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Testosterone Broadcasting Network     500 Words

I'll be looking forward to Memorial and Veteran's Days this year. These are traditionally an opportunity for us to honor our veterans and those who died in foreign wars. This is also an opportunity for the Testosterone Broadcasting Network to air entire weekends of back-to-back movies with theme categories such as "He- Man Heroes"; "Guns, Guns and More Guns"; and "Bombs, Babes and Battleships".

And, of course, every man with even a soupcon of testosterone will be parked in front of the television, beer in hand, cheering on the good guys.

I admire this about men. It is, in fact, somewhat like our own female bonding ritual; you know, the one where a group of women get together in their snuggies and slippers, dig into a roll of chocolate chip cookie dough and watch any movie with Grace Kelly, Cary Grant or Meg Ryan.

In our neighborhood, the generally accepted big three movies favored by men are: "The Longest Day", "Patton" and "The Dirty Dozen".

OPEN ON A FAMILY ROOM. HUSBAND IS SEATED ON COUCH, BEER IN HAND.

NEIGHBOR #1 ENTERS

NEIGHBOR #1: Whatcha watchin'?

HUSBAND: Patton

NEIGHBOR #1: Oh, great movie!

GRUNTS FROM HUSBAND. ENTER NEIGHBOR #2

NEIGHBOR #2: Whatcha watchin'?

HUSBAND AND NEIGHBOR #1: Patton

NEIGHBOR #2: Cool!

HUSBAND: Want a beer?

HUSBAND LOBS BEER TO NEIGHBOR #2. NEIGHBOR #1 SPILLS CHIP DIP ON SHIRT, WIPES WITH SLEEVE.

ENTER NEIGHBOR #3, WHO HAS HIS OWN BEER: Patton! Great!

All eyes are riveted to the small screen. If you look really closely, you can watch their mouths moving in sync with the dialogue.

NEIGHBOR #1: Oh, this is the best part!

All eyes remain riveted as the scene reaches its apex.

IN UNISON: Rommel, you magnificent sonuvabitch! I read your book!

Somehow, with that much attention and reverence for Ol' General George, you almost expect to hear things like:

HUSBAND: You know, it's a seldom discussed fact that we actually parachuted dummies into the Pas De Calais to divert the Germans from the actual invasion at Normandy.

NEIGHBOR #1: Yes, General Patton was sent to Italy to further take the focus from Normandy. That was probably the low point of his career.

NEIGHBOR #2: Can't you feel his pain?

Yeah, like that will happen.

At this point, the reverie would be broken by a loud belch which might be mistaken for artillery fire from the Battle of the Bulge scene if you didn't know better.

After watching several of these films with the guys, I guess I can't really blame them for their ardent devotion to a genre long gone. After all, with the exception of marriage, children, housework and freeway driving there are very few occasions when men can tap into that "fight or flight" adrenalin thing.

And I say this with the hope that my husband will have the same level of respect and understanding for me when I sit in my sweats, cookie dough in hand on Valentine's Day, watching the 24-hour Romance Channel...and sobbing.

2004 Nancy Franklin. All rights reserved