Male Studies Letter 14

From the Desk of Norm Deplume

Voted – “Most Likely to Talk Himself to Sleep” / Dakota’s University’s Student Senate (2009)

Lead Lobbyist – House Bill #8642 “The Next Best Thing Act”  / Requires all purchased loaves of bread to have an even number of slices which relieves citizens from having to use the end pieces.

Most Consistent Winner – Gold Syllabus Award / Student given recognition to any Dakota University faculty member who includes the language, “Sporadic attendance = 65% of Grade” in their syllabus.

To My Fellow Colleagues in Left Field,

We have been forced to prematurely close our study of the maladjusted, misappropriated young male.  Our subjects Binko (Lead guitar of the band Fecal Stain / short, with long hair, and the state’s largest concentration of black T-shirts) and Zits (Works in fast food industry/ Spends most waking hours playing World of Dorkcraft, lacks personality, has problematic acne) have exited the program.  I should also mention that my funding was pulled, but whatever.

My graduate assistant and I had equipped their dorm room with the best surveillance equipment we could contract through Radio Shed.  (We lost our receipts so if your interested in a few gently used RC cars we could probably work out a deal.  Contact La’Shawn-esha at Dakota University’s Bursar Office. 701-225-8600)

The statistics bear out our valuable findings…

*Zits and Binko had a body odor mass index of .8 parts per thousands nearly 57% of the time.  This would create a nasally discernable perimeter of almost five feet!

This data contrasts profoundly with Ricky Machismo (a well-circulated male, very popular with the “floosy” demographic) whose body odor mass index was completely overwhelmed by the application of cologne “Romantic URGE.”  When we measured its concentration, it registered an astounding 32 parts per thousand or an amazing 3% of his total bodily mass!  Astounding!

*Also of note was the distinct lack of a “bump” in Binko’s Social Standing Measurement after mentioning, “Yea, I’m in a band.”  These words usually raised female approval rating by 35%.  However Binko often failed to follow up this advance with other strong traits such as being tall (84.9% increased approval), being fashionable (51% increased approval), good looking (99% increased approval), or having a car (99.999% increased approval).  The name, “Fecal Stain” created a generally unenthusiastic response as well.

Thusly, we now understand that being good looking and owning a car corresponds strongly with success with the opposite gender!

*Another amazing find was the human body’s ability to synthesize useful materials from the nutritionally void foodstuffs Binko and Zits consumed.  Their bodies were able to split water from the only fluids they ever ingested:  energy drinks (43% of total) and sodas (57% of total).  The water needed for continued function is at least 12 fluid cups per day (even at their stunningly low activity levels).  These quantities did not exist in the fluids they drank thusly we can only assume their bodies absorbed water while they showered.  But that raises another question…

From the partially hydrogenated oils they took in from such bountiful sources as chips, snack cakes, and other super-saturated fats, their bodies began creating a new vitamin!  We have titled it vitamin X.  In tissue samples we took while both were in deepest sleep (usually 11:30 AM), we found this recently discovered vitamin being used as a HUMAN DUCT TAPE over damaged cells.  We don’t know what the long-term effects of vitamin X are, but as long as they don’t try to do too much it should hold.

About Binko and Zits…

After discovering the secret identify of the Greasy Arches “secret sauce,” Zits was suddenly and dramatically promoted to Liaison of Franchise Supervision.  Without need of a degree, he immediately dropped out of school.  The next day he married Az-Ra-KaKa inside the online World of Dorkcraft.  They are expecting their fist online, fully digital child sometime in June as long as a dragon doesn’t eat Az-Ra-KaKa.  (They are hopping for a boy with 16 agility and 21 strength.)

Binko flunked out of college.  During our last recorded contact, he was working at a tattoo parlor as a tester.  Testers offer parts of their own hide to high-end, prospective clients who want to see how a tattoo will look before they actually get it done.  The pay was considerably more than Binko was making with his band but the career’s future looked grim after Binko began running out of available skin.  His current whereabouts are unknown (probably his parent’s house).

In conclusion…

With the loss of our subjects and funding, the research was brought to a premature conclusion.  That’s ok, because I had a good time and I’ve made friends that will last a lifetime.  I want to thank my mom and dad for always believing in me then smiling politely when it was obvious I wouldn’t.

