Wednesday, May 25, 2011

True Stories of John 9: What Men Want

I spent most of my first term at college in my dorm. I studied, played videogames, rested from the exhaustion brought on by my syndrome, and perhaps hid from having to grow a social identity.

That night I studied with my door open. My roommate was across the hall, wooing a New Yorker girl. I could hear them talking about punk bands and the expensive crap her dad was sending her. I was reading Daniel Dennett bitching about B.F. Skinner’s philosophy. My roommate was probably having the better time.

Two girls came to my door. One was stout, and the other was half a head taller. For anonymity, let’s call them Stout and Taller.

They stood in my doorway as though purposefully blocking my only exit.

“Hey, Stout’s doing a survey for her class.”

“It’s a science paper about gender.”

“You’ll be our first subject.”

“Sure,” I said, happy to put the book down. “Science is good.”

“Great!” Stout perked up. “It’s about men and relationships.”

My palms sweated a little. “Okay.”

Stout and Taller looked at each other. I noticed neither had any paper with them. Maybe it was a fast survey.

Taller looked at me. “So the first question is, what do men want?”

“What do men want?” I repeated, which probably not helpful.

“You know,” said Stout. “What can a woman do to keep a man happy?”

“Well the first thing you’ve got to realize is that not all men want the same thing. A lot of us want very different things.”

I was going to elaborate, but Stout and Taller looked at each other again. The look made me doubt science was at stake here. Then Stout said something that I’ve remembered with pride ever since.

“We need a dumber man.”

Taller said, “Thank you,” without looking at me. They retreated to the hall. A moment later, I heard them conversing with my roommate.

It was back to Dennett and Skinner for me, neither of whom I particularly wanted.


  1. That's what you get for having too much edumacation.

  2. By the way that is one of the most delightful things I've ever read and you are right to remember it proudly. This totally made my morning!

  3. That is awesome and hysterical. Also, oh so Bennington. I too would remember that with pride. They definitely got the wrong guy with you.

  4. Great laugh! And I'm with Max, you're right to remember that proudly. I'm sure I know what answer they were looking for, but I can't quite figure out why.

  5. Max and Jemma, happy I got you two so strong with this one. It is an anecdote I keep reflecting back on with a kind of childish pride.

    Mr. FAR, I came to presume they were asking over relationship issues. Maybe to help with an existing boyfriend, or to damn all of us. I'll never know for certain, though.

  6. I would say that is the downfall of too many women - looking for a dumber man. Kudos to you for not being him. :D

    This was hilarious, and I pictured Stout and Taller as Penn and Teller, which made it a little odd.

  7. I didn't even recognize the similarity of Stout & Taller to Penn & Taller. Their is a linguistic similarity there, even if the actual Penn is both the stouter and taller of his duo.

  8. Oh great story to start the morning. I'm smiling.

  9. I was the female version of you in college, John. Didn't have a clue what the sorority girls and fraternity boys were doing or what they wanted. Education was not at the top of the list I later learned. I got smarter and lived a very exciting single life once I figured it out--they got pregnant and married and never finished school. That was a long time ago. Way before your time.

  10. John, sometimes the smart thing to do is to play dumb.

  11. A hilarious post, John. I needed a good laugh after a crazy day today.

  12. Ha haaa that was funneeey, saved by the book!

    Helen - helen-scribbles

  13. Sweet little story John. It's quite a burden to bear, intelligence. Alas.

  14. LOL Too bad you weren't dumb enough for them. This is a funny post.


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