Manly gifts, volume X

Today’s manly gift selection consists of items to make entertaining large numbers of house guests easier.  These items are manly, as having to put up with so many people invading one’s domain is stressful, very stressful, and while offering refuge in your castle is manly, breaking down and going on a killing spree is not, thus, anything that helps maintain the peace is manly.

The first, and most important, item needed for a high quality evacuation camp is sufficient bed space.  People who have just had to abandon their homes and run for their lives are touchy enough, without the added pressure of sleeping in chairs or on the floor.  That’s where a supply of these,

comes in.  That’s an inflatable air bed, $10 at Target.  Without the air, they fold up into a very modest space, and with air included they provide a surprisingly comfortable place to sleep.  Don’t forget to pickup some cheap fitted sheets for them.  We’ve had 15 or so for several years now, and they’ve survived serious use by hordes of college students, relatives, and dogs (who love these things,) without a single leak or puncture.  They’re also handy to have on hand for sleep overs, camping trips, and those party guests who become unfit to drive home.

If you invest in the air beds, you’ll also need one of these,

which is a rechargeable pump to inflate them.  It’s $22, and you can save a few bucks by getting the plug into the wall model, but freedom from extension cords is well worth the extra cash.

Even if you’re not going to provide full meals for your guests, just the extra sodas, beer, and milk will fill your refrigerator in no time, so you should have one or more of these,

on hand.  That’s a 40 quart wheeled cooler which, for $50, will expand your chilled storage capacity enough to accommodate an extra 5 to 10 people, depending on their consumption rates.  The wheels are important, as it will need to be moved around a lot to accommodate the changing uses of your floor space.

You will find it useful to entertain your guests, to keep the chances of armed revolt down to a minimum.  One of the best ways to do this is by playing poker,


and this item has everything you need.  It may seem a bit steep at $130 with shipping, but it’s got enough chips and cards to support a ten handed game, and packs away neatly into a briefcase sized container for easy storage. 

You should also have one of these,

and other board games, available at Wal*Mart for around $20 per.  If you suspect children may be invading your home, pick up a few that are intended for lower age groups.

One of the prime points of friction in an over full house is the shower.  For some reason, even people who haven’t done anything but eat and play poker all day, insist on taking a daily shower.  Thus, there will be a constant line waiting for their turn as soon as the water heats up again, so, unless you want to spend endless hours doing laundry constantly,

a few dozen extra towels will be worth their weight in gold.  Not, of course, that you should pay that much.  Get the cheapest white towels you can find.  They need to be white because you’ll obviously want to add lots of bleach to the wash cycle.  As an side item to this, you should keep a box or two of plastic lawn bags on hand.  Then you can accumulate the wet towels and take them to a coin operated laundry.  This will save wear and tear to your home appliances, and give some of your guests an excuse to get out of the house.

Assuming your guests drink coffee, a 12 cup brewing appliance isn’t going to be sufficient, so get one of these,

40 cup commercial monsters.  At $55 it’s not that expensive, and they also come in handy at parties.

If you expect to be swamped by several lap top bearing guests, you must have one of these,

wireless Internet routers.  This one is a Belkin Wireless G Plus MIMO Router, which for $40 is currently allowing over a dozen Internet addicted people to share my cable modem connection, with little or know noticeable degradation of service.  I would also mention that, even though we have a fairly large house, which has two stories at the far end, no one has reported any problems connecting.  In addition to those grand features, this post would have been delayed for days, as I would never have gotten enough time on my computer to put it together.

Finally, I have found that a standard kitchen is not really designed to cook for more than 10 people.  One of these helps a great deal,

Which is a Breville Gourmet Grill, available at Williams-Sonoma for less than $300.  Truly, even if you only throw the occasional large party, this is a must have.  It folds up to about the size of a brief case, so it can be stored in a closet until needed.  It functions as a flat grill on one side, and a ribbed grill on the other, so you can cook bacon and pancakes for a dozen or more, and keep you regular stove free for the eggs, grits, and gravy.  It also works as a sandwich press, with enough room to cook two giant creations, or four lesser works of art at once.  Even if your man never plugs it in, it has enough adjustment levers and knobs to make him happy just playing with it.

Mister Manly


21 Responses to Manly gifts, volume X

  1. Girly says:

    I’m coming to your house for sure!

    I like that gourmet grill! Very nice.

  2. Virgil Hart says:

    Risk is surprisingly manly as shit. It’s the board game equivolent of Johnny Cash in terms of how bad ass it is.

  3. Pure Evyl says:

    The wheeled beer cooler has to be one of the great inventions of our age. And Risk kicks ass. The manly way to learn geography.

  4. Hmmmmm, MM…

    I can see that you’ve thought this through, but isn’t it better to forgo all that crap, so that the “visitors” can’t wait to get the hell outta your house, and head home?

