Friday, August 15, 2008

Man Skills III (The Last)

I don't think I've ever heard of a kilt being referred to as an "unbifurcated garment," but that's what Dean Peterson calls them.

Then again, he's also leading the fight to have kilts added as a uniform option for U.S. Postal Service letter carriers, so I suppose he has to make them sound more "government-y."

And hey, speaking of manly things like kilts, here's your final installment....


Part the Last (of Three)

Break up a fight - Work in pairs, if possible. Don't get between people, at least initially. Use the back of the collar, pulling and urging the person downward. If you can't get him or her down, work at getting distance.

Point to the north at any time - Here's a tip: If you wear a watch, point the hour hand at the sun. The point directly between the hour hand and the "12" on the face of your watch is south. North is, of course, the exact opposite of that. After dark, you're on your own.

Explain what a light year is - It's a measure of the distance light travels over 365.25 days.

Avoid boredom - As long as you have enough to eat and the ability to move, you have freedom of choice. You don't always have to be delighted, but there's no reason to be bored.

Write a thank-you note - Make a habit of it. The first line is thesis statement. The second line is evidentiary. The third is a kind of assertion. Close on the upbeat. Like this: "Thanks for having me over to watch Game Six of the World Series. Even though they won, it's clear the Red Sox are a soulless, overmarketed contrivance of Fox TV. Still, I'm awfully happy you have that huge high-def set. Next time I really will bring something to drink."

Be brand loyal to at least one product - It says a lot about who you are and where you came from.

Cook bacon - Lay it out on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Hold a baby - Newborns should be wrapped tight and held against the chest. They like tight spaces (consider their previous circumstances) and rhythmic movements, so hold them snug. Tuck them into the crook of your elbow or neck. Rock your hips like you're bored and have nothing to do but stand there. No one has to notice except the baby. Don't breathe all over them.

Deliver a eulogy - Take the job seriously. It matters. Speak first to the family, then to the outside world. Write it down. Avoid similes. Don't read poetry. Be funny.

Iron a shirt.

Know some birds - If you can't pay attention to a bird, then you can't learn from detail, you aren't likely to appreciate the beauty of nature, and you don't have a clue how bird-like your own habits may be. You've been looking at them blindly for years, now. Get a guide.

Stock an emergency kit for the car - Blanket. Heavy flashlight. Hand warmers. Six bottles of water. Six packs of beef jerky. Atlas. Reflectors. Gloves. Socks. Bandages. Neosporin. Inhaler. Benadryl. Motrin. Hard candy. Telescoping magnet. Screwdriver. Channel-Locks. Crescent Wrench. Ski hat. Bandanna.

[Abridged for length and family-friendliness by Mark Raymond from an article by Leif Parsons in Esquire magazine; my thanks to list member Lavonne T. for bringing the original to my attention. The entire piece can be found here.]


My father -- after having several gall bladder attacks involving ambulances and hospital visits in the past two weeks -- is finally having the furshlugginer thing out today. By the time most of you read this, I'll be at his side and will stay there all weekend

Which means I'll see you on Monday.



WEB SITE of the WEEK: With my Dad's surgery and my wife and I traveling soon, here's a timely pick: check out This is an air transportation and medical service that will take you from wherever you are in the world back to your own hospital bed and physicians at home. No co-pays, no deductibles, no disqualifying "pre-existing condition" clauses. You can also consult with Air Med's "travel medical professionals" and find qualified care right where you are. Plans start at $95 for short term trips.


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WORDS for YOUR WEEKEND: "The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected." (Cousin Woodman)

1 comment:

atticusrominger said...

Hi Mark. I loved the "unbifurcated garment" concept. Heard the guy on NPR, hilarious. Listen, you may also want to check out, it's a yearly medical evacuation membership program, but it's less expensive than the competition. Everyone loves a bargain, right?