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I take a “man test”

I saw a link to an article entitled “50 things every guy should know how to do.”  It states that although every man isn’t a jack of all trades, “if you can master these 50 things, you’ll be able to hold your head high”, so I thought I’d go through the list, see how many of them I know how to do (in bold), and provide some commentary about the list.  I’ve also added an asterisk for those that I think any adult, regardless of gender, should know how to do:

  1. Make a mean breakfast* – As with many of these, I don’t understand what this has to do with being a man.  If you’re an adult, you should know how to fry some eggs and bacon without setting the house on fire.
  2. Shave – Even though I go in for a shave at a barber’s every week, I do know how to shave myself because I’ve had to do it since I was 13.
  3. Make a drink* – Not only do I know how to make a drink, I like to make up drinks that seem right to me but nobody else can stand.  Like Mountain Dew and vodka – it’s a great combination!
  4. Change a diaper* – I agree with this one completely.
  5. Drive in crappy conditions*
  6. Spot a liar* – Anyone should be aware that someone who tells either hyper-detailed stories or extremely vague stories may be lying, especially if they have eye movement that either shifts to the left or stares straight ahead deliberately while they talk to you.
  7. Surf the web anonymously – There are two reasons I can think of for doing this. One is to try to use the Internet for personal purposes at work and the other is to sneak around on your home computer without your spouse/girlfriend finding out.  Neither of those are respectable reasons.  Yes, I know how to do it, but that’s just because I’m a geek and it’s required knowledge.
  8. Buy a gift for a woman* – To expand on this, buying a gift for anyone is a worthwhile skill.  All it takes is paying attention and not being a complete dumbass.
  9. Off-road without flipping the ATV – I’ve never been on an ATV in my life.  My parents wouldn’t let me as a kid, and then I grew up.
  10. Talk your way out of a traffic ticket* – Having been pulled over more times than I’ve gotten tickets, I know that there’s no good method to talk your way out of one.  What works with one officer might not work with the next.  In the end, actually, the more honest you are, the higher the chance you are of having him or her give you a break.  Looking the officer in the eye and saying, “I’m sorry that I was speeding, Officer.  I was running late and I know that was stupid” is THE most successful method.
  11. Open a bottle unconventionally* – There’s a reason that we have bottle openers – so that idiots don’t ruin kitchen counters and table tops opening bottles.
  12. Unhook a bra with one hand* – It can be done quickly, but it’s just so much damn easier to use two hands.
  13. Sew a button* – Although I don’t currently own any needle or thread, I know the basics of sewing buttons.  And I want to learn how to sew more, which I plan on doing with this book by my friend Deb.
  14. Choose the right urinal – Apparently you’re gay if you choose the middle urinal in a bank of three or something.  I choose the one that looks the least disgusting, and that’s the right one for me.
  15. Spot fake breasts – Unless you’re a plastic surgeon, why is this an essential skill?
  16. Rally after a big night of drinking* – Yes, because “real” men must go out and drink themselves silly on nights when they have to be at work early the next morning.
  17. Upgrade at a hotel* – It doesn’t take a set of testicles to request an upgrade or, if you’re really bold, to attempt to bribe the clerk to upgrade you.
  18. Unclog a toilet*
  19. Parallel park* – It’s not difficult, requires a modicum of spatial awareness, and practice is indeed important.
  20. Play poker – I have no idea how to play poker and I think I could live another 33 years without ever needing to learn.  Other card games I don’t need to learn: pinochle, bridge, hearts.
  21. Dance* – Well, does this count?
  22. Do at least ten push-ups on command* – In theory, I know how to.
  23. Shine your shoes – You can shine sneakers?
  24. Iron a shirt* – I’ll admit, this is one of those skills that I really should learn.  I know the basics of ironing, but I always manage to iron wrinkles INTO my clothes, not out of them.
  25. Perform CPR* – I know that CPR has changed since I learned it, but I can sweep the mouth, open the airway, and do chest compressions if I had to.
  26. Know how to navigate a road trip* – It’s an easily understood map, not Ancient Sumerian.
  27. Pick up a girl using a dog as your wingman – I’ve never been in a position to do this, and I wouldn’t really have any desire, either.
  28. Drive a manual car* – I’m assuming that they meant a manual transmission.  I think that as more cars offer automatic or automatic/manual transmissions, it becomes less important, but it’s always good to know, just in case you need to escape from a slasher from a horror movie and the only car you can find is an old Volkwsagen Beetle.
  29. Choose a scotch/whiskey – I don’t drink either, and I think that choosing a good bottle of wine would be a much less douchey skill.
  30. Paddle a canoe/kayak* – Are there people who DON’T know how to move a paddle from front to back to go forward and steer by using your paddle as a rudder?
  31. Use a chainsaw – I can barely operate a hammer without killing someone. There’s no way in hell I’d ever get near a chainsaw.
  32. Tap and operate a keg – I don’t drink beer, but I’m sure I could figure it out.  How hard can it be?
  33. Build a fire* – This is something I know how to do in theory.  I’ve built fires with matches and kindling, but I’ve never had to use a flint, although I know the proper way to do it.  I learned it from Cub Scouts and the Hardy Boys.
  34. Cast a fishing rod* – It’s pretty elementary, and even if you’ve never been fishing, it’s not hard to understand holding a button, pulling back, throwing forward, and letting go of a button.  It’s catching a fish that’s the hard part!
  35. Erect a tent* – Although I prefer camping in a nice hotel with a view, I do know how to rough it if necessary.
  36. Tie a tie – I’ve had to wear a tie at least 10 times in my entire life.  Ugh.
  37. Haggle for a lower price* – If you’re buying a car, a house, or a big ticket item, you should always haggle.  It’s not something you really need to learn how to do, is it?
  38. Throw a football* -Believe it or not, I played football for my local town’s league when I was a kid. Granted, it was flag football, but I still know how to throw it.
  39. Jump-start a car* – My vehicular knowledge is limited to changing a tire, jump starting a car, changing the oil, and understanding anything that I’ve personally experienced going wrong with my car.
  40. Pour a beer* – I think my dad taught me when I was 6 to tilt the glass so I don’t give the beer too much head.
  41. Know your local professional sports teams – HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. *breathe* BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
  42. Some assembly required* – I’m horrible at assembling things quickly, but given enough time and extra parts, and maybe some pounding with a hammer, I can make it slightly resemble the photo on the box.
  43. Get your money’s worth at a buffet* – Before my surgery, all you can eat places used to have an Adam exclusion.
  44. Pick up a woman with a one-liner – Not something I’ve ever done or really would be proud of doing.
  45. Hook up the cable* – It is nice to be able to get all of your electronics working properly without asking for professional help.  Besides, it smacks of old fogey-ism if you don’t know how to hook your DVD player, cable box, and TV together.
  46. Fry a turkey – I understand the mechanics of it, but since I don’t have a deep fryer, I haven’t actually done it yet.
  47. Throw a punch without looking like a sissy – I choose to only punch girls, though.
  48. Bong a beer – If you haven’t learned how to do this by the time you’re 25, you shouldn’t learn.  You’re too old.
  49. Use a charcoal grill – I prefer propane, but I know how to light a charcoal grill – with tons and tons of lighter fluid!
  50. Change a tire* – Every able-bodied person in the world should know how to change a tire, and if you don’t know how, you need to learn.

