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Real Men Eat Pain For Lunch
by Mad Dog


Of course we eat quiche, we just donít know how to pronounce it. Heck, weíll even eat  a croissant as long as we donít have to embarrass ourselves by ordering it. 
After years of having it drummed into my head that women handle pain better than men ó think: the ability to withstand childbirth ó it turns out that I dealt with all that head beating with more aplomb than a woman would have. At least thatís the word from a group of researchers at Bath Universityís Pain Management Unit (motto: ďPut less hot water in the tub, stupid!Ē). They issued a report that says men cope with pain better than women because they donít get so emotional about it. Hey, stop getting so upset, itís only a scientific study.

   The researchers say men focus on the practical side ó what can I do to lessen the pain? Women, on the other hand, focus on the pain and how itís making them feel. I always knew not being in touch with my feelings was a good thing, now I have proof. This doesnít mean men donít feel pain. Just because we might handle it well doesnít make it any less real. Iíve felt pain. Iíve cried from pain. And I certainly donít mind admitting it if I think it will make a woman view me as a sensitive guy. The idea that real men donít feel pain is as antiquated as the concept that real men donít eat quiche. Of course we eat quiche, we just donít know how to pronounce it. Heck, weíll even eat  a croissant as long as we donít have to embarrass ourselves by ordering it. If you have any doubts, call your next quiche an egg pie and see how fast a guy chows it down. I mean, whoís going to turn down a pie, fer Christís sake?

   According to the Bath University study, when men and women had their arms placed in warm water, then plunged into ice-cold water, 72 percent of them wondered if the money they were getting paid for the study was worth it. Just kidding. Actually they were happy to be getting a check since they usually pay good money to do that same thing when they use a sauna and cold pool.


A high tolerance for pain doesnít make you a real man. Being able to pop open an Old Milwaukee, chug it, and crush it against your forehead with one hand so the other doesnít have to let go of the remote, that makes you a real man.
   Both groups, of course, felt pain. The women noticed it sooner but couldnít put up with it for as long as the men. This should come as no surprise since we all know men are unfeeling bastards. Just kidding. At least I like to think Iím kidding. In my case, anyway. But back to pain and men putting up with it. You might remember last December a man in South Korea had a 2-inch nail removed from his skull, one that had been there for four years without his knowing it. Then in January, just to prove that men are thick-headed all over the world, a man in Colorado went to the dentist complaining of a toothache and wound up having a 4-inch nail removed from his skull, a nail that, unbeknownst to him, had been lodged there for six days. This shows that thereís not only a variation in pain tolerance between men and women, but also between men. Either that or men in South Korea are more real than men in Colorado.

   Seriously though, a high tolerance for pain doesnít make you a real man. Being able to pop open an Old Milwaukee, chug it, and crush it against your forehead with one hand so the other doesnít have to let go of the remote, that makes you a real man. Also being able to pamper yourself at the risk of being ridiculed by your more Neanderthal friends, though to be safe I recommend not pampering and eating quiche at the same time. Hey, why push your luck? Hey, if four American presidents can get a facial and still hold their heads high, anyone can do it.


T
he truth is we like our presidents to be real men. At least we did in the days before they would choke on a pretzel, fall off a bicycle, and laugh inappropriately at serious questions asked during press conferences. My how times change.
   The four presidents are Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, and Roosevelt, and itís their faces on Mount Rushmore that are getting a power washing for the first time in 60 years. And to think, my mother had a fit if I didnít wash my face at least every other day. Over the years their faces have become pockmarked, cracked, and covered in lichen. I sure hope theyíre adding Clearasil to that power wash. Before you even start thinking it, this salon-type pampering doesnít make them metrosexual, theyíd have to read GQ, pick up fashion tips from Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, and wear Armani powdered wigs to qualify for that. Theyíre just real men who are confident about their maleness. Okay, and granite blocks. But the truth is we like our presidents to be real men. At least we did in the days before they would choke on a pretzel, fall off a bicycle, and laugh inappropriately at serious questions asked during press conferences. My how times change.

   Before this whole pain discussion flares up and tears apart households, remember that we all have our own tolerance to pain, so itís not as simple as men feel more pain, women are from Venus. Just think about the excruciating pain women suffer that men donít, like childbirth, menstrual cramps, and putting up with husbands who pop open an Old Milwaukee, chug it, and crush it against their forehead with one hand so the other doesnít have to let go of the remote. Personally, Iím thankful I donít have to suffer through any of that. I could use a Tylenol just thinking about it.

©2005 Mad Dog Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country. Read them, but don't let anyone see you wince.

 

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