moreshortstuff

Life, kids etc.

Me just man, me not to blame

English: Caveman stick figure.

Bring it on, chicks!

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE BOLTON NEWS, FRIDAY 25 NOVEMBER 2011
THE kids were in bed, I was cooking the tea and Mrs Short came and joined me in the kitchen for a chat.
Leaning against the back door, she suddenly piped up: “How many steps do you reckon it is to the front door.”
I thought for a second. “Eight -no nine.”
So off she set: “One, two…”. It was 16.
“There’s no way it’s 16,” I moaned. “You could have easy done it in nine.”
So she went back to the back door and took massive strides. It was nine steps.
“Yessss!,” I cheered.
“But I didn’t ask how many I could do it in. I asked how many it was,” she countered. “Taking normal steps.”
And there it was. My wife had unwittingly stumbled on one of the things that separates us men from the girls.
When she innocently wondered how many steps it would take to get from our back door to our front door, I heard: “I bet you I can walk from here to there and it will only take me so many steps to do it.”
It’s not my fault. It’s hundreds of thousands of years of evolution and survival hardwired into my brain.
It gives us that competitive spirit. And it doesn’t matter what insignificant task we are doing – we carry it out like we have something to prove.
Ladies, when you send your man to the shops for toilet rolls and tell him exactly what sort he must buy, does he come back with that type? Of course he doesn’t. “I got these ones instead, love, because they are quilted and were 15p cheaper,” he says. We always feel we have something to prove
You want another example? How about charity fundraising. In Bolton each year we have the Midnight Memories Walk for the hospice or the Race for Life – lots of women having fun and raising money, without an ounce of competitive edge. Men aren’t allowed to join in – because they’d ruin it.
Even when we’re raising money for charity, it becomes a battle of manliness. “Yeah, think I’ll get my chest waxed,” we say.
And Movember! Each year at this time thousands of men grow a moustache for cancer charities. We even turn that into a battle, comparing our massive hairyness to the wispy efforts of our weedier pals. “And it makes you look like a pervert,” we add, kindly.
That said, I’m a big fan of Movember and will be sad to see it go next week. I like seeing hairy-lipped strangers nod silently at each other in the street. And weird uncles actually fit in for a few weeks of the year.
The one year I did do it I gave my family and friends the chance to vote for the style of tache I’d sport. My grandmas and several elderly aunts were among those who sponsored me. Yet “Hitler-style” was beaten by just two votes in the end. My family has a weird sense of humour.
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