Monday, March 23, 2009

The Guide to Guys - #1 in a series

When somebody asks me to define infinity, I always say the same thing.

SOMEBODY: Hey dude, how do you define infinity?

ME: Easy! That’s the number of times my female friends ask me the question: “Matthew, why do guys do that?”

The fact that I actually get asked this question, instead of getting yelled at for doing something stupid, means that my female friends don’t think I’m part of the problem. And sadly, because I'm not part of the problem, I also get asked “Why are there no good guys out there?” a lot, which means I’m not part of the solution either. But that’s okay. Like I always say, the reason I know every one of my female friends is smart is because none of them is dumb enough to want to go out with me.

So. Why do guys do that? Not an easy question to answer, because the ratio of screwed-up people on the planet to those with a Y chromosome has always been a couple of decimal points shy of 1:1. But thanks to years of observation, rumination, and looking into the mirror, certain common types of male behavior can be identified and classified by their actions once they screw up. Unfortunately they can never be identified before they screw up, because guys are like earthquakes -- they cannot be predicted, they can only be categorized by the amount of damage they leave behind. Although in some cases their behavior can be predicted with total certainty by the type of woman they chase after.

Which brings us to our first type: The Born Chaser. This is the guy who is always running after somebody else, and is not to be confused with the guy who says he likes everything you like so you’ll like him back (the Born Identity), the guy who says “My way or the highway!” (the Born Ultimatum) or the guy who is the king of all he surveys, including you (the Born Supremacy).

No, this is the Born Chaser -- living proof that at least once in human male evolutionary history, some really drunk guy got a shark pregnant and raised the kid in solitude until he was old enough to go to law school. This Mitochondrial Adam passed on a bunch of shark genes to every male on earth, particularly the one that makes a shark keep swimming or he dies. (Yes, ladies, we all have this gene; it's just recessive in some of us.) This makes Born Chasers like land sharks -- instead of swim or die, it's chase or die. They chase after everything-- women, jobs, cellphone service -- and the minute they get what they want, they’re off looking for a bigger and better one, or at least one that’s running away from them, because you can’t chase something you’ve caught.

How do you recognize these losers? Easy. They're the guys who go out every night because they are so prey-oriented they don’t know what it’s like to be alone in an empty room. (And yes, women do this too, but for an entirely different reason. Women go out every night because their shoes make them do it.) Wanna know if a guy is a Born Chaser? Ask him what he does when he’s alone. If he plays video games, then chances are he treats dating like a point-and-shoot challenge where it’s all about getting to the next level -- and the level after that, and the level after that -- and then dumping the game entirely when a better one gets released. (Sound familiar? You bet it does.) Born Chasers don’t know what it’s like to be really alone. They have to bring someone to bed with them (or wind up in someone else’s bed) because at heart they are other-person oriented. This is a good quality in saints and philanthropists, but a bad quality in potential male mates, because to guys like this the word “other” means “any other.” They might as well have ABY tattooed on their shoulder (Anybody But You).

YOU: Nice tattoo. So what does the ABY stand for?

HIM: Oh, that? It used to be BABY, but the B faded away.

YOU: Wow! Same with me!

HIM: Really?

YOU: Yeah! I have the words YOU ARE FULL OF SHIT tattooed on my lower back, and the TOTALLY faded away.

So ladies? If you want to wind up with one of these motorized morons, kick off your heels, put on your Nikes, and start sprinting, because the BC will chase Donnas the way a shark chases dinner. Just remember two things: if you stop running and let him catch you, he will stand still only long enough to see who’s just out of reach and head off after her; and if you ever turn around and start chasing him? He will screech to a halt, jump up and down and click his heels together, stick his tongue out twice as he goes “Meep! Meep!” and vanish so fast in the opposite direction that the highway will roll up behind him.

And the only Acme remedy for that is Acme Tequila.