It seemed like a good idea at the time

Last night I was channel surfing when I ran across a show featuring a compilation of various stand-up comedians. One guy had a great bit about men and women.
 
In a nutshell, he started off talking about how women like to analyse things, to think things through and fully understand the pros and cons of an action. In opposition, guys just do things without really thinking too much about it. The male explanation for such behaviour was pretty much "It seemed like a good idea at the time." Drink too much? Dance with a stripper at a bachelor party? Post a picture on Facebook of you face down in the toilet? It seemed like a good idea at the time.
This comedian went on to talk about Bill Clinton and the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the fact that Clinton was impeached for lying to Congress. The comedian suggested that instead of lying, Clinton should have just told the truth. Clinton should have sat down before the Congressional committee and when asked if he did it and why he did it, Bill should have just said, "It seemed like a good idea at the time."

Of course, this brought about a burst of laughter and a round of applause but while I was chuckling, I couldn’t help thinking that this comedian had actually hit the nail on the head. Women are reflective and we men are more of a gut-feeling, go-with-the-flow, ya-have-to-try-it-once type of thinkers. This may seem like a stereotype, maybe even a shallow comparison, but I can think of a number of examples which support this view of the genders.

Bill Clinton
Nuff said. Just what the heck was he thinking? [chuckles] I don’t think he was thinking at all. Well, at least, he wasn’t thinking about getting caught. And I guess that’s the nature of the beast. If we thought… no, we knew we wouldn’t get caught, I imagine we’d be doing all sorts of s**t.

Pee-wee Herman
This comic fictional character created and portrayed by actor Paul Reubens rose to the pinnacle of fame with Pee-wee’ s Playhouse, an Emmy Award winning children’s series on CBS. In 1991, the actor, Paul Reubens was arrested by police for masturbating in an adult theatre. Both the actor Reubens and the character Pee-wee became the subject of ridicule. CBS dropped the show; Walt Disney severed all ties; Toys-R-Us removed Pee-wee toys from its stores. Paul Reubens went into hiding.

Did Reubens intend for all this to happen to him? Did it seem like a good idea? Then? Now?

True Story
I personally know of this story. One of the executives of a small company investigated the email of a manager. Tipped off by a secretary who worked for the manager, the executive wanted to find out if this guy was abusing his position. He discovered a series of emails from the manager to a female employee suggesting he, the manager, was "in love" with his employee.

Now here was a guy 63 and half years old, only a year and a half from his pension professing his love for a 27 year old female employee, recently married and expecting her first child. I couldn’t help thinking upon hearing this story that if I had known this guy was doing this, I would have taken him aside, grabbed him by the labels and yelled at him, "Are you out of your freakin’ mind?" Hell, what 27 year old young woman would want some ugly old fart?

The result was that the guy was let go apparently with a reduced pension since he missed the last 1.5 years needed to get the full pension. This was all for the usual reasons: sexual harassment, abuse of power, whatever. My gawd, this was not a good idea at the time and this wouldn’t be a good idea at any time.

So what’s the explanation? Did these men "do it" simply because they didn’t think they would get caught?

The Bank Vault
Here’s my scenario. I put you in front of an open bank vault and tell you that you are free and clear to take any amount you want; it is guaranteed that no one will ever know and that you will never get caught. The question now is not whether you’ll be punished; the question is merely whether you can overcome any moral compunction which would prevent you from taking the money. Yes, you could choose to not take the money but this would in no way benefit anybody or hurt anybody. The only aspect of this is that the money isn’t yours. You would be taking money that wouldn’t belong to you.

What would you do? I’m betting you’d take it. Why? Well, why not? Leaving the money benefits absolutely nobody on Earth; it would only benefit your conscious.

Apparently, back in the late 50’s, a postal worker in San Francisco found a bag full of unmarked bills (unmarked = the bills could not have been traced) which had apparently fallen off a Brink’s truck. – How does a bag of money "fall off" a truck? – The worker turned the bag in. When the story broke, the postal worker supposedly received letters from all over the United States telling him he was an idiot; he should have kept the money. Ha! I’d say those people wouldn’t think twice about cleaning out the vault in my devised scenario above!

There’s Something About Mary
In this film, the protagonist is advised by a male acquaintance to masturbate before dating a woman. Apparently, the possible sexual arousal of a man can be disadvantageous as it can cloud his judgement and potentially ruin a date because the man will be attempting to seek sex when the girl just wants to go slow and talk.

In my blog entry "Sex: Men are from Mars", I talk about this idea at length. Our libidos tend to cloud our judgement but by removing our libidos from the equation, we could at times make better decisions.

Sound dumb? Maybe perverted? Would Bill have even looked twice at Monica? Would Paul have reconsidered? Would Paul have even gone to the cinema? Would the 63 year old have realised that there was no chance on God’s green earth that a 27 year old would ever be interested in him?

Moi
After almost 13 years of marriage, my wife and I have concluded that a separation is in order. I am in the process of moving into my own apartment with the idea that the 2 of us will then see if there is a future for us. [stunned silence] … What!?! … I’m not going to go into detail here; I’m certain everybody will fill in the blanks whether I say something or not. However, I will close by saying that I think the correct explanation lies in the biting simplicity of the comedian’s one liner: It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Click HERE to read more columns by William Belle 

References

my blog: Sex: Men Are From Mars
http://wqebelle.blogspot.com/2010/06/sex-men-are-from-mars.html

Wikipedia: The Hollow Men by T. S. Eliot
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hollow_Men

2010-09-26

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