“Have you heard the good news about masculinity?” the well-coiffed lumbersexual asked with a broad, inviting smile.
I was on the job promoting our process for dipping and chemically wrapping photos of nude women onto guns because you don’t think you want a Playmate of the Month Glock or AR-15 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 a huge, untapped market and I was eager to tap it to hell and back.
Early research revealed that traditional, conservative men’s traditional, conservative wives would be more understanding of traditional, conservative guns emblazoned with women in micro-bikinis as opposed to tits, or ass. Our marketing team worked up the bikini designs targeting TradConCon attendees 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 wielding total confidence like that swaggering but young and inexperienced gunfighter in old westerns. You know the one. He gets shot early.
“I’m Trent!” he said, “and I’m spreading the good news about masculinity.” We clasped hands 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 said. “I’m Bob,” I said, completing the shake and handing him a business card. “Have you heard the good news about tits and ass on a gun?” I said. Trent didn’t laugh.
“I’m one of the veteran speakers here,” he said. “And helped plan and organize the event.”
“Congratulations,” I said. “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, Your Balls Aren’t Just for Show. Developed it myself,” he said. “I also have a longbow 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.
“You probably don’t want to take cold showers, do you?”
“I sure don’t, Trent,” I said.
Trent laughed. “Me either, brother. Men either. But I do it because it’s the right thing to do.”
He was still laughing.
“So who’s challenging you?” he asked.
“You mean like, right now?”
“See, that’s my point. You should’ve responded with something clever and strong 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.” He broke eye contact and scanned the room briefly then locked back on. “Hey! How many pushups do you do a day?” he asked.
“I don’t do any, Trent.”
“See, again. Me and my tribe–I have this tribe,” he said.
“A tribe? Like your family?” I asked.
Trent 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, well, 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?”
This seemed to throw him a little.
“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, twelve other influencers and a guy who thinks he’s a rabbi. 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. Well, sometimes. Mainly we meet online. The tribe is all over,” he said. “Well, a few are here at TradConCon with me because I got them serious discounts. 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. Let me tell you, it was powerful, bro.”
“Sounds like it,” I said.
“You’re welcome to join. Men do better when they’re constantly challenged. This is what I do. I lead and challenge men. Are you feeling challenged right now?”
“I definitely am, Trent,” I said.
“Bet you don’t have anything like that in your life, do you?”
“Well, I have friends,” I said.
“Do they challenge you?” he asked. “Are they challenging you?”
“We hunt and fish and stuff. I have this one friend, Andy, we’re rebuilding a sixty-nine Chevelle together with his sons. Working on cars is a bit of a challenge but I’m pretty good with my hands so–”
“But is he challenging you?” Trent pressed.
“I honestly don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about, Trent,” I said. “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,” said Trent. His voice got quieter and he slumped a little as though he were crashing from a sugar high.
“I could definitely help with the car project,” he said, then his head swiveled right where he spotted a short, bald man heading for the organic jerky stand and began moving towards him.
“Hey, you there, brother!” he said. “Have you heard the good news about masculinity?”