May First: The Underrated Holiday

During my sleepless nights, I usually find myself perusing Wikipedia’s “On This Day” section. Late last night,  I was ‘mouth-open shocked’ to discover how big of a deal the first of MAY is.

I know May 1st marks the holiday “May Day,” but when I think about it, all that happens is an image similar to the one below pops into my head. And then I am confused because I have no idea what May Day is actually celebrating, and I have this picture of kids dancing around a pole, and by this point I have started thinking about my next meal.

I am not going to explain May Day as you can look on wikipedia. And the Maypole, well I still don’t understand that. What I do know is that in Germany, an edgy type of maypole tradition exists where if a strapping lad has a lucky lady in his life, he might erect a small maypole by her bedroom window. Still not sure if Freud ever shared his thoughts on this tradition but I wouldn’t be surprised. 

The Maypole. Wait, what is a maypole?
The Maypole. Wait, what is a maypole?

MAY FIRST in itself is a big day without any of the May Day gaeity. Here I have highlighted some of the more notable events that occurred on May 1st.

Maybe the last?
Maybe the last?

Cricket hasn’t captured the hearts of most Americans, but it…. actually no that’s it. I don’t know a single person who partakes in this classy sport, let alone understands the rules of the game. (√ New Years for resolutions 2014)

What can I say? I'm a sucker for secret societies
What can I say? I’m a sucker for secret societies

The Illuminati became mainstream after being featured in hollywood hits (tip of the hat to you Mr. Dan Brown), but did you know that the society was initially founded to oppose superstition, prejudice, religious influence in public life, abuses of state power, and to support women’s education and gender equality. Back in 1776, that kind of ideology was counter-culture and they were outlawed (hence the secret-society angle.) Fast Forward to modern day, their reputation falls somewhere between conspiracy theory and uncertainty and “I want in”.

8 hour work day? Where?  Cheers to Moses Fleetwood Walker for being a game changer / having an awesome name.
8 hour work day? Where?
Cheers to Moses Fleetwood Walker for being a game changer / having an awesome name.

Moses Fleetwood Walker- you have an unbelievably awesome name and it seems like you were also an awesome person. You paved the way for race equality for one of the greatest sports. If he were alive today, I have a three pronged plan on what I would do.

Plan A) try to meet him

Plan B (in the event plan A doesn’t work) stalk him

If both A and B have failed or resulted in a restraining order– Plan C) create a Man Crate for him and his career with the Toledo Blue Stockings.

 

Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 1.42.39 PM

Enough said. I love that airlines have food. And I love airline food.  

 

Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 1.42.03 PMToo soon. Just never forget.

 

Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 1.41.44 PMAs a child born in the post-polio epidemic, thank you Jonas Salk. As for Guam, keep predicting the US Presidential Election results with your straw vote because 100% of the time, you guys have been right every time.

 

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Mush Mush! Naomi “ridin solo” Uemura, your trip was not easy.  As records say, during the 4th day of his trek, a polar bear entered his camp, demolished all his food, and pressed his nose against Uemura. Understandably pissed, Uemura was ready for the bear who came back the following day (which would be his last day) as Uemura shot him dead.

Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 3.54.09 PM And to round out this crazy day, we have Pope John Paul II beatified (blessed). Fun Fact: PJPII beatified more people during his papacy than any other pope in history. Bin Laden was killed. Huge deal. Not going to explain further or project my personal political views.

And to cap it off, I saved the most notable for last.

Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 6.50.06 PM

It’s true. Most people drink water. But I am not most people. I ate water. Happy May Day Folks. Celebrate accordingly.

Fishing: How to Remove a Fishhook from an Enemy’s Ear

Like most siblings, we fought. (a lot) But that didn’t mean we didn’t love each other. We weren’t enemies per se–  it just seemed like we were to the general public. Take, for example, our regular family camping trip. We would find a remote spot to set up camp in the high Uinta Mountains in northern Utah and spend a few days fly fishing and catching salamanders. However, just because we were a million miles from civilization didn’t mean we were unable to produce mischief.

During one trip, my brother and I spent hours poking pin-prick holes into my sister’s waders so when she stepped into a pond to hunt salamanders, she immediately found herself waterlogged and unable to move. Generally it was just fun and games and no one got hurt. That is, until the fishhook incident.

