Humor by Greg Schwem

I avoid reading medical studies since they are contradictory by nature. Stay away from red wine because the alcohol could raise my blood pressure or inhale two glasses a day and combat prostate cancer? Control my cholesterol by shunning beef or strengthen my immune system by waltzing into Ruth's Chris once a week and nodding when the waitress says, "The usual, Mr. Schwem?"

But something lead me to read, beginning to end, a recent study by Northwestern University anthropologists. Apparently, testosterone, the primary male sex hormone, drops when men become dads. Even more alarming? The study suggests levels plummet further when guys take active roles in child rearing. In short: The more involved a man is with his kids, the less "manly energy" he has.

I recently turned 49 and, while I don't feel the need to star in a Cialis commercial, I occasionally struggle to remain awake through the late-night news. Now I know why. It was because I spent this past spring managing my 9-year-old daughter's softball team. I specifically remember one game when I stood near third base, frantically waving my arm in a circular motion and extolling our runner to sprint home. How was I to know that testosterone was oozing out of my body? Those dads in the bleachers who spent the whole game tapping away on their BlackBerrys no doubt left feeling more like men.

Then there was that snowy Sunday a few years ago when I went bowling with her Brownie troop. While other dads were home on the couch eating Doritos and watching the playoffs, I was tying little bowling shoes and searching the lanes for pink balls. When the facility closed for the evening, the staff likely squeegeed my testosterone off alley No. 7.

Or maybe I lost that all important maleness when I transported a bunch of girls to a weekend cheerleading tournament 75 miles from my house. Actually, that's not true; any man forced to sit through a cheerleading tournament ceases being a man on the spot. That includes you, Tom Brady. I knew it was over when my wife sent me to the drugstore because my daughter didn't have the correct shade of eyeliner that apparently is VITAL when competing in cheerleading competitions.

Luckily, there is a solution to every problem. Starting today, I plan to replenish that lost testosterone -- by becoming as uninvolved as possible.

From now on, when my daughter requests help with her science report, I will quickly wave my hand in the direction of the home PC and say, "Just Google it." When it comes time to sort her Girl Scout cookie order, I will give her a look that says, "You sold 'em, you bag 'em." So what if the kindly old lady down the street gets three boxes of Peanut Butter Patties instead of the Thin Mints she requested? As long as she doesn't have a serious peanut allergy, who cares?

Citing my plunging testosterone levels, I will contact my daughter's principal and renege on my promise to volunteer in the school's computer lab. (That should be an interesting phone call.) As an alternative, I will offer to teach fourth-graders the intricacies of Skype by conducting a video chat from my couch while doing something manly like updating my Fantasy Football stats. My hormone levels will soar.

I will cede all car pool duties to my wife. Oh sure, she will blow a gasket upon realizing that she has to be in four places at once, but I will firmly remind her that my lack of mobility is doing wonders for my virility. End of conversation.

Just when she threatens divorce, I will whisk her off to a secluded Caribbean island and spend three days proving what laziness can do for a man, if you catch my drift. When we return, our children will warmly greet us at the door and beg for attention.

I hope I can remember their names.

Humorist Greg Schwem is a stand-up comedian and author of Text Me If You're Breathing: Observations, Frustrations and Life Lessons From a Low-Tech Dad

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