By William Thomas
Today I proudly present to you a staunch defense of men. Or more than likely “your man” since your special guy is probably outside at the moment looking for his hair after an unfortunate incident involving Christmas lights, a rain barrel and a six pack of beer.
A new study published in the British Medical Journal has revealed what every woman in the world dating back to apple-eating Eve have always suspected — men are idiots and do stupid things.
Conducted at England’s Newcastle University, the Male Idiot Theory is based on the behaviour of past and passed Darwin Award winners. These awards are given annually to people who die in such a moronic manner that “Their action ensures the long-term survival of the human species by selectively allowing one less idiot to survive.” The study presents a kind of self-cleansing of the gene pool scenario with a bonus of black humour.
University personnel examined 318 cases of risky and bizarre deaths, of which 282 of the deceased were men. That’s 88.7 percent. If you’re keeping score, 88.7 percent also represents Joaquin Phoenix’s functioning IQ when he’s being interviewed by David Letterman.
The authors of the study cited several glaring examples of male-dominated insane behaviour, such as the construction worker who worked for two days demolishing a three-story car park without going near the support beams holding it up. Office workers watching from the adjacent buildings were engaged in animated discussions about how he planned to remove the core steel structure and bring the car park down safely. On the third day, they realized he did not have a plan. One good bump to a single support beam brought the entire structure crashing down, flattening his mini-excavator and killing him instantly.
In his defense, I would say he accomplished exactly what he set out to do and that the only thing lacking in his demolition plan was a quick exit strategy. And as usual, men dying publicly and stupidly are never given credit for “high entertainment value.” Plus what guy wouldn’t die to operate a tow motor and knock things down in front of a live audience? Cue Frank Sinatra: “Regrets. He had just one … he did it his way.”
Another example of deadly acts described in the study was the guy who settled an “Is not! Is too!” argument with a friend over a sci-fi “spy pen.” In order to prove it was indeed real, the owner of the pen shot himself in the head with it. Yes, he did die, but in doing so, he won the bet and the admiration of James Bond fans everywhere.
The authors of the study also cited the Darwin award winner who designed a joy ride that unfortunately went off the rails. The man hitched a shopping cart up to the back of a freight train only to die three kilometers down the track where the engineer finally managed to bring it to a stop. Again, dead? Yes. Bizarre? Okay. But I say, what if it worked?
What man wouldn’t want to see the world from an open-air grocery cart, his feet sticking through the child carrier with snacks and beer in the back?!? Seriously, they start putting air bags in traveling grocery carts and you can sign me up!
The piéce de résistance of the Newcastle University study may well be the terrorist who attempted to deliver a bomb to his victim through regular mail. Unfortunately, he failed to put enough stamps on the package and when it was returned to him marked “Insufficient Postage,” he … he … he opened it. Dead? Yes. Sometimes rather than mock idiotic male behaviour, this sort of tragedy needs to be applauded and encouraged. As is often the case with terrorists, their fatal flaw lies in never having seen even one episode of Wiley Coyote.
To the Male Idiot Theory I say “No way Jose” mainly because a study of men behaving like half-lit twits is completely flawed without the mention of former baseball star Jose Canseco. Never mind all the bizarre incidents involving weapons, steroids, fertility drugs, the demolition derby with his wife and the possession of rocket fuel (rocket fuel???)— two months ago, Jose Canseco shot off the middle finger of his hand while cleaning his gun. This, of course, means that without a middle finger, Jose can never again drive in New York City.
Opting not to have reconstructive surgery, Jose said he intended to sell the finger on eBay suggesting it could be used as a “stirring straw for drinks.” Jose also planned to sell the offending weapon – a .45 Remington gold-plated handgun that will come with the following instructions: “First unload gun. Then clean gun.” May this man never be allowed to operate a tow motor. “First, shut off ignition. Then replace fan belt.”
No, this “Men Are Idiots” study will have no credibility whatsoever unless the authors name Jose Canseco as their “poster boy” and admit that the guy who died in the grocery cart was a freakin’ genius. Men – we have the right to remain stupid.
For comments, ideas and copies of The True Story of Wainfleet, go to www.williamthomas.ca