Drop that bowl; it’s not party time for this guy

Burt's Eye View

Editor’s Note: Cole somehow escaped for vacation. While he recovers, we offer this updated Cole Classic originally published Oct. 15, 2000.

She asked me with a straight face: “Will you host a candle party for me?”

Why this overly optimistic friend of mine even considered that a possibility without proper FEMA and EPA permits is beyond me. Guys do NOT host candle parties — or home decorating parties or plastic kitchenware parties or any other homeware sales party.

OK, so I heard of a couple guys who hosted a Tupperware party back in college. I also understand that the Tupperware representative was able to, after only 72 treatments, look at plastic again without breaking into hives. But she still won’t take the lid off anything. She doesn’t want to know what’s inside.

It is well-documented that the male brain is wired differently than the female brain.

Somewhere in the female brain is a group of neurons and synapses that allows women to attend such parties with dignity, respect and commonly accepted social behaviors.

Guys, on the other hand, are wired to say, “You want how much? I can make one myself out of a couple hubcaps, PVC pipe, chicken wire and duct tape. I’ll show ya.”

When I was kid watching parties my mom hosted, they’d play games that had nothing to do with catching, throwing, jumping, hitting, spitting or scratching. Instead, I’d see a pack of my aunts giggling and hyperventilating as they tried to do things like see who could come up with the most words using the letters in “floral arrangement.”

Cluster 15 of us guys in the living room and tell us to come up with as many words as we could get out of, say, “North America,” and at the end of five minutes, 14 of us would have tied for second place with two words: “North” and “America.” The other guy, who had his laptop computer with him, would email you 3,476 combinations, including such Scrabble gems as “torchier” and “haricot.”

I can only think of two logical reasons — male brain logic — that a single guy would host a sales party: (1) to meet women; (2) to make some extra cash to go meet women.

I have no idea why a married man would host a party. Neither does his wife.

And she clearly doesn’t want him around when she hosts one. Even if he’s involved in a very important baseball playoff game on another floor of the house, between innings, he will wander into the room, pop the lid off a plastic bowl, and say, “Did I ever tell you what we filled this with during a college party? The lids stayed on when we dropped them off the roof.”

“Bill, NOT NOW!” the wife hisses.

“Except for that last one, which Jim didn’t seal. You should have seen …”


Bill, who thought he was helping his wife sell more bowls with his glowing testimonial, can’t figure out what he did wrong. The story always impressed his buddies, who couldn’t wait to conduct their own experiments. They might even go to a party to get some plastic bowls

But it’s time for the game to come back on, so Bill shrugs and saunters away — but not without trying to make amends: “The smell finally came out after soaking the bowls in Clorox and vinegar for two weeks. Except for the one we microwaved.”

So don’t expect to be getting invitations from me to a candle party any time soon. I think it’s best that way.

— Send party invitations to Cole at burtseyeview@tribtoday.com or on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook.