No ifs, ands or butts about it

blog_this_tramp_stamp_tattooJust read that some French university professor conducted a little experiment on a beach. He sent out onto the sand a group of scantly-clad good-looking women. They were bait – cast out to try to catch the red-blooded, carnivorous sucker fish, a.k.a. man. They landed a few.

He then reeled the babes back in, but before throwing them back out there he slapped on some “tramp stamp” temporary tattoos.

Eureka – feeding frenzy. To find the reason behind it (I suppose pun intended), he asked the men why they’d approached the lovely ladies. After all, they went nearly unnoticed during the earlier trip along the shore. What gives?

Yup, ’twas the tramp stamps. Most of the men said the tats sent them a subliminal message – oh lookee-here, some females who’ll probably let me talk to them, maybe even have sex with me on the first date. After all, they are … um, tramps, right?

I said most of them thought that, not all. The others? Who knows. Maybe they thought they were stamps. Hey, I said the sucker fish was carnivorous. Not intelligent.

Behold, the power and attraction of the tramp stamp. Just ink under the skin, just above the posterior. Something so trivial, seemingly inconsequential, pretty dumb actually. But who I am to say? The professor did his research, I’ve no evidence to back up my claim, to refute him.

So I must do my own investigation. But it’s too damn cold today to go to the beach. So, I shall Bing this thing and let the Internet do my data collection for me. OK, all of you tramp stamps out there, show me your best stuff, convince me you have some power …

Now, help me out here. I'm supposed to see this cow pulling up your rear and start thinking of ... what again? Sorry, I'm feeling it yet.

Now, help me out here. I’m supposed to see this cow pulling up your rear and start thinking of … what again?

So ... what was it you say happened to all of your other boyfriends again?

So … what was it you said happened to all of your old boyfriends?

Thanks so much for the warning ... I'll be on my way now.

Thanks for the warning … I’ll be on my way now.

Woo-boy - okie-dokie, please tell me I'm just taking this out of context ...

Woo-boy. Okie-dokie – please tell me I’m just taking this out of context …

Um, I see this and one word comes to mind. No, not sex. Brevity.

Um, one word comes to mind. No, it’s not sexy. Brevity.

Oh, I get it. Star Wars ... C-3PO ... May the Ass be with you? No.

Oh, I get it. Star Wars … R2-D2 … May this Ass be with you? Lemme think. No.

Well, there you have it. I’m convinced the professor’s findings, and many men’s brains, are full of shit. But if you’re not yet, just give it time. How so? Remember – only time will tell …

tramp-stamp-forever 18I rest my case.


Farewell, my plasma

Germany: In a study of 2,200 Germans commissioned by the Hamburg-based Foundation for Future Studies, 57 percent of the women surveyed said they’d rather give up sex than television for an entire year.

United States: An iVillage-commissioned study found that 63 percent of the married women surveyed would rather read, sleep or watch a movie than have sex with their spouse.

Britain: A QVC poll surveyed 3,000 Brits and found that one in 10 actually love the television more than they love their partner. According to the Daily Mail, more than a tenth of those polled said they’d rather split up with their significant other than give up watching television.

Any City, Anywhere:

I saw him just as I’d reached the top of the stairs; he was leaning on the wall, right next to the locked door to my office. He looked like he’d been waiting for a while and he probably had, since it was more than two hours past the open-for-business hour painted on my door.

I had two good reasons for being late. The first was I hadn’t had any new work in more than a month. The second was a little closer to home. I’d been at war with the residue  of the previous night, doing my best to exorcise a demon of a hangover that had jumped me as soon as I’d opened my eyes that morning. Six aspirins and a Bromo hadn’t tamed it. Didn’t even slow it down.

But as bad as I felt, it looked like he had me beat – he looked worse. By my guess the last time he’d had a good night’s sleep, Reagan was still in the White House. By the looks of his clothes, that probably also was the last time he’d ironed them.

But rather than feel sorry for him, what was I thinking? Great, another “client” going to use my bill to light his cigarette instead of sending it back with a check. The thought made that damn demon bouncing between my temples start tap-dancing.

