Retro Relapse: Top 30 Manliest Sandwiches

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

*Written in 2015.

Men like sandwiches. We like meat. We like sandwiches with meat.

Lettuce wraps are for hippies and baby rabbits.

The other day, my ex-girlfriend’s uncle, a true manly man, and I were debating manly sandwiches. One thing led to another and now, I have a list!

There’s nothing open-faced on this list!

1. An American as fuck burger!
2. Muffuletta
3. Italian beef
4. Porchetta
5. BBQ pork sandwich
6. A very large B.L.T.
7. The Primanti
8. Chicken biscuit
9. Cheesesteak
10. Chili dog (fuck you, it counts because it’s my list!)
11. Croque monsieur
12. Lobster roll
13. Italian sub
14. Monte Cristo
15. Fried alligator sandwich
16. Sausage & peppers sub
17. Fried oyster po boy
18. Cuban
19. Meat loaf sandwich
20. Frisco melt
21. French dip
22. Meatball sub
23. Reuben
24. Grilled cheese with bacon
25. A Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich
26. Beer battered fish sandwich
27. Hot pastrami
28. Gyro
29. Fried balogna
30. Tuna melt

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: Baseball Needs to Grow the Fuck Up

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

*Written in 2016.

Warning: I’d call this a rant.

Baseball is the greatest thing in the world. It is more than a game. It is tradition, it is history, it is Americana at its most pure and it is what nearly every boy wanted to do before the NFL wrestled the ownership of Sundays away from Jesus.

The problem with this old sport is that it is a very large part of America’s unique history. While that isn’t bad in and of itself, it is ruined by those who must keep certain traditions alive despite the always changing and expanding world. Every other sport adapts with the times, sometimes a bit late, but they all adapt. Baseball has a really hard time with this and it is what is killing the game.

No one really gives a shit whether or not NFL quarterback Peyton Manning took HGH except for a few sports writers trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill and grind an ax. However, if a baseball player is even mentioned around steroids, the witch-hunt begins and the stake is already burning. Peyton Manning, after his recent Superbowl win is an American hero but Alex Rodriguez is still an unwelcome demon spawn. But I already talked about the PED issue. I’m just bringing it up because it is part of the bigger picture I am discussing in this piece. I also already talked about umpires being pussies and players as well. But all of this is relevant to my point.

Everyone in baseball is a fucking pussy. And not just those in baseball but those around it and the millions that watch it. Okay, not everyone but certainly most people.

This is why I am glad that a young player, Bryce Harper, is being pretty vocal about the sport having to adapt to the times. Last season, he put sensitive umpires on blast. Most recently, he’s been talking about players needing to man up and get over other players celebrating or showing excitement when they do something great on the field. He’s right. Despite other players telling him to shut the fuck up, he’s goddamn right.

Personally, I’m tired of professional athletes complaining about bat flips, victory dances and displays of emotion. The players claim that it is disrespectful to the player on the losing end. Jesus fucking Christ, man the fuck up and grow a set of fucking balls, pussies!

If a player is tired of a showboat, become a better player. If they can’t become a better player and beat their celebrating rival, they should learn how to grow thicker skin and deal with it. It’s childish bullshit. What’s next, participation trophies for all the professional athletes every year?

And really, did none of these players ever play ball as kids? Kids are brutal as hell and talk more shit and celebrate more than any professional athlete.

I sucked at baseball, even though I loved it. I got called all kinds of names. Yeah, it pissed me off and it made me want to knock the next pitch out of the park but I got over it and always came back the next day. And I was in middle school, certainly much younger than these crybabies. I also wasn’t making millions to play the game. I played it because despite the name calling, it was still fun.

Usually a player that celebrates too much is beaned with a baseball. There are other forms of retaliation but regardless, retaliation is a bitch move in that situation.

Sure, I get the old code. I understand that when one of your players gets beaned, you bean one of theirs: eye for an eye and all that jazz. It’s one thing if a bean is intentional, it’s an entirely different thing if it is an accidental wild pitch – that shit happens. But to bean a guy for celebrating a game-clinching multi-run homer, shows that the team on the losing end is a bunch of temper tantrum toddlers. Boo fucking hoo, you lost! Well, it’s a competition, someone has to lose.

The NFL penalizes football teams for a player showboating. I don’t agree with it but they’re pussies too. But no one is as big of a pussy about it as MLB players. And the fans are even bigger pussies than that. But luckily fans aren’t in the game to bean chronic offenders in the head.

The problem with baseball is that everyone, from top to bottom, is just a sensitive bitch. To see grown ass men act like pissed off toddlers in a sandbox rumble is deplorable. And if you call them out on it, they reference “the code” or talk about the “culture” of the game that us outsiders will never understand.

