Confession No. 78 — ’Birds and Bees?’ Ha! ‘Dogs’ is more like it!
Around here, I take care of having the talk with our children.
Especially the girls.
And it’s a far cry from the film-strip that the school nurse (separately) showed the boys and girls back in 5th grade. Very far. My version also differs greatly from the life message that my wife, a nurse herself, delivers. In addition to using salty language (for believability purposes only), I tell the whole truth: Guys are just one small step removed from the cave — particularly when it comes to females.
And most of us never grow out of it.
Now, before you naïve preacher’s wives and Pollyanna moms put your fairyland feet down at my assertion, you owe it to your children to hear me out. I’m not saying that (all) human males are evil. I’m just saying that we are what we are.
Some altered teen (male) meanings
If you have a daughter, please let her know that boys are lying fools. (Even her brother.) And some of them are pretty darn good at it. There are a few phrases that she’ll need to become familiar with before she steps foot into the local high school. Under no circumstance — absolutely none — should she take these phrases at face value.
- ‘Would you like to go out with me on Friday?’ — Really means ‘I want to have sexual relations with you.’
- ‘I love you.’ — Really means ‘I want to have sexual relations with you. Now.’
- ‘So your friend likes me? No worries. I’m yours.’ — Really means ‘I want to have sexual relations with both of you.’
- ‘I’d like to give you a promise ring to show my commitment to you.’ — Really means ‘You owe me sex.’ (This also applies to any other jewelry, senior jackets and sports jerseys.)
Your daughter might ask Dad how he knows this ‘secret’ guy language. As painful as it might be, just fess up.
No growing out of it
Unlike diapers, ‘terrible twos’ and a fondness for over-salted chicken nuggets, guys don’t grow out of being dogs. Oh, sure. There’ll come a time when we aren’t chewing up everyone’s shoes or digging up the lawn. But we’ll mark wheels, walls and living room furniture for as long as we are breathing.
Here’s the timeline of the average (heterosexual) male:
- Ages 0-Death — The average male is fascinated with his appendages. He scratches regularly, mostly to make sure everything’s still there.
- Ages 9-12 — He’s curious and tries to sneak a peek at all possible times — whether it’s the JC Penney catalogue or at church. Sex crosses his mind at least once per minute during his waking hours.
- Ages 13-17 — He’s still curious and tends to wish for more. It is at this age that (we) begin to lie to our friends about various encounters. From these falsehoods, the lies (they) tell females are born. Sex crosses the juvenile teen’s mind at least once every 30 seconds (asleep and awake).
- Ages 18-25 — The lies are out of control at this point. So much so, that he begins to believe them himself. His curiosity is still quite healthy. Despite that he might now know that most people have ten toes and ten fingers, his lifelong odyssey (of checking out bottoms and bosoms) continues. He’s still thinking about sex at least every 30 seconds.
- Ages 26-35 — He might be married at this point (hopefully not because he lied to a hot woman about being in love). He might also have children. His instincts have been satisfied. Still, he’s thinking about sex at least every 30 seconds.
- Ages 36-100 — He’s not as spry as he used to be, but he has wisdom. This is necessary, since his female counterparts have ultimately realized what they are dealing with. At this point in life, he requests gift subscriptions to Maxim, Men’s Health and Playboy. Also, there’ll be a point at which he falsely believes that he can recapture his 25-year-old spirit. He’ll consider either hair transplants or a sports car; or both.
I don’t care if your son is a straight-A student, an Eagle Scout or has the goal of becoming pope. If he is living and breathing — and prefers women — the above timeline and altered phrase meanings apply. Even if you don’t believe me, at least warn him that acting on his K-9 instinct can be quite hazardous to his health.
Now you know. (Sorry, guys.)
As I was preparing Bacon Pretzel Dogs this past week, my 16-year-old son asked whether I’d joined the ‘Bacon Craze.’ I quickly let him know that I was a bacon-lover long before he was even a twinkle in his mom’s eye. He rolled his eyes and walked away — but he made sure to find his way back to the kitchen when the smell of pretzels an bacon started seeping through his bedroom air vent.
There are a number of recipes out there for these, and most are very similar. While you can adjust the filling to suit your taste, I wouldn’t go too crazy with it. Save the cheese, for example, for topping or dipping. If you’re making these for the big game, know that they taste best right from the oven. Making them the day before is fine though. Just be sure to incorporate some steam when rewarming (wrapped in wet paper towel in the microwave or the steam option on your oven).
Bacon Pretzel Dogs
1½ cups – warm water (about 110°F)
1 TB – Active dry yeast
2 TB – Sugar
1 TB – Kosher salt
4 TB – Butter, melted
4 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
10 – Hot dogs
10 slices – Bacon (preferably center cut), cooked until crisp
4 qts – Water
4 TB – Baking soda
1 – Egg yolk, beaten
Desired toppings: Pretzel salt, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, granulated garlic and/or onion
Make the pretzel dough
Combine warm water and yeast in large mixing bowl. Allow to sit until yeast blossoms, about 10 minutes.
Add butter, sugar, salt and flour. Using a dough hook, mix the ingredients until a soft dough forms. (You might have to add warm water — a TB at a time.) Once you have the dough, form it into a large rounded disc and place in an oiled bowl. Cover with a towel and allows to rise in a warm dark place for an hour. (Dough should be at least doubled in size.)
Wrap the hot dogs
For each regular-sized hot dog, you’ll want to shape a small handful (about 3 oz) of dough into a rope — about twice the length of the hot dog.
Starting at one end of the hot dog, spiral the dough rope around it. After your first go-around, place a piece of bacon alongside the hot dog, using the dough to keep it in place. Continue spiraling the dough, leaving no space, until the hot dog is fully wrapped. Repeat with the remaining 9 hot dogs.
Place wrapped hot dogs on a parchment-lined baking sheet and allow to rise again — about 30 more minutes.
Boil, top and bake
Preheat oven to 425ºF.
Bring water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Add baking soda.
One at a time, place prepared hot dogs in boiling water for about 30 seconds. Remove carefully and place on parchment-lined baking sheet.
Brush dough thoroughly with egg yolk. Add desired toppings. Bake until browned, about 20 minutes. Serve with mustard, nacho cheese sauce (pictured) or whatever you eat on your hot dog. (This recipe also works with cocktail sausages, or halved hot dogs.)
Makes 10 Bacon Pretzel Dogs