Sure, the hits keep coming with the girls, but what about the guys?According to the most recent census conducted by me while trying to open a bag of cookies in my kitchen there are almost 500 billion people alive in the world right now. Of those 500 billion people almost half of them are men. When I finally got the bag of cookies open I pulled too hard on the edges of the bag and the cookies flew up into the air and then landed on the floor. We have cats and cats are not always clean, so as I hurried to cram the floorcookies into my mouth I couldn't help but taste the phantom cat shit sliding down my esophagus. This made me think again about my census. Wouldn't it be nice if we could somehow quantify this 250 billion men figure more precisely?
I immediately set about developing a coordinate based system that would allow any man to determine his or her own position, mathematically, in the realm of the macho. Using a compass and a slide-rule I made a two-dimensional representation of a cube and then drew a semi-circle in it. Then I wrote "FUCKING FAILURE" on it because that sure was a bad idea. I was about to start drawing rhomboids and then stabbing the sharp part of the compass through the paper when I remembered that I own the most powerful computational device ever made next to God; The Human Computer. I am referring, of course, to the Pentium IV. Mine is named "Elspeth".
Elspeth and I set to work forthwith on creating a coordinate based solution to the 250 billion man question. How could the qualities of an entire species be condensed into a pair of numbers? Elspeth and I had a lot to hammer out.
"COMPUTER ACTIVATE!" I commanded as I pushed the power button on the computer. Elspeth awoke from her twisting silicon nightmares with a sigh, ready to assist me however possible. Within reason. Within reason!
"ELSPETH, LOAD: MATH" I ordered my computer. Elspeth was slow to react so I wiggled my fingers and clicked buttons on the keyboard like they do in that Sandra Bullock movie "The Net". Elspeth shuddered to life and opened some sort of file. Was this the answer?
"ELSPETH, MAGNIFY 500!" I commanded the computer and made more movements with my fingers. Elspeth began loading Baldur's Gate 2, much to my chagrin.
"ELSPETH SHUT DOWN GAME! SHUT DOWN GAME: BALDUR'S GATE TWO!" I shrieked in an impressive contralto.
"ELSPETH YOU ARE GOING TO BE SOLD!" I tried to threaten the computer.
"ELSEPTH PLAY BALDUR'S GATE TWO!" I shouted, attempting reverse psychology.
Hours later, hoarse and red-faced, I collapsed on the floor in front of my desk. When I awoke it was to the brilliant glowing answer to our little conundrum. It was the Machismograph 2000, and it will rock thy world.
The Swayze-Eastwood Axis
The horizontal measure of the Machismograph 2000 is represented by the Swayze-Eastwood axis. On the left side you will see a picture of Patrick Swayze from the film "Dirty Dancing" and on the right side you will see a picture of Clint Eastwood from the film "A Few Dollars More". Patrick Swayze serves as the polar opposite of Clint Eastwood because he represents the sort of soft-and-gooey macho man who instantly repels the respect of heterosexual males but turns women's pants into pools of wet. Can you say, in all honesty, that you have ever felt more emasculated than when you saw the movie "Ghost"? If you can't it's either because you're a woman or you're having flashbacks to "Dirty Dancing". Clint Eastwood, on the other hand, may dampen a few panties but he's more likely to win the respect of the sort of guy who'd just as soon kiss a woman as a scorpion. I'm talking about men who want people to break bottles over their faces for the awesome scars and work on tractor engines because it's fun.
The point at the exact middle of the axis would represent someone who combines, in equal measure, the qualities of Clint Eastwood and Patrick Swayze. The exact middle point between Swayze and Eastwood is occupied by both Tom Hanks and Will Smith.
The Shatner-Kressley Axis
Carson has singlehandedly shifted more men than you can imagine.The vertical measure of the Machismograph 2000 is represented by the Shatner-Kressley axis. On the top you will see a picture of Carson Kressley from the TV show "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" and on the bottom you will see a picture of an aging, red-faced, and sweaty William Shatner from a "Star Trek" convention. This axis represents more than sexual proclivity and weight, it's as much about personal style and values. Carson Kressley dresses like women want men to dress, but he's also the kind of person who is more comfortable sipping a vodkatini at a Manhattan dance club than playing Madden on the Xbox. William Shatner is the kind of man that a guy wants to be whether he would admit it to himself or not. He's wealthy, dresses for comfort rather than style, obviously eats whatever he wants, and is so self-absorbed that he was probably watching re-runs of "TJ Hooker" when his wife drowned in the pool.
