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There are three things that are too amazing for me,
four that I do not understand:
the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a young woman.

That’s from Proverbs, the sayings of Agur the son of Jakeh. Now, between you and me, I don’t know Agur the son of Jakeh from Adam son of a Hole in the Ground, but seeing as ten-year-olds aren’t noted for writing many proverbs, we can assume that he’s an old man. He must have been young once; he must have done this. Still, he’s ranking it as too amazing for him. Maybe it’s something he forgot with age? Well, I’m a young (relatively speaking) man, and if anyone ought to understand the way of a man with a young woman, it ought to be me, right? I don’t understand it. I can, however, pass on my observations, for science.

Take one male specimen; me. Non-standard, but it’ll have to do. Take him as he’s walking (uncommon) without a thought in his head (very common), and pass him by a female specimen. Unfortunately for the cause of science the amount of data in the control group (no female specimen available) dwarfs the experimental group.

The control case is plenty monotonous. The male of the species starts at point A, lumbers over to point B, and is almost never rewarded by finding cheese there. Repeat ad nauseam. The experimental case, however…

Normally the male specimen is oblivious to changes in his environment more subtle than being hit by a city bus. Through mechanisms unknown to science however, he instantly recognizes the female specimen and, at a speed that shames most supercomputers, measures her temperature against a hotness scale. Most people calibrate between 1 and 10, but I’m a fan of the Soto Normalized Scale.

Should the female of the species register high enough on the man’s scale, (“high enough” is variable, but know to depend on who’s watching), the next operation is a chemical assay, again of amazing speed. In the presence of precious metals on the female’s left hand, the experiment reverts disappointedly to the control case. Science has tested this method for substance detection in the diamond fields of South Africa to statistically negligible effect.

Should no metals be detected the heretofore astounding processing in the cerebrum takes its toll. The Medulla Oblongata steps up its work, increasing the heart rate and, for some damn fool reason, sending a large production order to the sweat glands. The cerebrum, on the other hand, has shot off most of its ready neurotransmitters, and no longer produces coherent thought. Indeed, we’d think that it no longer produces any thought at all except some of those thoughts get short-circuited through the flapping jaw.

This stage can last for some moments to months at a time. I believe it’s an exponential distribution, but more curve-fitting needs to be done.

How this fugue terminates is a matter of great interest to science. When observing samples who, having lost their higher functions in the moment, walked into stop signs and been put out cold, they appear to awake to no ill effect. Aside from the dent in their head.

For experiments where the subject is not lucky enough to hit a stop sign, the fugue state begins to dissipate when the female specimen signals that she already has a boyfriend or, and we’ve correlated this with how much jaw-flapping has happened, other means if she’s feeling less charitable. Sometimes means more painful than the stop sign.

If the female sample is removed and the effect is allowed to dissipate without being prematurely terminated, we see a follow on effect. The brain rebuilds its supply of neurotransmitters and lurches into a Sherlock Holmesian state. The smallest details are noted (except, oddly enough, what shoes she was wearing. Completely unknown to Science.) Wild chains of logic emerge, deductions are made, building on one another to a monumental conclusion: A probability calculation as to how likely the male specimen is to encounter that female specimen again. The number calculated is wildly optimistic.

That, I’m afraid, is the entirety of my survey of the subject so far. If you have observations of your own to share please do.

There are 53 comments.

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  1. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Ah, “the power to cloud mens’ minds . . . ” 

    Fine post. I love science.

    • #1
    • April 5, 2019, at 3:12 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  2. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    Hank Rhody, Meddling Cowpoke: Through mechanisms unknown to science however he instantly recognizes the female specimen and, at a speed that shames most supercomputers, measures her temperature against a hotness scale. Most people calibrate between 1 and 10, but I’m a fan of the Soto Normalized Scale.

    • #2
    • April 5, 2019, at 3:14 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  3. Randy Webster Member

    Hank Rhody, Meddling Cowpoke: , the next operation is a chemical assay, again of amazing speed. In the presence of precious metals on the female’s left hand the experiment reverts disappointedly to the control case

    I just finished The Story of Civilization and am now immersed in the Iliad. I’m not sure how important the assay is. Oh, and the ladies were pretty accommodating in Don Quixote, too.

    • #3
    • April 5, 2019, at 3:16 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  4. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Get close enough and you will be assimilated. You will like it; resistance is futile. You’ll be part of the worldwide community of assimilated men, obeying traditions that extend beyond the dawn of civilization. You’ll get to participate in continuous conversation while barely speaking a single word. You’ll be an exclusive subscriber to a personal podcast about other couples you know, their foibles, their linens, where they buy their linens, and how tough it is to find parking there. And let’s not even get into the subject of their children, how they compare to yours, and whether or not they’re getting into Princeton. This is all free of charge, BTW, and like I say, you won’t even have to open your mouth.

    Funny thing is, after a while, it seems like a pretty sweet deal.

    • #4
    • April 5, 2019, at 3:33 PM PDT
    • 15 likes
  5. Judge Mental Member

    Hank Rhody, Meddling Cowpoke: (except, oddly enough, what shoes she was wearing.

    Unless they’re conspicuously slutty.

    • #5
    • April 5, 2019, at 3:58 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. Randy Webster Member

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Hank Rhody, Meddling Cowpoke: (except, oddly enough, what shoes she was wearing.

    Unless they’re conspicuously slutty.

    I don’t think I’ve ever noticed what shoes a woman was wearing, slutty or not.

    • #6
    • April 5, 2019, at 4:03 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. GLDIII Temporarily Essential Reagan
    GLDIII Temporarily Essential Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    This essay make me happy that I married my high school sweetheart, and avoid years of emotional, analytical, and intellectual anguish. Granted, I traded them for a certain other types of anguish, but still.

    • #7
    • April 5, 2019, at 4:03 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  8. Judge Mental Member

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Hank Rhody, Meddling Cowpoke: (except, oddly enough, what shoes she was wearing.

    Unless they’re conspicuously slutty.

    I don’t think I’ve ever noticed what shoes a woman was wearing, slutty or not.

    Actual exchange with my former business partner:

    Her: Do you like these shoes?

    me: Yeah.

    Her: You don’t think they’re too dominatrix-y?

    me: That’s what I liked about ’em.

    • #8
    • April 5, 2019, at 4:07 PM PDT
    • 16 likes
  9. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    She (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Hank Rhody, Meddling Cowpoke: (except, oddly enough, what shoes she was wearing.

    Unless they’re conspicuously slutty.

    I don’t think I’ve ever noticed what shoes a woman was wearing, slutty or not.

    I used to work with a PC salesman in comparison to whom Joe Biden in a room full of women would look like a Madame Tussaud’s wax figurine. Chuck was in his 50s, was incredibly handsy, and very overt. I was the support person, doing the demonstration with the word processor, then, post sale, I’d train the secretaries, and then do all follow up support for the users in their offices. This was the late ’70s. His standard line with the customers was, “buy this machine and we’ll throw her in for free!” At some point in the demo, and depending on what we had on our feet, he’d ask me (and the other support reps) to take our legs out from under the desk, and he’d exclaim, “Look at those hooker shoes!”

    Really, it was like living on a different planet. Not necessarily a bad one. But different.

    I’ll never forget the day Chuck came to work looking somewhat the worse for wear and with a pretty large bandage on the side of his head. Rather shamefacedly, he admitted that his wife, Judy, had whacked him on the head with a frozen leg of lamb, after he got a bit frisky.

    So, men, proceed with caution. There are some things that just won’t be bound by the laws of science. And women are in charge of most of them.

    • #9
    • April 5, 2019, at 4:10 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  10. Randy Webster Member

    In the 80’s, I was building restaurants. Not many females on the jobsite, until the wine salesmen came in. They were always pretty women and were disappointed that I wasn’t able to close a deal. We always knew they were wine salesmen as soon as they came in the door.

    • #10
    • April 5, 2019, at 4:23 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  11. Randy Webster Member

    Hank Rhody, Meddling Cowpoke: ’m a fan of the Soto Normalized Scale.