Besides, I just wanted to see how much grant money I could blow through before someone turned off the tap.  Grand total: $63,236.23!  I’ll be teaching Early American Literature 4500 next semester. If you want to sign up and hear me tell you how to abuse the system, come on.  The test questions will be the same as the study, in order and wording.  65% of your grade is based on sporadic attendance.

Male Studies Letter 13

From the Desk of Norm DePlume

Lead Developer – Crayola crayon “Underarm Stain” – Available only in the 1256 crayon box set.

Consultant – Lawn Gnome Action Project – Pose able lawn décor that allows you (and every juvenile delinquent on your street) to create interpretive scenes with these flexible mythical creatures.  A good way to get your lawn on the Internet!

Chemical/Olfactory Engineer – Feminine perfume – “Fast and Easy”

Dear Colleagues,

We continue our examination of the maladjusted males Binko ( band member, short, long hair, socially desperate) and Zits ( tall, acne problem, plays video games, socially unconcerned).  Their dorm room has been wired with surveillance devices to allow for complete data collection.

Our research has already unearthed countless clues to the ritualistic habits of the socially maladjusted yet no cure has been located.  In fact, it appears that outside of not having any female companionship, they are completely unaware of their status as social outcasts.

I put several of my graduate assistants in charge of creating a value based list of traits that hinder Binko and Zits’ complete interaction with everyone who isn’t related to them.  They began with Infrequent and Unsatisfactory Bathing (Repugnant Factor of 94) to brightly colored male briefs (Repugnant Factor of 48) to wearing the dreaded black shoes / white socks / blue jean shorts combination (Repugnant Factor 21).

(To compute each Repugnant Factor, square the absolute value of their GPA, divided by the shortest distance measured in centimeters from contacting a member of the opposite sex, and multiply by the derivative of bacteria samples taken from the dorm room floor.)

To begin the process of reconstituting these young people and changing behavior, we tried correcting the negative behaviors with the smallest Repugnant Factors. 

For Zits, it was his penchant for cupping both lips over the spout of any bottle from which he was drinking (Repugnant Factor 13).  Accepted procedure would be tucking the upper lip while drinking from a bottle.
Remarkably, Binko’s least repugnant trait was his failure to close his mouth while eating.  For much of our study, it has annoyed the video review team to, as they say, “Watch nearly a third of the digestive process before he even swallows!”  This habit has a Repugnant Factor of 27.  Please keep in mind; this is Binko’s least socially destructive habit!

We began my sending mock magazines such as, “Girl Fancy” and “Females Illustrated” with headlines that stressed females dislike for lip cupping and smacking.  Then we moved to flashing positive messages into there television programs.  Finally, several of my grad assistants (with feminine, loopy handwriting) wrote them as coming-to-America, exchange student, hula dancers from a fictitious South Pacific island we called, “Manly-Lo-Lo” in which they stated a desire for a mate with good manners.

Our final result proved inconclusive.  Binko and Zit’s dorm mates had the mistaken idea the magazines were “woo-hoo” publications and stole them.  Binko couldn’t read cursive handwritting and my engineers found is dificult to slip in the subliminal messages with Zit’s changing the channel so often.

Next week we may attempt shock theropy.

Regards, Norm DePlume

Male Studies Letter 12, Page 3

From the Desk of Norm DePlume,
Greetings from the Graduate Studies Office at Dakota University – Medora Branch.   
We conclude our twelfth submission with a close estimation of Zit’s constructed date with a Miss Linda Flemsburg.  Miss Flemsburg, a colleague of Sally Gruntsky, has also spent the last six mouths in deep seclusion with the lowland gorillas of central Africa.

Events of scientific significance are listed below in chronological order.

6:09 PM – Zits arrives at Yukon Hall which is a girl’s dormitory.  (Note:  This is not her real residence.)  He is wearing a tan polo shirt with jeans and boots.  Zits has also applied a generous amount of an expensive cologne titled Pure Ego.

Miss Flemsburg recognizes the scent and lectures Zits on the fate of the vinca tree.  “Oils from that rare tree are prime components of skunk juice like Pure Ego!  It’s a shame that the resources of Western Uganda are so pillaged by big business.  And then suckers like you come along an buy them.”

