Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Retraction, of Sorts

For five years I have steadfastly maintained that no dumber man walks the planet than George W. Bush. I’m big enough to admit when I’m wrong. Peter Cook is way dumber than Dubya.

Who’s Peter Cook? Christie Brinkley’s husband—for the time being. Just last week I nominated him for suicide watch when Christie moved out. I blamed her for her series of failed relationships, figuring any man worth his salt would put up with whatever he had to because at the end of the day he’d sleeping with Christie Brinkley. It was beyond my imagination that any man would mistreat her in such a manner to compel her to leave. A direct quote: “Anyone who would do that should be banned from the International Brotherhood of Men forever. Intentionally mistreating Christie Brinkley is like peeing on the Mona Lisa.”

Looks like I was wrong again. Twice in one posting; I’ll have to resist the urge to register Republican. Turns out Peter (an apt moniker) was banging a nineteen-year-old employee of his architectural firm. “I’m stupid,” he said in a statement today.

Stupid isn’t the half of it. You are—soon to be were—married to Christie Brinkley, dumb ass. A woman who looks like Christie isn’t someone you cheat on; she’s someone you cheat with. Maybe Cook thought he could taste the forbidden fruit, get Sissy home before Dad grounded her for missing curfew, and still have time to ride the merry-go-round at Christie’s Fantasyland, enhancing his climax by thinking of all the men who weren’t him.

There’s something about some men that makes them unable to resist younger women. Maybe they’re afraid of their own mortality. Whatever it is, they’re ruled by Lord Priapus (thank you, Tom Wolfe), led around by their probably undersized dicks by whatever fresh conquest looms. They miss out on the best parts of a woman because they’re too involved in the Quest to think about what they’re looking for, or why.

I used to work with a man about fifteen years younger than me. He, too, was into younger women. (Not to mention his third marriage.) Considering his age at the time—thirty-two—I assumed he’d given up on bars, and was looking for his next ex by going to confirmation parties and bat mitzvahs.

“You know what’s cool?” he said. “You find a young girl, and she’ll do stuff because she doesn’t know it’s dirty.”

“You know what’s really cool?” I said. “You find an older woman who likes it.” I couldn’t have confused him more if I had tried to explain Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle.

What did Peter Cook and his chickie talk about after sex? Back-to-school shopping? The Homecoming dance? Zit medication? I’m as much a pig as the next guy; I like girls. A lot. I like women better. How to tell them apart? A girl is someone you just want to sleep with; a woman is someone you want to wake up with. It’s obvious Peter Cook isn’t awake yet.

As for my comments about Christie (“how wack must she be?”), a thousand apologies. I stand ready to sooth your hurt feelings in any way possible, which is a considerable number, since you’re on The List. As long as it doesn’t involve spending money. A man’s got to have standards.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Up or Down

(Editor's Note: The following essay was written well before I met the Crazy Like Me Correspondent. None of the events described have transpired on her watch. )

I will confess, I leave the toilet seat up as often as not, but I live alone. I am aware the seat may be up or down any time I use the facility and over the years I have developed a simple plan for checking whether I should change the position before beginning my task.

I look at it.

For a gender who delights in reminding us what sloth-like troglodytes we are, that simple action, accomplished billions of times a day by men the world over, seems to be too much effort for women. “But if you leave the seat down, you'll always know it’s down,” they say. Big deal. If you leave it up all the time, you'll always know it’s up.

Then the argument shifts to, “You have no idea what it’s like to have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and fall into the toilet because the seat is up. That’s why it should stay down.” Personally, that’s why I would look carefully before flopping my behind down, but we've already discussed that. Here’s something they never mention: we'll fall into the toilet, too, if the seat’s up. That’s why we look first.

As bad as dropping into the toilet may be, it has nothing on its reciprocal occurrence in a man’s life. Picture this. A man has awakened in the middle of the night to answer nature’s call. Half asleep, he staggers into the bathroom and, doing what a woman asserts is her God-given right, fails to check the seat location before draining that night’s consumption of malt beverage. He finishes, flushes, then returns to his blissful sleep.

