I knew that my mojo had been missing for a while; a guy's mack doesn't just disappear without him realizing it. But as a husband, I assumed that I still possessed a Mack and had purposefully hid it because I didn't need it at the moment - like a sheriff who no longer wears his badge because the town is safe. But my mack is gone - and I know where it is.
My son has stolen it.
My first clue came one bright Saturday afternoon as my family and I pulled our car into our driveway and I noticed one of our neighbors, an attractive woman, working in her yard. I only saw her out of the corner of my eye. I did this on purpose.
All married men instinctively know that attractive female neighbors are like eclipses - it's never healthy to look directly at them. Also, it's not healthy to talk directly to them either. I mean attractive neighbors, not eclipses. You can talk directly to eclipses if you want.
All married men also instinctively know that you shouldn't grunt with appreciation when you see your attractive neighbor working in her yard, so it surprised me when I heard myself let out an exclamation:
I looked quickly at my wife, expecting to see a disapproving look on her face. And that look was there, but she wasn't looking at me. She was looking at my four year-old son, Julian.
I hadn't slipped at all. I hadn't made the inappropriate grunt of earthy approval. Julian had developed his own Mini Mack.
My wife turned to me. "Is he supposed be doing that this early?"
Married men know that this is the correct answer.
Cut to another sunny afternoon two weeks later. My children and I rode in the car again, this time without my wife. A Harley-Davidson motorcycle passed us on the driver's side of the car. The guy driving it was not your typical middle manager playing biker on the weekends; he's tanned, muscled and covered with tattoos. On the back of the motorcycle, a beautiful blond woman held onto his waist. I noticed that she was beautiful out of the corner of my eye, because it's also dangerous to stare at eclipses with muscled, tattoo-covered boyfriends.
Here's the thing, though. She was staring at me. And she was smiling.
This confused me. I felt certain that my mack was hidden. But it occurred to me that sometimes really, really strong macks have a way of being noticed. Still, I'm a happily married guy, so I appreciated this information but I wasn't going to lock eyes with this woman.
But every time our car came along side the motorcycle, the woman looked directly at me and smiled. She even waved and I wondered how long it would take her boyfriend to notice what she was doing.
Both of our vehicles came to a stop light. The blond continued to look over her shoulder and smile. And just then, her boyfriend turned around and looked at his girlfriend and then toward our car.
"I've got an action figure!" Julian said from the seat directly behind me.
Sure enough, Julian was kneeling in his seat. He held a Bionicles action figure out of the window. He had the woman's full attention. She looked right past me.
The action figure was the toughest to take. Women don't smile at action figures. I've got action figures, but I have to hide them in the closet, dammit! Julian didn't though. Julian had made it part of his mack.
That's when I knew. I wasn't the sheriff. The town was safe, but that was because my son had taken my badge.