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James Ferragut, Published January 26 2013

Ferragut: Lighten up, folks. It’s funny

I read the story in Saturday’s (Jan. 19) Forum about North Dakota Rep. Larry Klemin, R-Bismarck, who had sent an “end of the day” email to his colleagues in the House. The email was titled “Why Men Are Seldom Depressed,” and it was taken as an affront by several of Klemin’s fellow legislators. Freshman Rep. Josh Boschee, D-Fargo, found it offensive because he thought the email was making light of mental health issues at a time when those issues are under discussion in the House.

As soon as I read the gag, I was ready to sound off in Boschee’s defense, and turn my attack on Klemin. I continued reading the story and noticed the full text of the email was published. At first I snickered, but then I laughed out loud. It was funny, especially if you’re a guy. And for my money, some of the best humor is based on self-deprecating self-awareness, which oozes from the “Why Men Are Happier” list. Here is a taste:

“What do you expect from such simple creatures?” Well we are, we know we are and is there proof that there’s something wrong with that?

“Your last name stays put.” Yep. Take that, Mrs. Alicia-Fong-Torres-Anderson-Smith-Grover-Herald.

“The world is your urinal.” Tell me it ain’t so. Standing up to pee is the gift that keeps on giving.

“Everything on your face stays its original color.” Not that I don’t love the power of makeup, but Lord, is all that makeup worth it?

“You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look.” I’m not quite on board with that one. If you get the wrong pair of legs in the wrong pair of shorts, lunch time is over.

“Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds.” You’re not naive enough to think Verizon and AT&T are making all of their billions off the mobile phone usage plans of guys?

“Your underwear is $8.95 for a 3-pack.” And you’re good for a year!

AND FINALLY: “You can do your Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on Dec. 24 in 25 minutes.” Guilty as charged.

If any of this offensive, I don’t see it. It’s written by a stooge for the rest of us stooges. And if truth be told, if we’re honest with ourselves, that email represents the God-awful truth about the silly creatures we are. We men are still evolving.

In Warner Herzog’s film “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” about the recently discovered Chauvet Caves in France, where the oldest cave drawings date back 35,000 years, one of the cave dwellers decided to add his personal touch on one of the drawings. His stroke was carbon-dated to be 5,000 years after the original artwork. Pardon the pun, but do you get the picture? We men, we “Ape Men” as Ray Davies once sang, are continuing our evolution to enlightenment. Give us another 35,000 years and we might get there. Maybe.

But I know this. We are aware enough to know what the Godfather of Soul sang all those years ago: “This is a man’s world … but it wouldn’t be nothin’, NOTHIN’ … without a woman or a girl.”

Sing it loud, brother!


Ferragut is a strategic marketing consultant and regular contributor

to The Forum’s commentary page.