Zits nods dutifully and thinks, “The package said it would make her hot for you.  This can’t be what it meant.”

6:12 PM –Zits opens the door of his borrowed car and invites Miss Flemsburg to sit.  He begins driving and appears stressed especially as the silence mounts.

With a chuckle, he finally quips, “Wow, I think I can feel my antiperspirant breaking down.”

She smiles at him briefly then takes out her cell phone.  During the rest of the drive, Miss Flemsburg begins texting her friends.  Not knowing what she is saying sends Zits’ sweat production up two fold.

6:22 PM – They arrive at the restaurant and are seated.  Zits immediately asks for water.

6:46 PM – As the conversation continues to lag, Zits pulls a crumpled sheet of notebook paper from his pocket and begins reading the smudged script.  He acts as if he is adjusting his napkin. 

A second later he asks her, “So, uh, Lori, what are your feelings about school this semester?”

“Our relationship isn’t there yet, Zitman.”  She pauses a second before adding.  “What are you looking at?  Is that a cheat sheet?”

Zits is forced to admit that he uses a game guide for his video game world and attempted to try the same concept for dating.  Miss Flemsburg finds Zits’ efforts more pathetic than endearing. 

7:49 PM –During the movie (Appropriately titled, “Eight bucks a Ticket, Sucka.”), Miss Flemsburg gets lost coming back from the bathroom.  Zits is finally able to relax without her brooding presence and passes the gas he’d been constricting since 6:00.

(Note:  Our observer caught Miss Flemsburg trying to leave the date early.  He reminded her of the contract.  After a bit of strenuous negotiations, she agreed to take only half the stipend and leave immediately.)

8:55 PM –Zits drives back to his dormitory looking forward to four straight hours of playing Dragon Breath on-line.  Tells Binko that talking with Miss Flemsburg was like, “shoveling coal.”  Binko immediately asks for her number.

Male Studies – Letter 12, Page 2

In order to better understand the “larval” stage of male development, we have hired a female student named Sally Gruntsky to date Binko.  Miss Gruntsky has just returned from a six-month field study of the lowland gorilla and feels comfortable with too much hair and bad posture.

5:58 PM- Binko shows up at Yukon Hall, one of the girls dormitories. (Note:  This is not Miss Gruntsky’s real place of residence).  Binko is wearing his characteristic black band shirt.  He has not only tucked in his shirt but has also stuffed his long ponytail into his collar.

6:01 PM – Binko greets Sally with a plastic flowers.  He adds, “These will last forever.  Much like our love surly will.”  Sally retreats to the kitchen alone to “put them in water” and shake off the creepy feeling.

6:14 PM – “I have no car.” Binko informs his date.  “So I thought we’d stroll down to the restaurant.”   The “stroll” involves a five-mile march through the busy commercial district and a life threatening scamper across six lanes of interstate 666.  Miss Gruntsky is in short heels.

7:36 PM – Once they are seated, Binko uses napkins to stem the bleeding in Miss Gruntsky’s foot.

7:43 PM –   Binko admits he has no job except his band, “Fecal Stain.”  Boasts they have three Bar Mitzvahs booked for next month.  The look of disgust on Miss Gruntsky’s face appears permanent.

7:45 PM- Miss Gruntsky recovers after Binko reveals his mother’s credit card. 

7:49 PM – Miss Gruntsky orders a one pound unicorn steak cooked medium well with a side of scrambled dodo eggs.

7:50 PM – Binko orders a gourmet hot dog. 

“It sounds fancy.” Binko quipped.

8:11 PM – Binko is disappointed.

8: 32 PM – Miss Gruntsky attempts to rub away her headache after Binko begins humming his band’s most popular song.  Binko admits he messed it up and starts over and over and over. 

“Humming can be hard for a musician if you don’t practice much.”  Binko admits.  

8:46 PM – Miss Gruntsky asks for a taxi.  She tells Binko she needs to wash her hair.

8:46 ½ PM – Binko asks if she could wash his too.

8:55 PM – Miss Gruntsky considers fleeing but cannot with her mangled feet.

