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July 2012 Dr. Vern

Posted in Features on July 1, 2012
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Contributors: Dr. Vern

These wacky Internet fads are getting out of hand. It seems a day doesn’t go by without some new craze taking root. Somebody might post a time and place to dress as zombies, and before you know it, hundreds of the walking dead are converging at some random destination. For another example, I recently stepped off a subway and unwittingly walked into a thousand-strong pillow fight: yet another Internet craze. But I think the strangest fad of all is one that has been going on for years and shows no signs of letting up. It escapes me exactly how this got started, but it directly affects my Jeeps and me. Somehow people have been sharing my address and ordering Jeep parts on my behalf. At least that’s what I tell my lovely wife whenever the UPS guy appears at the door.

Just because my wife believes me, I don’t want to give the impression that she is not observant. Au contraire, she notices plenty of things that escape my attention. Take our laundry, for instance. I don’t mean literally, although now that I think about it, occasionally doing my laundry would be a nice token of appreciation from you, the reader. What I did mean to say is that my wife is much more observant about when it’s time to actually do the laundry.

Before I explain more, I should mention that in this day and age, I know better than to make sweeping generalizations about men and women. Instead of talking about all women, I’ll limit my comments exclusively to females who are kind, intelligent, and downright gorgeous. In other words, just my wife. For my comments about males, I’ll limit my comments to men who are mouth-breathers and drag their knuckles while walking. In other words, yours truly and pretty much all other guys on the planet.

With that disclaimer out of the way, we can safely discuss the differences in how men and women think. Back to my laundry, which has been patiently moldering in the corner for the last paragraph or two. To my beloved wife, the mere presence of any dirty laundry means it’s time to fire up the washing machine. By contrast, laundry wouldn’t even enter my thought process until I’m late for work and have noticed my dresser has a pronounced absence of clean socks and underwear. This is the only time the “Do laundry” light starts flashing. It’s not that men don’t want to help out around the house. It’s just that the prerequisites haven’t been satisfied, which I define as a complete lack of suitable clothes. (I’m talking about what’s in your dresser, not necessarily on your person.) I feel I can safely make this observation on behalf of guys everywhere, with the possible exception of those mutant men who can actually sense the need to do laundry ahead of time.

Speaking of laundry, this is a good point to mention a remarkable concept I’ve perfected. As a Jeeper and outdoor enthusiast, it’s good for the environment, too. Instead of just tossing anything I’ve worn straight into the hamper, select clothing items go into what I call my Clothing Resource Center, or CRC. To the untrained eye, it may look like just an unkempt heap on my dresser. However, it’s actually a place to strategically store items that can be worn again without washing. One key aspect is to be careful not to sweat, but since that would generally involve physical labor on my part, I’d like to think I’ve been proactive (Bingo!). When getting dressed, simply sniff any item in the CRC to see if it can be worn again. Amazingly, the answer is almost always yes. On a possibly related note, my wife has scheduled me an appointment with a sinus specialist, but I bet that’s just a coincidence.

In the battle of the sexes, the score so far has women in the lead, but let’s look at another situation: Your vehicle’s oil pressure warning light. In the previous laundry example, I made some observations excluding all women except for my wife. In the following example, I am specifically omitting my wife. I realize that would leave nobody as the basis for my comments, so I’ll reintroduce all other women into the equation. I should also state I am refraining from making comments about my wife on my own free will, and not because I don’t want to have to sleep in my Jeep out in the garage. So while women seem to have some unexplainable genetic thing that lets them sense when to start the laundry, it’s often a different story when it comes to vehicle maintenance. Guys just seem to innately know to keep the engine oil topped off. On a related note, if the low pressure warning light comes on, something is wrong. Majorly wrong. So wrong that the warning light is bright red. Much like a traffic light, so it’s easy to understand. In other words, stop. Stop now, as opposed to continuing driving and turning the engine into a large, unwieldy paperweight. At least my wife never did that, not since I’ve known her anyway.

One fun thing about such discussions is how much hate mail will be generated. I sense a broad coalition against me, composed of women who know how to check engine oil and men who stay ahead of the laundry. You can find my address on the Internet. Just get in touch with those mysterious strangers who keep sending me Jeep parts.

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