Nov 30

The Hercules of Hackensack

Thomas Jefferson was wrong when he wrote, “All men are created equal.” They aren't. Some can Article-1241060-07C9E3B1000005DC-34_634x382 jump higher. Others can run faster. And, some simply don't feel the cold like mere mortals.

I was struck by the inequality among my fellow man at the New Jersey Transit train station the other day. While huddled inside a makeshift windbreak waiting for 'Old Unreliable', I spied a few fellow commuters strolling along the platform sans topcoats. I was appalled. The temperature was 24 degrees and the wind chill had to be in the teens. Yet, these machismo types padded along the platform as if it were a pleasant Spring day.

Women don't do this. They feel the cold like most men. So, how come there's a certain class of guys who disdain warmth? It has to go beyond mere testosterone. And, it has to be more than mere narcissism. These deep-freeze defying denizens of December MUST have other reasons for encouraging a cold blast of arctic air to shoot up their pant legs. Could it be:

– A missing brain synapse that doesn't registers sensitivity to heat or cold?
– A desperate need to attract attention (“Hey, check me out! Am I the Hercules of Hackensack? The Samson of South Amboy? The Paul Bunyan of New Brunswick? Man, am I rugged, or what?”).
– A weather version of the Dennis Kozlowski/Jeff Skilling/Elliot Spitzer attitude that says: “Hey, normal rules simply don't apply to me.”

Whatever the motivation of the sans topcoat troupe, I think it's an ill-advised, if subliminal, image move. Not only do these guys repel me, I think their Summer in Winter wardrobe merely reinforces society's perception of men as bumbling Neanderthals.

In fact, I'm surprised Hollywood screenwriters and TV commercial producers haven't seized on this obvious folly to once again remind viewers that men are the inferior gender.