The Establishments of Man


Every now and again a man just needs a getaway. This necessity has spawned things such as "the two-car garage that never has a car in it" and "hunting camp." It has evolved into the Den and the Mancave. But could it go farther? Has it already gone farther and we just haven't concisely defined it yet? (All homoerotic overtones will try to be avoided, but at times may appear inevitable).

Here is a rough hierarchy starting from the most primitive and least involved to the least primitive and most involved.

The Hunting Blind

Whether it be six feet in height on the ground, or 6 inches in height and on a tree, very few things in life connect man with nature better than the Hunting Blind. Invented by Fred Bear sometime in the 1930s, the hunting blind was one of modern man's first retreat destinations. The ground mounted hunting blind was simply constructed, yet detailed acoustic consideration was taken into account (i.e. the rectangular slot machined for accommodating a gun barrel).

The predominant color of these blinds was black, with a few avid hunters opting for green (possibly an instinctual gravitation toward deep woods covert-ness). During harsh winter months, the Hunting Blind sometimes doubled as an Ice Shanty (which ranked slightly behind the Hunting Blind in our Establishment Survey results due to a smaller amount of mantime usually spent in it).

Hundreds of years from now, Archaeologists (and surviving hippies) will venture into the woodlands that were once fauna-filled and find these dry-rotted plywood artifacts. Amazingly enough though, with the last name and address of the owner of the blind still in tact, they will find out more about the Cabela's bargain hunting generation than they ever thought possible.

The Fishing Hole

Ahhhhh... The Fishing Hole. The most likely place to find a man looking to escape his problems during the summer months. A place where you can silence your Mariner outboard motor and let your troubles whisk away... until you snag your line on a hidden underwater sea log. A place where you can wear your fishing lures on your hat and nobody will judge you. A place where a babbling brook is much better than a nagging significant other. Okay... you get the point.

The Old Sports Bar

Keno. Cheap beer. Worn out barstools. Has beens. Never was's. This place has it all. Probably the last place in your area to comply with anti-smoking legislation. You have your regulars: Dale, Tim, Jeff, Mike who just got laid off, and of course Alfred, who hasn't had a job in 23 years but somehow can support a pretty steady diet of booze and Marlboro Golds.

This place has been a retreat for men in nearly all relationship situations (divorced, about to be divorced, contemplating divorce, calculating the cost of an attorney, and Alfred). The bartender knows everyone on a first name basis over the age of 26 and is either drying off glasses or asking "what'll it be?" The combination of the bartender also being the owner, and the friendly atmosphere amongst life's losers is kind of like a small-town version of 'Cheers,' minus the fact that midlife crises are actually not that entertaining... at all...

The Man Cave

Kegerator... Check. Dartboard... Check. Scattered collection of un-redeemed beer tabs for a 1996 softball fundraiser... Check. Welcome to "The Man Cave." Ranging from the size of a two-car garage to a 49 foot high tin pole barn, the Man Cave has recently gained steam and become one of the biggest and best hangouts for men in their early 30s to mid 50s. Decorated with italicized NASCAR numbers and mid-80s pin-up models, the Man Cave has become a glorified 'Little Rascals' clubhouse for middle-aged men of the current generation. Baby boomers be damned.

The Mantropolis

All of your superheroes live here. Superman, Spiderman, Aquaman, and the like... What do all of these superheroes have in common? The word MAN. Welcome to Mantropolis. Opinions are necessary but open-mindness is not. After intense litigation to smuggle the rights to this name from what could have been a very successful gay bar, Mantropolis now defines the sprawling area needed to finally create the Man Kingdom. Steve Garvey lives here. There is not one DSW shoe store within 85 miles of Mantropolis. Arguments are resolved via fistfights, and all of the members of Man Parliament have thick beards and wear flannel. The one problem with Mantropolis? The population only grows smaller due to the absence of women.

The Manpire

No, this is not a Man Vampire. That would be a Vampire. This is a Man Empire (think back to ancient Greece and Rome). This however, is a modern Man Empire. The roads are paved with aftershave, and there is such a thing as PBR beer plants. Unfortunately the only antiperspirant available is Old Spice due to their unbelievable 97 percent market share in Man Scent. But that's okay, because nothing can overwhelm the scent of motor oil and over-worn brake pads that dominate this Man Land. This is a place where every Sunday morning before football and/or "the race" you can find a man beneath his truck with a crescent wrench. This is a place where 3 ounces of Whopper mustard on your shirt pocket is held in the same regard as a merit badge. The infrastructure is 100 percent steel, the bar is always open, and the game is always on. By Law... or shall we say, Mandate.

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