Archive for the ‘2.5-3.0’ Category

#34 Obtaining Scars

July 25, 2008

Over the course of a Man’s life, he does a lot of things that leave marks on his skin. These marks can be burns, bruises, and most important of them, scars, which last the longest and therefore provide the most time for a Man to discuss the Mantivity that undoubtedly left the mark. The two tenets of obtaining scars are the Manliness of the activity that led to its obtainment and how the Man discusses the scar.

There are many different types of scars, each from a different cause. A common scar is one resulting from a surgery. Typically, this is not Manly, though there are some qualifications to that, like if the surgery is performed without anesthesia, with a buck knife in the wild, or if the surgery is performed 20 feet from live combat. Scars obtained over the course of a fight are typically more Manly than surgerical scars, and can be among the most Manly, depending on the reason for the fight, the location, and the outcome. If the fight occurred over something like a poorly reserved seat, then the scar is automatically pathetic. But if the fight occurred over the greatness of America or spilled Pabst, then any scars obtained from the battle are legitimate. Almost all Mantivities above a 4.0 score leave scars on the Man completing them, and this is appropriate. If you climb Mt. Everest and walk away unscathed, then you were most likely carried to the top (unManly).

Just as important as the Mantivity which caused the scar, is the way the Man handles scar-discussion in various contexts. As with all Mantivities, nonchalance is of the utmost importance. Regardless of what happened, the event which caused the scar, as painful as it might have been, inflicted minor discomfort and nothing more (for example, if you got a massive burn saving a baby from a fire, you don’t even remember the pain, you just wanted to get the child out of there). A Man should never bring up his own scar. This is simply bad form and ends any opportunity for legitimate nonchalance during the discussion, thus eliminating a major component of the Mantivity.

Obtaining scars is a Mantivity with a larger range, but most scars, if they are the result of a Manly source and the discussion is executed correctly, fall between 1.5 and 4.0. The general rule is that the score cannot be higher than the score of the Mantivity which resulted in the scar itself, though there is an exception. If the scar is intense but caused by an unManly moment or activity, like tripping, cleaning, accidentally hitting your head, or cutting yourself while slicing strawberries, then it is wise for a Man to recall something he did that could have caused the scar, but didn’t, like the story of the wild boar he wrestled in the African Savannah.

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#33 Playing the Drums

July 17, 2008

Music is confusing to Men. Sometimes, it makes them feel “emotions,” an experience which can be upsetting and infuriating for a Man who just wants to watch the game. Other music makes them want to sing and dance, which can be embarrassing and unManly. One source of music, however, has always made logical sense in the mind of Men: the drums.

The fact is, playing the drums is much closer to getting in a bar fight than it is to singing or blowing on a flute. It takes focus, power, and some deeply buried source of anger (messed up childhood, addiction to cocaine, the inability to find a favorite wrench, etc). Man’s natural reaction to anger is to pound on things – doing this with rhythm is just taking it one step further.

The Manliness of drumming can be traced back to the days when wars were decided by who was more pissed off. Leaders of Men found that drums were capable of whipping certain Men into a frenzy that transformed them into unstoppable forces on the battle field. The Men that had this reaction to the drums died less often than the Men who felt nothing when drums were played. Natural selection did the rest.

The Mantivity score for playing the drums is 2.8. Generally, a drummer’s appearance does not matter, he should just avoid looking like a douche bag (ie, if you are a beginner, or just untalented – don’t take your shirt off when you play, that looks stupid). Bonus points can be earned if your drumming causes fights or if you are using atypical apparatus, like a trash can or a set of human skulls.

#32 Giving Directions

July 8, 2008

Since before dinosaurs roamed the earth, Men have survived using a sense of direction that is encoded in their genetic make-up. Blindfolded, spun around 30 times, and then dropped from an airplane into a thick forest, a Man will always know which direction is North, regardless of his accuracy. Today, Men use their geographic mastery of world to help all who ask, using hand gestures and nonchalance.

