Tuesday, March 16, 2010

On the Subject of Beating Women With Sticks

Remember that age old chestnut “you’ll be beating the women off with a stick”? My grandmother used to say it to me as a child when I’d manage to get cleaned up for Sunday school, “you’re so handsome, you’ll be beating the girls off with a stick”*. My mother also used it on my Prom night before I left to pick up my Prom date, “you’ll be beating her off with a stick”. Not exactly the "beating" I had in mind back then either. Even recently, when I started loosing weight, my female colleagues at work would say to me, “My, just look at you! Why you’ll be beating them off with a stick!” Excuse me? Were these ladies, including my own mother and grandmother gone absolutely Animal Crackers to be suggesting something so ludicrous? Or is there just some commonly recognized rule about handsome men beating woman with sticks that I’m just not aware of?

Where in the hell did that saying come from anyway? And more importantly, where are all these women beating sticks anyway? I don’t know about anyone else, but I hear this saying often enough that I also think I’d be seeing these things abso-fucking-lutely everywhere! I mean, I have a few old ornamental walking sticks belonging to distant relatives of mine all collecting dust in the front foyer of my home, but definitely no women beating sticks.

This raises lots of interesting questions. First, how on earth did this popular saying originate anyway? Even Google let me down here. I found everything from Urban Dictionary references to ‘pimp sticks’ and ‘wigger sticks’, to complete Ye Olde English genealogies for other sayings like “getting the short end of the stick”, which, is an entirely different blog post…believe me! But absolutely no luck on finding historical references on any ancient custom regarding handsome men beating off women with sticks, staffs, staves, poles, canes, batons, and clubs, whatever. In fact, it appears to be exactly the opposite…they entirely welcome them with open arms. Okay, so the Marquis de Sade might have had a little fun with sticks n’ stuff, but I’m not so confident that this adage is directly attributed to him personally.

My next follow up question along this line of thinking, is how popular are these handsome guys exactly given that they’re literally beating all the women with sticks? I don’t know about you ladies, but I’m not likely to fawn over someone who expresses himself in such a violent manner. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the odd stick beating, but only under the right circumstances. I’m also not likely to suggest something so drastic on a first date either. It seems I’m unpopular enough with the ladies that I don’t also need to resort to thrashing them within an inch of their lives in order to make them fall for me. Besides, black and blue are definitely not my favorite color scheme anyway.

My second question is what does a woman beating stick look like? I, personally, have never knowing come across a woman beating stick, nor would I even recognize one if I were to be beaten with it. Are they similar to the fancy walking sticks you see in old Eaton’s catalogues, or are they more of a basic switch you’d pick off a tree to deliver any random whoopins’? Or perhaps they’re something akin to the traditional Canadian seal clubs we all have stashed away in the backs of our closets. I’m surprised that there aren’t people out there who actively collect these women beating sticks and show them on traveling displays across the country. Imagine visiting that exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum; the ‘20th Century Beating Sticks’ display right between the ‘Ancient Mesopotamian Pottery’ and ‘Early Egyptian Sarcophaguses’. An exhibit that sells out weeks in advance I’m sure…

Something else which concerns me: why aren’t there any beating sticks being passed down through the generations from any of the male descendants in my family? Did we just not participate in this seemingly popular dating pastime, or were we too poor to own our own sticks? Or worse, were all the men in my family line complete freak shows or something? This notion does absolutely nothing to make me fell any more confident in dealing with my current romantic draught.

Maybe I should just go out and get myself one of these woman beating sticks and begin dolling out the odd thrashing in an effort to attract more babes. What’s the worst that can happen? A felony charge? Fifteen to life in a maximum security prison? Meh. But what if it does in fact get me laid? After all, it’s just crazy enough that it might work…and that’s a chance I’m willing to take.

So all you hot babes, look out! I’m armed and out looking for love. For as John Cougar Mellencamp once coined:

“Come on baby, make it hurt so good.
Sometimes love don't feel like it should.
You make it hurt so good.”

* Which is also the only time I ever actually enjoyed hearing this phrase as, being only 6 years old then, tormenting the girls at Sunday school was a favorite past time.