Retro Relapse: 30 Things You May Find In a Man’s Beard That Aren’t Poop

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

*Written in 2015.

Recently, some asshole did some bullshit study about how beards are full of poop. That asshole was immediately put on blast as many came out to debunk that libel against masculine plumage.

Snopes, who fact checks the crap out of everything, even spent time debunking the agenda-riddled claims of a person who is probably a hairless feminist with a grab bag full of phobias (Snopes article here).

The fact of the matter is, if you are into facesitting or other ass-to-mouth sort of activities, you may just end up with some feces in your majestic beard. That also doesn’t mean that you can’t take a shower like a normal person after some intimate tomfoolery. With a good scrubbing, you can have a shit free beard.

The thing is, it is probably pretty goddamned rare that some dude is just going to have some shit chilling in his whiskers.

This is why I have comprised a list of thirty things that are more likely to be found in a manly man’s beard. And if any of these seem unsettling, you aren’t a manly man or wouldn’t be worthy enough to court one. And again, all it takes is a good scrubbing to clean one’s facial mane. Just be clean people.

So here are thirty things more likely to be in a beard than poop:

1. whiskey
2. beer
3. coffee
4. steak blood
5. scales from a devoured Alaskan king salmon
6. piece of a hot dog or sausage
7. a whole piece of bacon
8. tobacco
9. hot sauce
10. mushroom sauce from a schnitzel eating contest
11. toothpaste
12. soap
13. pine tar
14. motor oil
15. hay
16. drywall
17. sawdust
18. scorched bits of hair from blacksmithing
19. precious metals and minerals
20. slobber from our beast dogs
21. cat tongue residue
22. lipstick from an admirer
23. glitter from an aggressive stripper
24. sweat from doing sports or man stuff
25. old baseball cards
26. attractive girls’ phone numbers
27. broken shards from a devoured Rammstein CD
28. wild fur from headbutting a bison
29. diamonds from coal that wasn’t immediately scrubbed out
30. a family of new beards hiding in the safety and comfort of the older more robust beard

Retro Relapse: Be A Man By Being Your Own Man

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

*Written in 2014.

I write about manliness a lot on here. It seems to be a topic not only popular with men but also women. In fact, I find more positive responses from the ladies than the guys on some of the things I write. It seems like manliness is in short supply and men and women are wishing that there was more of it to go around in the modern era.

There are a lot of blogs, websites, books and other media that thrive on the subject of manliness, what it is and how dudes should embrace it and employ it. The truth is, there are a lot of opinions about what a man is and how he should behave and carry himself. Different sources say different things and to take it all in can be confusing, as there are a lot of contradictions depending upon where you chose to get your information from.

I read a lot of the stuff out there. I agree with a lot but I disagree with a lot more. However, my opinion, as well as the opinions of those I am reading, is all subjective. I outlined what I really think it takes to be a man with my post Misconceptions of Manliness. I wanted to expand on some of what I said there though.

In it, I outlined what character traits a man should have above all other things. I can talk about beards and sports and steaks and booze and cigars and knives and all types of “manly” shit but none of that stuff makes a man. A man is what his character is. One of the best traits a man can have, in my view, is not giving a fuck about what other people think. Before that is taken to an extreme, let me elaborate.

By not giving a fuck, I don’t mean to be an asshole and look at those who disagree with you or offer criticism as useless assholes. Often times criticism and others’ opinions can be beneficial. A man doesn’t walk around with a holier than thou attitude, looking down at everyone else as some sort of lesser being. When I say a man shouldn’t give a fuck, that’s in reference to the negativity and the haters out there. And just because you don’t give a fuck, doesn’t mean that you need to be a douchebag about it.

The thing is, not everyone is going to like you. Being universally loved isn’t possible and you have to recognize that – the sooner, the better. Again, this isn’t a license to be an asshole. The point is, you can’t be negatively effected or hindered by the shit that those people say. Many assholes are just being douchebaggy because they are miserable people – negative husks with nothing going for them other than trying to hold others down. You shouldn’t give a fuck what these people think or say.