“Mr. Harlowe? Philip Harlowe, the private eye?”

“Guilty on both counts,” I mumbled as I shoved my key into the door lock, turning it and the knob and pushing the door open. “Thanks for holding up the wall there.”

“Mr. Harlowe, I need your help.”

“Well, this is your lucky day,” I said as I headed to the coffee maker. “It’s Wednesday and Wednesday is Help Day around here. Had you come tomorrow, you’d be pitching in and folding my laundry. What can I do for you?”

“I need you to find my wife.”

“When you’d lose her? And it might help if I knew your name. After all, you know mine.”

“It’s George, George Finley. She’s been gone for more than two days now,” he said.

“What have you got that I can work with? She leave a note, got a girlfriend, a place or a boyfriend she might run to?”

“Not that I know of,” he said, looking down at a wad of crumpled papers clutched in his hands. “All she, her name’s Beulah, all she left behind were these.” He handed them to me as I sat down at my desk. I motioned for him to take a chair.

I separated the stack. Credit card receipts. For purchases made over a period of a few days and all charged at the same store. Best Buy. Electronics, every single one.

I doubted there were enough Beulahs in the world to equal all of the scribbled Beulahs scattered across my desk.

“You got any idea what she was buying and why she was buying so many of them?”

“Not a clue,” he said. “We, we weren’t talking much lately. She just seemed to want to watch TV rather than even look at me. I haven’t had my hands on the remote in months. She’d just growl if I got near it and snatch it away.”

“Hmmm, odd. What she’d take with her?”

“That’s the strange thing,” he said, the question seemingly shocking him alert. “Just a few clothes, as far as I can figure. But every TV in the house is gone, along with all of the extension cords in the garage.”

“Well, let me look around, ask around and see what I can find out. Now go home and get some sleep and let me get to work.”

“Thank you Mr. Harlowe,” he said as he raised himself up from the chair. “I don’t care what she’s done or who she’s done it with. I just want my Beulah to come home. And hopefully bring along the 42-inch flatscreen too.”

It turned out not to be too hard to track Beulah down. A trip to the Best Buy and a $20 bill slipped to the clerk got me the address she’d given for the delivery of all of her purchases.

The motel owner was only too glad to show me the room she’d rented, as well as give me a copy of the electric bill he’d just received since she’d moved in. I pulled the plugs on the extension cords running out of the room, slid the bill under the door, went back to my car and waited.

Within an hour, a U-Haul truck pulled up outside the room. In less than another one, the cords, the TVs and Beulah were out of there. And on their way home to George, I figured.

I gave George a call and told him he’d soon see a U-Haul backing into his driveway and to take it as a sign that his Beulah would soon return. A few minutes later he called back and told me I was better than Nostradamus. I told him the service was no extra charge.

I didn’t mention his flatscreen. He’d just have to find it on his own, somewhere among the 27 other ones he and Beulah now owned.

We’re making a list …

Leave it to eHarmony to come up with a concise and clear list of the top 10 complaints men have about women when it comes to dating and relationships.

I mean, who better understands men than an online dating service? It’s not that we men can’t think for ourselves. We just prefer not to think about such things. Actually we prefer not to think about much of anything, if we can get away with it.

So, being a well-trampled man of the world, let’s see if they got this right.

You say potato …  I say french fries …

1. You see us as projects you can fix.

Oh, how we so hate being thought of as just a piece of … a project. We say it and say it and say it again – we can’t be fixed. You’re lucky we even work as well as we do. You want to fix something? Try stopping that dripping faucet in the kitchen. I haven’t got a clue.

2. Your expectations are set by Hollywood and sky high.

Now, if I know that Hollywood isn’t real, then you should know that Hollywood isn’t real. There’s no such actual man as George Clooney. But if your expectations are set on  Dirty Harry or Chuck Norris or Godzilla … well, now you’re talking real. We can work with these.

3. You’re always looking down the road.

Sigh – men don’t look down the road. We don’t look up the road. We don’t need to. We know exactly where we’re going, which also is why we don’t need to ask for directions.

4. You use your emotions as a weapon.

Is that crying? Are you crying?? There’s no crying in relationships!!