I know how to do 39 out of 50 things that every man should know how to do so I totally pass with a C+.  I’m okay with that.  Most women should know how to do at least 33 out of those 50 things, which is still a passing grade, so if you’re one of those women, congratulations – you pass the man test too!

As a final note, I thought I’d come up with a list of 10 things that every man should do in his life:

  1. Pee outside just because you can.
  2. Try and fail miserably to fix something.
  3. Think one of the Hansons was a hot girl.
  4. Masturbate to a catalog or magazine that nobody would expect, like Sears, Hot Topic, Entertainment Weekly, National Geographic, or Conde Nast Traveler.
  5. Trim your toenails whilst sitting on the toilet.
  6. Buy tampons voluntarily without grumbling, being embarrassed, or thinking that somehow the check out girl is going to think you have a bleeding vagina.
  7. Cry at a movie, commercial, or TV show.
  8. Get someone flowers or a thoughtful gift, just because you wanted to.
  9. Suffer from a urinary malfunction and accidentally pee everywhere but the fucking toilet before you can stop it.
  10. Take at least one photo of your junk.

I got an A+ on this one.

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101 Replies to “I take a “man test””

  1. Naomi Jesson

    I think the tie should be something everyone needs to learn- just in case the Avril L/ skater boy look comes back- gawd forbid. Also if your Man fails tie tying then damn right you should know how or at least where ya can buy ready knotted ties heh.

  2. Amanda

    I’ve never parallel parked in my life, I’ve never had the need to. Everywhere has valet, or a normal parking lot.

    Also I’ve never successfully done a push up.

    I guess it’s good I’m not a dude.

  3. Blondefabulous

    I find it hard to believe, in this day and age of the internet, that there is some man out there who HASN’T taken a picture of his junk!! Unless, of course, you’re talking about a professional portrait, suitable for hanging. 😉

  4. Beth

    I’m going to have to disagree on the “guys should know how to buy tampons” one ;). There are way too many options and choices when it comes to tampons. I think girls should buy their own on this one. 🙂

  5. WebSavvyMom

    –>I didn’t realize how much of “a man” I was til seeing this list.

