A colleague passed along a book the other day, saying it reminded her of something I might write.

And the writer's got a book deal? A real book, with full sentences and stuff? This I had to see.

Ellen Rakieten and Anne Coyle wrote something called "Undateable: 311 Things Guys Do That Guarantee They Won't Be Dating or Having Sex."

My first thought was, "Why would she give this to me? I don't have any rules about dating guys."

My second thought was, "I'm glad I don't think out loud."

Not that crazy

My third thought was: " 'Guarantee?' Really? If a man has to live his life by more than 300 rules, he would cease to be a man and become a robot, statue or Keanu Reeves.

But, yeah, I might write something like that about women "... if I were insane. Women, of course, can write books about what men should and shouldn't do. Men, of course, are required to move 25 yards away and not even breathe when a woman is making a decision about herself.

So, no, I can't imagine ever having a concussion severe enough to make me write a book about what might disqualify a woman from being datable. Plus, my wife might have something to say about me writing a dating book at this point in our relationship.

I did browse this book to see how many of these conditions I would violate if I was a single guy masochistic enough to date a woman with all 311 conditions.


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I laughed at several "... socks with sandals is pretty gross. Personalized license plates referring to bodily functions are awful. And pre-ripped jeans should be banned in both genders. Yeah, these women really are my kind of funny, I thought. Then I hit my first roadblock.

Hey, I resemble that

"Jorts," which means jean shorts. They say cotton khaki shorts are better. Which is sort of funny, because it's so stupid. They say people who wear jorts can't decide between jeans and shorts. I actually have a couple pair of long jorts (short jorts are another matter), which I wear because I don't like pants, my cargo shorts get dirty and khaki shorts are for guys who wear black socks mowing the lawn. Khakis are for semiprofessional people to wear at work or, if you're me, funerals.

Their second big problem was all sorts of facial hair. Are these women trying to tell me they have a problem with Burt Reynolds?

And there's just some unfairness in this book. Like how they savage men with hairy backs. Like a hairy-backed man could shave, wax or get laser treatments. We're all mammals. If a woman wants to do the waxing, fine. Otherwise, be a man and use that carpet as a screen to keep away sissy-girls who worry about such things. And thanks for telling us mesh shirts, Speedos and crocs are dumb, because no one has figured that out yet (really — you included mullets? Really?).

Still, I went through the book to see what else, other than being married (which I don't think they include), makes me undateable (I don't have a hairy back, but Bigfoot is a good friend of mine). I was only in clear violation of 11 of 311 of the rules (I only wore my camouflage "Grill Sergeant" BBQ apron once "... OK, twice). There were a few other items I was close to violating (define "road rage"), but I don't know if the authors mean doing these things in front of a woman or just your friends. Which is like taking a shuttle between planets.

It's actually a really funny book — much better than the other 461 similar books that have ended up on my desk the past month. Even if I felt a little insulted 11 or so times. It's a good thing I don't need a book like this, as I already have a wife to tell me when I'm undateable.

Contact Tony Hicks at thicks@bayareanewsgroup.com.

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Which 11 things makes Tony Hicks undateable? Find out on his blog, "Insert Foot," www.ibabuzz.com/insertfoot.