However, you should also be able to realize the difference between the good people and the assholes and where their feedback is coming from, whether it is a good place or a bad place. If you’re not sure about someone yet, take what they say with a grain of salt. On the flip side, it also doesn’t mean that you have to take everything that the good people say to heart. Analyze the information and do with it what you will because good people can also give bad critique and advice.

You can’t go through life overly concerned with others’ opinions. There comes a point where you have to find enough confidence in yourself that you know how to steer your own ship. When there, it doesn’t mean that you don’t listen, it just means that you know where you are headed, who you are and does the feedback your getting enhance that or go against it? That’s the question we should all ask ourselves: men and women.

Going back to the different views of what manliness is and how you should be, you should really apply the not giving a fuck rule. Everyone has their opinion on what a man is and how you should apply it. Fuck them. Who do you think you should be and what is a man to you? There isn’t some man factory pumping out templates for all of us guys to jump into. Besides, in my opinion, just following what someone else tells you to do isn’t the action of a man anyway.

Retro Relapse: 30 Christmas Gifts for the Grizzly Man

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

*Written in 2015.

Christmas rules December like Hulk Hogan ruled the ring in the ’80s! It is the best holiday there ever was!

That being said, we all love getting presents and those of us who aren’t jerks, love giving presents. ‘Tis the season for giving and all that jazz.

So what should you get a manly grizzly man? If you are not sure, I have compiled a list of stuff. And there are things here that fit all price ranges and types of men.

Sure, it may be a little late but if you haven’t started shopping yet, get out there because this stuff may sell out, if it hasn’t already.

Anyway, enough rambling. Here is the list!

1. A fine cut of premium meat
2. A bottle of good scotch or bourbon
3. Cast iron cooking stuff
4. A stellar axe to cut firewood
5. A spacious tent
6. A sweet rifle
7. A good quality survival knife
8. A nice bow with arrows
9. A solid tomahawk made for throwing
10. A reliable fishing pole
11. Visually alluring flannel shirts
12. Attractive wood for crafting into manly furniture
13. Much needed tools
14. Stylish suspenders
15. A personalized baseball bat or hockey stick
16. A thoughtful item that you crafted by hand
17. A hefty meat carving board
18. Great literature such as books by Jack London or Louis L’Amour
19. A framed poster from a Clint Eastwood movie signed by Clint Eastwood
20. A top notch gas lantern
21. A box of premium cigars
22. Home brewing equipment
23. A big bag of beautiful coffee beans
24. An impressive array of cheeses
25. A pair of satisfactory hiking boots
26. A shiny new waffle maker
27. Exercise equipment or weights they may need
28. A well-kept collection of old baseball cards or stag mags
29. A manly cookbook
30. A musical instrument

Retro Relapse: 25 MORE Things Manly Men Should Do On a Daily Basis

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

*Written in 2015.

Last year, I covered 25 Things Manly Men Should Do On a Daily Basis.

A friend of mine asked me if he just needed to do those twenty-five things.

I was like, “Well yeah but there is even more stuff you can do.”

He was all like, “Uh.. like what, bro?”

So I was like, “Well damn, I guess I could make another list.”

So this right here is that list. Truth be told, you can never run out of manly shit to do.

In fact, you should do all the stuff on the previous list daily and then do all this shit too. Hell, maybe I’ll keep making lists in the future and will thus provide you, the loyal reader, with thousands of manly things to crush through each day.

Men need challenges. However, to a man, a challenge is nothing more than an item on a checklist. Men always complete their checklists.

I will now revisit the not too lengthy mantra that prefixed the original list:

It is hard being a masculine manly man in an emasculated modern age where we are often times chastised for just being ourselves. I accept the challenge and thrive in uphill battles because being a masculine manly man is the essence of my entire core.

