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Chapter 9
‘I threw her in as a wild card,’ said Gene when I woke himup from the unscheduled sleep he was taking under his deskthe next day.
Gene looked terrible and I told him he should refrain fromstaying up so late – although for once I had been guilty of thesame error. It was important that he eat lunch at the correcttime to get his circadian rhythm back on schedule. He had apacked lunch from home, and we headed for a grassy area inthe university grounds. I collected seaweed salad, miso soupand an apple from the Japanese café on the way.
It was a fine day. Unfortunately this meant that there were anumber of females in brief clothing sitting on the grass andwalking by to distract Gene. Gene is fifty-six years old, althoughthat information is not supposed to be disclosed. At that age,his testosterone should have fallen to a level where his sexdrive was significantly reduced. It is my theory that hisunusually high focus on sex is due to mental habit. But humanphysiology varies, and he may be an exception.
Conversely, I think Gene believes I have an abnormally low sexdrive. This is not true – rather I am not as skilled as Gene in71/290expressing it in a socially appropriate way. My occasionalattempts to imitate Gene have been unsuccessful in theextreme.
We found a bench to sit on and Gene commenced hisexplanation.
‘She’s someone I know,’ he said.
‘No questionnaire?’
‘No questionnaire.’
This explained the smoking. In fact, it explained everything.
Gene had reverted to the inefficient practice of recommendingacquaint-ances for dates. My expression must have conveyedmy annoyance.
‘You’re wasting your time with the questionnaire. You’d bebetter off measuring the length of their earlobes.’
Sexual attraction is Gene’s area of expertise. ‘There’s acorrelation?’
I asked.
‘People with long earlobes are more likely to choose partnerswith long earlobes. It’s a better predictor than IQ.’
This was incredible, but much behaviour that developed in theancestral environment seems incredible when considered in thecontext of the current world. Evolution has not kept up. Butearlobes! Could there be a more irrational basis for arelationship? No wonder marriages fail.
‘So, did you have fun?’ asked Gene.
I informed him that his question was irrelevant: my goal wasto find a partner and Rosie was patently unsuitable. Gene hadcaused me to waste an evening.
‘But did you have fun?’ he repeated.
Did he expect a different answer to the same question? To befair, I had not given him a proper answer, but for a goodreason. I had not had time to reflect on the evening anddetermine a proper response. I guessed that ‘fun’ was going tobe an over-simplification of a very complex experience.
72/290I provided Gene with a summary of events. As I related thestory of the dinner on the balcony, Gene interrupted. ‘If yousee her again –’
‘There is zero reason for me to see her again.’
‘ If you see her again,’ Gene continued, ‘it’s probably not agood idea to mention the Wife Project. Since she didn’tmeasure up.’
Ignoring the incorrect assumption about seeing Rosie again, thisseemed like good advice.
At that point, the conversation changed direction dramatically,and I did not have an opportunity to find out how Gene hadmet Rosie. The reason for the change was Gene’s sandwich.
He took a bite, then called out in pain and snatched my waterbottle.
‘Oh shit. Oh shit. Claudia put chillies in my sandwich.’
It was difficult to see how Claudia could make an error of thiskind.
But the priority was to reduce the pain. Chilli is insoluble inwater, so drinking from my bottle would not be effective. Iadvised him to find some oil. We headed back to the Japanesecafé, and were not able to have any further conversation aboutRosie. However, I had the basic information I needed. Genehad selected a woman without reference to the questionnaire.
To see her again would be in total contradiction to therationale for the Wife Project.
Riding home, I reconsidered. I could see three reasons that itmight be necessary to see Rosie again.
1. Good experimental design requires the use of a controlgroup. It would be interesting to use Rosie as a bench-mark tocompare with women selected by thequestionnaire.
2. The questionnaire had not produced any matches to date. Icould interact with Rosie in the meantime.
73/2903. As a geneticist with access to DNA analysis, and theknowledge to interpret it, I was in a position to help Rosie findher biological father.
Reasons 1 and 2 were invalid. Rosie was clearly not a suitablelife partner. There was no point in interaction with someone sopatently inappropriate. But Reason 3 deserved consideration.
Using my skills to assist her in a search for importantknowledge aligned with my life purpose. I could do it in thetime set aside for the Wife Project until a suitable candidateemerged.
In order to proceed, I needed to re-establish contact withRosie. I did not want to tell Gene that I planned to see heragain so soon after telling him that the probability of my doingso was zero. Fortunately, I recalled the name ............
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