Jewish World Review May 29, 2003 / 27 Iyar, 5763

David Grimes

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Consumer Reports

Always a dull men's moment | Tired of thinking outside the box? Does the term "creative energy" make you want to take a nap? Then perhaps you have what it doesn't take to become a member of the Dull Men's Club.

Committed to the idea of not getting worked up -- or not standing up, for that matter -- the Dull Men's Club is an island of calm in these troubled, anxious times. The club was founded on the motto "We Don't Get Out Much," and dull men have not only learned to cope, they have prospered in these times of uncertainty. Dull men have no problems with increased airport security; they enjoy waiting in lines. To help pass the time, they observe which direction the baggage carousel is turning and compare notes with other traveling dull men around the world. (Counterclockwise is currently leading.)

Homeland security has brought more attention to the dull man's favorite tool, duct tape. Dull men have long (low-key) arguments among themselves over whether it should be duct tape or duck tape. The remainder of the evening is spent doing research on how to remove duct tape residue.

Founded in 1998 in Washington, D.C., the Dull Men's Club founder wishes to remain anonymous so as not to be accused of grandstanding. Likewise, the exact number of members remains a mystery. Dull men do not like to draw attention to themselves.

This is not to say dull men are without their lighthearted moments. They enjoy going on driving vacations so they can visit this nation's many, and largely indistinguishable, rest stops. Dull men figure once you've got something the way you want it, you shouldn't change it. So they have something with which they can remember their trips once they get home, dull men like to take pictures of the inside of tunnels and of highway construction cones.

The Dull Men's Club doesn't allow women to join for the simple reason that women are too exciting. So far, Martha Burke has not challenged this stance; in fact, it's quite likely that she approves of it.

Dull men are often confused with boring men, and that is a mistake. Dull men accept their dullness whereas boring men are dull men who actually believe they are interesting. Dull men tend to be introverts. An extroverted dull man is a boring man.

Dull men can be festive. Their favorite time of year is the start of daylight-saving time when they can turn their clocks ahead one hour. The dull man's calendar is chock-full of celebrations. For example, May is National Egg Month. (You already missed Robert's Rules Day on May 2.) If you want to plan ahead, be advised that June is Rest Areas Month, Accordion Awareness Month and Turkey Lover's Month. (Turkey is one of the few meats that is bland enough for a dull man to enjoy.)

Dull men also have hobbies. Some of the more popular ones are collecting airline safety cards, little bars of hotel soap and coat hangers.

The Dull Men's Club is not burdened with a lot of rules. That would require too much imagination. In fact, members have only two things in common: 1) They admit they are dull, and 2) They want to keep it that way.

This column may or may not inspire dull men to come out of the closet (a lot of them are very comfortable there), but if you want more information on the Dull Men's Club, visit its (all gray) Web site at And just remember: It's OK to be dull.

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JWR contributor David Grimes is a columnist for The Sarasota Herald Tribune. Comment by clicking here.


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