I fuel myself on the conquering and pillaging of those things that oppose my existence. And to remind myself of my mission of being myself, I do these twenty-five activities daily!

Keeping the testosterone flowing is essential for ultimate manliness and these activities certainly keep the man juice pumping through my gargantuan grizzly DNA!

And now, the new list!

1. Box an entire troop of kangaroos!

2. Soak up a barrel’s worth of 190-proof Everclear through your pores!

3. Make slippers out of live honey badgers!

4. Wear an SR-71 Blackbird as a condom!

5. Challenge the military of a moderately-sized dictatorship with nothing more than an ostrich to ride and a battleaxe!

6. Play Frisbee with another manly man, only using Chinese stars!

7. Ride a Yeti like a snowboard down an avalanche!

8. Build an Ewok village in a redwood forest with nothing more than duct tape!

9. Do 1000 curls with each arm using a Montana-class battleship as the weight!

10. Dress up like a snake and board a plane with Samuel L. Jackson!

11. Challenge an elephant to a pissing contest!

12. Put a Class 5 dragon or higher in a Figure Four leglock!

13. Take the stance that Wu-Tang Clan is something to fuck with!

14. Go to Ireland and order an Irish car bomb!

15. Do a dozen or so moonshine body shots off of a Sasquatch!

16. Listen to a Taylor Swift song and try not to laugh! Seriously, the hardest thing on this list!

17. Grow a beard that grows its own beard! A manly man can do this in a day!

18. Build a new coffee table out of the remaining bones of a werewolf whose skull you headbutted to dust!

19. Go to a ComicCon dressed as Jar Jar Binks!

20. Play 1-on-5 pond hockey against a team of Kodiak bears!

21. Make eye contact with the Iron Sheik!

22. Eat a sub! Like an actual nuclear submarine filled with Italian meats!

23. Climb into a great white shark and punch your way out!

24. Conquer A.C. Slater in a dance-off with Jesse Spano, Kelly Kapowski and Zack Morris as judges!

25. Call Mike Tyson a pussy while pouring barbecue sauce on your ear!

To enhance any or all of these experiences and their effects, find a way to include bacon in each activity.

*For the record: I actually cannot condone these activities and they will probably get you killed or maimed.

Retro Relapse: Men & Adventure

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

*Written in 2014.

Men need adventure. I don’t know why, it is just in our DNA. It is something that burns at our very core and something that needs to be quenched once in a while, otherwise we start to turn into some formless goo of a person.

Most men today, are this goo. I guess that’s good for bossy bitchy women, as their goo men are more or less putty in their hands. However, to the good not-so-bossy non-bitchy women out there, you’ve got to understand our thirst for adventure and respect it. Just like men need their other men friends to go out and be men and shit, they also need to feel like Indiana Jones every so often.

I hike for my health, sure. However, I could just walk on the sidewalk or go to easy trails and still get pretty good results. I choose to hike in dangerous, swampy, murky and reptile-infested places because it is an adventure. When I complete a ten mile hike in the Everglades or nearby, I don’t just feel a sense of accomplishment from the miles I walked, calories I burned and the hot Florida sun I absorbed. I also feel accomplishment from knowing that I once again conquered an area of the world that most people are deathly afraid of even going into. I certainly feel great from doing the physical challenge but I feel more elation from the adventure. The times I was in real danger, I walked away feeling high.

This doesn’t mean that a man needs to go out and do stupid shit and take ridiculous risks but facing hard and heavy shit and weathering the elements has a pretty big spiritual payoff and does wonders for the ego and a man’s sense of self. There are a lot of societal pressures on men, as to what makes a man. Well, first of all, fuck what anyone else thinks. Secondly, every man is different. Thirdly, one of the things that does make a man is adventure.

