When it comes to objective, non-biased perceptions of my fellow human
beings, I pride myself on my lack of bias. If three men in plaid
Walmart shirts knock me down, kick me passionately in the ribs, and
from my battered body remove my wallet – believe it or not – I would
not hate the next human being I met wearing a plaid Walmart shirt!
There, does that establish my neutrality of observation?
And much of my observation is focused on gender issues. I postulated
the counter culture observation that women are different from men.
Sure women can serve in the military, operate a jackhammer, and even
solve a quadratic equation. So, don’t get me wrong, we’re not talking
about inferiority, but simply about differences. Physiologically,
they are obvious. My Uncle Max in his underwear is obviously
different from Aunt Mamie. But we’re talking subtleties. I was the
first researcher in this field to notice – get this – that women
cannot effectively wink. They have a tendency to close both eyes,
which is improper. I’ve even met women who used their hand to hold
open the non-winking eye. My friends, when I brought this egregious
situation to their attention, immediately and cruelly attacked my
experimental modus operandi. (Scientists are always skeptical of
results THEY didn’t discover.)
The Journal of Gender Differences headlined my observation on its
cover. My jealous co-workers immediately attacked my sample size of
two, my wife and my granddaughter. I thought it was clever of me to
cover the extremities of age. Due to this furor among behaviorists,
the Journal retracted my conclusion when they found I had mistakenly
cited 2,000 subjects instead of two. Big deal. Two or two thousand
or two million. It was still a worthy scientific contribution – as
important as that government funded study showing that women DO NOT
paint their nails while driving.
But despite my defeat on the no-wink issue, I’ve got a new hypothesis
as solid as a rock and it’s not like I’ve made up my mind before
viewing the experimental data. The idea first came from a sample of
one – my lovely wife. Yes, sample size one. Then another experiment.
I know I’ve nailed this one. I’ll send it off to the Journal of
Gender Differences this week. It’s simple and it’s based on a sample
size of eight – eight, not two. Hypothesis: No woman watching a TV
movie of normal length has ever seen the end of the movie. Why? The
answer is elementary, Watson. She falls asleep on the couch every
time. No matter the movie, no matter the cast, she’s a goner in
thirty minutes to an hour. This covers all female species, wives,
girlfriends, aunts, nieces, friends, or your female feline. It never
fails. I’ll set up the experiment in my living room. First, a large
supper, then I’ll seat my female guests in our most comfortable
armchairs. Next, the movie. Then: The Big Sleep. The scenario is
always the same. 1) Excited chatter about the entertainment to come.
2) Total silence. 3) The soft sound of deep and rhythmic breathing.
No, my wife does not snore. I then ask a few clever questions to
deduce when she left the world of the waking.
And in my thesis to prove this scientific observation that I expect to
verify, I must answer the “why” question. My answer is the soul of
simplicity expressed in that old rubric: “A man works from sun to
sun. A woman’s work is never done.” You’re shuffling papers at work
– she’s doing the same or similar stuff and on top of that, in most
marriages she’s also provisioning the house, washing your clothes, and
preparing meals. Funny thing, as predictable as her snooze on the
couch, it never happens at the theatre. Another gender difference;
it’s as though the frugal, thoughtful planner who is your wife or
friend, mentally resolved to get her money’s worth. “This cost me ten
bucks. I’m gonna enjoy every minute of it.”
Wait till the Journal sees this insight into the female psyche. Next
investigation: Why does it take them so long to get out of the car.
I really know, but I guess I oughta do the experiment before I reveal
The humor of Ted, the Scribbler on the Roof, appears in newspapers around the U.S., on National Public Radio in Huntsville, Alabama and numerous web sites.