If you play the movie "A Hard Day’s Night" backwards, it’s about four boys who wander through London making unearthly noises that cause huge crowds of girls to back away, screaming.
It’s actually quite good that way.
And the truth is, women should back away screaming when approached by men, according to the latest scienctific findings.
Only members of the male sex can reach a level of stupidity at which they become lethal to themselves and people around them, a recent British Medical Journal article said.
Researchers studied databases of Darwin Award winners (a title given to people whose actions are so stupid they remove themselves from the gene pool, ie, die), and found that 88.7 percent of winners were male.
This information was forwarded to me by a reader named Buffy, who offered her theory that "idiocy kills when combined with risk-taking behavior, hyperactivity, shallowness and massive egotism, a combination of factors also known as ‘being a guy’". (Not that she has issues or anything.)
But are men really shallow, irrational egotists? The guys in my office responded angrily to her accusation with one voice: "Oh, yes we are."
By coincidence, the authorities in Hong Kong have just released figures which show that almost two-thirds of all arrests in any given year are of men. This imbalance is believed to be standard, worldwide. Now I don’t want you to think that men are somehow evil, just because this is a statistically proven fact. A proportion of these guys may have been arrested for gallantly taking the blame for the crimes of their wives and girlfriends. But probably not.
Yet the fact is that guys are not totally worthless and shallow all the time. Imagine the scene: We are in our third hour of playing some video game and are totally lost in the world of shooting aliens or whatever. Then we come to the end of level four – and the screen goes dark for a few seconds. We suddenly see our over-excited faces reflected in front of us and we have a Deep Thought: Surely there must be more to life than this? And then level five starts. Die die die, suckers!
Furthermore, sometimes men are interestingly unpredictable. Such as when we discover that most movies, perhaps all movies, are better watched backwards at high speed. Here are four others that are more interesting on rewind:
* "Jurassic Park" becomes a surreal creation myth about dinosaurs who vomit up live humans and place them at the entrance to a theme park.
* "The Lion King" becomes a zombie tale of a young lion who brings his dead father to life to rule the animal kingdom.
* "Beauty and the Beast" becomes a super-realistic story of a couple who start off young and beautiful, but then the guy becomes unrecognizably grouchy, hairy and mirror-obsessed, until no one can live with him. The story of my life, except for the hair.
Now if you’ll excuse me, as a sophisticated modern male, I need some personal time for mindfulness, reflection and self-actualization. Or I might just polish off level five of my game. Die die die, suckers!
(09.01.2015 – Nury Vittachi is an Asia-based frequent traveller. Send comments and ideas via his Facebook page)