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The View From the Cheap Seats

By Dave Lind

Well, normally Dave provides us with a sports column that is about, well, sports. We have no idea what he's up to, but perhaps he has a plan. Or else he really is going insane...

First thing I do, when I'm emporor, is to ban women's magazines.

You know the one's I'm talking about. Cosmo, Redbook, Vanity Fair, etc. Magazines that tackle complex social issues such as "Men as Scum", "What Men are Scum", "Did We Mention That Men Are Scum", and "How To Attract A Man". When these magazines aren't detailing all of the horrible things men do to make the world uninhabitable for the master race (women), they're telling women either A)How to attract a man, B) How to train a man, or C) How to keep a man happy.

Oh yes. Believe it or not, women spend a great deal of time and energy on "C". Their magazines are filled with article with titles like: "1001 ways to make your man happy in bed" (personally, I can only think of two, and everything else is a variation on those two), and "What is your man thinking right now"? How about now?" Case in point: I come home from work the other day and find my wife curled up on the sofa reading a Cosmo. For this reason alone, I know that it is not going to be a good evening.

Soon after the Hi-Honey-I'm-Home pleasantries have been dispensed with, she begins to read me a section of an article. The author, the article says, is a regular lecturer who specializes in (what else) relationships. One regular portion of her presentation centers on a hypothetical question which I will now present to you:

You have cooked fish for dinner. As you move the servings from the pan to the plates, one of the fish pieces breaks apart and is thus slightly less asthetically appealing than the other. The question (yes, it does take a while for women to get to the "question" part of a question, doesn't it?): Do you A) give the broken piece of fish to your mate, or B) keep it for yourself so that your mate can have the "nicer" piece of fish.

If you answered without a moment's hesitation B) keep the broken fish, congratulations, you're a woman. Please stop reading this article now, as what follows will probably piss you off and cause you to withhold sex from your partner ever though he has probably never met me and had nothing to do with this article.

On the other hand, if you responded with a confused shrug and a "what the hell does a broken piece of fish have to do with a relationship" look on your face, you are a man. Welcome to our humble fraternity.

The point of this "fish story", if you will, is that it is an allegory, at least to women, of the way that they view relationships. Women have been trained since birth, apparently, that it is their duty in life to make the lives of those around them more comfortable and pleasurable. This impulse probably dates back to prehistoric times, when the ability of a woman to keep her man happy was literally a matter of life and death. Og no happy, Og leave, find better woman. Og leave, woman have to fight cave bear alone. This good for cave bear, bad for woman.

So women have learned to "make sacrifices" in order to make their men happy. When confronted with the choice of eating broken fish or nice fish, by golly they just suck it up and eat that broken piece of fish.


So let me get this straight: You've thrown out all of my really cool "bachelor furniture", run off all but the most annoying (to me) of my friends, and changed the way I eat, dress and comb my hair. But I get first crack at the unbroken piece of fish. THIS is your commitment to making my life more comfortable and pleasurable. I know that I speak for all of male humanity when I say "Keep your #@$%#$ing fish and stop trying to fix me!"

The problem is this: for all of their exhaustive research on the subject (i.e., reading Cosmo, Vanity Fair, etc), women still have no idea what it takes to make a man happy. Clearly, clean bathrooms and pristine fish dinners are important to you, so if you want these things, by all means knock yourself out. We'll be in the garage watching football (because that's the only "room" you'll allow us to have our big screen TV in).

I know it's been done before (ed. note: in this very mag), but I'll try to just one more time to clue you ladies in.

What Men Want (Comprehensive List)

  1. Food
  2. Sex
  3. Electronics

Yes, that really is it. And the amazing thing is, after four million years of evolution, this list has only recently expanded from 2 items to 3. Prior to, say, the fifties, all men wanted was dinner on the table and unconditional sex two or three times a week. The technological revolution has radically changed all that, however, as we now want a computer (so we can look for pornography), and a big-screen TV (so we can watch football, Battlebots, Junkyard Wars, and pornography). So you can see, we are, as a gender, expanding our interests.

Back to the point. Ladies, if you truly are interested in making the men in your lives happier, I beg you to hear my words and heed my advice, though in my heart of hearts I know that you will not.

Less is More. By all that is holy, if you truly want your man to be happy then stop working so hard to please him. Leave the poor man alone to watch his football and drink his beer in peace. Appreciate the things HE does to make YOUR life better, and if he does no such things, LEAVE HIM!

Bottom line: If you want to make your man happy, the Just Be Happy. If you like the fish, if the appearance of the fish pleases you, then by all means eat the fish. If splurging on that cute blouse at the mall will put a smile on your face, then buy it and wear it happily without guilt. If we were interested in martyrs, we would have posters of Joan of Arc on our walls instead of Pamela Sue Anderson. We do not wish to be solely responsible for your happiness, nor do we wish for you to be solely responsible for ours. NOTE: This does NOT mean we seek an "I got mine, you get yours" approach to a relationship. What it means is, instead of "I do things for you in hopes that it will make you happy", it's "I do things for you because I am happy with you.

Thanks for listening, you may now return to your Cosmo.