Accueil > BLAGUES-L > Archives 1999 >

Date: Fri, 13 Aug 1999 09:35:16 -0400 (EDT)
From: Sheep Steak
Subject: BLAGUES-L: Dave Barry's "The domestic side of guys"

[ Good day, everyone.  This one is long, but, hey, it's Friday!  Besides,
I think it's worth it.  Those of you at work can print it and read it
during the weekend.  Oh, and speaking about the weekend, have a good one!
(/jg) ]

Date: Mon, 25 Aug 1997 14:34:53 -0400
From: Patrick Drouin
>From: 	Armstrong, Shannon (S.)

              The domestic side of guys,


 Perfectly legitimate reasons why a person might elect to blow his
 nose on
                                       his laundry


                                      Dave Barry

PROBABLY the fastest-growing sector of the U.S. economy is the sector
that conducts surveys asking women what is wrong with men. About every
two days you read yet another newspaper article stating that 92.7
percent of American women find men to be pathetically inadequate in
some way.

The woman and the guy have profoundly different concepts of "clean."
When a woman "cleans" a bathroom, she will go in there with numerous
specialized products and implements for cleansing, scouring, shining,
and deodorizing the glass, porcelain, and tile. She will spend hours
just on the "grout." She will eradicate dirt on the molecular level.
She will track down and destroy each individual mildew spore. She can
actually hear germs, and she can make them scream. She will leave the
commode clean enough to be used in a surgical procedure. Whereas the
guy, if instructed to clean the bathroom, will go in there with a
single paper towel and the first spray bottle he finds. It might be
Windex, or it might be Raid. The guy will spend about three minutes in
the bathroom, squirting stuff randomly out of his spray bottle and
then wiping it up with his towel. He will pay no attention to whether
or not he is actually getting the bathroom cleaner. There could be a
dead human body lying in the bathtub, and the guy would spray and wipe

Perhaps you think I am exaggerating the domesticity gap between guys
and women. If so, perhaps you will be interested in the following
actual letter I received:

     Dear Dave,

     I need your opinion. My girlfriend is trying to change me. She
     doesn't like the way I live, while I see it as practical and

     First of all, she doesn't like the way I blow my nose on my dirty
     clothes. Whenever I have a cold, rather than waste $1.50 on a box
     of Kleenex, I blow my nose on a pair of dirty pants or a shirt in
     my laundry hamper. The way I see it, the clothes are already
     dirty, and they're going to get washed soon anyway. What's the
     big deal? My girlfriend says it's "gross."

     Also, I was recently cooking a batch of Sloppy Joes, and while I
     was draining the grease, some of it dripped on the kitchen floor.
     Rather than fooling around with the hot grease, I told her I'd
     let it congeal overnight and scrape it off in the morning with
     the paint scraper. Of course she went crazy. You would have
     thought I suggested going out and inhaling asbestos fibers.

     Lastly, I tend to let my newspapers pile up. I put them in
     grocery bags and they sit in my apartment. My girlfriend keeps
     nagging me to take them to the recycling center, but I've
     discovered that I can arrange the bags to create furniture. Not
     only have I saved myself some gas money, but I've new brown hard
     furniture to boot. I don't actually use the couch much, but I've
     found I can set a hell of a lot of beer bottles on it. So please,
     help my relationship. Am I out of line, or am I simply logical
     and practical?


     Brian Robinson
     Portland, Ore.

Being as objective as is humanly possible without a sex-change
operation, I have to side with Brian on this one. I mean, compared
with a lot of guys, he is Martha Stewart in the domesticity
department. He has garbage bags. He can cook Sloppy Joes. He has a
laundry hamper. And yet because of a few minor deviations from The
Standards, his entire lifestyle is under attack.

And while we're on the topic of women being pretty harsh with guys,
let us consider the following excerpt from a letter sent by Alison
Schuler of Albuquerque 1 , New Mexico:

     My husband announced one morning that he had discovered the
     previous night, on the eve of a two-day business trip, that he
     was out of underwear. Why he told me, I do not know. I never tell
     him when I'm out of underwear. Anyway, he decided to remedy the
     situation in true guy fashion, by washing exactly three sets of
     underwear, thus disregarding the bulging hamper full of the rest
     of his underwear, which, presumably, would wash itself during his

This is a perfect example of the kind of hurtful stereotypical blanket
statement about guys that women, as a group, are always making 2 .
Just because Ms. Schuler's husband doesn't do the entire laundry,
doesn't mean that there aren't millions upon millions of males who do
do the laundry, then hang it out to dry under the three suns of the
Planet Xoomar, where they live. I will admit, however, that most guys
here on Earth do not do any more laundry than they absolutely have to.
A single-sock load would not be out of the question, for a guy. A guy
might well choose to wash only the really dirty part of the sock.

