Real Men Don't Rant, They Blog

We got the ultrasound done a few weeks ago. I was never so excited to stare at a fuzzy screen and try to pick out body parts since I was a kid and we'd try to watch late-night premium television.

Ever since we found out we found out we were having a boy everyone has assumed that I'm more excited than I would have been if we had a girl. “Yeah, I'm thrilled that my first born is someone I can torment with sports equipment until he's 8 after which we'll begin competing at various things until he turns 27 at which point he'll have beaten me at everything. That's way better than a girl who will love me unconditionally forever in exchange for playing barbies with her.”

I know parents-to-be always say they don't care about the gender of their soon-to-exist spawn. I always figured it was another wad of parental crap like “Changing diapers is a rewarding experience.” When it came to be my turn to wonder if I would be able to take my kid to a public restroom or not in five years, I really didn't care.

Mostly because I'm pretty sure any kid with a mobile made out of special edition Lord of the Rings action figures is going to turn out pretty cool.

Now that I know there will be at least one more generation correcting teachers on how to say “Shinney” I will admit that I am pretty excited to have a son. It means that I'll have the chance to teach him what it means to be a “real man.”

There is a lot of confusion in the world today about what it means to be a real man. Some say only those with power and wealth are real men. Others think only the physically strong qualify for the title.

The problem is most of these people don't know anything about being a real man, and so, for the the convenience of my son-to-be, I'm now going to lay down some of what I'm sure could turn into a Master's Thesis on what in means to be a real man.

Real men kill bugs. With their hands. Real men like the popping sound just a little.

If you want to be a real man, you have to be able to rock a really sweet beard.

A real man never admits the weather is too cold, the food is too spicy or that he is the reason the whole basement smells like burnt carpet and cheese.

If you're a real man, you don't wait around for someone else to solve your problems. If. however, during the process of trying to do something on your own some one more experienced offers help, a real man will graciously accept.

Being a real man requires driving all the way home, no matter how tired you yourself are, if your wife needs to sleep.

Real men root for the good guys, even when the bad guys are actually quite a bit cooler.

Sometimes being a real man means spending your day off digging through rocky soil to bury a random stranger's dog.

A real man, never drinks diet. If a real man gets too fat, he gives up soda.

A real man doesn't let anyone else define what “too fat” is.

Being a real man means running out into pouring rain/snow/hail to help your neighbors bail out their storm windows. They also pull over in a snow storm to push out slid off cars and help people they hardly know move.

Real men protect their little sisters. If they ever make friends with a girl who doesn't have an older brother, real men fill in.

Real men don't litter.

A real man is allowed to cry at a wedding or when Old Yeller gets shot, he's just not allowed to let anyone see.

If real men are going to write something on a bathroom wall, they make it clever and keep it clean. They don't just draw a wang.

Real men can drive stick shift.

Real men wear hats, shorts and Hawaiian shirts because real men decide when their going to grow up.

And they also decide what that means.

This is probably the most important part; real men geek on.

Steve Shinney is a real man, or at least, he's trying really hard to be, for his son. You may add to the definition that proves him as such in the comments below.

Cast your chairs into the abyss, never to return

Gather round laddies and harken to my tale.

A tale of wonder, majesty and upholstery.

A story that happened to me, and if you're not careful, could happen to you.

If ever in your journeys, you should happen upon a young man answering to the name of Drew Smith, do not shrug him off. And if this Mr. Smith sounds a warning about a certain item, be sure to give him heed young one, especially if the item is a sleeper sofa.

For this man, despite his common name, is sage of great wisdom in the field of living room furniture that transforms via various dark rights, into uncomfortable places for sleeping. When Drew Smith tells you that a sleeper sofa is best left where it is, believe him, for the very forces of Hell shall conspire against you and all who would move it.

I once received such a warning. I told him that I be joining a common acquiescence of ours in the glorious battle that is moving. “Fear the couch,” he said. These three words, and nothing more.

And yet in this trio of syllables lurked untold truths and a warning that, had I followed, would have saved me untold aches in my heart and my back. But I paid them no mind.

I my hubris, I felt no need to “Fear the couch.” I am Steve Shinney and by the stars I fear no man nor beast nor piece of furniture. If I could survive the Great Nemean Dresser and the time I dropped a washing machine on my roommate, surely this mere couch with a bed folded inside was no match for my wits and brawn.

Once I tried to lift my side though, I knew that since the Dawn of Man no greater folly has ever occurred.

I tell you as sure as I live a breathe this sofa was not the sitting place of any mortal being.

It was the devil's loveseat.

No material known to man weighs as much as that contraption did. Surely it was forged in the very fires of the under world from the bones of some grotesque demon-spawned whale.

Beneath its behemoth girth, my muscles quivered and my hernia strained. I was able to keep it together (literally), but only be summoning all the grit and determination I could lay claim to.

Sometime, in the ages past, it was foreseen by a nameless oracle that everyone that I should ever help move would live on the the top floor. And so it was this night. Three floors of tight double staircases and tighter corners stood between us and the couch's final resting place.

And yet, it was proven yet again that no height is to great and no furniture is too heavy to crush the indomitable human spirit. We lost many good men in that final assault, but in the end, the day was ours and the move was complete.

Geek on. In glory and honor, geek on.

Steve Shinney is good at two things,moving heavy objects and using dramatic words. He takes both very seriously. Go ahead and leave a comment below.