Archive for the ‘Lifestyles’ Category

#49 Handshakes

January 9, 2012

It has been theorized that Men are descended from apelike creatures, and that through a process called evolution Men emerged as a distinct species.  Darwin postulated that the most badass members of any species would survive, thereby passing on their genes.  He called this idea survival of the fittest.  It was ground breaking when he came out with it, circa 1963. While natural selection fails to explain a majority of Manly traits–such as the desire to drink alcohol, an innate understanding of internal combustion engines, an inability to cry outside of situations dealing with football, or a need for a loyal dog–we accept the theory because the premise (the Men who most ably spread their seed win in the end) makes Manly sense.  It also explains the source of a time-honored Mantivity: handshakes.

Handshakes are remnants of a time when Men could not communicate verbally, and thus were forced to use hand signals to say every day things like “I’m hungry!” (stomach rub) “I’m full!” (stomach pat) and “I’m going to kill you!” (throat slice).  A hand shake was a way for one man to say to another man “Hello, I am your friend, or at least I am not your enemy.  I have not come to steal your mate or your food.” In today’s world, handshakes are totally unnecessary, as we could communicate those things in any number of ways that do not require physical contact.

Yet handshakes have developed to be more than just a greeting.  A handshake communicates a lot about a Man.  For example, a Man who grasps your hand too tightly probably lacks self confidence.  However, a Man whose grip is weak and buttery probably lacks resolve.  A man who shakes your hands while holding your elbow is probably a slimy politician.

In recent years, new forms of hand shakes have emerged.  There is the “high five,” reserved for frat boys, computer programmers, and sports fans.  There is the Manshake, which we obviously favor.  Perhaps most versatile of all is the fist bump, which can be used in any number of settings including when seeing an old friend, after getting married, or while in the process of killing Osama Bin Laden.

Handshakes are a simple yet integral part of being a Man.  While they do not garner a high Mantivity score (1.7), it is important for every Man to have developed a good technique of the basic handshake, and to have a firm understanding of the other varieties of handshakes, as the handshake is a basic element of life as a Man.

#46 Not Understanding the Internet

October 9, 2011

Men are wise. This has been well established time and time again. However, not all humans are Men – in fact, not even all males are Men (although some females are Men). Therefore, things have been invented to help the non-Men of the world to survive without Manly wisdom. “The internet” is one of these things.

The general idea of “the internet” is that a bunch of people can talk to each other and send each other letters and movies and objects through their TVs, when they aren’t being used to watch the game or replays of the game on ESPN classic. It is also useful for Men who enjoy looking a nudy pictures, which, to be clear, is not a Mantivity (it should go without explaining why).

Despite the almost self-evident uselessness of such a device, Men are occasionally forced to talk about “the internet” or say things about “the internet.” Men who run for president, for example, must pretend to like “the internet” to garner votes from the non-Man voting block. Older Men, who have spread their seed and become Grandfathers (Mantivity), have to enter “the internet” in order to correspond with their descendants.

A Man who knows absolutely nothing about “the internet” earns a 3.3 Manitvity score, however, if a Man is forced to discuss or use “the internet,” he can maintain a decent score by not being very knowledgeable. Do not learn the proper use for terms such as “twitter,” “google,” and “social networking.” DO NOT USE EMOTICONS. Always talk about “the internet” as if it is imaginary and/or impossible. Do not refer to “favorite websites,” or “podcasts” or “search engines.” And most definitely, do not talk about “your blog” if for some reason you have a blog.

And if you do have a blog – make sure to update it infrequently. Perhaps once every two years would be appropriate.

#43 Snow Maintenance

January 23, 2009

Men are at war. We’re a conflict oriented being. Whether we’re waging battles against fascists, body odor, or Weight Watchers; we thrive on a good conflict. Fight the good fight, we say; but there are some battles that no matter how hard we fight, keep coming back. These battles are fought against our age-old, ever-persistent, Al Gore befriended enemy: the Elements. Whether it’s noble Americans fighting hurricanes in the Gulf Coast, lackluster wimps in France fighting a generous Mediterranean climate, or Bear Grylls eating raw eggs and drinking his own urine to survive, Men are consistently on the offensive.

Yet in the scope of these battles, there lies one front that showcases the toughest of all Men: the American Midwest. In these majestic states, Men are in a constant state of warfare with all the various elements—side-sweeping rain, wild wind, comfortable summertime breezes, and devastating blizzards. It is in this last category where an age old Mantivity lies.

Snow is like Communism. It touches and effects everyone in a community, it can cause car accidents and death, and it spends most of its time in USSR. Furthermore, when it comes rolling into the town, it’s up to the blue blooded men of the community to end it.

In the winter months, Men are called to face the “White Bear” at all hours, but probably at a time when the women in their lives demand it. Tackling this demon with only their shovels, machines, and less than helpful little brothers, these brave young Men develop skills that will take them to the big stage: owning a truck with a snow plow on the front.

