Retro Relapse: 25 MORE Things Every Manly Man Should Own

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2016.

I did a previous installment of this list here.

But to paraphrase (or just cut & paste from the previous installment):

Why should a man own these things? Well, because they make you feel more manly and if you use these items, no one can deny your true manly essence. If you don’t have some of these things, befriend a man that does and share with him until you acquire your own.

So here we go!

1. A sleeping bag made out of a taxidermied great white shark.

2. A big forge for blacksmithing war-ready frigates.

3. A parang because it’s way cooler than a standard machete.

4. An industrial deli meat slicer.

5. Boxing gloves so you don’t damage your fists while taking care of the moose ruining your lawn.

6. A beer fridge the size of Fort Knox.

7. Jet fuel that you use as beard oil.

8. A pair of nunchucks fashioned from grizzly bones and mustang locks.

9. A guitar or another sweet instrument to woo the ladies into nakedness.

10. A big log to carry around to tone your muscles.

11. A pack of wolves who are your eyes, ears and enforcers around your property.

12. A legit gun holster with a six shooter.

13. An aquarium full of swordfish.

14. A boulder to throw. Men throw boulders.

15. An old hockey puck infused with Terry Sawchuk’s teeth and bones.

16. A flashbang grenade. They’re fun at parties.

17. MREs because sometimes the womenfolk make soups and salads.

18. A tank because Hummers are for sissies and quidditch moms.

19. A hippopotamus to use as a river raft.

20. A mean set of throwing knives because guns are noisy.

21. A great library. So when people come over, you can proudly and robustly proclaim, “This is my great library!”

22. An army of chickens that lay 200 grams of protein at your door each morning.

23. A pet anaconda used for resistance training.

24. A humidor that can hold several boxes of cigars and a party sub.

25. A 96 oz. porterhouse should always be on-hand.

Retro Relapse: 25 Things Guys Do That Make Them Pussies

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

*This is sort of a sequel to the post I did called 25 Things Manly Men Should Do On a Daily Basis. That post was well-received, so I figured that I should follow-up with the other side of the spectrum.

There are a lot of guys out there. In fact, like fifty percent of the population is guys. I’m not going to check the math on that because math is a waste of time and I’d rather allot more time to cooking bacon-wrapped bacon and getting hammered on brewery tours after chopping enough wood to build a town with a moderately sized zoo to house my Kodiak bear army.

Most men do things that make them pussies. I’ve slipped up once or twice in my life, as I am not perfect. Part of being a man is recognizing your faults, conquering them and never doing them again.

It is also a man’s duty to point out to other men when they are not living up to the essence of their testosterone-fueled birthright.

With that, I am going to list twenty-five things that make guys look like pussies and thus, not like men.

1. They would rather look like Jared Leto than a lumberjack with a dead moose over their shoulder.

2. They are a vegetarian or worse yet, a vegan.

3. They drive a Prius or another car manufacturer’s equivalent. A Smart car is a death sentence.

4. Whenever handed a beer by another man, it must be drank. Even if it is a bad beer. Unless of course you have a better beer on hand to share, in an effort to educate your friend’s palate. You should always have a good beer on hand: always.

5. They can’t pitch a tent: an actual tent. There are pills to help with boners and no man should shame another man who suffers from erectile dysfunction.

6. They fold their thumb under their fingers when making a fist.

7. When given the choice of bacon, they say “no”.

8. They watched Twilight with their significant other and then sat through one of the sequels as well.

9. They wear skinny jeans.

10. They use social media as a call for help or pity party or worse yet, they post song lyrics to convey their emotions.

11. They’ve actually voted on an American Idol contestant.

12. They eat their steak (or any meat, really) well-done or worse yet, with ketchup.

13. They refer to Jack Daniels as “bourbon”.

14. They don’t finish a beer. If you order it or it is given to you and you start drinking it, you must finish it.

15. They use the word “cute” to describe anything other than a female.

16. They consider Lil Wayne to be music.

17. They knock someone for drinking a Pabst Blue Ribbon but they are holding either a Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller Light, Mic Ultra or anything else in this category.

18. They sneer at cigars or pipes but fill their lungs with cigarette smoke or worse yet, menthols.

19. They carry purses or worse yet, they actually call them “man bags”.

20. They offer you a scotch, in attempt to appear manly, and they pull out a bottle of Cutty Sark or Dewar’s.

21. They use umbrellas on themselves.

22. They are too afraid of bugs to kill them or catch and release them.

23. They own a Fall Out Boy record or worse yet, they paid for it.

24. They have more beauty/hygiene products than deodorant, soap and beard oil.

25. They are offended by this post or they are hurt and offended by words in general. Grow up, man up, nut up and develop a sense of humor that doesn’t need to be approved by the girl who keeps you in the “friend zone”.

Retro Relapse: 10 Laws On Growing and Living With a Majestic Beard

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

People often come up to me and say, “Hey dude, sweet beard! Would you mind if I fuck it?”

Well, they don’t say exactly that but that statement pretty much sums up their initial reaction to my bold and luscious facial foliage.

The conversation quickly goes to “How long did that take to grow?” or “How do you take care of that precious pelt?” And then I spend some time educating people on how I do what I do and how I cultivate such a majestic mastodon of sexiness on my face.

Anyway, I thought that I should write an article about my ten tips for growing and maintaining a badass beard. People keep asking me, so now I can just refer them to this post and they can read it for themselves and pass it on to their friends in need of the God-like levels of confidence that can only come from giving birth to a cosmic man forest on one’s face.

So here we go, these are my ten laws for growing, maintaining and thriving with a majestic beard!

1. Don’t shave. As hard as it is accepting change in your life, don’t give in. In fact, throw your razors away and embrace your place in the universe.

2. Again, don’t shave. It takes some time to get passed the early growth stage but you have to commit to get to a better place. Bruce Lee didn’t learn how to kick God in the face by watching a YouTube video.

3. As it grows longer and fuller, don’t let any animals move in and make it a nest. Always check it when you wake up in the morning. I had an eagle trying to setup shop and drop some eggs around my left cheek but I put a stop to it real quick.

4. Treat it like a fine Persian rug and give it a little shampoo once in a while. Some manly dudes I know like to use beard oil. That’s optional.

5. Don’t mimic assholes like Jack Passion. His beard is a mess and I’m not sure why he is world-renowned. Of course, I wrote about that douche nugget in my article My Thoughts On Competitive Bearding.

6. Stop worrying about what people think. When your beard grows and your masculinity increases and you gain Thanos-like cosmic power, there will be haters. Why? Because weak punks will fear the power you now wield.

7. Just be chill as fuck. Why? Because after the haters rise up in your life, expect the women to fall at your feet like you are Brad Pitt with John Holmes’ dong and Carl Sagan’s sexy voice. You will embody true eloquence and your desirability will be enhanced by your grizzly bear-like essence. You are now the beastly lord of the forest. Let the lesser creatures cower and lick their bitch wounds.

8. Stroke the beard often. Enjoy it, feel its power and relish in the fact that you look like the toughest hockey player in the world and it isn’t even playoff time and you don’t even play hockey. And at this point, if your beard was hit by a flying puck, the hard rubber disc would explode into dust, as your beard is like a million whiskers transformed into a million Neos from The Matrix.

9. Smile and know that you have succeeded in becoming a full man. But as Uncle Ben said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Rule your manly domain justly and with care. Just because you wield the power, doesn’t mean that you have to show it off at every turn. Face your daily challenges with confidence and pride and move forward in life – knowing that this universe is a giant oyster that you can pluck for pearls whenever the hell you want.

10. If you ever doubt yourself or your progress, look in the mirror, touch your beard and give yourself a sly, sexy little wink. Without breaking eye-contact with your reflection, pleasure yourself. Problem fucking solved.

Retro Relapse: A Checklist of 25 MORE Things to Ensure You’re a Manly Man

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2015.

Are you manly as fuck? Do you feel that the word “alpha” is a cute little term used by bitchmen who aren’t as evolved as you are in your rugged robustness? Do you think that this is a waste of time because you have nothing left to prove to yourself, let alone the Internet?

Regardless of all that, for piece of mind, it is still good to question yourself once in a while in an effort to further strengthen your already ironclad confidence.

