The Fathers Who Lost Their Way

The Fathers Who Lost Their Way

You walk into a dark, musty hardware store and see ten, maybe twenty men wandering aimlessly through the aisles of screws, nuts, bolts, and tools. Each one is muttering something, but they’re not muttering the same things so you mostly just hear noise from the collective sound waves bouncing around the wooden shelves. A man brushes past and you faintly hear him whisper to himself, “Milk, French bread, something else.”

You spot your father shuffling his feet out of the “Paint” aisle, a used paint stirrer dripping SW6364 Eggwhite onto the scuffed concrete floor. His hair is a mess. The rings around his eyes make Sephora employees jealous.

“Dad?” You say as you wave to get his attention.

All of the men within earshot suddenly stop walking and muttering as they turn to look at you.

5 Halloween Horror Nights Houses I Never Want To See

Halloween Horror Nights

[Content Warning: Isolation, human centipede, fecal matter, vagina dentata, children, diarrhea, food poisoning, mold, food]

1. The Happening

I’m pretty salty about this movie, even years later, because I was really excited for it when it came out. My theory is this: Shyamalan bet his friends he could kill it with a trailer but make a terrible movie. I remember I was working at a restaurant at the time (wow 26 years old and I finally can spell the word “restaurant” first try without spellcheck) and my friends wanted to go see a movie after I got off work. Everyone wanted to see something else but I really wanted to see The Happening. My friends gave in and we all went to see that. As we left, they all threw their popcorn and sodas at me. They still haven’t let me live it down.

So, for the house: you start off going into the house with a group like a normal HHN house. You feel a slight breeze as you move from room to room, but then you start to notice there are less people around you than there were before. In each room, you feel a breeze. In each room, there are less people. Eventually you get to the end and you’re by yourself. Nothing ever happens. It’s not even scary. You walk out at the end and you’re sent right out the front door of the park. What a waste of time and money, just like seeing the movie in theaters.

2. The Human Centipede

I didn’t actually see this movie because I seriously refuse to watch it. It sounds disgusting and to be honest I actually legitimately fear something like this happening to me. I don’t think I’m ever going to be possessed by a demon or end up with a haunted doll. I’m not going to be attacked by zombies. Aliens aren’t going to abduct and probe my colon. What IS going to happen to me is something abstract and straight out of left field, like being turned into a human centipede. Knowing my luck, I’d be the sucker (heh) stuck right in the middle.

The house: You have to walk through the whole house with your mouth sewed to the butthole of some asshole who happened to get in line in front of you. The house its self is just life as usual. There’s a house part, then a school part, a work part, and even an awkward family gathering part, which is now more awkward by the fact that you have to explain why everyone is sewed together end-to-end.

By the way, I’m also terrified of vagina dentata, but what stereotypical straight man isn’t?

3. Food Poisoning

I’ve actually never had food poisoning in real life (*knocks on the wood of a tree from The Happening*), so I don’t know what it’s like, but this is what I imagine it would be like. It’s just not a house I want to experience.

First room is a $5 Vegas buffet. It’s all you can eat, and at this point in the night you’re hungry. You’ve been drinking those zombie blood shots all night and it’s time to get some Halloween Horror Nights food in your stomach before you hit up Bill And Ted’s show. You get there and you see the cook is scratching ass. The closer you get and you notice some of the food has a bit of mold on it. You eat anyway. It was only $5 plus they wouldn’t serve anything that would actually make you sick right? The next room is when it starts. You feel there’s something wrong. You’re in a quiet event, maybe a golf tournament or a piano recital. Your stomach starts making gurglererelrlglre sounds. They get louder. Everyone is looking at you because you’re making so much gross noise and everyone else is trying to enjoy the evening. Then you move into the next room, which is the uncomfortable situation of being in public and knowing you have diarrhea.

The last room will be the room where the hottie at work sits directly next to the bathroom door that you just dropped a massive food-poisoning nuke in the toilet. No one else has been in there and they’re going to know it was you when you walk out. Good luck getting a date with them now. All because you ate that $5 buffet. Luckily, it’s just a haunted house.

4. Children

I’ll just go ahead and say it: children terrify me. So any house involving children is going to scare the crap out of me. Might as well call that house “responsibility Garrett didn’t really want”. But hey, they make stuff to prevent that issue.

