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99% perfect

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OK, let’s face it ladies, men are totally awsome creations.



(“Shaddup!”….   oh sorry…..I was just replying to an insurgent voice in my head that mumbled something about the inadvisability of starting a story like that…….please allow me to continue)

If we do have any slight imperfection it is this;
Occasionally our self-belief is unsupported by either common sense, OR the laws of physics, OR on rare occasions, BOTH.

Putting the flaw simply;  Unwarranted and unjustified optimism.

In 1874 Felix duTemple de la Croix nailed together some hardware which he found lying around the backyard and expected his engineering masterpiece to fly like a bird.  It didn’t.

Not to be deterred, Carl Richard Nyberg in 1905, after inhaling a little too much locomotive coal-smoke decided “Yep, I could get airborne in this steam powered contraption”.   He didn’t.

Presumably he was going to fly around the world towing a massive airborne firewood shed, or coal bunker with wings to enable frequent stoking of the boiler.

Both examples of  “Unwarranted optimism”.

Men born later in the 20th century have just one closely related deficiency.
They believe that their heads come fully equipped with an internal failsafe Global Positioning System.

When the latter-day naked ape man has his hands on a car’s steering wheel and his foot depressed on the accelerator, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that will convince him that he doesn’t know where he is going.

He will happily drive in the wrong direction, or round and round in circles ignoring;
1. Helpful road signs.
2. Maps.
3. Abuse and rocks being catapulted in his direction by peasant
farmers whose sheep he has just side-swiped on some potholed
country lane that is obviously not the six-lane freeway he should
be on.
4. All the sensible suggestions from his children or female
passenger that “maybe you should stop and ask a local”.

No way.

He will drive on….and on…..and on….regardless that the sun’s position in the sky is indicating a 180 degree error in his direction of travel.  A man’s explanation for this scenario will be that the solar system is temporarily out of balance and having a hissy fit, and that the sun will eventually reappear in the correct quadrant of sky just as soon as it all settles down again sometime after lunch.

At this point a question needs to be asked.  (Ed;…no it doesn’t)

Q.  “GOF, how come you know so much about this subject?”

A.  “Case history of a “friend of mine” (hereafter known as FOM)

In 1980, a FOM almost placed the lives of Mrs GOF, and a German friend in peril after becoming lost and nearly running out of petrol in the Australian outback, south of Mount Isa.

FOM had ignored several requests from Mrs GOF to “let’s go into that cattle station homestead and ask for directions.”

“No worries, I know exactly where we are”

More recently however, when FOM and Mrs GOF were temporarily spatially disoriented somewhere near Mount Misery FOM was able to draw upon his additional 30 years of maturity and accumulated wisdom.
When she suggested “FOM, why don’t we just drive back to that last house we passed and find out where we are?”

“No worries, I know exactly where we are.”

Two conclusions arise from this case study;

1. Something might be going on between FOM and Mrs GOF, and
2. These dumb malfunctioning internal Gee Pee Esses are
damned hard things to override.

(Editors comment;   GOF apparently wishes to reserve the right, in the interests of balanced argument, to also publish findings critical of women’s driving behaviour.  If he has any small fragment of brain left in his head he will choose never to exercise that right.)

P.S.   Does anyone want to take off my hands one only Editor who
continually interjects and annoys the crap outta me?


About GOF

"Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it, depends upon what you put into it." (Tom Lehrer)

19 responses »

  1. I’d venture to say that the US’s push to put a man on the moon qualified as unwarranted optimism. If a woman had been in charge of that? Might never’ve happened. Just saying. Sometimes we just have to keep driving, and driving, and driving… until we get there.

    • Driving and driving is good so long as you don’t lose track of where you are going.

      If women had been running space exploration Germaine Greer might have been the first human to walk on the moon……and if the moon landing craft departed for earth before she’d finished giving a preliminary tongue lashing to the Man on the Moon….well 😦

  2. You need a new Editor? I am sure I could do a bonza job of it!! Even better than your current one (including the annoyance factor)!!

    • Anyone would be better than the one I’ve got at the moment LOM, but no, I could not accept your kind offer and see you take a backwards career step. 🙂

  3. One of my greatest purchases was a GPS, GOF.

    I generously handed over the steering of the vehicle to the one who felt obligated to be part of the guidance system even when not behind the wheel. On purchasing the GPS I have been entertained by not being a direct party to the directional arguments that have since followed.

    Occasionally I wake from my slumber to hear the driver and GPS arguing and I have to say the score sheet is about 50 50. Normally I’d back the technology but continual road upgrades around Melbourne are giving the Missus the edge. What sort of Gentleman would I be if I updated the software and spoilt her batting average.

    Besides, it’s a crack up to watch and fills the gap in Radio National coverage..

    • Great story Peter. Mrs GOF wants us to get a GPS…..she is heavily into gadgetry….I have no idea where we would use it….the only places we drive to are in Cairns ….and those we’ve been to 6000 times during the last 30 years……maybe she just wants something else to talk to……a GPS unit might be a better listener than me. 🙂

      You should continue to be the gentleman you are….

  4. A British insurance company recently released results of a study that showed it costs men about $3,000 a year in petrol because they drive around refusing to ask directions!

  5. Mutters “If they can put one man on the moon why can’t they put them all there”…..

    “Probably cos the first one only got there purely by good luck rather than good management”

    Can hear Mrs Armstrong now: “Well I just sent him to the shops for milk and bread….where the hell is he??”

  6. “Presumably he was going to fly around the world towing a massive airborne firewood shed, or coal bunker with wings to enable frequent stoking of the boiler.”

    Love it.

  7. My son got lost bicycling from San Francisco to his grandparents’ house in Sacramento, and as a result arrived at their door at midnight instead of at the predicted 7 p.m. When I asked him why he didn’t call and ask me for directions, he shrugged and said, “It would have taken too much time to explain where I was.”

    I probably don’t want to know where he ended up. But he was soaking wet, had dents and scratches all over his bike, and a large bruise on the ribs. We wonder if he actually took a turn off of a bridge.

    • It seems to be a widespread problem HG, and thanks to you we now know that it doesn’t even need a car to activate internal GPS malfunctions. I’m thankful that your son arrived safely (although wet)… must have been concerning for you and the grandparents at the time.

  8. Never put a Massachusetts resident in the Outback. Here, the most lost we can get is within a stone’s throw of a 4-star hotel, surrounded by 3 dozen people all with cell phones and 27 stores each with a variety of maps for sale.


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