Thursday, May 10, 2007

The small woman/big truck phenomenon

When I was an intern in college, one of my bosses was talking over lunch about how attractive he found small women driving big trucks. I was A) disturbed and B) intrigued. What was it about women driving big trucks that was so sexy?

I asked him again on my last day at that internship. (I couldn't get up the courage until then, when I never had to face him again ) He didn't really have a reason why it was so sexy, but he said that some women on motorcycles or driving tractors were included in the phenomenon.

Over the years, I've never really understood the phenomenon, or why it applies in some situations and not others, but I have seen it in effect. I've just come to think that a woman doing anything manly is sexy...within reason.*

Which brings me to the here and now. I've been making it a point to walk with Casey for about an hour a day for the last two weeks or so. I'm trying to get daycare costs down, and she's still got so much of the puppy energy that if she's not exercised for any decent amount of time, there is no peace in my apartment that night for me, the boyfriend or poor Tyson whose legs are being chewed and whose toys are being stolen. I slowly came to realize that walking Casey wasn't cutting it. So we went back to an old standard - rollerblading with Casey. Something we both enjoy and that has the side effect of exhausing Casey.

When I walk with Casey, we just walk out of the apartment complex and down the adjoining busy road to the major intersection about two miles away, and then back. The entire trek is about 4.3 miles. Casey finishes and is ready for more. Dear God.

But when we rollerblade, we go to a little-known trail tucked in a park. It's about 2.16 miles one way. On the way to the end, I make Casey run beside me as we "race." On the way back, I attach the leash to her regular collar and she tows me home. Not great exercise for me, but FABULOUS exercise for Casey. She's pooped when she gets home. Mission accomplished.

But I sort of missed the walking. It was better for me, but worse for Casey. What to do?

It slowly dawned on me that there are TWO dogs in my apartment. So now, I walk Tyson for an hour, and then do the rollerblading with Casey afterwards. (Where is the boyfriend during all of this, you wonder? Good question. Send him an e-mail and tell him to exercise his own damn dog.)

I'm sure some of my Tyson-loving friends will love to hear that walking Tyson is actually more enjoyable than walking Casey. There is a downside (of course.) Tyson is lazy. I mean l-a-z-y. At about mile 2, he's wanting to lie down in the grass. I have to drag his ass the rest of the way back to the apartment. When it gets really bad, I'll call the boyfriend and have him walk ahead of us the way back. I swear, Tyson would walk through fire to follow him anywhere - psycho.

But there are several up-sides to walking Tyson. A) Should I choose to walk early in the morning, no one is going to mess with me when I'm with Tyson. I mean, I live in a suburb in Indiana, but can never be too careful. B) He's not afraid of the dark. Casey will definitely hesitate if she can't see where she's going. C) He stays right by my side. Casey has a tendency to wander as far as her 16 foot retractable leash will allow. D) When someone is approaching (person or dog) Tyson assumes this protective position in front of me where he's standing at attention with his ears raised - ready for anything. I have a feeling that in the same situation, Casey would be barking her fool head off and running in circles.

But the weirdest difference between walking Tyson and Casey is the attention that I get walking down the busy road.

It's weird, but I get a noticeably higher number of honks or "Hey baby!"s when I'm walking Tyson than when I'm walking Casey. (Side note: my response to any sort of harrassment from cars passing me on the road is to raise my middle finger at if I know you, and you're just honking to say hello, I apologize in advance. I don't usually take the time to look.) At first I thought it was a fluke. You know, a day of the week sort of thing. But it happened again. And again. I started wearing cuter workout clothes when walking Casey, and just a t-shirt and shorts when walking Tyson. Didn't matter. I tried different times of the day. In the morning, I get no honks from walking either dog. At noon, an average of one when I'm with Casey and three when I'm walking with Tyson. After work, I get about five honks with Casey and approximately five thousand when I'm with Tyson.

I mentioned this to the boyfriend, and he didn't seem to think it was weird. So I guess it must fall under the small woman/big truck phenomenon, right? I mean, Tyson is a man's dog if there ever was one (in appearance anyway.) He weighs over half of what I weigh, and he's wearing this huge scary looking pinch collar (that you never have to use - unless you're dragging him home.) So since those honks aren't "Hey baby"ing for Tyson (I hope), I must assume that Tyson is the best accessory EVER to make a female more attractive to men.

(What sort of that's a whole other question.)

But, it's easier than buying a truck that you know you don't want to drive. It's easier than driving a tractor down the side of the road, and how many of us really have the extra money for a motorcycle?? If you want to take part in the small woman/big truck phenomenon, Tyson is the way to go.

So I'm officially offering Tyson to all of my single female friends. Please, feel free to borrow him to take a walk sometime after 5:00pm. (The time when, apparently, men are most likely to want to pay attention to women with big dogs.) He's available any day, just be sure to call ahead so I don't double book. I'm assuming that if honks aren't what you're after, you can take him to a park and actually strike up conversations with men who stop you to tell you how awesome your dog is, and how sexy you look walking him. You don't even have to tell your new man that the dog isn't yours... If you decide that you want to keep him...well, I'm sure something can be arranged.

Tyson's getting to be a chunky monkey, so I'm sure he'll love you for the exercise. So you're both doing a good deed AND attracting more men. Hell, I should clone him and make an informercial! Forget Paris Hilton and her tiny chihuahua - get a huge pit bull and get more dates!**

Call now to reserve your appointment. Get more dates! 60% of the time, it works every time!

* I mean, I don't think a woman who pees standing up is sexy...
**Not responsible for the caliber of men or any stalkers you may attract.