I was somewhere in the neighborhood of double digits, and my brother had just reached his teens. So he was a green Boy Scout, fresh off his first scout camp, and eager to show off his new skills. Unfortunately, I gave him his first chance.

This is not my brother.

Sure, I’d been fly fishing for quite some time, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t still difficult. The rod was like three times taller than me and I still needed my dad’s help every time to get a fish off the hook. And sometimes when the fish weren’t biting, I’d get bored and play Zorro. (The fact that Zorro’s whip was not attached to a long pole had no bearing on my fantasy. Ah the folly of youth.)

Eventually, my luck ran out and during a sunny afternoon of playing Zorro, I ended up with a fishhook embedded firmly in my ear. There were grasshoppers all over the river that year, so naturally I was using a grasshopper fly with, you guessed it, the biggest, meanest hook you could imagine.

After the few moments inherent to childhood pain of thinking, “I wonder if this hurts enough to justify crying,” I began wailing.

However, the only family member in earshot was my brother George. Things were about to get much worse.Lumbering down the riverbed in his waders, he eventually saw the grasshopper firmly implanted in my ear, and a huge grin spread across his face.

“Don’t worry,” he yelled, not breaking his stride. George calmly explained to me that he’d JUST learned how to remove fishhooks in his most recent scout camp. “Lennie had one just like this and the scoutmaster showed us how to get it out. It’s super easy,” he reassured me.

As any anglers out there are aware, removing a fishhook from skin is, in fact, relatively easy. It’s a matter of pushing it through the skin and breaking or squeezing the barb. Then, you simply pull the hook out the way it came in.

See? Super easy.

Easier said than done when you’re an overeager 13-year-old with a guinea pig for a little brother.

Twenty excruciating minutes later, I felt that if my ear was amputated, I’d count that as a win. When my father finally came back downstream, he found what looked like a scene out of Saw–my brother, hands covered in blood, holding me down with one knee as my ear dripped blood all over my face. There was no telling where the hook even was anymore.

Needless to say, I’m much more cautious when I fly fish now. And if I ever hook myself again, I’ll probably just leave it in there.

Fly Flishing, who knew it would lead to a pierced ear?
Fly Flishing, who knew it would lead to a pierced ear?

 

Mother’s Day Gift Shopping for Dummies by Dummies

Oh, just Man Crates here, trying to keep you out of the dog house. Seriously though, what are you doing, you silly man/noob? Go out and buy a Mother’s Day gift!

No? Just gonna keep reading then, eh?

Oh c’mon. Mother’s Day is coming up. Like SUPER soon. May 12th. And you and I both know you’re going to wait until the last minute and then just buy something stupid at a 24-hour pharmacy. Oh, and then, you’re going to find the perfect gift online, but it’s going to be way too late, unless you want to spend like a million dollars on shipping.

And no, this is not an okay alternative to getting her a gift.

But you’re still here, reading a blog post instead of buying a Mother’s Day gift. So here’s my surefire way to find a great gift for your mom.

  1. Make sure you didn’t already buy her a gift. Ha ha who am I kidding even Voldemort never planned that far ahead. 
  2. Figure out what your mom likes. If you don’t buy her a good gift, you can probably cross yourself off that list.
  3. Check your finances. Oooo…probably shouldn’t have splurged on those concert tickets. Oh well, that $13 in your wallet helps narrow down gift options.
  4. Google “mother’s day gift ideas” (we did it for you). Realize all of those results are useless.
  5. Call your Dad.
  6. Buy whatever he says to buy.
  7. Buy her something.

But wait! Are you “dad”? Don’t worry, I’ve got tips for you too.

  1. Don’t stress out! You can potentially get away with flowers and a card. Lucky! (But seriously, don’t try to pull that crap on her birthday. You’ll probably get thrown down the stairs.)
  2. When the kids call, just advise them to buy things you’ve been neglecting to buy your wife since Christmas. Like a new step ladder so she’ll stop bugging you to change the lightbulbs.
  3. Drink a beer; you are a passable adult.
Get it? Step-ladder?