While completely unnecessary, obtrusive, and obnoxious in all other seasons, and a sure shot of one’s economic status, the truck with snow plow attached is the epitome of Manhood in snow maintenance. These valiant Men attack the public streets of their community, or simply make the streets, any where they want to go.

The Mantivity rating for Snow maintenance is a 3.1.  The score is determined, in part, because of the low requirements necessary to own a truck with snow plow (namely, the ability to forgo the acquirement of a degree from an accredited four-year institution). Bonus points can be earned if you help strangers get their car out of the snow. This obviously never happens for Men because we own heinously large trucks with four wheel drive.

#42 Leading a Charge

January 10, 2009

War is gruesome and horrible. I do not condone war. In fact, I didn’t really even want to fight for Agamemnon, but 13th century AD Greece was really boring, so I did it anyways. My point is this: sometimes war is necessary. Sometimes good Men must gather in order to fight for honor and glory, and to stop genocide. When this happens, Men must rally together, even when things appear truly bleak. Say, for example, you are outnumbered 10 to 1, and your fellow patriots begin to retreat for fear of their lives. This is when a Man must lead a charge.

The proper technique for leading a charge is as follows: if you do not have a flag, hold your weapon, be it a sword, a rifle, or a hand grenade, one arms-length above your head. Begin shouting as you would if a bunch of pac-10 referees lost the game for you. Run directly at your enemies, preferably passing a bunch of retreating companions as you do. If you do have a flag, you must wave it in a figure 8 above your head, shouting either “America,” “Freedom,” or “Victory,” before following the previously described procedure.

The Mantivity score for leading a charge is 3.9. You can gain bonus points for charging uphill, charging in the midst of a fearsome snow storm, or charging into a hopelessly large army in the hopes that you can leap over the ranks to decapitate their king. We are also legally required to warn you that this Mantivity results in death nine times out of ten.

#41 Domesticating Animals

January 5, 2009

In the grand hierarchy of this world, there’s no question who sits at top: Men. Rational, maneuverable, passionate, nomadic, hungry—Men possess all the qualities that have placed them, and keep them, at the top. Men know life at the top can be dangerous; especially when the 2nd Place-ers are conniving for our demise, spending every waking moment eating each other and being filmed for documentaries—no, not women, rather the animal kingdom. That’s why Men have engaged in the age old Mantivity: the domestication of animals.

From the days of Homer, when Men were making horses their collective bitch, to the days of Medieval Europe when the nobility used foxes to hunt woodland critters, to the era of messenger pigeons in the 20th century; Men have been hard at work keeping those underlings in their place. img022

Yet it hasn’t been all fun and games for Men, sometimes we let the animals have some fun out of the graciousness of our being, see: Shamu the Whale. Sometimes Men find that they need to exert their power more frequently, that they need to have that constant reminder of their supremacy. In cases like these, Men will sometimes take on a pet for their home.

Ask any self respecting man on the street, and the animal they have is a dog. Why, you ask? Simple. Dogs are in the same family as Wolves, and Wolves are the most bad ass beings ever. Wolves are so bad ass, some men have even tried to be raised by them, just to get some pointers on life. Men tried domesticating wolves once, but found their constant howling at night and spontaneous blood-thirstiness slightly annoying. So we went for dogs, or as some have misnomered, “Man’s Best Friend.” Let me tell you something, dogs are our best friends because we let them be. And because they help us pick up chicks, sometimes.

Domesticating a dog can also be a good sign of one’s Manliness. Want to get a good feel for a fellow Man? Ask him what type of animal he has. German Shepherd? Awesome, beer me. Lhasa Ipso? Check your surroundings. A Cat? Run.

The Mantivity score for domesticating animals is a solid 3.4.   All Men possess the basic qualities to rule over animals: determination, brawn, bipedalism, opposable thumbs, etc… Yet some Men ignore their God-Given abilities, and live a life devoid of the good pleasures in this world, like buying a turtle, naming it “Woman,” and then partaking in expressions such as: “Get over here, Woman.” and “Eat up, Woman.” and the infamous, “Why are you so slow today, Woman?”

#40 Baling Hay

December 17, 2008

Since the dawn of Man, there have been Men doing hard labor. Among these Men, there have been Men that were a cut above the rest—Men so chock-filled with testosterone, they make Sean Connery blush. These are your hay-balers. It takes a special kind of man to bale hay, the type of man who rises with the sun, and is only forced into quitting once the sun gives up, after a mere 26 hours. 2316340495_80316789f9_o

Well equipped with his family’s most cherished heirloom, Ole Jasper (their trusty pitchfork), this man attacks the field like TO to antidepressants; and, should some filthy tree-huggers threaten his constituency, Ole Jasper quickly evolves into an extension of the 2nd Amendment, storming the castle, town hall, etc, to quickly put down some radical new movement.

The Hay-Baler’s backbone lies not with in his back, but in his forearms. It takes massive muscles to be able to make shucking a 80 pound pile of compost into the back of a truck look like throwing dice.