Finding adventure or even time for adventure in the modern world is difficult. We wake up, shower, eat breakfast, go to work, go to lunch, go back to work, go home, eat dinner, go to sleep, wash, rinse, repeat. That is our daily life and for some of us, we don’t really get to escape the modern adulthood cycle even on weekends. If we do escape work some days, it is usually replaced with errands. There is very little time for ourselves and when we have it, we are usually too exhausted to do anything about it.

As far as time goes, I do have the benefit of not having a wife and kids. I’m not saying that my lifestyle is preferable, it just is my lifestyle and it gives me the benefit of having more time to myself than most men my age. Although, I do have friends with wives and kids and a few of them are fortunate enough to have wives that allow them their time to themselves, as they also repay the favor, allowing their wives to have their own personal time. I think that’s a definite good sign of a strong marriage built on respect and understanding. But this post isn’t about marriage, so let me get back on track.

The thing is, you have to make time do get out there and do what you need to do to feed the fire inside. You owe it to yourself, you owe it to your significant other and your friends. If you have kids, you owe it to them because you certainly don’t want your kids to look back and remember you as that guy that would just conk out on the couch with a glass of whiskey every Sunday afternoon. The things that you really want for yourself and who you want to be ideally, are what you should be instilling in your children. Unless your ideal self and what you want for them is to be a semi-buzzed couch potato that can’t make it through the first half of a football game without passing out and snoring like a power chipper. And to the wives out there, is this who you wanted to marry?

Nowadays, adventure seems like something of the past that there isn’t room for in the modern world. Technology and innovation has changed a lot. For instance, nearly every inch of Earth has been explored and millions of people have scaled massive mountains. Treasure hunting has been reduced to retirees on Florida beaches with metal detectors and spades. Modern adventure has become a sort of simulation or a thing achieved through extreme quick fixes like bungee jumping, skydiving, base jumping, etc.

Personally, none of those appeal to me. I prefer roughing the elements on the ground and encountering seemingly life-threatening scenarios that way. Alligators and venomous snakes give me more of a rush, even though they mostly hightail it when you get near them. And I’ve yet to see a bear, boar, deer or panther that hasn’t ran away at the first sight of me. But there is always that chance of danger and being caught in the moment is what feeds my fire. But each man is different, you have to find what your thing is. Maybe figuring out what your favorite form of adventure is, could be an adventure in itself.

You can’t keep ignoring this part of yourself and tucking it away somewhere. It is a big part of what we are and not just men but human beings. Our entire history and our entire lives up until a few decades ago was nothing but adventure. That shit doesn’t just die because technology has made life easier. That’s like the best baseball player in the world quitting his sport to focus on playing MLB The Show from his couch. But that is essentially what we have done. We live vicariously through movies, video games and shit we see on the Internet but that doesn’t do anything other than make that fire burn more, at least for me. I’m not satisfied with simulation and watching someone else do it. I want the real thing.

Some guys are satisfied enough getting adventure through sports. It worked for me. I even raced cars for a bit and that did serious wonders for my adventurous soul. Everyone has got their thing or several things. It is imperative that you find it and act on it though.

It’s way too easy to keep making excuses and convincing yourself that you don’t have the time or energy to devote to anything other than your modern life cycle. Life isn’t about mundane cycles. Life is something you live and you aren’t living it passed out on the couch during your downtime. Teddy Roosevelt’s ghost is laughing his ass off right now.

Men need to experience and discover new things. Why have we stopped?

You see, adventure isn’t just about cheap thrills, adrenaline and the high you get, it is also about finding yourself, testing yourself and truly getting to know who you are, what you’re made of and pushing yourself even further than what you thought you could. That’s living life to the fullest and no one can say you wasted your time if you just went out and made the effort. You never know, you might like what you find.

Retro Relapse: Pick-Up Artists & Peacock Clowns

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

*Written in 2014.

Now that the cat has been let out of the bag in regards to pick-up artists and their “game”, I’m shocked that dudes are still using these well-known tactics and I am even more surprised that chicks still fall for these peacocking asshat shenanigans. To each his own, I guess. That doesn’t mean that I can’t still toss some shit their way.

