The coldest, darkest time of year can teach us many things. One of the most important however, is how to be a man. This January, Captain and Clark celebrate Manuary, or the art of being a man. Whether it’s taking care of the ones you love or knowing how to tie a knot that keeps your bag together on the road, there’s a lot to being a man. Here are some manly tips and tricks for the traveling gentleman to keep in his pocket.
So, you want to learn how to wrestle a tiger? There is a specific art to wrestling a tiger. It starts with rule #1: Don’t. However, if you are feeling the manly urge to assert your dominance over the Earth’s greatest predator why not try starting with a small one. Or, even, a stuffed one. Or just go visit a tiger and pay your respects.
Day 2 – How to listen to a woman
So you want to listen to women? Well good luck. You have a better chance of learning the French version of Morse Code. However, if you’re determined and you want to learn how to be a man you need to start by learning how to listen to a woman. The first rule is to forget everything you know about listening to men. When men talk to one another they want help with their problems. When women talk to you they want support and encouragement, but not help. Look alert, sharp, and concerned, but remain silent. Like stalking a wild horse, your job is to observe and then comment without advice. Let’s try this illustrative example:
If a woman says: “The board of regents is really giving me trouble today. I’m so tired of all their last-minute requests.”
A.) Why don’t you tell them that you need more time off? (WRONG)
B.) I’ll call them and tell them that you’re too busy to do that. (WRONG)
C.) You should probably work less or tell them how you feel. (REALLY WRONG)
D.) Don’t they know how hard you work? You are so under valued by your colleges. (YES! Bravo, you.)
Remember the key to listening is not talking.
Day 3 – How to use sailing terminology
Nothing quite says manhood like using sailing terms in landlocked situations. This reminds everyone how worldly and capable you are. Here are a few easy to remember terms to use in your daily course.
I’m going to hit the head = I’m going to the bathroom
I was three sheets to the wind = I was really drunk
Why don’t you cast off that moor-line? = Relax
Keep a weather-eye on your mizzen = Watch your back
I’d like to keelhaul that scallywag = I want to bind that person’s hands and legs and drag them along the razor-sharp, barnacle encrusted, underside of my ship until they are torn apart or drowned.
Day 4 – How to play poker
If you’re truly intent on being a man (or celebrating manhood) then you need to embrace poker. There are more types of poker than fish in the sea, but let’s talk Texas hold ’em. For those of you looking to learn how to play poker here’s a few tips to help. Print off the sheet of poker hands below. If your two cards (the two you get dealt) and any of the five cards on the table make (there will be three rounds of cards getting put on the table, first 3, then 1, and then 1 more) one of those combinations, you’re good. Truly helpful hints are:
Don’t turn your back to the door. – Know when to hold them and when to fold them. – If someone tells you that can’t play, they’re lying.
Day 5 – How to be a better swordsman
There are almost as many varieties of sword as there are variations on poker. However, here are some helpful hints on swordsmanship that are universal. You always want to put the pointy part into the other person, not yourself. Outside of that remember that when you parry (that means block) try to keep the pointy tip pointed at your enemy’s chest and to move the hilt of the sword. This allows you to roll the enemy’s sword away and have your tip ready for the attack. Also, if you must use french words when fencing please do so responsibly. “En garde,” means “Get ready.” “Touche,” actually means “touch,” as in “You got a point.” You can at least sound deadly in your next sword confrontation, if not be deadly.
Day 6 – How to give a wedding toast
One of the marks of a great man is his ability to give a compelling toast. Be it a birthday or wedding make sure that you leave no heart un-roused or eye dry. While on the road you might find yourself in the position to say something, don’t be caught off guard. The formula for an on-the-fly toast is fairly simple.
#1: Open with a self-depreciating joke. This allows your audience to warm up to you, you’re funny, humble, and connected. Boom.
#2: Tell a personal story that everyone already knows. This allows you to become an authority, you are shedding new light on an old story. Just like that you and your audience are now co-conspirators.
#3: Give some metaphor for life. Metaphors involving the sea rarely miss the mark.
#4: Raise your glass. Savor the fruits of social conquest.
Please consult the compelling clip of the Count of Monte Cristo below for a fine example of what a toast should look like.