Silly Questions: Advice for the deodorantly challenged

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The Independent Culture
Why do women have longer necks than men? According to R J Pickles, it is 'so that while being embraced they can swivel their heads and assess the amount of redecoration the room needs'. Jo Matthews, however, says it is 'because they have to swallow all the tall stories that men feed them'.

Leo Haynes and Dennis Gardner both maintain that it is men who have shorter necks than women. 'This is a purely Darwinian response to the women who have always wished to throttle their menfolk,' says Mr Haynes, adding: 'Note that prop forwards have only vestigial necks.' Mr Gardner's evolutionary argument is more Lamarquian, based on the growth of men's necks having been retarded 'over many years by strangely patterned strips of fabric knotted in this region of their anatomy'. He believes this may have been instigated by women 'in order to make their own necks look longer'.

Len Clarke says it is 'because women don't buy men necklaces. They stretch during long, over-the-fence gossip sessions.' But enough of this sexism; Stuart Cockerill has a scientific explanation:

'Women, in their historical role as baby-holders, have rarely had any hands free. This has compromised their role as hunter-gatherer and, since shorter-necked women are less adept at oral apple-scrumping, they are much more likely to starve. Meanwhile, the lesser- necked male is aided by an ability to keep his head down while roaming the savannah in search of wildebeest.'

Which brings us to the matter of how to mask the smell of Mr Cockerill's deodorant. According to Roger Matthews, 'deodorants which create an olfactory stimulus are de facto actionable under the Trade Descriptions Act 1968'. David Hart advises chocolate icing or a car wash or a grapefruit. 'They squirt at you anyway, so perhaps it's nature's solution.'

All of which leaves us with little space to discuss why supermarket chickens are bald, why they don't recycle the feathers, and how long prior to using is 'well before' on bottle shaking instructions.

F L Vaux says 'supermarket chickens are not bald, they are naked. If they were bald they would be eagles.' Roger Matthews, however, has a complete solution to everything. We summarise: Only men with shorter necks can complete the task of shaving in the time allowed by their spouses' occupation of the bathroom each morning; the more hirsute males need longer to shave and thus have less time available to deodorise themselves; hairy, deodorantly challenged, long- necked chickens are not welcome in supermarkets; and shaking soon before applying deodorant increases the likelihood of spraying it in your eyes.' Mr Matthews has a beard.

This week's enigmas: Why do adolescent girls pull their jumper cuffs down over their hands? (Margaret Taylor) If 'sex education' is the answer, what is the question? (David Hart) Why do modern letter boxes have internal brushes? (Martin Davies)