Anyway, the house would start off with the pregnancy test. Guess what? It’s positive! You’re gonna be a parent. Next room is the poopy diaper room. Poop all over the walls (sorry, this post has a lot more poop than usual posts. No kink shaming but I think most people hate it so it’s easy to have as crappy (pun) houses). Then there’s the sticky room. Why are their fingers so sticky? How does that happen? They didn’t eat any candy or ice cream but they’re just gross and sticky all the time. Then they touch things and those things get sticky. Don’t touch anything in this room or else you get mystery-stick on you.

The last rooms of the house would involve annoying kids on planes. Three year olds kicking your seat. Babies crying because their ears are popping and they’re just babies they don’t understand. Then you’re trying to eat dinner at a nice restaurant and there’s kids running around in between the tables. Parents aren’t doing anything. The restaurant staff can’t say anything for fear of not getting a tip.

You just can’t win.

5. That One Episode Where All Of The Characters From Friends Murder Each Other

Yeah you know that one episode. That was terrifying. I don’t want to experience a house where I have to witness Joey murder Chandler. I had to witness that once. Never again.

This was co-written by my buddies JT Campbell and Eric Nielsen.

Happiness Simulator


This story has been published in a free short story digest called Elsewhen Noir.

[Content Warning: Addiction, death]

There would be scrapes on her knees tonight from collapsing onto the concrete sidewalk. I’ll have to clean them up with hydrogen peroxide. She’ll fake like it hurts when the cloth touches her, even though the peroxide isn’t going to hurt any. I recently read in an article somewhere on the internet that it doesn’t even do anything except bubble up and provide a false sense of security. It doesn’t hurt you any but it also isn’t killing germs or preventing infection. Truth is, hydrogen peroxide actually kills the pallets that help your blood clot. It might actually be doing more damage than good. Jill was raised in a house-hold that swore by it. Her mom put it on every scrape, cut, and burn her and her brothers received while climbing trees or skateboarding. Back when skateparks where made of concrete and skateboards had wheels. I’m not even sure if we have any peroxide in the apartment. If so, she’s the one who bought it.

In about twenty minutes, after she stops crying, she’s going to complain that her makeup is running. She’s going to tell me how horrible her green eyes look surrounded by red veins and puffy eye lids. She’s going to almost start crying again as she tries to fix it on the tram, using the front facing camera on her phone to display a high resolution video of her face on the screen. She’ll express her frustration of trying to figure out what is actually her face and what is just an illusion from the cracks in her screen. What’s actually smeared makeup and what is being shown to her because the glass shattered when her fingers no longer had the strength to keep her phone five feet and two inches away from the sidewalk. When I continue to stare at the ground in silence she’s going to throw her phone into her purse, and sigh. Then she’s going to turn to me and tell me that she wishes I would make it more apparent that I’m with her. That I never show my affection and that she can’t tell if I even care about her. She’s going to tell me she never knows what I’m thinking because I never tell her. She’ll be doing exactly what she wants me to be doing. The thing I don’t do.

But those things are in the future and I don’t have to deal with them at this exact moment. What I do have to deal with is why she collapsed and grated her knees on the concrete, why tears are smearing her makeup, why her phone screen is now shattered. Her father had called her a minute ago to tell her they found her younger brother who had been missing for three weeks. He was dropped off in front of a hospital and left there. Most of the shit and piss in his pants was most likely from spending the last few days in a room with a virtual reality headset hooked up to his face. The rest of the shit was from evacuating his bowels when he died. The coroner wrote “DOA” on the report. Dead On Arrival. It didn’t even take an autopsy to know what killed him. He died from dehydration, malnutrition, and lack of sleep.

He’s not the first and won’t be the last to inadvertently kill themselves from virtual reality addiction. Thousands of young adults and even a few teens with inattentive parents have died over the last few months. All from dehydration and malnutrition. All from plugging in a virtual reality headset, hooking up a happiness simulation game, and running it over and over again. They forgot to eat or drink water. At some point they reach a level of addiction where they don’t even get up to use the bathroom.

This is a serious implication for me because I was the video game developer who invented the first happiness simulator.

