Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Why Women Don't Like Birdwatching

Falstaff wonders why women aren't impressed by a man's ability to tell a cheetah from a jaguar by the pattern of its spots, or imitate bird calls -

It all began when I was eight. At that tender age, I was 'volunteered', along with three of my classmates, to represent my school in an Animal Identification Contest. This didn't mean that you got to rank all your teachers and decide which of them was most like a hippo, nor did it involve police line-ups and playing who popped the weasel. It meant that you'd get shown a bunch of photographs of animals and the kid who identified the most would get a prize.

Our activity teacher, a Ms. Sharma, took a distinctly Old Testament view of the question and decided that we contestants must have dominion over the beasts of the field, the fowl in the air and the fish of the sea alike. Ms. Sharma assured us that all this extra knowledge would prove useful 'later in life', though she remained vague about the specific mechanism by which this utility would be achieved.
Ah! The curse of the too-conscientious teacher!

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