Why is this? Are guys simply worthless, irresponsible scum? Yes, but
that is not the cause of laundry impairment. The cause of their
impairment is that guys, even when they have learned that they should
do laundry, are afraid to do it, especially laundry belonging to
people of other genders, because they know they will probably get
into, once more, Big Trouble . The problem is that women usually own a
lot of sensitive garments with laundering-instruction tags full of
strict instructions like:


I'm deeply intimidated by such instructions. I developed my laundering
skills in college, where I used what laundry scientists call the Pile
System, wherein you put your dirty undershorts on the floor until they
form a waist-high pile, thus subjecting the bottom shorts to intense
heat and pressure that causes them to become, over several months,
clean enough to wear if you're desperate and spray them with Right
Guard brand deodorant. When I lived with Randall, we fed our laundry
to large carnivorous coin-operated machines in the basement, and threw
away whatever clothes didn't fit when we were done. This is why most
married guys use the Hamper System, which is similar to the Pile
System except that the clothes really do get clean, thanks to magical
hamper rays.

I'm jesting, of course. I realize that hamperized clothes are in fact
cleaned by a person such as Alison Schuler of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
But I also know that women follow a complex procedure involving
sorting and presoaking and twenty-seven different combinations of
water temperatures and chemical compounds such a fabric softener,
stain remover, fabric hardener, cream rinse, ointments, suppositories,
enriched plutonium, etc. A woman wouldn't let a guy do her laundry
unless he underwent years of training, because she assumes he'd screw
it up and cause her garments to shrink down to cute little Tinkerbell
clothes, or transmaterialize in the dryer, similar to what happened to
that unfortunate man in the movie The Fly, so she'd wind up with, for
example, a brassiere that had pants legs.

This is why women are reluctant to let men near the laundry, as was
shown by a nationwide survey of several women I know. A typical
reaction came from my research department, Judi Smith, who gave the
following statement regarding her husband, Tim, a Ph.D. college
professor: "I don't trust him to do my laundry at all, unless I've
sorted it first and given him strict instructions before each and
every load, because otherwise everything we own would be mauve or
gray. ... He puts his clothes away damp. He can't put away anyone
else's clothes, because he can't fold. I mean, the man can't fold a
towel for God's sake. Somehow, he can't get the corners to match up. A
hand towel, even."

I'm not defending guys here. I'm just saying that a lot of us have
developed a powerful laundry phobia, and we will continue to suffer
from it as long as women roll their eyes and shove us away from the
washing machine when we're about to, for example, wash our delicate
silks in the same load as our boat cover. This is also true of the
other major domestic areas such as cleaning and cooking and
remembering where, exactly, we left the children. Yes, we guys have
problems in these areas, but this is not our fault. We are talking
about nature here. It's a lot like tapeworms. Tapeworms tend to not
have a positive public image, because they are repulsive organisms
that get inside people's intestines and eat people's food and grow to
lengths of sixty feet and have millions of repulsive little babies.
But is this their "fault"? No! It is their nature! And guys are no
different! Guys are exactly like tapeworms, except for being slightly
less likely to help with the dishes.

That is why I am asking you women to please try to be more
understanding. When you look at the guy in your life, lying on the
sofa and burping sporadically in the direction of a football game even
though you have asked him fourteen times to please take out the
garbage, do not think critical and contemptuous thoughts. Instead,
think of two words that will remind you of the deep-rooted problems
that he is struggling, deep inside, to overcome; two words that will
help you, in some small way, to feel his pain. Those words are of
course "intestinal parasite."

Women, with your help and understanding, we guys can do better. And we
will do better. We will, inch by painful inch, overcome our natural
handicaps, and we will rise to meet your standards for personal
behavior. It will not happen tomorrow, or the next day, or the day
after that, or even necessarily before the Earth crashes back into the
sun. But it will happen, because we guys are sick and tired of not
living up to your expectations, and we are by gosh really going to
start trying to change.

But not until after the playoffs.


   1.Motto: "The City That Is Probably Spelled Wrong."
   2.Another one is: "Guys always hog the blanket."

Accueil > BLAGUES-L > Archives 1999 >