Primitive Desires Easily Flared with Wide-Stance Walking
ADAM MICHAEL LUEBKE
Like everybody else, I made powerful New Year’s resolutions, such as taking a new multivitamin to enhance my mood, and brushing my teeth with less pressure so as to preserve their enamel. On my lesser list of resolutions, I decided to change the way I walk. This was not my own idea, but came from a dear friend of mine named Hubert Humdinger, who is a long-forgotten, exiled cultural philosopher who lives in an undisclosed region of Northern Europe.
“Make sure you’re not walking with your legs pointed inward!” Humdinger shouted at me over Skype. “It’s not attractive to females and it won’t give you a sense of being in control. Inward leg walkers look wobbly,” he said. “Walk with a wide stance. Subconsciously, women get the sense you’ve got a reason to walk with your legs apart. There’s something there that’ll get in the way if you don’t! Other men, whether they are opponents or friends, will respect you more. Walk like a warrior,” the old firebrand philosopher concluded.
This turned out to be a terrible idea. I don’t know how Humdinger does it, but his advice backfired on me. I earned neither the subconscious respect from males, nor noticeable attention from females (not that I really wanted it, as sometimes too much attention is a terrible thing, as I will detail below).
When I strolled into my local coffee shop, I was not prepared for what happened. An old gentleman I’ve known for two years, who happens to be a gay man, and who happens to know that I’m straight, whacked me in the back of my thigh with his stiff, wooden cane. He hobbled along in his usual way, taking inch-by-inch steps.
He said, “I can’t talk to you anymore. It’s too frustrating knowing you.”
Too frustrating? I’d never had any problems from him before. He’d always been a perfect gentleman. And I’m a friendly Midwesterner.
My other gay friend, I’ll call him Teeny, but he is not teeny, he is a big, loving bear of a human, was not surprised by the assault I suffered. I mentioned the scene that had taken place as soon as I stepped outside with my coffee.
“It’s no wonder!” he said. “You came waddling over here like you were navigating a twenty-pound roll of sausage between your legs. What do you expect from old, desperate, Hollywood movie men? A good friend? An innocent conversation?”
Well, dear Lord, twenty pounds! I said. And what do you mean, waddling? I only wanted to plant subconsciously into females and males alike that I am a force to reckon with. That I’m not easily pushed over. I’m stolid and strong.
Hell, I said, I didn’t make up this new walk, I brought it back all the way from North Dakota. It was just for fun. If you want to be successful in this city, you’ve got to play it up big. With everything. Your body, your career, down to your walk. It’s a whole lotta bullshit, but it’s how you have to conduct yourself. Look at the former mayor. He’s been married sixteen times because of how he walks through this city. I’ll bet he’s got a wide stance to his step.
I didn’t tell Teeny I’d received the advice from my intellectual guru, Hubert Humdinger.
“You were trying to carry too much sausage. Scale back to about two-and-a-half pounds, and that’ll seem more natural,” he said.
You can’t become mayor with only two-and-a-half pounds, I said. It takes more than that to be a player in this city.
IT’S ALL ABOUT HOW THE PANTS ARE CUT
I am reminded of an episode a year back when a writer friend of mine could hardly walk down the street for a block without being accosted by a female. He showed up at my apartment door at ten-thirty on a warm summer’s night. His shirt was unbuttoned halfway down his chest. His skin was a ruddy pink. Sweat ran down his forehead. His eyes were shifting around while he told me what had happened. Despite his wild state, he talked through a stretched smile.
In his southern accent he drawled hard, “Maaaan, them girls are running me ragged. I have to tell you about these pants I got on.”
I’d glanced down. His pants looked like nothing special to me. Light brown slacks. So? I said. You look like you just ran a marathon in business-casual clothing. What the hell is wrong with you?
“I got these at the thrift store yesterday, ain’t they nice?” he said. He hung on the frame of my doorway. He hadn’t crossed the threshold. Sweat dripped off his chin. “Listen, man,” he continued, “I didn’t know this when I bought them, but these pants are cut just right.” He pointed at his lap. He thrust his hips forward to catch the light coming through the open door of my apartment. “Women everywhere are noticing. They been saying hi to me all day long!” he ejaculated.