For one, the whole philosophy of being a pick-up artist is one of complete selfishness and being a class A lying douchebag. They manufacture a character, dress like an asshole and hide their true selves in an effort to fuck as many chicks as possible, not caring if they leave bodies in their wake. Why? Because they are reformed losers who found some magic “mystery” method or formula that has made them into… still losers.

Sorry PUA worshippers but that’s the truth. Another truth, is that getting pussy doesn’t make you a man. In fact, more often than not, it has made males continue to be fear turtle juveniles hiding in their shell because they are deathly afraid of just being themselves.

At its core, the pick-up artist philosophy teaches its practitioners to be liars. They want you to stop being who you are and instead, favor you transforming yourself into a goofy caricature wearing funny hats and accessories. They influence countless dudes to become dickbag womanizers.

Through being a liar, the dude is supposed to build confidence and swagger and become the ultimate male that chicks in any bar will throw their pussies at. The funny thing is, in a truly real world scenario, I’ve never seen this work out for guys all that effectively.

Dressing in crazy clothes and flare is called “peacocking” in the PUA community. Not only is that a stupid name but more often than not, these guys look like desperate mid-life crisis wankers about twenty years too young for a mid-life crisis. They also stick out like a sore thumb. Sure, a decade ago before this PUA bullshit became mainstream, maybe a chick would see one of these peacock clowns and go, “Hmm… that guy has an interesting style.” Nowadays, I mostly see girls go, “Peacocking douchebag at 9 o’clock.” At least the smart guys employing these strategies have learned to tone it down a bit and wear normal clothes with just a bit of flare or minor embellishments.

For guys down on their luck with women, or that just don’t have macking skills, these PUA programs make you a worse person. Say you commit to it, you succeed in the way that they want you to and you are able to start scoring chicks. Good for you, you have now succeeded where most guys will still continue to flounder after dishing out barrels of cash.

The problem is, you aren’t fixing your problems with yourself. You may have some form of confidence but you’re a devious lying piece of shit and apparently have no concern as to whether or not you’re out hurting any of the chicks you are trying to bang. You’ve gone from being a nice guy that needed a bit of help with women to a false human being who has thrown himself away in favor of some quick lays. Putting the lid down doesn’t flush the shit from the toilet.

And what happens when the quick lays aren’t enough. What happens when you decide that you want a long-term relationship because ultimately, even though you’ve screwed half the town, you are still alone and in need of true intimacy. You can play it cool and act like you don’t need it but the fact of the matter is, human beings are wired this way. Thriving just on sex gets boring after a while.

The point is, if you’ve been this lying bastard who buys his hats at the Halloween store, how do you show someone the real you and attract them on a deeper more intimate level? Do you continue to play the part or do you shed all that and be you? Do you even know who you are at this point?

The fact of the matter is, you can act like you’re all cool and badass because you’ve become a pussy magnet but you are no longer a real person. Chances are, at this point, you don’t know who you are anymore. How can a woman get to know you and see you in a realistic long-term sense, if you’ve thrown yourself away? And what woman would want a guy who doesn’t even know who he is? I used the term “woman” because one could probably still convince some naïve girls, at least for a little while, and even then, would you want to be with a chick that oblivious?

These professional pick-up artists are selling you snake oil. Their books, products, programs and seminars are expensive. Most of the guys who buy into it, fail at it or are overwhelmed by it and just find themselves more frustrated and more broke. These PUA masters are playing you just like they are playing the chicks they claim they score. The proof is in the pudding and if this shit worked, dudes everywhere would be sexual mastodons passing on the good word of these products.

The most effective method I’ve used, as have most guys, is being myself. No bullshit, no peacocking, just being me. Does it give me a high success rate? No. But neither will wearing a stupid hat and motorcycle goggles. At least I’m not getting laughed at for looking like an awkward doofus trying too hard. And in the end, I still have success and my dignity. Playing the game doesn’t mean playing yourself.