A few minutes later his bride follows him. She goes into the bathroom, exerts her right not to have to check the seat, and the entire neighborhood is shattered by her resulting scream.


He leaps out of bed and runs to defend his one true love from whatever has frightened her, be it burglar, mouse, spider, or O.J. Simpson with a chain saw. As he reaches the bathroom he sees her, tears of rage on her cheeks and a look of hatred on her face.

“You bastard!! You peed on the seat!!”

Harry can only console himself with the knowledge that it was a good, relaxing purging, as that’s the only exercise the Big Guy is going to get for about three months.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

My Kid

I hate people who can tell you when their kid first walked, spoke, spit up, wiped his/her own butt, whatever. I love the Sole Heir as much as any of them love their kids; I just don’t feel the need to inflict it on you.

That being said, today she told me she received a score of 5 on an Advanced Placement exam. For those of you not hip to AP tests, they’re usually given to high-achieving high school seniors. A score of 3 might get you college credit; 4 is almost always credit; and for a 5 some schools waive the proctologic exam of your parents’ finances before awarding aid. I don’t know how many freshmen get a 5 ; I just know it’s at least one.

Good job, Bink.

A Manly Metaphor

Christie Brinkley is now separated from her fourth husband, Peter Cook. Forget her public persona; how wack must she be? No one can get along with her.Any guy with the skills to get close enough to her to marry her, given the competition he’s bound to face, should be man enough to cowboy up and eat whatever he has to for the relationship to last. I mean, whatever else happens through the day, he gets to sleep with Christie Brinkley. She’s fifty-two, and she’s still on my list. (Granted, I’m into marginally older women.)

What must go on that the man either can’t keep her happy enough to stay, or she makes him unhappy enough to leave. We don’t even want to consider the idea that he treats her so poorly she’d have to leave. Anyone who would do that should be banned from the International Brotherhood of Men forever. Intentionally mistreating Christie Brinkley is like peeing on the Mona Lisa.

Don’t worry about Christie; she’ll land on her feet. (Cook should be on suicide watch for at least six months.) Christie is like the baseball pitcher with a 99-mph fastball. Even if he walks a batter every inning and throws six wild pitches a game, some team will want him. Show them the stats, the history of teams that gave up on him, some pitching coach will always say, “Yeah, but look at him! He throws ninety-nine miles an hour! They all missed something. Maybe I can stabilize his release point. Fix his arm slot. Something. Think of the potential upside.”

That’s Christie. The 99-mph heater with the inconsistent release point.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Internet Dating, Part II

A woman will tell you that looks aren't that important to her. She stares openmouthed, hands to her cheeks in dismay, at any word that might pass your lips to indicate that one of her peers is unattractive, or that, God forbid, you would not be interested in a woman because you think she looks like John Goodman in a halter top.

They would never sink to such depths. They know there is much more than that to everyone, and true beauty can only be found by getting to know someone and exploring the nooks and crannies of his or her psyche, and finding the truth in her or her heart. I grew up in Western Pennsylvania, and we had a word for comments like that.


There are only two things more important to a woman than your looks: her looks and money. Money comes second because so much of it will be earmarked for the maintenance, or creation, of her looks. Calm down, I have proof.

I haven’t counted, but at least half the Internet ads I've seen of attractive women specify in them, “No replies without photo.” If a guy put that in there, he’d be roasted and his picture put up in every ladies room like it was a post office. Half of the women who do reply will ask for a picture right out of the chute. Then they get cute when they don’t think you’re a hunk.

I had one who insisted on a picture, then blew me off. It wasn't that I was unattractive, she wrote, but I looked too much like an old boyfriend. She didn't want to hurt my feelings by saying someone else’s name during an intimate encounter.

Hurt my feelings? Lady, it’s been so long since I had a intimate encounter I wouldn't care if you whispered “This is going to cost you an extra fifty dollars” in my ear. This is called “living in the moment.” My feelings can be hurt later, I’m busy now.

There was another one, who seemed like a very nice woman from the emails we traded, who then posted her picture on the site. I’m not going to say anything nasty about the picture. I'll let her do it. She wrote me a couple of days later to tell me that her responses had dropped to zero since posting the picture. People who had been corresponding with her had stopped, and she would understand if I didn't want to get together after all.

I wrote back and said not to worry about it. I tried to lighten the moment a little by saying it was no big deal, that I had posted my picture for a while with the same result.

I never heard from her again.

Having already acknowledged that I am not Mel Gibson, I’m not the Elephant Man, either. I have no problems with women rejecting me because of my looks. I do it. You do it. (Be honest.) Everyone does it. I just don’t like being told you don’t do it when we all know you do.

While we’re on the subject of putting pictures in personal ads, what are some people thinking of? Ladies, a word of advice. If you are trying to attract a man via a personal, do not attach a picture of you and your dog/cat/ferret dressed in matching outfits, especially Christmas suits. Men do not find this attractive. We find it scary. We would rather order a Cosmopolitan in a biker bar than deal with the possibility of having to help you dress Skittles for next year’s Christmas card. We are also not crazy about the idea of you having a dog/cat/ferret that would tolerate such behavior.

The Male Ego comes in for quite a bit of bashing, and deservedly so. I, personally, am convinced that it is no coincidence that Nicole Kidman dumped that squirt Tom Cruise shortly after I became available. That being said, try this headline on for size, written by an actual woman to attract a man’s attention:

“The woman you wished you’d married.”

As if her ego wasn't off-putting enough, she goes on to prove that she not only has no clue, she doesn't even know where to shop for one.

Since my divorce, I seem to be a magnet for married men. Something like cats, that seem to know I’m horribly allergic to them, and can’t keep their fuzzy little paws off of me. I think it’s because I’m so much more interesting that the women they are actually married to.

It occurred to me at this point that her headline should have read “The woman you wish you’d slept with.” I know enough about guys to know that “unsuitable, attached and wannabe philandering men” (her words) aren't looking for a woman to marry. They are looking for a woman (how can I put this delicately?) to shack up with. Her copious list of virtues are not what men who cheat are looking for. They are going to look pretty much in the area between the neck and the knees and leave it at that.

With that last sentence we have come full circle and admitted that men are, indeed, pigs. Fine. I wish I was a better person. Let’s be honest, though. We’re all about the same, and we’re all in this together. Let’s try to have a little fun and do the right thing at the same time.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Law of Unintended Consequences

The Sole Heir’s mother was called in from vacation for a meeting at 4:00 PM on Monday, July 3. Granted, Monday was a work day; still, it is not clear what was so urgent to demand accomplishment so late the day before a major holiday, since half the country’s on vacation, and no one would be available to do anything about it until Wednesday.

In a related note, an acquaintance was called in from vacation on Monday to do a report. These are two glowing examples of managers trying to show what big dicks they have, and succeeding only in showing what big dicks they are.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

As American as Falafel and Quiche

While Congress was distracted with whining about who should protect our ports and whether our phone records should be available to every fed with a bug up his ass, the terrorists took over ESPN.

Today is the Fourth of July, the most American of holidays. As recently as last year ESPN celebrated with five baseball games, starting in the early afternoon and running past midnight, moving through all four time zones to allow everyone a chance to glimpse our National Pastime.

What are they showing today? ESPN has poker and soccer, followed by Barry Bonds’ weekly festival of self-aggrandizing video masturbation and concluding with more poker before Baseball Tonight, their one-hour wrap-up of the day’s games, none of which they thought worthy of showing live. ESPN2 is even worse. Hours of Wimbledon and a replay of the afternoon’s soccer game (for the fifteen people in the country with cable but no VCR) are sandwiched around a hot dog eating contest.

I realize they have marketing surveys out the wazoo; I also understand all twenty-something marketing geniuses know more about this than I ever will. Doesn’t tradition count for anything? ESPN and The Deuce also ditched baseball on Memorial Day, replacing it with other two staples of Americana: poker and competitive paintball. All day. On both channels. Honest to Allah.

Now tell me the terrorists aren’t winning.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Internet Dating, Part I

Editor’s Note: This was written well before I met the Crazy Like Me Correspondent. None of the comments apply even remotely to her.