This is essentially the second such list I have done on this site. Hopefully you scored well on the first one. If not, use that bad ass yet bodacious checklist, crush those items out and then come back to this checklist to further reinforce your man status.

Here is the checklist to see how you stack up in manliness. There are also five bonus points that can be earned.

_You have a thirst to be outside and regularly find yourself in the wild.
_You have shaved your own bacon from a nice pork belly *(bonus point if you hunted the pig yourself).
_You don’t put ranch dressing on pizza or buffalo wings.
_You can fire an arrow with good accuracy using a bow.
_You gave your beard a name and have regular conversations with him.
_Your presence improves and enriches the lives of those around you.
_Your beard smells like a combination of pipe or cigar smoke, whiskey and red meat.
_You have read at least five Jack London stories *(bonus point for ten or more).
_You like and enjoy eating meats that are more exotic than just cows, pigs, fish and chicken.
_You don’t understand what someone means when they use the idiom “good luck.”
_You can bench press more than the body weight of the average man *(bonus point for 300 lbs. or more).
_You have killed a bottle of bourbon in a night, on your own, and still maintained court, socially.
_You walk under ladders and then the ladder has bad luck.
_You know how to sail.
_You don’t know what a furry is.
_You support craft beer because macrobrews are shit and your mouth deserves better than beechwood-aged bullshit.
_You can fix your own shit in your own house.
_You have made something useful out of metal.
_You think there isn’t enough fighting in hockey and athletes in other sports are total pussies.
_You like the smell of asparagus in your urine *(if this item offends you, deduct 10 points from your total).
_You know how to properly smoke five different types of meat *(bonus point for ten or more).
_You own a bust of Charles Bronson.
_You have wrestled some sort of animal.  *(bonus point if it was for survival reasons and you’re still alive).
_You have made a shelter from stuff found in the woods.
_You are confused when restaurants don’t have steak.

Here’s how you measure up:
25+ points = You are a savior to men, you should lead them all to greatness.
20-24 points = You’re on the cusp of ultimate manliness; you’ve nearly reached the summit of the gods.
15-19 points = You need to work on your shit but don’t be discouraged, even giants grew from tiny ovaries.
10-14 points = Dude, for real? Stop shopping for doilies and punch a tiger in the face. If it swallows your hand, punch with the other one.
5-9 points = Stop fucking ordering appletinis.
0-4 points = Deduct whatever points you have because you don’t deserve them. You’re a zero.

Ranking All the Movies Shown (Thus Far) on ‘The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs’ – UPDATED (After Season 2)

*Intro originally written after season 1. Total movie count changed though.

Joe Bob Briggs is one of the most important Americans that ever walked God’s green Earth. In fact, he’s probably the greatest Texan that ever lived and that’s a huge state with a lot of history.

So when I heard that Joe Bob was coming back with a new show, I was ecstatic. But if you’re a loyal reader of Talking Pulp (and its original form: Cinespiria) then you already know this.

But it’s already been about a year and Joe Bob, thanks to the wonderful people at Shudder, has provided us with three marathons and a full season of The Last Drive-In.

Also, I have to give a special shout out to Darcy the Mail Girl, who is super fucking cool to the fans and because of this, breaks Twitter every Friday night.

With all that being said, I wanted to rank all 63 films that have been featured on The Last Drive-In (thus far).

These 63 motion pictures are ranked based off of what they were rated in their reviews here on Talking Pulp.

So without further ado, roll that beautiful scream footage!

*Updated on 8/18/2020 after the Summer Sleepover special.

