YES DEAR ( inspired by Srini’s Nobody listens) When it comes to men, it’s not the dirty socks lying half way up the stairs, or the toilet seat left in the upright position or the forgotten birthday that women grumble about the most. The chief complaint is that men just don’t listen. According to a male friend, who shall remain nameless for fear that there will be domestic reprisals, you can always tell when a man isn’t listening. If he’s, say, watching football on TV(being one of the most popular in malaysia) and you ask him to lock up for the night and he responds by looking straight ahead while saying something like, “Yes, dear,” he’s obviously aware that you said something, but there’s a good chance that he’s oblivious to the details. One hour later, his bottom will probably still be glued to the same spot on the sofa. Thieves could walk in and cart everything away, except for the sofa and the TV, and the remote from his hand, and he probably wouldn’t notice a thing. Moreover, an average, domesticated male will automatically use the same stock phrase in response to just about anything that his spouse says. “Will you take the dog for a walk?” “Yes, dear.” “Did you know that my cousin’s, wife’s, half-brother’s, next door neighbour’s niece just ran into the back of your car?” “Yes, dear.” “I’ve re-mortgaged the house and spent all the money on cosmetic procedures to enable me to attract a man who will listen to me.” “Yes, dear.” It would appear, though, that men now have a good excuse for what women call “selective” deafness. You see, according to recent scientific research, men have little control over their lack of listening powers when it comes to the female voice, simply because the male brain finds it difficult to process “complex female tones”. The scientists who came to this conclusion, and I suspect they might all be men, claim that when a man listens to another man (about important manly stuff, like sports, beer and Pamela Anderson’s assets, the new **** site) the information is processed in a rudimentary part of his brain called the Mind’s Eye. Men are more visual than audio. But when he hears a female voice, it’s processed in the more complex part of the brain that deals with music or audio processing area. That being the case, domestic communication might be improved if women were to get their message across in a more melodious way. I mean, some men can be paralytic drunks, with no notion of who or where they are, and they can still join in with a sing-along or karaoke . They can be standing on a street corner, with no idea which way is home, and they can still sing all the verses to “ I Did It My Way” by Frank Sinatra. ( I always wonder why is this so popular in karaoke) To enhance communication at home, I recommend that a list of suitable songs be compiled to cover a multitude of different scenarios. For example, if you want your spouse’s attention start singing “PiYA TU… AB TO AA JA ! If you feel he’s not giving you enough attention,. After which, you might give “MAAR DIYA JAI YA CHOD DIYA JAI BHOL TERE SATH KYA ZULOOL KIYA JAI” In a worst case scenario - to pick yourself up, there’s always the female anthem- I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor. I will survive as long as i know how to love I know I will stay alive I've got all my life to live I've got all my love to give and I'll survive I will survive Of course, by that time, there’ll be no one around to listen to you. If singing doesn’t work, you might seriously consider coming up with some sort of voice synthesiser that will make the female voice sound masculine. If nothing else, it may well scare your mate long enough to get his attention. After all, how many men can sit still when someone with a voice that sounds like, say, Mike Tyson asks them to switch off the TV and come to bed? Solutions aside, I have a sneaky feeling that this latest theory is just another excuse made up by men to get them off the hook. Imagine, if you will, the following scenario: Mr Man has had a long hard day at the office and is now relaxing with his newspaper in the lounge. His wife calls to him from the kitchen, where her chores are nowhere near completion: “Be a dear and lock up the doors , will you?” There is no response from her spouse, so she repeats her request, this time in a higher decibel. Still no response. She increases the decibels even more. “There’s no need to shout!” he yells, “I’m not deaf.” Now repeat the same scenario with Pamela Anderson in the kitchen. All Ms Anderson has to do is give a soft purr and Mr Man is by her side asking, “Did you say something, dear ! with a sheepish grin and hands all ready moving & wriggling around like octopus.” Listener’s choice.