Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"In the days of my youth I was told what it means to be a man..."

In the days of Finn McCool and the Fianna a man had to stand on a tree stump and recite "all the poems" without making a mistake while nine other dudes threw spears at him. Unfortunately no one does this anymore (well we do in my house but that's another story) so I've had to come up with a few rules of my own about the progression from boyhood to manhood and whether you have made it there or not. 
As far as I'm concerned you are not yet a man if:
1. You don't know how to strip a motorcycle engine. 
2. You drink "lite" beer, or "lite" anything. 
3. You've never changed a nappy/diaper.
4. You drink cappuccino, or soy anything.
5. You've never been in a fist fight. 
6. You've never been in a fist fight and lost (the day I met my wife for the first time I had two black eyes). 
7. You've never hitch-hiked.
8. You've never yelled at a referee/umpire/politician/copper.
9. You've never thought "Jesus, I could actually die doing this."
10. You don't read fiction.
11. You are strangely unmoved by the Fiona Apple Criminal video
12. You use 'product' in your hair. 
13. You can't recite the first verse of Kashmir. 
14. You listen to Coldplay.
15. You have never defended an orphanage with a hammer against a gang of thugs with machetes, like this dude
16. You go against the advice of Tim Gunn (even if that advice contradicts any other of the rules on this list).
17. You prefer NFL to rugby.
18. You order Guinness by the half pint.
19. You support Manchester United.
20. You've never heard of Patrick Leigh Fermor
21. You read GQ or Men's Journal or Esquire in a place that isn't the doctor or the dentist's.
22. You've never urinated against a wall while holding a kebab.
23. Your favourite flag (other than the flag of your own country) is not the flag of the Republic of Mozambique.
24. You have never brewed your own beer/distilled your own moonshine. 
25. Your favourite book is Battlefield Earth
26. You've never gone into a biker bar, put The Smiths on the jukebox and stayed to listen to it. 
27. You've never spent your birthday morning shooting assorted handguns at Bob's Indoor Tactical Range on route 1 before getting a six pack of Sam Adams Summer Ale and drinking it at the driving range over a couple of baskets of balls. 
28. You didn't get teary eyed at the denouement of Field of Dreams.
29. You can't immediately identify these quotations: "Charlie don't surf!" "Shomer Shabbos!" "Open the pod bay doors, Hal." "We was comin' back from the island of Tinian to Leyte... just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb."
30. Or this quotation: "The first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied...and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth."