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I are so smart

January 09, 2001

I are so smart



To all men: Hey, guys, I'm onto something, and oh boy, is this great.

To all women: Do not read. Go straight to the Lifestyle section. There's a wicked Heloise in today.

OK, fellows, listen closely. I had this epiphany over the holidays and frankly I don't know why I hadn't thought of it sooner. Or used it to my advantage sooner.

Here's the deal. Women think we guys are dumb. That's right, D-U-M-M, dumb. I know, I know, I didn't think it was possible either, but it's true. I thought they looked up at us with shining eyes and depended on us for key world information and crucial life decisions.

But it's all a myth. They believe we are morons, barely capable of adding bananas to our corn flakes without a psychological umbilical cord to a feminine support system. And for all I know, they may be right. But I no longer care.

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Now I hear all you roosters out there getting your feathers ruffled and wanting to defend your honor. But think about this for a while - does it really, in the grand scheme of things, matter? Information, pleasant or unpleasant, is power, so let's use this information to make our lives a little easier.

This crystallized for me, of all places, in the grocery store. I was standing in line with a basket containing five items. I knew how to use the self-service, but frankly I wasn't in the mood. I wanted someone to do the job for me.

Just then a very pleasant young woman, a store employee, approached and asked if I'd tried their new self-scanners. Yes, I said, but - I lied - I can never figure out how to do the produce.

"I'll help you," she said cheerfully, and sure enough, she scanned the broccoli and the potato (showing me how they were listed alphabetically on the produce chart, and how (b)roccoli came before (p)otato. It was about this time it flashed in front of my eyes: There is no bottom to the depths of how stupid this woman thinks a man can be.

I tried an experiment. I held up the chicken. "Where's the meat chart?" No, no meat chart, just scan normally (she did). I held up the sour cream. "Is this a produce?" Before I knew it, she'd done the whole thing.

I tapped my fingertips together and said, Monty Burns style, "eexxx-cellent."

Over Christmas, I did research. I said to a woman in the newsroom, "Gee, did you ever wish they would make a little light that clipped right onto a book? What? They do? What do they look like? What are they called? I guess I'd find those at, like, a pet shop?"

I tried this on several items with similar results. After about the fifth question, the woman would say in a flustered tone "Oh, I'm going to the mall tonight anyway, I'll just pick it up myself."

Grinning wildly, I scribbled the results in my lab book.

Sensing it was time, I took my experiments on the road. I walked into the woman's section of a department store and announced in a loud voice. "So, I guess you can pretty sum up women's sizes with 'small,' 'medium,' and 'large'?" "I just know my mom would like something in leather." "Are sequins 'in' this year?"

I was taken at each elbow by a female attendant and gift-wrapped and outta there in 10 minutes.

So you see, gentlemen, let's not hide our stupidity under a bushel. Let it shine like a thousand suns, and reap its resplendent rewards! Let us not, in some misplaced macho effort, try to demonstrate to the fairer sex that we know more than we do. For they know the truth. So why should we not use our dimwittedness to our advantage? And what if we are not quite as helpless as they think? Well, can we (wink) be held responsible for that?

You know, I just had my second epiphany of the holiday season: If any woman didn't listen to me and read this all the way through - oh boy, am I dead.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.

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