Well, if I go to a rival company and throw a ball at the head of an employee, I can’t turn to the media and talk about “the code” and the “culture” of the industry I work in. I’d be laughed at and probably be called “a baby” or a “psycho”. I’d also be in jail.

For guys that have a job that makes them a public figure, they can’t handle the scrutiny that comes along with their stupid childish behavior. But again, they’re fucking pussies.

The game needs to adapt in a lot of ways. It needs to change and grow up. The biggest change needs to come with the behavior and the ego of these prima donnas.

Baseball also needs to get over its shit with Pete Rose and deal with PEDs in a better fashion. But if you don’t see things through the MLB’s antique pair of glasses, you don’t know about the game and the tradition and the blah, blah, blegh!

There are a lot of old men in the baseball world that just need to die off. The sport may be be doing well enough but it can never be America’s pastime again if it doesn’t grow and change with America. Compared to baseball, I think football mostly sucks but that certainly isn’t majority opinion. It also won’t be majority opinion until baseball can kill off the zombies roaming around the grounds. They’re slow, they smell and they won’t stop until everything else is a wobbly mass of decaying shit and all the brains are devoured.

I just hope more young players are influenced by Bryce Harper. I hope more players become vocal if they share the same sentiment. I want to see the sport survive. Fuck that, I want to see it thrive. I want it to thrive like it did in the old days when it was the coolest thing in America.

In 1943, a team of women were told, “There’s no crying in baseball!” In 2016, a league of men don’t do much but cry.

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.

Retro Relapse: The Cost of Living by a Code

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

*Written in 2014.

As I’ve become and adult, I’ve realized several things about myself as the years pile on. One of those things is that somewhere down the line, I started living by my own code. It wasn’t intentional and I didn’t notice it until recently and it was actually a significant other that pointed it out to me but it is what drives me and what makes me who I am.

I am not stating that my code is perfect or infallible. I am also not stating that I am perfect and never violate my own code. Quite the contrary. Life, like the code, is a series of trial and error experiments that take shape throughout time. I am not claiming that I am better than anyone or that I have some secret formula at how to be the best human being possible. At the end of the day, I am trying to be the best that I can be by the standards, ethics and morals that I set for myself.

Do I win at that everyday? No. Everyday comes with failure but also comes with success. It is what you learn from that failure that leads to a bigger success ratio.

There are some issues one must deal with when one lives by a code. I wasn’t able to put some of this into perspective until I realized that I was living by my own code. The biggest issue, at least for me, is the fact that most people don’t live by anything other than reacting and responding to each situation in life as it is handed to them. Concepts such as loyalty and respect are lost amongst these people. In fact, borrowing John Cena’s mantra, I’m a firm believer in “Hustle, Loyalty and Respect”. Most people, don’t seem to know what that really entails and certainly don’t have the ability to even entertain the thought of such a simple concept or code. I’m not attacking them, I’m just stating my assessment based off of my own personal experiences.

It is hard when, on a daily basis, I am faced with people who violate not just these core principles but lack almost any sense of morals, ethics and a general understudying of what is right and what is wrong. I deal with it in life and especially at work. There is just a complete lack of character from the majority of people. Again, I don’t perceive myself as better than anyone but I do seem to look at things at a much deeper level and give a lot of attention to how my actions and my presence effects those around me.

While that is partly due to how I was raised, it has more to do with who I am at my core. Lots of people are taught these concepts as children but for many, it is in one ear and out the other and they go through life unaware of their complete lack of character.

For example, there are several people I work with who take advantage of the system in place within the office and look for constant loopholes within the rules and general company protocol. In life they take advantage of every shortcut and don’t have the foresight to understand how they aren’t developing certain skills and methods to be more efficient and better people overall. They take advantage of situations, which often times results in making things harder for their peers. More rules are instated, more challenges arise from these people and management continually tightens their grip. And it isn’t a natural need to fight back against some form of oppression or workplace fascism, it is just them trying to take the easiest route possible at work and through life at the expense of those around them. It is hard to name specifics without incriminating anyone.

In life, there are people who just have no concept of how they effect those around them. Neighbors who always fight – loudly, people who cut in line, people who violently argue over a typo on a coupon just to save another 35 cents, those assholes who walk into a quiet waiting room yelling into their cellphone about some girl with a “nasty front butt” – these are just a few examples of things I’ve witnessed over the last few days alone.

Then I have to think, how do people like this exist? How are they not annoyed enough by encountering other people exhibiting the same behaviors? How is this normal to them? How do they not drive themselves crazy? And why the fuck don’t most people have that urge to want to improve themselves and become better people? And by “better people” I don’t mean becoming ‘roided up freaks, silicone factories or the new owner of a 10 year-old German car they can’t afford.

