Friday, May 23, 2008

Insert Tim Taylor grunt here

Via Ken comes yet another list of things a man ought to be able to do. I modified his a bit, striking out the ones I can't do and bolding the ones I can.

Let's make this a meme. Male readers, consider yourselves tagged.

A man should be able to:

1. Give advice that matters in one sentence. Constantly. I'm a lot better at giving it than at living it out.
2. Tell if someone is lying. Fairly well. My oldest daughter still doesn't know how I could always tell when she was lying. Maybe when her own kids are teenagers I'll tell her how I did it.
3. Take a photo. Eleven years in the newspaper business have forced me to learn, but I'm still not good at it.
4. Score a baseball game. Never done it. It looks straightforward, but there's probably aspects I wouldn't be familiar with.
5. Name a book that matters. The Confessions of Saint Augustine.
6. Know at least one musical group as well as is possible. The Grateful Dead. Go ahead. Ask me anything.
7. Cook meat somewhere other than the grill. Are you kidding? My dad used to say that a man who can cook is never going to be lonely. My Lovely and Brilliant Wife would agree, between ladylike belches.
8. Not monopolize the conversation. Depends on whether I've taken my medication that day.
9. Write a letter. I can still do that, even in the Internet age. I wouldn't know where we keep envelopes and stamps, though.
10. Buy a suit. I never, and I mean never, shop for my own clothes. It would be a recipe for stupid-looking. And on the rare occasions I wear a suit, it hangs on me like I borrowed it from my father.
11. Swim three different strokes. I used to could, but now all I can do is kind of dog-paddle.
12. Show respect without being a suck-up.> Actually, I'm pretty good at this. Spending lots of my childhood around old people helped.
13. Throw a punch. If absolutely necessary. I haven't done it since the night before my college graduation, though.
14. Chop down a tree. I'm from Goldendale. Of course I can chop down a tree.
15. Calculate square footage. I'm with Ken. Are there really guys who can't do this?
16. Tie a bow tie. No clue. I can just barely cope with a regular tie.
17. Make one drink, in large batches, very well. I used to brew an excellent brown ale. As for cocktails, I do fuzzy navels in a gallon tea jug that I don't think I could replicate in a glass.
18. Speak a foreign language. Spanish and Welsh, plus varying facility in German, French, Latin, Cornish, Italian and Portuguese. I was a serious language nerd in my youth.
19. Approach a woman out of his league. I've done that. Don't tell Christina, though; she hasn't twigged to how far out of my league she is, and I'd just as soon she didn't.
20. Sew a button. As long as neatness doesn't count.
21. Argue with a European without getting xenophobic or insulting soccer. Yep. The trick is to avoid dogmatic statements.
22. Give a woman an orgasm so that he doesn't have to ask after it. Next question...
23. Be loyal. Absolutely.
24. Know his poison, without standing there, pondering like a dope. I assume it refers to beverages. My tastes are straightforward. Beer doesn't usually take too much dithering. In a pinch, bourbon on the rocks is easy to remember.
25. Drive an eightpenny nail into a treated two-by-four without thinking about it. I can hammer a nail, but not instinctively.
26. Cast a fishing rod without shrieking or sighing or otherwise admitting defeat. Yep.
27. Play gin with an old guy. I have no idea how to play gin.
28. Play go fish with a kid. Now there's a gam I can handle.
29. Understand quantum physics well enough that he can accept that a quarter might, at some point, pass straight through the table when dropped. No, but now I'm going to do some reading until I can discuss it without looking too stupid.
30. Feign interest. Uh, I mean, "No, honey! I can't! Really!"
31. Make a bed. Again, as long as I don't have to be very neat. Christina usually just sniffs and does it herself.
32. Describe a glass of wine in one sentence without using the terms nutty, fruity, oaky, finish, or kick. I can say "Yum" or "Yuck." I'm married to a northern Californian, so I know better than to fake wine knowledge.
33. Hit a jump shot in pool. Not without tearing the felt.
34. Dress a wound. If I had to, I could. I haven't had to do it with anything serious, though.
35. Jump-start a car, change a flat tire, change the oil. Yep. I'm no mechanic, but anyone who can't do those things shouldn't be driving. Especially not in the kind of cars I can afford.
36. Make three different bets at a craps table. Nope. I haven't the foggiest.
37. Shuffle a deck of cards. Yes, Ken, there are adults who can't. Or at least not with any sort of grace.
38. Tell a joke. It's stopping that's difficult.
39. Know when to split his cards in blackjack. Are you beginning to get the idea that I don't gamble much?
40. Speak to an eight-year-old so he will hear. By now, I think I've got the hang of this one.
41. Speak to a waiter so he will hear. Yep.
42. Talk to a dog so it will hear. Not really.
43. Install: a disposal, an electronic thermostat, or a lighting fixture without asking for help. I've done the last, and I think I could handle the other two given time and no kids yelling, but I'm going to call it a "no" just because I'm not that confident.
44. Ask for help. This one I can do.
45. Break another man's grip on his wrist. A cop friend of mine taught me once years ago, but I don't know if I still could.
46. Tell a woman's dress size. Not that I'd be so stupid even if I could.
47. Recite one poem from memory. Ozymanias the King, off the top of my head. I believe there are more.
48. Remove a stain. With eight kids? Damn skippy.
49. Say no. See #48.
50. Fry an egg sunny-side up. Yep, although nobody in the house likes them that way.
51. Build a campfire. Yep.
52. Step into a job no one wants to do. Story of my life.
53. Sometimes, kick some ass. Not really, either literally or figuratively. I tend to take what comes down the pike.
54. Break up a fight. Oh, I suppose if I had to, but I've never tried.
55. Point to the north at any time. Generally.
56. Create a play-list in which ten seemingly random songs provide a secret message to one person. Do what, now? I guess so.
57. Explain what a light-year is. Yes.
58. Avoid boredom. Who wants to avoid it? I'd kill for some.
59. Write a thank-you note. I'm not going to claim credit, because I'm the worst person for remembering to write them that I've ever known.
60. Be brand loyal to at least one product. Yes
61. Cook bacon. First thing I learned to cook.
62. Hold a baby. Again, see #48.
63. Deliver a eulogy. Not for anybody I cared enough about to eulogize. I couldn't keep from tearing up.
64. Know that Christopher Columbus was a son of a bitch. Trick question. By the standards of his time, he wasn't.
65-67. Throw a baseball over-hand with some snap. Nope.
66. Throw a football with a tight spiral. Nope.
67. Shoot a 12-foot jump shot reliably. Nope. Can you tell who hated gym class?
68. Find his way out of the woods if lost. I haven't been in the woods for a long time, but I'm pretty sure I still could.
69. Tie a knot. This probably means the fancy ones they teach you inn Boy Scouts. I didn't stay in it long enough to learn anything useful.
70. Shake hands. Yep. I can also roll over, play dead, and usually not make messes on the carpet.
71. Iron a shirt. I didn't think I could until I had to. It wasn't as hard as I thought.
72. Stock an emergency bag for the car. Yes
73. Caress a woman's neck. See #48.
74. Know some birds. Some. I'm no expert, but I can usually pick out the obvious ones.
75. Negotiate a better price. Nope. I feel impolite trying.

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