9:00 PM- Miss Guntsky offers Binko a half hour in the howler monkey environment if he takes her home.  Apparently, Miss Gruntsky has the necessary connections at the zoo. 

Binko considers it then agrees and calls a taxi.  The name of their title track he tried to hum is called “Monkey Poo.”  Binko sees endless promotional uses if he can collect genuine primate dung.    

“The monkeys will be taken out of course.  We’ll be cleaning the habitat.”  Miss Gruntsky admits. 

“We’ll have the tranquilizer guns ready anyway.”

Male Studies – Letter 12, Page 1

From the desk of Norm dePlume,
Definitive Vote – Choke vs. Dripsi Taste Test (Greg’s Grocery Store, produce aisle, 1984)
Reluctant Participant – Square the Earth (A grassroots’ movement to curb wasteful overuse of toilet paper encouraging everyone to use only one square per wipe.)

Dear Colleagues,

Although not well researched, observational evidence suggests a distinct lack of important social traits in the college male between the ages of nineteen and twenty-four.  This developmental period we have designated the “larval” stage in the male progression to a life as a fully functional adult.  Evidenced behaviors include, poor judgment, lack of taste in hair / clothes, and pursuits that only depreciate in value (cars, video games, music, everything below a female’s neck).

My team is attempting to better understand this lapse in the spectrum of psychology.  We have wired a dorm room to collect data on two ideal subjects.  One specimen is affectionately named Binko the other (for lack of a better name) Zits.  Binko is short, with long hair and enjoys music.  Zits is tall, plays video games for hours, and maintains severe acne.

We have seen and recorded a wealth of behaviors except for courting of the free range, American female.  After combing the universities’ entire student body, we found only one narrow subset of females that would agree to date either Binko or Zits.  Lady graduate students that have spent the last six months studying lowland gorillas in their natural habitat seemed amendable to Binko and Zits but only after a substantial stipend was offered. 

The first female (Sally Gruntsky) who agreed to date one of our specimens chose Binko over Zits.  During the pre date interview, Sally admitted she chose the photo of Binko over Zits because, “I’m a big fan of fantasy books.  Anyway, Binko looked a little like a dwarf and dwarves are always funny.  Besides, he also looks over eager to please.  I’ve got a bet with my BFF that after dinner I can get him to stop by the mall and buy me a gold bracelet.” 

My grad assistant then recorded her demanding her stipend up front.  This was in direct contradiction to the signed contract.

The second female (Linda Flemsburg) was assigned Zits.  Her reaction seemed counter productive.  “I sell an entire line of skin care products for guys that are specific to each area of the body.  Bottom Butter is good for stunting hair growth on your hindquarters.  Let’s see, Coconut Chest adds shape and volume to pectorals that are sagging a bit.  Does Zits have any money?”

We detail each date and their findings in this journal’s next edition.

Regards,  Norm DePlume

Male Studies (Letter 11)

From the Desk of Norm dePlume
Winner, Large Duffle Bag – Bingo Night (June 24th, 1990)
Founder, Narcissistic Gavel –
Helping Lawyers with Low Self-Esteem since 1976

Dear Colleges,

We have reached the mid point in our look at the juvenile collegiate male (the grant money is half gone) and we have successfully collected data on the most important indicators of personal development…how the juvenile collegiate male spends his time.  We have quoted a reliable source to back up each submission of data. 

Note: I would have done a pie chart but I cannot locate my colored pencils.

27% Time at minimum wage job. –   Number of orders screwed up: 372  “The jerk that keeps breaking the ice cream machine thinks it’s funny to make a fist with catsup packets between his knuckles.  He hits the wall, the packets explode, and he screams.  It’s really distracting.  And he’s the manager.”  Zits, August 30th

44% Sleeping – Sheets washed once.  Not considered laundry because, “We don’t wear sheets right?  It’s like throwing your couch in the washing machine.  I’m not going to do that!”  Binko, November 14th

2% Hygiene – Finds extra coat of deodorant and hat more efficient use of time.  “Don’t tell anyone this but I’ve waited so long between showers that I’ve found lint in places other than my belly button.  Cool, huh?” Binko, September 3rd
1% Interactions with Eligible Females – Moderate to Extremely Underdeveloped   “Yea, I bumped into that Binko guy leaving class once.  I said, “Excuse me,” and he gave me this overly eager smile.  My little brother has a fish tank and Binko kind of smelled like that.  That’s all you wanted to know right?”  Kally, September 20th