    Also, we were “camping” with friends a few years ago in their RV and ran out of mixers while playing cards. We put together Vodka and (mountain dew) Code Red – – LOVE IT. We call it a VCR now and so much better than Red Bull and Vodka.

      • Allyson

        @Avitable, sure, she gets a reputation for being “butch.” Trust me, I know how to do both of those things. But if, say, I was wearing a dress, and my car blew a tire, I would be impressed if my knight in shining armor could show up and rescue me without my having to get dirty.

  6. Lora

    saving counter tops and table tops is all well and good, but saving teeth and not getting lighter fluid all over is better.

    or is it just my friends who open bottles with their teeth and lighters…?

      • cat

        @Avitable, You did! I think I was whining about my issues with new technology at work or at your house or something, and you were like, it’s easy! Look, it’s just like this! And you showed me how yours was set up and told me what to buy so that I could have a similar set up and not have to totally reconfigure everything if I wanted to switch from a DVD player to a VHS player, etcetera.

        It’s funny how something so insignificant that you don’t even think about can help someone else out so much.

  7. Clown

    If we were out at dinner we would SO be arguing over semantics.

    Unrelated to that gripe, “Changing a diaper” is not something everybody should be able to do. Any parent or person that’s going to take care of a shitty baby, sure. All adults? No way.

      • Clown

        I don’t know if any of these should be in bold!

        Make a drink
        Do at least ten push-ups on command
        Spot fake breasts
        Talk your way out of a traffic ticket
        Fry a turkey

        We can go over my reasons why another time, when I don’t have to type. but since I know it will but you the most… No, I don’t think you know how to talk YOUR way out of a traffic ticket. In the past I’m sure you could have. Now, no cop is going to pull you over, look at your record, and let you go. You’ve had what, 89 tickets in this past year alone!? It’s not like you wanted the tickets and just decided not to talk your way out of them. There’s just a certain point when that doesn’t work anymore.

        It’s ok, as a whole though I find the list is worthless.

        • Avitable

          @Clown, of course I know how to make an actual drink. And I used to do 25-50 push-ups a day regularly. It didn’t say that these were things you had to currently do, but things you know how to do, which implies that you did them in the past.

          • Clown

            @Avitable, Like I said, we’re just going to argue semantics. I figured we would do this in the next couple of nights, but since I know you’re itching, here ya go!

            I knew you would try to pull the “how” part, since you used it in bold. It’s you being a lawyer.

            I’ve asked 3 people about this, including the checkout woman at the grocery store (I got your email while I was there) The consensus is that unless specified, when you ask somebody if they know how to do something, it’s assumed the person should be able to demonstrate said skill.

            When I was a teen I could run a mile in 5-6 minutes. If somebody asked me today if I knew how to run a mile in under 6 minutes I would say no. By your logic you would reply “Yes, run fast.”

            For the drink question, that’s a bit trickier. I believe you could make a proper drink, but it’s a skill you don’t like to practice. You like making drinks far too strong. It’s not because you don’t know what you’re doing, you acknowledge this.

            I’ll use both of us as examples here. We both know HOW to drive the speed limit, but how often are either of us actively practicing this trait? If somebody said neither of us know how to drive the speed limit I don’t think I would argue.

    • Avitable

      @Clown, because it gets too hard to read on your phone, I’m replying separately. So you’re saying that if someone said that you don’t know how to drive the speed limit, you’d agree with them? That’s stupid – of course you know how – you just choose not to!

      If I’d done a keg stand in college but haven’t done one since, should I say that I don’t know how to do it? Of course not.

      Your logic is stupid, and I blame that primarily on your beardlessness. Beards make you smarter.

      • Clown

        @Avitable, Again, you’re being a lawyer.

        The keg stand comparison is the same as the pushups. If you had done a keg stand in college, that doesn’t mean that’s something you know how to do now. You have to be lifted up (we’ll go ahead and say that happens) and be able to take in the beer. Tastes change, gag reflexes change, bodies change, people change. I’m sure there are lots of people that did keg stands in college that couldn’t do one now. That means they don’t have the active knowledge of how to do a keg stand.

        I said that the making a drink bullet was trickier, and while I stand by my point, I know that’s very much in the gray zone. The rest though, you’re not going to convince me otherwise, no matter how homeless your beard makes you look.

  8. muskrat

    Like you, the stuff on this list I don’t know how to do is pretty much because I don’t want to know or don’t care to know. Only a few are things I’d like to try at some point, such as using a chainsaw and sewing. Both scare me, as I’m afraid of my own blood.

