Archive for September, 2013

ManFAQ Friday: Well, I’m Ever Upper Class High Society

13 September, 2013 | | 4 Comments

This Friday is once again answer time at the ManFAQ, and so I don my manly mantle as Sage of the Sexes, helping demystify the more malodorous gender for those of the gentler, as we add to the list of questions women have asked about men over the years.  Actual questions, posed by real women, and answered by a REAL man.  Like the man said, “What could go wrong?”

Question:  There’s a study out that says men with smaller testicles make better fathers.  Is this true?

Answer:   No.  Assuming I remember my math and the commutative nature of addition, which also applies to spurious studies, if A equals B, then B also equals A, and therefore your question is actually better phrased as, do great dads have small balls?

No, no we don’t.

The study making headlines these days postulates the notion that human men with comparatively smaller testes might turn out to be, as a group, comparatively better fathers than those men with larger testes.  And when I say “making headlines,” I mean there were more than 20 at my last glance, all debating the relative merits of the study with various levels of aplomb, decor, and punch lines.  Most of them stick pretty closely to the standard “Testicle size linked to father role,” or “Men with smaller testicles may be more nurturing dads.”  They move quickly into “Do better dads have smaller gonads?”, “Small testicles equal big parenting skills?”, and “Men with smaller testicles predisposed to hands-on parenting.”  Once we’re done thinking about how anyone managed to run a headline with the words “testicles” and “hands-on” in the same line, we get to these gems:  “Size Matters: Testicle Size Linked To Nurturing Skills,” “Study: Choose Dads With Smaller ‘Nads,” “Aw, nuts! Nurturing dads have smaller testicles,” and “Dudes With Smaller Balls Are Better Parents, Says Science,” as well as some that have leads of “This is nuts!”

We’re left with the perpetually feminine-leaning Huffington Post, who turns it around: “Men With Big Testicles Less Likely To Be Caring Fathers.”  That’s right – it’s not that John Smallberies is a great dad, it’s that John Bigbooty is a bastard.  (Like that was news, right?)  The Week Magazine is the only one in their camp: “Do big testicles really make for bad fathers?” They’re at least asking it as a question; HuffPost just goes straight to “they’re all bastards.”

Now, this here study was based in Atlanta, GA, and included no more than 70 men, almost all of whom were Caucasian.  What can we infer from these facts?  First, what is it with those southern boys feeling up each other’s junk?  Second, dudes, why so few black guys?  Were they afraid to skew the results?  Third, Emory University clearly has too much time on their hands.   Also note this quote from the study:  “We’re assuming that testes size drives how involved the fathers are … but it could also be that when men become more involved as caregivers, their testes shrink.”

This sounds a lot like a couple of academics looking to get an endowment to explain their under-endowment, as it were.  They want a plus side – “But hey, at least I’m a good dad!”  They want an explanation – “What?  No no, they were bigger, um, just this morning, I looked, I swear – they must have shrunk as I was changing the baby!”  I’d also love to hear how they recruited volunteers for this study.  “Well, first they bought me dinner…”

And so I here cheerfully refute this premise, coming to my conclusion by generalizing from one example (which everyone does – or at least, I do) – to wit, the hunk with the junk can be an awesome dad as well.   I leave you with some final thoughts from those paragons of brilliant parenting, AC/DC.




Now you know.  Please, feel free to comment!  Also, forward any questions you’d like answered to BUMD – at –!  As always, your anonymity is guaranteed!




11 September, 2013 | | 1 Comment

It was raining 4381 days ago today, pouring, a terrific lightning storm in the early evening outside the window to my home office.  I was watching the rain and lightning as I typed something (now long forgotten) under the window.  As I glanced up again at the pounding rain, I noticed the wireless router with its two antennas, silhouetted in the flashing lightning.  As I watched, the hairs on the back of my neck started to stand up and a green glow started to form between the two antennas. 

Two things went through my mind very quickly.  The first thing was that having a set of wifi antennas on a wifi device in a windowsill during a lightning storm might been a bad idea. 

The second thing was:  duck.

I dived off my chair, getting my head down and flying for the floor as fast as I could.  The net effect of this was that my left hand went up while my right hand and head went down, as the boom shook the house and my eyes were nearly blinded despite being tightly shut.  I felt the shock in my left hand, down through my elbow, and into my shoulder, where it stopped.  I picked myself up off the floor a moment later (this was all in the sub-second response time we expect from lightning) to find surprisingly little damage – the window wasn’t broken and my hand wasn’t burned.  My left arm and shoulder hurt, but that was it – aside from the wireless router, which showed no external damage but never worked again; no surprise there.  My arm was fine by the next morning.

It is not surprising that I remember the incident so well – literally burned into my memory, as it were – but I would not ordinarily be able to recall the exact year, much less the month and date.

But the next day was September 11.

SOBUMD and I met working at a newspaper and have always been “print media” people, no matter how techie we get.  Of the thousands of questions we all had in the aftermath, one of the less important ones going through my mind after 9/11 was, “What will the New Yorker magazine do for the cover?”

I can no more forget it than I can the events of the day itself:  Art Spiegelman’s cover was black, completely.  I remember being a little surprised that they thought that was enough – and then I turned the magazine, just a little, and you can see the faintest outline of the towers, in darkest gray.

It was a powerful reminder that no matter how dark it gets, while we remember, they will never be all the way gone.

Wishing peace for us all on this day.

Enjoying Random Music, or, Why I’m a Moron

4 September, 2013 | | No Comment

So there I was, driving in to the office again, and still listening to the CD I’d started nearly two weeks ago. I should mention it’s a new car, which I bought completely by accident a month or two ago (long story), and one of the perks (which I found only after the car followed me home) is that the CD player also plays MP3s.  Since SOBUMD used to have a car that could do that (we replaced her old van as well, but at least we did that on purpose), we had a few CDs with MP3s laying around collecting dust.  One of them was marked “BUMD Mix,” so I popped it in the new car and decided to see what was on it. 

That was nearly two weeks ago.  Since the CD was probably made before Obama took office, I had no earthly idea what was on it.  Those of you old enough to remember “mix tapes” from the ’80s will know what this is like – a walk down memory lane with a few songs you know you’ll like, since you put it together yourself, even if you don’t remember doing so because you were totally baked at the time.  The difference with a mix of MP3s on a CD is that there are more than a hundred songs. 

As I played the CD, I noticed two things – first, I liked all of the songs, which makes sense, and second, they were completely random, which was surprising.  Not sure how they got copied onto the CD, but it’s a pretty trippy bunch of segues.  Not bad, just surprising – like listening to a radio station tuned specifically to you, but you’re just along for the ride.  And it made it even more fun to guess when the ride was going to end, because I had no idea how many songs the thing held. 

So I’ve been shaking my head at these totally random segues of good song into good song, until this morning’s drive.  I’d gotten nearly to the end of the CD, more than a hundred songs, and I’d gotten used to the randomness – until I realized that I’d followed David Bowie with the Cranberries, followed by Tom Petty, followed by Cherry Poppin’ Daddies. 

Do you see it?  Yep.  Ziggy Stardust, Zombie, Zombie Zoo, and Zoot Suit Riot.  Real random.  My life would be so much easier if I could spell.  I leave you with Ziggy, because every day should start with some God-given ass.