It is important to begin with the proper technique for giving directions; this, of course, is dependent upon the scenario. If a Man is giving directions to a woman, then he must provide lots of information, perhaps even write down some of the highlights. For example, if he is assisting a woman, an effective set of directions might be: “Drive 4 blocks up this street (a crisp yet understated full hand point is paramount), get on to Interstate 80 Northbound until you get to Kenosha, then hop on 275 Westbound and you’ll get to Oshkosh about 40 miles down the road, I believe the exit is 157B”. However, for a Man, a simple version will suffice, “Hop on I-80 and then take 275 and then you’re there”. This provides the least amount of information while still conveying the point. Men should be capable of delivering both sets of directions.

Though all Men will get lost in an area unfamiliar to them at some point in their lives, Men also understand that because of time commitments, women, and children, it is sometimes necessary to ask another Man for directions, though most Men would instead prefer to break out their compass and find their way using nature. A common myth is that Men refuse to ask for directions out of pride. This is false, it is simply a part of the Male system to find your way without assistance. When a Man asks for directions, the provider should perceive the geographic assistance they give simply as a refresher for the Man who simply is unable to find his destination the natural way.

Any Man should have a vague sense of where things are at all times, and in unfamiliar surroundings it is expected that he has at least read a map (future post) before reaching uncharted territory. Also remember: even if a Man has no idea where he is, if he is asked for directions, he should act like he knows the area like the back of his hand – it does not matter if he directs confused tourists into a dangerous part of town. An effective and succinct set of directions, including at least one local highway, for a fellow Man scores 2.9 Mantivity score. Bonus points can be earned if you are providing geographic assistance to a Man who has a Manly duty to complete or if you can fit in at least one spit and grunt in during the process.

#31 Digging

June 22, 2008

A common misconception is that it is Manly to get dirty. This is not the case. The truth is that a lot of Mantivities result in dirtiness, and so many people assume that the dirtiness is itself Manly, but really there are ways to get dirty that are very unManly (ie mudbath). Digging, of course, is the foremost example of a Manly way to get dirty, because the whole idea is to move dirt, and a lot of that dirt will end up on your skin.

Men have a lot of reasons to dig. The most ancient of these is the search for buried treasure, which Men have been doing for a long time. When digging for buried treasure, a Man must use a standard shovel, and then when the shovel runs into something hard (the shovel will make a sound), must get on his knees, and use his bare hands to finish the job. After that he can move to Bermuda, or just go home and watch the game, depending on the nature of the treasure.

More common than the search for buried treasure is the digging done in the construction industry. In the middle ages, the construction industry focused on digging moats, massive trenches, and digging up rocks to build really useful stuff. Today, construction Men dig in order to lay foundations for buildings, and do other important stuff, like reroute rivers and bury nuclear waste.

The fact is, there are plenty of Manly reasons to dig (we haven’t even mentioned all the reasons a Man might dig a tunnel). The Mantivity score varies widely depending on which reason a Man has, but even something as simple as burying some bones for later use will get you a 1.5 (this is more often done by dogs than Men, but keep it in mind).

#29 Drinking out of the Carton

June 2, 2008

Often, Men get thirsty. After exerting energy for an extended period of time, a Man needs to find something to quench the dryness in his throat and to prevent dehydration. Water is typically the most suitable liquid to accomplish these things. It has no flavor, its refreshing, and can be poured all over a Man’s head if the heat requires it. The vessel in which the liquid is stored in is important. Anything like this is utterly inappropriate. Liquid containers such as wrought iron chalices, cans made by union dudes, or gloriously frosty mugs are superior. But perhaps the Manliest way to quench a Man’s thirst is by drinking straight out of the carton.

Carton here can refer a milk-style carton or even a plastic gallon jug. The gallon jug is a Man-favorite, as it is used widely as a container for various liquids, including water, and it can be refilled with other Manly beverages. When a Man does get thirsty, he needs to re-hydrate quickly. Often, there is no time to find a smaller container to hold a Man’s beverage and he needs to drink straight out of the carton. This is typically disgusting to women, which is almost always bonus Mantivity points.