I tried not to glance at his crotch. He kept his finger aimed at it.
“I can’t even walk down the street!” he bellowed. He mimicked a southern sweetheart: “Hey, how are you doing?” He coughed into his hand. “They’ve been running me down like a matador exhausts a bull before finishing him off. Everywhere I go half a dozen girls want to have a conversation. They want to milk me dry.” He was certain what they really wanted was to experience that soft bulge popping against his zipper.
I believe it now. I was skeptical then.
Every day I hear people express, in one way or another, just how far humanity has come. We’ve got iPhones and Androids, GPS capability, and modern day cowboy presidents who have full access to an impressive array of intercontinental ballistic missiles that can kill no less than one million people in a few years. Doctors can zig zag a microscopic metal coil up an artery from the crotch to the brain to stop bleeding in the head. The military has an unmanned, flying transport vehicle that will be used to pick up soldiers in fiery battle, and whisk them away without risking a flight crew.
Oh, how far we have advanced past the beasts and creeping things of the earth! Yet, we have not evolved much, since my writer friend and now I, too, have proven in unrealized sociological experiments that even the thought of a standout set of genitals still lowers the population into the simplistic, subconscious muck of our primitive ancestors.
While you might say those urges are completely natural and part of our biological makeup, they are still lower energies that can eat up your life and energy. They need to be exercised with caution. After all, there are higher endeavors than the urge to procreate or penetrate. As Hubert Humdinger once said, “A man can spend 70 years chasing tail, and then, on his deathbed, he realizes he still hasn’t seen his own prick from every possible angle.”
Such as being so overcome by passionate lust that a man would whack another man in the back of the leg with his wooden cane. A strong wooden cane which, as you probably already thought, could easily represent something else. Especially the way he’d craned it up from the hip. These are shameless consequences of an over-sexualized society with no higher motives in which to stick their energies.
Teeny asked me what that new manly walk had to do with North Dakota. “You said you brought it back from there. Who taught it to you? Is this a Midwestern thing?”
Listen, I said, we don’t have time to go over it all. The short story is that big genitalia is big business all over the world. But especially in Los Angeles, there’s a lack of genuine self-confidence. Every man you see around here driving a BMW or a new luxury vehicle is pulling the same trick I was, except it’s more obvious, and better received by most of society. It’s all an extension of manhood. Completely illusory. But I didn’t think I’d get whacked with a cane.
Teeny listened. He seemed to be calculating something in his mind.
The biggest one I’ve ever seen, I told Teeny, was attached to a man without a worthwhile possession to his name. He rides the bus along Olympic frequently. He talked to me once. His name is Walter Sorinbockle, and he asked me to pray for him. I assume he’s still alive. Shortly after we spoke, he left the seat beside me and walked to the back of the bus. When I heard a woman scream, and then a frantic shout in Spanish, I turned to look.
There stood Walter. His pants had fallen to his ankles. The twine he used to keep them up had come untied. And then I saw why the poor woman had screamed. Out of a mixture of delight and fear, I’m sure. Because there it was. The biggest I’d ever witnessed. He needed no Ferrari or Rolex watch to bolster his self-esteem. He’d been loaded in the most natural and blessed way a man (and his wife) could be.
Walter! I’d said, baffled, for what do you want me to pray? You’re soundly built. He gave me a gummy smile and straightened his black headband that held back the tangled locks of grey hair on his head. On the headband was pasted a golden, glittery cross.
He did not hurry to lift his trousers back over his chubby white legs. The middle-aged Latina did not quickly revert her eyes.
Dear Lord! you could hear her thinking. What on earth would it be like?
[Johannes Flintoe painting, top; second President of Argentina, Jose Uriburu, instinctively practices wide-stance walking; second picture, Earnie Shavers, former professional American boxer, does the same, photo courtesy of loura]