25 Skills Every Man Should Have

My title is the more correct version of Popular Mechanics’ recently published list of 25 Skills Every Man Should Know. Last time I checked, you don’t know skills, you possess them. Another, perhaps more accurate rewording of the title would be 25 Pretty Stupid And Altogether Caveman-like Things You Should Know So You Can Avoid Doing Them At All Costs.

Here’s what I think about these Skills I should Know, taken one at a time. Follow along and keep score. And read the original article only if you want to wade through 25 worthless and banner-ad-riddled pages with hundreds of comments from guys saying, “Yeah, I can totally do number fourteen! Aren’t I super macho?”
  1. Patch a radiator hose: Which one’s the radiator hose? And how do I know it needs patching? And now that I think about it, I’m not sure if this is a car part or has something to do with heating your home.
  2. Protect your computer: Yes, it’s called “Getting a Mac.” But seriously, get some free virus software (don’t waste your money on Norton), some anti-spyware stuff, and stop visiting beast-porn websites and clicking on funny-looking links in emails from banks you don’t even use.
  3. Rescue a boater who has capsized: My question here is, was I in another boat? Or did I capsize, too? Because I know how to rescue myself. Swimming. And wearing a lifejacket. And not tipping the boat in the first place.
  4. Frame a wall: I actually do know how to do this. I can also put shingles on a roof. Both of these skills will come in handy exactly zero more times in my life. As far as I know, apartments in New York City don’t have shingles, nor would you ever want to make a room any smaller than it already is by dividing it in two.
  5. Retouch digital photos: Oh yeah. I have this one covered. My fully-legal copy of Photoshop is put to great use. You can, as a matter of fact, hire me to do this very thing.
  6. Back up a trailer: No way. Never. No how. Nope.
  7. Build a campfire: I was an Eagle Scout, which basically means that I’m in the top 1% of the American population when it comes to campfire-building.
  8. Fix a dead outlet: In theory, yes. In practice, not likely.
  9. Navigate with a map and compass: See number 7. Eagle Scouts are awesome.
  10. Use a torque wrench: What in God’s name is a torque wrench, and why would I need one?
  11. Sharpen a knife: Be afraid. Be very afraid.
  12. Perform CPR: Yeah, sure. Just don’t be mad at me if I can’t save you. It’s harder than it looks.
  13. Fillet a fish: Why?
  14. Maneuver a car out of a skid: This would come in handy if I had any desire to drive whatsoever. Also, if I decided to risk my life by driving like a fucking dipshit.
  15. Get a car unstuck: I laugh at my friends.
  16. Back up data: Yes. While I don’t have a super-awesome network backup with RAID and stuff, I do regular bootable backups of my MacBook Pro, maintain two more external drives with important files, and back up some of the most critical stuff (design projects, etc.) to my various web hosting accounts.
  17. Paint a room: Simple. Buy paint. Open paint. Dip brush. Paint on wall. Repeat.
  18. Mix concrete: Another critical life skill I have in fact learned to do. Comes in handy when I’m considering guerrilla public art projects like attaching a three-foot high concrete phallus to a sidewalk.
  19. Clean a bolt-action rifle: Nah. I like my firearms dirty and dangerous.
  20. Change oil and filter: If there’s one more freaking thing about driving...
  21. Hook up an HDTV: Pie. Easy as pie. Even easier if you know how to read.
  22. Bleed brakes: The people who wrote this list would be the ones bleeding if I had anything to say about it.
  23. Paddle a canoe: Oh yes. I can paddle a canoe. And I can yak a kayak. And pee on a fire. Thanks, Boy Scouts of America!
  24. Fix a bike flat: Sure. Seems easy enough.
  25. Extend your wireless network: Is this Viagra spam? I don’t know wtf Popular Mechanics is talking about here. Their tip? Buy better equipment. Well, no shit Sherlock. Isn’t that the answer to the mystery of life itself? Buy stuff. I’m sure they must’ve had some advertisement stuck in there, too.
In all, it looks like I got 100% (at least of the ones that are actually useful or important). I must say that it’s pretty obvious this list was put out by Popular Mechanics, not GQ or Wired or Maxim, otherwise we’d see more “buy stuff”, “torrent movies and buy stuff”, “objectify your neighbor and buy stuff” on the list, respectively.

How’d you fare? Ladies, how mannish are you according to this list (in other words, how sexist was it)?

Comments: Go!