Monday, November 22, 2010

To Be A MMAHN .....

"Aaaaaargggghhhhhh !". The blood curdling scream wasn’t exactly my idea of an ideal alarm but out here in the wild I guess I couldn’t really complain. Jumping out of my tent (read slowly making my way out as I fought drowsiness) I half expected to see one of the guys battling a big bear or fending off a tiger or chasing away some cheeky monkeys who would've tried stealing our food. Instead all I saw was Mr. X (name withheld due to the embarrassment it would cause him if this incident became public) with his travel kit in his hand looking pale as a ghost. Fish! Maybe he spotted a snake or a scorpion or something. The thought of a snake in your campsite sure does leave you wide away in an awful hurry.

"What happened?" I asked as I ran towards him (after making sure there weren’t any creepy crawlies in the vicinity). "My stuff, where is my stuff ??" shouted Mr. X, the displeasure becoming more and more evident with each passing second. By now the others had slowly woken up and had made their way out to the clearing. "What stuff?" one of them asked. By now, Mr. X's breathing had become more laboured and his face was turning red, ostensibly with anger. “I want to know, where my skin cream, my sunscreen lotion, my face wash, my hair gel and the rest of my essentials have gone!".

"Is that all?" one of the others replied as he made his way back into his tent and plonked back into his makeshift bed, more from laziness than from exhaustion. Realising that it was close to 7 AM and that we city slickers were out there in the middle of nowhere, the others proceeded to silently follow suit until someone said "Neil, tell him how to be a MMAHN". "How to be a man?!" Mr. X exclaimed indignantly as he proceeded to stomp towards the other tents but he stopped when he heard the sound of snoring.

"Relax, they wanted me to tell you how to be Mildly Metrosexual And Hence Normal i.e. a MMAHN. The night before we left on this week long outdoors camping trip away from civilization, the guys realised that we had packed too much. Actually they realised that you had packed too much. So while you were sleeping, they opened out your suitcase and dumped everything that you didn’t need into the back seat of the car."

"But but but ….." sputtered Mr. X in disbelief, "I need all those products! I use them everyday, why in the world did you guys think it was not essential? Just because you guys don’t take care of yourselves doesn’t mean that others shouldn’t. Who said only women have to look good?". Mr. X was becoming rather cross, I would have to step in before he blew his top.

"So here's the thing. You use all these products, you go for a pedicure and a manicure ever so often and get yourself waxed every month, is that as painful as they say it is, ok doesn’t matter, my point is all this is actually not necessary. Being metrosexual was so last year. No one is saying don’t look good. But don’t become a victim to the evil conspiracy that has been hatched by all these companies that make you want to buy more and more of their harmful products that offer only psychological benefits. Which is why you should be a MMAHN."

"This means looking good but with less effort. No long waits in the parlour, no yanking off your manly chest hairs while stifling the urge to scream like a little girl, no spending hours in front of the mirror wondering if your skin looks a tone fairer and glows more than it did last week. Instead use a limited set of products that achieve the purpose with minimal time and effort. And that is exactly what being a MMAHN is all about. Think of all those hours you spend grooming yourself. Would you not have benefitted from working out in the gym instead?" I had to pause to take a breath. More importantly it looked like he had cooled down.

"Hmmm, you might have a point there". So he wasn’t totally convinced. Time to drive the final nail in the coffin. "Think about this, do you really need all that girly (extra emphasis on girly) when you are going out for a week long camping trip. With guys. In the middle of the freakin' jungle. Its not like we are surrounded by women out here."

"Maybe youre right, if I had a fiancée I am sure that she would keep complaining that I spend more on cosmetics than her. And I could do with a few extra hours in the gym every week (involuntarily flexing his biceps in while he is talking). Maybe you guys are right after all. Thankfully there are no women around". Phew! Mission accomplished. I didn’t know what was more difficult, get highly metrosexual men to understand that they need to take it easy or getting normal men to realize that they need to take care of themselves.

We proceeded to have a glorious couple of days of fishing, trekking, lazying around, cooking and swimming. A campfire was the perfect way to end our second day as we recalled old stories and laughed heartily at incidents and jokes, some funny and others not so funny. We finally retired to the not so comfortable confines of our tents and just as I was in the transition from light sleep to the glorious deep slumber that follows a perfect day, I was awakened by one of the guys who had scrambled into my tent.

"Dude I think we have a problem" he said. I asked, "What is it?" while my brain was furiously trying to scramble itself out of its deep sleep shutdown mode. "Shhhh, listen" he said. All I could hear were crickets (of the multi-legged kind) and assorted insects chirping away to glory. And then ever so faintly, I heard the sound of women laughing. It couldn’t be. I turned to the intruder in my tent. He nodded without me even asking. "I took a walk and checked. Looks like it’s a group of 30 women on an office outing. And they have camped 5 minutes away from our site. Mr. X is going to throw a sissy fit tomorrow morning when he finds out. What will we do ??"

All of us, with the exception of Mr X with a new found hideous stubble courtesy his MMAHN bliss snored away all night, barely slept a wink. And the next morning we all pretended to be fast asleep when he woke up and walked around and spotted the women’s campsite and let loose his trademark "Aaaaaargggghhhhhh !"

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