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

The Odd Couple – Justin Bieber and Anne Frank

Being a man around the internet, very few things make me take pause. Basketball-sized tumor on a guy’s face? Meh. Michael Vick adopted a dog? Yawn.

But every once in a while, someone or something comes along that really rustles my jimmies. This week it was Justin Bieber. Yes I’m sure you’re all tired of the hyper-critical internet bandwagon that comes bouncing along every time Bieber opens his mouth. But then again, sometimes he’s pretty freaking fun to talk about.

In reality, it was only a matter of time before Justin Bieber showed up on this blog. We like to talk about manly stuff here, and so it’s natural we’d discuss the antithesis of everything manly.

Most people already saw the news about what happened on Sunday with Justin Bieber. For anyone who missed it, Bieber spent an afternoon at the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam mourning the loss of a potential fan. In the house’s guest book he wrote, “Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.”

dammit Justin

Now this may not seem like the most egregious of offenses, but it violates a pretty significant man rule: don’t be an idiot.

I mean really, there’s a reason so many women are looking for the strong and silent type. It’s not that the silent type is any smarter–he just presents less evidence to the contrary. If you’re an internationally famous pop star (such as Justin Bieber) you’ve really gotta consider the fact that everything you do and say is going to be scrutinized. So perhaps wishing a young Holocaust victim had hung on just a tad longer to hear “baby baby baby oh baby” wasn’t the best decision.

Whatever. It’ll probably blow over; Justin Bieber’s fans don’t really even seem to know what’s going on anyway.

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.

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.

Scotch Pairings for Everything

SCOTCH SCOTCH SCOTCHtumblr_mczsu0Cyzs1rb3pk0o1_500

As Ron Burgundy wisely stated, Scotch is the most delicious beverage on earth. It is the nectar of the gods of which ancient Greeks spoke. It is the dew running softly down a blade of grass. It is a thousand years’ worth of laughter and happiness–aged in oak barrels for at least three years–bottled and served in a tumbler. With ice. Without ice. Or perhaps rocks? No matter how it is served, the pairings are a key component to enjoying your Scotch Whisky.

But if you’re like me, you’re always struggling to find new things to pair with your scotch. Here are a few things I’ve paired with scotch over the last few weeks:

  • Stalking an ex on Facebook. Oh just look at Chelsea thinks she’s so cool with her successful new fiance well I bet he isn’t drinking a fifteen-year Dalwhinnie right now. 
  • Suit shopping. Nothing demands good service more than refusing to remove a tumbler of whisky from your hand while some guy tries to tailor your sleeves.
  • Watching later Adam Sandler movies. What? It’s not like drinking scotch is going to make them any worse.
  • Soccer. No, not playing soccer you dolt–watching soccer. Sure, it’s all well and good to drink beer at a baseball game, but if I want to enjoy a few fingers of my favorite single malt at my nephew’s soccer game, all the sudden I’m a “deviant” who needs to “dial it back.” 
  • Smoking a cigar. Great. Now I smell just like my weird Uncle Chet.

Remember gents, it may be “too early” to drink scotch, but it’s never too early to start thinking about it. If you aren’t drinking it (stuck at work?), you’d better start thinking about it. Your pairings have got to be better than mine. Tweet us your favorite scotch pairings @mancrates

Top 5 Manly Skills To Know This Holiday Season

Society’s characterization of ‘being a man’ has transformed over the centuries. In today’s modern world, there are many things our father’s (father) would’ve known how to do that the contemporary man in this tech-enabled age has since forgotten.

But with each coming year, the holiday season arrives and reminds us that the basics haven’t changed—and to that end; you should never stop being a man. To survive the season with your manliness intact, here are the 5 basic skills every man should possess.

If you don’t have these skills in your arsenal, you’d better get cracking. Because as GI Joe has taught us, knowing half the battle.

1. Make a holiday toast
Toasting isn’t easy, but every man should be endowed with the verbal skills to charm an
audience. An elderly Hungarian priest once captured the essence of a good toast in one simple phrase ‘a good toast should be like a mini-skirt, just long enough to cover the essentials, but short enough to remain interesting.’

2. Carve a Bird like a boss.
It’s holiday mealtime and your knife is poised to begin- will you look at the beautiful bronzed bird and weakly whisper, “Please do not let me maul this beast.” Or will you rise to the occasion and assert your manhood as you deconstruct the bird FTW.
The manliest of men are the ones who carve the turkey; it’s a timeless tradition and a job usually left to grandpas and dads. So grab your knife and cutting board, and step up to the plate.
Here’s how: http://chicken-recipes.wonderhowto.com/how-to/howto-carve-turkey-infographic-way-0122436/

3. Chop down a Christmas Tree
Chopping down your own tree is easily the manliest thing a real man can do to test his mettle at this festive time of the year. But before you get into the holiday spirit by felling your own pine, you must
know your escape path and when the tree starts to fall, use it. Here is what not to do…
http://www.urlesque.com/2010/01/13/tree-removal-fails/

4. Talk football.
The holidays mark the ‘beginning of the end’ of both the college and NFL seasons. And there’s no simpler way to say it: every man needs to be able to talk football. Whether your living room turns into a Pentagon War Room every weekend or you haven’t watched football since you caught a scene from Varsity Blues on TBS a few years back, now’s the time of year where you at least need to get some basics down. If you’re watching college football, the story this year is Notre Dame in the National Championship game. Fighting Irish fans think it’s well-deserved; most everyone else thinks they caught some generous breaks. Know your audience, choose a side, and debate vociferously.

5. Open a bottle of Champagne
I know what you’re thinking — it’s the holidays and we should be talking manly drinks, isn’t this a clear cider, rum & eggnog time? Or perhaps for the adventurous man with an international flair — a glögg occasion? Well, yes — and as a sidenote, if your drink has an umlaut in its name, you’re doing it right. So why champagne? Well, it lends itself well to celebratory environments so you’ll likely find yourself around it more than a few times this holiday season. Nearly every champagne bottle arrives with someone asking for help opening it. To open properly; remove the foil, check for wire, hold the neck of the champagne bottle and slowly begin to loosen the cork by twisting the bottle. You must hold onto the cork the entire time so it doesn’t come flying out and hit your fiancé’s great aunt in the eye. As you allow the cork to slowly ease out of the bottle, you will hear a gentle “sigh” rather than a “pop”. While a refined technique, there is a more manly alternative: use a sword http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ye28n_aJspA “