i-0efe5b39cc2bc2ef6fd6f3eb825dc3f5-P1010856lores.JPGSome time around 20 March each year, my part-time employers in The Royal Swedish Academy of Letters celebrate the 1753 foundation of the Academy. This gives me a rare reason to dress in tails. And I now look forward to performing for the first time that ultimate ritual of 20th century masculinity, leaving shirts to the dry-cleaners.

The image to the right allows anyone who is uncertain as to whether they are a girl to test this. Wise men teach us that every girl go crazy for a sharp-dressed man. Dear Reader, if you study the image and do not go crazy, then by simple logic you are not a girl.


  1. #1 Lars L
    March 20, 2010

    My only comment to this is: Jösses!

  2. #2 Bob Carlson
    March 20, 2010

    First I read in the Stockholm News that: “Minister for Justice Beatrice Ask proposes that people who are suspected of buying sexual services shall receive a letter to their home in order to make them ashamed in front of their family members.”

    And now this! 🙂

  3. #3 Martin R
    March 20, 2010

    People who attempt to buy my sexual services should have a letter sent to their families to make them proud.

  4. #4 Reh
    March 20, 2010

    Double-whammy. Today is my birthday, thanks for dressing up!

  5. #5 dveej
    March 20, 2010

    Your test has a problem:

    What if someone viewing your picture is ALREADY crazy?


  6. #6 Phillip IV
    March 20, 2010

    dveej @ No. 5:

    Your test has a problem:

    What if someone viewing your picture is ALREADY crazy?

    That can be easily controlled for – if anybody reports doubts regarding their mental health after seeing the tuxedo pic, they are then shown a nude picture for comparison. If they’re still crazy after that, it obviously is a pre-existing condition, and not caused by the sharp dressing.

    As far as I am concerned, I’ve studied the pic carefully and feel no crazier than before. I’ve gotten a slight headache, however – so I guess that would work out to being about 10 % girl. I think I can live with that.

  7. #7 ArchAsa
    March 20, 2010

    No, I’m sorry – this does not impress me. Where is the purple crushed velvet jacket? The ruffled shirt? The sequines?

    Pimp my Academy!

  8. #8 Martin R
    March 20, 2010

    Also, of course the test doesn’t work the other way around. Looking at the picture and going crazy doesn’t prove for certain that you are a girl. There may be other demographics who react similarly.

    Åsa, purple velvet and sequins is what I wear to work. We should dig together some time.

  9. #9 Bruce Kenneth Paulson
    March 21, 2010

    What a nice picture of you. I would like to add it to my screen saver gallery and when it flashes on the screen and people ask who it is, I can tell them it someone I write to in Sweden.



  10. #10 Mattias
    March 21, 2010

    I must be a girl. 😉

  11. #11 pelican
    March 21, 2010

    Rrrowrr! A terrific way to confirm my femininity.

    Enjoy the party! I hope your wife gets to attend, and to have fun wearing the evening gown that your tails deserve.

  12. #12 Martin R
    March 21, 2010

    Bruce, thanks for the compliment! I’ve put up a full-resolution version of the pic that you can access by clicking on the image above.

    Mattias, no wonder I like you so much!

    Pelican, thank you for that throaty roar! My wife thinks those parties are pretty dull, so I usually go with a charming friend of mine instead.

  13. #13 cicely
    March 21, 2010

    The wise men say that “every girl go crazy for a sharp-dressed man”.

    They do not, however, specify which sharp-dressed man, or, indeed, that it must be the same sharp-dressed man in every case.

    Clearly, many more pictures, of many different sharp-dressed men are required. For Science.

  14. #14 Martin R
    March 22, 2010

    No no, Cicely, the reason that they don’t specify what man this is about is that every girl go crazy for any sharp-dressed man. Seeing more than one at the same time or with short intervals would probably be extremely dangerous.

  15. #15 Jonathan Jarrett
    March 22, 2010

    Dammit, now not only do I have an earworm of ‘certain wise men’ for the foreseable working day, I also feel under-dressed (which rarely happens to me). I shall have to contrive a thinly-veiled excuse to put photos of me in the double-breasted dinner jacket and braces on my blog. And even then you’ll still be better-dressed!

  16. #16 Martin R
    March 22, 2010

    You can console yourself with the fact that you are way ahead of me on the road to a ZZ Top beard.

  17. #17 cicely
    March 22, 2010

    Martin, I cannot agree with your interpretation. Clearly, the saying states that every girl goes crazy about a sharp-dressed man, not any sharp-dressed man. Even if we stipulate that it must be the same sharp-dressed man in every case (i.e., for “every girl”), we still have yet to determine which sharp-dressed man is the sharp-dressed man of the saying. Therefore, we need to test with a larger sample of sharp-dressed men.

    I do agree that exposure to several sharp-dressed men at the same time might be detrimental to the study. I would therefore suggest exposure to only one sharp-dressed man at a time, until such time as the identity of the sharp-dressed man has been determined.

  18. #18 Martin R
    March 22, 2010

    For ethical reasons and to control for the raising of the general go-crazy hormone background level, we should probably allow subjects to rest between exposures. They might for instance have tea with their grandmothers.

  19. #19 cicely
    March 22, 2010

    Good point, though presenting difficulty where no living grandmothers are available. Might I suggest, instead, inducing the test subjects to listen to an uninspired reading of actuarial tables or some similarly dull subject.

    It might also be desirable to include sloppy-dressed pictures of the same men (jeans and tee shirts, perhaps), to ensure that it is indeed the sharpness of their attire that is responsible for the go-craziness.

    A further experiment, comparing the craziness (or lack thereof) inspired by sharp-dressing and that which results from viewing the same men in swimsuits, also suggests itself.

  20. #20 Li'l Innocent
    March 26, 2010

    I must say I feel a certain thrill of non-rationality on seeing your photo – but I have to admit feeling these from time to time, with the eliciting factor not always identifiable.

    There’s a small semantic uncertainty here, in that the original ZZTop maxim is, “Every girl crazy ’bout a sharp-dressed man.” Now, “crazy about” in a construction like this usually means “made crazy by”, as assumed above. However, a British idiomatic meaning of “about” is close to “in the vicinity of”, as in “He was hanging about the girls’ dormitory”. (An American would say “hanging around”.) So the maxim could be hinting that girls, to be made crazy, must actually be in the vicinity of the sharp-dressed man. Mere pixels won’t do it!

  21. #21 Martin R
    March 27, 2010

    Interesting idea! Makes me wonder if the crazyiness-inducing quality in a sharp-dressed man depends on visual stimuli at all. Might the mere presence of such a man in a darkened room, invisible, be enough to drive a girl completely fucking bananas?

  22. #22 eleanora.
    March 28, 2010

    Martin, no. The stimulus is definitely visual. It is also more effective when the man is in motion, whether real life or video, not just a static photo. His facial expressions and how his body moves (ie. is he graceful or does he shuffle or plod), and how the fabric of the suit drapes and moves over his body are important factors.

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