Darwin Rules

One day many years ago, when I was in college, I sat with a friend who happened to be a graduate student in anthropology, sipping a beer and gazing out the window at the ebb and flow of university life on the busy street below.

As we watched, a guy came hurtling out of the alley just up the street, squatting on a sort of land-surfboard made by replacing the legs on a rectangular coffee table with roller skates. This young inventor/athlete flew off the sidewalk and into four lanes of traffic, narrowly missing or being missed by every vehicle on the road in an almost unbelievable demonstration of pure good fortune.

Unfortunately, when he reached the curb on the far side of the street his luck pretty much ran out. Since there was no way to steer it or slow it down, his contraption hit the curb square-on at full velocity, levering the table top over the front wheels and turning it into a sort of trebuchet, and the rider into projectile. He flew in a short, frantically-gesticulating arc across the sidewalk, through a plate glass shop window and into a display of leather handbags.

My Latest Girl Car

In this column I have talked from time to time about "guy cars" and "girl cars." I have pointed out that there are a few fundamental differences in how most men and women view their automobiles. 

The typical guy wants a car that is an expression of dominance over his personal universe. He wants it to project an image of his status and virility to the world. He wants it to be a four-wheeled extension of his ideal self, looking and sounding as powerful and in-charge as he (comically) imagines himself to be.

Most women are happy with a car if the engine starts when you turn the key.

My New Beard

I grew a beard.

OK, I admit this is not exactly an accomplishment that's likely to earn me a Nobel prize. Growing a beard is something pretty much any man can do - kind of like making those peculiar early morning sounds in the bathroom that have been emotionally scarring our wives and children for generations.

Still, it means that I did accomplish something over the summer besides killing the grass.


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