Acronyms for Romance: A Guide

If you’re single, sooner or later you’re going to begin texting (or if you’re like, a dinosaur, emailing) a woman you’re romantically interested in. And invariably she’s going to send you a word–probably without vowels–that you just plain don’t know. Is she a cryptologist? Probably not. More than likely, she’s just sent you an acronym you don’t recognize.

Now we know you were too busy hunting or drinking or doing something manly to sit down and learn to teen text speak on Urban Dictionary or wherever, so we won’t hold your ignorance against you. In fact (we may applaud it.)

But to help we’ve made a handy list you can refer to anytime you need help communicating with that “foxy” lady in your life.

  • WTF! – either you said something totally off-color or something has gone wrong. Either way, your woman is upset and you need to fix it before she tacks on another exclamation point.
  • WTF? – this is slightly less concerning than the first, but you still have some explainin’ to do.
  • LOL – you may have said something funny.
  • LMAO – you probably said something funny.
  • LMFAO – you definitely said something funny.
  • ROFLMFAO – you need to call a hospital.
  • lol – false alarm – she’s simply using this in place of punctuation.
  • BRB – she’ll get back to you in a few days.
  • BBL – she’ll get back to you in a few weeks.
  • TTFN – you’ve just been friendzoned.
  • NSFW – take your phone into the bathroom before opening that attachment.
  • FYI – anything that follows this is going to be very sarcastic.
  • BTW – same as FYI.
  • OMG – “oh dear!”
  • ILY – stage 5 clinger
  • oh, em, gee – you’re dating a sorority girl.
  • DGAF – you’re dating a sassy sorority girl
  • YOLO- You’re manhood is being questioned- go out.
  • OMGWTFBBQ – you’re using too many acronyms. She’s making fun of you.
Don't feel too bad, Awkward penguin doesn't know the ladies lingo either.
Don’t feel too bad, Awkward penguin doesn’t know the ladies lingo either.

Zombie Survival – Test Your Zombie Survival Rating

Zombie survival isn’t all about preparedness. You can buy all the weapons and rations you want and read all the literature you can find but when the big day comes, it’s about how you perform, not how ready you are. Reacting properly to a zombie banging at your door is far more important to your survival than how many guns you have in your basement.

But we wouldn’t tell you all this if we didn’t have a plan to help. So take a minute to test your zombie survival skills with our quick Zombie Survival Quiz.

(Answers below)

  1. You hear reports on the news that your city has been overrun. With smoke rising in the distance, you still aren’t quite prepared to move out. What is your first course of action?
  2. You are woken up in the middle of the night to groaning and banging on the doors and windows. There wasn’t adequate warning and now the horde has surrounded your house. What’s the plan?
  3. You come across an abandoned apartment complex. You’re on foot and a vehicle sounds great. In front of you are a mountain bike, dirtbike, and a Jeep. Which do you take?
  4. Your travel companion has been bitten. You heard of a still-operating military base that has the cure. Do you go alone or take him?  

Answers Continue reading Zombie Survival – Test Your Zombie Survival Rating

Preparing for a North Korean Something or Other…

Everyone knows that Man Crates cares about preparedness. Whether you’re preparing for the zombie apocalypse or just an all-night LAN party, we want you to be ready.

So as North Korea readies its impressive nuclear arsenal, it’s time to start thinking about getting those bomb shelters and food stores ready. It’s the Cold War Part II and everyone knows that sequels are always better.

Preparing your bomb shelter

Have a house? Four walls? A roof? Dang…sounds like you got yourself a pretty sweet North Korean Nuclear Bomb Shelter. Congratulations!

Food storage

You spent the afternoon watching mushroom clouds (or real clouds, who can tell the difference?) rise on the horizon and you’re worried. Not to fret–just use our patented North Korean Nuclear Attack Food Storage Plan.

Step one: go grocery shopping on a weekly basis.

Getting ready for invasion

Everyone is aware of just how impressive and technologically superior North Korea’s nuclear program is, but you may not be familiar with their dominating military. Thus, you need to be ready for a ground attack. As you can see in the picture below, a picket fence (or anything above knee-height) will probably keep those pesky North Koreans out of your yard.

From left to right: American troop, North Korean troop, South Korean troop

People say the best weapon is one you never have to use. In that case, ALL of North Korea’s weapons are just fantastic. Their military prowess has the western world shaking in their collective capitalist boots. And just like in the first Cold War, everyone is so scared they’re making memes and jokes about the whole thing just to cope.

