How to Protect your Eggs from Kleptogamists

Some of you may be wondering what is up with Sneaky Fucker Week. The rest of you are most likely running away offended in the opposite direction. That is just as well. Things are not going to improve much going forward.

The Back Story behind the very sciency Sneaky Fucker Week:

Here is the premise, a posting by Andres Heinakroon to Amy’s Cat Urine Brain Cyst Blog:

‘Feline fatal attraction’ is a good one but it’s not the best. My favourite scientific term is the ‘Sneaky fucker strategy’, aka kleptogamy. It probably is rather self-explanatory but here goes: In species where males aim to gather a harem of females to mate with, there are two male strategies for successful mating.

The first one is to be as big and strong as possible in order to fight off the competition and win access to the females. This is however both costly and risky. You might spend more energy than you can replace, or you might get seriously injured.

The second strategy is to be a Sneaky fucker. This consists of avoiding any direct conflicts with the alpha males, and keep to the periphery of the harem of females. Then, when the leading male is busy fighting off any competing males, the Sneaky fucker male can sneak in and – well – fuck. And as long as he’s out of the way by the time the alpha male is back, he doesn’t risk getting into a fight.

It’s a brilliant strategy, and this is probably why it’s a very common strategy. So beware of the Sneaky fuckers.

The Challenge:

At this fateful moment, Ken, who knew EXACTLY what kind of chaos would ensue, tossed out THIS little remark:

This sneaky fucker business is seriously good enough to merit its own blogpost. Actually, I’d like to see each of you do something with this. Maybe we should declare sneaky fucker week and all write blogposts and make a festival of it.

I’ve always lived my life with the notion that if all the cool kids are doing it, there must be something worthwhile about the venture. So, when Andreas (@heinakroon), Ken (@lahikmajoe), and Amy (@lucysfootball ) started talking about Sneaky Fucker Week (#sneakyfuckerweek) on Twitter, I jumped on that bandwagon with no hesitation. However, now that I am on the band wagon, I am hesitating a bit.

Andreas (Heinakroon.com) published a very nice post focused mainly on moose erotica. I just call it moose porn because I like to trivialize great works of science. He is going to win the Nobel Prize, I bet, for his research. I hope he does, because then I will NEVER leave him alone about his moose porn prize.

Amy (Lucy’s Football) has already composed quite the riveting post on frat boys, mating frogs, and Justin Bieber’s red, moist lips.

Lisa, over at Random Thoughts of a Plum, with a “tendency to write blogs that are of a certain level innocence wise,” is a little concerned about venturing outside her comfort zone: “I have thought how I could possibly contribute to this sacred week when I can’t even bring myself to say the name of it in case Disney smacks me round the face for disgracing his hypothetical website.”

I fully agree. My blog is usually very tame and non-controversial. However, I am willing to venture forward in name of science. So, brace for impact….

Since Andreas apparently has all the moose porn covered, and Amy has covered frogs and Justin Bieber, I have decided to go with sneaky fish. And they are out there, don’t be fooled. I found this great research paper about the sex lives of fish. You can go read it here:

The sex lives of fishes by Stéphan G. Reebs

If you are short on time, or do not want to read it, I will summarize it for you. Just know that you are NOT in good hands.

Point 1. Sexiness is primary. Or primal. Either way

“Those individuals that did not care about reproduction died without transmitting their genes to the next generation, and their contempt for the reproductive enterprise died with them. In contrast, those individuals that had an innate taste for mating propagated that trait through the population.” Which explains all the porn on the Internet. Thanks, Stéphan, you have made it all so clear.

Point 2. Some fish are sexier than others. They can’t all be Brad Pitt, you know.

“Evolutionarily speaking, stakes are very high in the reproductive game. There is pressure on all individuals to leave as many viable descendants as possible in the next generation. One way of doing this is to choose a sexual partner of high quality.” Lisa (Random Thoughts of a Plum) describes this method as “luring the female of their species into bed with weight lifting and muscle flexing and eyebrow wiggling.”

“But for those individuals who score low in the mate choice game, there are other ways to pass on their genes, less flashy ways, tactics that are less straightforward, some might say less fair-play, but reasonably efficient nonetheless. Amy (Lucy’s Football) describes this as “the one who’s hanging out, willing to be your best friend, but always eyeing you a little too avidly” of fish.

