Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Your kvetchy man: maybe he has too much chemical substance P?

To my women friends who are losing patience with their kvetchy mates, I pass on what I've learned about the naked mole rat. These tiny hairless, bucktoothed rodents are among the ugliest of creatures but, unlike other rodents and some husbands, they're invulnerable to the pain of acid or the sting of chili peppers. From a mole rat you won't hear, "I can't do it because my back is hurting."

These small critters are said to have sweet, gentle dispositions, which is also often said of humans who can't get by on their looks. It's the mole rats' inability to experience pain that makes them useful to scientists studying chronic pain. This is attributed to their lacking chemical substance P. So, women, cut him some slack; maybe he has an excess of chemical substance P?