The Mantivity score for quenching thirst this way is 2.8. A Man can most easily earn bonus points by spilling all over his shirt and the floor or ground beneath him. If disgusted women are present, the score increases if any type of scolding is completely ignored. Points are subtracted if the Man fails to grunt or make noise announcing his satisfaction. It is also recommended, if at all possible, to make drinking out of the carton part of your Sunday or Saturday morning routine. There is no better way to kick off a day of lawn mowing and installing things than to roll out of bed and take a long deep swig straight from the carton.

#28 Dunking

May 29, 2008

Basketball is typically not thought of as a contact sport. There is no “checking,” as in hockey, or “tackling,” as in football and rugby, or “beheading,” as in gladiatorial battles. There are, however, some finer details, that, although not quite as rough as the aforementioned sporting activities, are still a tad bit Manly. Setting a pick, for example, can be quite a violent experience, as can be battling Shaquille O’Neal in the low post. For this reason, basketball retains its status as a Manly form of competition (as opposed to, say, croquet, which is undoubtedly fun, but definitely not Manly).

Dunking is the most Manly of basketball moves. It involves a player denying gravity for a long enough period of time that he/she can actually elevate his hands high enough above the rim that he is able to put the ball directly through the hoop. When a player dunks, he leaves nothing to chance; he makes sure that the ball goes where he intends it, with no interference from such things as air pressure, ball spin, or Dikembe Mutombo.

Dunking derives its Manliness from two sources. The first is Man’s desire to gain altitude; the ability to dunk shows that a Man has a talent for short-term altitude gainmanship. The second source is Man’s inherent need to be a hero. When a Man dunks, he not only gains points for his team, he does so in a way that shames the opposition, inspires his teammates to play with passion, and incites any fans to a frenzied roar. If the dunk is spectacular enough, it will be remembered forever.

The Mantivity score for a single dunk ranges from 2.4 to 2.9. Bonus points can be earned for dunking over another Man, for overcoming height deficiencies or for finishing an Alley Oop pass with a dunk. If you are Yao Ming, the score for dunking is reduced to 1.0 because you are very very tall.

#19 Gaining Altitude

April 8, 2008

From birth, it is Man’s natural instinct to be higher than he is at the moment, and higher than all those around him. Anyone with male children can testify to boys’ insatiable desire to climb things – boulders, ladders, trees, large animals. As these boys become Men, their desire to gain altitude is refined, and reflected in more ambitious and difficult altitude-gaining Mantivities.

The most obvious of these is mountain climbing. Although not all Men are interested in mountain climbing, every Man at some point dreams of standing on top of a mountain and shouting something victorious, or perhaps urinating. Of course, the ultimate feat of altitude gaining is the climbing of Mount Everest – successfully completing this Mantivity puts a Man at near immortal status (the Mantivity score is 4.7, 4.9 if done without oxygen).

Another example of Men gaining altitude occurs in the corporate world. Here, we see the creation of large towers, whose sole purpose is to provide Men with the opportunity to gain altitude (The Male species is the only one capable of this). Once the towers are built, the highest offices with the most majestic views are taken by the most successful and powerful Men. Indeed, it is often said that a Man’s success can be judged by the size of his salaryaltitude of his office.

The list goes on, and some of these will be touched on in future posts (being a pilot, slam-dunking, being an astronaut), but before concluding this discussion, it is important to understand why Men want to gain altitude. The answer stems from the ancient times, when kings and emperors built their castles on the highest possible point, so as to make them safe from attack, and to intimidate the peasants in the valley below. Every Man secretly yearns to be a King, and Man’s desire to gain altitude stems from this ancient impulse. The Mantivity score for gaining altitude literally ranges from 0.1 to 4.9, as there are almost infinite ways to do this. Be creative!

Update: Boone pointed out to me that the third paragraph implies that a Man’s success is related to his salary. This is true only in the context of the business world. A Man’s overall success (read, Manliness) is judged by a much more extensive and complex criterion, ie has he or has he not ever killed a lion with his bare hands.