In 2015, eleven years prior to now, the first successful virtual reality headset came out. Shortly after, the big brand game companies came out with their own VR headsets and by 2016 most American households had at least one. By the end of 2017, most people in any first world country had one. They completely changed the home entertainment industry. You could watch movies, play video games, and even browse the internet with a headset on. It’s like living in your own little virtual world. No one bought TVs, consoles, or even computers anymore. Just VR headsets. At the time, I was 24 and had just graduated with my masters degree in computer science. Since I was a kid, all I wanted to do was program video games. I started making little flash games with terrible stick figure art. I learned a few programming languages in high school and then went to college because everyone in my family said I needed a degree to get a job. It worked out for me, though.

My master’s thesis was for a game that would fight depression. I referred to it as a “Happiness Simulator”. Later on, it would be shortened to just “hapsim” as a slang term. After graduating, I applied for a grant to make it into a full video game. It was 2015 and the first VR headset, called The S!ght, was coming out in a few months. A lot of the code was already done for the prototype that was required for my thesis, so I just needed enough money to cover my bills and to hire an artist. I could handle all the rest of the programming myself. The grant was approved, I found an artist, and we finished it just in time to come out right along side of The S!ght. Since there were very few other games ready, it became an immediate hit. I sold the rights and code of mine to what was, at the time, the top selling game publisher for a very comfortable amount of money. I was able to retire at only twenty five years of age. It didn’t take long for other companies to start making their own games in the hapsim genre.

No one had any idea that they would become the world’s next deadly addiction. People wouldn’t use the phrase “designer drug” the same way again.

Few people had died from a gaming addiction before hapsims, and it always made the news because of the scarcity of the issue. It wasn’t even considered a problem back then. It’s become a massive issue now; so massive that hapsims have been made illegal. Anyone caught with one gets a short one to two year jail and rehab sentence and then an additional few years of probation, to make sure they don’t fall back into the addiction. Anyone caught selling them can be charged with attempted murder. Anyone caught making them can be tried like serial killers or terrorists. At this point, they might as well be. Anyone who’s making a hapsim could potentially kill hundreds of people with one single release.

Very few new ones are being made, considering the consequences of being caught. There are still a few twisted fucks out there making them. Underground devs in basements producing shitty low-poly hapsims that get sold for five grand to drug dealers who make duplicates of them and sell the copies for as much as a hundred bucks a pop. Or, if you’re not willing to shell up the hundred bucks or whatever for a new hapsim you can just go to a “sim-house” where they charge you per hour to use their VR headset, their electricity, and whatever hapsims they have on hand. This is generally more expensive but if you’re already homeless, you get shelter for a little while and a variety of hapsims to cycle through. Sometimes you can download them for free off of the darkweb, but some of those sites are honeypots set up by the FBI, so it’s hard to know who to trust. Not even torrent websites are willing to carry them.

Fast forward ten years and here I am with nothing to say to my girlfriend because her brother died from a video game I may have created. I don’t know what hapsim it was that he was playing when he died. In a few days we’ll find out that his bank account was emptied into untraceable digital currencies that he no doubt used to rent time at a sim-house that we’ll never find. He most likely passed out or died there and was taken by them to the hospital. This is a pretty common thing that drug houses have been doing since before I was even born. You would think we would have cameras set up in front of hospitals so we could grab the plates of these fuckers who just toss the body out onto the grass and take off. I guess the fear of that is that then people will stop dropping them off and we can’t save the few that do make it out alive.

As I stood there watching the blood drip down from Jill’s left knee, tears dripping from between the her fingers covering her face, uncaring people passed by us. Who’s going to stop for some strange woman crying on the sidewalk? It’s too awkward for most people to handle, but that’s fine. Talking to someone right now would be excruciating for me. I kneeled down to pick up her phone. As I slid it into my pocket, a crack in the screen caught on the fabric and tugged lightly in resistance. I helped her up and put my right arm around her waist, and left hand on her shoulder in support. We began walking to the tram station we were headed towards before she got the call that would likely be the beginning of the end of our relationship.

Written in 2015

[img source: “CAVE Crayoland” by User:Davepape – own work (self-photograph using timer). Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.]

