IJMC - Why Do Guys Act Macho?
I'm sure there's thousands of reasons...but here's Dave Barry's. -dave
WHY DO GUYS ACT MACHO? SMILE WHEN YOU SAY THAT!!
(by Dave Barry)
<< Copyright "Running Late", 1993 >>
Our topic today, in our continuing series on guys, is: Why Guys Act Macho.
One recent morning, I was driving in Miami on Interstate 95, which should have
a sign that says: WARNING! HIGH TESTOSTERONE LEVELS NEXT 15 MILES. In the
left lane, one behind the other, were two well-dressed middle-age men, both
driving luxury telephone-equipped German automobiles. They looked like
responsible business executives, probably named Roger, with good jobs and nice
families and male pattern baldness, the kind of guys whose most violent
physical activity, on an average day, is stapling. They were driving normally,
except that the guy in front, Roger One, was thoughtlessly going only about
65 miles an hour, which in Miami is the speed limit normally observed inside
car washes. So Roger Two pulled up behind until the two cars were approximately
one electron apart, and honked his horn.
Of course, Roger One was not about to stand for THAT. You let a guy honk at
you, and you are basically admitting that he has a bigger stapler. So Roger
One stomped on his brakes, forcing Roger Two to swerve onto the shoulder,
where, showing amazing presence of mind in an emergency, he was able to make
obscene gestures WITH BOTH HANDS.
At this point, both Rogers accelerated to approximately 147 miles per hour and
began weaving violently from lane to lane through dense rush-hour traffic,
each risking numerous lives in an effort to get in front of the other,
screaming and getting spit all over their walnut dashboards. I quickly lost
sight of them, but I bet neither one backed down. Their coworkers probably
wondered what happened to them. "Where the heck is Roger?" they probably said
later that morning, unaware that even as they spoke, the dueling Rogers, still
only inches apart, were approaching the Canadian border.
This is not unusual guy behavior. One time, in a Washington, D.C. traffic jam,
I saw two guys, also driving nice cars, reach a point where their lanes were
supposed to merge. But neither one would yield, so they very slowly -- we are
talking maybe 1 mile an hour -- DROVE INTO EACH OTHER.
Other examples of pointlessly destructive or hurtful macho guy behavior
- Guys at sporting events getting into shoving matches and occasionally
sustaining fatal heart attacks over such issues as who was next in
line for pretzels.
- Guys on the street making mouth noises at women.
- Foreign Policy.
Why do guys do these things? One possible explanation is that they believe
women are impressed. In fact, however, most women have the opposite reaction
to macho behavior. You rarely hear women say things like, "Norm, when that
vending machine failed to give you a Three Musketeers bar and you punched it
so hard that you broke your hand and we had to go to the hospital instead of
to my best friend's daughter's wedding, I became so filled with lust for you
that I nearly tore off all my clothes right there in the emergency room." No,
women are far more likely to say: "Norm, you have the brains of an Odor
But the real explanation for macho behavior is not that guys are stupid. The
real explanation is that because of complex and subtle hormone-based chemical
reactions occurring in their brains, guys frequently ACT stupid. This is true
throughout the animal kingdom, where you have examples such as male elks, who,
instead of simply flipping a coin, will bang their heads against each other
for hours to see who gets to mate with the female elk, who is on the sidelines,
filing her nails and wondering how she ever got hooked up with such a moron
species, until eventually she gets bored and wanders off to bed.
Meanwhile, the guy elks keep banging into each other until one of them finally
"wins", although at this point his brain, which was not exactly a steel trap
to begin with, is so badly damaged that, in his confusion, he will mate with
the first object he encounters, including shrubbery, which is why you see so
few baby elks around.
Another example of macho animal behavior is guy dogs, who are so dumb they
make elks look like Rhodes scholars. Every male dog firmly believes that if he
makes wee-wee in enough places, he will be declared Dominant Male Dog of the
Entire Earth and receive a plaque plus valuable dog prizes, such as a bag of
chicken heads. Of course, since there are several billion dogs in the
competition, everybody is extremely busy trying to stay ahead of everybody
One time I took a hike on a mountain with two male dogs named Rubio and Moo
Shu. Every three minutes Rubio would carefully select a spot and establish his
dominance over it; then Moo Shu would come sprinting from as far as a mile away
so that, despite having the entire mountain to choose from, he could establish
His dominance over the same four square inches previously dominated by Rubio,
who by now was several hundred yards away, dominating a new spot, which Moo Shu
would then frantically sprint toward, and so on all day long, with each dog
absolutely convinced that he was the Baddest Hombre on the planet.
Ha ha! At least we human males don't do THAT. We don't need to. We have
<< Copyright "Running Late", 1993 >>