What a title, eh? Sadly it isn't quite the full-on male chauvinist rant one might hope for: rather, Herter comes across as a cranky old geezer, possessed of numerous largely reactionary opinions which he unfortunately feels driven to express.
One of the eternal follies of old age is the delusion that you have a duty to record your insights into the nature of humanity before you perish, overlooking the fact that they are already common currency in every bar or taxicab in the world. In this respect, Herter is somewhat out of the common in that one might have to visit as many as three drinking establishments in a large town before finding his equal.
"I wrote this book to show that husbands and wives have a very difficult time of getting along", he states in his very brief introduction, incongruously placed beneath the book's copyright notice. On the evidence of this volume, in Herter's own marriage this difficulty may be intensified if at home he is as prone to enunciate his strong ideas - on such subjects as sex education (good), birth control (bad), psychiatry (very bad), the national debt (bad), God (very good), opinion polls (bad) - as often and at such length as in the book.
As well as these fascinating byways, Herter stays on topic long enough to give us two whole chapters on the subject of marriage, in which we learn, for example, that:
A girl more intelligent than yourself that will not play the role of being equally or less intelligent than you is a loser for the long pull.
In Asia or the East as it is sometimes referred to, women are for the most part brought up to be submissive to men. Divorce is rare, I have talked to many of these women and in no case have found them unhappy with their lot.
(Mr Herter is just the sort that women confide in, so I'm sure we can trust his judgement).
His chapter on how to prevent divorce also informs us that nuclear reactors are very dangerous, and that men should not wear long hair. It also supplies this insight:
I am for progress to a degree but as yet have not become used to automobiles. I still prefer horses, say nothing about travelling in space ships.
The book is capped off nicely with an example of a form popular with self-published authors, a political allegory which demonstrates how simply the world could be put to rights if only humanity would come to recognise the sheer common sense of the author's views. In Herter's story a war hero with the transparent name of Paul Neetriht becomes President and establishes a supposedly benevolent form of dictatorship, with low taxes, no foreign aid and an interesting approach to dissent:
Paul quietly got the athiests and birth selectors out of public office and government control. No one was hurt, they were just gotten out and they knew better than to make a fuss.
Yes, that's democracy, folks.
We are not given any indication of what Herter's wife might have thought about his writings, though I doubt she was flattered by its title. Hopefully, she was inspired to write her own book in response, called perhaps "How to Live With a Bore (While Pretending to be More of an Idiot Than He Is)".
Scribbled by Alfred Armstrong 10 years 8 months ago