How to Spend the Rest of your Tax Day

You did it! You successfully navigated some of the most complicated and convoluted tax laws on the planet. So what’s next?

It starts at the office

Let’s be honest, it’s not like you spent the day actually working. Between double checking all of your numbers, the letter from your tax guy, and meticulously filling in checks, you accomplished zippo all day. So why break that streak after you drop off the check at the post office on your lunch break?

I say let it ride. Slack off. Sneak some whisky from that flask you keep for special occasions. But whatever you do, don’t work. You just wrote a check for an ungodly amount of money to a system you’re not sure you trust or even like all that much. So kick your feet up on the desk and play some Angry Birds on your phone. And if the boss man asks you what the hell you’re doing, just hit him with the classic Tax Day Shrug: 

Head for the nearest bar

Just because you spent all day trying to get three stars on all the levels of Angry Birds Star Wars doesn’t mean you aren’t stressed out. If you’re not stressed consider these fun tax day facts:

  • It’s entirely possible to pay twice the value of your home in property tax alone over 50 years.
  • That rich jerk you went to high school with probably has a lower tax rate than you.
  • The company that rich jerk owns probably pays no taxes whatsoever.

So as I was saying…alcohol.

Bars around the country are going to filled with millions of other men drinking away the pain of cutting Uncle Sam a big fat check. And if your bar is really hip, they probably have a special drink to celebrate the occasion.  Something like “the Taxman Drinketh” or the “Death and Taxes shot” or something, I don’t know I’m not a bartender.

Use those taxes

If you don’t feel like drinking yourself into oblivion, we understand. After all, it is still a Monday. Instead, spend the rest of the day really getting the most out of those taxes by using all those services your tax dollars pay for.

  • Drive on a road.  
  • Take out your trash.
  • Invade a foreign country.
  • Stop at a stoplight.
  • Bail out a few billion dollar banks.
  • Visit a library.
  • Drink some high fructose corn syrup.

And take solace in the fact that during the first French Revolution, the tax collectors were some of the first to lose their heads.

 

Summer Drinking Season: Do’s and Don’ts

Summer is upon us gentlemen. It’s time to embarrass our loved ones with pasty white legs and too-short shorts. Time to make commitments we’ll never keep once we see our winter gut in full daylight. But most importantly, summer is a time to enjoy a cold drink. There’s a reason Corona changed their entire identity to idealize sipping beers on the beach. But you must be even safer drinking in the summer than any other time of year because of just what’s at stake–your manliness. Think you’re Rico Suave because you ordered a mint julep? Or that you can drink that frilly drink if you just remove the mini umbrella? Think again. Here’s a few tips to get you through this confusing and…colorful time of year. Summer drinking season is upon us gentlemen.

Don’ts

  • Mini umbrellas. In fact, if your drink is served with anything but alcohol (or maybe a lime) in it, you should probably just send it back. This applies to mini swords, swizzle sticks, and twisty straws. 
  • Fruit. Sounds good doesn’t it? Sitting on a warm beach, sipping a drink and occasionally snatching a chunk of pineapple from your glass. Well, unless you’re a 3rd century Roman concubine, lazily eating booze-besotten fruit is not going to be a good look on you.
  • Unless it’s mixed with Coke, avoid rum. You’re not a teenager sneaking drinks from the liquor cabinet and you’re not a sorority girl taking shots, so why on earth are you drinking rum? Put. It. Down.
  • A bar is still a bar. Just because it’s warm and the patio furniture is outside of your favorite bar doesn’t mean you’re in Cabo San Lucas on Spring Break. So don’t order anything that’s going to make the barman look at you sideways, or that pisco sour may have more than an egg in it.  

Dos

  • Drink Corona. Seriously. Have you had a Corona on a beach?
  • Take shots of tequila, like everywhere. It doesn’t matter if it’s warm and sunny or Minnesota–it’s summer and therefore copious amounts of tequila MUST be consumed.
  • Order margaritas. Blended. With salt. C’mon, how badly do you want to pull over at that snow cone shack every summer? But you don’t, because you’re not a pedophile and would therefore feel weird standing in line with a dozen 8 year olds. Well now’s your chance. (And hey, it’s yet another great opportunity to drink tequila.)