This is where Stéphan introduces us to the “dirty little secrets of a fish’s sex life.” (I’ll bet you NEVER thought you would hear about dirty little sex life secrets of fish today.) “In almost all fishes, fertilisation is external. The male’s sperm and the female’s eggs are released from the body and they must meet in open water for fertilisation to occur. While they float in water, a female’s eggs are vulnerable to interception by the sperm of a male who may not be her chosen mate.”

Point 3. Sneaky fuckers have big balls. No, I mean LITERALLY.

“Sneakers make a special investment in their unconventional way of life. They develop huge gonads.”This is where I started cracking up, thinking about the sneaky fish with huge gonads. Feel free to take a break here and have a good laugh. We can wait.

Okay, stop laughing, there is some SERIOUS sciency stuff coming up here. Stéphan says, “The testes of sneakers can be up to seven times the size of the norm for the species. This is because sneakers practice sperm competition … the more sperm they release, the greater their chance of grabbing a good share of fertilisations. So, to produce more sperm, sneaker males invest into the development of big testes.” Grab it while you can little fishy with the big balls, grab it while you can.

Come to think of it, fish aren’t the only ones experiencing sperm competition. I read something once about how a gorilla has smaller penis in proportion to his body size because he essentially dominates a harem and has all the females to himself.  Chimpanzees, on the other hand, have larger penises in proportion to their bodies due to increased mating competition. So, if the sneaky fish have larger gonads, logically, the sneaking moose would have larger equipment as well. I will now test this hypothesis by searching for moose penis size on Google. Wait here….

…. okay, as you may have accurately predicted, googling ‘moose penis’ was very bad idea.  Due to my lack of primary resources, I will have to write the rest of this post based on what I already know about gonads. Now who around here would be investing in big testes? One group comes readily to mind.

How to Spot a Sneaky Fucker:

You may have read my post, “How to Improve your Karma,” in which I discuss the propensity of Texans to drive around in trucks hung with artificial ball sacs. You know… as if the truck has suddenly grown a pair of giant testicles. Since these guys, with their huge truck ball sacs, are the obviously the ones with increased capacity for mating competition, it follows that they are the sneaky fuckers. If you see a guy with balls attached to his truck, your eggs very well may be vulnerable to interception. So, watch yourself.

As a public service, I have included this t-shirt you can wear as a message to all the sneaky fuckers out there:

Another shirt that Zazzle will never let me sell. I don’t know why they hate me.

If you have a blog post for Sneaky Fucker Week, please alert me so I can include your link below. We need to make sure everyone is as informed on this situation as much as possible.

For Further Research:

The sex lives of fishes, Stéphan G. Reebs

Lucy’s Football: I’m a lover, not a fighter, and I’m really built for speed

Random Thoughts of a Plum: A project that I kind of accidentally fell into… an introduction to what will come and… Benjie: The story of a very sneaky little rascal.

Heinakroon.com: The art of kleptogamy

lahikmajoe: Duckie the quintessential sneaky fucker

The Rick Perry Luncheon Part Three: The Luncheon

We arrive in Austin. I somehow manage to get my impossible shoes back on my feet and exit the van. I then cross the street in a timely enough manner so I am not hit by oncoming traffic. Major success. This is around the time we find out Rick Perry isn’t going to be at the Rick Perry luncheon. I know you are probably upset that you read this whole thing only to find out that Rick Perry never even makes an appearance, but at least you didn’t have to wear pinchy shoes. So, quit complaining.

In all honesty, Rick Perry was never even formally designated to show up at this luncheon. I merely assumed Rick Perry would be at the luncheon because he was at the luncheon last year. That is called prediction based on previous events. It is very scientifical.

Turns out, Rick Perry sent a perfectly suitable replacement. I should have known something was up when the guy took the stage and I saw he was wearing cowboy boots with his business suit. I didn’t even know you could do that. Then, he opens his mouth and starts trying to be funny. Except, his idea of being funny just pisses me off. He starts off talking about bumper stickers on trucks. I am naively sitting in my chair with shoes on because that is what people do, looking at him and pretending to be interested while wondering how long this is going to take when he blurts out, “Piss off a liberal. Get a job, work hard, and be happy.”

At first I am confused. Why would a person get on a stage and say that? That is a really dumb thing to say. Before Lucy’s Football blog, I would have had no idea how to react to this guy. But, Lucy’s Football blog has prepared me for this day. The guy is an ASS HAT. Capital ASS, capital HAT. Now when he starts telling us we need to close off the Texas borders to keep out everyone coming over from Mexico, I am fully expecting it. I am a bit surprised he leaves out the heat seeking laser missiles.

