Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Men and their instruments

No doubt about it, we are in love with our tools and our machines. All men are essentially cavemen. They are descendants of hunters and gatherers. Thus understandably, they take so much pride and joy with the instruments of their prowess. No man would put off the opportunity to talk about their cars, their guns, their grill (see previous blogs), their stereo, their computers or even their power drills. All men are proud of some machine or tool that they have. Whether you are a fighter pilot bragging about your supersonic fighter plane or a jeepney driver bragging about your stainless steel street machine, being proud of them is not conceit nor is it false pride.

"Tatak Sarao yan..hehehe"

Some smart aleck feminist even remarked that tools are the subliminal projection of men’s penises. Tools are their way of feeling usefull and is their response to the fact that female is the one allowed by nature to have offspring. I think that is over simplification. Yes, I do collect a lot of tools, how would they be representations of my delusions that I am a Peter North? No wonder all of my screw drivers have 10 inch handles and my neighbor recently bought a pair of micro pliers.

When men talk of their machines there are no strangers. You can start a conversation with any man regarding their machines and you will feel right at home:

“Ilang horsepower ba yang pump mo?

“How many rounds will the magazine hold”.

“Can it go 170 kph on the SCTEX?”

Just last week, I was riding a taxi cab, when the driver all of a sudden felt the urge to ask for an advice. He was having these squeaky noise whenever he would make a turn and the engine would stall. I am no ace mechanic, but when a fellow manly man solicits advice, you have to dish out something. Consider it flattery of the highest kind when a complete manly stranger starts a conversation with you. That could only mean that he could feel your genuineness oozing out of your pores. Think about it, if this guy wanted something technical or scientific, he would have easily asked an expert mechanic. But why waste an opportunity to exchange notes with another manly man? Manly affirmation is the key here, getting it right would be secondary. This never happens to women. Women will never approach another woman and out of the blue start a conversation about their computer or stove or their lipstick. For men to strike up a conversation with another man is normal, especially if it involved tools or machines. It would be creepy for another woman to go even start a conversation with another woman.

Now for the downside: no man would ever admit that he is helpless in the face of technical difficulty. Thus, the most logical thing to do is to tinker with it..trying to get it done. Most of the time we are simply armed with what little we know—or what little manly advice we got. There is even this delusion we have that given so much tools we can fix it. Thus we end up buying more tools every time something breaks down. Why just get an oil change when half the fun is buying a filter wrench and doing it yourself? Here’s a hot tip to the women out there, contrary to what may be written in the Orpah Magazine (or for that matter the Kris Aquino magazine), the best men are not in bars or in church functions, nor can they be found in a save-the-whale event, they are out there shopping for tools at the nearest Handyman.


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