One of the things I admire most about my hero, humor columnist Dave Barry, is how his legions of loyal readers send in funny newspaper articles and other material that practically write his columns for him.
As I wait for the day to come when I, too, can live off my readers, I must, alas, make do with the few meager offerings I receive. Currently that would consist of three contributions:
- A list of items entitled "Advice from Women to Men!" torn out of World Wide RV News by a Roundup employee who will, for purposes of anonymity, be referred to only as Marge Hanscom of Strawberry. Its legitimacy is reinforced by the fact that it was placed in the newsletter right below the slogan revered by RVers, "Don't tailgate me or I'll flush."
- An anonymous piece left on my desk chair that was obviously lifted from the Internet entitled "Men Strike Back!"
- A "Valley 101" column by Clay Thompson clipped from The Arizona Republic, also by Marge Hanscom of Strawberry (who has way too much time on her hands). It is headlined, "Fellas, just be glad you're not bees."
In "Valley 101," Thompson answers mostly bizarre questions posed by his readers. The question addressed in this particular column was, "Is it true that male honeybees explode when they mate?"
In his answer, Thompson explained how there are a few hundred males, or drones, in a hive and that their sole purpose in life is to mate with the queen.
"Every now and again, the queen takes off on a mating flight, immediately pursued by a pack of drones with just one thing on their little bee minds," Thompson wrote.
To make a long flight short, one drone catches the queen, they mate on the fly, and then the drone falls to the ground and dies.
Thompson's description is a lot more graphic, but, hey, clean air is one of the reasons you live in Payson.
When Marge dropped off Thompson's column, she said, "I just have one question: Why would anyone want to be a drone?"
OK, so it's not the stuff of a Dave Barry column, but we can work with this. In fact, Marge's question is quite illuminating because it goes to the very core of the great male-female divide.
Like your average woman, Marge is thinking something like this:
"This poor drone mates just once and then keels over dead. What kind of a life is that. I mean, just as he wins the race for the queen, at the precise moment of his greatest triumph, on the verge of an everlasting love, he croaks."
It is my weary task to respond on behalf of all mankind. But first I need all mankind to stop laughing uproariously at the workings of the female mind.
The way I look at it, it's good to be a drone. Not great, but good.
Consider that only one of several hundred (let's say 300) drones wins the grand prize -- an evening with the queen. That leaves 299 drones free to go home and watch the game completely devoid of female companionship.
Now I don't want to underestimate the value of female companionship. No man in his right mind would go there.
But I will say there are times when even women would have to agree that men are best left alone to let some of our coarseness evaporate. That time would be during the game.
"What game?" the hyper-sensitive female mind would probably ask. To which the idling male mind would respond, "It doesn't matter."
As for the poor drone who won the prize and paid with his life, might I suggest that there is such a thing as living too long, and that possibly our deceased drone is better off in that big honeycomb in the sky than having to worry about what he's going to do for an encore. She is, after all, the queen.
As evidence, I offer this item from "Men Strike Back!":
Why do men die before their wives?
They want to.
And in case you're wondering why our drone didn't at least attempt to establish a meaningful relationship with the queen before jumping to his death, "Advice from Women to Men" offers this insight:
"If you were really looking for an honest answer, you wouldn't ask in bed."