5. You have a tendency to be critical.

Tut-tut, we’d really appreciate if you’d take a more, shall we say, positive approach toward us and our manly ways. Instead of knocking us for lying on the couch, drinking beer, dropping crumbs and passing gas while watching TV from dawn until dusk, it might be better to look on the bright side. Maybe compliment us on how dedicated we are to not only do what we do best, but strive and commit to do it better than the rest. Yeah, that’s it.

6. You like to play coy.

We don’t play coy. We don’t play Monopoly, Life, Scrabble, or cribbage either. We like to play poker, though we really don’t know if three-of-a-kind beats a straight.

7. You fixate on what we’re thinking, when you should be watching what we’re doing.

Simple reason for this. If you watch what we’re doing, you’ll see that it’s nothing. Ergo, now you also know what we’re thinking.

8. You don’t understand and/or like our need for alone time.

Yeah, and we’re not just talking about reading Popular Mechanics in the bathroom after dinner. We sometimes like to bang things with our tools in the garage. Or play for hours washing the driveway with a hose. Because we can be sensitive too. It’s a beautiful thing.

9. You have a complicated set of double standards.

As far as we’re concerned, anything more than one standard is complicated. In fact, we’re not even sure we’re straight on that one.

10. You want us to change, and then lose respect for us when we do.

Of course that’s not logical. Who ever said we were logical?

From Russia, with love

Unlike nearly every other person with an email inbox out there, I don’t get a lot of spam or junk mail. I have no idea why – I’m just as depraved as the next web surfer, you’d think I’d have picked up at least a couple sketchy cookies in my history by now.

Oh, but I’m trying not to take it personally, though. Maybe I’m just too virtuous for such questionable communiques. Yeah, that’s it.

So, of course, whenever I do see a (1) next to my “Junk” folder name, I can’t click on it fast enough. If my Internet provider considers whatever’s in there to be of absolutely no value and no good for me … well, out of my way, let me at it.

Maybe it’s one of those wonder pills, herbal and all-natural, that will make me “hung like bull.” Or how about some “real” Viagra – just $10 (Canadian) for 1,000 capsules – to make me “love stronger and longer than many bulls!” Or could it be that my great-uncle in Nigeria finally kicked off and that $137 million he’s been holding for me in the Abuja Savings & Loan is mine, mine, mine!!! I thought he’d never die.

Anyway – imagine my surprise when I glanced over and saw a (1) today. What could it be?

Actually, this time it was who could it be. Someone named “S.B.” And the subject? “Transport of Love.”

Oh, my favorite! Another Russian woman I’ve never heard of has finally found me. Without even opening it, I can see her swimming in slow motion across the Atlantic, just to reach me! (And she would get here so much faster if I would just send her $1,000, for one of those slippery wetsuits and English lessons, don’t you know.)

I was not disappointed.

My dear friend,

Sometimes you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with your soul mate and you want to meet your beloved person as soon as possible.

Svet … is that you, Svet?

This twenty-first century letter speaks for my twentieth century soul.  And it does not matter that we never met in real life, never talked, touched or even hold hands. I feel like I want to know you better and you are the one for me.

That perfect man exists in my imagination and I am dreaming about meeting him all days and nights. We have to be patient in order to get what we want. I’d like you to know that I am waiting for my love, my dear.

See you later,

Svet B  

How nice. How sweet. And she sounds so genuine too. I must write her back. But there is no return email address, just a website. No, no, no – I can’t just click on a website. Where’s the heartfeltness, where’s the one-on-oneness, where’s the romance in that?

No, if this is true love, I shall write a letter to her here. No doubt … like Cupid’s arrows, it will find its way. For as that lovely saying about true love goes: If you love something, let it go. If it doesn’t come back, then may it eat shit and die. And if it does, it better have a damn good story for where’s the hell it’s been all this time.

My dearest dear, dear Svet,

How good to hear from you – I hope all is well. You must forgive me if I seem a little confused as I write this. After all, it has been a while since we last talked. Oh, that’s right – we’ve never talked now, have we?

