March 21 2012 10:15 AM

Meet the iPhone app that will probably save your life

Edwin Decker

And faster than America can overreact to something Rush Limbaugh said, my life was changed by a 99-cent iPhone app. Holla-freaking-looya!

The app is called Code Red, and what it is, what it does—well, it has saved my sanity and, quite likely, my life.

Code Red is an ingenious little tool that warns you when your wife or girlfriend—or any cohabitating female for that matter—is about to have her period.

How it works is simple. You open the calendar, enter the date of the beginning of your lady’s last menstrual cycle, and Code Red does the rest. It has four basic alerts: “Smooth Sailing,” “Ovulation,” “PMS” and, naturally, “Code Red!” At the start of each of her, um, tidal phases, a pop-up banner alerts you to the situation.

The Smooth Sailing pop-up informs you in cool blue text that “the seas are calm and the coast is clear,” followed by a series of tips about how to capitalize on this phase, such as, “Now is the time to tell her about the Vegas trip you are about to book with the boys.”

After Smooth Sailing comes the Ovulation alert, in light-orange text that says, “She is fertile... and extra horny,” and provides a series of helpful tips to prevent you from spoiling your opportunity to get laid, including:

• “Time to rediscover Sade.”

• “Light a candle (yes, it really is that easy).”

• “Wear good underwear. Save the ripped ones for period weeks.”

After Ovulation is more Smooth Sailing, followed by the PMS Alert—in a foreboding dark-orange text that blares, “INCOMING!” It’s rather startling the first few times you encounter it—like a tornado siren in a trailer park—and takes some getting used to. “It is time to prepare for the storm ahead,” followed by a dozen or so tips, like:

• “Compliment her hair. Remember, it doesn’t look cute, it looks sexy.”

• “Give her the remote. learn to love Lifetime.”

• “Send a random ‘I love you text.’ Don’t abbreviate with a ‘U.’”

• “Happily agree to go to (annoying place) even though castration sounds more appealing.”

Then comes the alert you’ve been dreading, foretelling the arrival of the scarlet tsunami: Code Red!

• “If she complains about cramps, bloating, depression [etc.], shake your head sympathetically and say, ‘I have no idea how you deal with this month after month. You’re amazing.’”

• “If you have plans, say you’d rather stay home."

Chances are she’ll want you to leave and then it will seem like her idea.”

• “Don’t touch her breasts. They ache, but not for you.”

Code Red was created by Lisi and Kevin Harrison, a husband-and-wife team who have been together for “180 menstrual cycles.”

“It’s good for everyone,” Lisi says on the “about” page on the app, “a giant step towards world peace.”

Now, I will grant you, most of the tips seem obvious, but, as a brain-dead married man, I often miss the telltale signs for when Mars attacks my homestead. And I often (read: always) forget to do the things they suggest. It’s great to have organized reminders so that I can implement such strategies without thinking too much about it. After all, what do married men want most? To not think about all this marital-maintenance minutia.

Oh, Code Red, where have you been all my life?

My one complaint is that it accounts only for normal women with normal menses. There are no tips for men who are living with that certain, special menstrual case—like my wife, for example, whose Merlot mongoose is so vicious, it will rip the entrails out of your wife’s mongoose, then walk off cackling and licking blood from its claws.

Where most women have periods, my wife has exclamation points. Three of them!!!

True story: We once hired a team of professional hit men to assassinate my wife’s menstrual cycle, but they were found dead in the gutter with sharpened tampons shoved into their eyes.

The point is, for guys in my extraordinary situation, Code Red should include a more advanced, more preventative section of tips—the kind of tips a fella really needs when the ship hits the glands—tips like:

• Retrieve plate-mail armor from attic.

• Remove knives from kitchen drawer.

• Cancel life-insurance plan (no need to provide her further incentive to murder you).

• Remove “Goodbye, Earl” and “Janie’s Got a Gun” from her iPod.

• Fake own death.

• Buy puppy she’s been wanting (it’ll give her something to kill other than you).

And for Smooth Sailing tips, I would add:

• Repair windows and walls. Replace broken dishes.

• Email friends and family: “Still alive, thanks for your concern.”

• Bury puppy and give eulogy: “You took one for the team, Job. You shan’t be forgotten.”

• Rekindle romance—with your Xbox!

By the way, Code Red tells me that it’ll be “Smooth Sailing” when this column runs. That’s no accident. I would never have gotten away with it otherwise. Thank you, Code Red!

Write to and Edwin Decker blogs at Follow him on Twitter @edwindecker or find him on Facebook.