ZNP 2009

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7) Have a firm handshake

A real man needs to know how to shake a hand.  Presence is one thing, but if a tough-looking guy shakes a hand like he’s rubbing a lucky rabbit’s foot, his gruffness is all for not.

One of the first things real men do when approaching one another is size each other up; try and figure out what to do if something goes down…  Generally the handshake is the best way to find out what the other guy is made of.  If one of them blows it with a notorious dead-fish handshake, he’s got a lot of ground to make up.

It is thought that the handshake originated as a sign of peace, as each participant showed they held no weapons (the free hand was used to pat the other person down, a practice no longer encouraged… in fact it’s looked down upon by manhood).  While a man may show he’s packing no weapons by shaking hands, through a strong handshake he can prove he’s packing some muscles.

Old-English etiquitte demands that gloves be taken off when shaking another person’s hand, unless the shake is being shook at the opera or a ball.  Then it would be fine to leave any gloves on.

A real man should never worry about the condition of the hand he’s about to shake.  If he’s approaching another man, who at the time is changing the oil in their car, he should still barehanded shake–without hesitation.  Same goes with a man who’s approaching a guy who just gutted a deer.  Manhood etiquitte does say that the guy gutting the dear should at least wipe his hands on his trousers before shaking.

The conditions above are meant to prepare men for the ultimate handshake: the spit-on it.  Real men spit on their hands before a shake to show trust in one another.  Plus the spit acts as a sealant to help seal the deal when an agreement is made.

Remember, while a handshake may be a breif exchange lasting only a few pumps, if it is done with strength and purpose it can go a long way in preserving manhood.


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6) Enjoy watching things explode

explodingwatermelonPhoto: http://s18.photobucket.com/albums/b147/dysenterycian182/?action=view&current=ExplodingWatermelon.jpg

Despite all the time real men spend putting things together, they still enjoy watching things come apart.  Real men enjoy breaking things.  They like to see stuff explode, scatter, burst, shatter, and combust.  To them, there’s something about the thrill of watching a thing that was once whole quickly become un-whole, and fly off in various directions.

For instance, if the copy machine in an office breaks down and needs to be disposed of, or if it the toner is low, the first thing all the real men in the office should think is “is it appropriate to throw it off the top of the building?”

Such activity was surely part of early men’s lives.  After prehistoric men stripped a whooly mammoth of meat and fur, they probably threw the skeleton off a cliff just to watch the bones shatter into fragments.  Yes, the reason paleontologist have such trouble finding a complete skeletal structure is partly because of that.

Food and drink certainly are not immune to men’s destructive instinct.  Most recently, real men have been combining diet cola and Mentos as an efficient and effective way to get a bottle to explode.  Before that it was water and dry ice.  Squash and melons are also victims.  Not a Halloween goes by without a real man chucking a pumpkin, and not a summer goes by without a watermelon being dropped off a roof.

While destruction of things like electronics, containers, and edibles may be viewed as detrimental to society, taking away such opportunites will likely be harmful to manhood.  As instinct and history have shown, it is preserved by small, harmless explosions.

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Feature: Joey Chestnut


As time expired in the 93rd annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, six-time champion Takeru “Tsunami” Kobayashi had eaten 63 hot dogs.  But Joey Chestnut, an under”dog” from California, had eaten 66.  For the first time in 8 years, the belt again belonged on American soil.  The cost?  A meager 19,600 calories.  What did he have to say after the win?  “If I needed to eat another one right now, I could.”

The following year, in the 94th annual contest, Kobayashi came back swinging.  He and Chestnut went back and forth until the final bell rang, and at that time they were tied at 59 dogs a piece.  For the first time in the contest’s history, the competition went into overtime.  The winner would be the fist to eat five.  In OT Kobayashi was the first to pound four dogs.  It seemed he’d be the winner in just a few more moments.  Then, in the clutch, Joey “Jaws” Chesnut closed in and was the first to get the fifth down in an incredible photo finish.

Well done, Joey.  You’re doing your part to preserve manhood.

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5) Never wear pink shirts

Never ever wear pink shirts.  Or anything pink, for that matter.  A pink shirt will cancel out all efforts a man has made to be a real man.  He can be doing everything right, but it will all be for naught when he pulls that pink polo over his head.