    The Frank Soto Normalized Scale?

    • #11
    • April 5, 2019, at 4:38 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  12. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Hank Rhody, Meddling Cowpoke: ’m a fan of the Soto Normalized Scale.

    The Frank Soto Normalized Scale?

    Correct. Goes from 1 to 7, apparently results in less argumentation than the standard 10-scale.

    • #12
    • April 5, 2019, at 4:50 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  13. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Hank Rhody, Meddling Cowpoke: (except, oddly enough, what shoes she was wearing.

    Unless they’re conspicuously slutty.

    I don’t think I’ve ever noticed what shoes a woman was wearing, slutty or not.

    Actual exchange with my former business partner:

    Her: Do you like these shoes?

    me: Yeah.

    Her: You don’t think they’re too dominatrix-y?

    me: That’s what I liked about ’em.

    You were partners in an early Nineties detective agency with Cybill Shepherd? 

    • #13
    • April 5, 2019, at 6:31 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  14. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    She (View Comment):

    Ah, “the power to cloud mens’ minds . . . ”

    Fine post. I love science.

    Science, or mysterious arts? Perhaps only the Shadow knows.


    This conversation is part of our Group Writing Series under the April 2019 Group Writing Theme: Men and Women. There are plenty of dates still available — hey, look! Sunday and Monday, wide open. Tell us about your favorite couple, witty or tragic observations between the sexes, or perhaps the battles and truces. Or do something entirely different. Maybe a musical or dance post! Our schedule and sign-up sheet awaits.

    May’s theme will be blossom midway through April’s showers.

    • #14
    • April 5, 2019, at 6:35 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  15. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Hank Rhody, Meddling Cowpoke: ’m a fan of the Soto Normalized Scale.

    The Frank Soto Normalized Scale?

    Correct. Goes from 1 to 7, apparently results in less argumentation than the standard 10-scale.

    Not really. The arguments just shift to kvetching about the scale, and the scale lacking 2 necessary axes for crazy and… something else.

    • #15
    • April 5, 2019, at 6:58 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  16. OldDanRhody's speakeasy Member

    Hank Rhody, Meddling Cowpoke: Should no metals be detected the heretofore astounding processing in the cerebrum takes it’s toll. The Medulla Oblongata steps up it’s work, increasing the heart rate and, for some damn fool reason, sending a large production order to the sweat glands. The cerebrum, on the other hand, has shot off most of it’s ready neurotransmitters, and no longer produces coherent thought. Indeed, we’d think that it no longer produces any thought at all except some of those thoughts get short-circuited through the flapping jaw.

    • #16
    • April 5, 2019, at 7:07 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  17. Randy Webster Member

    She (View Comment):
    Rather shamefacedly, he admitted that his wife, Judy, had whacked him on the head with a frozen leg of lamb, after he got a bit frisky.

    How rude. I always thought it was our job to be frisky.

    • #17
    • April 5, 2019, at 8:16 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  18. Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito Contributor

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Hank Rhody, Meddling Cowpoke: , the next operation is a chemical assay, again of amazing speed. In the presence of precious metals on the female’s left hand the experiment reverts disappointedly to the control case

    I just finished The Story of Civilization and am now immersed in the Iliad. I’m not sure how important the assay is. Oh, and the ladies were pretty accommodating in Don Quixote, too.

    And just what kind of lab do you think I’m running here?

    • #18
    • April 5, 2019, at 10:27 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  19. Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito Contributor

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Hank Rhody, Meddling Cowpoke: (except, oddly enough, what shoes she was wearing.

    Unless they’re conspicuously slutty.

    Sluttiness has up until the present juncture largely been a matter of theoretical conjecture. I hope to secure funding to build a supercollider to extend the frontiers of Science, but the NSF no longer returns my calls.

    • #19
    • April 5, 2019, at 10:31 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  20. Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito Contributor

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Hank Rhody, Meddling Cowpoke: ’m a fan of the Soto Normalized Scale.

    The Frank Soto Normalized Scale?

    Correct. Goes from 1 to 7, apparently results in less argumentation than the standard 10-scale.

