Chapter 1



Things The Women's Magazines Never Tell You.

And why some of the things they tell you are wrong.

Plus further dispatches from the battlefront in the war of the sexes.

1. Men always roll off and fall asleep.

OK, there is some small amount of truth in this one - but only because the time you ladies choose to suddenly announce you want to make love is last thing at night. We have had a big dinner, lovingly prepared by the culinary geniuses at Pizza Hut or Mr. Wongs. We have managed to watch the game and still conduct a conversation with you about whatever dumb thing your sister or cousin or aunt have done now. Our bodies have just started the shutdown routine ready for sleep and NOW you want us all wide awake and ready for love. Well hey, a man's got to do his best for his lady and so we do, we put the sleep routine on hold, do our manly duty for you. Of course the sleep routine kicks straight back in once the sex routine ends and we are off to the land of nod. Try catching us at 10 a.m. for a change or 11 or 12, anytime when the sun is up and we haven't just eaten

2. Men only want one thing.

Hell no!

There's loads of things we want:

Early retirement, sex, 24/7 sports TV (wide screen high definition always showing our team - preferably winning), sex, cars, sex, boats, sex, a world without TV soaps, sex, clothes that don't itch, sex, our own harem of cheerleaders (my personal favourite).

OK so most of that list is a pipedream (especially the cheerleaders god damn it!) but hey - every other item there is something readily available and even better than that it's something we can do together (and it's free!)

3. Men always want their wives to dress like hookers.

And? This is a problem?

You have this backwards ladies, hookers dress like hookers because that's what men like. They aren't allowed to advertise, there aren't any useful which reports or magazines full of test drives for us guys to peruse. Those girls depend on how they look to attract the customers so of course they dress in a way that is proven to be liked by 95% of men (and if those seeing eye dogs were better trained it would be 100%)

Some subsidiary notes on clothing.

a. No skirt is ever too short.

b. Long skirts are OK if and only if they are split to at least the hip.

c. There is no such thing as too much cleavage.

d. No homosexual has any idea about how to design clothes to make a woman attractive to a man, they just don't understand the concept.

e. Man evolved as a hunter, to his eyes there are 8 colours and they come in light medium and dark - add black and white and that's 26. That's it, anything else is just marketing designed to fool the gullible (I.e. women). A man stands around wondering is that sand, or gold, or beige and he's a lions lunch. It's yellow, it's a lion, I'm outta here.

f. So what if you have worn it before - it looks good - you already paid for it - it's not worn out - wear the damn dress again.

g. You don't need matching shoes to go to the drive in - the only way anyone will see them is if you hang them out the window and frankly if you do and someone is only looking at your feet they have a much bigger problem than you do.

h. Yes we do realise that it's not socially acceptable to wear a mini skirt and halter top to church - that's why we don't go. And OK, it's probably not wise to turn up to your sister's wedding in a boob tube and hot pants but most of the time that's a perfect outfit.

4. Men never participate in women's interests.

OK - I've just liberated the wife's latest issue of some women's magazine. 132 pages of cover to cover women's interests.

Lets see - 32 pages of diet tips and associated advertising. Right - there are three ways to lose weight EAT LESS or EXERCISE MORE or SURGERY - take your pick subject closed.

26 pages of "fashion" - Jesus there are shoes here that cost more than a second hand car - for the price of the matching handbag you could have dinner out once a week for a year (and not just McDonalds - somewhere classy with carpets and napkins).

8 pages of celebrity gossip - Do we know these people? Do we care what happens to them? NO. (just noticed Brittany looks a right mess these days better send her my fashion tips - my daughter dresses like Brittany and I sure as hell don't want her wandering around looking like that).

4 pages of what I can only describe as a gynaecology textbook - enlightening I'm sure, something you can share with your man? Probably not.

3 pages of problems - the only bit of the magazine a guy will actually read - probably for the laughs though.

4 pages of cookery - a dinner party for eight (do we know 6 people that well? Last time we had that many people round to eat we barbecued and I cooked! The time before that was the world series and we ordered pizza) and what a menu! Fresh asparagus soup, hot shrimp salad. Right lets get this straight once and for all - Salad is what restaurants use to make your plate look full rather than actually giving you the meat you ordered it is NOT real food it's camouflage. A related point - have you ever noticed how small the plates are in those all you can eat buffet places - don't believe me take a tape measure next time. Anyway back to the menu - the main course (don't laugh guys) Lamb cutlet (yes cutlet- one!) and three sorts of vegetables. Dessert a low calorie cheesecake. Very nice I'm sure but next time the guys are round for the superbowl I can guarantee that wont be the menu we choose!

