Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The mating dance of Don Quixote

In the twilight of summer, with the Winter's skeletal hand knocking upon the door, the pungent odor of sex floods out into the world of insects and somewhere, amongst the leaves, amongst the cooling nighttime foliage of a dying season, the male mantis raises its head with interest. Stalking with alien, spasmodic movements, the mantis sets out in search of the irresistible aroma of Venus. Emerging from the vegetation, his member gorged with green mantis blood, he sees her. Casting a magnificent figure in the ghostly moonlight, the female mantis perches upon a branch. At the sight of her the male begins to rock his head side to side in gleeful anticipation of the sexual feast (little does he know!) that is soon to come.

What follows is an intricate dance, with much fluctuation of antennae, and followed by the male's slow deliberate approach towards the object of his desire. For her part, the female is largely docile waiting, no doubt, with the bemused thought that females of all the species have had over millennia: quit the act, and show me what you've got! The male, being a male, is completely oblivious to the thoughts of his lady friend. He continues his macho display flexing his abdomen and posturing wildly. Eventually mutual rubbing of antennae occurs until the female, slick and wet with lust, strikes a beckoning pose and the male seizes the opportunity by mounting her and plunging his serrated joystick into mantis heaven.

Without even the opportunity to finish the act, without, even, the experience of smoking a cigarette to accompany post coital bliss, the male mantis will die. In a bizarre and cruel irony it is necessary for the female mantis to decapitate the male in order to induce ejaculation. The male will literally 'lose his head' in the course of his amorous adventures. Often the female will cannibalize the corpse of her unfortunate partner as her lover's body provides a great source of nutrition for her, now pregnant, body.

It sucks to be a male mantis.

In the club, a coked-up muscle boy struts in a hilarious bulging bronzed mating dance. He has scented the sweet smell of womanhood. As the music thumps he'll flex and pose as if through his amphetamine haze he's picturing himself, waxed and oiled, competing in a bodybuilding contest in Zurich. Bounce, bounce, bounce; first left peck, then right peck will expand then deflate. As he pouts, frowns and tries to look as serious as a funeral for a friend the plight of the mantis starts to seem rosy.

The fluorescent pink bum-bag upon his waist is the tragicomic icing on this anabolic (beef)cake.

The female punter on the other hand seems to judge this behavior with the same cool insight as her mantis counterpart. Sure, she’ll shake her booty to arouse the male, but she will, at least for the most part, maintain a sense of calm control in the face of this sweaty vulgar display. Fortunately for the male of this species the female has no desire to snack upon his brains. Climax will more likely be reached with Viagra than with the plunging of mandible into grey matter…

Where am I heading with this?

I've made a startling and slightly embarrassing self observation. When I'm catching the train or tram, when I'm sitting in a coffee shop or enjoying a few rays in the park, I'm almost invariably reading a book. It is inevitable that at some stage I'll smell the pleasant chemical scent of hairspray, or perhaps the breeze will carry in it a hint of perfume, its sweet gift tickling my nose with nostalgic reminiscences of lovers long gone. And if it isn't a smell, perhaps I'll see a flash of skin, a nicely formed behind or the shiny luster of auburn hair. What I'm trying to say is that -just like the ill-fated mantis or the misguided would-be-Spartan - I notice girls. I notice them in all their glory and I love them in all shapes and sizes. I'm subject to the same animal instinct as our muscle bound friend. The mantis’s susceptibility to the dangerous charms of his mate's pheromones is not only his burden to bare.

This, however, is not my humiliating observation. I feel no shame in acknowledging that 'da booty' gets me going like every other man out there. No, what I realized today is that I must exhibit some sort of courtship ritual myself. As the mantis jiggles from side to side, as the hulk wobbles his pectorals to the beat of the music, so, too, must I do something, however unintentional, to show off my sexual receptivity. This is where the embarrassment comes into play, for today I discovered my own little dance - a dance I'd wager I've been tapping out for a long time.

Remember when I said that I'm almost always reading a book on the train? Well, today a stunning girl boarded on my journey into the city. She was dressed in those retro thrift store clothes that I love so much. She exuded funk. With jet black hair, and eyes the deep blue of Scottish lakes, she was sent to me by some time machine straight from my teenage wet dreams. Never wanting to make a girl uncomfortable, I'm a very careful observer of the opposite sex. I'll only steal furtive glances at a girl, and only then if I know that she isn't aware that I'm doing so. It is when their attention is focused my way that my personal dance is revealed, and I know this because today when the raven-haired beauty glanced my way I caught myself as I raised my arms slightly, flexed my hands at the wrist, all so she could see... the title of my book! It would appear that I've somehow developed the notion that women will be attracted to me on the basis of prose. The Gulag Archipelago is my insect jitter; Kafka is my pelvic thrust; Oscar Wilde is my form of flexing and posing. The realization came to my attention this morning, but it didn't come alone. As knowledge of my personal courtship ritual dawned upon me the awareness that I'm a very strange man crept in as well.


some girl said...

The fluorescent pink bum-bag upon his waist is the tragicomic icing on this anabolic (beef)cake.