1. Black Christmas (9.5 out of 10)
2. Phantasm (9 out of 10)
3. Hellraiser (9 out of 10)
4. The Changeling (9 out of 10)
5. Hellbound: Hellraiser II (8.75 out of 10)
6. The Exorcist III (8.75 out of 10)
7. The House of the Devil (8.75 out of 10)
8. Heathers (8.25 out of 10)
9. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (8.25 out of 10)
10. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (8 out of 10)
11. Demons (8 out of 10)
12. Deep Red (8 out of 10)
13. Basket Case (8 out of 10)
14. Brain Damage (7.75 out of 10)
15. ReAnimator (7.5 out of 10)
16. Chopping Mall (7.5 out of 10)
17. Halloween (7.25 out of 10)
18. Maniac (7.25 out of 10)
19. Society (7.25 out of 10)
20. Sleepaway Camp (7 out of 10)
21. The Stuff (7 out of 10)
22. Blood Rage (7 out of 10)
23. Pieces (7 out of 10)
24. Rabid (7 out of 10)
25. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (6.75 out of 10)
26. Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead (6.75 out of 10)
27. Silent Night, Deadly Night, Part 2 (6.75 out of 10)
28. Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (6.5 out of 10)
29. Dead Heat (6.5 out of 10)
30. The Prowler (6.5 out of 10)
31. Wolf Guy (6.25 out of 10)
32. Q: The Winged Serpent (6.25 out of 10)
33. Victor Crowley (6 out of 10)
34. One Cut of the Dead (6 out of 10)
35. Bloodsucking Freaks (6 out of 10)
36. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (6 out of 10)
37. WolfCop (6 out of 10)
38. Deathgasm (5.75 out of 10)
39. Sorority Babes In the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (5.75 out of 10)
40. Phantasm IV: Oblivion (5.5 out of 10)
41. Daughters of Darkness (5.5 out of 10)
42. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (5.5 out of 10)
43. Contamination (5.5 out of 10)
44. Slumber Party Massacre II (5.5 out of 10)
45. Troma’s War (5.5 out of 10)
46. Street Trash (5.25 out of 10)
47. The Hills Have Eyes (5.25 out of 10)
48. Phantasm: Ravager (5 out of 10)
49. C.H.U.D. (5 out of 10)
50. Blood Harvest (4.75 out of 10)
51. Hell Comes to Frogtown (4.5 out of 10)
52. The Legend of Boggy Creek (4.5 out of 10)
53. Dead or Alive (4.25 out of 10)
54. Castle Freak (4 out of 10)
55. Demon Wind (4 out of 10)
56. Mayhem (3.5 out of 10)
57. Tourist Trap (3 out of 10)
58. Cannibal Holocaust (3 out of 10)
59. Scare Package (3 out of 10)
60. Blood Feast (3 out of 10)
61. Hogzilla (2.5 out of 10)
62. Deadbeat at Dawn (2.5 out of 10)
63. Jack Frost (2.25 out of 10)
64. Tetsuo: The Iron Man (2 out of 10)
65. Madman (2 out of 10)

Retro Relapse: 25 Things Men Should Do This Winter

**Not quite winter but the summer list was popular, so I brought this one back too.

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2015.

I did a summer list about six months ago. So why not a winter list?

It is winter time. Well maybe not officially, as I am ignorant on the exact day it starts. I live in Florida though, so it is summer here from early March through late October. It is hot all the time and it kind of sucks, honestly. Can we have some damned snow, please? Please, baby Jesus?! But it’s December. It is probably definitely winter.

Anyway, it’s supposed to be cold and snowy and whatnot. This changes the outdoors and makes things pretty exciting if you love adventure and pretending you are on Hoth.

So what should a beastly manly MFer do with his time now that he has several months off from the heat and humidity (if you live in Florida)? Well, I’m glad I asked because here is a list of twenty-five things men should do over the winter.

1. Dig a hole in the ground, create a fire pit and roast a large woodland beast over it for you, your friends and family.

2. Cut a hole in a frozen lake and catch some big fish. Then eat those big fish.

3. Like on my summer list, go to a National Park and soak in the beauty of your surroundings. Everything looks different in the winter.

4. Take a long weekend and go on a minor league hockey road trip. Go see the two or three teams closest to you. Or better yet, go see a string of games in Canada, where hockey is most pure.

5. Pretend you’re a Cold War Soviet badass and run around nude in the snow chugging vodka from the bottle.

6. Go to Kentucky and travel the Bourbon Trail.

7. Wear an old Irish fisherman’s sweater.

8. Chop wood for your own fire.

9. Brew your own beer.

10. Go camping. It is the most fun in cold weather.

11. Start keeping a journal. Write down your thoughts, goals and plans. Hold yourself accountable to your written records.

