EconoMonitor

Great Leap Forward

THINKING SMALL: LADIES, DOWNSIZE YOUR HUBBY

A Modest Proposal

You guessed it. It’s Troll Friday.*

Environmentalists have been warning us for a long time that we have to reduce our eco-footprint.

Some years ago I took that literally and proposed that we aim for smaller humans. Someone accused me of recommending that she starve her children to stunt their growth. I didn’t have a good response.

Until now. I happen to be lecturing in Brno, home to Gregor Mendel. In case you’ve forgotten your grade school biology, he’s the father of unnatural selection. Of course, he didn’t discover it, as humans had been practicing it on dogs for thousands of years. That’s why we’ve been able to produce everything from perpetual droolers to impossibly useless, quivering little yappers.

Walking around the streets of Brno, I also realized that women had been practicing unnatural selection for far longer—thousands of generations.

Long before some wise guy had the bright idea of forcing cross-species mating of a petite donkey with a mare.

And that sparked the thought that led to the modest proposal.

You see, the average female in Brno is nearly two meters tall; the males are taller still. Big eco-killing footprints. The result of unnatural selection.

If I remember correctly, little Lucy in Africa was just 3 feet 8 inches (1.1 m) tall, and weighed about 29 kilograms (65 lb) all grown-up and fleshed out.

 

 

 

 

When her Cro-Magnon daughters reached what would become France, they looked for mates.

There has long been speculation about what happened to the Neanderthals, but in all likelihood, Lucy’s daughters chose the hairy brutes as husbands. If you’re going to live cheek-to-cheek with cave bears, you don’t want one of those homo sapien dinky dudes. You want a real beast of a man.

 

 

 

 

 

So women domesticated the Neanderthals, teaching them a few simple phrases to supplement their usual grunts, and selecting against the least appealing facial features. With many generations of unnatural selection they produced the German male.

Until a few hundred years ago, evolution along this path had been more-or-less beneficial. Of course, selective breeding favored dull-witted beasts who’d rather fight than think. Perpetual wars were a necessary but unintended consequence.

Fortunately, along the way a few women preferred genetically mutated but cute and cuddly petite partners. To survive, their husbands had to be clever in speech and also in technological innovation to advance civilization.

Certainly none of the goliaths would have invented a lever or a wheel. If they wanted to move something, they’d pick it up; if it was too heavy, they’d smash it into smaller pieces. If they wanted a deer, they’d outrun it and rip its head off. The Lilliputians needed the levers, wheels, and spears. Necessity is the Mother of Invention.

However, unnatural selection no longer serves humanity well. Eco footprints are too big. Large males no longer serve any useful purpose. There’s nothing they can do that a 65 pound weakling cannot do better, with levers, wheels, and robots.

Oh, I know, someone is going to say the brutes make better athletes. But that is patently false. Linemen are huge because the opponents are huge, not because 400 pound linemen are quick and agile defenders.

Every time I hear someone talking about the grace of a two-and-a-half meter tall basketballer, I laugh. I presume what is meant is that given the severe physical handicap afflicting the player, he’s lucky to put one size 20 foot in front of the other size 20 foot.

Be honest. Any sport would be more interesting if played by swift, lithe, and coordinated three-footers. Explain to me why it was Nadia Comăneci and not Wilt Chamberlin who scored a perfect 10 in every athletic event of the 1976 Olympics that anyone watched. She would have got 13s if the dials went that high.

With smaller players, we could squeeze three or six soccer fields into the space of today’s pitch. Yes, the fans would need binoculars or maybe microscopes to see the little guys running around. But that’s a small price to pay, given all the enviro benefits of downsizing humans.

Four foot ceilings would at least double the existing accommodation capacity. Jets become double-deckers, and the posh classes up front could double the number of flat beds. Thirteen miles would be long enough for a marathon. A quarter-pounder would be a meal for three.

