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The Lighter Side

March 2006
The Lighter Side

"Men Need Some Excuses Too"

There are thousands of male scientists in the world, most of whom do their jobs quite well. But they've failed to fulfill their duty to fellow men. They haven't come up with scientific reasons for certain types of male behavior. In other words, they haven't given us adequate excuses for habits like leaving the toilet seat up, refusing to ask for directions and getting too intimate with the remote control.

Women, it seems, have a monopoly on the excuses. An example of this occurred some years ago in Brookfield, Wisconsin. As reported by the Associated Press, Jaclyn Netzel, 19, was trying to turn her car right when a male driver behind honked and finally drove around her. Netzel and the man exchanged obscene gestures. When they met again at a nearby gas station, Netzel called the man a vulgar name and then slapped him after they argued. Police cited her for disorderly conduct. Netzel pleaded that she was pregnant.

Her pregnancy had evidently caused her body to produce a surplus of a hormone called SMH (Slap Men Hormone).

Netzel told a police officer that "when a female is pregnant, they are more emotional than normal." This is why it's always a good idea to wear body armor when visiting the maternity ward. Pregnant women are eager to slap men, because men never have to go through labor. This resentment probably goes back to the Garden of Eden: Adam was too busy inventing rules for football to attend the meeting where God handed out childbirth duties. Even the feminists haven't figured out a way to share this burden with men.

But women have turned pregnancy into an advantage of sorts. A pregnant woman can get away with just about anything: turning her husband into an errand boy, consuming pizza for breakfast and ice cream for lunch, eating as if she's giving birth to a whale.

Women who aren't pregnant can also get away with pretty much anything, as long as the timing is right. Picture this courtroom exchange:

Judge: "Miss. Fisher, the jury has found you guilty of hijacking 10 planes, bombing five federal buildings and destroying three Hollywood marriages, all in one day. Do you have anything to say?"

Defendant: "Your Honor, it was that time of the month."

Judge: "Case dismissed!"

If the insanity defense works, it won't be long before women invoke the PMS defense. There's nothing that can't be explained by PMS, which stands for either Perilous Mood Swings or Potential Male Slap. PMS usually lasts just a few days, but like a football game, can go into overtime. Of course, there's a lot of scientific evidence to confirm the effects of PMS. Men can't understand it all, but as with religion, we just have to believe.

If male scientists would get their act together, maybe they'd discover a few afflictions for men. This would help us get some much-needed sympathy and would ease all that guilt we feel.

Men who hate to ask for directions probably suffer from something like GCM (Going in Circles Mania). When pestered by his wife to stop at a gas station, a man could say, "Sorry honey, that darned GCM is acting up again."

Men who forget to lower the toilet seat suffer from TED (Toilet Etiquette Deficiency). "Sorry honey, the doctor says it's incurable."

Men who skip church to watch football suffer from PDS (Priority Disorder Syndrome). "You wouldn't understand it, honey. It's a guy thing."

Men who scratch themselves in public suffer from PMI (Primitive Male Itch). "Sorry honey, I can't help it. It's genetic."

Men who caress the remote more than they caress their wives suffer from BPO (Button Pushing Obsession). "Sorry honey, I don't know which buttons to push with you. Do you have one for 'mute'?"

Come on scientists, we need this a lot more than we need cloned sheep.


Melvin Durai is writer, humorist and occasional stand-up comedian. A native of India, he grew up in Zambia and moved to the U.S. in the early 1980s.

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