6 pages of "It happened to me." Yeah it did and look how much money you just made out of selling your story - which I don't believe anyway.

48 pages of adverts for stuff we don't want, can't afford or already own (only cheaper and better).

1 page of astrology - don't get me started on that one!

I tried - really I did but Astrology just gets me going.

Astrology is supposed to be some ancient art right? Well up until 15?? Everyone thought the sun was a planet. Until 17?? there were only five planets known to mankind. Pluto wasn't discovered until 1910 and I'm damn sure there were horoscopes around before then, in fact they have found two more planets just this year.

There are 12 star signs so on that basis there should only be 12 types of personality. Hell I have more than 12 personalities myself, there's the work-me, the home-me, the out with the boys for a beer-me, the oh shit I'm in the doghouse again better be nice to her-me, etc. etc. etc.

Here's a snippet from the horoscope in that same women's magazine "the middle of the month will be a good time to work on your relationship."

Well yeah, it's the February issue and that's Valentine's day. I bet he didn't have to stay up all night watching the stars to work that little gem out.

Read any two horoscopes from different papers - will they agree? I doubt it - but then I would say that I'm a Libra and we're all sceptics.

5. Men only like big boobs.

Hell no! Yes we notice them but that's hardly surprising big ones are eye-catching. There are only two types of breast in a man's mind.

Ones he IS allowed to play with and ones he WANTS to play with if only he is allowed.

Don't believe me ladies? Try this simple test.

Pick a man at random, walk up to him and ask him "if I took my top off would you like to play with my breasts?"

I will personally guarantee that no man - not one - will ever say "No they are too small."

He might say no, at least for as long as it takes him to check for the hidden cameras but believe me size is not what counts - what counts is ACCESS!

6. Men never notice anything new about their women.

Ok, so she dyed her hair ginger and I didn't realise for a week so I don't really have a leg to stand on here. (The wife has just explained somewhat forcefully that it's not ginger it's auburn - see my notes on men and colours above).

BUT - we notice the important stuff.

Try wearing a tight tee-shirt and no bra and see how quickly we spot that.

Try wearing a short skirt without panties - bet we find out in under 10 minutes.

Dent the car and don't tell us - we will know anyway.

Buy that awful cheap special offer beer - even if you pour it into a fancy glass and serve it to us naked we will know.

Try putting the TV remote in a different place and start the clock - more than 10 minutes before the first swear word and you win.

Try hiding our beer (NO DON'T unless you really want to see a grown man in tears).

We notice the important things (that's important to us of course - stuff like clothes and hair styles are just minor trivia)

7. Men never surprise their wife with little romantic gifts.

No we don't at least not if we have any sense. Read this little scenario and see if it rings any bells.

Husband comes home from the office, wife is in the kitchen preparing dinner.

H. "Hi honey, I'm home."

Produces bunch of flowers.

H. "I got these for you."

W. "Hi dear, oh they're lovely, thank you. What's the special occasion?"

H. "No special occasion I just saw them and thought you would like them."

W. "Yeah right, come on what's going on?"

H. "Nothing. Can't a guy buy his wife flowers without getting the third degree?

W. "You never buy me things, what are you feeling guilty about? It's that blonde tart in your office isn't it? I've seen the way she looks at you."

H. getting a little defensive now "Of course it isn't." (thinking what does she mean "I've seen the way she looks at you," am I missing something?)

W. "You must be guilty about something or you wouldn't have bought me flowers."

Sound familiar?

Of course it does.

The evening usually ends up with H. down the bar moaning to his buddies and W. burning up the phone lines to every other woman in the world saying "Guess what he's gone and done now?"


A big thanks to all of you who took the time to write to me with compliments and suggestions. Some of them I have used (specifically the section on breasts above was in response to a readers comment) some are still churning away in the back of my mind and may yet resurface.

A postscript to my comments on astrology.

Well it's official - the list of planets has been reorganised.

Pluto, Ceres and those new ones that are just numbers (and what exactly was wrong with calling it Xena?) have all been redesignated "dwarf planets" (are we still allowed to say that? Shouldn't it be "planets of restricted size" or "gravitationally challenged orbiting bodies"?)

