Friday, May 16, 2008

The Leper Pop Man Up Challenge – Final

Welcome back to the final round of the Leper Pop Man Up Challenge. I am being held at at gunpoint on the back of a pig truck driving somewhere in one of the great plains states. Yes, it’s the same pig truck that drove us to the bus depot in Part 6. Yes, I had to adopt a few sows to convince the pig farmer to give us a lift. No, I do not know what “adopting sows” entails. I’m not sure where we are because I’ve been blindfolded and tied up since I had that hissy fit in Aberdeen. I graciously agreed to finish the coverage of the Man Up Challenge. But enough about me, let’s get back to the Upping of Man.

Moist Rub touts a scantily clad 7 ½ point lead over Sid F’er as we enter the eighth and final round of this mess. Can Sid catch him? That’s the big question. Enjoy the ending. I know I won’t.

If you have no clue what we're talking about, click here to catch up.

A man should be able to:

66. Throw a football with a tight spiral.

Sid: I did briefly play quarterback as a kid since my dad was the coach and that’s how things work. Fortunately, the passing game isn’t a big part of the game plan when you’re 10 years old. The spirals were tight, but I was relieved of quarterback duties in high school when they realized the spirals rarely exceeded 10 yards downfield. But I’ll still take a point. (1 point)

Moist Rub: I suppose the term “Leper House quarterback” means nothing to you. As it shouldn’t. But it meant a lot to those sweet, young, innocent Lepers back in college. I still got it, a little bit, until my rotator cuff tells me to stop. (1 point)

67. Shoot a 12-foot jump shot reliably.

Sid: You had to bring up basketball, didn’t you. Here’s the deal. I’ve done pretty well over the years letting go of resentments, but I’m still bitter about being cut from the 7th grade basketball team for a bunch of goons that hit puberty and 6’ before I did. I turned my back on basketball after that and my jump shot subsequently suffered. Mr. Miller, if I ever run into you in a dark alley I will cut you and let you bleed out while the rats nibble on your privates. (0 points plus 2 penalty points for not letting go of the past and for harboring sadistic fantasies)

Moist Rub: Nothing but net, rim, backboard, air and sometimes people’s faces. It all depends on what you mean by “reliably”. 30% - 50%? Alright, I’m in. (1 point)

68. Find his way out of the woods if lost. Note your landmarks -- mountains, power lines, the sound of a highway. Look for the sun: It sits in the south; it moves west. Gauge your direction every few minutes. If you're completely stuck, look for a small creek and follow it downstream. Water flows toward larger bodies of water, where people live.

Sid: I’ve seen enough lost Boy Scout stories and Brady Bunch episodes to know that if I get lost I just need to sit my ass down and wait to be found before wandering off and getting shot by Sandinista rebels protecting a secret poppy field used to fund their guerrilla operations. (0 points, but will live to tell about it)

Moist Rub: Again, I have a better plan. Don’t find your way INTO the woods to get lost in the first place. I have some forest preserves near my house. I use them to walk around and reconnect with nature. And to smoke pot. And, sometimes, to play rodeo with the white-tail deer. I know my way around them. I have no need to enter any unfamiliar woods, which nullifies a need to find my way out of the woods. Nip it in the bud, Barney Fife. (0 points)

69. Tie a knot. Square knot: left rope over right rope, turn under. Then right rope over left rope. Tuck under. Pull. Or as my pack leader, Dave Kenyon, told me in a Boy Scouts meeting: "Left over right, right over left. What's so fucking hard about that?"

Sid: I suppose I could knock out a square knot if necessary but I really want something secure, like when transporting furniture or a body, I usually just knot the heck out of the rope and cut it loose after the item promises not to run away. (1 point)

Moist Rub: If it’s not "so fucking hard”, why is this included in the list of man skills? I think weaving a rope out of dead skin would be more of an appropriate skill for us men to have. Also, I can’t say that I approve of the swearing Esquire allows its writers to slather all over our impressionable internet. Getting back to the point, my shoes haven’t fallen off yet, so I guess I’ll take a point. No, they are not Velcro secured shoes, either. (1 point)

70. Shake hands. Steady, firm, pump, let go. Use the time to make eye contact, since that's where the social contract begins.

Sid: An easy one. I also take the eye contact part literally, choosing to poke the other person in the eye at the same time, since that’s where the social dominance factors also begin. (1 point plus 1 point for being the alpha male without throwing a punch)

Moist Rub: I’m not shaking hands with the intention of beginning a social contract with anybody. I’m checking for weapons. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been knifed by socialites at cocktail parties back when I refused to shake hands with people. (1 point)

71. Iron a shirt. My uncle Tony the tailor once told me of ironing: Start rough, end gently.

Sid: Yeah, I can iron a shirt. I can also afford the $0.99 cents to have the dude at the dry cleaner do it for me while I read the tax code and surf internet porn. (1 point, plus 1 bonus point for avoiding boredom)

Moist Rub: Or, buy shirts that don’t need ironing. Some wonderful person has invented shirts fabricated as “wrinkle-free”. Although, you can’t always trust that flashing “wrinkle free” sign you see on the shirts in the store. Or is that the Blue Light Special sign that I see flashing. No matter. The point is some of the wrinkle free shirts do get wrinkled. Caveat emptor. Throw away the wrinkled wrinkle-free shirts or use them for rags. Obviously, they are defective. In a pinch, I can iron a shirt, but it’s very frustrating and I get flummoxed and end up dripping sweat on the shirt I’m attempting to iron. So I ask myself: Do I go with the wrinkly shirt or the sweat stained shirt? Either way, I don’t think I deserve a point for it. (0 points)

72. Stock an emergency bag for the car. Blanket. Heavy flashlight. Hand warmers. Six bottles of water. Six packs of beef jerky. Atlas. Reflectors. Gloves. Socks. Bandages. Neosporin. Inhaler. Benadryl. Motrin. Hard candy. Telescoping magnet. Screwdriver. Channel-locks. Crescent wrench. Ski hat. Bandanna.