    Nothin says “let’s get the hell outta here…” like a cold hard floor to sleep on, fistfights over the last few cups of coffee grounds, and tree bark for towels.

    And if they feel like grilling “hot dogs,” I just give them an old electric cord, and a wire coathanger. Nothing says “vacation” like a “stinger” roasted dawg… Man, I can smell the cord burning already…

    So, my visitors may get a few nights in the gulag, but with a “this old soda’s been in the garage for a decade” chaser. And it’ll be served lukewarm, in an old, used styrofoam cup.

    “Manly” is okay, but “compassionate,” too? Next you’ll be tellin us to “spoon with our wives…”

    Oy Vay! This could ruin my reputation…

  5. MJ says:

    Very handy list indeed! I never realized how cheap those inflatable mattresses could be.

  6. mistermanly says:

    Hi Girly,

    The grill is really nice. It’s great for making pancakes.

    Hi Virgil and Evyl,

    I agree. Risk is definitely a manly, yet educational, game.

    Hi rr,

    That’s good advice if the guests are pests. Fortunately, ours are quite pleasant company, and help with the cooking, shopping, and house work. Besides, they’re anxious to get back to NOLA, so there’s little danger of them overstaying their welcome. On top of that, I find it oddly comforting to have half a dozen attractive young women living with me 😉

    Mister Manly

  7. mistermanly says:

    Hi MJ,

    We were surprised at the price as well. The secret is to get ones without a built in pump, so you only have to shell out for a single blower.

    Which reminds me that I left something out, power strips. With all the cell phones and lap tops to be charged, electrical outlets were at a premium until I taped a couple of power strips to the breakfast room table.

    Mister Manly

  8. Sarah says:

    good call on the power strips..

    And those inflatable beds are key. Just make sure to position them away from your bed, so you dont step on people.

  9. […] is Not as Manly as We Thought Mister Manly purports to be very manly. However, in a recent blog post, Mister Manly suggest the use of the following, unmanly products: An air mattress – everyone knows […]

  10. livininsanity says:

    Unfortunately, this post brings your manliness into question.

  11. mistermanly says:

    Hi Sarah,

    The real importance of the air beds is that they fit nicely into the part of the house that is not my bedroom. We’ve even come up with a distribution plan which keeps the living room clear.

    Hi l,

    I believe I answered your questions on your blog.

    Mister Manly

  12. sensualist says:

    As long as you’re playing, I’m game. Risk has been a staple at my family get togethers for years. Maybe that is due to the full on war we have going at any given time, but……..well, who cares. Risk is “the bomb”…pardon the teenage jargon. I truly love this game! Roll the dice and we’ll see who takes their markers off the board.

  13. livininsanity says:

    Well, that’s interesting… that first post supposedly by me was not actually posted by me… it was automatically generated… so, how exactly does that work exactly? Anyone? First time I’ve seen one of those generated from my page. Anyone have details of how this works exactly?

  14. mistermanly says:

    Hi s,

    As Evyl pointed out, you can justify it because of the educational value 😉

    Hi l,

    I’ve had automated trackbacks before, but they’ve always been from sleazy sites trying to build up content by swiping the work of others. If you would like me to remove it I will do so.

    Mister Manly

  15. livininsanity says:

    I’ve previously only seen them from sleazy sites also. So, I was a little confused at how that happened. I didn’t generate it. I was wondering if you had some certain settings that include it when someone links to your page, which I did. I’ve got no problem with it. If anyone could have a problem with it, I’d think it might be you, not me, as it is your website. It’s fine by me – as long as everyone understands I’m not being sleazy and stealing stuff (because that’s normally what I associate those with).

  16. mistermanly says:

    Hi l,

    Not to my knowledge. I suspect it will just have to remain another mystery of WordPress 🙂

    Mister Manly

  17. Ruth Crean says:

    A great list of things,
    airbed-an amazing life saver to this years camping trip,a luxury I never knew I needed until I discovered I’ll never camp without it.
    Risk-a fantastically addictive game that I whiled away my fianl year of college with. We played it ith different rules,and no dice, made it much more tactical and less random, and far more vicious. It think it will have to go on my christmas list this year.
    Is it odd I love all these manly things but I’m a girlie?

  18. mistermanly says:

    Hi Ruth,

    The improvements in air bed technology sneaked up on me as well. Still, better late than never. It’s not at all odd that you like a few manly things. If, however, you find yourself drifting too far toward masculinity, there’s always the Oprah show to pull you back to the pink side 😉

    Mister Manly

  19. Cyncnarce says:

    I made with photoshop animated myspace pics.
    take a look at them:
    Thank you for your site 🙂 xoxoxo

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