Evolutionary psychologists argue that the human brain evolved as an entertainment device for male hominids competing to impress females.
Charlotte Allen, The New Dating Game, The Weekly Standard
Me and my buddies Ug and Nutz were hangin’ around, taking a break from hunting and gathering. Ug seemed kinda down in the dumps and, uncharacteristically for a male hominid, I asked him why he looked so glum.
“Ug no find nice girl,” he said, poking a stick in the dirt.
“You gotta talk to them,” Nutz said rather glibly. Easy for him to say–he practically has to comb female hominids out of his hair once they see his cave paintings, but I sensed that Ug’s problem ran deeper than that.
“Are you using your brain?” I asked, as diplomatically as I could.
“What a brain?” Ug asked. This was going to be harder than I thought.
“It’s something new,” I said. “Nutz and I both have one. We use them for consciousness, reasoning and artistic creation.”
“Glzzz,” Ug said with dismay, drooling down his bison pelt. Have to talk to him about hygiene too.
“Take Nutz,” I said, “Please.” Ug laughed, distracted from his troubles. That was a good one, I thought. I hope comedians of the future will perpetuate my legacy by using my schtick. “He draws on cave walls, and women love it.”
“Why that?” Ug said. Geez, I’m gonna have to give the guy some of my spare verbs if he’s ever going to master the gift of gab.
“Well, no one really knows,” I said thoughtfully.
“Women like a man with a sensitive side,” Nutz said, chewing a piece of hyena gristle that dangled out of his mouth, giving him a debonair, devil-may-care air. I saw a female over on the river bank turn her head and smile at him. “Also sincerity,” he continued. “If you can fake that, you’ll get laid a lot and perpetuate your genetic material.”
“You’re such a cynic!” I said.
“I have to be. I’m competing against every other man on the planet for a finite number of females capable of procreation.”
“It’s not all about sex,” I said.
“Then what is it about, smarty pants?” Nutz said defiantly.
I had to stop and think for a moment. Ug looked at me with a quizzical expression on his face, something new for him. Maybe exposure to animals with more highly developed language skills was having an effect.
“Well, uh,” I began hesitantly. “There’s companionship . . . “
“Wuss,” said Nutz.
“There’s . . . mothering and nurturing skills that enable your offspring to survive and mate themselves.”
“Hire a babysitter,” Nutz said. “You’ll kill two pterodactyls with one stone.”
“Cut it out,” I said finally with exasperation. “Ug doesn’t need The Playboy Advisor–he wants to meet the girl of his dreams so he can have little Ug Jrs. and Uggettes.”
Nutz got up and came over to Ug and crouched down on his haunches. The man-cave hadn’t been invented yet, so no Barcaloungers to sit on.
“Ug–listen to me,” Nutz said.
“If you want to meet girls, you’ve got to have your thing together.”
“Thing down here?” Ug said, pointing to his crotch.
“No–thing up here,” Nutz said, pointing to his temple. “You’ve got to have a line, a story to tell to women. Otherwise you’re just another crude mesomorph leaning up against the singles bar of evolution, his big grubby paw in the pretzel and pizza-flavored goldfish bowl.”
“Like . . . um . . . what?”
“Well, what are you interested in?”
“Okay–there’s a start. Try talking to women about food.”
Maybe I’d sold Nutz short. “Yeah–that’s a great suggestion. Or mead,” I added.
“How about stories–do you like stories?” Nutz asked.
“Ug like story. Scary story. Blood.”
Nutz left eyebrow shot up as if it had been jolted by a lightning bolt of skepticism. “No can do, Uggy-boy,” he said. “The story should be scary enough so that she hugs you, but not so violent that she can’t relax in bed later.”
“Oh,” Ug said. I think he was starting to get it. “So . . . tragic story of . . . woman lose husband?”
“Yeah,” Nutz said. “Or a kid dying from a disease always brings on the tears.” I had a vision of the future–and something called the Lifetime Channel.
“So sad,” Ug said. “No Conan the Barbarian?”
“Not on the first date,” Nutz said, sanding down a rough spot on our newly-remodeled buddy.
“Just remember,” I said, adding in my two clam shells, for what they were worth. “A woman’s most sensitive erogenous zone is between her ears.” I was rather pleased with my succinct but trenchant little aphorism.
“So . . . rub noses and drive her wild?” Ug asked, looking perplexed.
Nutz snorted at me with contempt and started to walk off. “That’s what you get when you take a lesson from the master.”
Available in Kindle format on amazon.com as part of the collection “Let’s Get Primitive.”