About two minutes into the ASS HAT speech, I suddenly realize that if I had wanted to listen to this sort of thing, I would have grabbed a bottle of vodka and turned on the Republican debates. Instead, I have no vodka and I am in impossible shoes. I am trapped.  Rick Perry’s evil twin finally ends his speech with a rant about small government and big business. There is a long invocation in which I bow my head respectfully for so long I need a chiropractor. Then, at long last, we get to eat our lunch.

All throughout lunch and the long speeches, I have had my shoes on. This is what people do. They sit at lunch with their shoes on, especially if their shoes require a major amount of effort to apply in the first place. The trouble with eating lunch and listening to a bunch of speeches with your shoes on is that your feet get sweaty. When your feet get sweaty in pinchy shoes with heels that slip a little, these shoes become shoes with heels that slip a lot. They are still very pinchy though. Go figure.

Now my walking requires double the concentration and a way of stepping in which I put my shoe on the ground heel first and never bend my foot. I am sure it is very graceful. It is also excruciatingly slow. Another problem is that the plan after lunch is to hurry and get to the picture taking area first, so we don’t have to stand in line. That’s right: I said, HURRY. I can’t hurry. I can barely make it across the street without getting hit by a car. This snail pace is my top speed. No, making that waving motion with your arm is NOT going to help me walk any faster. Damn, what would Holly Golightly do?

Turns out Holly Golightly would painfully walk around, take the damn picture, readjust the gel pads in the shoes in the bathroom, then somehow stumble back to the van and take off the shoes from hell. The only reason I even had to channel Holly Golightly in the first place because of those damn shoes. I wore my back up shoes for the rest of the trip. I did carry around one of the tall heels in case of zombie attack. You can never be too careful.

The main take away from all of this is: if you get invited to a Rick Perry luncheon, there are a few things you will need to take care of in advance. First, make sure Rick Perry will actually be at the luncheon. Second, make sure you have shoes that fit. Accomplish those two things and you will be fine. You can also make up some sort of excuse where you don’t have to go. That might be preferable.

Oh… and be sure you take this t-shirt:

Because you never know when you might run into an asshat.

The Rick Perry Luncheon Part Two: Walking to the Van

If you are only reading this for the Rick Perry part of the story, this isn’t it. See how I told you upfront to save you the time and disappointment?

My co-workers arrive one by one. I realize that they too look very different in their dress-up clothes. Now we can look like instant grown-ups together. We are all joking about jackets that are too big or almost too small and I explain my impossible shoes. We all have a good laugh.

The driver of the van arrives and we begin the walk. My walk is fairly stable as long as I concentrate and take tiny steps. Once you get the rhythm down, it isn’t too bad. I am about halfway to the van when I suddenly realize I have left my bottle of water and cereal bar by the chair I was sitting in. Ordinarily, I would just run back in and get the items, but with these shoes I will never make it. These shoes are putting me at a huge disadvantage even BEFORE the zombie attack. I’m already falling behind all the other people walking to the van. There is no way I can make it to the lobby and back in a reasonable amount of time. The prospect of a three-hour drive without my bottle of water and cereal bar is dismal. Panic sets in. Quick, what would Holly Golightly do?!?

“Oh, no!” I declare, and stop walking.

“What is it?” asks one of my male co-workers who comes rushing to my side.

“I left my cereal bar and bottle of water next to the chair in the lobby.” I tell him. I’m watching people get into the van. This moment is critical. If I am getting that cereal bar it is now or never.

“I’ll save you!” The man says in a deep voice. Then, he turns around and is suddenly wearing a bright red cape. He dashes into the building and comes out triumphantly, water bottle and cereal bar in hand.

“My hero.” I tell him in a breathy voice.

Then, I make him walk next to me until we get to the van so it won’t look like I am the one walking slow. I also tell him to take off the cape because it looks stupid.

I think to myself, “If I had a ukulele right now, I would sing Moon River until all of your ears bleed.”

Then, I get into the van. In the struggle of navigating to the back of the van in my very tall shoes, the cereal bar slips onto the seat. I watch it slide down into an impossible crevice just as everyone belts in and the trip is underway. Damn.

A diagram of my cereal bar dilemma. Items may not be to scale.

