Why do men act as they do? Read all about it

June 21, 1993|By Karen Heller | Karen Heller,Knight-Ridder News Service

It is conceivable that Sandra Beckwith, an upstate New York mother of two, is a certified genius and future millionaire. Since early spring, she has managed to harness the world's greatest source of untapped energy: women's frustrations with that other sex.

The Do(o)little Report, Ms. Beckwith's potential gold mine, is an eight-page bimonthly newsletter named for the Cockney flower maid. It inverts Lerner & Loewe's musical question by asking: "Why can't a man be more like a woman?"

The inaugural issue covers such perplexing issues as "Why do men zap channels?" (it serves their tiny attention spans); "Do they really have to tape games they attend?" (yes, for a lot of reasons but mostly that favorite one about control); and how to get a man to put the toilet seat down so the baby won't crawl into it (every time he does this, toss his Sports Illustrated into the diaper pail).

Genius, absolute genius.

You think not? Consider this: In April, Ms. Beckwith sent out 700 sample copies to "everyone I could think of." One month later, the public-relations executive had 1,000 subscribers happy to fork over $12.95 so that the mysteries of the cosmos might be explained.

Before cries of "male bashing!" commence, be assured that half of those subscribers are men.

Obviously, their behavior is as confounding to them as it is to us.

Ms. Beckwith's goal? "Oh, I want to save the world."

In the meantime, she'll settle for 5,000 subscribers by next spring. The way she figures it, the Tightwad Gazette has a circulation of 60,000 and the Quayle Quarterly had 12,000 before the man lost his job and the newsletter its purpose.

By these standards, Ms. Beckwith's goals are too modest.

After all, there are loads of spendthrifts around and plenty of admirers of the past administration, but almost no women who truly understand the inner workings of the American male.

To aid and abet her quest for universal harmony, Ms. Beckwith is now giving away a sample issue to interested parties.

Coming Do(o)little Reports will answer such ponderous questions as "Why do men fish?" (something to do with Melville's whale); "Why do men barbecue?" (that's easy -- it has to do with fire and primordial man); and "Why men won't ask directions?" (a wild guess: their testosterone will dry up, or something to that effect?).

Ms. Beckwith also plans to launch Stupid Men Tricks. "My favorite is the guy who washed his socks by stuffing them in glasses in the dishwasher. After the cycle was finished, he wore the socks and drank out of the glasses," Ms. Beckwith says. "I could not make that up."

We believe her.

To make sure she helps women in her purpose, Ms. Beckwith goes directly to the Rosetta stone: men. She makes sure her husband reads each issue before it goes to press. "He is always coming up with ideas," she says. "He thinks it's great."

Of course, he does.

The woman is a genius. They're both going to be rich, rich, rich.

To obtain a copy or subscribe, write: The Do(o)little Report, Box 1121, Fairport, N.Y. 14450; the toll-free number is 1-800-836-4467.

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