Hey, Guy, You Are a Potato!

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It’s true: the effects of aging on the two-score-and-more male cranium are not pretty. Like Florida-bound snowbirds, once-lustrous locks slide off your skull for points south, taking up residence on back and buttocks. Your dome goes out of round and becomes lumpy and bumpy, taking on an ever more coarsened texture. That once-cleft and -chiseled chin retreats within jawline jowls and thickening neck. Enlarged pores and pimples and dimples and skin tags and wens have their way. As your ears and nose continue to grow throughout life, you increasingly resemble a three-handled jug. Pigmentation, paled or pronounced, alters your cosmetic color scheme. And, worse yet, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it.

Women, on the other hand, find it possible to age much more gracefully and attractively. For one thing, there’s no female-pattern baldness affecting 3/4ths of womanhood. And there’s a massive entrenched global industry devoted to the maintenance of idealized feminized beauty. Powders and perfumes and Pilates, diets and dos, nip/tucks and butt lifts, business heels and FM pumps, wigs and dyes and extensions and weaves, under- and over- and in-between-garments galore, fashion and color and style and sass — ladies can sample a veritable smorgasbord of aesthetic engineering. It’s no wonder then that we often see women as delectable fruit — a blushed peach at the peak of freshness; a luscious plum, firm and flavorful; a ripe round cherry, colorful and tart and zesty and succulent all at once.

But, face it, guy, you are a potato! You are as creased and misshapen and asymmetrical as that oblate Yukon Gold moldering in the pantry! Smudged with variable earthen tones, winking out of two or more eyes, trailing those wispy fibers, you seem like nothing so much as a walking, talking tuber! And, try as you might, you can’t really alter your recipe much, either.

Head to the gym and work out all you want; you’ll still end up looking like a spud in spandex. Dress up any way you like. That’s right, don the navy suit with the red tie, or the charcoal suit with the red tie, or the black suit with the red tie, or even the tux with the black or white tie. Then, go to the wedding or the fundraiser or the reunion or the opera, and look around. What do you see? I’ll tell you what you see: a whole bunch of interesting-looking women commingled with a veritable field of spuds in suits. Spuds of varying age and size and texture and tint, it’s true, but spuds still.

Guy wigs are only for the gay or the addictive attention-grabber (just ask Elton John or any of those recently outed Senators and Congressmen). Weaves and plugs and rugs and Rogaine are refuges of the sadly self-conscious scoundrel, and temporary holding patterns at best. Shaving one’s pate is often a worse option. After all, Charlie Brown is the only guy I know with a sublimely smooth spherical symmetrical skull. Shave YOUR head and you may be surprised to find it looks like it was bounced down a flight of stairs on its way to the razor. (As George Carlin famously stated, “If you want to go completely bald, do what I did. Wait a few years!”)

And cranial tattoos? Don’t get me started! There’s a reason skull ink is so popular in prisons: only socially maladapted individuals of suspect mental acuity, restricted to consecutive years of solitary confinement in execrable conditions, would ever think scribing an oversize potato with obscure symbology rendered in homemade ink is a worthwhile pastime. (Didn’t you ever make one of those cut-potato ink stamps when you were a kid? Wasn’t the result invariably gross, unappealing, impossible to recognize, and the total waste of an afternoon — not to mention a perfectly good potato? Enough said.)

So, what to do? I’ll tell you what to do! Embrace your tuberology! Savor your starchy potatohood! After all, potatoes are essential to life! Consider how many generations have subsisted on the tasty nutritious root. You too are important to the continued sustenance of those around you, simply by the way you do your own unglamorous down-to earth thing. It’s your job, potato guy!

Though, upon springing from the earth, spuds may seem identically interchangeable, they soon pick out their particular potato path — scalloped, fried, baked, boiled, hashed and mashed — all eventually finding a route to our tables, our stomachs, our hearts. So, too, do we manly potatoes find our path. Seemingly similar in outward appearance, within we create a particular flavor for those about us to savor: a taste for family and friends to enjoy. So, now that you know you’re a potato, don your staple crown, and relish your starchy substance! Come and sing the spudly call — tuber one and tuber all!

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