Check back soon for the final installment of the Rick Perry Luncheon: The Rick Perry Luncheon.

The Rick Perry Luncheon Part One: The Business Professional Suit and Shoes

My company nominated me among a small group to attend a fancy luncheon in Austin. We were to meet at a white van at 7:30 in the morning for the three-hour drive. The dress code was business professional and it was casually mentioned that Rick Perry was at the event last year.

Okay. All I have to do is show up at 7:30 in some sort of suit for a Rick Perry luncheon. You would think that is simple enough, right? Well, you would be wrong. Dead wrong. This experience is going to take way much longer to explain than the time that guy brought up milkshakes from the past at McDonald’s, so I am going to break it into sections. This section is mostly clothes related, and Rick Perry does not appear. If you are mainly reading this for the Rick Perry experience, you may want to skip ahead to the part I haven’t written yet.

First thing to do is take care of the business professional end of things. Blazer, skirt, impractical shoes… I have all that stuff around somewhere. I dig through the closet and find two skirts, one brown and one black. There is also a blazer. The blazer is black. I thought I had a brown one too, but a brief tour of the rest of the closet fails to produce one. Okay, fair enough. I can still make this work. I put on the black skirt. It is way too tight. Fail. I put on the brown skirt. It fits nicely. Win.

Skirt, check. Now I just need a blazer. You know what? I HATE the word ‘blazer.’ ‘Blazer’ is a stupid word. Let’s use the term ‘jacket’ from here on. I notice there is a layer of dust on the ‘jacket.’ No biggie. Brush it off. There. Then, I try it on. Something is odd about the way it fits. I look at myself in the mirror and see…. shoulder pads. This jacket has shoulder pads. Those are still in style, right?

Just then my husband walks in to find me wearing a brown skirt with a black jacket and shoulder pads. He politely requests to know what the hell is going on. When I tell him about my Rick Perry lunch, he immediately places a call to our mutual friend, and, apparently, the owner of my other closet. She has been my emergency clothes person for years. For the sake of anonymity, I will call her ECP. If you see someone who is dressed impeccability and is a little taller than I am, it is probably her, so be nice.

The next morning I have an appointment with ECP to try on suits for my Rick Perry lunch. ECP has a closet that is organized and amazing. Within thirty seconds of walking into the closet, I am holding four suits and four very silky shirts, all settled perfectly into their wooden hangers. I decide not to mention I had crammed my brown skirt into my purse just to ask if she had something to match with it. “Try these on,” she says and leaves the room. I was happy with the first one. It fit and I looked normal. But, about three iterations later, I had a perfect combination of suit with matching shoes. Very, very tall matching shoes that were a little too large.

ECP told me I could go to the store and buy some gel things for the back of the heel and also, if I planned to be walking, some for the bottom of the shoe as well. Since I naturally assumed I would be walking in the shoes at some point during the Rick Perry luncheon, I headed to the store. I also got some backup shoes in case there might be some sort of eminent disaster, or zombie attack. You do NOT want to be running around from zombies in heels. It puts you at a huge disadvantage. Plus, @plumsauce10 told me that spiky heels make the best zombie defense.

Stuff I bought so I can walk at the Rick Perry luncheon

So, now I have my suit, my tall shoes, and things that will allow me to walk in my tall shoes, and back up shoes for the zombie attack. I am ready for my Rick Perry luncheon. ECP told me to practice walking in the shoes once all the gel inserts are in to make sure they fit, but I’m sure they will be fine. Dr. Scholl knows what he is doing with the gel inserts. He is a doctor.

The day of the Rick Perry lunch, I put on my suit, and outfit my shoes with the gel inserts. The heel is still slipping. The shoes are also a bit difficult to walk in. It is like I can’t use my entire foot anymore. I’m unsure if this is because of the height of the shoe, or the fact that it doesn’t fit. Confusing. Also, the gel pads keep slipping out. Another problem is the suit is making me feel strange. I have never worn a skirt to the office. Not even for the interview. I have underestimated the weight of having luncheon with Rick Perry. Panic sets in. I can’t do this.

Then, I take a deep breath and remember watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s with @lucysfootball. Holly Golightly taught me that if you look cute, you can be a mess and no one will care. This will be my theme for the day. Look out world, I am in my fancy suit and ill-fitting shoes, and you are going to love me even if I can’t remember your name!

