“Buddy down!” Two secret service agents run after an exuberant Buddy who races after a car as it leaves the Clinton compound in Chappaqua. Too late. The dog is dead. Hit by a car. No Clinton or Rodham in sight. The whole incident leaves me rather unsettled. Why? Why am I tossing and turning at night upset over the dead Buddy? It hits me. A friend, recently beleaguered by all things male, decides he has no idea what on earth an Alpha Male is. I blurt out “it’s a man who has command of his dog!” There. Now I’m blaming Clinton for killing his own dog. Why didn’t he teach Buddy better? Why wasn’t he there? Why wasn’t he in charge? Sheesh! Alpha Male Backlash.

What the hell IS an Alpha Male? Remember all that hubbub about Iron John? You should read a book called “DATING Iron John” (by Linda Sunshine.) Yeah, ladies… with all these raging hormones enticing Soccer Moms and “Sex and the City” CEO types to scoop up rescue workers, firefighters and men in uniform… to have and to hold for better and for worse… I say we must investigate this Alpha Phenomenon a little closer.

Modern Humorist has a survey “Are YOU the Alpha Male…a self-test for chimpanzees.” Maybe it will apply:

When I screech:
A) The other chimps listen and are interested in what I have to say.
B) I am in a confused terror.

When it gets down to it:
A) I can win a fight against any of the other males.
B) I need a pointy stick to get any respect.

All the chimp babies are:
A) Mine.
B) Somebody else’s.

OK. Maybe that’ just silly! In a more scholarly paper, Peter Cunliff-Jones writes: “Odey, the Alpha Male of a troop of Nigerian rainforest monkeys, bares his lengthy fangs and fluorescent penis.” Well! That’s one attribute I hadn’t thought of. So, other than a fluorescent penis, what else might the Alpha Male need to carry that titular crown? “The Alpha monkey has to protect and lead the group well. If he doesn’t he is deposed. Odey has only been the Alpha Male for one year, and his troop includes the deposed Monarch and three young Male Pretenders.” Very stressful! Does this sound like the dot-com world? Or maybe the corporate world? But in the corporate world we don’t always like the Alpha Males. Often they protect only themselves and lead their troops into rack and ruin. Howard Fineman of Newsweek describes the debacle we know as Enron and says, “The Big Boys were allowed to dump their stock… but the average Joes and Janes could not.” 1.2 Billion Dollars in hidden debt? The employees have no jobs, no health care and no 401k’s? Kenneth Lay must have had some kind of fluorescent penis! The Beta’s got buried. The Alpha is in Aspen!

But it goes back to the Wolf Pack. It has been said that human society mirrors the wolf society. (Poor wolves!) Oh sometimes it appears vicious. There’s a lot of snarling, biting and domination. (Sound like Enron?) But wolves are monogamous, have day care, elder care and yes, even birth control. Until very recently the concept of Wolf Pack birth control baffled scientists. The Beta Males and Beta Females would ‘get busy’ but never get pregnant. The scientists realized that when the Alpha Female played the snarling, biting domination game on the Beta Female, the Beta stopped ovulating… out of fear. No eggs? No babies. When the pack’s population was too thin, the Alpha domination stopped and the Beta babies were born. Hmm. Smart. So it’s protection, procreation and progeny.

Did you know that women with certain baby friendly hip-to-waist ratios are more appealing to men? Did you know that tall men on average earn $600 annually more per inch than their shorter male counterparts? It’s primal. We can’t help it. And let’s face it. We love our Alpha romances. They run deep and strong and they get our juices flowing. When Princess Leia says “I love you” to Han Solo… he simply looks into her eyes and says, “I know.” Harrison “Han” Ford. All Alpha. All the time. The words are cocky. But the delivery is not. It’s pure love. He loves her completely. Deeply. With reckless abandon. And that’s how we’ll survive… as long as we don’t run out in front of a car!