The point at the exact middle of the axis would represent someone who combines, in equal measure, the qualities of Carson Kressley and William Shatner. Bizarrely, the closest person to achieving this point is TV chef Mario Batali, who manages to be both anal about his appearance and a total slob at the same time and can be visualized eating avocado wraps at a diner in Greece or wolfing down canned pasta over the sink.
The Zero Point
Later in the day James Bond could be seen wearing a hula skirt and eating a whole ice cream cake.The point at which the two axes intersect is the point at which the theoretical "perfect man" can be found. He combines in equal measure all elements of the four polar archetypes and should therefore be appealing to women, tough and sexually-insecure guys, gay men, and big fat slobs. A fictional man comes closest to this precise centricity and he is none other than James Bond as portrayed by a young Sean Connery. The original Bond is tough and willing to kill, handsome and dashing, a good dancer, sometimes treats women like dirt but also knows when to serve them champagne and caviar, uses product, isn't afraid to mix colors but cuts a bold figure in a black and white tuxedo.
Sean Connery himself is wildly different; prone to loutish chauvinism, rumored wife beating, and obscene behavior, he resides well within the Shatner/Eastwood section of the grid. Later Bond actors jump all over the scale, with Roger Moore single handedly flip-flopping Bond schizophrenically across the Shatner-Kressley axis in the space of any single movie.
A Sample Reading
Let's start easy with someone all of you will recognize. Harlequin Romance Novel cover model Fabio would rate fully towards Patrick Swayze on the Swayze-Eastwood axis and up five points from Swayze on the Shatner-Kressley axis. This is because Fabio is as glisteningly primped as Swayze, but Fabio never starred in "Roadhouse" and was also badly injured by a goose while riding a rollercoaster. Your machismo just doesn't recover fully from being bloodied by errant fowl. Fabio does regain some points towards Shatner by being a salesman for butter. These points he then loses immediately because he was a salesman for fake butter that was available in a non-aerosol spray. Fabio's coordinates on the Machismograph are noted as -15, 5.
Before we begin trying to quantify every man alive from George W. Bush to George W. Washington, we need to work out a more concrete way of determining the coordinates. Entirely without the help of Elspeth (she was sulking again) I devised a simple questionnaire with coordinate modifying values attached to each answer. For the purposes of this demonstration I have appended each response with the appropriate modifier. In a real implementation of the Machismo Graph 2000 we would be conducting a blind survey so that the responses are not influenced by foreknowledge of effect.
The Machismo Graph 2000 Self-Test
The MG 2000 Self Test is separated into questions that determine your location on the Swayze-Eastwood axis and questions that determine your location on the Shatner-Kressley axis.
Answer the following five questions carefully and record the number in parenthesis on a piece of scrap paper. If you don't have any scrap paper handy try carving the numbers into your inner arm with a sharpened stick.
- When you see a beautiful woman you…
- Point at her and make the noise from "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". (+0)
- Introduce yourself politely. (-1)
- Make sure your erection is visible through your clinging unitard and adjust your sweatband in preparation for an introductory dance. (-3)
- Stare at her until she says "what?" and then reply "It's not going to suck itself." (+1)
- Light a match on your facial stubble and casually throw the lit match into her flammable whore hair. (+3)
- You are at a dinner party and someone spills a glass of red wine on your shirt. You…
- Scream "Alluh Ackbar!" and blow up your explosive harness. (+0)
- Apologize for causing the spill even if it wasn't your fault. (-1)
- Take off your shirt and then slowly and methodically oil your chest in plain sight of the entire party. (-3)
- Immediately punch whoever is responsible in the solar plexus. (+1)
- Party? Where are you? How did you get here? Shoot your way out. (+3)
- If you could own any car it would be…
- A library bookmobile filled entirely with hardcore fisting porn (+0)
- A cherry red Toyota Prius (-1)
- One of those adult tricycles that you lay back and pedal (-3)
- A Harley Davidson lowrider with an awesome skull painted on the gas tank. (+1)
- A dusty hansom carriage that you hijacked from the town's mayor. (+3)
- Your house is on fire and you only have time to save one thing inside. You decide to save…
- Your prized collection of melted plastic furniture. (+0)
- Your family photo albums. (-1)
- Your dream journal. (-3)
- You carry everything you really need in your wallet. (+1)
- The list of people you still have to kill to avenge your father's death. (+3)
- You are walking through the woods when you happen upon a rabbit with a broken leg. You…
- Unhinge your jaw and swallow it whole. (+0)
- Try to splint its broken leg (-1)
- Start sobbing and compose a poem about the rabbit to share at your discussion group (-3)
- Quickly break the rabbit's neck and then cook and eat it. (+1)
- It is physically impossible for your eyes to focus on anyone or anything in need of assistance. (+3)
Add up the total from your answers and plot your coordinate on the Swayze-Eastwood axis in pencil. When you have this point plotted draw a line vertically through it extending it both edges of the graph, then continue on to the second set of questions.