16% Hobbies – Zits played computerized simulations, Binko strummed on a battered acoustic guitar.  “The tall one with the acne problem doesn’t bother any of the other guys but we had to throw the long haired freak’s amplifier off the roof of the dorm.  I mean the guy cannot play!  And he had the volume way too loud.  We told him pterodactyls flew off with it then dropped it.  I think he thought we were talking about bats or something.”  Rick, August 29th

5% Studying Books were most notably used to create a short barricade separating Zits’ side of the room from Binko’s   “Look, I wanted to be left to my game and he wouldn’t leave me alone.  I took the books I bought for class and set them on the carpet open ends down.  The hardback covers made kind of a tepee.  It worked for a while anyway.”  Zits, October 6th

5% Miscellaneous – Eating, washing dishes, running errands, and being “on the can”  “The dirty dishes in their room were becoming a real problem.  I could hear the roaches in the wall singing, “Whistle while you work.”  We ended up stealing all their dishes and anonymously leaving paper plates and stuff like that.  When they’re both gone, the RA goes in there with a high-powered leaf blower and cleans it out.  As hazard pay he takes all the spare change he finds.”  Tom, December 2nd

More information to come,
Norm dePlume

Male Studies – Letter 10

From the Desk of Norm dePlume
Lead Researcher and Author, “Colleges with the Hottest Girl’s Softball Teams” Published in Men’s Mind Magazine (October 2006 Issue)
Winner, Leopard’s Club Bingo Night (September 16th, 1984)

Dear Colleagues,

This is the second installment regarding testing the maternal effects on our test males Binko and Zits.  Both males are between 18 and 22.  This is an age we have designated as the “pupa” stage of the modern male development as they are stupendously maladjusted socially.  To gather the necessary data, we have wired their college dorm with the best equipment we could afford from 

Our goal was simple: to speed the process where these males can couple thinking as well as acting.  Until now, standard stimulus models (a siren goes off when their BO reaches 500,000 parts per million) and reward models (a six pack of cream soda is lowered into the room for a successful shower) have failed completely. 

My team now hopes their mother’s token presence will generate adult, responsible behavior patterns.  The full sized posters of alluring, desirable woman were all replaced with equally large pictures of their mothers. 

Most depictions feature their mothers performing duties that would make Binko and Zits most comfortable.  Mother Binko was featured on the telephone with a doctor’s business card calling in another plastic surgery and begging her son to date women with self-esteem problems.  Mother Zits was coming home from the grocery store with bags full of ramen noodles and orange drink.  Anther representation featured her in the ever attractive, over sized sweat pant and T-shirt promoting a monster truck show from 1998. 

Specimen Zits arrived at the dorm room first.  Like the inevitable tide, he reached over and activated his computer before scanning his environment.  When he did notice the images of his mother plastered over his posters of Miss Western North Dakota, he became viably upset.

Zits reached up to take down his mother’s pictures and discovered my team of grad students had used the strongest of adhesives (It’s called Teflock and it was developed to keep plastic hula dancers securely anchored to dashboards).  After five minutes of work, Zits stepped back and came to a different resolution.

He took a wide tipped black marker and drew artistic contributions to the pictures of Binko’s mom.  This crude vandalism included long, straight underarm hair.  Zits also drew curly chest hair along with, missing teeth, black eyes, moles in odd places, and a vulgar tattoo.

One of my team members in mission control leaned over and ominously said, “This isn’t going as planned.  He was supposed to make his bed.”

Then Zits glanced at his watch and realized he was late for work.  He grabbed his bag making a straight path for the door.

Specimen Binko then entered the room.  At first, he laughed at the vandalized depictions of his mother.  That is, until he realized it was his mom.

Binko studied the clean images of Zits’ mother before finally coming up with what he saw as a reasonable response.  He took a pair of scissors and brought them up to a lock of his hair.  His hand trembled as the blades began to close on the greasy locks. 

At the last moment, he pulled the scissors way.  He then removed his shirt and began trimming his back hair.  Binko also took large samples of the hair growing from his chest.

A half hour later, Binko stepped away from his work.  Wads of nearly dried glue still stuck to his hands.  He had carefully glued hair to the images of Zit’s mother blessing her with a multi-textured beard.  He also sculpted Zit’s real name using chest hair over the mother’s shoulders. 

Zits returned and both males exchanged looks of outrage. 

Having lost complete control of the experiment I issued the order to tranquilize our subjects.  Drug laden darts flew from two secret observation holes hidden behind bottles of diswashing detergent.  When both Binko and Zits were rendered unconscious, my team used hand held propane torches to remove the posters. 

When Binko and Zits returned to consciousness two days later, they had lost memory of the event.  Additionally, they had both soiled themselves creating an additionally awkward situation. 

As all good scientists say… Oops.”

Norm dePlume

Male Studies – Letter 9

From the desk of Norm dePlume
Author, Writing Poetry With Terrets Syndrome
Lead Researcher, “Watermelon and Frequent Urination” –
 American Medical Club Newsletter (March 2003)

Dear Fellow Professionals,

Our efforts to mold our subject’s behavior have wholly failed.  Binko and Zits still exhibit undisciplined, antisocial, and unproductive tendencies.  Ergo, we were no closer to a cure for the human pupa stage between high school senior and college junior. We were almost ready to terminate the entire project. 

Now a recent breakthrough has been achieved just when we needed it most. 

One of the grad students summed up the plan this way, “What we need is someone specialized for each of our subjects.  We’ve been trying normal tactics that work on normal people but Binko, Zits, and their species are not normal!  We need someone who can communicate with them and motivate them!  Someone who’s first reaction isn’t dismissal.  What we need to do is call their mothers!”

We contacted those responsible for bringing Zits and Binko into our world.  However, these maternal craftsmen who painstakingly wrought babies, to boys, to painfully awkward sub-adults both told us, “No.”

They wanted nothing to do with their children.  Zits’s mother wasn’t even sure where he was going to college.  She told my grad assistant, “When I last saw him, he was in the video game isle debating the merits of moon powder and pushing little kids away from the demos.  I’ll never have grand-babies!”

The most interesting conversation came from Binko’s mom who was eager to talk about her son but not to meet with him.  “I did my best to set him up with nice girls and job. 

I mean his father runs a lumber company and offered to give him a job.  Anyway, once our son was told there was no such thing as splinter proof gloves and that hardware stores don’t stock tweezers, he huffed away. 

And he might find a girl if he would just cut that rat’s nest of his!  I mean, have you seen it?  He grew hair instead of height!  What a moron!”

Shocked as we were, we did not let it get into the way of our research.  We took photos of thier mothers off the Internet and enlarged them to poster size.  We covered depictions of much more attractive women.

We are expecting them to return to their dorm any time.

Until our grant money runs out,

Dr. Norm dePlume





Male Studies – Letter 8

From the Desk of Norm dePlume
Dakota University – Medora Branch
Winner, DUMB’s Most Incomprehensible Syllabus Competition
Recognized as One of America’s Worst Groomed Intellectuals

To My Colleagues,

We’ve been able to take our research to the next degree.  Amidst the avalanche of neon paperwork that publicizes college bands and parties, one with a very significant typo found its way into Binko’s hands.  The bulletin announced a coming fraternity party but instead of saying “Greeks Only” it said, “Geeks Only.” 

Binko burst into his dorm room with every observable indicator of excitement.  He even dared to flutter the notice between Zits and his computer screen.  This is the only known way to rouse any belligerent reaction from Zits.  In this case, Zits simply reached up and crumpled the paper.

Binko protested.  “What are you doing?  Stop it!  That’s my ticket to hot women and fast times!”

Zits turned slowly from his game and gave Binko a deadpan look. “I still see the same feeble offering that has been turning girl’s heads the other direction for a semester now.  And the pheromones you ordered from that comic book spilt and now we have almost ten thousand mice!”

“But these woman could be intoxicated!  It’ll be dark.  I’m three times better looking in the dark.”

Zits declined the offer leaving Binko to try the social extravaganza on his own. 