12. Warm up by making a lot of sweet love with your special lady or your special dude.

13. Rent a cabin if you don’t own one and be wild for a bit.

14. Spend some time doing those much needed repairs around your house, if it is just too damned cold outside.

15. Go on a multi-day hike – the longer, the better. Also on my summer list but again, things are much different in the winter.

16. Build a canoe for you to enjoy in the summer.

17. Enjoy cigars and pipes on those cold winter days.

18. Get in touch with your inner creative, whether that is painting, writing, blacksmithing, etc.

19. Cut down your own Christmas tree from the forest.

20. Sit around a campfire and read the written words of Jack London or Louis L’Amour.

21. Go skiing or learn how to ski. You want to be your own winter James Bond, right?

22. Take up whittling or model crafting. Use your hands so they don’t go cold.

23. Listen to bluegrass in a rocking chair with a jug of moonshine in your lap.

24. Perfect your cooking skills. Create a great seasoning blend for meat. Master jerky making.

25. Allow your beard to reach full maximum winter plumage.

Retro Relapse: 25 Things Men Should Do This Summer

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2015.

It is summer time. Well maybe not officially, as I am ignorant on the exact day it starts. I live in Florida though, so it is summer here from early March through late October. It is hot all the time and it kind of sucks, honestly.

Anyway, kids are getting out of school and all that, so it is summer time.

So what should a beastly manly MFer do with his time now that he has several months off from slaying yeti and frost giants? Well, I’m glad I asked because here is a list of twenty-five things men should do over the summer.

1. Have a badass barbecue. Invite your friends if you want to share all that glorious meat.

2. Take a long weekend and go on a minor league baseball road trip. Go see the two or three teams closest to you.

3. Go to a swimming hole and let loose. Swing from a tree like Tarzan and hit that water.

4. Teach yourself how to throw a tomahawk.

5. If it is too hot outside, stay indoors and fix some of the things that need tending to in your domicile. Your wife or lady friend will be really appreciative.

6. Go to a National Park and soak in the beauty of your surroundings.

7. Learn how to make soap.

8. Paddle a canoe. A real canoe. Kayaks are canoes for babies and people who have Speedo rewards cards.

9. Get certified in some subject or field that interests you.

10. Go on a craft brewery road trip.

11. Chop some wood. It is a great workout and you get more out of it in the heat.

12. Go on a multi-day hike – the longer, the better.

13. Play some type of sport outside with your friends.

14. Learn how to shoot a bow.

15. Spend way too much money on fireworks.

16. Read a book or twenty. Better yet, write a book.

17. Start taking a martial art.

18. Travel to somewhere you haven’t been.

19. Kill a wild boar and eat it because they are assholes to pretty much every ecosystem they’ve taken over. Plus, they are full of wild bacon.

20. Drink too much bourbon.

21. Do a lot of push-ups.

22. Eat an exotic meat. Buffalo isn’t really exotic.

23. Go camping, even if it’s hot. We’ve only had decent air conditioning for like fifty years. Or travel to a cooler climate and camp there.

24. Go fishing for dinner.

25. DON’T SHAVE YOUR BEARD! Deal with the heat like a man!

Retro Relapse: A Checklist of 25 Things to Ensure You’re a Manly Man

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

I’ve done posts about what manly men should own, things they should do on a daily basis to be manly men, as well as things that make them look like pussies. Also, I wrote about the 10 Laws for Growing a Majestic Beard, which enhances your masculinity.

This list however, is simply a checklist. It is a checklist to see how manly you are. Don’t worry, this isn’t sexist, as women can play too. I don’t need PETA (or whatever that big feminist group is called) to come down on me for being a savage bodacious beast attached to a testosterone-filled meat stick.

Anyway, I’m going to present these twenty-five things. Print this out and check them off or just do the math in your head. Because when you get to the end, you can see where you stand, as I will provide a rating system for your final number tally. If you can’t do simple arithmetic, you’ve already failed. Go hang out on the Strawberry Shortcake message boards instead of here.

I’m just kidding. I’m really here to help you become the best manly man that you can be. But you should know how to add.

