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Or, what men can learn from the Southern Women's Show.



I had long suspected that I was much smarter than all of you other men oust there, and this weekend's excursion to the Southern Women's Show, an annual trade show aimed almost exclusively at women, only exacerbated my superiority complex. There wasn't another man as far as the eye could see. That is, there wasn't another man who wasn't confined to a booth eternally pitching some new miracle mop or super-cleanser. The Cook Convention Center, crammed with every size, shape, age, and flavor of womaninity, was a veritable sea of excitement and estrogen. And why wouldn't it have been so? The countless businesses assembled there to display their wares had invested untold fortunes to make sure their products had chick appeal. They all had experts, top-dollar executives whose sole raison d'être is to plumb the depths of the feminine psyche in order to develop products and improve services that the ladies, the luscious ladies with their big eyes and beautiful minds, just can't seem to live without. Why shouldn't I avail myself of all this research and planning in order to crack the feminine mystique, discover what women secretly desire, and share my vast knowledge with my fellow men so that they too can be sexy like me and have any woman, any place, any time? What follows is a carefully compiled list based on observations from the Southern Women's Show.

Women want fine tools akin to their husbands' Craftsmen tools, not pathetic "Crapsman" tools. They want items, especially garden hoses, that always re-coil and self-drain. They want paintings of two nude children wandering into the ocean with titles like Two Bums on the Beach. Ladies are drawn to aquarium-like furniture (tables especially) that are filled with fake lilies and bubbling water. They want weaves and extensions that look just like real human hair. They want to go to Paris or at least to places that have been painted to remind them of Paris. Women want scarves, full-body massages, and suntans that come from a bottle. Free pork rinds and jewelry, jewelry, jewelry. They want a cold-wax hair-remover, free cosmetic consultations, and Persian rugs. Women want to drive the new Infiniti, a car that knows the road better than you do and is invisible to the wind. They are prone to buying garlands made of dried fruit and vegetable matter. They are interested in colognes that smell just like other colognes but at half the price. Women like value. Women want hot disco nights filled with hot disco songs like "You Can Ring My Bell" by Anita Ward, underwear in shades of black, beige, white, and occasionally purple as well as soft, cuddly bedtime things and more jewelry. They want hats and bags made of hemp or hemp-like substances and nutrition for their hair. Women want real goatskin rugs for under $30, jewelry cleaners, and pimple products that make you say, "Oh, baby, that's nice." Women want a powerful garden pruner called the Lopper. (Their husbands and boyfriends do not want them to have this particular product.) Ladies want to dance with Fred Astaire or with a man who dances like Fred Astaire. They want certain anatomical features altered with collagen, and they like lots of New Age music. Women want dresses that look like they have been stitched together from pieces of old quilts and baby clothes that are so cute only a baby could wear them. Women want a variety of fine, flavored cooking oils in wine bottles and scented products for the bath. Women want pillows that will massage their backs almost as much as they want certified organic milled flaxseed and wheat germ. They want to race for a cure to breast cancer and get rid of their glasses through the miracle of laser eye surgery. Women want straight spines and are willing to go to a chiropractor to get straight spines. Based on the appearance of one mannequin, women want to be wrapped in Ace bandages so they look like a mummy and wear their lingerie on the outside while carrying an Easter basket. Women want player pianos and cookbooks that teach them how to cook Tennessee- and Mississippi-style. Women want fudge in a variety of colors and shapes, bunnies, for instance, as well as scarves made from grass-like materials, paperback copies of The Lord of the Rings, and up to 3,500 monthly bonus minutes. Women want Bibles and Bible-related videotapes such as The Story Behind the Cross starring Judge Reinhold and children's books about angels and where angels go to school. Women want to be a pampered chef, own ceramic, basketball-shaped planters, and possess pretty, soft-focus pictures of their children frolicking in what appears to be the English countryside. They want to see fashion shows for their pets and to wear Capri pants from Target. Women want prepaid legal services making equal justice under the law a reality and full-sized statues of Elvis and the Blues Brothers. They want a big gun-toting man who won't talk back because he is made of plaster. They want to stand in line for up to an hour for the opportunity to spin a wheel to win a four-ounce sample of rice. Women want to register to win. And they really want to win. Women want Glory (Glory turnip greens, that is), burgers that don't have meat in them, and coffee that tastes like coconut cream pie. Women want to be fed bite-sized food samples on toothpicks and sing karaoke to all the hits on KIX 106. They want ferrets and other alternative pets or, at the very least, a stuffed bunny. They want to travel Arkansas and have furniture and clothing made with animal prints as well as colorful artificial flowers that look just like real flowers and see Barry Manilow on March 31st. They want to register to win a chance to see Barry Manilow on March 31st. But, most of all, women want the Amazing Mr. Sticky, a lint-remover with a telescoping handle. Women want things that are patriotic and support the Arkansas Razorbacks. Women, in short, want it all.

Now, my fellow men, as you go about having your weekend fun armed with all this newfound knowledge, remember what we all learned from reading Spider-Man: With great power comes great responsibility. Go get 'em, tigers.

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