I recruited two members of my study team and secured entry to the party for them. 

Note to Auditor:  The $258 dollars in grant money spent on alcohol was for this purpose.  Please remember, most grad students have a low attractiveness rating and I had to make the fraternity a serious offer.

Here, Binko made an important adaptation.  He approached the party from the back where the band entered.  Binko was dressed in boots, a black T-shirt, and khaki shorts.  He was still noticeably shorter and less visibly appealing but his camouflage was enough to gain entrance.  Binko simply picked up a speaker and slid in through the rear doors.

The remainder of the evening went less successfully.  Flushed with his initial success, Binko began advancing on three women at a time, saying, “I’m in the band,” and offering himself like a cheese platter.  The kind hearted ladies laughed; others took defensive positions behind furniture.

At the Control Center, the video from our agent’s cameras brought a few to an emotional reaction.   They were distressed to watch Binko experience rejection after rejection many times before he was able to get a word out.

“This is just like watching a nature show where you want the cute little antelope to escape the lion but you know it won’t.  Or the little mice chewing on a bit of corn becomes lunch for a mean snake.  Only Binko isn’t cute but it still hurts to watch.”

Binko’s long hair and well-developed coping skills will allow him to survive.  For the Male Research Team, it was another lesson in Nature’s uncompromising ways. 

On behalf of the my team,

Dr. Norm dePlume    

Male Studies – Letter 7

From the desk of Norm dePlume
Author of the groundbreaking, “Anchovies –
Who’s Dumb Idea Were They Anyway?”
Signatory of The PHD Society’s (Profound Hubris Disorder) resolution #665 titled,
“Even our families must call us doctor.  Because we’ve earned it!”

Dear Sirs or Madams,

My team of unpaid grad students and I are now using the scalpel of science to whittle back the layer’s of mystery that so enshroud typical college males.  We’ve been conducting tests on why the smell is so offensive and how their mothers can continue to love them after every other female on the planet patiently rejects them.

Our most recent test circled around modifying their behavior.  It is our hope to hasten these useless sponges into maturity.  This would give them a greater length of time as productive citizens before they retire to their children’s home. 

Also taken into consideration is the renewal of this study’s grant.  I need to show some progress with these slobs and fast.  If you’re reading this, Mr. Swan, I’m doing everything I can!  These grad kids treat me like I’m some sort of god!  I cannot live without them!  You’ve got to believe me!

Note to secretary:  Rewrite the last paragraph to make it sound more professional.  (Dr. DeP)

In order to try modifying Zit’s behavior, we have installed a mechanized monkey with wings and a blue vest.  It moves along the ceiling of their dorm room on narrow steel tracks that come and go from a sheet metal box we call the monkey’s den.  The den is built into one side of the wall next to the ceiling.

It’s a project we have titled, “Monkey Business.” 

We chose Zits as our subject largely because he spends so much of his time inside the dorm room.  He comes into contact with almost zero social circumstances, which makes him the perfect control test for behavior modification. 

When the monkey is hidden inside the monkey’s den, we place bags of candy, small denominations of money, and snack chips in its arms.  When Zits does something commendable, such as washing or dressing with clean clothes, the flying monkey pops out of his box dropping rewards.

Monkey Business was working well.  Zits was learning to comb his hair and was almost speaking in complete sentences when Binko decided he wanted to become a part of the experiment.  Binko became belligerent as the monkey continued to ignore his equal efforts at good hygiene. 

Two weeks into Zit’s behavior modification, Binko decided to take the cream filled snack cakes from the monkey by any means necessary. 

Zits returned from his tenth shower in as many days and, as programmed, the monkey came out with the cakes clasped in its tiny mechanical hands.  Binko launched into another angry tirade against the monkey’s twisted sense of justice.  Then he pulled out a pellet gun he had smuggled onto campus and brought monkey business to the earth. 

Zits shrugged and said, “It wasn’t worth it anyway.”

We’re not sure if, given more time, we could have completely recast Zit’s behavior set.   We will be unable to pick up research of this nature again for some time.  The expense involved is proving prohibitive especially with all the junk food my grad students were eating.

We will maintain our correspondence,

Dr. Norm dePlume