Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Leper Pop Man Up Challenge – Part 2

We're coming to you live from Kooskia, Idaho with continuing coverage of the Leper Pop Man Up Challenge. Moist Rub took an early lead, but there is plenty of time left for Sid to make up the ground he lost yesterday.

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

Here are today's Man Up skills. A man should be able to:

6. Know at least one musical group as well as is possible. One guy at your table knows where Cobain was born and who his high school English teacher was. Another guy can argue the elegant extended trope of Liquid Swords with GZA himself. This is how it should be. Music does not demand agreement. Rilo Kiley. Nina Simone. Whitesnake. Fugazi. Otis Redding. Whatever. Choose. Nobody likes a know-it-all, because 1) you can't know it all and 2) music offers distinct and private lessons. So pick one. Except Rilo Kiley. I heard they broke up.

Sid: Do the Bay City Rollers count? I say yes, but I doubt Esquire would agree. (1/2 point)

Moist Rub: What’s the point? I don’t like being an expert on anything. I’d rather know a little bit about a lot of things. That way, people don’t expect too much out of you. The next thing you know you’re being roused out of a slumber at 3:00 AM to resolve a bar bet over the name of the imaginary friend of Paddy McAloon who he claimed wrote all of Prefab Sprout’s lyrics. Mick Jagger and Alice Cooper both ran Cross Country in school. There, how’s that? (0 points)

7. Cook meat somewhere other than the grill. Buy The Way to Cook, by Julia Child. Try roasting. Braising. Broiling. Slow-cooking. Pan searing. Think ragouts, fricassees, stews. All of this will force you to understand the functionality of different cuts. In the end, grilling will be a choice rather than a chore, and your Weber will become a tool rather than a piece of weekend entertainment.

Sid: Women and culinary schools exist to feed men. (0 points)

Moist Rub: I like to cook meat in restaurants, using other people’s equipment and other people’s cooking skills, while I sit on my butt and drink Tom Collinses. Having said that, I’ve been known to cook meat on the stove, in the oven, in the broiler, in the microwave, in the dishwasher, underneath the hood of my car, and, in a pinch, underneath my armpit. Is that enough to qualify? I certainly hope so. (1 point)

8. Not monopolize the conversation.

Sid: (1 point plus 1 point bonus)

Moist Rub: I’m sorry. I wasn’t really listening to you. I’m just nodding my head in agreement hoping you’ll shut up soon. (1 point)

9. Write a letter. So easy. So easily forgotten. A five-paragraph structure works pretty well: Tell why you're writing. Offer details. Ask questions. Give news. Add a specific memory or two. If your handwriting is terrible, type. Always close formally.

Sid: Was this article written in the 1920’s? I can write a letter. I don’t think I have since 1996 because I have email. If you want a letter, Zelda, I‘ll get right on that after I finish writing the sequel to The Great Gatsby. (1/2 point)

Moist Rub: I used to write letters all of the time. Then somebody invented email, and I haven’t written a letter since. Then somebody else invented blogs. I consider Leper Pop my letter to the world. Sincerely, Moist Rub. (1 point)

10. Buy a suit. Avoid bargains. Know your likes, your dislikes, and what you need it for (work, funerals, court). Squeeze the fabric -- if it bounces back with little or no sign of wrinkling, that means it's good, sturdy material. And tug the buttons gently. If they feel loose or wobbly, that means they're probably coming off sooner rather than later. The jacket's shoulder pads are supposed to square with your shoulders; if they droop off or leave dents in the cloth, the jacket's too big. The jacket sleeves should never meet the wrist any lower than the base of the thumb -- if they do, ask to go down a size. Always get fitted.

Sid: I thought I knew how to buy a suit. I find a suit store with “discount” in their name and ask the guy with the alligator shoes to set me up. According to Esquire… (0 points)

Moist Rub: I have a slightly different technique than the one described above. Find the clearance rack. Find a suit that fits close enough. Pay for it. Wear it to the wedding reception and/or funeral. Puke on it. Throw it in the garbage. (0 points)

11. Swim three different strokes. Doggie paddle doesn't count.

Sid: Totally unnecessary unless you’re hot for your swim instructor. (0 points)

Moist Rub: Does drowning count as a swimming stroke? Technically, I can swim free style, back stroke, breast stroke and the butterfly. But, I don’t go very far or very fast and I get tired quickly, and I can’t tread water, so when I stop I’m pretty much bait. Also, in order to get started, I need to push off of something, otherwise I thrash around in the water like an otter trying to swat an aquatic bee. (1/4 a point)

12. Show respect without being a suck-up. Respect the following, in this order: age, experience, record, reputation. Don't mention any of it.

Sid: Yo, check it… respect. (1 point)

Moist Rub: There is a fundamental flaw in this skill demand. I believe it is impossible to suck-up to somebody AND show respect to that person. Respect is a four-lane highway. Suck-ups become road kill in this metaphor. I tend to suck-up only to people in an effort to make fun of them without them knowing. It is a disrespectful act for which I am dreadfully ashamed. (1 point)

13. Throw a punch. Close enough, but not too close. Swing with your shoulders, not your arm. Long punches rarely land squarely. So forget the roundhouse. You don't have a haymaker. Follow through; don't pop and pull back. The length you give the punch should come in the form of extension after the point of contact. Just remember, the bones in your hand are small and easy to break. You're better off striking hard with the heel of your palm. Or you could buy the guy a beer and talk it out.

Sid: Did you not read the intro? If I could throw a punch I could just step outside and settle this conflict with Moist Rub without having to write all these words. (0 points)

Moist Rub: I don’t want to throw a punch. Even if I win the fight, I’m going to be sore the next day. I’d rather just avoid the people that need to be punched. While I’m pretty sure I can throw a punch, I’ll take the zero for being a pacifistic pussy. (0 points).

14. Chop down a tree. Know your escape path. When the tree starts to fall, use it.

Sid: Hmmm. I’ve never chopped down a tree, but this seems like common sense. A circle is 360 degrees. Even the largest tree will only fall within a wedge of about 30 degrees. I like those odds. I manage to keep my hands out of the ceiling fan when I turn it on, so I don’t think this would be much different. (1 point)

Moist Rub: I believe the proper term is “fell a tree”. There is nothing more fun than getting some friends together, drinking a few beers and taking turns dominating nature by torturing one of its ligneous stalwarts with a blunt axe. Everybody gets sweaty and pumped and the testosterone feels like it will never stop flowing. The person who strikes the final blow gets to drink for free. Ahh, sweaty, drunk men. (1 point)

15. Calculate square footage. Width times length.

Sid: Serious? Come on, this is GED material. Real men use calculus. (1 point)

Moist Rub: Is Esquire written for third graders? (1 point)

Thus concludes Round 2. This competition is becoming more exciting than anyone could imagine. You better not leave the house.


Sid F'er: 6½

Moist Rub: 11¼

go to Part 3


keysunset said...

I leave the house and Sid and Moist decide to prove which one is more man. What does this mean?

I keep reading this as "Pop Man Up Challenge" which makes me think of those whack a mole games at the arcades. (They still have those games?) I get a funny image in my head of Moist and Sid popping up through holes in the side of a box a refrigerator came in while I whack them in the head with a padded mallet to prove which one is more manly ...

ll said...

My score?

11 1/2


ll said...

Oh, excuse me...

Pussy's (with all due respect)



keysunset said...

p.s. I'm loving the cartoons for these Pop Man Up Challenge blogs! :-D

HR said...

I think we've come to the point here: Real men do not read Esquire.