But anyway, here is the checklist to see how you stack up in manliness. There are also five bonus points that can be earned.

_ You own at least ten flannel shirts *(bonus point for twenty or more).
_ You can hike a minimum of six miles on moderate terrain.
_ You’ve made something useful out of wood.
_ You get daily compliments on your facial foliage.
_ You own more than one bottle of whiskey.
_ You have never seen an episode of American Idol.
_ You have used a bone as a toothpick.
_ Your diet is 75% red meat and/or bacon.
_ You own a legit survival knife that actually does its job.
_ You can construct a tent without instructions.
_ You need at least a six pack to get any kind of buzz.
_ You can’t tell the difference between kale and the stuff used to decorate Easter baskets.
_ You have at least one friend that is a wild animal *(bonus point for an eagle).
_ You find a legit reason to use your multi-tool multiple times per day.
_ You own snake-proof boots and actually have a use for them.
_ You’ve worked out with a log *(bonus point for throwing it after the workout).
_ You’ve made a fire without using a lighter or matches.
_ You’ve eaten a fish that you caught yourself.
_ You can accurately diagnose what is wrong with your vehicle *(bonus point if you fixed it).
_ You can cook a stellar ribeye in a cast iron skillet.
_ You have chopped your own wood.
_ You have read at least five Louis L’Amour novels *(bonus point for ten or more).
_ You have good accuracy with a tomahawk.
_ You make ribs that aren’t just mediocre.
_ You can make at least five manly cocktails.

Here’s how you measure up:
25+ points = You are a mastodon of manliness.
20-24 points = You’re still a beast and on the verge of greatness.
15-19 points = You need some work but every grizzly starts as a cub.
10-14 points = C’mon, dude. Turn off Bridezillas and go put a gorilla in a headlock.
5-9 points = Stop buying Justin Beiber CDs.
0-4 points = Deduct whatever points you have because you don’t deserve them. You’re a zero.

Retro Relapse: 25 Ways To Become a More Refined Man

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2015.

I have written about manliness for quite some time. I have also done countless lists on different parts of the overall subject of manliness. They will help you evolve from a cub to a full-fledged grizzly. But sometimes, the grizzly has to evolve as well.

While always maintaining the characteristics of being lord of the wilderness, we as human beings also have to adapt and grow in our own world. You can be a badass motherfucker who is self-sufficient and a true go-getter. However, we are also above the wild beasts and not just because we have opposable thumbs.

For instance, if you are invited to a regal gala as a guest, you don’t show up dressed like a lumberjack gnawing on a bone. I mean, I’d respect and love a guy who did but it isn’t going to get you past the doorman. And don’t hit the doorman, he’s just doing his job.

The point here, is that we are an evolved species. We are still in many ways animals but we are also human beings and human beings have qualities that animals don’t. Can a moose play a trombone? Can a gorilla make red wine reduction sauce? Can an alligator build a house of cards? Can a lion master Canfield solitaire? Can a bison drive a Ferrari 458? The answer to all of these is “no.”

However, a man can do all of these things and this is why we are better than creatures that simply succumb to their animalistic urges. We can do more, we want more and we can be more than the sum of animal parts because we have human parts.

Presented here, is a list of things that a man can do in an effort to make himself more refined. You don’t have to do these things and can continue to be a simple grizzly but don’t expect to woo as many womenfolk or to have them invite you to dinner at the Senator’s house.

And now, the list:

1. Learn enough about fashion to know what doesn’t work and then don’t wear what doesn’t work. Also, wear what makes you comfortable. You can have your own unique style but you also don’t want to look like a clown. Many people are terrified of clowns, especially ones acting like caged animals clawing at their silly clothes.

2. Listen to some real music once in awhile. All that EDM shit does is rot your brain. Sometimes I do like my brain to rot a bit but nothing says “refinement” in the musical realm more than a man that knows a little something about jazz or any other musical genre that uses real instruments.

3. Learn to play an instrument. This shows off your dedication, skill and passion. Any and all passion is good. I once tried my hand at the saxophone. I quit too early and have regretted it since. I was also really young and my mum didn’t push me into continuing. An instrument is something I would like to pick up again.

