytime I look at this piece. ; )

( Posted by: a.k.a. Sas [Member] On: November 2, 2003 )

women's lib
I don't think men will ever understand women or vice versa. But there's a good song I enjoy about how men should act, Shania Twain, Any Man of Mine.

This can all be blamed on Queen Victoria's ladies who wanted to ride bicycles like the men, so they made pants.


( Posted by: kimberly bird [Member] On: November 3, 2003 )

I find this piece rather amusing. You have an interesting concept portrayed here, though I don't understand how two grown men would come up with such an outrageous theory...
The title was what caught my eye. "When Men fix Women"? I was thinking- what the heck? When I opened the file and began reading, however, I couldn't stop. The whole way through was humorous, and I liked how you ended this. Good job.

( Posted by: Cryptic Rapture [Member] On: November 4, 2003 )

Yeah, it keeps sucking me in, too. That's why I posted it. I'm glad you found it humorous rather than taking it seriously. This piece should not be taken seriously outside of the prose style used for it! Though, I gotta admit, I'm fond of the 'clone' concept, but don't hate me for that!

( Posted by: a.k.a. Sas [Member] On: November 5, 2003 )

Jed & Ted
Enjoyed your story - funny and well written. The only thing style-wise that bothered me is in the dialogue in the first half. As they converse, I think you have them using each other's names too much - sounds a bit unnatural. Other than that, the dialogue is fine.

I like the simplicity of the situation - just a couple of average joe's dealing with the mysteries of life. Good piece.

( Posted by: gomarsoap [Member] On: November 5, 2003 )

I didn't really think you wanted us to take it too seriously, and even if it was meant to be, I wouldn't take it seriously anyway. Thanks for reviewing my poem, by the way. I could use more pointers like yours and gomarsoap's- I am just an amateur anyway.

( Posted by: Cryptic Rapture [Member] On: November 7, 2003 )

One of the first things that caught my attention was the fact you could have made this more powerful without some of the telling. For example, "to my surprise" and things like, "how do you figure" really take away from this piece. We already know, as readers, that he is surprised, just as we know he is curious as to how his friend came up with the idea that women are clones. Also, I noticed a couple of grammatical errors. It should read "husband's murder" because it is specifically talking about one, not several. It might give this a little more punch if you kill "what are you talking about" because we already know he is confused. If you leave out little things like that and stay in the dialogue, it is not only easier to read, but it flows much smoother, giving more weight behind the words.

As for the piece itself, I thought part of it was cliche, but at the same time, I think, if I go my some of the comments I've heard from men that I know, it sums up how several of them feel.

When I read the part of how Jed's wife was contemplating his murder, I wondered why and how. We were never even introduced to his wife, so is that part important? I felt that was a bit of humor the author tosssed in, not the narrator, but the author.

What was the fight about? The reason why I ask that is because it could determine how Jed came up with his ideas. I don't mean to sound harsh at all, but I want to know how we got from point A to point B. It's not enough.

The descriptions were there and easy to see. I wanted the senses a bit more...smell, taste, and hearing. Put me there.

As far as the piece itself goes, I didn't read anything deep into it. I saw it as a piece of humor. If it was meant as a serious piece to make me think, I was not able to do that.

(The posting said to be honest!)

( Posted by: Kathy M. [Member] On: January 11, 2004 )

funny and surprisingly true, what more can you ask for. also good writing, i could really imagine this conversation taking place between 2 friends. way to go.

( Posted by: seniorme [Member] On: June 18, 2004 )

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