Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Rocket Bike Of Manliness

The other day, I spoke with a woman who was very upset with one of her male friends. Apparently, her friend picked a fight with another guy in a bar by punching him straight in the face. Someone else illustrated the point that her friend needed to calm down by breaking a pool cue over his head. This left a deep gash in her friend's skull, and this was, naturally, the main thing concerning her.

This was not, however, the main thing concerning her male friend. He was more concerned with finding the guy who bashed his head in so he could beat up that guy. If at this point you're wondering why her male friend was not at the hospital getting his head stitched up, then you are obviously a woman. If you were a man, you'd be wondering if anyone has uploaded the video footage of this to YouTube yet, and if not, then what's taking them?

The woman I spoke with was upset with her male friend because she, being a woman, felt that the most important thing for him to do was get his head stitched up before his brain fell completely out. She couldn't understand why beating up the guys who attacked him was more important than seeking immediate medical attention. This is because she is a woman. Women are rational creatures, which is a good thing because men are basically ten-year-olds in giant, hairy bodies.

A woman wouldn't be more worried about finding the people who caved her skull in with a pool cue than getting her head stitched up. Chances are slim that most women would ever find themselves in a position to get their skull caved in with a pool cue unless Jason Voorhes runs out of machetes and has to make do. Women don't fight for the same reasons as men. If a woman's going to resort to violence, it's going to be over something fundamentally important, such as drama. The primary reason men resort to violence, on the other hand, is alcohol.

Men are full of a chemical called "testosterone." This is a hormone responsible all sorts of immature behavior in men, but leads to particularly extreme examples of stupidity when combined with beer. For instance, testosterone might make a man decide to strap a small rocket to his bicycle, but only testosterone combined with alcohol would make him stupid enough to ride that rocket bike off the roof of his garage. Women have a similar chemical called "estrogen," only it just makes them roll their eyes in resignation and call the ambulance.

When a man sees an attractive woman sitting at a bar, his testosterone will assure him that she is probably too drunk to realize she's far too attractive for him. He will then initiate his instinctive mating call, ("Heeeeey, baby, hey! Hey, baby, baby, baby, hey! Hey, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby. . ."), until she throws her exotic drink in his face. This means she accepts his offer of "Hey, baby, hey." However, when the man's testosterone is combined with alcohol, it will make him try to get the attention of the attractive woman sitting at the bar by starting a fight with another drunk guy, and the attractive woman will roll her eyes in resignation and call the ambulance.

The guy who bashed her friend's skull in gave him a clear message: "My testosterone is bigger than yours." According to the male code of ethics, the most important thing for her friend to do is reassert his dominance, lest he be reduced to the pecking order position of "Wussy Boy." You're probably wondering how effectively a guy with a head injury could possibly fight the same people who gave him the head injury, but such concerns are unimportant to guys. The only thing the guy is concerned with is getting his masculinity back, and since he lost his rocket bike after flying it into a lake, beating up the guys who attacked him is the only sensible alternative.

I never did find out how the rematch went. I'm sure nothing is more intimidating to a group of drunken guys radiating testosterone levels strong enough to grow chest hair on women from across the room than a woozy guy stumbling around with blood running down his face from the very head injury they gave him earlier, but in reality, this is an incredibly long sentence. I also never found out if he ever did end up getting his head stitched up, but it's a safe assumption. After all, he does have a woman looking after him.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Bloody Valentine In 800 Words Or Less

You know how they say certain people, such as George W. Bush, should never be handed a job just because their father is important? Ten years ago, a coal mine collapsed because the owner's son, Tom Hanniger, forgot to do his job and bleed the methane lines. This trapped several miners. All were found murdered by pickaxe except Harry Warden who was in a coma. Exactly one year later, Harry Warden awakened and killed everyone in the hospital. The two oldest cops in the world investigate.

HINCH: I think I waited too long to retire.
BURKE: You and me both, Hinch. Who did this?
HINCH: Harry Warden.
BURKE: Harry Warden's in a coma.
HINCH: Oh, I'm sorry, do you see him somewhere? Is he one of the dismembered corpses? Maybe he's the butchered woman lying on his bed. You're right; the homicidal maniac who is currently missing couldn't have done all this because he's still in a coma. 900 years of being a cop, and this is the best theory you can come up with.

IRENE: We're a bunch of stupid teenagers! Let's go into this coal mine where a bunch of people were murdered and get drunk and have sex!
AXEL: Great! That doesn't sound like a horror movie cliché at all!
SARAH: Tom, are you sure you're okay having drunken sex in the very coal mine where you killed several of your coworkers?
TOM: No, I'm fine with it, I swear. In fact, I'm so fine with it I'm going to hang out in my truck, alone, while you party with your drunken friends.

Harry Warden starts killing all the drunken teenagers in the coal mine. Tom runs to Sarah's rescue, but discovers that he fights like an imbecile. The town's crack crimefighting duo of Strom Thurmond and Methuselah charge in and save Tom, then chase Harry Warden deeper into the mine.


