Malcolm Gladwell

A few weeks ago, the following library books were on my nightstand:

Nicholson Baker’s “House of Holes”: The funniest thing in there was the use of ‘Malcolm Gladwell’ as a euphemism.

Haruki Murakami’s “1Q84” : There’s a scene where this woman picks up a man in a bar, by asking him whether his Malcolm Gladwell is below, above or at average size.

It struck me: how do guys know how the size of their Gladwell’s compares to that of the general male populace? Discreet peeks in the bathroom? My dear husband, in an uncharacteristic fit of prudishness, wouldn’t tell me.

The last time I came across something that piqued my curiosity so insufferably, I went around asking everyone about what they thought or knew about it. This time, I had to exercise more discretion in the respondent pool. I emailed three of my favourite male ‘drinking-buddies/international men of the world’ A, B, and C with the question. I didn’t get any response for about a week, but then the following delayed reaction email exchange gushed forth . . .

A: Interesting question posed. (I guess at least you know better not to ask male co-workers.) However, it looks like neither B nor C have volunteered. So as your most foolish ‘drinking buddy’ on the To: list, I will. Since the question posed implies the notion of ‘average’ (i.e. “compared to the general populace”), I believe men who need to capably answer that question in order to get laid should go out and buy this classic book. (Obviously, women who often ask this question should read the book as well to avoid getting tricked.)

>Discreet peeks in the bathroom?

Wait a minute – men don’t peek in the bathroom. Not even the discreet kind. That’s a no-no. There is a complex protocol in the men’s room regarding staring, plus another major protocol in picking urinals which guys have it all hard-wired into their CPUs and we can all process that info in the initial 0.00001 ms that we step into a public toilet crowded with guys.

Picking urinals – there is a text book on this. After you read it, try this simulation here to test your ‘guyness’:

B: U mean I didn’t have to do the circle jerk after all?

C: I will note all rules do not apply in China where men will stare at other men and also use adjacent urinals when choices are available

A: If it works for you… I do agree we all need to do what we need to do to get it going so to avoid the embarrassing silence in our urinal.

B: Personally, I wouldn’t go for the door in the first scenario. I ‘d put buffer between the guy on the far left and any potential people walking in. Surely you guys would do the same outside of the US with all the female janitors walking in.

Uzbekcelia: What the hell is a circle jerk? Never mind, I’ll look it up.

C: You probably don’t want to look that up

Uzbekcelia: Too late. I did. It was a bit ‘eww’

A: Agreed. And that brings up a good point – the sampling error for the well-travelled international man to estimate his size against the ‘general populace’ is too great. When asked the question posed by a pretty lady, just assume you are comparing against South Koreans – based on this link.

I wonder how Malcolm Gladwell feels about his appearance in the “House of Holes”?


One thought on “Malcolm Gladwell

  1. Pingback: Litmus tests « Fishface

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