The Role of Guys
Men Went to the Moon,
but Guys Invented Mooning
Guys have played an important role in history, but this role has not been
given the attention it deserves, because nobody wrote it down. Guys are
not conscientious about writing. Take thank-you notes. When a couple gets
married, the bride very quicklysometimes right after her new husband
passes out in their honeymoon-suite hot tubstarts composing personalized
notes thanking their wedding guests for all the lovely gifts (". . . I
didn't know they even made a traveling case for the Salad Shooter").
The bride will keep this up until she has written every single guest; if
it was a really big wedding, she may still be thanking people after her
divorce ("Aunt Esther, the meat fork is beautiful, and I expect to get
many happy years of use from it once the surgeons extract it from Roger").
Very few guys write thank-you notes, or any other kind of note. Guys would
probably commit a lot more kidnappings if they weren't required to write
My point is that, because guys don't write things down, they are not well
represented in the history books. You'll find countless references to men,
however, because men like to record every detail of their lives, for
posterity. Alexander the Great, for example, kept a diary, so that today
we can read, in his own handwriting, exactly what he was doing on any
given day, as is shown by these actual excerpts:
327 B.C., Nov. 4Cloudy today. Conquered Asia Minor.
324 B.C., Jan. 6Note: Find out what "B.C." stands for.
323 B.C., May 17Died at an earlyage.
But what about the average guy in Alexander the Great's army? What about
his contributions to history? Yes, it is important that Alexander extended
the influence of such legendary Greek philosophers as Aristotle throughout
most of the civilized world, thus significantly affecting the development
of Western thought and culture to this very day; but is it not also
important that, at the same time, some of his lowly foot soldiers were
perfecting the Rubber Spear Trick, or determining that the letters in
"Aristotle" can be rearranged to spell "A Tit Loser"?1
That is the kind of historical guy accomplishment I'm going to explore in
this chapter, starting with a discussion of:
Prehistory was a very difficult time for humans. Hostile, vicious,
person-eating predators roamed the Earth. Disease was rampant. Mortality
rates were horrific. The automatic bank teller was still only a dream.
Back then the clan was the basic unit2 of society, with the roles of males
and females clearly defined. The females cared for the young and gathered
roots, which they would soak in water,
1Also "Tater Silo."
210 clans 5 one tribe.
then peel, then painstakingly pound for hours between two heavy rocks, and
finally throw away. "We may be primitive, but we're not stupid enough to
eat roots," was their feeling.
Thus the basic food-gathering responsibility fell on the shoulders of the
males, who would go off for days at a time to hunt the mighty dinosaur.
This was hard work. They had to dig an enormous deep hole, then disguise
it by covering it with frail branches,3 then hide in the bushes, waiting
for a mighty dinosaur to come along and fall into the trap. The hunters
often waited for long periods, because, unbeknownst to them, dinosaurs had
become extinct several million years earlier.
So the males sat around a lot. Some of them eventually became fidgety and
went on to develop agriculture, invent primitive tools,4 etc. But some
malesthese were the original guysreally liked sitting around. Eventually
they stopped bothering to dig the hole. They'd just go out into the woods
"It's not easy, trying to catch dinosaurs," they would tell people,
especially their wives. "But if we don't do it, who will?"
3Sometimes they would also use a false beard.
4Such as the stone Weed Whacker.
They never helped with the roots.
Sitting around for no reason under the guise of being engaged in
productive work was the first real guy contribution to human civilization,
forming the underlying basis for many modern institutions and activities
such as fishing, sales conferences, highway repair, the federal
government, and "Customer Service."
This is not to say that prehistoric guys did nothing but sit around. They
also invented an activity that has become one of the most dominant forms
of guy behavior, now accounting for an estimated 178 trillion guy-hours
per year in the United States alone.5 The activity I am referring to, of
course, is guys scratching their personal regions. And when I say
"scratching," I am not talking about a couple of quick, discreet swipes
with the fingernails to relieve a momentary itch. I'm talking about an
activity that guys spend way more time and energy on than they do on, for
example, home maintenance.
Walk around any populated area and you'll see dozens, maybe hundreds, of
guys engaged in scratching themselves. Some will try to be subtle, but
usually once they get going they completely lose track of where they are.
5Source: Phyllis Schlafly.
long they're rooting around in their pants using both hands, garden
implements, etc., totally oblivious to the world around them. This can
lead to trouble.
first mate on the titanic: Sir, don't you think we should do something
about it? Maybe change direction? Sir? Sir?
captain: (. . . scratchscratchscratchscratchscratchscratch . . .)
One time in the 1970s I was watching a Philadelphia Phillies game on
television, and at a key moment the Phillies' manager, Danny Ozark (who
looked exactly like a guy named "Danny Ozark") walked to the pitcher's
mound for a conference. Danny had his back to the camera, and his right
hand, seemingly acting on its own, sort of moseyed around to his rear-end
region and started exploring, really probing, looking as though maybe
Danny had lost some vital documents in there. The hand became so energetic
that finally even the TV announcers had to start laughing. This was a guy
in the middle of a baseball stadium and on TV, with the game at a critical
juncture, and still his number-one priority was scratching himself. He was
a guy's guy, that Danny Ozark.