  9. Loukia

    I can make a mean breakfast, truly. SOOO good. Bacon and bacon and bacon and eggs and toast and coffee and waffles and pankcales with fresh Canadian maple syrup.

    (Shave? So dumb. Who doesn’t know how to shave?) And of course I can change a diaper,and make a mean drink, although I consider pouring a glass of wine a mean drink. Or just CC on ice. To mean that equals mean drink.

    I can absolutely drive in shit-ass conditions because I live in Canada and we are champs at driving in horrible conditions and we sit back and laugh when the like, the army is called for back-up when it snows 2 inches in parts of the US.

    What’s a manual car? As in… stick-shift? Standard? Of course everyone should know this. Nothing more awesome than driving a stick-shift! Especially in a VW Golf GTI!

    I can do at least 30 push-ups in a row, and while we’re at it, kick your ass in any swimming race. 😉

    I can almost always talk my way out of a parking ticket/speeding ticket. But not when I tweet and drive. Mean cop.

    I cannot parallel park.

    Or start a fire, but I always have a lighter on me, so it’s all good.

    Okay… the rest of the things I can mostly do. 🙂

  10. Faiqa

    I want to write something about the crisis of masculinity as it pertains to the need to even have a list like that. Furthermore, I find it interesting not ONE of those items seem to have anything to do with being a socially conscious or compassionate human being. Even if you couldn’t do ONE of those things, Adam, you’d still be a “man.”

  11. Natalie

    maybe Canadian women are made different..I’m with Loukia on this one…

    and is it troubling that my score is higher than yours on this? At least on that first test….the 2nd one, not quite.

    I bet it was Conde Nast Traveller….:*)

  12. Jay

    I can handle everything on that list except numbers 9, 27 and 44. Although I am below average at many of them.

    “Erect a tent* – Although I prefer camping in a nice hotel with a view, I do know how to rough it if necessary.

    Does this include pitching a tent in your pants? I can do that.

    “Trim your toenails whilst sitting on the toilet.”

    I didn’t know it was physically possible to cut your toenails anywhere other than while sitting on the toilet.

  13. Lynn @ Walking With Scissors

    So, granted, I’m not a man, but here’s my take on a few of them:

    10. I once got a ticket for having flashing blue lights on the washer fluid sprayers on the hood of my ’96 Civic. I was pregnant at the time and clearly not a young punk. The car came with the lights and even though I was nearly in tears, it was the end of the month and we all know that cops have ticket quotas. Over $200 and I’m STILL mad almost 9 years later…

    12. I can barely unhook my OWN bra with one hand.

    19. My mom taught me how to parallel park in her 1980 Mercury Zephyr Station Wagon. ‘Nuff said.

    30. Do I still have to know how to canoe even if I don’t live anywhere near water of any sort? Unless you count swimming pools and bath water… Still, I think I get the concept.

    45. I’m such a fogey. I know how to hook up my NES. That’s it.

  14. Issa

    I once sent my then 13 year old brother to the store for Tampons. I really think his girlfriend/future wife, should thank me one day. Ha.

    I can do 29 of these things. I will tell you quite honestly, I have never managed to talk my way out of a ticket. I have learned to just apologize and not argue. It tends to make them write me a lower ticket.

  15. Mo

    I can do about 32 of these. I can’t use a chainsaw but I can ride and ATV and a dirt bike without flipping them. And I know how to choose a good scotch/whiskey AND wine. While making an awesome martini. Really…what else is there?

  16. Kirsty

    I feel like such a failure as a man – I can only do 23 of the 50 (not even a pass!) and – worse – don’t even know what a couple of them mean (“bong a beer” anyone? And why (never mind how) would you FRY a TURKEY?). God I feel old…
    I could probably have lied and added in the driving ones – technically, I learned to drive in a stick-shift car (we’re talking 1990s Scotland, people) and could – at that time – parallel park, but I haven’t actually driven since so I didn’t count them.
    But well. Yeah. Definitely all girl here…
    BUT: I have peed outside (I’m European, remember? It’s part of our culture) and definitely don’t have a penis…

  17. Sheila

    Bong a beer? I don’t even know what that means!

    The Husband says that it’s not that he’s embarrassed to buy tampons, it’s because he doesn’t want the women in that aisle to feel uncomfortable by his male presence. I told him, “Believe me, any lady over the age of fifteen could not possibly care less that you’re in the aisle with them.”

    Me having Little Miss and him having to go buy all of the fun super-sized maxi pads and Tucks wipes for my post-delivery misery cured him of his embarrassment.

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