Men with Moxie – Not Just a Crappy Soda Anymore

Pluck. Spunk. Grit. Cheek. Moxie.

Some men have it; some men don’t. Others–a rare few–have moxie by the truckload.  But most men just don’t know what it is.

mox·ie noun Slang.

1.vigor; verve; pep.
2.courage and aggressiveness; nerve.
3.skill; know-how.

Now you know what it means, but the best part is where it came from. Back in the late 1800s, when other soft drinks were experimenting with cocaine and rampant patent infringement, one drink stood alone. Moxie Nerve Food couldn’t worry itself with petty scrabbles over delicious sodas. Because they were proudly and unknowingly making the most repulsive soda known to man.

Adding soda water to his snake oil solution, “Doctor” Augistin Thompson proclaimed his beverage increased vigor and pep. The general populace responded with a common joke that one would need vigor and pep to drink the stuff. Oh, memes back in the day were so biting.

moxie

What did it taste like? Well considering I can actually use a computer, you can guess I’m not old enough to have tried it. But from what I’ve pieced together from the geezers I talked to, it tasted like sarsaparilla mixed with brake fluid. (For the truly curious, why not try a good taste of the past?)

And yet there were some chaps out there who thought Moxie was the bees knees. And it is to them we tip our hats today.

We tip our hats to the men who hoisted up their knickers, loaded their rifles, and brought us back-to-back wins in world wars. The men who ate their lunch on skyscraper beams because apparently the fear of heights hadn’t been invented yet.

We’ll be bringing you weekly stories about these men, the men who built our great cities and killed a whole bunch of buffalo. Because those men had moxie, and maybe some of it will rub off on you.

Man Crates’ Spring Cleaning Guide – Putting the “pro” in Procrastinate

Spring cleaning is upon us once again, gentlemen. And unless you’re a groundskeeper or a farmer (which many of you probably are), it’s likely not your favorite time of year. So why not procrastinate a bit longer and read our handy Spring Cleaning Guide?

Step One – Procrastinate

We must say, we’re proud of you. You’re already ahead of the curve, as you’re on the internet procrastinating instead of cleaning out the rain gutters. Nevermind the fact that the last rainstorm damn near flooded your basement because the torrents of water weren’t properly channeled into a clean rain gutter–wet leaves are gross anyway. So don’t feel the need to leave, Man Crates is a safe place.

Step Two – Make a List of Excuses

Sure, I know Step Two is just a subset of Step One, but keep in mind, I’m still on Step One and I’m kinda milking it.

The important thing here is to be organized. Someone, be it a wife, roommate, or girlfriend is going to assault you pretty soon here and if you aren’t prepared, you’re in serious trouble. So make an itemized list of all the reasons why you can’t rake off that weird crust that developed on the lawn over the winter.

Here’s an excellent example:

ManCratesApproved

“Honey I need you to clean up the yard and all you’re doing is lying on the couch watching ESPN Classic.”

“My dear, it should be clear I’m merely adjusting my back. I have an important racquetball game with Ron in accounting tomorrow, and if he wins he gets my parking spot.”

That interaction? Man Crates Approved.

Step Three – Make a Real List

Eventually all good things come to an end, and your wife is bound to figure out that you would never play racquetball with Ron in accounting because that guy is a major tool. So you’d better get your plan in order.

You’re probably pretty good at making lists by now so I trust you can lay out which things you need to do first. Like putting out the hammock. And then stress-testing the hammock. Be sure not to shirk on this one–safety is paramount. Then of course you’ll need to take down the Christmas lights because that old batty woman next door keeps sneering at them. And because it’s like, April.

Remember not to rush this list. Step One is never really over when you’re spring cleaning.

Step Four – Feel Accomplished

Let’s be honest, Spring Cleaning is a bit of a joke. It’s more like “work relatively hard for a few hours on a warm Saturday so you can justify neglecting the yard for another month.” But don’t let that stop you from taking a serious load off around 4:30 in the afternoon. Drink a beer on the half-assembled yard furniture. Why not make it three? You could grill a burger…but you’re tired; and more importantly, the grill is still crammed deep in the recesses of the shed.

So just dial up Domino’s. You’ve earned it gents.