Updated: November 26, 2010
I really like(d) bspcn.com. It (used) to be one of my favorite websites. But like your best stepdad, who suddenly pulls the belt on you for no good reason, even your preferred online resorts can sometimes disappoint. This happened to me with bspcn.com only a few days ago, when I read an article titled 50 things every guy should know how to do.
I read the article and three words popped to my mind: corny, cheesy and not manly at all. Rather than writing the ultimate list of real things real men should do, the article was a compilation of items you expect to find in the cheapest sitcom, where guys have roles and girls have roles and they don't mix together. Furthermore, it was extremely biased, the way Americans do their things, and somewhat not adequate for people with the IQ in excess of about 75. So I would like to formally reply to the article, address each and every one of the points raised, and then give you the real list of things every guy should know how to do. Now, let's reply - and then provide the REAL list.
50 Change a tire
Semi correct. Changing a tire is not a big deal. Changing it properly is. For example, you should not change a tire on a slope of any kind. Furthermore, if this means endangering your life by parking your car at a narrow shoulder and then juggling between working the wrench and avoiding incoming traffic, you should leave this task to AAA. After all, that's what you pay your car insurance for.
49 Use a charcoal grill
OK, so be it. I won't argue.
48 Bong a beer
Fail. What if you don't like beer? It's not like drinking makes you manly or anything. It makes you grow manboobs, which in turn, makes you less manly. Moreover, if you need to drink to get in the mood, this means you lack imagination or confidence to be smart, witty and charming. Or you may be a coward.
47 Throw a punch without looking like a sissy
Fail. Did you ever see Steven Seagal or Chuck Norris punch anyone? They have more style than that. Besides, resorting to physical violence indicates you probably are not the sharpest tool in the box. Smart men avoid fights, especially since they resolve nothing. And if you're really tough, no one is going to mess with you.
46 Fry a turkey
Fail. Too American. Turkeys don't taste that well. And Thanksgiving means little to people in Madagascar.
45 Hook up the cable
Medium correct. You can do that for sport's sake, but you pay money to your cable company. Let their technicians work out the difficult stuff like color wiring and wall sockets.
44 Pick-up a woman with a one-liner
Fail. Real men don't pick up women. They let women pick them up instead.
43 Get your money's worth at a buffet
Fail. Skipping greens and fruit does not make you manly. It makes you fat. And you probably spend an hour on the stinker every morning. Besides, greens and fruit are delicious. They complement food really well. Ask any French or Italian guy if they skimp on vegetables or fruit in their cuisine, and trust me, they are both more suave and manly than a typical American.
42 Some assembly required
The same as with the cable. If you find university too challenging for you, then you might find intense interest in assembling bits of wood and metal in a poor imitation of a grown man's Lego. And if your time is worth more than the total cost of furniture you have just purchased in IKEA, you may as well ask one of the Swedish guys to step it and do his magic.
41 Know your local professional sports teams
Fail. You should play sports instead.
40 Pour a beer
Fail. For the same reason we mentioned earlier.
39 Jump-start a car
Double fail. Most modern cars should definitely NOT be jump-started. In the United States, cars are still fairly primitive by automotive standards, so this could apply, however you surely do not want to try this trick with a nice new European car. You could end up frying your engine computer, the fuse box or something else. You may also void your warranty and who knows what. If your car doesn't start, you should take it (or tow it) into the service shop and let the professionals do the work.
38 Throw a football
Fail. Too American. Footballs are not thrown. They are kicked. Football is played by FEET, hence the term foot ball. Foot ball, legs, feet, ball, football. And besides, real men play rugby, in the nude.
37 Haggle for a lower price
Fail. Racist and condescending.
36 Tie a tie
Fail. No one wears ties anymore, unless they sell shoes or mortgages.
35 Erect a tent
Fail. In the 21st century, the only reason you may want to sleep in a tent is if you're a soldier. Which means that you enter a whole new area of cool and manly. Unless erecting a tent is an innuendo of some sort, hmmm.
34 Cast a fishing rod
Fail. Some people do not live near water bodies large enough to fish.
33 Build a fire
Fail. If you end up on a deserted island, you should die honorably. Otherwise, use one of the modern inventions we have today, like the blowtorch.
32 Tap and operate a Keg
Fail. Beer again?
31 Use a chainsaw
Massive fail. Why would you want to use a chainsaw? In that regard, why not learn any of the modern crafts that involve wood, metal or glass. Why not blow glass? Or use acid to etch in metal? Or become a longbow marksman? How's a chainsaw going to help anyone in Austin, unless they're serial killers or actors in a cheap horror movie?
30 Paddle a canoe/kayak
Fail for the same reason as fishing.
29 Choose a scotch/whiskey
Fail for the same reason as beer. Besides, in some religions and cultures, people do not drink alcohol or certain types of alcohol. Whiskey is rather Anglo-Saxon in nature.
28 Drive a manual car
True. In fact, real men ONLY drive manual. You have two legs, use them! If you drive a car with the automatic transmission, you should be ashamed and probably quit forever. Hell, my wife drives manual, six-speed. Below, a real man driving a nice Merc rental, in sixth gear, at near 160kph.
27 Pick-up a girl using your dog as a wingman
Nope. Real men sit by and wait for women to do the hard work. Although, dogs are cute.
26 Know how to navigate a road trip
No. The GPS was invented for a reason. And if the satellite goes out, you have a much bigger problem than not being able to find your destination. It probably means there's a nukelar thingie going on. In fact, it's a handful of satellites, since they need to triangulate your position and speed accurately, and you can't do this with only one reference point.
