Friday, July 8, 2011

The Heart of Guyness

My wife is off traveling for a couple of weeks.  This leaves "the guys" in charge of the household.  What could possible go wrong?

annual seminar on Y chromosome linked collapse theory

Welcome to our distinguished attendees and presenters.  Our keynote presentation today is a case study of a Midwestern household we will designate Site W.  As is usual with Collapse Theory archeology we will be reversing the usual stratigraphic analysis, looking first at the deeper, pre-collapse layers.

Analysis of pre-collapse artifacts was indicative of a reasonably prosperous household.  Male to Female ratio was estimated at approximately 3:1.  Methods used in this analysis included survey of the DVD collection that indicated a high Schwartzenegger Index, as well as general accumulation of dirt and detritus in a section of Site W that we have identified as a possible workshop.  Traditional Male to Female ratio calculation by flourometric urinoanalyis on bathroom surfaces was partially obscured by frantic, yet half hearted cleaning efforts at a significantly later stage of devolution.

Attendees will no doubt realize that a domestic unit with a Male to Female ratio of 2:1 or greater is inherently unstable and in danger of collapse, certain anecdotal reports from the "Snow White Site" (Disney et. al.) notwithstanding.

Sometimes referred to as the Bud Lite stage, this strata was characterized by the pizza wrappers and discarded beverage containers that are pathognomonic of Y chromosome households in the early stages after withdrawal of female supervision.  A high proportion of Mountain Dew containers indicates adolescent male presence.  One slightly atypical feature here was a higher quality of beer containers, with Sam Adams, Goose Island Wheat and Heineken all heavily represented.  The absence of large quantities of low quality beer is felt to indicate pre-departure shopping and stockpiling by the female household member.

Sub analysis suggests female departure on a trip rather than the more dramatic findings associated with death or divorce.  The complete absence of helpfully provided casserole dishes excludes the former possibility, and the general level of deterioration would appear to preclude the presence of any prospective replacement female supervisors.

Typically the artifacts at this level are scant.  Basic provisions have been exhausted, and if we may be allowed a bit of latitude in our interpretation, the euphoria of the initial, illusionary liberation has faded.  Many containers from Chinese take out were identified, as well as a TV remote with heavy use-wear on all buttons.

We now enter the final, or Conradian phase of domestic collapse.

"In some inland post feel the savagery, the utter savagery, had closed round him--all that mysterious life of the wilderness that stirs in the forest, in the jungles, in the hearts of wild men. There's no initiation either into such mysteries. He has to live in the midst of the incomprehensible, which is detestable. And it has a fascination, too, which goes to work upon him. The fascination of the abomination--you know. Imagine the growing regrets, the longing to escape, the powerless disgust, the surrender, the hate."
- Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Part 1

In some respects the remains of this stage are more impressive than the earlier strata.  Towering ziggurats of dirty dishes are stacked in anticipation of possible washing.  Poignantly there as a calender left open on a fairly unencumbered desk top, a flight number and arrival time suggesting an effort to marshal societal resources for a final desperate clean up.   Alas, the effort was not a success, as one can scarcely rate pushing dirt into corners as a real effort to better the environment. 

Scrawled in ketchup on the back wall of an otherwise empty refrigerator was the following:

"The horror! The horror!"
- Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Part 3

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