Answer the following five questions carefully and record the number in parenthesis on a piece of scrap paper. If you don't have any scrap paper handy try calligraphy on grains of rice.
- Your wife is drowning in the pool. You're…
- Caught in a localized gravity anomaly and unable to move. (+0)
- Rushing to save her. (+1)
- Trying to get her attention before she dies to see what she thinks of your new shoes. (+3)
- Yelling at her for being dumb as you try to pull her out with the cleaning net. (-1)
- Watching reruns of the comically bad cop drama you starred in on TBS. (-3)
- Your girlfriend is coming over for dinner. You plan to…
- Slam your fingers in door hinges all evening while screaming for her to feed you slices of pepperoni. (+0)
- Cook up some homemade chicken alfredo. (+1)
- Serve up delicious seafood cerveche in frosted martini glasses along with a dessert of chocolate glazed truffle and strawberries. (+3)
- Order hot wings and ask her to get you a beer. (-1)
- Lay in bed naked and eat half-frozen Sara Lee pies until you vomit on your chest. (-3)
- You're shopping in the mall and you decide…
- To pick children up by their ankles and run around honking until God makes you stop. (+0)
- To pick up The English Patient on DVD and have a good cry. I mean, he leaves her in that cave; she dies alone in that cave…oh my God! (+1)
- Shopping in the mall? I don't think so girlfriend! New York, Paris, or Beverly Hills. (+3)
- To see if the game is playing on any of the TVs in Radioshack so you can totally be just like someone in a Circuit City commercial. (-1)
- To buy one of everything in Spencer's and then get one of those giant tubs of wedge fries from The Great Potato Imbroglio. (-3)
- Your favorite author is…
- The anonymous person responsible for all those hilarious red octagonal books you see on street corners. (+0)
- Robert James Waller (+1)
- Oscar Wilde (+3)
- Dr. Robert Atkins (-1)
- The genius behind "TekWar". (-3)
- After many days and nights of grueling work you finally have a day off. How do you relax?
- Tangle yourself in a hammock and spend the next eighteen hours alternating between trying to escape and trying to fit both of your fists into your mouth at the same time. (+0)
- Catch up on all of the episodes of Trading Spaces you have TiVoed. (+1)
- Deep tissue work at Spa Romano followed by a trip to the bath house and some wild anonymous sex. (+3)
- Finally find out what that apple pie scented candle in your bathroom tastes like. (-1)
- Sleep 19 hours straight and then roll over and eat cold pizza from your nightstand while absently masturbating to "Modern Marvels" on the History Channel. (-3)
Add up the total from your answers and plot your coordinate on the Shatner-Kressley axis in pencil. When you have this point plotted draw a line horizontally through it that extends to both edges of the graph. This line should intersect with the line going through your other point, giving you your correct position on the Machismograph 2000. Congratulations!
Completing work on the Machismograph 2000 was just half of the battle. I needed to demonstrate that it would work, but looking at all of the technical information for the Machismograph I can plainly see that this is neither the time nor the place. Perhaps some day, when the stars smile upon this endeavor, I will wheel the Machismograph 2000 out of its sheath and deploy it in the interests of all of mankind. Only then will we know just how macho celebrities are. Only then will we sleep easy at night secure that the world makes sense.
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