Suit accomplished, I get in the car to drive to the office. I soon realize I can’t possibly drive in these heels without potentially killing someone, so the shoes come off. This is actually a larger setback than it seems because they were nearly impossible to get on in the first place. I don’t know how shoes so damn hard to get my feet into can still be slippy at the heel. It doesn’t make any sense. I arrive at the office with ten minutes to spare. Trying to get the shoes back on in the car is impossible. I’ll have to get to the lobby.

I practically fall out of the car holding my shoes, a bottle of water, and a cereal bar. Ordinarily, all of these items would fit in my purse. However, I have a fancy purse now that matches the suit because I don’t want to look like a bag lady in front of Rick Perry. I somehow manage to make it to the lobby where I sit and examine my shoes. I haven’t even successfully worn the shoes from my car to the building. This does not bode well.

Suddenly, I realize I have never seen anyone in this lobby sitting in a chair holding their shoes. This is most likely NOT normal behavior. I take a deep breath and channel Holly Golightly…. Yes, I am slightly ridiculous, but I have a very fancy suit and the world absolutely loves me. A man walks into the lobby and pushes the elevator button. He glances over. I hold my shoes in defiance. “Ha, Ha,” he says, “It looks like a shoe store in here.” Yes it does, elevator man. You have no idea.

Once elevator man is gone, I manage to the all the gel pads in the proper place in the shoes and somehow get them back on my feet. Now that I look like a normal person wearing shoes and sitting on a chair, I wait for my co-workers to arrive.

Check back soon for my next installment… walking to the van.

Accomplishing Valentine’s Day

In the spirit of the self-help t-shirt line, I am going to offer you t-shirts that will help you through Valentine’s Day… whether you like it, or not. I mean, whether you like Valentine’s Day, or not. Not if you like my t-shirts. How would you even know if you like them or not, you can’t even see them because they don’t exist.  In the spirit of full disclosure, I should let you know these shirts will not be having pictures of hearts and teddy bears. These are not those kinds of Valentine shirts. These are way more practical.

As you may or may not be aware, Valentine’s Day is typically the required day for men who are mating (or hoping to mate) to woo their woman (or women) of interest with expensive, but essentially useless gifts, like beautiful flowers and shiny diamonds (for more information on shiny things, see Heinakroon.com). Well, I shouldn’t describe all of these items as useless. Diamonds are actually quite good for drill bits, but no girl wants to get a drill for Valentine’s Day. Except maybe that lesbian who tried to beat up @lucysfootball outside the video store. She would probably love one. But she might beat you up, so I wouldn’t mention it.

For the Valentine’s Day Renouncers

Enough about lesbian drill bits, it is time to help you with your Valentine situation. First, let’s assume you hate Valentine’s Day. I have learned from vegans that if you don’t want to do something, the best strategy is to pick a moral high ground then use it to tell everyone else they are doing all the wrong things. If you don’t want to eat meat, for example, you should explain to everyone with a slab of dead animal on their plate how they can get all the protein they need from tofu. Deep inside you will know that even though the carnivores are staring at you, and still chewing bacon, they truly appreciate your conviction.

Let’s apply this tactic to Valentine’s Day. If all the flowers at the office annoy you either because of the constant interruption they create, or simply because no one is sending you any, take the moral high ground. Here is your t-shirt and sample rant:

Sample Rant:

Why are you people killing flowers just to display them on their desks for a few days? Has anyone even considered the serious abuse of these flowers? You have dozens of helpless plants slowly dying in front of you and all you care about is checking your email! Those flowers were outside growing happily, until someone slit their stems and stuck them in a vase under fluorescent lighting. Is this how you would want to be treated? There are roses out there growing thorns to protect themselves. THORNS! You should be ashamed.

For Valentine’s Day Participants

If you want the entire Valentine’s Day experience, you should take steps to ensure that all items required for your Valentine happiness are secured well in advance. Don’t put yourself in the position of telling your significant other that nothing is wrong while you cry and hold your Valentine’s Day bowling ball. A lot of problems can be avoided by setting the right expectations.

Things to Purchase Me for Valentine’s Day:

Simply check off which of the standard Valentine Gifts you would like to receive, and let the shirt do the work for you. It is so much easier than dropping subtle hints. Subtle hints can be totally ignored. No one can ignore this t-shirt (I’m making the font really big).

There it is… another holiday crisis solved. Everyone enjoy your chocolates and/or moral indignation. You’re Welcome!

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