Where does this leave the astrologers?

Just where they always were - making up a load of hogwash to sell to the gullible.

Interior decorating.

A reader wrote agreeing with my comments regarding the inability of a homosexual man to successfully design women's clothes - he suggested they should be gently redirected into interior decorating, (for 'gently redirected' read 'forced at gunpoint').

I was inclined to agree, I'm no homophobe, these guys still have to earn a living so why not decorating?

Then I gave it some more thought.

Do I want more damn scatter cushions? NO. Chairs in delicate pastel colours? NO. Display cabinets full of fine china or god forbid 'knick knacks' (whatever the hell that means) HELL NO.

I don't want a table I can't put my coffee mug down on for fear of damaging it, or a sofa that will need expensive cleaning every time I sit on it on my work clothes. Colour co-ordination? See above for my thoughts on colour.

I'm sure you are all familiar with the "work triangle" used to plan kitchens efficiently. I'm all for it, no reason my good lady should have to struggle in an inefficient kitchen. But what about the all important "leisure triangle"?

The optimum positioning of my chair, the wide screen TV, the beer fridge, the side table for my snacks and glass are far more important. I mean with the best will in the world she will only ever be in the kitchen for an hour or so at a time. I can be in that chair for days (hell if it wasn't for having to go to work it could be weeks!)

OK I just counted and that isn't a triangle, more of a leisure hexagon but the principle is sound.

Update on dieting.

I really thought I had dealt with this adequately above but it's that time of year again. The light of my life has done her annual audit and revamp of her wardrobe, thrown out all the clothes I really like to see her in and announced she is going shopping with her sister. Thank god for sisters! Otherwise I might have been dragged along. Fortunately after our first major public row in a shopping mall we came to a compromise. I never EVER have to go clothes shopping again BUT I have to wear whatever she buys for me without complaining. As I am a normal guy i.e. I have clothes for work and other than that I wear jeans and a t-shirt I reckon I have struck a great deal here - maybe you guys should try it.

Anyway she has had a day out shopping with her sister, I have had a quiet day at home watching some football and inventorying my beer stocks, putting them in date order in the fridge (with some judicious testing for quality along the way) - who says guys have no concept of tidiness.

Now it's time for that ritual that makes a man's blood run cold. She is going to make me look at the stuff she has bought and I have to appear interested. Well I am doing okay at first, yes the skirts are really a bit longer than I would prefer. The underwear is serviceable and comfortable (I guess) where I would have gone for more interesting colours, lots more lace and a hell of a lot less materiel.

Then it happens, the ultimate killer blow. She gives me a guilty look and says,

"and I got this, it was a bit extravagant but I think you will like it."

Then she shows me a dress.

She is right, I do like it, nice colour (red), nice length (short), nice style (backless).

"Wow" I think. What I say is "mm that looks lovely, let's see it on you."

Big mistake!

"Oh, I can't wear it yet, I have to lose some weight before it will fit me."

What's that all about?

I know they make dresses in lots of sizes, I've seen mail order catalogues. Just what is the point of buying something that doesn't fit? Someone please mail me with the answer because I sure as hell don't understand it.

Okay, so now we are in full "I need to lose weight mode" at home. She spends hours working out low fat, low calorie, low whatever meals. Every day she weighs herself, her mood and therefore MY mood depends on what the scales tell her. A pound off and she is sweetness and light, nothing is too much trouble. I get kisses and cuddles maybe even sex (on a weekday!)

A pound on though and it's like she has been possessed by the spirit of her evil twin. A polite request is met with a snarl, she is moody, won't talk (so it's not all bad), slams around sulking and moaning about the slightest little thing.

Then she announces that just because she is dieting doesn't mean I have to go without. She starts cooking a "diet" meal for her and a "normal" meal for me. Sounds fine but after a week or two I realise that she hasn't adjusted the quantities. She cooks more or less the same amount as she used to then giving me two thirds while she has a "diet" portion, so I am actually eating more than before. Now I am putting weight on, my jeans are getting tight.

In an effort to be supportive and save the stitching on my favourite Levis I am forced to reduce my beer consumption (apart obviously from continuing to ensure that it gets drunk before the best before date - I hate waste!)

So now we are both miserable - and the dress still doesn't fit!

