"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Monday, September 26, 2011

Benjamin Wallace comes to my rescue!

I just spent the weekend at the Southern California Writer's Conference (L.A. version), where I was amazed and amused and inspired and motivated. I came home with a big To Do list for my website and my readers and my work. In addition, I was going to share all my AHA moments with you, because, as you know, I'm a giver.

Then on Sunday, I woke with a scratchy throat, which bloomed into a full-force cold by the evening. There would be no sharing of nothing, since I can barely put a verb and a noun together. As a matter of fact, it wouldn't surprise me if I read this post tomorrow morning and it said, "Bprlmf ltijekis. Firkdk."

Enter Benjamin Wallace, humor writer extraordinaire, who contacted me about a guest post. Talk about the cavalry riding in to save me. I'd tell you all about Ben, but I think I'll just turn it over to him. Or, as my cold would say, "Jtleims, Vid Eiklsdna!"

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First, I want to say thank you to Gayle for letting me post here today. Then, I’d like to talk about writing comedy. More specifically, I’d like to talk about the most abused, overused and awesome foil for any writer, the dumb white husband.


In all of his forms, God, bless him. We all know him. We all hate him in that derivative sitcom. We all love him in that other “fresh” sitcom. It’s demeaning what they do to him in that commercial. It’s cute what they do to him in that other commercial.

Personally, I’ve hated the Dumb White Husband in that stain remover spot where he doesn’t have the courage (or respect) to stand up to his wife or daughter. Personally, I’ve taken shots at him in TV and radio commercials.

How can I be such a hypocrite? Because the Dumb White Husband is all we’ve got. He’s not organized. He’s not going to march. He’s not going to start a letter writing campaign. He probably doesn’t even know who his Senator is. He’ll just sit there, in his recliner with his beer, and take the abuse we heap on him.

I myself am a Dumb White Husband. I’m college-educated. I’m well read. I function well within society. I was competent enough for somebody to give me an office. But, I’m also white, married and I have kids. Demographically, I’m incapable of changing a light bulb without ending up in a body cast.

Here are some of my other traits that I apparently possess as a Dumb White Husband:

1. My family is struggling with finances but I will sink a small fortune into more Christmas lights if it means showing up my neighbor.

2. I bemoan having to drive a minivan but I keep a vintage Mustang in the garage that will only be used to show my son how to change the oil in a car. It’s green.

3. I could be a top executive at a fortune 100 company but I cannot dress myself without injury.

4. I golf, like sports and will lie to my loved ones to feed this habit.

5. I know things about cars, guns and power tools but cannot be trusted to do the dishes or laundry.

6. I will shoot myself with a nail gun, but only in a non-lethal location.

7. I will spend a million dollars to win a $1000 sweepstakes prize.

8. I only eat food from a grill… that I cannot be trusted to light.

9. My teenage son is a genius. But he too will one day be a Dumb White Husband.

10. My wife is hot. I’m fat.

11. I don’t get along with my in-laws, PTA or squirrels.

12. Oh, and I almost forgot that I’m forgetful.

The Dumb White Husband is the only person that legal departments deem man enough to take a joke. And, even if we do hurt his feelings, no one will care. They are just dismissed.

This dismissal is the true brilliance of the Dumb White Husband. That’s right. The Dumb White Husband is a bona-fide genius. Even if his wife can trick him into eating a whole grain muffin, it is by his design.

He put an addition on his house, but is no longer trusted to wash the whites.

He rebuilt an engine block in his garage, but can’t be trusted to get instructions right for Hamburger Helper.

I am in awe of this man.

I’ve always felt it was best to be underestimated – to under promise and over deliver. This may all sound surprising. This idiot we’ve all watched fall off the roof, ruin the dinner party, embarrass the family at the homeowners meeting? Him? Yes. That’s him. The man that will never have to mend a roof, attend a dinner party or be present at a HOA meeting again. That’s him. My hero and me. The Dumb White Husband.

Benjamin Wallace is a Dumb White Husband and the author of the bestselling action/adventure comedies Post-Apocalyptic Nomadic Warriors and Tortugas Rising. Also look for his latest short story Dumb White Husband vs. The Grocery Store.

Learn more about Benjamin at benjaminwallacebooks.com.

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Ben, thank you so much for helping me out today. And to my readers, please check out Ben's books and stories.


Jessica Therrien said...

That list made me laugh. I got sick from the SCWC too...worth it though, haha.

Gayle Carline said...

Jessica - thanks for stopping by. I may have to go into training for the February conference. Staying up late, even with only one glass of wine (okay, maybe two) seems to weaken my system. I hate colds, so I may have to drink more wine. Pity.

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