Thursday, September 20, 2007

My Manly Index

I'm not the most manly gent, in terms of doing manly things. I'm the kind of guy who has to work up momentum to change a light bulb, and I often hire people to do things like fix my roof, clean my rain gutters, fertilize my lawn, and even mow it.

I'm much happier doing housework, which requires less specialized knowledge and skill, and plus it keeps you indoors. I don't give a crap about sports, and whenever I go into a store like Home Depot, I feel totally overwhelmed and inadequate—in fact, entering Home Depot makes my scrotum protectively retract. Maybe the reason my body grows so much hair is to compensate for other areas where I'm less masculine...

Following is a list of 25 things a man should be able to do, according to Popular Mechanics, along with my notes on whether or not I can do them:

1. Patch a radiator hose

Heck, no.

2. Protect your computer

If this means downloading virus and firewall software and keeping it up to date, I do this pretty well.

3. Rescue a boater who has capsized

I dunno. Is there some special trick to it beyond extending him or her an oar or a hand?

4. Frame a wall

No clue.

5. Retouch digital photos

I don't use Photoshop, if that's what it means. I can do some basic cropping and sizing, if needed.

6. Back up a trailer

This would probably freak me out if I tried; I can barely scrape up the mojo to parallel park.

7. Build a campfire

Not a problem, especially if there's some newspaper handy. But I couldn't do it without matches.

8. Fix a dead outlet

No real clue, although I could follow instructions to do it.

9. Navigate with a map and compass

Seems like I studied this in Scouts, but I'm not sure I could do it now. I'm an Eagle Scout, believe it or not, but I would have to say I pretty much despise Scouting.

10. Use a torque wrench

I think I've used one, but it's been decades since my small engine repair class in ninth grade, which is one of the manlier things I've done. I'm still proud that my lawnmower engine ran so well after I completely took it apart and refurbed it.

11. Sharpen a knife

I could probably pull this off, but perhaps not optimally.

12. Perform CPR

I might be able to approximate it, but I can't remember the details.

13. Fillet a fish

If this just means slit its belly and clean it, I could probably do it.

14. Maneuver a car out of a skid

Don't you just turn the wheel in the opposite direction to counter balance it?

15. Get a car unstuck

I'm sure I could try a few moves and win the battle as often as not.

16. Back up data

If this means manually backing up onto a thumb drive or CD, I am quite diligent about this. If it means using something automatic, I don't do that.

17. Paint a room

I don't have much experience with this, so it would probably look pretty bad. But I'd check on the Internet for tips. My wife recently did the boys' room in the basement, but all I did to help was do some cleaning for her. Our gender roles are sometimes reversed like that.

18. Mix concrete

Never done it, but it doesn't seem that hard if you follow the directions.

19. Clean a bolt-action rifle

Never done it.

20. Change oil and filter

Never done it.

21. Hook up an HDTV

Never done it, but I could probably pull it off with instructions.

22. Bleed brakes


23. Paddle a canoe

You just keep changing sides to stay on track, right?

24. Fix a bike flat

I did my share of this as a kid, but now we take our bikes to a bike shop, usually after they've sat unused for several months.

25. Extend your wireless network

Well, I set up a basic one in my house, but I haven't tried to extend it.


Anonymous said...

To "bleed brakes" is analogous to medieval times, when someone was sick, only this applies to dysfunctional brakes and helps get rid of bad humors and such from an automobile perspective. -Dazey

Anna Maria Junus said...

Hey, I'm impressed.