Axel becomes a sheriff. Sarah becomes Axel's wife. Megan becomes pregnant with Axel's kid. The guy who played Big Love on House becomes the only black person in the town. Hinch and Burke somehow become even older. Irene becomes a murder victim.

TOM: Hi. I've come back to sell my father's coal mine.
SARAH: You've been gone for ten years. I married Axel. We had a kid together. What have you been up to?
TOM: Certainly not acting lessons.
SARAH: Don't sell the coal mine. This town is supported by that coal mine, and the other company will just move it someplace else.
TOM: Then it's agreed. I won't sell the coal mine.

AXEL: More people are being murdered! Some of them aren't even essential to the plot! All signs point to Harry Warden, so it's obviously Tom Hanniger because his return is threatening the marriage I'm neglecting!
TOM: I saw Harry Warden kill a guy in the mine. No one else saw him, but you believe me, right?
AXEL: Harry Warden is dead, and by the way, I married your old girlfriend. We had a kid together. Also, I don't like you.

MEGAN: I am so totally not sleeping with your husband.
SARAH: That's cool. We need to close the store and go home early before Harry Warden kills us.
MEGAN: Oh no! It's Harry Warden! He pulled me out the window! Now I'm dead, so I'll shut up now!

AXEL: Harry Warden has killed the other ten people living in this town besides us! That only leaves Tom Hanniger as the prime suspect.
SARAH: I'm headed out to an abandoned cabin in the woods with Tom right now!
AXEL: Whatever you do, don't go to that cabin!
SARAH: Okay, I'll run away to the abandoned mine shaft instead! Harry Warden will never find me where he lives!
AXEL: Good plan; I'll meet you there!

AXEL: Sarah, Tom is Harry Warden! Shoot him!
TOM: Sarah, Axel is a stupid name. Shoot him.
AXEL: Shoot us both, just to be sure!
TOM: The writing on the wall above Megan's body was the same message in the Valentine's card Axel got from Megan. He's Harry Warden.
SARAH: Wait, you weren't there when Megan was killed. How do you know what was written above her body? Don't worry; I won't take the clear shot at your head until you answer the question.
AXEL: Oh no! Instead of answering your question, Tom gutted me with a pickaxe! I don't understand why you won't just shoot him! He's standing three feet away from you!
SARAH: I'll shoot at him five times while he's running away and miss!

The mine blows up in a series of revealing flashbacks.

They never explain why Tom Hanniger became Harry Warden.

Maybe in the sequel.

The End.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

All The Practical Dating Advice You Need

Most people who know me will tell you that I am not the 96% Lean Ground Beef of the Dating World. I'm not the most physically fit or attractive guy out there, I'm old enough to remember when Dinobots first roamed the Earth, and most forms of social interaction frighten me. To that end, I'm glad I have a girlfriend now; someone who loves me for who I am, even though I cannot remotely fathom why. To answer the two most obvious questions: No, I am not just making this person up, and No, it's not Laura Fraser. Although, if Laura Fraser is reading this right now, I would just like to say that I'm available.

I re-entered the dating world several years ago full of optimistic enthusiasm. I figured that, if nothing else, my various exploits would make excellent fodder for humorous anecdotes. This was before I discovered that dating is stupid and I suck at it.

For instance, I am immune to "signals." "Signals" are those little subtle hints that people give off to show that they are attracted to one another, such as smiling, winking, flirting, or if the they are particularly intoxicated, heavy petting. I have no idea how to interpret these signals. If a girl is flirting with me, I have no idea if she is flirting with me because she likes me unless she comes out and tells me that she likes me. I could always just ask if she likes me, but I find it's far safer to assume that if I like a girl, there will probably be some reason why it would never work out between us, such as she's already married.

Many magazines promise to deliver practical dating advice. These are all women's magazines. You don't find much in the way of dating advice in men's magazines because men are more concerned with automotive repair and fishing tips than understanding their relationships, which is exactly the reason women feel they need to turn to magazines for dating advice.

These magazines are always full of such helpful articles as: "Top 10 Ways to Impress Your Lover in Bed," "What He Says and What He Really Means," "Take Our Completely Random Compatibility Quiz," "Dr. Phil Thinks You're an Idiot," "How Many Days Should You Wait for Him to Call?" "How Many Dates Should You Go On Before Expecting a Proposal?" "Is Two Years too Long to Wait? You're Not Getting Any Younger You Know," "What Is This Guy's Problem Anyway?" and "Bat Boy Saves Pope from Bigfoot Rampage." The truth is, ladies, that if you want to get closer to your man, it would be far more effective to just develop an interest in fishing.

Men and women are not really that different when it comes to relationships. We both want what everybody wants: comfort, safety, appreciation, and affection. Yet these magazines assume men and women are only capable of relating to each other in the same sense that a sea slug is capable of relating to a banjo. After reading all this practical dating advice, women modify their behavior to fit what they're told men want, and the men are more confused than ever because none of it has any basis in automotive repair or fishing.

