My son-in-law and I are in a TV-size competition to determine who has the biggest flat screen. The situation has gotten so out of hand that I now own a TV practically the size of a movie theater. It dominates my apartment and ruins my eyes (maybe my brain, too) with blue light. Unfortunately, bingeing on Game of Thrones is not any more exciting than it was when I watched it on my old, large, flat screen TV. My son-in-law squandered his Christmas bonus on a (not as large as mine) smart TV, only to suffer buyer’s remorse when he couldn’t go on vacation to Florida with his wife for lack of funds—serving to remind us how infantile our little rivalry is . . . and rather unsound economically.
Protocol in the men’s locker room/restroom demands “eyes forward,” lest you be caught measuring your jones against the fellow’s next to you. (Of course, girls arriving at puberty have been known to do the same with cup size comparisons. But having served with young soldiers in the military while on a United Nations peacekeeping mission, where I had to stand and pee in a flat, featureless field and then listen to the banter of my companions afterwards, I know they look. Most of us lost those urges when our frontal lobes developed fully—but not all of us, and not all the time.
The president’s tweet that his nuclear button is bigger than Kim Jong-un’s is not surprising—on the campaign trail, he often mentioned his large hands. Bragging about the size of his physical endowments just shows his arrested development, but challenging our most dangerous enemy to a showdown over nuclear buttons is horrifying.