years ago, and guys being guys, my male coworkers and i found occasion to discuss our female counterparts. (yeah, ladies, you do it too). as i expect everyone has found when participating in such a discussion, consensus was hard to come by.
the challenge of assessing people, as we quickly find, is that one-dimensional scales like 1 to 10 can hardly do justice to the world's full beauty and variety, let alone account for breast men vs leg men, or harley girls vs all the rest, and so on and so forth, ad infinitum. but the hardest challenge to nominating any potential system or approach to relative attractiveness is that everyone, regardless of physical appearance, seems to carry their own special je ne sais quoi that defies categorization. yes, airbrushed supermodel magazine photography notwithstanding, there's an incredible variety of physical appearances which are hard enough to rate and rank. but animate, add sound, and then place the beauty right in front of the eye of the beholder, and all bets are off.
"friends" had some fun with janice's laugh. i think "the office" goes the other way with pam's understated potential. i'd have done jorja fox as maggie doyle on "er", (especially after the lesbian revelation), but i wouldn't touch her with a 10 foot barge pole as sarah sidle on "csi". the tabloids are full of jenn's brad vs angelina's brad. context and character are everything.
so the reason i bring this up now is because today's game didn't go so well (for example, we hit the post no fewer than 3 times) and it seemed fitting to spend some quality time reviewing things over our ample beer supply. (my turn this week, and i always bring extra, just in case). so, i think it was approximately 3 rounds into our afternoon, when the subject came around to one of our teammates who had left a little earlier. all positive and complimentary, even extending very politely to the subject of his lovely wife.
you see, i had had the pleasure of knowing (not biblically, this is a family blog and get your minds out of the gutter) said lovely wife 20 years earlier at the aforementioned un-pc workplace. and she had been the exception and the exceptional woman that had unintentionally provided us guys with the perfect system, and her invaluable contribution was the armageddon factor.
we had started, innocuously enough, with a simple 1 to 5 scale. for example, mw was a 5, tp's face certainly was, but her body not so much, so most folks were split between 3 and 4, as opposed to tc whose body was a 5+, though whose other charms were decidedly lacking, winding her up in the creditable 3 to 4 range as well. and so it went. until it came down, as it inevitably must in classless discussions such as these, as to how much of a 5 mw really was, compared with, say, mg. there was absolutely something to mw that mg could never hope to capture, yet, if you saw a photo of mg you'd be awestruck by how beautiful she is. (or was, 20 years is a long time). what put mw over the top was her friendliness. you could absolutely imagine her reaching behind to unclasp her bikini top with a smile just because you knew she knew you appreciated it. there had to be some word for it...
so, back to the incomparable mr. you see, mr wasn't your classic 5, and some of her more adamant supporters were really kinda flummoxed about that. you couldn't quantify it or really explain why you'd walk through fire for a woman like that, but you knew you just would. and then the lightning struck. it actually struck my buddy personally, and out of his mouth came the immortal phrase: the armageddon factor. you know, that je ne sais quoi that meant that if the world were ending in exactly one hour, and you knew you only had that one hour to spend with just one woman, you'd pick her in a heartbeat, and KNOW you were going to have the best hour of your life, and you could die happy. supermodels, when push comes to armageddon crunch, just don't measure up.
so then the floodgates opened. everybody, if you thought long enough about it, had their own factor that explained things far better than 1 to 5 ever could. my personal favorite was "the nhl factor", describing one particularly tiresome beauty whose breasts may have been incomparable, but who was such a pain in the neck you'd want to pull her sweater over her head and punch her out while doing it.
so don't ask me why it had to come out this afternoon, (and i'm sure even some of the guys were appalled at the crassness), but in memory of the armageddon factor, and the beauty of sitting in the middle of a beautiful park on a beautiful day sipping beer with your buddies, even after a loss, here's to you, mr, and to mr. mr, who's a very lucky guy.