The Frog Bog

Pontification From the Pond

Manly Man Brains- A Scientific Explanation

By the frogster at 11:48 am on Saturday, February 9, 2008

Sad day yesterday.  I had to remove the cool 8 ball attachment from the shifter in my car.  This, obviously, downgraded the car’s coolness factor to “cool,” due to the fact that I still have my fuzzy dice hanging on the rear view.  It had been “bitchin’” with the 8 ball gearshift cover, and I was looking forward to getting little fuzzy beads around the top that would have upgraded it to “babe magnet” status, but the number 8 on the 8 ball wore off and all I was left with was a round ball shifter top thingy, which really wasn’t very cool at all.  It was also, if I want to get technical about the whole thing, somewhat on the unsafe side, since the ball didn’t really fit on the shifter and wobbled quite a bit when I changed gears.   And I could pull it off whenever I wanted to.

This change was only a tiny drop in yesterday’s larger sea of automobilic change, however.  I had a real automotive maintenance day.  You know, get out the ol’ dungarees, put the car up on a jack, undo the oil gasket doodad and drain it out, re-jet the carb, etc.  A guy thing.  Yeah.  Because I’m just that sort of grease monkey, dirt-under-the-fingernails sort of guy.   Really.  I am not lying.

I mean, I’m not lying about the maintenance.  Yesterday, my car was definitely maintained.  Yes, sir.  It was maintained all right.  It was a team effort.  The Toyota Dealer did things with the gooey stuff that makes the car go and I cleaned out the coffee cups from under the driver’s seat.   The mechanic and I had a synergistic thing going.  He made sure the engine worked, and I made sure the accelerator wouldn’t get a coffee cup lodged underneath it and cause me to drive recklessly into someone.  Teamwork.  Manly teamwork.

But car care is not what this post is really about.  This post is about brains.  I have, like an unfortunate minority of men, a teensy bit of a mechanical deficiency.  That is, however, not the only area in which I am behind the rest of my fellow men.  I am ashamed to admit that, from time to time, I have a bit of difficulty communicating with my wonderful wife.  The problem has to do with information.   My lovely wife seems to feel that all of the information is important.  I, on the other hand, leave out the unimportant parts.  I’ve written posts about this subject before, which I am currently too lazy to search for and link to.

If, for example, my brother Eric, who lives in New Hampshire, was mugged by a gang of moose, (or squadron of mooses, or gaggle of meese, or however you say it), who plucked him from his car, carried him on their antlers to the top of Mount Washington and threatened to throw him off if he didn’t reveal our mother’s spinach artichoke dip recipe, and if he only managed to escape by taping himself to a large tree with a bunch of those “This Car Climbed Mount Washington” bumper stickers and riding said tree down that part of Mount Washington where all the extreme skiers go (I think it’s called “Blood Gorge” or something similar), and he sledded right into a marauding band of Norse Berserkers freed from their icy prison in Greenland by global warming who forced him to eat a quiche, therefore proving that he was not a man and his life should be spared, because as all Norse Berserkers know, real men don’t eat quiche, and then, and only then, did he manage to make it home, the end result would be that he was fine.  So, if Beth asked me how my brother was, I would answer, ”He’s fine.  He had quiche.” 

Everyone’s informed.  We’re all caught up.  There is a problem, however.  At some point Beth would talk to my sister Kirsten.  Kirsten would say something like, “Oh my God.  Wasn’t that thing with Eric amazing?”  Beth would then ask what thing, Kirsten would relate the Moosenapping and Berserker Menu to Beth and I would get in trouble for Not Telling the Whole Story.  This, however, I am glad to report, is not my fault.  It’s a biochemical thing, and I should not be blamed. 

While I was waiting for the mechanic to finish doing whatever it is he does to my car to make it keep going forward, I was subjected to the Auto Dealer Waiting Room.  This is a room that is at the same time too hot and too cold which serves brown imitation coffee and features an array of auto accessories, including gearshift knobs featuring rub-off number eights.  There is a television with the volume set at “cacophonistic” tuned to a TV channel designed to opiate the customers which makes it impossible for anyone in the room to do anything but stare at it and drool.  I am capable of drooling without TV, but this morning I was trapped. 

The show on the TV was a morning show.  ”Good Morning America” or “Today” or something similar.  It featured fascinating vignettes about the latest fashions and showed a live performance by Brian Boytano.  Really.  It also featured an author who recently wrote a book about communication between the sexes.  She claims that there is a chemical difference between male and female brains that makes talking more enjoyable to females.  According to her, women get a rush out of talking that men do not, so women enjoy talking more.  They showed 3 couples and asked them questions about their relationship, such as to report where the couple had met, etc.  The score, in terms of words used, was pretty amazing.  For the first question, the woman used 80-something words and the man used 3.  For the second question, the score was 100-something to 11.  The differential for the third question wasn’t as extreme, but the woman still used over three times as many words to answer the question as the man did. 

The conclusion I draw from this mountain of evidence (an author by the name of something I can’t remember and 3 couples asked 3 questions) is that I have some sort of brain chemical deficiency due to my chromosomatic makeup.  If you ever ask me a question and I don’t spend as much time answering as you think I should, just remember- it’s not my fault.  It’s not my fault.  It’s really not my fault.  Don’t blame the victim, people.  If you need more information, you’ll just have to talk to my wife.  I am just a man.  

And for that reason, I think I’ve spent enough time with words here.  I’m a manly man, and use my words sparingly.  Now, if you don’t mind, I think I’ll go build something in the basement.  Or at least clean out the coffee cups.  

Okay,, cue the mysterious yet adrenalizing music…

manly man cars and the men who don’t like to talk about them

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