It’s hard to tell what guys actually know how to do nowadays because so much information is accessible through your phone and/or the Internet.
While the Internet is your constant – your fail safe for the rest of your life, there are certain primal skills every man should know regardless of where he is or who he’s with, such as fighting another man if the circumstances call for it.
These aren’t the extra-curricular skills that you show off or consider putting on your resume, like Microsoft Excel.
Instead, this column is about the elementary stuff that some guys never learned because they were coddled through adolescence and then drank their way through the late teen years and out of college.
If you fall into either of those categories, or both, don’t fret because I can assure you you’re not alone; no matter how much your friends make fun of you for not knowing how to shave correctly.
Feel free to disagree – I’m sure there are some things I’ve let out here, but for now: these are 10 things every guy needs to know but is afraid to ask.
(Warning: we’re going to go from extremely basic, like Neanderthal basic; to annoyingly undermining, like borderline feminine shit; to the bro stuff that we all love now, but haven’t quite figured out how to incorporate into our lives as we “mature.”)
How to make a fire
What? I said this was going to start out at prehistoric level and there’s nothing more ancient then cavemen sitting around pondering the idea of fire.
Perhaps the most important symbol of human civilization, the flame is so essential that we should all take it upon ourselves to split some firewood this weekend in honor of our ancestors. In all seriousness, assuming you bros were never in the boy scouts, this is probably the most basic skill you don’t have in your arsenal, but truly need. Just think of how embarrassing it will be if you take your family camping one day and you need to bring one of those instant-flame logs to get the camp-fire going. Your kids may never look at you the same.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that I have fire as No. 1 on this list because it partners perfectly with knowing how to grill – there’s a connection here, right? And grilling is manly.
There, I just killed two birds with one stone. Speaking of cooking and birds…
How to scramble an egg
I was going to go with boil water (to make pasta/soup), but I have higher hopes for our readers that they know this skill already. Nonetheless, scrambling an egg is equally as simpleton of a task, yet one that some bros out there probably have never mastered because either mommy has made them breakfast their whole lives or they’re too hung-over to wake up before noon.
If you can’t seem to master the art of the scramble, then at least know how to fry an egg. Actually, depending on who’s reading this, that may be an even more difficult task.
How to fix a flat tire
Something like casting a fishing line could go here, because it’s as equally as basic as the fire and the egg, but let’s evolve here a bit and get into the more mechanical and technical shit that needs to be known in case of an actual emergency.
Although I shamefully still don’t know how to exactly fix a flat tire, I’ve watched enough people do it for me, or for friends, that I can say it’s a skill that you will need to know if only just once in your life. Everyone experiences this breakdown at least once, so you better be ready for it. Otherwise, you’re just the jackass sitting on the road waiting for AAA for three hours and explaining to your boss you have no clue how to fix a flat.
How to tie a tie
Ironing clothes could fit here, but realistically, most guys just use the dry cleaners and its one of those necessary expenses as you grow older and your free time wanes. However, there is no such luxury for tying a tie. It’s an essential part of corporate culture and unless you plan on moving out to Colorado to grow nugs for the next decade, then it’s something you should acclimate yourself with right about now. Trust me; you don’t want to be the jackass on the first day of work that doesn’t have a straight tie.
Note: you should master buttoning your shirt, it goes a long way too.
How to shop for groceries
Eventually, whether it’s at 21 or 24 or 27, there will come a time where the constant eating out will completely devour your bank account, and more than likely your intestines. You will learn the same lesson your father did and his father before him that…oh wait a second, this isn’t true at all because the 1950s and 1980s were entirely different than growing up in the 21st Century.
Regardless, we live in a time period where, although food is constantly accessible, a man needs to be able to buy himself the essentials – milk, cereal, eggs, etc. Getting familiar with a grocery store may seem like an overwhelming task at first, but the more times you go in the better it will get and soon it will become a part of your routine along with stopping at the booze store after class/work.
How to do laundry
Similar to the tie and the grocery shopping, doing laundry is something that is apparently cumbersome, but really is just mundane. Yes, I understand you’ve gone through life this long and have never done your laundry so you think this isn’t that pressing of a problem. Wrong.
As soon as you get a real job, this will become an essential and if you don’t know how to do it right, then you it could really mess your life up. I wish I was kidding.
It sounds totally unmanly: ask your parents the tricks of the trade and take a one hour tutorial in her domain. I promise, it won’t be a waste of time.
How to dance (with confidence)
Some may be surprised to see this on here – others will call it downright flamboyant and stop reading right here, but the reality is a bro without dance moves is much less inclined to get chicks than the bro who fearlessly steps out onto the floor and gets his grind on. The key, as always, is having confidence in yourself. It’s not about the moves at all, actually; it’s really about you knowing you can get a girl and having a positive mindset.
The biggest problem with this category is precisely why it’s on the list – most bros are afraid ask how to do it or too cowardly to even give it a try. Either way, it’s an essential tool to meeting and scoring with chicks. I suggest asking a female friend what they like and what they don’t like — could go a long way.
How to gamble
I’m making up for those last three, which some bros may view as emasculating, with a fun-filled trio that should restore some testosterone to the conversation.
Everyone gambles so if you don’t know how, then you’re missing out on something as quintessential as taking out the garbage every week or changing the oil in your car every three to four months (bingo, two more things every guy should know). I don’t care what your game of choice is – poker, black jack, craps, roulette; nor should I want to know. What’s your gambling preference is none of my business, but if you don’t know the difference between the flop, the turn, and the river, then you have a problem – and it’s not gambling addiction; it’s called being a wimp.
It’s worth noting too that every guy should know sports gambling references – point spreads, money-lines, over-unders, etc. This is also pretty basic stuff, but some dudes just bury their heads in the sand and pretend as it doesn’t exist. Yea, sure, a multi-billion dollar industry – one of the most consistently profitable industries in our country – holds no significance whatsoever and should be ignored. Keep using that logic and see where it gets you.
How to store your alcohol selections (in the fridge or freezer)
Thanks to every role model we’ve ever gotten to know in high school and college, all we’ve been accustomed to drinking is Natural or Keystone Light. And the standard method of consumption is drink until nothing remains but the water running from the faucet. As time passes, guys need to be able to tell a high-quality beer from a shitty, water-based one as much as it pains me to say. Furthermore, dudes need to keep some decent liquor stocked up for special occasions or just after work cocktails. It may seem like a worthless concept to a freshman, but anyone who’s lived in a house in college or after graduation knows that it becomes an essential truth
Honorable mention: smoke a cigar; basic construction skills (this list could be its own article: drywall, measuring, painting, etc.); read a map (see: Google Maps), make restaurant reservations (see: Google + Call), purchase flowers for your partner (just make sure to ask your sister or mom).