No matter. How my heart swoons to hear that your twenty-first century letter speaks for your twentieth century soul! It just sucks, though, that your 17th-century Internet provider didn’t get this to me sooner. Drat and double-drat – as alas, I am already spoken for.

Actually, Svet dear, I’ve been bespeaked for quite some time now. And get this – she’s of Lithuanian descent! Can you believe it? I’ll bet you’re cursing the day your country ever let that little satellite fly the Soviet Union coop! Isn’t life strange, though.

Yes, yes it is. For as you so splendidly say, “it does not matter that we never met in real life, never talked, touched or even hold hands.” Can’t miss what you’ve never had, no?

So, as they say in my country, don’t be a stranger! Ta-ta and would be yours truly if I truly knew you,


Sigh – my first “Dear Svet” letter. Sealed with a kick.

The search for the holy male

I’ve come to yet another conclusion about myself.

I’ll grant you this; it doesn’t happen often. For the most part I tend to let sleeping clods lie, go with the slow, look the other way and cross to the other side of my psyche whenever I feel a moment of inner reflection or self-inspection coming my way. But every now and then a light comes on and I’m unable to dim or divert its brilliant beam. It shines down on me and I’m forced to see myself for what I am. And there, laid bare in all of its stark and searing nakedness, is the unadulterated truth.

Well, it’s happened once again.

I just may not be the perfect man.

See, the British clothier Austin Reed polled 2,000 women. Asked them to list all the qualities they want most in a man. Then AR put them all together, clicked their heels twice and abracadabra … they made themselves a 30-point checklist suitable for use in determining if you have found the “perfect man”.

Thirty of them? Piece of personality cake. Lemme at this thing. Ahem … the qualities in the perfect man are:

  • 6 feet tall (aHA. I remember from Algebra 101: More than 5, round-up.)
  • Toned and athletic (Just watch how far I can throw this one.)
  • Brown eyes (I’ve often been told I’m so full of ****, my blue eyes turn brown.)
  • Short dark hair (Assume you mean shorter than two feet, darker than white.)
  • Smart dress sense (Not once have I put the pants on where the shirt goes.)
  • Beer drinker (Only six-pack I possess. Just call me Mr. Perfecto.)
  • Non-smoker (Ummm … dunno. I’ve never been on fire.)
  • Wears smart jeans, shirt and a V-neck jumper (Wouldn’t be caught dead in dumb jeans or shirt but better be if I’m ever found in a “jumper,” any letter.)
  • Gets ready in 17 minutes (Easy. Under 10 if I skip brushing my hair and teeth.)
  • Stylish (Been told my style is all my own – no one else would have it.)
  • Wants a family (Sure, any one but the Kardashians.)
  • Earns $77,000 a year (I find talking of one’s income so superficial, don’t you?)
  • Loves shopping (Drop me at a Cabela’s; pick me up in a year.)
  • Eats meat (What else you supposed to do with it?)
  • Clean shaven (At ‘Twilight,’ I’m a vampire, not a werewolf.)
  • Smooth chest (Haven’t gotten a splinter yet.)
  • Watches soaps (Duh – you don’t watch, you slip on it and fall.)
  • Enjoys watching football (Please, don’t make this so easy for me.)
  • Drives an Audi (No problem, same as driving my Chevy.)
  • Educated to degree level (Life is learning, no matter what the temperature.)
  • Earns more than his other half (My left half has more money than my right, it has my wallet.)
  • Jokes around and has a laugh (Haven’t stopped since starting this.)
  • Sensitive when his wife/girlfriend is upset (Of course … obviously you haven’t been whacked by my wife when she’s upset. It’s very sensitive for a long time.)
  • Says ‘I love you’ only when he means it (I believe in quality over quantity.)
  • Admits it when he looks at other women (I admit that I was just looking for any oncoming traffic coming from that sidewalk. Safety first.)
  • Has a driver’s license (Picture almost looks like me.)
  • Can swim (If I have to, faster than a shark.)
  • Can ride a bike (Like Lance, sans the spandex.)
  • Can change a tire (Certainly, but better at driving on a flat one.)
  • Calls mom regularly …

As a matter of fact, I just got off the phone with her. She says I’m perfect. So there.