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June 12, 1996

Boy Toys
Copyright 1996 - Greg Bulmash - All Rights Reserved

I'm sick and tired of women blaming a middle-aged man's purchase of an expensive "toy" on a his "mid-life crisis," because I came to an important realization recently. There is no such thing as a mid-life crisis. It's just impossible to have a second childhood without money.

As a former consumer electronics salesman, I can vouch for the fact that good toys are expensive. And it's not really a symptom of middle-age that we men suddenly feel the need for them. As a man in his twenties, I can name many cool toys that I want. It's just that in middle age we've finally built up enough credit to buy them.

Our toys grow larger as our credit lines increase. The car gets more power, the television gets more inches, the remote control gets more buttons. The kids just need a VCR that will play Barney Gets A Goiter 8,000 times without breaking. But we need the four-head, digital tracking, hi-fi, stereo VCR that can be hooked up to the digital comb filter, super-flat big screen and the 280 watt surround-sound system with the sub-woofer that makes the windows rattle. And if we're really good, we can get the one with the jog shuttle control on the remote so we can play that scene in Scanners (the one where the guy's head explodes) over and over, at all different speeds, without ever having to get up.

Is there any guy in his teens or twenties who's reading this who doesn't want that system? No! Can any of them afford it? Un-farging-likely! And women know this. They know it! Give a man of any age anything with buttons or knobs or an accelerator pedal, and he'll happily occupy himself for hours like a retard with a shiny new penny.

So, on behalf of men everywhere, I would appreciate it if you women would stop calling these purchases the symptoms of a crisis. This isn't "mid-life crisis." This is "mid-life Christmas" and Santa's turbocharged his sleigh.

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