Tuesday, 11 August 2009

The change

Heard something on the radio the other day about blokes who can’t, or refuse to drive. A chap in his mid 30s who had never driven was waffling on saying that men who don’t drive are superior due to them being more at ease with themselves and not having penis envy. Hay mentioned that male academics are notorious for not being able to drive, being generally very insecure individuals with extremely low self-esteem. As it turned out, the guy on the radio extolling the virtues of not driving just happened to mention he also is an academic.

I thought Hay had contracted a rather nasty skin disease the other day. Her bum was criss-crossed with dimples which resembled highly structured cellulite. It turned out she’d developed what we experts call wicker bum syndrome from sitting too long on her seersucker dressing gown.

She’s suffering at present and isn’t sure whether she’s just out of sorts or (hushed tones and conspiratorial glances from side to side) perimenopausal and undergoing ‘the change’. I’m fully expecting her to start growing a beard and spread sideways. She’s currently having more hot flushes than Old Faithful in Yellowstone Park.

‘The change’ in men is not so pronounced, being limited to selective deafness, a propensity for misplacing wallets, spectacles and car keys, the cultivation of wire wool in our ears, nostrils and on our backs and the desire to nod off at inconvenient moments – like in the middle of conversations or motorways.

I find it strange that as women go through the change they lose key attributes of femininity, whereas men seem to become even more male. With us it’s as if an uber-male hormones starts to kick in – grumposterone, intolerosterone and I forget the 3rd one.

I must admit, however, that the urge within me to be ultra-competitive has diminished over the years. I’ve noticed this especially when driving. A boy racer (or even a fat, middle-aged racer) sat in the car next to me at the traffic lights no longer evokes the urge to put the pedal to the metal a nanosecond before the lights turn to green. The desire to conserve fuel has taken precedence, and in any case I invariably catch up with them at the next set of traffic lights anyway, which demonstrates the utter futility of street racing.


  1. I must admit I don't like driving any more but it has been a long time since anyone accused me of being an academic. But grumposterone, intolerosterone and the other one I have in full measure. Now what I wanted to say was .... oh sod it, I can't remember.

  2. I do hope that Hay has recovered from wicker bum, I have heard that can be nasty.
    The change is not yet upon me but the Colin has displayed " the change " symptoms you mention for years.
    I am suspicious of a man that can't drive, they often turn out to be a bit odd.

  3. Alan: At least you used to drive - albeit a horseless carriage.

    Kerrie: I think the official term is omega-males.

  4. Some things just don't need to be shared with the males in our lives.

  5. It's no wonder that older women start opting for toy boys... avoiding all that grumposterone.
    Mind you, I'm not sure which is worse - sitting in a car with an ultra-competitive male or with one that nods off halfway down the motorway. But still both are better than a man who does not drive at all!

  6. Sandy: Just like we don't like sharing things with pistons with women.

    Kabbalah: מעשה מרכבה, as they say. We're a mystery.

  7. My wife has told me I am in the throes of male-menopuase. Her evidence? I nod-off in the chair, while watching TV, every night about 8:15. I tell her, if that's the worst of it, she doesn't have much to worry about.

  8. It takes men an awful long time to cotton on to things doesn't it?

  9. IB: And what about the wire wool?

    Scarlet: What things?

  10. I don't think I've ever met a man over 25 who doesn't drive. Oh yes, one. But he was scared he might kill someone, which is perfectly reasonable if you ask me. He drives now too, though. Having driven for only a year (pre-menopause urge to learn overtook me at age 44), I would be very happy not to have ANY man in the car, pre-menopausal or post-menopausal. Can't stand the flinching when I take the Lago Maggiore curves a fraction too close to the crash barriers to avoid oncoming petrol tankers...

  11. Grumposterone rules! Intoleresterone's not too bad either. They are the best excuses for telling the youth (sorry, yoof) of today where to go. Personally I don't care where it is, so long as it's not where I want to be.

    You did however forget one of the major benefits of the male change - the ability to wear slippers indoor and out whatever the weather.

    I have to agree that the wire-wool change is a bit of a pain, but can anyone tell me why although the rest of my hair is there in abundance, my eye-brows have decided to moult? I am rapidly gaining the look of a charity shavee. Also, has anyone else noted that once hairs turn grey and wirey, they grow twice as fast and five times longer than previously? I currently have two chest hairs that are in excess of 6 inches long, and madam won't let me cut them because she's having a bet as to how long they'll eventually grow.

    Well, I had half a dozen things to do after reading your blog today, but can't remember any of them, so will just have to go and try to find my mobile, car keys, wallet, shopping list and ..... Oh yes, that's what I had to do!

    Enjoy your holiday!

  12. Wait...."not driving" means he hasn't got penis envy??? OK, that's totally join the dots....

    I've missed you Chairman....

  13. Louise: We all know what Italian drivers are like.

    Spiv: My eyebrows have pile reversal and are sticking out at 90 degrees.

    Braja: So when do you leave Oz and get back to civilization?

  14. My husband is growing a delightful crop of nose hairs and his eye-brows are taking on Dennis Healy like proportions in his middle years - I on the other hand am retaliating by growing toe-hairs and one rather endearing chin hair!

  15. Flabby skin, Nasal hair, Grumposterone, deafness in one ear. One time I fell asleep in front of the telly whilst picking my nose! Woke up and thought I was being attacked by some nutter trying to grab my nose!
    Has anyone got those skin tags yet?

  16. Woman: The ever-present crone hair!

    Cots: Ah yes - had a couple removed from my eyelid a few years ago and am cultivating a particularly invasive one on my left nipple.

  17. Boy racers brings back memories, used to be one. Then at 40 I found it was much more fun to make it obvious to a BR that I was about to have him... then on the green light just sit there and watch him make a fool of himself.