This email was waiting for me this morning:
Dear Mr. Manly,
My boyfriend is rapidly becoming a wimp. Over the last few months, he has actually become sensitive and caring. It’s gotten to the point where he’d rather talk about our feelings in a coffee bar than take me cruising on his hog, which he’s thinking of trading in on a hybrid car. I can’t stand it. I blame it on all the TV he watches during the day, now that he’s working the night shift. If you can’t help me man him up, I’m kicking his ass out.
You were correct to seek my advice as your boyfriend has become infected with the unmanly propaganda inserted into modern sitcoms. I would wager that he’s addicted to watching reruns of Friends and MASH. It may be possible to save him, but it’s going to take immediate and drastic action.
First, make sure that there is always beer in the fridge and a variety of chips next to his favorite chair. Put them next to a 50 pound dumbbell, which will challenge his manliness.
Next, you have to feed him a steady diet of manly movies. If he refuses to watch them by choice, you will have to trick him into it. Disable the cable and leave a stack of DVDs on top of the converter box. Be very careful with your selections, as a sudden shift in programming like this can have serious side effects, and you don’t want him out picking bar fights and knocking off liquor stores.
I suggest starting with some light John Wayne:
The Quiet Man, Donovan’s Reef, Hellfighters
If he handles those well, move on to some harder core manly material:
Enter the Dragon, Highlander, Predator
He should be starting to toughen up a bit after that, so move up to:
Rocky, Lethal Weapon, Point Break
After that, he’ll probably need a manly comedy fix:
Stripes, Animal House, several Three Stooges episodes
By this point, he should be growing a beard and wearing his leather jacket and a pair of boxers around the house. Check to see if the dumbbell has been moved and, if it has, hit him with:
Ronin, Commando, Gladiator
If he shows no ill effects, it’s time to head for home base. Order him pizza for lunch and leave these out:
Dirty Harry, Con Air, Fight Club
He should be pretty much back to his old self at this point but, just to make sure the manliness sticks, another pizza and:
Big Jake, Saving Private Ryan, The Hitman
While that should, in theory, do the trick and give him his machismo back, you might want to buy him season tickets to his favorite sport. Besides, if he stays girly and you have to kick him out, you’ll have plenty of man bait to attract a new mate.
Best of luck,