I’ll let Tom Haverford sum it up for you.

Retro Relapse: The Truth About Strength & Resilience

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

*Written in 2014.

Whether you’re a man or a woman, chances are you’ve heard the phrase “You don’t know your own strength” at some point during your life. Never have truer words been spoken to you. It doesn’t matter if you are a strongman able to throw giant tires half the length of a football field or a petite girl trail running. Inside all of us lies more strength and resilience than we know. All it takes is that extra something to push it out of us.

I’ve had a few situations in my life where I’ve come to realize this after being faced with a scenario where I had to tap into something deeper in order to succeed or in some cases, survive. The most recent example came just yesterday, as I pushed myself harder than I should have and found myself in a potentially life-threatening situation.

I went hiking at Estero Bay Preserve, which I like due to the muddy and watery spots, as well as the changes in environment for a seemingly small area encased within the outer trail: a 4.5 mile loop. I have mapped out a course using every inch of trail available at this state park. My custom course is a hair over 6.5 miles, using unmarked trails I can extend it to about 10 miles. Yesterday, I attempted to do the 6.5 mile version because I knew that I could complete it in well under three hours and I needed to spend my day productively, as I was getting cabin fever sitting at home on a Sunday.

The mistake I made was starting at just before 1 p.m., as I usually start at 8-9 a.m. The reason why this was a mistake is that it was hot as shit outside. My weather app said it was 96 degrees but it said it felt like 105. It wasn’t unbearable when I started but by the time I got over 3 miles in, 96 degrees felt like 120. I found myself at a point in the trail where I was the furthest out and no matter which route I walked back, I had 3 miles ahead of me. In this situation, I chose the path of least resistance.

When things got unbearable, it hit me like a brick wall. Leading up to it, I felt myself getting hotter and I rested here and there but when it hit, it hit hard. I drank three liters of water, not to mention the two 20 oz. bottles I had within an hour before hiking. It didn’t seem to matter. My skin was extremely hot, my head felt like it was boiling inside and I was sweating profusely. When I got about another mile, I was still sipping on the water I had but I was no longer sweating. I felt the need to piss but my body couldn’t urinate. My vision was somewhat blurred and I was really sluggish as I continued down the trail. I was feeling the effects of what was close to becoming heat stroke.

Each time I got to a place with sufficient shade, I would rest for a few minutes out of the sun: sipping water. There weren’t a lot of shady areas, so the stretches between them seemed almost endless, as I struggled in the heat. When I got to some shade that I knew was less than a mile from my car, I could feel myself getting worse, even as I laid in the shade. I was alone, no one was there and I had to rely on myself to get me back to my vehicle, more water and a cold A/C. I didn’t think I could move at all but I knew I had to push myself because if I stopped again, I wouldn’t get up. I had carelessly put myself in one of the most dangerous situations I have ever been in.

But I got up, I pushed myself harder than I ever had. It was hard, part of me wanted to keel over and just wish for sunset and rain. I kept on walking. What was less than twenty minutes seemed like hours and I got hotter and hotter. I tried to distract my mind and think of other things but it wasn’t possible. It was literally hell but I didn’t stop.

After getting to my car, getting home, taking a cold shower for an hour and passing out, I woke up knowing that I had tapped into something that usually isn’t there. When I’m in the gym and need to push that extra bit, I do but I know if forced I could go even harder. Same thing goes for when I do other physical activities. If it gets too hard and there is an easy out, usually we take it. It isn’t until we’re forced or some other circumstance arises that most of us unlock that extra resilience and strength.

When I get to that point where I feel like giving up, I remember moments like this. I remember that I’ve faced some harrowing shit and walked away. I’ve also dealt with the worst that the universe could throw at me and overcome that. It’s not to brag because I’m not special. We all have this. We just have to remember it when we’re down or when we need to overcome an obstacle whether physical, mental or emotional.

It’s too easy to tap out.