The Mantivity score for hay-baling is 3.2. While the hay-baler earns big bonus points for spitting, physical fitness, owning multiple dogs, wearing overalls and flannel, and not being able to locate Yugoslavia on a map, he loses points for above average vocabulary size, knowledge of anything outside of the borders of his state (should be in the Midwest) and the usage of any sort of hay-baling machine/robot.

#38 Being Lazy

November 10, 2008

Ed. note: this post should help to explain why Daniel Boone and I have not posted in a very long time. We apologize for this inconsiderate (although Manly) behavior.

Men love sleeping. And lazy boys. And beer. This is because Men are by nature a lazy species. This is obvious when one considers the things Men are willing to pay the most money for, large televisions, luxurious boats, and private chefs being some good examples.

Some people reading this internet web-blog posting will argue that Men are not lazy, citing countless examples of hard-working Men. Of course, this is a misleading argument. It is true that a Man’s laziness can be trumped by other more urgent endeavors, but in the end, it is to laziness that a Man will always return. Many Men become confused when they are young, and think that a good way to spend free time is by kayaking and going for jogs. Eventually these Men realize that the only reason they do this is to have an excuse for the laziness that inevitably follows their “exercise,” and they soon stop pointlessly wasting energy, as Man needs no excuse for laziness.

There is no historical, evolutionary, or religious explanation for the laziness of Men. It has never been advantageous to prefer sleep to hard work, not even during the ice age, and definitely not during the 90s. Women clearly prefer Men who are willing to work hard to get what they want (there are exceptions). God has frowned upon laziness, at least since 2001. So why, then, are Men so lazy? I’m going to go take a nap while I think about it.

#37 Being an Auto Mechanic

September 24, 2008

It is normal in today’s day and age for the owner of an automobile to know relatively little about his machine. Carburetor? Who needs one. Fuel-injection valve? Sounds useless. This is a bad sign for society, and for our national security. Fortunately, there is a brave class of Men who still have great respect for the internal combustion engine and the wonderful things it does. These Men are called are auto mechanics.

There are several characteristics necessary if one is to be an auto mechanic. The first is grease – on the hands, smudged across the face, ingrained in the hair. The fact is that being a mechanic is a dirty job, and any kind of effort to avoid or deny this fact negates Mantivity status. The second characteristic is a vocabulary far wider than the average person – including words like gudgeon pin, gasket, and torque. The final characteristic is a complete and utter nonchalance in the face of all circumstances, as unexpected or as infuriating as they may be. Nonchalance is always Manly, but when a forty year old lady screams at you that there is no way it should cost over 1000 dollars to replace the transmission on her Volvo station wagon, it takes something extra not to lower yourself to violence.

The Manitivity score for being an auto-mechanic is a 3.3. The important thing to note about this score is that it applies to a very specific definition of “auto-mechanic” – that is: a person who, regardless of circumstance, would not decline an offer to assist his neigbor with car related issues, and in pursuit of said assistance, would not fail to say “Let’s see what we got here,” as he pops the hood of his neighbor’s vehicle. Note that this does not necessarily mean he is a professional mechanic, merely that he could be, if he were not employed in some other fasion.

#36 Tailgating

September 5, 2008

Ceremonies are important parts of a Man’s life. Sometimes, Men need to prepare for these ceremonies by drinking beer, grilling meat, and shouting indiscernible things at people wearing what is deemed the “wrong” color. In modern times, this series of events has developed a name—Tailgating. However, Men everywhere know that this timeless tradition dates back to the time of Crogmanon Man, who would prepare for bi-weekly Wooly Mammoth hunts by stabbing himself with hot iron spearheads and throwing rocks at the inferior Neanderthals. Direct evidence of this evolution can be found at college campuses during rivalry week.

Tailgates allow a Man to drink, eat unhealthy (Manly) foods, and act like a general idiot alongside his companions. Most of the time, tailgates occur as a lead-up to important sporting events, especially football. This is appropriate and society accepts it as such. However, if shielded from society’s scorn, Men would tailgate before 3rd grade soccer games, high school graduation ceremonies, and funerals.

It is important to adhere to a strict code of conduct during these tailgates. The host of the tailgate should provide food and beverage to the guests, who can be old friends or passer-bys that happen to be wearing the right color for the upcoming ceremony. (In the case of a funeral tail-gate, indiscernible shouting should occur in the general direction of those wearing white or pink. Beers should be distributed to those in black.) Above all else, it is important that the tailgate not forget its ultimate objective:  preparation for the ceremony occuring after the tailgate—tailgates lacking purpose lose tailgate status. But hanging around for no reason, grilling, and drinking is a Mantivity all on it’s own.

A well-thought out tailgate, with sufficient food and beverage, and the appropriate level of intensity and enthusiasm for the upcoming ceremony receives a Mantivity score of 3.7. Bonus points are earned if this is who shows up at your tailgate.

#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.