Ignorance is passe…

5 09 2013

“You have to know everything, don’t you?”, says Kramer, “Every minute thing that happens to my life? You MUST know!”. Not five minutes later, the line is returned to Jerry as it becomes clear that actually, all the characters MUST know everything about the minutiae of each other’s lives. Nine seasons of Seinfeld relied on the characters knowing the tiniest details about each other’s lives.


These days I think I get to know more things about people that I really wish I didn’t. The friend on facebook suffering from chronic constipation that finally pinches a loaf and parades this on facebook with a status update: “Finally dropped the bomb!” and, worse, on instagram with the visual evidence. EWW. Maybe ignorance is bliss.

Now this is not to say that I am not curious about this universe and the mysteries in it. However, the things I really want to know are the really deep issues of life like: where the hell do all my pen lids go?? I am fairly sure that I have not run out of ink in an actual pen since blowing a blue spray of interpretive art all over Mum’s best pillowcase.  Indeed, I am a notorious pen thief but, if really pushed, I can ferret around my desk, kitchen, workboots or freezer to find a pen but cannot remember ever finding a pen lid. Where do they go? Stuff building colonies on Mars, THIS is the important stuff our best minds ought to be working on right now!!

odd socks

Now odd socks, I understand. For example, if we call the probability of paired socks after washing, P and assign s= the number of socks in a given wash and n= the number of pairs in a household and t= the probability that pairs were together when put into the washing machine, then we get the relationship:

P= 1/n-(s-(t  x s))

I mean, that is simple to understand and I would much rather invent formulae for explaining the phenomenon than actually finding new socks. In fact, I find socks relatively cheap these days and my time is rather precious. If I have to spend 15 minutes searching for pairs of socks (and, as the previous article suggests, this bar is relatively low, since my entire sock collection is broadly categorised as ‘whitish’ or ‘blackish’), then that is worth about $8 of my time as a teacher (let’s ignore the fact that currently there is no designated salaried position called “sockfinder” currently on SEEK… yeah Rudd/Abbott, give us some PROPER jobs hey??!). It is therefore a far more economical use of my resources to simply buy 4 pairs of socks for $8 from my usual anonymous supplier (I’d tell you but I’d have to kill you!). So I do tend to buy a LOT of socks.

I need socks. Business socks are obligatory attire at meetings with other men to discuss “Secret Men’s Business”. Women would just LOVE to know what secret mens business is, in the same way that most people are DYING to learn about how Narwhals get “jiggy with it”. Yep. They just don’t care. We only dreamed it up because men are constantly self-conscious when groups of women cycle through periods of whispering and hysterical laughter when together and yet, when men come close the conversation switches to some inane banter about how intuitive their toddler is with predicting storms. Of course we assume the worst. It MUST be about us and something we are not doing well. We go through the list of things we do and analyse it:

1. Work: She has no clue what I do or even where I go during the day. Likely topic? NO.

2. Food: I eat with minimal wastage, complaint or gastric refund and crap regularly. Likely topic? NO.

3. Sex: I…. oh.

…and that is pretty much how the conversation goes in a man’s head. So if we can convince women that when men get together they drink beer, belch, fart and tell crude jokes, then they tend to leave us alone to do “Secret Men’s Business” and we can pore over Gray’s Anatomy and Journal articles on effective love-making in a mad effort to ‘get better at it’. The truth is, however, that most of these are written by men who would much rather be drinking beer, belching, farting and telling crude jokes (though our research DOES help in this regard). Instead, we are very busy trying desperately to find out what we are doing wrong..

secret men's business

Oh, I just found a pen lid. Cool.

(735 words)

Note to regular readers: This article was written as a project to undertake the recent Queensland Core Skills writing task in a meagre 29 minutes (as opposed to the 120 minutes allowed during the actual exam). The stimulus material was centred around the concept, “the unknown”. If JBO or LGE is reading this.. please be kind with your marking! 🙂

File 13 will return to its usual programming very soon.




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