DQ- you and I are the same age, and yet I fear the words: "fluorescent pink bum bag" places you and your countrymen in an entirely different era. A time when Madonna wore multiple layers of lace petticoats and men permed their hair. Please, DQ, for the sanity of all who read, please reassure me that you have not actually witnessed said fashion since the days when we were children and no one ever thought we would regret big hair and shoulder pads.

And just so you know, I find men reading interesting things far more attractive than the anabolic (beef)cakes in the clubs. I immediately discount men reading the Da Vinci Code (please don't tell me how great it was, I beg) while I fantasize about taking home the men reading historical fiction.

Some Girls like smart guys.

lividia said...

i still see fanny packs. though usually on grannies at the casinos, hunched over multiple slot machines and wearing matching bedazzle-d sweatshirts.


and i agree, i'm totally a fan of the intellectual boys reading fascinating books (and AGREE WHOLEHEARTEDLY about that whole da vinci code nonsense, some girl. 'nuff already with the 'ooh'-ing over that book, Entire Planet).

and, don, i will admit to doing exactly what you do. if ever i'm carrying an interesting book and see a cute ruffled smarty-pants looking creature, i tend to display it to attempt some attention.

it is, however, ALL IN VAIN. because just my luck, the people who are most likely to go for that stuff, male or female, are TOO DAMN SHY. goes hand-in-hand.

it's the "i bury myself in my book because it's safer in the literary world, and even though i imagine myself striking up a conversation with you, i also imagine you sneering at me, shooting me down, and making fun of me later when you're discussing sartre over drinks with your friends." syndrome.

swear, it's a mental / medical condition. should be in the next installment of the DSM manual.

Don Quixote said...

Some girl,
Ha! I've seen the bum-bag disaster all too often. Generally the fashion here is pretty progressive - think a more humble version of London - however there is the muscle boy phenomenon that I'm talking about. I don't know if you have them over there, but over here we have a certain type of man that goes to the gym with obsessive regularity. These men normally have bleach blonde hair, wear fluorescent bicycle shorts and - yes - they wear bum-bags. I think that it is ultimately a body builder thing, however these guys choose to turn up to dance parties, clubs and raves wearing the same clothes that they wear to the gym. Usually they'll spend the night with their tops off, oiled up and posing to the beat of the music - it is a very strange sight.

It is interesting you brought up the Madonna example with the multiple layered petticoats because at the moment there seems to be a bit of an 80's renaissance in fashion over here. Some of it looks good, and some of it looks terrible.

The Da Vinci code: it is interesting that the Da Vinci code talks about the Jesus mystery because I think that it was intended for Satan. I found the writing bland, the characters boring and I've had more fun falling off my bike than I had reading it. It seems to be a book that has hit a very good niche, the niche that allows people whom don't know better to talk at parties under the mistaken belief that they've read a book of intellectual merit.

Don Quixote said...

I'm right now shuddering at the term 'fanny pack'. Ew indeed.

Yes, sneering at me and shooting me down, that is what I expect girls to do. I'm glad to see from reading your comment that there are girls out there that go for the 'ruffled' look.

I really didn't think you would be shy like that Miss Crank; for some reason I've always pictured that if you liked a guy you'd just go straight up and start talking to him (Sex in the city style).

Which book in your collection do you think would be the biggest draw card? Mine is a certain epic by Cervantes, but then I'm biased.


Estars said...

We don't really have muscle heads in my city, so much as we have "ginos", or what I call "uber-metrosexuals". They're guys who wear too tight t-shirts, shiny bracelets and necklaces, their hair slicked back and equally shiny, and who wear sunglasses in bars and indoors. They show off thinking it'll impress, but really, that stuff will only impress the chicks who want sugar-daddies. Besides which, those guys are just creepy when they try to pick you up, and they're STOOPID. Sadly, I've rarely met any "normal" guys here either. It's either pretentious ginos, or pretentious business men. And the mainstream fashion sense tends to lean towards the upscale skank look.

As for the book thing....I don't put a lot of faith in *anyone* who reads nothing but Oprah-recommended books. But I work in a bookstore, so I see a lot of stupid people buying stupid books thereby propagating the stupidness in this city.

Don Quixote said...

Oprah recommended books? *shudders*

I hear you on the 'uber-metrosexual' look, Estars, we have those here too.

Altogether it seems as if there is far too much thought going into appearance, and far too little thought going into the things that really count.

lividia said...


it's not so much 'shyness' in that sense - i do indeed go what i'm after but usually with more extroverted types i can tell if they're equally interested. so i reserve that behaviour for when it's warranted.

with the shy more bookish types it's harder to know whether they catch a glance and bury themselves back in a book because they're interested but shy, or not-interested and don't care.

hrmph. a much more complicated 'dance'.

as for types of books... well, anything from my old philosophy courses are an entertaining route to the 'flirt via bookjacket' thing (sartre, mencius, leibniz, plato... in later years i stuck to existentialism and eastern philosophy), although then i run the risk of attracting the pretentious snob who takes pains to artfully ruffle his hair.

it's kind of more like this... if i'm reading any of my favourites (murakami or camus) and someone peeks and smiles, i'm pretty much smitten because dude's got taste ;)

going beyond smiling to myself (in either situation), however, has led to some odd odd experiences, so...


Don Quixote said...

An enticing range of books there Livi.

These days I dabble in Nietzsche, however that might be a turn off for the ladies.

Odd experiences? Intriguing...