By Diane Mastrull
The Philadelphia Inquirer.
UPPER DUBLIN, Pa.
I introduce you to its first product: Survivin’ the Doghouse, a kit to help spouses survive that inevitable indignity of coupledom, being banished to the couch.
It should come as no surprise that the company, based in this Philadelphia suburb, is owned by two formerly married men inspired, well, by life experience.
Landing Earl McCall in the doghouse was coming home from social engagements smelling of perfume. (He’s a platonic hugger, he insists, and now divorced.) As for Noel Wilkins: “I used to leave the toilet seat up. My wife fell in a couple of times at night.”
Now, these less-than-Prince Charmings want to help others get through those nights when the master bedroom is off-limits.
“I’ve always been one to believe in good relationships,” said McCall, 48. “Survivin’ the Doghouse is not just about poking fun, it’s literally about bringing a good relationship to the surface. Teaching guys how to be more respectful to their women, to bring chivalry back.”
The kit, available for $34.95 at www.Survivinthedoghouse.com and www.KrazyVibes.com, includes 14 items. Among them: knee pads (“When men are on their knees begging for forgiveness, it helps keep your knees intact”); edible wax lips (“That’s to sweeten your kisses if you try to kiss your way out of the doghouse”); and a stress-reliever ball (“To maintain a smiling and grinning composure during those cold-shoulder moments.”)
There’s also a 61-page survival guide that outlines 30 doghouse scenarios McCall and Wilkins compiled. They hired Colorado freelance writer Leora Wambach to provide the female perspective. Rather than including only comedic answers, Wambach, 29 and married less than two years, convinced McCall and Wilkins that the book should also offer “a real way for you to get out of trouble.”