HELP!!!!

In an act of desperation I made a suggestion.

"Maybe rather than lose weight you should try exercising, maybe you could sort of tighten up a bit and lose some size rather than weight."

I know - I should have known better but beer deficiency is a terrible disease leading to self destructive behaviour.

The saga of the exercise bike will be following soon.

Ok I know its been a while and I promised the exercise bike adventure soon - but it's taken this long to recover from the psychic trauma.

After a day or two of agonising over the idea she consulted the authorities (her sister and her best friend). Once they grudgingly admitted that for once I might actually have come up with a good idea it was full speed ahead on the only part of the whole adventure that she was looking forward to - the shopping!

Day one began with a reconnaissance in force. The wife, her sister and best friend launched a dawn raid on the local sporting shops, department stores and, for some reason I didn't at first understand, the clothes shops. Their return, laden with brochures and leaflets was my signal to undertake some much needed maintenance in the shed (okay so I ran away and hid - I'm married not stupid). Sadly this proved futile, after only an hour or so I was summoned to provide some "technical support."

Faced with a bewildering array of specifications and performance figures the ladies had reluctantly decided to involve me in the decision making process (they were nowhere near as reluctant as I was but hey, sometimes you just have to make these sacrifices to domestic harmony).

Eventually the choice seemed to boil down to one of two machines, both featuring "state of the art microprocessor controlled exercise programmes" and "multiple regimes for isolating and focussing on specific targets" whatever that all means - its just a bike on a stand after all isn't it?

The ladies seemed prepared to argue endlessly over the respective merits of the two machines so in a desperate attempt to salvage some of the day and recapture my living room and, more importantly, the TV remote, I made a phone call.

"Problem solved," I announced, "they have one machine in stock, the other has to be ordered and takes a week to arrive."

My hopes for a hard afternoon of serious football watching evaporated as I was pressed into service as a beast of burden.

"We will need you to carry it to the car," they said. My sister in law then applied the coup de grace, waving the brochure she pointed to the three words guaranteed to strike terror into the heart of any man - "some assembly required."

I knew, without even seeing the machine or opening the box, that I could kiss the rest of my day goodbye.

Why do the manufacturers do this to us? I have seen the documentaries (usually when the sport is rained off and the TV company needs something to fill up the airwaves) those industrial robots can assemble anything. Would it be so hard to actually assemble the things completely before shipping them out? Okay so the boxes might have to be a bit bigger but so what?

But back to the saga.

We have to take my car as hers isn't big enough. This means I have to unload half the essential stuff out of the back, tools, spare clothes, sleeping bag etc (I have been caught once on a closed motorway for the night and next time I am going to be prepared!)

Then it's off to the sports shop.

Fortunately the selection process has been carried out at home so I am expecting a short visit, just go in, get the bike and leave. Somehow I have forgotten just who I was going with. Getting the bike went as expected, ten minutes tops. Of course then I am detailed off to,

"Just pop that in the car while I pick up a couple of things dear."

Forty five minutes later I am sat in the car listening to my team on the radio while a perfectly good wide screen TV is sitting unwatched in my living room. Eventually I have to go and see what is taking them so long. After searching the shop (twice) I discover a pile of sports clothing under which is my wife who greets me with,

"Where have you been? I need you to put this lot in the car."

I should have known there was no way she would start a new pastime without the proper costume, I would also have bet a sizeable amount that the outfits would cost more than the bike but no way was I going to say that out loud.

Arriving home I am hoping to be in time to catch the end of the game - WRONG!

I am detailed off to

"just put it together for me while I make some lunch"

Lunch sounds okay so I carry the box through to the living room, flick the TV on and then begin operation bike assembly.

First find the instructions. Why are they always the last thing out of the box?

Then check off the parts against the parts list. Yes looks like it is all here, a quick read through of the assembly instructions, a quick trip out to the garage to collect the necessary tools and I am ready to begin.

An hour later I am dripping with sweat, the bike is only half assembled and I am muttering obscure curses and threats towards the author of those instructions. Whoever he was he missed out one vital step near the beginning and failed to point out that a critical part can be fitted in one of two ways - the right way and the wrong way. Guess which way I chose?

Another hour and I have taken it apart, reassembled it correctly and call the wife in to proudly show her the finished article.

"What took you so long?" was not the comment I was hoping for!

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