4. Learn how to find the answers to your own questions. Google is an amazing tool. Don’t constantly ask people simple shit you can find the answers to with a few keystrokes on your smartphone.

5. Stop being lazy. If you have a problem or something that needs to be taken care of, get off of your ass and fucking do it. A refined man doesn’t procrastinate and wait for something to potentially blow over. They attack it head on, deal with it and move on to the next thing.

6. Similar to number four, learn how to fix your own problems. Granted, some problems can’t be fixed alone but no one likes a guy that needs his hand held every step of the way through life. One thing punk rock taught me was “do it yourself.”

7. Learn from your experiences. Don’t keep making the same mistakes or asking the same people, the same questions again and again. You look like a fucking fool and no one will give a shit when you actually have a legit problem. Stop dating assholes, stop hanging with douchebags, stop finding yourself doing that same thing that always gets you into trouble.

8. Be mindful of your surroundings. Don’t over-project your presence on other people. Don’t be an obnoxious self-absorbed asshole. Know how certain things you do or say could affect other people in your immediate environment.

9. Learn how to express yourself in regards to difficult topics like politics and religion. Or just shut the fuck up about it, if you don’t have the self-restraint to not come off as a psychotic hot head. Assholes never convert anybody to their cause.

10. As an extension of number nine, when talking about difficult topics, know what you are talking about. Don’t just parrot what you’ve heard and take other opinions at face value: adopting them as your own. Know how to confirm facts and know how to hold up your end of a debate.

11. Put down the swill. This is in regards to beer, wine, whiskey and pretty much anything else that fits this category. Learn more about craft beer, fine wine, whiskey, cigars, pipes and other vices. Experience more refined choices in these realms and feel your own refinement grow as a result. No one ever looked at a Mic Ultra drinker and thought, “There’s a guy that’s got his shit together.” The Dos Equis guy is an actor.

12. Travel more. You can’t see the world from your own neighborhood. Even if you think this is something you can’t afford, you can always take small weekend trips in a car. Hell, get outdoors and pitch a tent.

13. Hike. Or hike more if you hike already. Walking around in the wilderness is good for your stress and it gives a man time to think on things. Most of my great ideas have come while hiking or working out.

14. Work out. Yes, get off the couch, get out of your office chair and move a little bit. Any activity is better than no activity. If you feel like you are so out of shape that you can’t perform at the level you’d like to, take solace in the fact that you are lapping every guy sitting on his ass.

15. Play a sport. Shoot some hoops or better yet, round up some other menfolk and play some baseball, football, hockey, tennis, racquetball or soccer. Make this a routine. Add this to your workout regime. Besides, other men can help motivate you to get your ass out the door, as you can motivate them in the same way.

16. Know how to cook something great. It’d be best if you knew how to cook multiple things greatly but if you don’t, start somewhere. Every man should have a nice signature dish. Refine your culinary skills and thus, refine the taste buds of those around you. Be the man responsible for the pleasing look on your guests’ faces. Make motherfuckers salivate.

17. Learn gratitude and how to express it. Don’t take small things for granted.

18. Learn humility and how to laugh at yourself. Learn how to deal with male bantering and ribbing. No one likes the guy who is a spoiled sport or a crybaby. And definitely, don’t be a sore winner.

19. Stop talking about how “alpha” you are. If you have to tell everybody, then you aren’t “alpha” – you’re something else that starts with an “a”. Besides, all that “alpha” stuff is bullshit (see here).

20. Hold a door for a lady. Pay for dinner. It’s just what a man does, even if the woman doesn’t act too keen about it. And don’t expect anything in return.

21. Don’t be a chameleon. For example, don’t idolize some cool dude and then mimic his style. Also, don’t fake that you are into something that a person or group of people are into just so that you can fit in. You won’t fit in and you’ll look like an idiot. Be yourself, didn’t your parents teach you that?

22. Expanding on number twenty-one, stop lying about small insignificant stupid shit. In fact, if you are confident and have character, you don’t need to lie at all. You don’t want to be one of those idiots who says, “Oh yeah, I loved that movie!” And then in another conversation later with the same person say, “I really need to see that movie!” You forget about stupid lies but the people you lied to don’t forget. This person is just a weasel and not worthy of anyone’s time. At least, anyone who likes people they interact with to be genuine.

