Chapter OneDISADVANTAGES TO
BEING A MAN
Here's just a portion of the ever-accumulating list.
1. In an emergency, it's "Women and children first."
Who made up this rule? Obviously a woman. Or a child. It certainly
couldn't have been a man. After all, man was created to survive. It's the
"survival of the fittest," not the "demise of the most polite." We suspect
some woman probably made up this rule during some long-ago emergency,
and the men standing around at the time were too weak to object.
We are not weak men. In fact, whenever I (Rick) am on an airplane, I
always look around and make sure I'm in a position where I can take anybody
that's between me and one of the exit doors. I realize this sounds a bit
self-centered, but it's simply survival instincts. It's also for the greater good
of the others on the plane. I know if I can get out of that airplane first, then
I'll be in a position to run to a nearby farmhouse, have a soda, and then call
911. (In an emergency situation I have been known to drink an entire can
of soda in five seconds flat.) The rescue team would be on its way for the
others in no time at all.
Another reason why I should be the first one off the plane is because
when the elderly lady sitting in the emergency row next to me starts shoving
the passengers out the door and down that big yellow slide, there needs
to be someone at the bottom who is strong enough to catch them. I couldn't
let women and children just tumble down an emergency chute with no one
down there to catch them. That's not the kind of stock I'm made of. I would
stand there dutifully waiting for that first big guy to come sliding down and
then assign him the job while I looked for my luggage.
It would work the same if I were on a cruise ship. If I have to knock a
few others out of the way so I can get into the lifeboat first in order to help
those behind me, well, then so be it.
Never let it be said that Rick Burgess wasn't willing to put his safety
first for the ultimate safety of the masses.
2. Men have to take out the garbage.
Again, who decided that this would be the man's job? The bottom of the
bag can rip open just as easily for us as it can for our wives. We're not even
the ones filling the bags either. Our trash rarely makes it into the trash containers
in the first place. Should the pain of all those missed "baskets" be
compounded with having to haul the trash bags out to the curb, too?
Like other men, taking out the garbage is my (Bubba) job. And like
other men, I didn't even get a vote. Every Monday morning it is incumbent
upon me to see that the garbage cans make it to the street. According
to the Betty Bussey Family Proclamation, I handle everything outside the
house; she handles everything inside the house. But the garbage cans,
which are technically both inside and outside the house, have been
declared my responsibility. There's no bucking it: It's written in ink, with
For years I operated under the mistaken assumption that writing a book
and having a radio and television show was a big deal to my wife. I have since
learned it is not. In fact, when our first book came out, Betty lovingly said,
"That's wonderful, honey. But you're still rolling the trash can to the street!"
If this book sells a million copies, it will still be, "That's wonderful,
honey. But you're still rolling the trash can to the street!"
If I win the Nobel Prize for literature, she will send a note up to me
right in the middle of my acceptance speech, reminding me that my true
calling involves cans filled with banana peels, Twinkie wrappers, and toilet
After all, Betty takes this job of mine seriously. It doesn't matter how
successful I become in life. In the end, my total worth will be judged (as it
is each week) by one standard alone: whether or not I have taken out the
3. There are no sofas in men's restrooms.
Okay, ladies, this one's a fairness issue. Each of us has accidentally walked
into enough of your restrooms to know that we men are being shortchanged
in the public restroom department. Your facilities are clean, some smell like
flowers or sea breezes, and a good number of them have sofas. This is in
addition to working toilets, filled soap and paper dispensers, faucets that
you can turn on and off, and the occasional bottle of hand lotion.
Men don't get any of that. The attendant checklist on the wall of the
average men's restroom has a last entry of June 12, 1998; the soap dispenser
will be empty and crusted over; the faucet-if it's even running-will
squirt water in six different directions; and you will never ever find
anything that even resembles a sofa.
As for aromas, our status as Southern gentlemen keeps us from going
into detail. Just know this: if you've ever wondered why men's restroom
lines move a lot faster than women's, the answer is simple-a man can only
hold his breath for so long.
4. Even if we fall from thirty-foot scaffolding,
we are not supposed to cry.
I don't know who made up the rule about men not being allowed to cry, but
again, not fair. The fairer Kleenex-toting sex has known for centuries that
sometimes in life, you just have to cry. After all, you can't watch your team
lose the Super Bowl by a field goal and not show some sort of emotion. And
you should see us bawling every April 15th.
The fact of the matter is, we (Rick and Bubba) do cry. And we're man
enough to admit it.
5. Unlike women, we can't flirt our way
out of a traffic ticket.
A cop pulls a pretty girl over for running a stop sign. The girl smiles (or
cries), bats her eyelashes a few times, and the cop might let her off with a
warning. This same cop pulls a guy over for the exact same infraction . . .
and it's life with no chance of parole.
6. We have to take orders from women.
All our lives it seems that we men have been taking orders from a woman.
When we were young, we took them from our moms. When we grew up
and got married, we started answering to our wives. Now for me (Bubba),
it's my cute little seven-year-old daughter, Katelyn, who is starting to order
me around. My goal in life is to someday be the one in charge before I die.
. that is if it's okay with my mom, Betty, and Katelyn.
Note: We originally planned to have twenty items on this list, but we
couldn't finish it. Bubba had to take out the trash, and Rick's wife said that
six was plenty.