NewsFlash: Pretty Women Make Men Dumb

According to a feature posted on, research published in the Journal of Experimental and Social Psychology shows that men who spend even a few minutes in the company of an attractive woman perform significantly less well on tests of mental acuity than those who chatted with someone they did not find attractive.

Well, no kidding. Any trip to a local bar on a Friday night ought to prove that thesis.

For some reason, this “revelation” made me recall an incident from my teenage years. I was 15 years old. It was the first day of spring. I went out to the shed and brought my ten-speed bicycle out of storage. Cooled by a gentle breeze, I spent a Sunday afternoon cleaning and tuning up my bike, oiling the chain, lubricating the gears, testing the brakes, re-inflating the tires, etc. Then it was time to take it out for its inaugural ride of the season.

I was breezing down quiet residential streets, enjoying the wind in my hair and the sun on my back. After making a turn onto a long straightaway that led toward the road on which I lived, I pushed myself and the bike to see how much speed I could coax from it. It felt as if I was easily doing 20mph.

Rounding the turn onto my home street, I noticed two girls from the neighborhood on the corner. One of them was the girl I’d had a crush on since I was 13. I thought I cut a fine figure, blazing past on my bike, sweeping through a wide turn. I watched the girls for their reaction, and they looked back at me…

…as I drove my bike straight into the curb. The front wheel bent, and the sudden deceleration hurled me over the handlebars. I flipped in mid-air and landed on my back, scraping across the sidewalk. My brutalized bike bounced past my head and wrapped itself around a tree in someone’s front yard.

I lay on the sidewalk for a second, too dazed to move. When I struggled to my feet, the girls weren’t laughing; my stupidity had shocked them into utter silence. I pried my bike off the neighbor’s tree, hefted it onto my shoulder, and carried it home, giving the girls a perfect view of the blood-soaked back of my T-shirt.

So, yes, I am well aware that my IQ drops about 100 points when I see pretty girls.

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