Sunday, November 28, 2010

The question that has no answer

"Does this dress make me look fat?" The dreaded devious question hung menacingly in the air. Like Damocles sword, its razor sharp blade ready to drop at the slightest hint of a mistake. Dumping whatever clothes we had picked up we rushed towards the changing rooms of the store from where the fiendish question had arisen. Pretending to carefully check out the stuff on the racks near the changing room (never mind that it was all womens wear) we carefully sized up the situation while preparing ourselves for the impending massacre. None of us had ever laid our eyes on this guy before and now that the question was popped, we honestly weren’t expecting to see him alive again.

To be honest, the two of them made a cute couple. One of those picture perfect duos that you would probably spot on the walls of a photography studio. That is if the bugger managed to wriggle out of the predicament he was in right now. Highly improbable but we sent up a collective prayer for the poor sod.

Educational Lesson 1 - Hesitancy. Of all the things you should never do when a woman asks you a question, hesitancy is number one. Especially if she asks you a sensitive question. Even more so when it is about her weight. Remember that, fellow lads, never hesitate. It makes you appear as though you have to think before replying. And women don’t like men who think. Especially men who think before replying about their weight.

"Does this make me look fat?" This time there was a noticeable difference in the tone of the girl’s voice. Like rivers up in the mountains that slowly begin to freeze as winter begins its gradual descent upon us all, the sentence slowly increased in iciness, word by word, second by second.
"Blimey, has dead meat" said my friend (henceforth F1).
"Err (pause) I didn’t get what you said" replied the soon to be carcass of a friend / boyfriend / fiancĂ© / husband.
"He paused. He is soooo dead" pitched in another of our guy group (henceforth F2).
"How could you not hear my question? I repeated it twice. What is your answer? A simple yes or no." came the frigid reply.
"She wants a simple answer. Poor guy" I said as we watched the guy wither away under the steely glare of the girl.

Educational Lesson 2 - When a woman says she wants a simple reply, do not, I repeat, under any circumstances give a simple reply. When a woman says she wants a simple yes or no, you are expected to give a long winding, elaborate and eloquent speech that is both yes and no and does not commit yourself firmly to either a yes or a no. Examples of questions that are a prelude to the "It’s a simple yes or no question" are
a. Have you done the work that I’ve been asking you to do for the last 3 months?
b. Have you bought anything for me on the occasion of our upcoming anniversary?
c. Do you find your attractive secretary attractive?

The reason why men find the "Does this dress make me look fat" question highly revolting is because the question rapidly descends into either one of the following scenarios
Scene 1:
Guy - Of course not sweety, that’s rubbish. You don’t look fat. In fact you look extremely pretty in that dress. I think you should pick it up. (Internally congratulating himself for having handled the situation with poise and diplomacy)
Girl (about to descend into tears) - You think this makes me look fat (descending into tears)
Guy - What? No, I never said that. Why would you think that? Please stop crying, I don’t think you’re fat.
Girl (sobbing) - Is it too much to (sob) expect you to (sob) be honest with (sob) m(sob)e? Why don’t (sob) you tell me (sob) instead of (sob) trying to (sob) hide it. (Big sob) You think I’m fatttt ....
Guy (thinking to himself) - WTF?!

Scene 2:
Guy - You know what sweety, this isn’t really a good dress. The stitching is all weird. It’s a bit loose here and tight in other parts. It doesn’t really compliment your body. Why don’t we get you another dress. (Internally congratulating himself for having handled the situation with poise and diplomacy)
Girl - You think I’m fat (in a tone akin to someone saying 'You think Im racist') !
Guy (panic beginning to set in) - What? Of course not! I just said there was something wrong with the dress.
Girl - So you think I’m stupid as well as fat. Something wrong with the dress it seems, didn’t have the guts to tell me straight! You know what, there is something wrong with you! You can go to hell .... (Storming off)
Guy (thinking to himself) - WTF?!

Needless to say, the two of them pretty much stuck to the script (Scene 2 in this case) and as we walked away shell shocked from witnessing the verbal dressing down of a lifetime, we realised that we had to do something about it. All 3 of us were sure that we would not be able to handle such a cataclysmic event (not having a bitter errr better half helps but unfortunately all our parents are keen on rectifying that). And so we made a pact. Not as dramatic as the pact as the one made in the Lord of The Rings or in the United Nations but it was close enough.

F1, F2 and I thus created the Helpline for Evacuation of Languishing Pals (H.E.L.P), an organisation that has the following rules
- A member of H.E.L.P will always assist a fellow H.E.L.P member, whatever the circumstances the rescuer is in
- Any guy who is a member of H.E.L.P and has been asked the dastardly question "Does this dress make me look fat" will immediately send the following sms HELP to our secret number
- On receiving his sms, our systems will track down his location (God bless technology!) and send instant sms alerts to all other H.E.L.P members in the vicinity
- All nearby H.E.L.P members will rush to the location and assist in the immediate evacuation and rescue of the victim
- It is recommended that the rescuing H.E.L.P party uses one of the following excuses to enable the rapid escape of the unfortunate victim
a. Your uncle has died, I’m sorry. You need to come to the hospital immediately
b.Thank God I found you. The boss has been trying to get in touch with you for the last few hours.
c. Do you know (insert name of high sounding official), then come with us without a moments delay. This is a matter of national emergency.
d.Your dog has died. You need to come to the vet clinic immediately.
e. That critical assignment is due in 2 hours, come immediately.

Be prepared my fellow brothers. One knows not when the cursed question may befall thee. Pay a minimal joining fee and ensure that you are safe and sound every time you go shopping. So that instead of having guys discreetly watch you getting dissected, you can instead have the very same guys help you escape nature’s wrath with a single sms. Remember, we at H.E.L.P are always there to help.


Anonymous said...

Do you by any chance, change the gender of the characters in your blogs?

Neil said...

To do that would imply that I understand and know how women think. Which I dont!