At a recent dinner party, I let slip a conversation I'd had about women with a few college guys over beer and pizza. It was a remarkably stupid thing to mention: Some of the people at the party were, and I should have realized this sooner, women.
Naturally, they wanted to know what the men thought.
Naturally, I came to regret ever opening my mouth.
I can't explain why I did. I simply forgot that there exists a universal principle essential to the proper functioning of civilization. It goes: What is said in the bar, stays in the bar.
Known as The Code, it has three rules.
One: Say nothing.
Two: If you must say something, say only what you want the other sex to believe.
Three: If all else fails, apologize.
Having breached The Code's number-one rule, the women at the party circled the sofa where I sat like vultures. Fortunately, my 14-year-old son was also at the dinner party, which kept the women's talons from fully extending.
"Did they talk about, uh " one woman began and paused to find the right word.
"Anatomical matters?" I offered.
"Yes," she responded. "Anatomical matters."
"Um, no, anatomical matters didn't come up," I answered.
It seemed like a logical question and I was relieved to be able to answer honestly. It struck me, in retrospect, that a discussion of component parts hadn't come up. Perhaps it didn't because I was old enough to be the guys' father and no guy talks biology with his dad. Or maybe it was because this was a group of particularly enlightened guys. (Guys. Enlightened. Excuse me a second - har, har, har, hee, ha, whoo, oooooh, guys, enlightened, that's funny - okay, I'm back.)
"Then what did they say?" asked another woman.