I do have some ideas that could make dating far less stupid. For example, I think single people could find each other much easier if they wore buttons to signify that they are single and ready to date, sort of like how married people wear rings to signify that they are not single and ready to date. It would save everyone a lot of hassle, except women, who would feel the need to coordinate their outfits to include the button.

The less time you spend with your partner, the more successful your relationship will be. I realized this by watching people who have been married for at least ten years. Between work and sleep, taking care of the kids, and enjoying their various hobbies, happily married people only get to spend about an hour of quality time together per day, and it's usually at the end of the day when they're both tired. Since nothing really exciting happens to most people during the average day, this actually saves both partners from having to hear about, in explicit detail, stuff they care nothing about, such as a synopsis of the entire Beast Wars Transformers series.

Finally, I think all relationships should begin with sex. Even business relationships, as long as both partners are willing, or as it's known in the business world, "mutual." Too many power plays and mind games and roadblocks are tied up with this, and it would be much easier to focus on actually building a relationship once it's out of the way.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Take Your Groundhog Seriously

Groundhog Day is an important holiday where people gather in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to get a weather report from a frightened rodent. Actually, I can't be 100 percent certain that the groundhog is, in fact, a rodent. It might belong to some other animal classification such as "marsupial" or "woodchuck." I'm pretty sure, however, that it isn't part of the Meteorological Kingdom.

The way I understand this happens is that thousands of people gather around some sort of hole in the ground, or possibly a tree stump as I'm not really sure what groundhogs actually live in, and wait in hushed suspense for the groundhog to emerge before hundreds of news cameras. As tradition dictates, if the groundhog is frightened by its shadow, Bill Murray will blow up a golf course. (I am already aware that was actually a gopher, but according to biologists, who cares?)

Every year, I find myself fascinated by the Groundhog Day celebration because I've always been skeptical of the entire premise. For one thing, I'm not exactly sure how a groundhog naturally knows to come out of its burrow at 7:25 AM on February 2nd. In order to answer this question, I turned to the informative documentary film Groundhog Day featuring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. Watching this, I learned that what really happens is Bill Murray kidnaps the groundhog and drives it off a cliff.

So that question is settled, but many more remain, such as: Wouldn't the groundhog be more frightened of all the people gathered around it than of its own shadow? I know I would, and that's why I ultimately decided against becoming a weatherman. To address this concern, I went to the Official Groundhog Day Website, (, where I discovered a number of things seriously wrong with these people. For example:
  • "After Phil emerges from his burrow on February 2, he speaks to the Groundhog Club president in 'Groundhogese' (a language only understood by the current president of the Inner Circle). His proclamation is then translated for the world."

  • "There has only been one Punxsutawney Phil. He has been making predictions for over 120 years!"

  • "Punxsutawney Phil gets his longevity from drinking the 'elixir of life,' a secret recipe. Phil takes one sip every summer at the Groundhog Picnic and it
    magically gives him seven more years of life."

  • The groundhog's borrow is called "Gobbler's Knob," which is just all sorts of not right.
I know what you're thinking at this point, and no, I don't know why they don't bottle and sell the "elixir of life" in Wal-Marts across the country. I imagine it would be a tremendously successful product. I'd drink it like it was Pepsi.

According to the Official Groundhog Day Website, the tradition began sometime in the Middle Ages, when European Christians would interpret the Bible in all sorts of wildly absurd ways because they were illiterate. (Many of these interpretations still hold to this day.) Some of these Biblical interpretations led to the observance of Candlemass, a gothic heavy metal band. The tradition of Groundhog Day is said to be based on these lyrics to an old Candlemass song:
Hear the cry
The cry of tormented pain
A voice darker than Evil
The deadly moaning of hell
At one point, the tradition was brought to the Germans, who naturally decided to get drunk and try to take over the world. Apparently Pennsylvania's earliest settlers were Germans and they found groundhogs in "profusion," which I'm not entirely convinced is a real word. They determined that without a specific holiday dedicated to it, the groundhog would surely die out from uselessness. Thus the tradition was born in America of relying on a small mammal to tell us whether winter will last until the end of winter.

Some of Punxsutawney Phil's more notable historic appearances include:
  • During Prohibition Phil threatened to impose 60 weeks of winter on the community if he wasn't allowed a drink. Lawmakers at the time gave the threat all the attention they felt it deserved.

  • In 1958 Phil announced that it was a "United States Chucknik," rather than a Soviet Sputnik or Muttnik that became the first man-made satellite to orbit Earth, because apparently the groundhog is sort of an idiot.

  • Phil traveled to Washington DC in 1986 to meet with President Reagan. God only knows why.

  • Phil appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show in 1995. Oprah saw her shadow and the weather hasn't been normal since.