Sid: It’s not like I’m driving to the Australian outback. My emergency bag is the pocket in which I carry my iPhone. Give me five minutes and I can find a girl dressed up as a French maid to bring me a dozen packs of beef jerky, some Green River soda, and a rental car while you set up a roadside hard candy stand to raise money for your rescue chopper. By the way, you forgot duct tape. (1 point plus 1 bonus point for the French maid)

Moist Rub: I don’t even stock the things in my house in an orderly and comprehensive fashion. You expect me to trick-out my car better than my house? And my bomb shelter is a complete catastrophe. I’d rather get smoked by a fricken A bomb than go in there. (0 points)

73. Caress a woman's neck. Back of your fingers, in a slow fan.

Sid: Good grief. This sounds like something out of the playbook of Larry, after picking up a chick down at the Regal Beagle. (0 points)

Moist Rub: Just because you use the back of your fingers, in a slow fan, it doesn’t guarantee she’s not going to call the police or complain to the flight attendant about you. (1 point)

74. Know some birds. If you can't pay attention to a bird, then you can't learn from detail, you aren't likely to appreciate the beauty of evolution, and you don't have a clue how birdlike your own habits may be. You've been looking at them blindly for years now. Get a guide.

Sid: I can’t pay attention to a bird. So what. I can’t learn from detail? Huh? I don’t appreciate the beauty of evolution? What does Esquire have to say to all the supporters of Intelligent Design? My own birdlike habits? Like crapping on car windshields or flying into windows? I’m going on vacation soon and there is a naturalist on site offering a bird watching tour and I’m not going to take it just to spite Esquire. Hah! (0 points)

Moist Rub: Whenever I try to get to know some birds, one of three things happens. 1. They poop on me. 2. They peck my eyes out looking for bugs. 3. They build a nest in my arm pit hair. My habits happen to be more warthog-like than bird-like. What makes birds so special over the other animals? I think this dude might be a beastialic avianophile. You may want to contact the authorities. (0 points)

75. Negotiate a better price. Be informed. Know the price of competitors. In a big store, look for a manager. Don't be an asshole. Use one phrase as your mantra, like "I need a little help with this one." Repeat it, as an invitation to him. Don't beg. Ever. Offer something: your loyalty, your next purchase, even your friendship, and, with the deal done, your gratitude.

Sid: I’m not offering my friendship to a car salesman in order to knock a couple hundred off the price of my next AMC Pacer. Hasn’t Esquire seen The Cable Guy? But that doesn’t mean I don’t know if I’m getting ripped off and when to take my business elsewhere. (1-1/4 points, because that’s what I negotiated)

Moist Rub: Ten for that, you must be mad! I’m not offering my loyalty, next purchase, friendship or gratitude as leverage against the high price of paying sticker price. I thought we weren’t supposed to suck up (see Skill 12). After trying to achieve 74 other man skills, I don’t have the energy to negotiate another price for your magazine. So I’m taking my business elsewhere. (0 points)

What an ending! Sid manned up his ass off to almost overtake Moist Rub at the finish line. It’s a damn good thing for Moist he hasn’t trimmed his flowing nose hairs in years. If nothing else, this competition has coined a new ageless phrase: “Won by a flowing nose hair.”
But wait, the judges are deliberating. The unofficial score is currently Moist Rub: 42 ½ , Sid F’er: 41 ¼ . What on Earth could the judges be discussing? It seems like a clear, yet close, victory for Moist Rub. Let’s wait quietly while the judges sort out the details.

So….how’ve you been?

The judges have made a decision. They have determined that the scores are close enough for jazz, right Alvin Lee, and have decreed that both Moist and Sid have LOST! They have tied for last place, since they have only earned 56.7% and 55% of the total Esquire Man Up points, respectively, which is a failing grade in anybody’s book. What an amazing outcome. Nobody saw that coming. I’m sure both contestants are crushed. Wait, the judges are huddled once again. I think a rugby game may be breaking out. Stand back. The head judge has asked to borrower my microphone.

HEAD JUDGE: By a cataclysmic realignment of logic, we have overturned our initial decision. As only a pompous, self-righteous pretty-boy would dare live life as a man to the standards set forth by Esquire Magazine, we have awarded both contestants FIRST PLACE based on their miserable performances in this challenge. Congratulations Moist Rub and Sid F’er!

Thus ends the Leper Pop Man Up Challenge. What a week it’s been. Thank you for watching. Save a pig out there.


Kristy said...

Brilliant! You guys are both tops in my book.

lim said...

Can you call a do-over?

keysunset said...

They won a tie! I'm thinking a paisley one for Moist and stripes for Sid. OH wait, it was A tie, not tie(s). Does that mean they have to share.

I may have to call for a do-over.

del said...

Can Sid catch him? That’s the big question.

I think it depends on how much of a lead Moist is given and if Sid's allowed to use his bike.

lim said...

I'm suffering from Man Up withdrawal.