Ladies, our future is in your hands (as it always has been, of course). Forget Ahhnuld Schwarzenegger.

Choose Robert Reich. Bob’s small, warm, and cuddly.  Ahhnuld’s about as snuggly as a toilet bowl.

There are other benefits. Bob can speak actual human languages. The longest phrase Ahhnuld ever spoke was “I’ll be baaaack”. It was scripted for him. And the pronunciation was terrible.

Bob would never cheat on you. You know Ahhnuld will. Heck, he cheated on a Kennedy family princess. With the housekeeper. And had a kid with her. You don’t stand a chance.

And Ahhnuld needs a Humvee. Bob looks great in a Smart Car. You need one of those “Girly-Men” the Governator used to disparage.

I know you want Denzel Washington. But a pint-sized Purple Paisley Prince is Perfect.

Choose the decidedly diminutive Dustin Hoffman, not Hulking Hogan.

Think Napoleon-sized, without the wars. If you want good pillow talk, you don’t want a hunk (Me Tarzan, You Jane).

To be sure, not all dinky dudes are desired. Not Tom Cruise! But don’t let one five footer repel you. We need to evolve. Smaller. Smarter. Better.

So here’s the modest proposal.

Women should choose mates who are shorter than themselves. Think mare and donkey.

Of course, that would give taller women greater selection for unnatural selection. So I suggest that taller women maintain a larger height advantage over their mates—say, at least a half meter. Short women need only choose a mate no taller than themselves. The shortest women would be given free reign—after all, they’ll likely lower the average height of the gene pool no matter who they mate.

I haven’t thought this through, but it is possible that if every child has a mother who is bigger than the father, does that mean that females will eventually outsize men on average? If so, it raises tantalizing possibilities.

I’ve noticed a new trend—the purse dog, the result of millennia of evolutionary improvement of canines.

Could we carry this unnatural selection to its logical conclusion? The purse husband? Adorable little head sticking out, yapping at passers-by? The wife keeps him safely ensconced to avoid the ugly bar scenes, taking him out only when necessary? At the shoe store, when she asks, “How do these look on me, honey?”, whereupon he yaps his approval.

Time to use unnatural selection to our advantage, and to the benefit of the planet.

*Fine Print: While this blog was thoroughly fact-checked, errors were not corrected. Some names were changed for no good reason. For more on the intermingling between Neanderthals and early humans, including Cro-Magnons, see  http://www.livescience.com/47460-neanderthal-extinction-revealed.html. Origins of German males is somewhat speculative. Female preferences were determined by a survey with small sample size (n=3), which found that two-thirds of females (n=2) prefer a toilet bowl over Arnold; one third (n=1) preferred to be beaten by a rubber hose. As this was not originally provided as a possible answer, a separate study established (n=1) that my female colleague tried the rubber hose and found it “fun”. However, your results may vary. The manufacturer of the rubber hose device recommends against such use. Yes, basketball teams actually do publish shoe sizes of players, as if that is something of which they are proud: http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/05/karl-anthony-towns-shoes. In point of fact, the dials did not even go to 10, so Nadia got perfect 1.0s. The judges informed the spectators that 1.0 was a perfect 10. They might as well have said a 13.The author of this blog has no dog in the hunt. While he wears a size 9EEE and is well under 2 meters tall, he is—alas—taken. All information and tools presented within this site are intended for educational purposes. Any health, diet or exercise advice is not intended as medical diagnosis or treatment. If you think you have any type of medical condition you must seek professional advice even if you believe it may be due to diet or to residual Neanderthal traits.  GLF is not a medical institute and therefore none of its staff will give any diagnosis or medical advice. This advice is not intended for people under 18 years, pregnant or underweight individuals or people with eating disorders or any health condition that requires a special diet. We do not guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Therefore the author, publisher or and owners cannot be held responsible for any errors, omissions or inaccuracies published. It is advised that all visitors check information provided on this site with a professional source.

 

 

 

Comments are closed.