The driving force behind men wearing pink is definitely the influence of women.  They think men look “cute” in it.  A common argument among pink-clothed men is that women find it attractive, so it’s ok.  That couldn’t be more wrong–not that women may like it–but that it’s ok to wear it because of it.  It’s not.  If women thought it was cute for men to file their finger nails, cut off their biceps, and not watch sports, would it be ok for men to follow suit?  No way.

Pink is inherently effeminate.  It would be offensive for someone to show up to a baby shower with pink balloons if the mother was having a boy, and they knew about it.  Furthermore, would it be offensive if a mother dressed her baby boy in a pink outfit and people mistook him for a baby girl?  Probably not, he’s dressed in girl colors.  But if an adult man is dressed in pink, and someone calls him a girl, it’s offensive.

Yet to come is a football team, or any men’s atheletic team, that dons pink uniforms.  Why?  For one, they’d get laughed off the field.  Two, pink can have negative affects on what men stand for.  A few facts about the color belonging to men’s opposites (women):

Pink is usually associated with love and romance.

One psychological affect of pink is that it relaxes muscles (not manly).

Sports teams sometimes paint the opposing teams locker room pink to keep the players passive.

Men need to wear colors that represent what they stand for.  They don’t stand for dressing like Paris Hilton, eating conversation hearts, or celebrating Valentines Day.  They stand for eating jerky.  They stand for herding cattle.  They stand for fixing toilets.


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4) Enjoy a good fight

Whether they’re in it or just watching it, real men like a good fight.  Heck, mankind began fighting as soon as they existed; Cain fought Abel (and got a little carried away).  From that point on, women went about picking daisies and men went about picking fights.

While the desire to fight in men is obviously instinctive, the drive is emboldened by what they surround themselves with.  Young real-men don’t hang up posters of peacemakers, they hang up posters of fighters, e.g., He-Man, Batman, and Chuck Norris.  (Peacemakers do a lot for the world, but they just don’t sell well as action figures.)

It should also be noted that when a man begins working out and lifting weights, getting in shape is not the core reason.  In the back of his mind he’s thinking “this will give me an edge in a fight, if the occasion should arise.”

Unfortunately, much is done early on to temper real men’s drive to fight.  Moms put fighters in time out.  Schools put them in detention.  Society puts them in prison.

However, throughout history outlets have been established where men can satisfy their need to fight or watch fights and not have to worry about punishment by law.  Anciently, men fought as gladiators in coliseums.  In Medieval times they jousted.  Then came the Renaissance, and that threw everything off (really, it was the dark age of manhood).  Men began pretend fighting in plays, and any blood that was spilled was fake.

It’s taken a while to rebound from the affect of the Renaissance.  After it, men went back to hitting each other, but they did it with padded gloves on.  Boxing kept men entertained through hard times, including the great depression.  However, manhood again took a hit when WWF and WCW Wrestling came out of the woodwork.  It looked cool, and a lot of men fell into it’s false sense of fight-fulfillment, but it all turned out to be a fraud.

Luckily, men are getting back to where they need to be with the emergence of mixed martial arts programs like UFC.  The gloves are barely padded, the rules are few, and the dudes in the ring are psycho.

Yes, nothing manifests manhood more than a man going fist-to-cuffs with another man.  And for those real men who just want to watch the fight, the simple attitude of “I could take him… if I wanted to” works just fine.

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3) Eat stuff that makes you uncomfortable

Real men are willing to lay it all on the line when they dine.  They’re willing to consume something that brings them pain.  The essence of this trait stems from the classic dare. Dares are thrown around regularly among real men in their early years, and many of the dares deal with eating or drinking something questionable.

Put two boys in a back yard and, if they’re destined to be real men, they’ll be daring each other to eat dirt clods within minutes.  Put the same two boys in a kitchen, and they’ll be mixing tabasco and mayonaisse smoothies as soon as they discover the blender.  As a young real-man outlast such dares he builds a slight tolerance for distasteful things.

The tolerance is carried into teenage and adult years, where real men make a name for themselves by what they’re able to put down.  A man is preserving manhood when he orders his burrito extra spicy.  He’s also preserving manhood when he puts an extra heaping of sauerkraut on his bratwurst.  And he’s really representing when he chugs his drink and smashes the can on his head.

On top of that, it’s not only what a real man can put down, but how much also plays a factor.  Gallon challenges, hotdog eating contests, and chili pepper eat-offs celebrate and preserve manhood.  Consuming such edibles in such quantities is not easy or comfortable, but it’s the difficult things that make a man a real man.

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