Weird science

FI-Joe-PisaniI’ve always loved science. This goes back to ever since I dissected my first earthworm and then almost blew up the high school chemistry lab.

And man’s interest dates back to ever since science told us the moon revolves around the sun, or the earth revolves around the moon or whatever it is revolves around whatever it is. Without modern science, we wouldn’t know the difference between good cholesterol and bad cholesterol and we wouldn’t know whether butter is good for you or margarine is bad for you.

Actually, I still don’t know that. I guess it’s a mystery of science, a continual quest for truth, and truth is a moving target.

There are many new frontiers for science to explore. For example, can science save Wall Street and prevent another financial meltdown while increasing CEO compensation? Can science give Justin Bieber a new brain? Can science help Miley Cyrus control her compulsive tongue wagging? Can it bring Elvis back? And if not, we’ll settle for Lassie.

These are some challenges young scientists will have to resolve for future generations. After all, modern science gave us Grecian Formula 44 and mousse that lets hairstylists do miraculous things. It gave us products to promote weight loss, along with products to promote weight gain such as Big Macs, meat byproducts and Hot Pockets.

Recently, I was excited to see that science, quite possibly with a large tax-payer funded grant, had uncovered the secret to true love. Researchers at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya in Israel have made major breakthroughs in what they described as “the study of initial romantic attraction,” which, as far as I can tell, determines whether two people will have sex on the first date. I see a Nobel Prize in somebody’s future.

I’m glad the Israeli taxpayers paid for this study and not us, because I’d hate to have my tax dollars contribute to campus philandering when they could instead be used to keep Social Security alive one more day.

The research team concluded that “men are sexually attracted to women who show an interest in them or who are responsive during a date.” Now, that’s a major discovery. I’ll alert the media… actually that’s what I’m doing right now, isn’t it?

It can hardly be considered a scientific breakthrough that guys worship women who show interest in them. We knew that already, largely because we’re narcissists. But women are NOT interested in guys who come on to them, probably because they have sinister motives and are obsessed with only one thing and we know what that is — you guessed it, ESPN.

According to the study, when a woman shows interest in a guy on a date and is “responsive” to him, he considers her more sexually attractive and feminine. Women, however, are suspicious of “responsive” guys.

The researchers, who published their findings in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, arrived at these conclusions after a series of experiments that involved undergraduate students of both sexes, margarine and butter.

After reading about this study, I can finally understand my dating problems as a teenager, especially my first and, it turns out, last date with Althea Papadopoulos when we went to Lenny’s Dog House for chili dogs and cheese fries. In the excitement, I spilled cheese and chili all over her. Tragically, I was too “responsive” and tried to clean it up. Althea never wanted to see me again. However, if I had let her clean up the chili, we would have been married today. My personality defect as a guy is that I’ve always been too responsive.

Clearly, this research will help countless men and women navigate their way through sticky romantic encounters. The implications are profound: If you’re a woman and want a second date, act responsive …and if you’re a guy, act like one of those zombies in The Walking Dead.

Science says it works every time. And if you spill the cheese fries, make sure you spill them on yourself.

The study was partly right. Responsive guys finish next to last. Nice guys still finish dead last. All of which means to say I’m glad my dating days are over. Please pass the butter.

 

Joe Pisani may be reached at [email protected]

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