23. Be confident without being a narcissist. People respect confidence but they loathe an asshole that is high on their own bullshit. Through your journey of refinement, you should gain confidence – if you don’t have it already. Know what you want, know how to get it and be sure of your quest and who you are while on that quest.

24. Always expand your palate. Be it in things you orally consume, the entertainment you seek out or the adventures you go on. Human beings get bored doing the same thing all the time. Challenge yourself, accept new experiences and try things. Don’t be the human equivalent of a turkey sandwich at Subway.

25. Have a thirst for knowledge. Always be down to learn new things. Pick up a damn book and read it. Learn a new skill. Constantly challenge yourself, expand your horizons and continually evolve. Know that you are responsible for your own education in life. You are the cultivator of your own experiences. You are the sole cartographer of your own personal atlas. Your atlas is your life and everything that comes with it.

Retro Relapse: 25 Things Every Manly Man Should Own

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

Being a man is tough in this modern sissy age. There are those who want to emasculate us and make us more androgynous. They think that our testosterone-driven DNA is barbaric and neanderthal-like. Then again, these hypocritical people are the first to call a man a “pussy” if he doesn’t man up when they command him to. I call these people “women” (their actual sex doesn’t matter, as some have penises).

While women can try to have their cake and eat it too, I’m going to have my steak, a bourbon, a campfire, a pet bear I tamed to bring me fresh wild game and a big set of balls that I have to be cautious of in order not to sit on them due to their immensity. That may have been a bit of a run-on sentence but I am a man and grammar is just an annoying slut that you have to chin check once in a-fucking-while.

So while many men struggle with being men because the pressure of assholes telling them that they’re evil oppressors can be overbearing, I am here to tell you about twenty-five things every man should own.

Why should a man own these things? Well, because they make you feel more manly and if you use these items, no one can deny your true manly essence. If you don’t have some of these things, befriend a man that does and share with him until you acquire your own.

So here we go!

1. A backyard full of wood slabs to make stuff out of.

2. A bow. Because throwing an arrow is actually harder than it should be.

3. A bluegrass record. Emphasis on “record”.

4. A tool belt. Preferably one made out of the hide of an animal you ate, held together by duct tape and Gorilla Glue.

5. A collection of whiskeys large enough to rival the biggest liquor store in your area and to support the town’s drinking habits if zombies, orcs or sparkly vampires ever do raid your living space.

6. A saw. Any saw, really. Although you should make an effort at acquiring every type of saw and inventing a few new ones.

7. A doctorate in falconry degree.

8. A shed full of smoked bacon and the room on your property to expand it, if the need arises.

9. A very sharp cutlass to duel other men with. This is the best kind of cardio workout for a man’s man.

10. Season tickets to a minor league hockey team, as the fights are better and usually the shit beer is cheaper.

11. One of those giant Middle Earth eagles because airfare is free and there are no delays.

12. An old car engine used primarily for cooking slabs of meat.

13. A homemade industrial-sized cat tree to keep the mountain lions out of your manly hair when you are eating copious amounts of meat.

14. A beard thick, luscious and manly enough to grow its own beard.

15. An axe, a stump and a lot of wood. This is the best way for a man to stay in nice physical shape.

16. A house rattlesnake to take care of unwanted vermin.

17. A baseball bat. Preferably a Louisville Slugger.

18. A monster truck made out of wood over a frame built from the bones of a buffalo. Moose antlers on the hood are a nice accent.

19. A tomahawk worth throwing.

20. A few pet beavers because you never know when you will need to build a dam.

21. A copper still. The reason should be obvious.

22. A really good survival knife because toothpicks are a waste of perfectly good wood.

23. A self-whittled totem pole on your property that showcases all of your power animals.

24. A lion or tiger to ride because horses are high maintenance, overly emotional and harbor grudges. Also, big cats are better at climbing mountains and scaling trees with ease.

25. A hidden cabin in an undisclosed location to horde your extra meat, liquor and gold. Preferably guarded by two trusted Kodiak bears.