â€˜Look! I am always right, you are always wrong so the chances you are right are very slim indeed!â€™ This is what I said to Heidi the other day after debating a particular issue. It turned out I was wrong.
â€˜Certaintyâ€™ must be hard-wired into men. This can be the only explanation for our pig-headedness. I am always right by the way; the other day was an exception.
Thereâ€™s a guy I know, heâ€™s about as sharp as dust, but he is surer of himself than anyone I’ve ever met. Heâ€™s convinced that the garbled nonsense he spews is gospel truth. You can see his eyes bulge as his brain tries to keep up with what heâ€™s saying. Heâ€™ll stake his life on whatever he just said, even if he canâ€™t remember or repeat what it was. I have endless minutes of fun with him before the urge to escape overwhelms me.
Having strong nerd tendencies, I am apt to catch out guys who make preposterous claims about technology, which some guys have a penchant for doing. I donâ€™t know much but I know a lot more than your average meathead. The nonsense they spout amuses and irritates me in turn. Like when a guy tells you his computer has 500GB of RAM. And Iâ€™m not just being pedantic here; I know that example could be a slip of the tongue. I know a guy who claims to be a computer expert with his own business fixing up machines. He nudges and winks at me when he talks about it; heâ€™s very proud. He sees himself as a savvy entrepreneur one-step ahead if the game. Strangely, he has no idea what chip is in his own computer. Which he â€˜builtâ€™!
I once talked to a guy about a film Iâ€™ve seen many, many times and he swore that a scene that never took place, not only did take place but that it was his favorite part of the film. That was disorientating, as he seemed so sure he was right I began to think weâ€™d been living in parallel universes until just a few moments before. Inevitably it turned out heâ€™d been talking out of his hat. Which I knew. The swine made me doubt myself!
I go through 3 stages when I encounter a bullshitter. First I am amused, so I poke fun with questions I know they wonâ€™t understand; then I get bored and want them to stop, finally I start to hate them and wish theyâ€™d get out of my sight.
And there are so many stupid arrogant men like this! When I was single I would wonder in horror how these guys ever got girls. Are woman so dumb theyâ€™ll believe anything or do they just humor the men with the biggest ermâ€¦ pecks? I was heading down a one-way road to raving misogynyville before Heidi came and rescued me.
Another guy I once met claimed heâ€™d picked up Italian (he was fluent) by watching a few Italian soap operas. He was Albanian and he said his language was so much more complex than any other language on earth that he could learn languages as quick as that! (He snapped his fingers). My bullshitometer chimed so loud he almost heard it. Being an insufferable clever clogs, I thought a discussion of Chomskyâ€™s conception of Universal Grammar might be in order, this had the effect I anticipated provoking hostility and frustration. He didnâ€™t care how his â€˜giftâ€™ worked, it just did. He stuck to his guns throughout our brief acquaintanceship; he really seemed to believe what he was saying. If he was telling the truth, he was the cleverest man in the world, an idea difficult to reconcile with his gormless face. He was obviously a basket case and I spent 2 days meticulously unweaving his webs of bullshit. By the end of it I wanted to take him outside and do the honors with a revolver. I think he felt the same way about me. (Incidentally, his girlfriend looked like a supermodel).
I think the point I am getting at is this: why canâ€™t some men try and be a little less sure of themselves? Is it really too much to ask that they think before they speak? Just a little bit. Try to imagine that you arenâ€™t the cleverest person in the world and wonder to yourself what people might think of you when you spout such obvious bullshit. Such lazy, pointless, self-defeating bullshit. If you are capable of reaching this (admittedly low) level of self-awareness, dwell on it for a while, look back through your life and squirm in revulsion. Only then can you redeem yourself with the magic words â€˜I donâ€™t know enough about it to say for sure but I thinkâ€¦â€™