Friday, May 09, 2008

The Leper Pop Man Up Challenge – Part I

Sid: Sometimes I just want to punch Moist Rub in the face. Not because I hate the guy or anything, but it would probably add a little drama to the blog. I’m sure you get bored reading his cute little parenting stories about teaming up with the decomposed remains of Edgar Allan Poe or my exciting reviews of PBA tournaments. But if I just clocked the guy next time I see him, then we’d have some Grey’s Anatomy level drama around here and ratings that would be totally off the hook. But I’m a lover, not a fighter. So instead I challenged him to see who is the better man. Esquire Magazine provided the forum in their article 75 Things Every Man Should Master, by Tom Chiarella . We’ll address each and every of the 75 things over the course of the next week in this blog – the most points at the end of the week wins a sack of White Castles and a trophy topped with the likeness of Chester Arthur.

Moist Rub: May I chime in here? When Sid said above that he was a lover not a fighter, I feared he would then suggest something much more rude than challenging me to Man Upness. Luckily, sometimes I like to be punched in the face, which is why Sid and I get along so well. Before we get into this activity, I’d like to file a formal protest against it. Why is it that only men should have to master these skills? What is it about them make them so male? If women can do these things, does that make their boobies any less luscious? What about my man boobs? Will these skills help cure that affliction? I like to think I represent the wants and needs of all women of the world. On their behalf, I am truly offended.

Here are the first 5 Skills we should be able to master. Let the Man Upness begin!

A Man Should Be Able To:

1. Give advice that matters in one sentence. I got run out of a job I liked once, and while it was happening, a guy stopped me in the hall. Smart guy, but prone to saying too much. I braced myself. I didn't want to hear it. I needed a white knight, and I knew it wasn't him. He just sighed and said: When nobody has your back, you gotta move your back. Then he walked away. Best advice I ever got. One sentence.

Sid: A wise man once told me that a wise man once told him never to give advice unless the other person’s hair is on fire. Could that have been construed as advice? I don’t know, but it made sense to me and I rarely run into people with flaming hair. (0 points)

Moist Rub: Do what you want, want what you do, no regrets. Is that advice or merely a wonderfully insightful and ingenious raison d’etre? Who am I to be telling other people what to do? I’ll take the goose egg on this one. And if you have a problem and need some advice, go for the goose egg. (0 points)

2. Tell if someone is lying. Everyone has his theory. Pick one, test it. Choose the tells that work for you. I like these: Liars change the subject quickly. Liars look up and to their right when they speak. Liars use fewer contractions. Liars will sometimes stare straight at you and employ a dead face. Liars never touch their chest or heart except self-consciously. Liars place objects between themselves and you during a conversation.

Sid: My theory is from the House, MD school – everybody lies. So I guess that means I can tell when they’re lying. Even when they aren’t. (1/2 point)

Moist Rub: I could probably do this if I cared if you were lying to me or not. Do you really think what you have to say matters? Well, it doesn’t. So lie away. I’m not paying attention to you, anyway. (0 points)

3. Take a photo. Fill the frame.

Sid: People that spend their life trying to fill the frame miss out on the experience itself. If being a man involves wearing a fanny pack and carrying a tripod and suitcase full of lenses, then I’ll take a 0. If God wanted us to fill the frame, He wouldn’t have developed Photoshop. (0 points)

Moist Rub: How could somebody not be able to take a photo? Point the camera at what you want to photograph, press the button. I can’t believe this even made the list. I suppose being able to breathe and being able to squirt out a really nasty fart are on the list, too. I’ll take a point for each of those abilities. (3 points)

4. Score a baseball game. Scoring a game is an exercise in ciphering, creating a shorthand of your very own. In this way, it's a private language as much as a record of the game. The only given is the numbering of the positions and the use of the diamond to express each batter's progress around the bases. I black out the diamond when a run scores. I mark an RBI with a tally mark in the upper-right-hand corner. Each time you score a game, you pick up on new elements to track: pitch count, balls and strikes, foul balls. It doesn't matter that this information is available on the Internet in real time. Scoring a game is about bearing witness, expanding your own ability to observe.

Sid: I tried it once when I was a kid, but got bored. The only adult males I see scoring the games are the ones sitting by themselves, wearing black socks and sneaking their own baggies of trail mix into the park. Who the hell writes for Esquire? (0 points)

Moist Rub: I’ll admit it. I’m a baseball geek. I never knew that would help me pass a test to become a man, however. The only reason I agreed to help coach my daughter’s softball team was so that I could maintain the scorebook. Wanna see my boss spreadsheet with all the stats? (1 point)

5. Name a book that matters. The Catcher in the Rye does not matter. Not really. You gotta read.

Sid: Bite me. A book that matters? I don’t even know what that means, so unless they’re talking about Nancy Drew I’m not faring too well today. (0 points)

Moist Rub: All we have to do is NAME a book that matters? War and Peace. There. Doesn’t mean I read it. This test is easy. I can name most of the major organs of the human body, too, not that I know what they do. Can I be a doctor now? (1 point)

Thus concludes Round 1. We'll have 7 more rounds coming your way this week. Don't leave the house.


Sid F'er: 1/2

Moist Rub: 5

go to Part 2


ll said...

Good lord.

Even I am more of a man than Sid is!!

Anonymous said...


HR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HR said...

Isn't Tom Chiarella gay?