Many lower life forms demonstrate qualities that, at first, just don't
seem survival oriented. For instance, the female praying mantis, after mating
with, well, her mate, will devour him. For the male praying mantis, however,
it's a catch-22. If he mates, he gets screwed out of an opportunity to mate
again. If he doesn't mate, he doesn't reproduce, ending his family tree. This
suicidal behavior is commonly called the Preying Mantis Syndrome -- and many
life forms are periodically subject to its wrath. How did the preying mantis
become stuck in such a awful, vicious cycle? This is probably what happened:
The male mantis arrives at the residence of the female mantis. After
some courtship exercises (dinner, a movie, inserting the diaphram) they mate.
The female mantis, her lust for... lust being satisfied, relaxes while the
male raids the refrigerator and returns home. This behavior continues until
the male and female (mantissas?) establish a permanent relationship. Then the
male establishes a new pattern of behavior: Football on Mondays, baseball on
Tuesdays, happy hour on Wednesdays, uh, well, uh, working-late-at-the-office
on Thursdays, etc. etc. The female tolerates this for awhile, then files for
a divorce. After a long court battle, she concludes one thing: It simplifies
matters tremendously to just eat him when you're done with him.
Well, through the centuries of evolution, the Preying Mantis Syndrome
has been carried up to the highest life forms, as well as to humans. That is
why, one week out of every month, the female of the species will feel compelled
to bite the head off of the male. The Syndrome is inescapable, but when it
occurs in the female of our species, it's best to just avoid them for a while.