Maybe at 35 years-old I am becoming an old crank or maybe after 35 years, my tolerance for juvenile behavior by most adults, especially those my age, is just so fucking baffling to me that I find myself wanting to stay in more and to not hang out with certain friends because I know a few certain assholes will probably be in tow. I have tolerance for stupidity but I don’t have tolerance for ignorance, especially from someone who is at an age where they should know better and want to be better.

I get it, we all have flaws, that is what makes us unique. We should all be able to recognize our flaws and want to work towards eliminating them. Perfection is not possible but to strive for perfection or at the very least, improvement, should be one thing that drives all human beings.

When you are a person that understands these things and tries to employ all of this, it is detrimental to your sanity when you see so many people content with being exactly the same (or slightly worse) as each day, each week and each year passes by. I’ve walked away from many friends because I got tired of hanging out with 21 year-olds in 35 year-old bodies. And yes, I do hold people to the standard I hold myself to.

When these people were still in my life, they would comment on how I’ve changed like it was a bad thing. Like somewhere along the line I sold out. No, sorry to break it to you, I just grew up and I faced the responsibility of adulthood and worked towards being self-sufficient, self-reliant and my own man living by my own code of ethics, morals and standards. I decided to always learn new things and to better myself everyday, so that each new day I was at an advantage over the previous day. And that is how the great people in the world and how men and women historically used to carry themselves. And people wonder why things have turned to shit and get worse with each passing generation.

And that brings me to my next point. The truth is, this really shouldn’t even be a “code”, it should just be the way people are and how they live and manage themselves and their lives. This is how shit used to be and why people from just a few decades ago could probably kick our asses in every way.

In Fight Club, Tyler Durden said, “Self-improvement is masturbation. Now self-destruction is the answer.”

He’s right because what the modern world considers “self-improvement” is a complete fallacy. And the “self-destruction” he referred to was the internal fight against the modern world’s false idea of self-improvement.

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 Relpase: A Generation of Men Raised by Women, Volume 3: The Past and the Future

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

*Written in 2016.

*This is the third part of an ongoing series where I am building off of what was discussed in the previous parts.

It has taken me quite some time to get to the third part of this series but here we are.

One thing I wanted to touch on was some of the reasons for why we are a generation of men raised by women and what can be done to prevent that in the future.

To start, many males from my generation were raised by mothers. Fathers were either part-time, minimal or completely absent in our lives. I’m not 100 percent sure if it was the effects of our parents’ “free love” generation or just advancements in women’s rights and the politics and social climate of the times but for whatever reason, these are the cards that many of us were dealt as young boys.

I know that in many instances, many of us had to deal with dead beat dads. Men who either just didn’t give a fuck about their responsibility in creating a life or who were just general pieces of shit that our mothers didn’t want around for our benefit. Regardless of which, there were a lot of shitty sperm donors.

A great number of us have grown up without a true rite of passage into manhood or a strong male figure to teach us and guide us in life. Regardless, we have gone on to survive.

Many of us have also gone on to be great men and good people despite the challenge of having to learn everything on our own. Sure, some have faltered, some have continued their dead beat dad’s shitty ways and some are just complete weaklings but I would say that most of us turned out pretty solid. And maybe that self-reliance and self-teaching actually benefited those of us adept enough to learn and see things clearly.

The point is, those of us aware of our situation and the challenges we had to overcome, who are no longer a big ball of angst about it on most days, can use our knowledge, our skills and our compassion for others in a similar situation to not make the same mistakes our fathers did. Empathizing with others who have walked a similar path can keep us on track of doing the right thing when it comes to our children and future generations of other little humans, male and female.

We know what it is like to have no one there or at the very least, just part of the time. We can relate to only having one side of the parental coin. Many of us didn’t have that strong male presence we needed and we know what kind of path that forced us down.

Our generation can choose to not be the shitty generation that birthed us.

The son of an abusive father can either carry that abuse on to his children or he can be smart and compassionate and strive to be nothing like his father. And while historically, abuse has trickled down through the ages, we are getting smarter. We see the forest for the trees better than any generation before us and we know that certain behaviors are absolutely not acceptable. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be bad apples in the mix but being a bad apple is a choice.

I don’t currently have children but if and when I do, it is my duty to be a father. Even if the mother and I aren’t a couple, it is still my duty and my responsibility to make sure that the child has a proper father figure.

We may not have had the rite of passage into manhood that we all wanted but that doesn’t mean that our children should be subjected to a similar fate. The truth is, we are actually stronger than the fathers who weren’t there – well, those of us aware of our situation and the broader picture.

If you’ve grown up and gotten your shit together, despite the challenges you faced, you are better off than most people. Additionally, you should be teeming with confidence at this point. You have had a different path to adulthood and turned out just fine.

If you still have a lot of pent up angst, get over it. In the real world, Project Mayhem would be treated like terrorists.

Besides, we had better get it right because snowflake Millennials are already starting to have kids and that is pretty fucking scary.