REALITY CHECK: Maybe it’s time for men to evolve, right after the Stooges marathon

Reality Check | Mike Taylor

This is going to come as a surprise to only a few men and absolutely no women: girls are more sophisticated than guys.

Sure, sure, I know there are a few artsy-fartsy New York gents who’ve read biographies of Andrew Wyeth and get all teary-eyed during Mimi’s death scene in “La Bohéme.” But they’re the exception, not the rule.

At whatever social stratum a man finds himself, his female counterpart is likely to be more mature, more sensible, more … civilized. This isn’t always the case, of course, but often it is.

I’m thinking about this at the moment because of a conversation I had last night with Sweet Annie. We were sitting around the fire and I quoted from an article I read over 40 years ago in Mad Magazine; you know, with Alfred E. Newman on the cover? Published by William M. Gaines?

If you’re a guy, you know what I’m talking about. If you’re a woman, chances are you never cracked a copy open.

The Mad quote I referenced had to do with “Famous Failed Businesses,” in particular, a drug-store that advertised Instant Urinalysis and Hand-made Sandwiches.

Funny, right? I thought so, too, and so did Annie. She was also mildly repulsed by the idea. Her comment was that it was “a little crude.”

When women say something is “a little crude,” they mean that to be a bad thing. It’s different with men. Crude can be good. Funny, even.

We grew up with Larry, Moe and Curly, were weaned on Abbott and Costello. While young girls were reading classics like “Little Women,” we boys were filling our heads with comics in which Sgt. Rock blasted Nazis and the Incredible Hulk laid waste to Manhattan office blocks during a moody moment.

But the male penchant for primitive, juvenile behavior can’t be blamed solely on the influence of popular media. Call it divine intervention or evolutionary circumstance, but men are just different.

It goes back to our prehistoric forebears, I believe. When a saber-toothed tiger came sniffing around outside the cave, it was the man who went out, club in hand, to dispatch the beast or die trying. His cave-wife, meanwhile, sat inside reading a copy of “Little Women” and listening to NPR.

When medieval bandits waylaid hapless maidens on the road between the village and the palace, it was the king’s knights who bolted on armor and plodded into the forest to do battle with the varlets.

In fact, men throughout history have been responsible for most of the fighting, heavy lifting, and mindless grunt work that needed doing. Sure, women had their fair share of grunt work as well, whether in the home or field, but it was generally work that allowed them the freedom to discuss ideas with their peers, to converse as they worked, to become more civilized.

Meanwhile, we guys were hunting wild beasts (or each other) through the woods, stumbling around in the dark, the rain, the cold. A man’s life was more solitary, more brutal, more … crude.

Is it any wonder women evolved faster than men? We never stood a chance.

Of course, things are changing, and changing fast. In our modern, technological world, women are every bit as capable as men of performing the present day equivalent of killing that saber toothed tiger.

So guys, maybe this is our chance to catch up with the fairer sex, to develop a little refinement and class. Maybe, just maybe, it’s time.

Then again, there’s a Three Stooges marathon on cable next week. We’ve put off evolving this long. I guess another seven days won’t kill us.

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