“Have you heard the good news about masculinity?” the well-coiffed lumbersexual asked with a broad, inviting smile as he extended his hand.
I was on the job peddling a patented process for dipping and chemically wrapping pictures of nude women onto guns because you don’t think you want a Playmate of the Month Glock until you actually see and hold one.
The company I work for had purchased a booth at TradConCon–“the Traditional Conservative Conference aimed at traditional conservative men”. We saw it as huge, untapped market and I was eager to tap it to hell and back.
Early research had revealed that traditional, conservative men’s traditional, conservative wives would be more understanding of traditional, conservative guns emblazoned with women in micro-bikinis than with any showing tits or ass, bush or pink, so we had our team work up the bikini designs specifically for TradConCon where I now stood behind three tables arranged in a U-shape displaying our brand new line of R-rated firearms.
Anyways, this guy sidled up to our booth oozing unfettered, sincere bonhomie and confidence, like that swaggering but young and inexperienced gunfighter in old westerns. You know the one. He gets shot early.
“I’m Trent!” he exclaimed as our hands clasped across my table for a few pumps over a Remington 870 covered with that famous old poster of Farrah Fawcett-Majors from the late 70s. Market research showed that 43% of our target demographic was over forty-four and would respond to her.
“Hi Trent,” I replied. “Bob,” I said, completing the shake and handing him a business card. “Have you heard the good news about tits and ass and guns?” I said with a chuckle. Trent didn’t laugh.
“I’m one of the veteran speakers here,” he said. “And helped plan and organize the event.”
“That’s awesome,” I congratulated. “Seems like a great show.”
“The best. We’re saving the West, brother!” he exclaimed. “And, thankfully, we still have more attendees than speakers for the time being. But I don’t mind saying–confidentially, of course–it was a close one this year.”
“So what do you do, Trent?” I asked. I was hoping he had money to burn because sales of our gun wraps–both R- and X-rated product lines–were not meeting expectations and I was sucking hind tit for the second quarter in a row.
“Have a tribe that I lead through my self-developed course, The Good News about Masculinity. Developed it myself,” he said. “I also have a compound bow and some kids.”
“That’s great, Trent,” I replied. “You know our bikini wraps can be applied to bows, too.”
“Don’t be a pussy,” Trent said. “Want to take a cold shower?”
“Beg pardon?” I said.
“Don’t be a pussy. Do you ever take cold showers? Who’s challenging you?” he asked.
I looked around. “You mean like, right now?”
“See, that’s my point. You should’ve responded with something clever and alpha and disarming when I said don’t be a pussy. Something like, ‘Well, you are what you eat, Trent’. See what I mean? Something like that. How many pushups do you do a day?”
“I don’t do any, Trent.”
“See, again. Me and my tribe–I have a tribe, too,” he said.
“Is that your family?” I asked.
Trent flashed a confused look and then laughed. “Hahahahahaha. Good one!” he said enthusiastically. “No, my tribe is my boys. The men who hold me accountable for holding them accountable while I hold myself accountable for holding my wife accountable so that together we are able to hold our kids accountable, which in turn holds us, and myself, accountable. There’s this whole circle of life dynamic happening, and it’s awesome!”
“I see,” I replied.
“Accountability is big with me,” he said, even more sincerely than before.
“Well accounts are big with me, Trent,” I joked. “As is my accountant. Are any of y’all accountants?”
“What?” he asked. “No. I don’t think so. Right now I have, let’s see, a dance teacher, a gym coach, another dance teacher, another gym coach. And twelve other influencers in the male space. Anyway, we meet regularly to check-in and get feedback from other men.”
“You’re all men, then,” I observed.
“Of course!” he exclaimed.
“You guys do anything? Hike? Camp? Shoot? Hunt?” I asked. “Think any of your boys might want an R-rated gun?”
“Huh? No, we meet online. The tribe is all over,” he said. “Well, a few are here at TradConCon with me because I got them seventeen dollars off every discounted ticket of seven hundred dollars they sold. So we met this morning for a power breakfast. And it was powerful: a group of men unashamedly discussing male shit like taking cold showers and not ejaculating for a month. Building and conserving our power for more focused releases of our power.”
“Cool,” I said.
“You’re welcome to join. We have room for a few more,” Trent invited. “Men do better when they’re constantly challenged. Are you feeling challenged right now?”
“I definitely am, Trent,” I confirmed.
“Working already!” he said enthusiastically. “And it’s only seventy-seven dollars and seventy-seven cents per month. For that you get to talk to me every week, one-on-one, and also join in our group chats so you can get challenged by everyone at once, too. I bet you don’t have anything like that in your life.”
“Well, I have friends,” I said.
“Do they challenge you?” he asked. “Are they challenging you to be a better man? An alpha man?”
“We hunt and fish and stuff. I have this one friend, Andy, we’re rebuilding a sixty-nine Chevelle together with his sons. I only have daughters but I’m good with engines so–”
“But is he challenging you?” Trent pressed.
“I honestly don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about, Trent,” I said. “I’ve been making six figures for over a decade now. Divorced but have a great life anyway that I enjoy, pretty much live as I please. Worst thing was I chose a shitty wife, but that’s all in the past. Don’t think I could be happier.” I explained.
“That’s really great,” Trent said, getting quieter. I was losing his attention as he scanned the room. “Sounds…great.”
“But if you’re not interested in an R-rated gun, I’m going to have to get back to work. You have my card though,” I said.
“Yeah I might give you a call,” he said.
“Sure just let me know.”
“I could definitely help you with the car project!” he exclaimed, then his head swiveled right where he spotted a short, bald man heading for the organic jerky stand and skinned out in his direction.
“Hey, you there, brother! Have you heard the good news about masculinity?” he began.