Since Monday was Valentine's Day, I've been scanning websites and newspapers lately for all the romantic news, lovey-dovey lifestyle stories and tips telling people what they can do for their partner. And it dawned on me that if you need strangers to tell you how to bring joy to the person you supposedly know intimately, maybe you should turn off the TV for the next month and try to have a thoughtful conversation or three with the person who sleeps next to you. Preferably before they go to sleep.

For example, I heard my wife say a few weeks ago that she wanted a world map. I couldn't have been happier to accommodate her, as men love looking at maps as much as we love hosing off the driveway or building a deck.

I found a handsome world map online that struck a fine balance between art and functionality. Being a man, I figured bigger would be better. So I ordered one that, once laid down flat, can be seen from outer space.

Point made

We don't really have a wall big enough to hold this monster, but that doesn't matter. Because I proved I'm a man who listens to his wife. They love that.

I've also been pondering the meaning of love lately. A lot of people think they know what love is. Maybe it's because someone merely told them they were loved or bought them a little present. Maybe it's because their partner fibbed and told them they're not gaining weight, or that their cooking is divine when in reality homeless dogs wouldn't give it a second sniff.

Sure, that could be love, I suppose. But Tambun Gediu knows his wife loves him. Because unless she has a seriously insane death wish, she recently demonstrated her love for him like no other woman I've heard of.

She attacked a tiger with a spoon.

Gediu and his lovely bride Han Besou live in a Malaysian village. Being that he's a man and there were no driveways around to hose down, Gediu was out in the forest hunting squirrels when a tiger suddenly pounced on him, according to the Malaysian Star.

Cat fight

Naturally, he was screaming while trying to keep the beast's jaws from his throat, which got the attention of his wife. Lucky guy. Whenever an animal like a bug or our cat threatens me and I scream, my wife no longer pays attention.

So 55-year-old Besou immediately charged the tiger with a large soup spoon and whacked it on the head, the newspaper reported. The animal turned tail and fled.

That must've been some spoon.

The attack happened in the Belum Forest Reserve, where the indigenous Orang Asli people reside. The tiger attack was unprecedented in the village, the Star reported. Probably because the tigers know the villagers have incredible spoons to fend off attacks.

Gediu suffered wounds to his knees, head and neck, and was in stable condition Sunday after being transferred to Hospital Raja Permaisur Bainun.

You have to ask yourself if you would do the same thing. I know I would, because I'm incredibly courageous and tough. I wrestle alligators to relieve stress. But for an ordinary person to go after a tiger -- even if it is attacking his or her spouse -- is pretty incredible. In some countries, women encourage tigers to eat their husbands.

I hope Gediu got his wife something really nice for Valentine's Day -- even nicer than a big map. She has it coming.

Contact Tony Hicks at thicks@bayareanewsgroup.com. Read his blog, "Insert Foot," at www.ibabuzz.com/insertfoot