People living in the Washington area don’t need anyone to tell them how busy they are. High-stress jobs and traffic consume more potential leisure time than anyone cares to think about. Creating a social life from this chaos of obligations is always a challenge. This is the primary reason for the rise in Internet dating.

Internet dating provides an opportunity to deal with various aspects of the female personality in a compressed time. Instead of meeting and dating women over a period of months, you can encounter dozens in a day, and may actually communicate through email or chat with several in the course of a week.

Notice that I didn't say if this was good or bad. I prefer to take the Zen approach and say that it is not good or bad, it just is. It is certainly educational.

Before I get into full rant here, let’s get the disclaimers out of the way. I am well into my second divorce, which carries with it the implication of damaged goods. I am forty-five years old, so approximately half the women on the planet will consider me a pathetic old lecher if I even ask them where to find the Metamucil. I have never been mistaken for Mel Gibson. (I’m considerably taller.) My sense of humor is not for the faint of heart.

I am also a guy, with the base tendencies guys have. Everyone knows what those are. Some will be discussed here, some won’t. Suffice to sat that the women with whom I have been dealing should assume I have these tendencies.

I’m not going to get all New Age and start talking about Mars and Venus. It’s not that complicated, and there are copyright issues I’d rather nor deal with. I also don’t want anyone to think I’m being misogynistic. I’m being as honest and forthright as I can, from my perspective, which is the only one I can have and is, therefore, the only one that counts in my little corner of The Big Picture.

It is widely assumed that women are deeper and more sincere than men. This idea must have come from their ability to bear children, which supposedly gives them insight into the meaning of life and our place in it, as well as the cosmic and supernatural forces that guide our pitiful existence, regardless of our feeble attempts to exercise some control. Lots of people think that.

They’re wrong. Women are just as shallow as men. They’re just shallow about different things.

I realize I am throwing away any chance I have of being a guest on “Oprah,” or “The View.” I’ll get over it. I’d prefer a shot at Jim Rome’s show or “Win Ben Stein’s Money.”

Probably the favorite piece of evidence thrown in men’s faces by women who wish to establish themselves as superior life forms is our predilection for sports. We like to play sports, we like to watch sports, and we like to talk about sports. Sports occupy a major part of our attention. Maybe not as much as sex, but it’s close.

Women have loftier things on their minds and will not sully their gray matter with such base concerns. Life as we know it would change fundamentally if women were to adjust their thinking and worry about sports, even a little. Entire nations, especially this one, would see their economies shrivel and die should the female population waver even an inch from their ramrod-straight focus on what rules their world. Men have sports. Women have shopping.

Don’t laugh, the parallels are too tight. Men love to play sports, women love to shop. Men watch sports on television, women have gobs of cable channels devoted to nothing but shopping. Men will talk about sports all hours of the day. Women will talk about shopping the same way. You don’t think so? Tell me you’re never heard the following conversation, or one just like it.

“Where did you get that blouse?”

“Do you like it? I got it at Bloomingdale’s.”

“What did you pay for it?”

“It was only forty-five dollars.” (Note: I have no idea what any article of women’s clothing costs, and I don’t want to know. I picked a number at random, and I don’t want to hear about it if I’m off by several orders of magnitude.)

“You know, I saw one a lot like it at Nordstrom’s, but it was sixty-five dollars.”

“I know. I think the one at Nordstrom’s was a little nicer, but not twenty dollars nicer. Feel this material. The thread count can’t be that much different.”

“Speaking of thread count, did you see the sheets on sale at Hecht’s? They were a hundred twenty count and were on sale.”

“No! Get out! How long is the sale good for?” And on and on.

How is this different, or any more elevated, than a manly discussion of why A-Rod may hit thirty points higher than I-Rod, but I-Rod plays a tougher position and is therefore a more valuable player? It’s not. It’s even lower, because they’re talking about a blouse, and we’re talking about baseball. Millions of people will not be thrown into paroxysms of joy or despair if she misses the last sheets at Hecht’s, but they will if Bill Buckner lets an easy ground ball roll through his legs to lose the World Series.