    The idea is that 4 is the mean woman (possibly with leg of lamb). That number encompasses all people within one standard deviation of the mean. 5’s are one standard deviation above average, 6’s are two, and 7’s are seldom encountered in these mortal lands. Same deal on the opposite side of the scale, ranging from ugly to hideous to turns-you-to-stone.

    • #20
    • April 5, 2019, at 10:37 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  21. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Hank Rhody, Meddling Cowpoke: ’m a fan of the Soto Normalized Scale.

    The Frank Soto Normalized Scale?

    Correct. Goes from 1 to 7, apparently results in less argumentation than the standard 10-scale.

    IIRC, there was a series of early Eighties car ads in magazines (General Motors, I think) that tried to dig them out of the hole of having a lousy reputation for assembly quality. It said something like, “By actual inspection, our quality quotient has increased from 85 to 93 points in the past five years, and we’re not stopping there!” But they didn’t tell you the fact that it wasn’t actually a percentage. It was based on a scale of 130.

    • #21
    • April 5, 2019, at 11:20 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  22. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    Hank Rhody, Meddling Cowpoke (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Hank Rhody, Meddling Cowpoke: (except, oddly enough, what shoes she was wearing.

    Unless they’re conspicuously slutty.

    Sluttiness has up until the present juncture largely been a matter of theoretical conjecture. I hope to secure funding to build a supercollider to extend the frontiers of Science, but the NSF no longer returns my calls.

    • #22
    • April 5, 2019, at 11:42 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  23. Randy Webster Member

    Hank Rhody, Meddling Cowpoke (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Hank Rhody, Meddling Cowpoke: (except, oddly enough, what shoes she was wearing.

    Unless they’re conspicuously slutty.

    Sluttiness has up until the present juncture largely been a matter of theoretical conjecture. I hope to secure funding to build a supercollider to extend the frontiers of Science, but the NSF no longer returns my calls.

    Those bastards!

    • #23
    • April 6, 2019, at 12:52 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  24. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Well, you all know the bumper sticker, “Electricians Do It ‘Til It Hz, But Physicists Do It ‘Til All Factors Reach Steady State Equilibrium”.

    • #24
    • April 6, 2019, at 1:26 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  25. Randy Webster Member

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Well, you all know the bumper sticker, “Electricians Do It ‘Til It Hz, But Physicists Do It ‘Til All Factors Reach Steady State Equilibrium”.

    I’d have to have my reading glasses on to be able to read that one.

    • #25
    • April 6, 2019, at 1:56 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  26. Susan Quinn Contributor

    I have nothing at all clever to say. I can only say that I laughed through your whole post! Thanks for making my evening. (And I’m sure glad I’m a woman!)

    • #26
    • April 6, 2019, at 6:24 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  27. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    They wear shoes?

    • #27
    • April 6, 2019, at 7:27 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  28. Titus Techera Contributor

    Everything I know I learned when Tom Cruise started singing You lost that lovin’ feeling in the real-world documentary where he beats the Soviets with this plane that flies upside down. Again, for the cheap seats, if you can fly & have won the Cold War, you’ll do fine.

    • #28
    • April 7, 2019, at 1:21 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  29. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    While reading the post I figured I would mention that some of us do notice shoes, but I guess that’s been covered thoroughly by other commenters. I will add Crocs are the worst. Just the very worst.

    • #29
    • April 7, 2019, at 11:18 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  30. Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito Contributor

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    While reading the post I figured I would mention that some of us do notice shoes, but I guess that’s been covered thoroughly by other commenters. I will add Crocs are the worst. Just the very worst.

    I made a New Year’s Resolution to look at ladies’ shoes more often. (Insert joke about outgoing engineers here.) I figured that seeing as shoes were important to the ladies then maybe I could learn something from observing them; much like someone could track a mountain lion by it’s spoor.

    Nope; I have maybe remembered to check women’s shoes on three occasions since I made the resolution. Just can’t manage it.

    • #30
    • April 7, 2019, at 12:27 PM PDT
    • 8 likes

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