Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Man's Ten Toys

There are the ten things every man should own and play with. They are the uber-toys. They are the absolute minimum needed in testosterone boosting penis extensions:

1.) A really fast car. Fast cars can be had for cheap. If you can't afford a Ferari (and who can?) you might be able to afford a 5.0 Mustang from 1989 (check out http://www.mustangregistry.org/lx_87_89.htm). Like many men I once spent time selling cars, and these are what I sold. They aren't Ferari fast, and they are ugly, but they will blow the doors off a Hyundai.

2.) The killer stereo system. Every man needs his tunes, whether they be Wagner, the Rolling Stones or the Notorious s B.I.G. (and no man's collection should be without these three). But you need the right stereo to pulsate those sounds around the living room. I'm partial to Bang Olufsen myself (www.bang-olufsen.com), but that is just my minimalist side peeking out.

3.) A really good high powered rifle. Cousin Gregor used to have a FAL, which some people might view as overkill, but I could hit a 50 gallon drum with the thing at 300 yards using open sights. Not too shabby. Mine is a Winchester Modle 94 with Bushnell optics chambered in .30-30 (http://www.winchesterguns.com/prodinfo/catalog/category.asp?cat=003C). Though I've long desired to have one of those big .50 caliber bolt action tripod guns. *That* would be overkill!

4.) Two wheels that roll fast. Not every man, mind you, needs a Harley. Harleys are great. I love the way they feel between my legs and the girls love them even more. But whatever bike floats your boat is a good bike to get. I've always like BMWs, but that's likely the influence of the Golden Boy (check his website out at www.gearheadvideo.com).

5.) The hole in the water. When I was growing up my dad had something called a Boston Whaler (www.whaler.com). It was a bizarre little thing, kind of rectangular on the top and wedge shaped below the waterline, with a center console where dad stood to pilot the boat. Eventually he traded up to a little cabin cruiser he named The Pliades. My step father's boat was even cooler. It was a 30 foot Monterey with an extended cabin that he'd bought at Port Chicago in California--not too far from where the Dimagio's used to launch their boats when they were in the fishing business, before baseball. Even if it's just a canoe, men need boats. From Lief Ericson to Ted Turner, manly men have used boats as symbols of power and tools of conquest.

6.) The biggest big screen TV you can afford. Nuff said.

7.) Two wheels that roll more slowly. Everybody needs a Trek Mountain Bike (www.trekbikes.com), or at least one of the Chinese knock-offs (like the one I ride, got it off of eBay). Yes, a manly man would have a road bike and a track bike as well, and if he was lance Armstrong a sprint bike and then several more of each. But the bare minimum is a trek mountain bike, one that can take you anywhere. Find a nice long hill. Climb to the top. Now fly down it with the wind in your hair and dream of yellow jerseys.

8.) The world's greatest barbecue. I grew up with the classic Weber charcoal grill in the backyard (www.weber.com). On it dad cooked salmon, London broil, even a rattlesnake he killed in our garden (tastes like chicken). When men cook it is an event, and the best stage is the Weber. Preferably over charcoal and mesquite (apologies to Hank Hill).

9.) Shakespeare. Not the writer (though some of his plays are very manly. MacBeth for instance. Not Hamlet. He's a whiner). No, Shakespeare the reel. Men need something to use on that boat, and if you're going to fish you might as well use Shakespeare. Whether it's spinning, casting or ocean fishing, they've got what you need. But nothing in the world beats the simple beauty of a fly reel. It's like that Bang Olufsen stereo. Minimalist.

10.) The perfect tools. In a perfect world, all my power tools would be from the same company so the batteries would be interchangeable. DeWalt is my favorite but I've had Black and Decker, Stanleys, even Mikitas pass through my hands from time to time. For power hammers nothing beats Milwaukee. The real high-end guys always seem to use Snap-On air tools (www.snapon.com). A good table saw, a chop saw and a drill press wouldn't be a bad idea either. But whatever your powertools, your hand tools should always be Craftsman (www.sears.com). They've been the best tools made forever, and the lifetime guarantee is the greatest guarantee in the world. And yes, I have gone to the flea market, picked up an old Craftsman crescent wrench with a broken handle for .50 cents, taken it to Sears and had it replaced for free, no questions asked. You can't beat service like that. They are the best tools made, and men are tool users. It's what separates us from the lower primates (Lord knows it isn't our manners).

(An honorable mention must go to a nice set of golf clubs. Golf is a fine game if that's your bag, but not everyone thinks it's manly to hit a little ball across a lawn for three hours at a time. Yes, Tiger Woods is a man, but let's see *you* drive it 300 yards off the T.)


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