The Loveliest Of Relics

It was cold that night, and she asked me to dance.
She asked me.
I obliged and we agreed we would dance until dawn,
But we both knew the sun wasn’t coming up for us.
Neither of us claimed to see it,
When our eyes met,
I felt my heart descend.
I knew the sky had begun to fall.
Sometimes we can’t ignore a temptation.
We must be led.
If a phoenix can be reborn out of fire, can my love?
The scent of burning was on the wind
As ash clung to our clothing and slowly faded
Like memories we never had to begin with.
It’s easy to mistake the sound of exploding bombs
With the beat of a long forgotten song.
So we continued dancing.
As the moon disappeared behind rising clouds
We sat on the swings of an old playground.
My name was carved into the fence.
It had been long since the plants flourished here.
When I looked into her eyes I saw them burning
And the nearby houses crumbled
With every bat of her eyelashes.
The sidewalks cracked like our crooked smiles,
Grinning as everyone fled in panic.
They were looking for safety, not understanding
They were just misplaced.
Together, on that swing set,
We watched the city lights fade for the last time.
Only tonight they weren’t fading into dawn.

Written in 2010.

I Will Soon Be Unemployed

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I wrote this in 2006 for a college course.
[Content Warning: Work related stress, violence, ageism]

Let me be honest with you, this paper is pretty much nothing more than a rant about how much I hate my job, and why.  By the end of the day this will be on my Live Journal, and my friends will have an open discussion, usually resulting in someone trying to justify how their job sucks worse than mine.  But this paper is not about social iconography and what is popular.  This paper is actually about my current job, and my inevitable unemployment, which is just on the horizon.  The cause of my soon to be lack of job can be traced to the disgusting inadequacies of my current job.

I am going to tell you a little bit about my wage.  I was hired at six dollars an hour.  That was great at the time, in my opinion.  I was sixteen, minimum wage was five seventy-five, and I was not bagging groceries.  After a year, I was at around six seventy-five.  Not even a month later, the minimum wage was raised to six fifty.  I had been working there for a year, and the new people were coming in making twenty-five cents less than me.  I wanted compensation, a fifty cent raise, but they would have none of it.  The raise system sucks, too.  After two years I am only making a dollar and seventy-four cents more than I was when I started.  That is pathetic.  I am trying to start my own life, not dependent upon anyone else, and they expect me to do that at less than nine dollars an hour.  I, honestly, am not so sure I could pull it off at nine dollars an hour, considering the cost of living in Jupiter, Florida has gone up.  Come to think of it, the cost of living everywhere is going up considerably.  Also, in my opinion, I am not in paid enough to deal with the customers I have to deal with.  I need a job with higher pay.

The customers are probably the worst part of my job.  Retail customers are by far the worst.  Sometimes it takes all my self control to prevent me from punching one in the face.  They do not care at all about how they treat you.  They shove things in my face, yell at me when something does not work, and they usually walk away leaving me disgruntled, more so than when I showed up to work.  One of the biggest problems is our return policy.  The customer has to have their receipt, and it has to be with in thirty days of the purchase.  That sounds pretty reasonable to me, but no customer agrees with it.  To make it better, they argue about it.  We have it on a big sign hanging above our heads, all of the return policy rules, but they argue it with the cashiers as if they can change the policy.  The fact is, we can not change the policy, and if we go around it and get caught, we get in trouble.  It is not something we will get fired over, but it is something that will hinder our chances of getting a raise when the time comes.  And our pay is already low enough.  Aside from at a cashier, customers are still rude out on the sales floor, just in a different way.  It seems as though they seem to have never graduated kindergarten, which sometimes may be the case.  They never put things back.  They pick it up, look at it, and if they want it, throw it in their cart.  If they do not want it, they just throw it on the rack or sometimes even on the ground.  Sometimes, they will put it in their basket and walk around the store shopping for a little while, then just throw it wherever.  I can not stand when I am cleaning up the home goods section and I find two bras, a pair of shoes, and a skirt, all stashed in a metal tin, which is supposed to be used for out door planting.  The one other thing they do out on the sales floor that I find extremely unintelligent is opening things that are closed.  I don’t understand why, even though there are four signs around them saying “Do Not Open Packages,” they feel a need to open the package.  It is clear plastic, they can see through it.  They know exactly what they are buying, but they have to open the package and touch it or something.  It is a complexity I will never understand.  I need a job with less mess to clean up.

