By N. Mark Castro

I am feeling great, and I will tell you why. It’s because of this article I read recently that said … um … it said … OK, wait just a minute while I get out this article …

OK, here it is: According to this article, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania did a study showing that, as males — but not females — get older, their brains shrink.

Was I ever relieved to read that!

I thought it was just me!


Gender Gaps on the brain – Bigger brains don’t make men smarter.

Women have smaller brains than men. Since the ability to think is partly determined by the size of the brain, men must be smarter than women, right? Wrong, wrong, wrong. Men and women consistently score equally well on intelligence tests, despite the difference in brain size.

Neuroscientists have grappled with that puzzle for years. All kinds of research have shown that the bigger the brain, generally, the smarter the animal, although other factors affect intelligence.

Now a team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania has come up with an explanation for the brain-size mystery. It’s not just the size, but what’s inside.

So there’s really no point with the unfounded fear of the anti-drug people that marijuana makes you forget … forget … what the hell was that again?

But here’s something I regularly do: I’m walking through an airport, and I see a newsstand, and I think: “Huh! A newsstand! I can get a newspaper there, and perhaps some magazines! I can read them at the coffeeshop, and use the information in them to write informed articles!”

So I carefully select some newspapers and magazines; then I put them on the counter; then I take out my wallet and pay for them; then I carefully put the receipt into my wallet so that I can deduct this purchase for tax purposes; then I go to Gloria Jeans Cafe.

OK, here’s a pop quiz: What will I discover when I get to Gloria Jeans Cafe?

You older, shrinking-brain males probably have no idea. You’re saying to yourselves: “Where’s Gloria Jeans Cafe? And who the hell is Mark?”

But you female readers, and you younger males, know the answer: I will discover that I left my magazines and newspapers back on the newsstand counter.

I cannot tell you how many times I have done this. (Note to Indonesia’s Ministry of Tax Service: The reason I still deducted these purchases on my tax return is that I am writing about them here.) I could save time if, when striding through the airport, I simply flung money in the general direction of the newsstand.

Here’s another thing I do: I routinely go to the 5 A Sec Cleaners for the specific purpose of picking up my shirts, pay for my shirts, then attempt to walk out without my shirts, as though I were just visiting them.

Also: Many times I am looking all over for my eyeglasses — looking, looking, looking, looking — and then I walk past a mirror and notice that they are perched on my head. ”Ha ha!” they gaily shout to me, their lenses twinkling. “You cretin!”

Also: I have always been terrible at remembering people’s names, but now I forget names instantaneously, before they have gotten all the way through my ear canal.

For instance, if you were me at the Ritz Carlton Hotel at the MYSTERE Bar watching FIFA’s Soccer Finals and somebody introduced herself to me again, it would have sounded as though she was saying: “Marky!!! I’m Indah,” which at this point sounded to me a lot like Yada Yada Yada.

”I’m sorry,” I’ll say. “What was your name again?”

”Indah,” she’ll say.

”Ah!” I’ll say, smiling brightly while hoping that a meteor will crash into the building before I have to introduce her to someone else.

Here’s another symptom: I currently own four — that is correct: four — identical, unused tubes of toothpaste, because every time I’m in Century Drugstore and walk past the toothpaste section, my brain, which by now must be about the size of a Raisinet, racks its tiny shriveled self in an effort to remember whether I have any toothpaste, and it can never come up with a definitive answer, so it always decides, Better safe than sorry!

(The good news is, if the price of Tartar Control Colgate rises significantly, I will be a wealthy man.)

Anyway, I was very relieved to find out that this was not just my personal problem, but a problem afflicting the brains of males in general, although, as a frequent flier, I hope it doesn’t extend to male airplane pilots (“Ladies and gentlemen, we are approaching either Indonesia or Singapore, so at this time I’m going to push the button that either illuminates the fasten-seat belt signs or shuts off all the engines”).

The University of Pennsylvania study (Note to older males: I am referring here to a study showing that, as males get older, their brains shrink) also showed that we older males tend to lose our sense of humor. This is definitely true in my case. I was just talking to my oldest friend, whose name is. … Excuse me while I look up his name. …

OK, here it is: I was talking to my oldest and junior high friend, Jorge Wieneke, Jr., who is now the President of the Philippine Franchisers’ Association, and we were remarking on the fact that when we were barely-teenage males roaming uncontrolled around Makati City, Philippines, we thought that the most hilarious imaginable human activity was the wanton addiction in pushing every neighborhood doorbell, whereas, now that we’re fathers, we now both firmly believe that this should be a national crime punishable by death.

So my overall point is that the brain-shrinkage study makes me feel a lot better, because now I know that I’m not getting stupid alone, that billions of guys are getting stupid with me, as evidenced by:

1.) Golf
2.) Donald Trump’s and Rudy Giulliani’s Comb-overs
3.) The Philippine Congress
4.) FPI

Here’s what I think: I think Older Male Brain Shrinkage should be recognized as a disability by the national government. At the very least, we should have a law requiring everybody to wear a name tag (”Hello! My name is Yada Yada Yada”).

Older males would be exempt from this requirement, because they wouldn’t be able to find their tags.

I have many other strong views on this subject but I can’t remember what they are.


About Asmartrock

N. Mark Castro is the Southeast Asia Director of JUMP DIGITAL Asia, which is an internationally-awarded and fully integrated digital marketing agency with 5 out of 10 offices in the ASEAN region. He is also the Secretary General of the Philippine Business Club Indonesia, managing and assisting the traffic of investments between the Philippines and Indonesia. He shuttles between Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar, Singapore, Cambodia, and Australia. The views posted here are his own and do not in any way reflect the views of the companies he represents.

Posted on August 6, 2012, in Fatherhood, General and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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