By JEFF MULLIN commentary

"Can you imagine a world without men? No crime and lots of happy fat women?"

-- Cartoonist Nicole Hollander

Mankind is doomed.

OK, could be doomed. Maybe. Someday.

Some scientists think because the human Y chromosome has lost so many genes over time it might disappear completely in 10 million years or so, give or take a few millennia.

The Y chromosome, of course, is the one that makes a man a man, and makes a woman wish he would learn to pick up his socks.

The Y chromosome, which first appeared on the genetic scene some 300 million years ago, is merely a shadow of its former self, dwindling from a package of 100s of genes to a mere 27.

If the Y chromosome goes, no more men.

Stop giggling, ladies, this is serious business. Imagine a world without men, for more reasons than the obvious "birds and bees" stuff.

There would be no movies, books or plays, for example. Think about it, what is at the heart of most films, literature or theater? There's a guy, there's a girl, there's a romance. Maybe there's another guy or another girl, getting in the way, or perhaps there's a 500-foot tall lizard stomping the city flat as our hero and heroine find love among the ruins, but most popular entertainment comes down to boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl.

On television, there would be no more soap operas or talk shows, since they deal almost exclusively with cheating husbands, unfaithful boyfriends and guys who are afraid to commit.

There would be no more football. Oh sure, a lot of women pretend to love football, but most of them are watching it only because their husband or significant other has a pathological attachment to the TV remote and won't switch the channel when large men in tight pants are battling over a leather bag filled with air. Most all sports, in fact, would cease to exist, except figure skating. The first one to go would be women's beach volleyball.

On the plus side, no woman would ever again have to endure a late-night near plunge into the toilet bowl when the Neanderthal with whom she shares her life fails to put the seat down. With no men, in fact, there would be no need for the seat to ever be up. The bathroom floor would stay a whole lot cleaner, too.

Also on the positive side, these computerized maps they are installing in some new cars would be rendered obsolete, because no one would ever be lost. Women, after all, always stop and ask directions.

There would be no more sexism, no more glass ceiling. When talking with another person, you could always be sure they were looking you in the eye, instead of staring at your chest.

The demise of the male sex would be catastrophic for the world's economy. Beer sales, for instance, would drop precipitously, as would sales of items like beef jerky and Cheez Whiz.

The fashion industry would collapse. Why dress up, after all, when there's nobody around to notice? In addition, all shoes suddenly would become sensible. What woman in her right mind, after all, would walk around in a pair of spike heels if she wasn't hoping some guy would notice. The makeup industry likewise would collapse, as would the hair care business.

Greeting card stores and flower shops would cease to exist, as would jewelry stores. The chocolate industry, on the other hand, would take off like a skyrocket. Big screen TVs would fade into obsolescence, as would recliners featuring heat, massage and a built-in beer cooler.

There would be no more barbecue grills. Women cook, while men scorch meat and call it cuisine.

Just think, ladies, no guy would ever again forget your birthday, anniversary or Valentine's Day. Of course, no guy would ever again remember, either.

Don't worry, guys aren't going anywhere for 10 million years or so. It just might be a lonely world without us. It would smell better and be a lot more tastefully decorated, to be sure, but it would be lonely nonetheless.

Mullin is senior writer of the News -- Eagle.

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