When it comes to management, I am pretty sure I could do better than my current.  They were never out on the floor, or doing the hard work, because they are managers.  They have us to do that sort of thing.  Because of this, they do not understand what really goes on out there.  They get a glimpse, when they come up and walk around, and most of them work register when needed, and a few of them help clean.  But most of the managers do not, they just hide in their office and emerge when provoked, like a bear in a cave.  Certain of us, like my self, are on the floor more than on register.  Those people get projects.  These projects are usually all day sorts of deals, but we are assigned three at a time, and are expected to have all three finished.  During this time, we are also running register when needed, price checks, and anything else we are needed for.  All of that make it increasingly difficult to finish the projects.  Recently, we have gotten a new manager.  The old manager was relocated to a different store.  She had been my boss since I was hired.  She knew everything about me, she respected me, and she knew what I could and could not do what I liked about my job and what I hated.  She treated me above people at my same position because she knew I deserved it.  This new manager comes in, and she does not.  To her, I am the same position as everyone else.  She knows how long I have been there.  She knows I am authorized to handle pretty much anything in the store.  The only set back is my title.  Theoretically, I am a coordinator.  Officially, I am not.  I do all the things coordinators do, but my official title on the payroll is still cashier.  I even have the ability to open a register and steal all of the money in it, if I were so inclined.  That is how much I am trusted, but it is not how I am treated by this new manager.  And to me, that sucks.  I need a job with more understanding management.

As you can see, I will soon be unemployed.  The cause of my impending unemployment is the fact that my current job sucks.  But I am completely comfortable with that.  I have come to realize and accept that my job sucks.  I need a new job.

The Definition Of Customer Service

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I wrote this in 2006 for a college course.

[Content Warning: Work related stress, ableist slurs, ableism (sorry, I was young and naive), ageism,]

My job is psychological guerrilla warfare.  That is right; I work as a Customer Service Coordinator at a discount retail store.  Customer service is not assistance and other resources that a company provides to the people who buy or use its products or services.  It is not at all a service that a company provides to individuals.  Customer service is the death of all that is logical.  Customer service is the death of intelligence.  Customer service is the death of pride.  Most of all, customer service is the death of my faith in the future of humanity.  All of this can be summed up into one thing, the policy that states that the customer is always right.  Customer Service is succumbing to the customers.

There is a certain policy that many companies enforce.  This policy is aptly titled: “The Customer Is Always Right,” and is pretty much self explanatory.  This policy is to my logic what Brutus was to Julius Caesar.  While the customer is always right, the customer is often wrong.  Since the customer is always right while being wrong, I am stuck with the conundrum of whether or not what I know is right or wrong.  If the customer says what I know is wrong, then it is wrong, and I must relearn what is right according to the customer, because the customer is always right.  If another customer says that is wrong, then I am back where I started, because the customer is always right.  For example, I make a Statement Z.  Customer A makes a Statement A, which is contrary to Statement Z.  Statement Z is now wrong, and Statement A is right, because the customer is always right.  Customer B makes a Statement B, and Statement B is that Statement Z is correct, so Statement Z is now correct, because the customer is always right.  Statements A and B are the control, while Statement Z is the variable, meaning Statements A and B are always right, while Statement Z can be right or wrong.  Statement B equals Statement Z, while Statement A equals the opposite of Statement Z and B.  Et tu, Brutus?

Let us suppose before I went to work today I took an IQ test.  On that IQ test I scored a ninety seven, which is generally average.  Then, the situation that was previously discussed occurs.  In less than five minutes I have become completely devoid of logic, and it only took two people to accomplish such a task.  Not to mention, these individuals are people I have never met in my life.  They have completely destroyed my ability to identify with any reasonable logic known to man.  A very good portion of the IQ test is logic related, and at least twenty five percent is specifically focused on logic.  In general, the IQ test is roughly thirty three percent logic.  If I received an average score on the IQ test before I had lost my ability to reason logic, now that my logic is gone, I will lose thirty three percent of the score I received if I were to take the IQ test again.  Naturally, I take the IQ test again after that.  I score about a sixty three.  That score is extremely low according to IQ Test standards.  In just five minutes I have become mentally retarded, thanks to a company policy I wish I were not required to enforce.

In the first five minutes of my shift, I have gone from average intelligence to mentally retarded.  I am working a six hour shift.  On average, these situations happen twice an hour on the off season.  Lucky for me, my logic has already been destroyed and I can not lose anymore intelligence, even if this happened every five minutes for my entire six hour shift.  While I am not losing intelligence anymore, I have lost one other thing.  That one other thing is my pride.  I lost my pride back when my logic was obliterated; even before that.  As soon as I began to enforce the “The Customer Is Always Right” policy, Customer A had stolen my pride from me.  It did not happen that second, but that millisecond.  When I succumb to the whims of a customer, I am giving them my pride, because I can not stand up for my self when the tell me I am wrong, because the customer is always right, and if the customer is right and I am wrong, I have no pride.  Good bye pride, good bye logic.  Sometimes, before I go to sleep and I am lying in bed staring at the ceiling, I wonder what would happen if a customer told me I still had my pride.

