Niesje Steinkruger, WC’s friend, colleague, and retired superior court judge, first postulated the principle that WC call’s the Steinkruger Principle. Her theory was explained to WC at a Hallowe’en party at her house – a party that has since become a legend – and it may be that alcohol was involved.[^1] But the theory is sound, explains a great deal of puzzling male behavior and underlies several industries, one of them – Harley Davidson – presently in the news.
It’s well known that in males of our species, testosterone blood levels climb with puberty, peak in the adult male’s early 20s, and then slowly decline the rest of a male’s life.
The Steinkruger Principle asserts that at certain testosterone levels, the human male is extremely susceptible to the influence of large internal combustion engines: muscle cars, motorcycles, speedboats, even over-powered snow machines. At the range of 14-16 milligrams of testosterone to 100 millilitres of blood, the human male craves these kinds of internal combustion engines.
As puberty commences, a young human male’s testosterone levels climb to that range of high susceptibility. But 16-18 year old boys don’t have the money to buy any kind of muscle machine. At most, they can only afford to buy magazines extolling the virtues of muscle machines. By age 18 or so, in most human males, testosterone levels have climbed above that critical level. Interest in muscle machines wanes and vanishes.
But as human males age, their blood testosterone levels decline, and in their early 50s they decline to that critical 14-16 mg/ml level, and muscle machines start to appeal again.
The difference, of course, is that this time it’s more likely those aging males have money.
The Steinkruger Principle explained Lloyd Hoppner’s Corvette, and Mark Tomlinson’s Harley-Davidson, otherwise sensible men blowing a huge wad of dough on a vastly impractical toy. It explained Jim Green’s speedboat, allegedly capable of reaching 120 mph, on mile-wide Harding Lake.
Harley Davidson stopped reporting the age of it customers a few years back, but in the late 1990s they were averaging 50 years old, more support for The Steinkruger Principle. The average age of Corvette purchasers is something like 54.
WC suspects Niesje will not be happy about this post, but the ascription is true. Credit where it is due.
: Events included Bill Satterberg, dressed in a aluminumized fire suit, passing out with his head in the burning fireplace. And Dick Savell, dressed as John Belushi’s samurai, frustrated with the apple bob, stabbing it repeatedly with his all-too authentic samurai sword. He didn’t get any apples, but he did punch a number of holes in the galvanized tub, draining it all over the living room and downstairs. Those weren’t be best episodes, either.