However, since I’m safe from derisive laughter here at my keyboard I’m willing to put in writing the 6 Manliest Gifts you can receive for Christmas. If any guys reading this WOULDN’T love to receive at least ONE of these gifts (based on the gift’s nature alone, not its monetary value), then you’ll have to hand in your penis on the way out.
6. A Year’s Supply of Beer
Yes, it exists. Every year, somewhere in the world, there is a chance to win a year’s supply of beer. Right now, you can find it here. What isn’t to like about this delicious beverage? It’s got sugar in it, it’s got bubbles in it, it’s got alcohol in it and it’s also been around for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians drank it, the Romans drank it and Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke drank it. In fact, he drank it so much that, for a time, he held the world record for beer drinking; a yard glass (1.7L/3 imperial pints) in 11 seconds. That alone should be incentive enough to enjoy this gift – one day you too can have your name in the record books AND run a country. That’s two gifts in one!
Sure, there are naysayers who declare that beer is the root of all evil, that it causes harm to society, that it damages the livers and bellies of people everywhere, but to them I say ‘feh!’. ‘Feh’ to your wowserism and ‘feh’ to your buzz-killing. Beer is a root of friendship and good times. Camping and fishing trips worldwide have been turned into bonding experiences (but not in a gay way) because of beer. It’s a problem solver which has even been embraced by Barack Obama. And if there’s one bandwagon we all love jumping on, it’s the Obamamobile.
5. A vehicle of any sort
Blokes love vehicles. It’s just one of those things. It probably started with a mammoth ride thousands of years ago and it hasn’t stopped since. Before cars it was all about having the best horse, before outboard motors it was all about having a slim boat with crafty sails, before motorbikes it was having the most smashing Penny Farthing in the street, eh wot? The invention of the internal combustion engine initiated blokes’ love affair with the noise and feeling of explosions in close proximity to his body. Some guys are turned on by the rumble of a V8, others by the raw power of a crotch-rocket (it means ‘motorbike’ – look it up), others by the smell of a 2-stroke outboard motor. It’s all the same though, it all boils down to our desire to go further and faster than we’ve been before, and if we can do it with our mates in tow, then it’s even better.
Granted, vehicles can be quite pricy, but this helpful list wouldn’t be the same without the inclusion of lumps of metal powered by barely-contained explosions.
4. Fishing gear
There’s a primal bit, right at the base of our brains, which compels us to hunt and provide for our families, and it’s rarely satisfied in the modern world. Did you fight a bear for your dinner last night? No? Well that’s a problem, isn’t it? How are you going to satisfy that primal alpha-male urge? Certainly not by knocking out a koala. The solution lies in obtaining fishing gear. Ideally it’s a rod, a tackle box and a reel full of line, but in some circumstances some line and hooks wrapped around a bit of wood suffices.
A time when men were Men
Fishing gear is our connection to a different time – when we had to kill our dinner in the great outdoors. It exposes us to fresh air, new sights, and the thrill of pursuing a quarry. Mates are usually in this equation too (as you may have noticed, it’s a recurring theme here). Sure, fishing on your own can be fun and relaxing, but it’s not the same as sharing the excitement of a large catch with someone else.
It’s also fun to say ‘Yeah, you can hold the fish anywhere, it isn’t poisonous’ when you know full well that it is.
3. Lego Technic
I shouldn’t even have to explain this one. Every young boy liked Lego in some shape or form. If a bloke claims to have never enjoyed Lego in his life, it’s time you started questioning his gender and his claim that he pisses standing up. Lego Technic is the gateway to understanding how stuff works and it’s been the inspiration for engineers the world over. If that isn’t enough there’s also a theme park dedicated to it which proves that you can do nearly anything with Lego if you set your mind to it.
Since anecdotal evidence is the most reliable form of evidence I’m going to share a little story with you all. When I was 8 years old all I wanted for Christmas was the Lego Technic Thunder Rescue Helicopter, and my parents knew it, but they couldn’t afford it. Slightly disappointed, but entirely understanding, I made a list of other Lego that I wanted for Christmas and put the helicopter firmly on the ‘Unobtainable’ shelf in my mind. I knew, KNEW that I wouldn’t be getting that set for Christmas, so imagine my reaction when, on Christmas morning, I unwrapped a large box with the Thunder Rescue Helicopter inside. My body was electric and I was left in stunned grateful silence. It is the best gift I have ever received, and I’m betting ever will receive, purely because it was a dead-certainty that I would never get it. And yet there it was. It ranks higher than a car or my guitar because in my 8-year-old mind I may as well have asked for the moon.
THAT is why a Lego Technic model is in this Manly Gifts list – because all guys are secretly 8 years old.
It may not look like much to some, but to others it’s the whole world.
2. A Stihl Chainsaw
The only reason this isn’t number one is because blokes haven’t worked out how to have sex with it - in fact, it’s well-documented that we shouldn’t even try. These things are dangerous, really loud and quite powerful – all the reasons why we want to own one. Why did I specify Stihl brand? Because I’m sponsored by them. But really, the reason is because they make bloody good chainsaws and the Stihl orange is now synonymous with quality. Great, I sound like a bloody ad.
Oh you are just gorgeous
The point is, these things are fantastic. They make a noise which is second-to-none, the combined smell of two-stroke fuel and sawdust is better than… I dunno, I got distracted thinking about it. When you’re using one the weight and vibration and sound and threat of imminent death is intoxicating – you feel like the strongest person in the world. Chainsaws can also kill or maim you if you lose concentration! How cool is that! Also, you can cut down trees with them which is a manly experience in itself. Ever cut down a tree? You should. It’s great.
1. A woman
I know it’s weird how ‘a woman’ is number one in this ‘manly gifts’ list, but bear with me. Women are beautiful creatures and they don’t nag all the time if you pick the right one. They’re there to look after you when you’re sick, console you when you’re sad, praise you when you succeed, they’re great to look at and the right one likes a bunch of the same stuff that you like. They do a bunch of other stuff too: they have real hair, moveable joints and a karate-chop action! Women remember important dates, so you’ll never need to carry a diary around, and they know everything there is to know about medical stuff, so you’ll never have to remember the ‘right’ questions to ask your doctor.
Nurses don’t use stethoscopes, but I’m willing to overlook that just this once
You’ll have someone to share the cooking and cleaning duties with, someone to tell jokes to and someone to grow old with. Plus, they do all the things that the rest of the stuff in this list does – they can get you beers from the fridge, they can drive you places, they can go fishing, they can cut wood and they have lots of fiddly bits to play with as well. just like Lego. In fact, forget about the driving and fishing and beer and tree-felling, and let’s talk more about those fiddly bits…