#18 Flyfishing

April 6, 2008

It takes a special kind of fisherMan to fly-fish. It requires patience, precision, and vigilance. Fly fishing sometimes takes countless hours and a great deal of accurate casts to finally land a bite, but it is at that moment, when a Man proves his worth. Some people would call fly fishing boring. These people are idiots.

Fly rods are incredibly responsive pieces of equipment that require exact strength at the moment when the 300 pound steelhead hits the lure. Fly fishing typically takes place in shallow rivers such as this, though some fly fishing equipment can be used in offshore fishing (future post). Common targets of a fly fisherMen are trout, salmon, and various forms of bass. First invented 1.2 million years ago, fly-fishing is one of the most ancient forms of Man-fishing, second only to standing right above waterfalls and just clawing the SOBs out of the air, like polar bears do. Flyfishing is almost always passed down from father (Man) to son (Man). It is from a Man’s father that he learns how to properly wear ugly vests with pockets full of man-tools, necessary fly fishing attire.

Fly fishing earns a 2.8 Mantivity score. Of course, this is a bottomline assessment and it can only rise with location, target fish, and with any acrobatic feats required for the landing of the fish. Serious bonus points are earned when a Man guts, grills, and eats the fish that he catches.

#16 Grilling

April 3, 2008

Incontrovertible Fact: cooking is not a Mantivity. The inclusion of an open fire, an outdoor environment, and certain types of equipment, however, make grilling a very different type of food creation than merely “cooking.” Grilling chiefly occurs in the backyard, at the campsite, and while tailgating.

The three major types of grilling are gas-fired, charcoal, and campfire. Each style can be used in a different way (indirect smoking, searing, etc), but for the most part, campfire grilling is the most Manly, using charcoal is the second most, and gas grills are the least Manly among the three. A Man’s grill and grilling equipment are critical for the execution of this Mantivity. Bonus points are earned when the Man has more than one grill, especially if they are of the same type (ie three charcoal grills of varying sizes).

The appropriate foods to be grilled are as follows: steaks, brats, hot dogs, polish sausage, italian sausage, sausage, brats, beef kabobs, lamb kabobs, ribs, warthogs, brats, chicken breasts, chickens, goats, hamburgers, buffalo, squirrel, venison, lamb chops, brats, jumbo shrimp, swordfish, trout, and alligator. Grilling vegetables is permitted, but only at the behest of a woman, who is somehow connected to the Man grilling. Preferably near the pelvis area.

The Mantivity score for using a gas grill is 2.7, using a charcoal is 2.8, and using a campfire flame is a 3.0. Men should be cautious of items that are labeled “grill”, but are actually agents of communism.

#13 Urinating Outside

March 30, 2008

One of the everyday things that Men take for granted is taking a leak while standing up. We have a hard time understanding why anyone would sit down on a toilet, simply to urinate. Truth is, Men have gradually evolved over the last three billion years to the point where the Male system is designed for upright urination. This is a fact women are incredibly envious of, despite their denials.

Most of the time, either using a urinal in a public restroom or leaving the seat down while using your own private bathroom is acceptable. There are rare moments when a Man can, and should relieve himself in the great outdoors. The most important of these instances is when drinking large quantities of beer, when camping or fishing, or if you are at the edge of a large cliff. It should be noted that if you are near something of this magnitude, you are forbidden to walk away without urinating off the edge.

When drinking, the appropriate urination etiquette is to announce your intentions to everyone around you and then head to the backyard with beer in hand. You should then find a corner and complete the emptying process. While camping, simply walk to the edge of the site and mark a sufficient amount of territory; while fishing, approach the side of the boat and piss. Extra points are earned if the boat is moving quickly and you remain balanced and nonchalant.

The general Mantivity score for urinating outside is a 2.8. Bonus points can be gained if you write your name in the snow, or if you cannot see where the urine is landing. The use of hand sanitizer is a deduction, as any very quick rinse from water, standing or running, will suffice. As a final, and obvious statement, the score is reduced to zero if you piss on yourself.