25 Perform CPR
If this refers to playing a doctor, then no. You'll end up molesting someone with a failed Heimlich maneuver and they will sue you for fractured ribs and sexual assault. Leave the task of saving people to skilled personnel. And if someone is meant to die from oyster, tough luck. Darwin Awards, anyone?
24 Iron a shirt
No. That's what women are for.
23 Shine your shoes
No. You should own shoes that do not need shining.
22 Do at least ten push-ups on command
Only ten? How about a hundred? What's so special about ten push-ups? I can do more on one hand and I'm a computer geek.
Fail. Men do not dance. EVER. Ever ...
20 Play poker
OK, I'll accept that. It's fun.
19 Parallel park
Correctum, but then this is so trivial that it should not be mentioned. Like driving a manual.
18 Unclog a toilet
As a physics graduate from a prestigious university, I don't find the challenge of fiddling with liquid feces that inspiring. My skills are better used solving the Schroedinger's equation or hacking the Linux kernel. But if you pursue the thrill of the avenue of smelly labor, enjoy yourselves.
17 Upgrade at a hotel
Huh? Not sure what the author wanted here. What hotel? Where?
16 Rally after a big night of drinking
Fail. We talked about drinking before. And if you drink, at least be man enough not to have sissy hangovers.
15 Spot fake breasts
OK, I'll accept. But what does it matter? Fake breasts are less important than stupidity, and they usually go hand in hand. Now, most importantly, we're talking about spotting fake breasts on a woman, right?
14 Choose the right urinal
Correctum. Read the Alphabet of Manliness by Maddox for accurate guidelines.
13 Sew a button
No. This task does not belong to your gender.
12 Unhook a bra with one hand
No. Why? Let women undress themselves while you watch.
11 Open a bottle unconventionally
Uh-oh. This sounds borderline perverted. What does unconventionally mean? Break it over someone's skull? Use your bodily orifices to clench the bottle and pry it open? I would not want to drink anything that comes from a bottle molested physically, thank you.
10 Talk your way out of a traffic ticket
Fail. If you made a blunder, at least be a man and own up.
9 Off-road without flipping the ATV
Fail. Offroading is for middle-aged men undergoing a serious sexual crisis. Real men go to Finland for a rally course. Or they sign up for a Gymkhana workshop with Ken Block.
8 Buy a gift for a woman
OK, I'll accept, but this means unraveling the mysteries of the female psyche. Can't be done. Unless you happen to own one of these cool brain thingie devices that do all kinds of mind magic.
7 Surf the web anonymously
This statement is a paradox, I won't even address it. BTW, thank you for giving pedos a tip or three. Not.
6 Spot a liar
Correctum. I'll accept. But this is basic human behavior.
5 Drive in crappy conditions
Yes. Finally, one whole-hearted yes. But then, this will be really easy after you graduate the Finland rally.
4 Change a diaper
No! Never. First, children are overrated. Second, if someone chooses to have offspring, it's THEIR problem entirely. You should definitely not babysit and never EVER change a diaper. You are the DINK, so why should you do things you don't believe in. It's offensive to your lifestyle. Just as any parent would be offended if you asked them to abort their precious kids. Amounts to the same thing. Or ask a happily married and monogamous couple to join you at the swingers' party.
3 Make a drink
Alcohol again? Damn. We get the clue. And no.
What? What's so special about shaving. How about learning how to shower?
1 Make a mean breakfast
No. Let women do that. And real breakfast does not contain bacon or mashed potatoes, sorry. If you need help learning about food, go to Italy on a skiing vacation and see what gives.
Now the REAL list ...
Here's the extremely short list of things every guy should know how to do (or do):
1 Sport a mean beard like Chuck Norris
Your beard should be bristly and wiry and yet feathery and silky, at the same time. You need to be able to strike the pose between King Arthur and Maximus Meridius.
2 Serve in the army
Or navy, air force and alike. Will teach you some manners.
3 There's no point 3
'Cause I decided it should be so.
4 Put up with the hardship of life
Work for 20 years in the same office, for instance. For that matter, you should watch Office Space. Remember those TPS reports? Hey, Peter, what's happening? Damn.
5 Understand the phrase: No means no!
And sometimes yes. You don't know really, EVER.
6 Smile in the face of utter stupidity
7 Talk like Sean Connery
8 Have a mistress
Who and when depends on your social status. If you're middle-class, middle-aged, you are entitled to a divorced suburbian no more than five years your junior. However, if you drive a Maserati and wear a Patek Philippe wrist watch and have just turned 50, you're entitled to several mistresses, age 18 and above.
9 Cry once or twice (max) watching a sensitive movie
Something like Hook or E.T. Or Rambo.
10 Wrestle a live bear and live to write about it
11 Chuck Norris
I hope I have clarified the things for you. Now you know the reality of how stuff works. Real men are not about savage displays of stupidity or operating heavy machinery. Real men are not about fake sensitivity or exercising the detoxicating powers of their liver. Real men are also not about doing dangerous and reckless things for the sake of doing them, because no one cares that you use your eyelids to open a bottle of beer.
Being a real man means taking care of your body so you don't end up a fat slob with a cardiac arrest at the age of 42, only because you were too proud to eat tomato and garlic. Being a real man means using your brain, just as our ancestors did when they invented the wheel, the polio vaccine and the atomic bombs. Being a real man means not following useless stereotypes, especially not the kind you see in TV shows like Friends or similar turdonics.
Being a real man is all about responsibility. It's about being gentle, chivalrous, rational, calm, calculated, courteous, and capable of analyzing the situation and using the right tools for the right job, be it a brick, a ninja throwing star or a pen. And finally, being a real man means not taking fun articles too seriously - either way. Haha!