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I'm a ladies' man.

Byline: By Bob Cuffe

And so we're told that men are more intelligent than women. On average by five points on the IQ scale.

In simpler terms that means a man is on average a footballer more intelligent than a woman.

Men have won more Nobel prizes, and gained more senior positions in life. Does this sound right to you? Does anyone out there actually agree?

I fear women, but I admire them too. I'd like to admire them more, but the law is so restrictive. Women are the glue that holds society together. They are the glue that restricts, inhibits and binds.

Men are, by nature, foolish. As can be seen when men group together. Put more than two men together and the behaviour deteriorates dramatically. We need looking after. Men fish. If ever there was a sign of mental feebleness, it's there at the non-fishy end of the rod.

However, women read horoscopes, so that evens things out. Not all women are intelligent. For hard evidence go to the Bigg Market and observe the night-life.

Your average women, though, surely beats your average man. For your average man, I'd suggest you stand outside a football ground and observe the beasts as they leave.

And can I just emphasise the point here. Man inside football ground. Woman outside. It's the natural order. Like woman inside bingo hall. Man outside. Any man inside a bingo hall is either over 70, or a sexual predator. Hunting alone. Whilst all the other men are absent.

They are defined by the flat cap. That's the over-70s. The flat cap isn't the sign of the sexual predator. That is the brightly coloured shirt. The flamboyant montage much favoured by the Preening Peacock hoping for a full house.

The football crowd is Every Man.

And it seems to me that the North-East has more than its fair share of ugly blokes.

I think the football is partly to blame. If you support a North-East team you end up grimacing a lot. The ball landing at Boumsong's feet will get 52,000 Geordies gurning ( twisting and pulling their faces. The opposition running at Sunderland's goal, which now accounts for nearly 80% of the action, sees over 30,000 Mackems mimicking The Scream.

And at Boro, by full time, you have just under 10,000 Teessiders with contorted features. By the end of this season I reckon we'll all be Elephant Men.

I like cricket. I think that's the sport for us.

But as you look around your fellow fans, you're not struck by Intelligence. It's not the word that comes to mind. I'm more taken by the sounds and the smells. We're more animals than anything God should be proud of.

Take a night out for instance. When men go out they exchange nonsense. The conversation over an evening could be filed under `Remedial'. Nothing of any consequence is discussed. Because you're out for a drink. The nearest to a personal exchange of information is `Favourite Peanuts'.

When women go out they talk. And not just about handbags and shoes. They talk about the children, the blokes, their concerns, health worries, experiences at work, what's hot, and what's not, who's who and what's what.

And they still get time to drink a bit. Blokes never have glasses away from their face long enough. The longest conversation is with the bar staff, when you're ordering the round. Most blokes exchange their thoughts by using eight words or less. Those that use more are the blokes who drink on their own.

After a night out I am none the wiser about any of my mates, excepting for the `Favourite Peanut' revelation. I couldn't tell you what any of them wore. I think we all wear the same thing every week, but I'm not sure.

My closest friends remain almost complete strangers to me. I think if I knew more I'd despise them, actually.

No, my vote on Intelligence rests completely with The Lovely, Lovely Ladies. Any dissenting voices, or alternative views?
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 23, 2005
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