Mike rounded the corner, passing a large billboard with a picture of four men–white, black, Asian, and Latino, all smiling. At the bottom of the sign, a state employment agency with the motto “We’ll find you the right job to satisfy you—no matter what!” He barely noticed the sign as he entered the door to one of the newest establishments in town, and hopped up onto the barstool grinning.

It was men’s night at the new local taqueria, and that meant half price drinks for him and all his buddies. He had just left the nonprofit group Men’s Wellness, where he was paid an extremely respectable stipend to visit local public schools and educate the children on issues facing men in society.  It was a fairly easy job, requiring just three hours a day, which left him free to attend classes at the local university where he took classes in men’s studies and woodworking (just for fun) and his income was paid by a generous government grant, with great job stability.

ultra-bar

As Mike sat at the bar, overlooking the open kitchen area, he noticed the entire waitstaff and kitchen crew were decked out in special red sportcoats.  A quick glance around the room reminded him that this was the first of April—Men’s Month—how could he forget!?  The many posters and flyers around the room informed anyone in the restaurant—or even walking by—that this was Men’s Month, and a portion of all proceeds from the restaurant would be diverted to a special government fund used for such activities as Mike’s part time wellness gig.

In addition to the red sportscoats, each employee’s shirt had an individual message, from “Teaching and nursing are for MEN too!” to the classic “Father STILL knows best!”

Mike glanced around the room, waiting for a couple of buddies to show up. The room was a good mix of men, there for the Thursday special prices, and also women, who knew this was a great opportunity to possibly meet an eligible bachelor. The women were dressed stylishly, but somewhat conservatively, and many had taken extra time before heading out to freshen up their makeup, slip into a feminine dress and heels, and brush their long silky hair, as they didn’t want to waste an opportunity to make a good first impression.

Soon Mike’s friend Jason showed up. Jason was a high school buddy of Mike’s, and they didn’t have much in common anymore, but still met up occasionally in group social settings. Jason and Mike had played basketball together in high school, but since then Jason had let himself go, and had gained several pounds.  He no longer worked out, and while he had been a talented debate team member, with a voracious appetite for reading, he had recently started hanging out at bars every night and dropped the gym for a heavy video game habit.

Mike didn’t really approve of the lifestyle, but Jason seemed happy enough. He always had a smile on his face, a big group of friends, and women seemed to be just as attracted to him, even though his hygiene left something to be desired, and he was about 30 pounds overweight.

Jason gave Mike a high five and before they could get the bartender’s attention, a couple of girls walked up and handed them each a shot of tequila. They smiled, saying “Hi guys, just wanted to wish you a happy start to Men’s Month! I’m Stacy, and this is my friend Cynthia.” They downed the two drinks, and as Mike stuck out his hand to greet the women, Jason blurted out “I’m busy, and my friend is taken.”

The girls quickly turned and walked away quickly with a sad look on their face. “What, we just got here, can’t we socialize in peace without being immediately interrupted by strangers?” Jason said.

Mike shrugged his shoulders, grabbed a menu, and asked what Jason had been up to. “Just got back from organizing a protest this Sunday after church, we’re marching down Main Street to kick off Men’s Month with a rally against Social Flaking. Did you know that one out of five guys will be ignored or stood up by a woman THIS WEEK?

Mike rolled his eyes slightly. Sure, he’d had girls flake on them. Everyone knew women were unreliable. But he also knew the one in five stat was a gross exaggeration, including women who took longer than five minutes to respond to a text message or phone call as a “flake.” While that could be annoying, most of these women ended up replying within 30 minutes, and life went on.

Mike did his best to ignore the Social Flaking Movement, but the “No Flake” symbol of an older gentleman sternly wagging finger was ubiquitous–the latest updates for Apple iOS 10.1 included a subset of “No Flake” emojis in black, yellow, tan, white, and both light and dark brown, which Apple quickly released to respond to Android’s feature that would automatically re-send a message to a confirmed female recipient every five minutes until she responded.

Mike glanced up at the TV. They were showing his college’s women’s volleyball team. However, instead of their normal spandex and kneepads, the team was all wearing red business suits. Mike loved Men’s Month. Lots of attention, food and drink specials everywhere, free health checkups at the local hospitals, and plenty of education on the importance of fathers and the family. But he really didn’t think the girls volleyball team needed to dress up in suits to show their support. After all, isn’t being feminine one of the best ways to support your man? Oh well, not his problem!

nfl pink logo

The guys shared a chips and salsa—only red chips and salsa were available all month long, and even guacamole wouldn’t be sold until Men’s Month ended. A city bus passed by the street outside with a billboard advertising the Federal Men’s Advocacy Center. Ten years ago, the government had opened up the department with local offices in all major cities. The centers were designed to be one stop shops to meet the special needs of men in areas that didn’t overlap with women. Men could come in for free counseling and intermediation designed to help them get through issues with their spouse or partner who didn’t see things as rationally as them.

Men reporting sexual problems were first screened to eliminate the possibility of any medical problems, then a team of counselors, fitness coaches, and makeup artists would put the woman through an intensive six week program designed to improve her outlook, demeanor, and physical appearance so the husband could rekindle his desire for her.

The centers also helped men obtain a SNATCH card (Supplemental Nutritional Athletic Team Card for Health) which entitled the man to a free membership for up to five years to a local gym, who were required to have a full time male nutritionist and sports team organizer offering at least six men only sports leagues.

Finally, their buddy Brad showed up. Brad was a community organizer of the local Preservation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice chapter, charged with reviewing all new technology, fashion, and products to determine if they had any qualities which deemed them unsafe for women or children. If so, the products could not be legally sold to women married less than 20 years or children under the age of 20.

As Brad ordered his drink at the bar, a guy in a sharp business suit walked up to them, and handed them a flyer reminding them of this weekend’s prostate cancer fun run. Hundreds of corporations in the city, valuing the enormous contribution the men of the city provided, had agreed to donate tens of thousands of dollars for medical research.

Brad met regularly with politicians, and was instrumental in passing the Palimony Laws of 2015. Under the new law, a woman was obligated to continue to provide sexual services to her former partner for a period of six months after termination of an exclusive relationship lasting six months or longer. The theory being that if a man had allowed a relationship to form, and emotionally and financially invested in a specific woman, he intended for the relationship to be serious, and it was unfair to punish him by ending the relationship and forcing him to quickly search for another partner.

Mike didn’t take advantage of this law, feeling it was unnecessary and took advantage of women by forcing them to give up their bodies after the relationship had already ended, but many men were lazy, and gladly accepted the free and easy sex the government guaranteed. The penalty for noncompliance was garnishment of the woman’s income and resources in an amount necessary to reimburse the government for its cost in providing services to the man at the public escort services operated by the county, which were available to any men who were not currently in a relationship and not actively seeking one (Some complained that the “not actively seeking one” rule severely undercounted the number of single men, but the government insisted that was the best definition for single).

As the three of them enjoyed their discounted food and drink, another group of girls approached, this time without drinks in hand. The tallest and thinnest girl, an athletic, long haired, pleasant brunette with a warm smile, but slightly nervous tone, placed her arm gently on Brad’s shoulder and said “Hey, I like your shoes. Where did you get those?”

“I think the mall,” Brad blurted out, clearly annoyed, as he turned back to face his buddies.

“Guys, this place is full of creepy, strange women. That girl I didn’t even know touched me and asked me some dumb question about my clothes. Let’s get out of here and go to Bob’s—I hear he just got a new sexbot.”  At that, everyone’s eyes lit up. They quickly paid their tab and hailed a bright red taxi—freshly painted for Men’s Month—and sped down the road to Bob’s house. They all knew this was going to be a fantastic Men’s Month.

Inspired by the fictional writings of Roosh and the pink insanity seen one weekend in October, 2015.

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