Having recently moved back to Spokane from Portland after a long absence, I have to say I’ve noticed a number of changes in the area, namely… there’s a ton more people. Which leads inevitably to more traffic. Which is why I left Portland and moved back to Spokane in the first place.
There are also more trucks than I’m used to. Big trucks. Diesel trucks. Trucks, and more big trucks. And the more trucks there are, the higher the Cylinder Index.
In my lifelong quest to understand, or at least determine a reasonable excuse for the behavior of the opposite sex, I have developed certain hypotheses.
So here’s my theory: a man’s Cylinder Index is a measurement of his Testosterone Poisoning. Testosterone Poisoning, of course, is what causes men:
- To have an intense need to rank just about everything
- Suffer under the delusion that they are consistently right about everything
- To experience a peculiar desire to throw things from high places
- To refuse to ask for directions while on a road trip, as well as refuse to stop for bathroom breaks on said trip
- Epic failure when trying to remember to put down the toilet seat
- To acquire selective hearing loss
There are just too many symptoms of T.P. to list here. Ask some of your girlfriends. They’re sure to come up with a list.
T.P. is that peculiar curse that makes men obsess about things like their C.I. Index. So if you want to know how much Testosterone Poisoning he has, find out his Cylinder Index.
I learned about the Cylinder Index several years ago. It is a rating system I found out about from my brother-in-law, who reads snowmobile magazines. It is a measurement in which the total number of internal combustion engine cylinders, owned or possessed by an individual, is tallied for purposes of ranking.
Apparently a writer for the magazine was drinking with his buddies when they came up with the idea that the number of cylinders a man owns is indicative of his personal masculinity (Remember, I said they were drinking).
However, one must not forget there are rules:
- The equipment must be functional and it must be used at least once a year.
- The machine can be hand-held like a weed-eater or chainsaw, or it can be mobile such as a snowmobile, ATV or truck. But you have to own it, to count it.
- No business equipment allowed.
After commenting on the demographics of different men’s C.I. scores, the writer regales readers with this: “Some folks have gas-powered equipment you wouldn’t immediately think about. Three people we know have gas-powered augers, which is a very nice touch. One has a gas-powered pressure washer, while another friend has a gas-powered, single-cylinder air compressor – both wonderful additions to one’s C.I. score.”
It wasn’t long before my brother-in-law, his friends and their friends were comparing their C.I. scores. It was all they could talk about.
Strange as it is, the C.I. scoring is pretty amazing to watch. You’ll be dumbfounded (or maybe not) at what happens to the men in your life. Try it out yourself at home.
Just ask any man you know if they know their Cylinder Index. Explain what it is to the rare man who doesn’t know. Most won’t skip a beat, or ask why in heaven’s name you would even want to know such a thing. Their eyes will glaze over and they’ll start counting those cylinders.
Onset of the syndrome
I watched as Testosterone Poisoning took over the life of my only son. When he was about 12 years old, his eyes started to glaze over and he’d get that faraway look in his eyes that signals puberty. I’d have to put my face right in his face if I wanted an actual response to anything I said. About that same time he started speaking in a series of grunts instead of using complete sentences. He also started watching wrestling and fishing shows. I chalked it up to hormones and I was right on.
Several years ago he and some buddies were telling me about their trip from Spokane to Seattle for a WWF match. Just watching WWF matches is, in itself, a symptom of Testosterone Poisoning. Traveling four hours to see it in person is an acute case of T.P.
They told me one of the high points of the road trip was holding up a cardboard sign that read “Show Us Your Boobs.” Apparently one guy did so.
Today number one son is old enough to know better, owns a big, big truck and knows his C.I. only too well. I had to laugh last week when he called me and said he was grilling steaks on his new barbecue.
“It’s a Traeger,” he said in a reverential tone. “It has an auger that feeds wood pellets into the firepot AND it sounds like airplane when it starts up.” Then he made that big airplane noise that boys learn to make while ‘in utero.’
So … what’s your significant other’s C.I. score?
Judith Spitzer is an independent, multi-media journalist, working and living in the Pacific Northwest.