Guys look at parties — and shark tootery — a little differently

Photo: My wife’s actual shark tootery tray Friday night

At the risk of doing the kind of stereotyping for which the hypersensitive idiots running Facebook might ban me, I’ve noticed that guys and gals do many things differently. No, not every guy and not every girl and not every they or former guy/girl, but in general there is often a divide between the “guy way” and the “gal way.”

(I apologize in advance for the above offense and the offenses that are to follow. It was completely by accident, and I will seek counseling. If you’re not offended by anything I’ve just written or am about to write, please contact the most woke person or social media stream with which you’re familiar, and they will be happy to explain why you should be offended even if you are not because you are an insensitive buffoon.)

One of the areas in my house where there are such glaring guy/gal differences is when it comes to throwing a party, something we don’t do much anymore because we’re not real fond of most humans. (I mean, have you met humans? Would you want one in your house?)

My wife and I both hail from small towns, so that doesn’t explain the difference. For you folks who suffered the injustice of having to grow up in urban areas, let me explain how parties usually go down in small towns, such as where I grew up:

First, you identify a place outside the tiny city limits, such as an open field or, if you’re lucky enough to have some musically talented friends who know how to play some Bocephus tunes, an old barn or abandoned chicken house. (I’ve been to all of the above.) Then, you acquire a keg or two through a 21-year-old, a fake ID or a crazy drunkard uncle. Proceed with party. Wake up. Get aspirin. Put raw steak on black eye. Drive waitress from the diner back to her trailer. Apologize to her husband. Duck shotgun blast. You know, the basic stuff.

This past week, we threw a college graduation party for our daughter-in-law. No keg. No chicken house. Nope, because my wife was in charge. She may be from a small town, too, but she’s a she. I’ve always said that the secret to a happy marriage is knowing who the man of the house is and doing what she says. So I went along despite my reservations about our home never having housed a single live chicken and, therefore, not qualified as a proper party hosting site.

When guys host parties, the goal is fun. When my wife hosts a party, it’s a quest for excellence, Martha Stewart’s approval and a lot of work. First, we had to make sure the house was clean enough. Our house is cleaner than most operating rooms, or as my wife deemed it, “filthy.” And the yard had to be adequate. Our yard is like a fancy little Callaway Gardens, or as my wife labeled it, “a disaster.” Some see the glass as half-full, others as half-empty. My wife sees it as dirty or requiring an immediate replacement from Amazon.

So we cleaned. Everything. We mowed, edged and blowed. Trimmed the bushes. Trimmed the trees. Trimmed my hair. Trimmed my beard. (Granted, those last two kinda were legit disasters.) We did more planning for a hot dog and hamburger grill-out than goes into most Buckingham Palace events. But there was one thing missing — a shark tootery tray — that thing with the cheese and the other cheese and the smelly cheesy and the creamy cheese and the olives and the crackers and the veggies even rabbits don’t eat. (Granted, my wife did have a few meats on it after I told her humans would be attending.) We had normal trays, glass trays, plastic trays and wooden trays, but no tray specifically designed for proper shark tootery presentation. So, Jeff Bezos sent us one just in time.

If I, or any kind of manly man like myself, had put together this shark tootery, it would have looked a little different — pigs in a blanket, Slim Jims, pepperoni, sliders, Cheetos, meatballs and pigs out of the blanket. Maybe a little Cheez Whiz. But, nooooo. My job was just to grill and not make a mess or do anything embarrassing like pulling out my guitar for an impromptu pick-n-grin. Basically, I was to cook and be as quiet as possible.

When I finally graduate from college, we’re going to throw a man-run party. I may not even use an official shark tootery tray at all. I just need an old chicken house in the country and some musical entertainment — perhaps Jimmy Buffett.

Yes, he’s usually a little out of my price range, but he might appreciate the opportunity to play an old chicken house. Besides, by the time I graduate college — my last class was in 1991 — he should be about 112 years old and hopefully a little more affordable.

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