Customer Service is readily handing over your logic, your intelligence, and your pride to the customer, and allowing them to stomp it into the ground.  Customer Service is succumbing to the customers and their opinions on what is right and wrong.

Pirates VS. Lumberjacks

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I wrote this in 2006 for a college course.

[Content Warning: Satire, stereotypes, sexism, violence, alcohol, cancer]

There is a point in time in every boy’s life where he becomes a man.  This could be at the age of thirteen, or at the age of thirty.  Either way, this boy must choose how manly they want to be.  Obviously this is broken down to two choices: pirates and Lumberjacks.  Always capitalize the word Lumberjacks, because Lumberjacks are so manly, they become proper nouns.  Lumberjacks are a better definition for the modern man than pirates.

What is the definition of manliness?  Man must show bravery in the face of irrational danger.  If they have to be brave and fight, that’s okay.  In fact, it’s even better.  Violence is very manly.  Man must be intelligent in the face of overpowering stupidity.  Women think men are ignorant, but it is just denial.  Women have to deny how much they love men, and hide their emotions, because women are weird like that.  Man must have the ability to control, tame, and handle the female gender.  They need to wise up and face the fact that they love men.  I do not include the homosexual females in this, although I have nothing against them.  Man must have an appetite for foods considered chemically hazardous.  This is okay, because man has been given a gift from God.  Not only can man urinate while standing, but we also have stomachs lined with reinforced steel.  Last, but not least, man must have a disgustingly inadequate ability to groom him self.  This includes the homosexual male, whom I also have nothing against.

It is clear that pirates are manly, although the feminine side of manly.  They are most definitely brave as heck, too.  They steal ships for a living, and they steal them by force.  That is the coolest profession you could possibly have. They also get to fight with swords.  Fighting with swords is the second manliest way to fight, the first being with fists.  Violence is very manly; just ask Steven Segal, Chuck Norris, or Bruce Lee.  What makes them less manly is that they also use guns, and guns are for cowards.  Real men fight melee.  Pirates are so intelligent; they know words that most of us lesser citizens do not use.  What is better?  They use these words every day.  They use words like “commandeer,” “parlay,” and “ahoy”.  I am not sure “parlay” and “ahoy” are even real words, and if they are not, that is even manlier.  Pirates personify everything a woman cannot have in a man who is not a criminal.  Pirates love rum, which is one of the most chemically hazardous liquids to ingest in large amounts, and you know they do not just drink a little.  Pirates also wear obnoxious clothing.  Their hats are disgustingly obtuse.  They also wear puffy shirts.  Just like in that episode of Seinfeld.  Everyone knows those are inadequate grooming.

Lumberjacks are men’s men.  Any Lumberjack will tell you he is a man’s man.  Lumberjacks cut down trees for a living.  They have a burning hatred for trees and keep those horrible green entities from invading and possibly overthrowing our society.  Lumberjacks have the brain power of a telekinetic super-being.  Instantly, they use algebra and geometry to not assume, not predict, but decide the fall trajectory of the trees they slay.  They also automatically know which trees need to be cut down and why.  Lumberjacks are loved by women because they are the strongest men in the world with the most robust muscles. They can perform hard physical labor for up to forty eight hours without taking a breath or drinking Gatorade.  Women love men who work.  Lumberjacks eat flapjacks every day, probably because just like their title, it ends in “jacks.”  What is that?  Flapjacks are not chemically hazardous?  Yes, yes they are!  Flapjacks are made with artificial flapjack powder, which is actually a cancer causing agent.  Real men are not afraid of cancer.  Lumberjacks also wear flannel and suspenders.  Sometimes they even wear bright orange.  They clearly have no ability to groom themselves.

Although pirates and Lumberjacks are both manly, there is a fine line between which is manlier.  Pirates represent the feminine side of men; something all men will not admit, but know is true.  None the less, pirates are still men, and they will always be considered the next manliest thing, compared to Lumberjacks.  It is very clear, and everyone knows the truth.  Lumberjacks are a better definition for the modern man than pirates.  Remember, Lumberjack is always capitalized.