By NICK CHILES
Finally, a study to confirm what men have been saying for years: Drinking beer actually makes men smarter. No, I am not making this up.
Researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago have come up with the most important study ever to be completed for the benefit of mankind. Yeah, we are definitely awaiting a cure for cancer, AIDS and the common cold, but in the meantime we’ll take the results of this one and rejoice, linking our brawny male arms and doing a jig through the streets.
All those years ago in college, I knew my papers came out better when I was in an altered state. Nobody believed me. Now I have proof. The researchers gave 40 men a problem-solving task and found that those who had been given two pints of beer not only did a better job solving the problem, they also did it faster! Isn’t science a beautiful thing? (If my son, currently in college, is reading this, you should know that Daddy never drank more than the two pints suggested by the researchers.)
(One more thing: Before you ladies out there start asking whether the same results hold for women, the researchers for some reason didn’t include women in the study—although the lead researcher, Jennifer Wiley, is obviously a woman. I’m guessing the researchers didn’t bother because of all the anecdotal evidence they had that of the many things that happen to women after a couple of beers, getting smarter is not one of them.)
The researchers surmised that a little bit of distraction was a good thing for men tasked with solving a problem.
“Innovation may happen when people are not so focused,” Wiley, a professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago, said in a report on the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences website. “Sometimes it’s good to be distracted.”
The brilliant writer Maya Angelou told my wife Denene years ago, in a piece Denene wrote for the Daily News, that she doesn’t write a word without her bottle of sherry by her side. Miss Maya clearly was on to something.
So now that we know drinking beer can make men smarter, we got one more problem for scientists to solve and our lives will be perfect: Tell me that drinking beer makes men more attractive to women and I can go to sleep tonight with a contented smile on my face.
photo credit: Gerald L. Campbell