Posts tagged ‘ManFAQ’

Monday ManFAQ

25 May, 2020 | | No Comment

A long time ago, before many people were even thinking about quarantine, or impeachment, or how long it had been since they’d last showered, Friday meant answer time at the ManFAQ. People, and by people I mean women, would send me questions, and as part of my parole agreement a public service I answered them, to help demystify the more malodorous gender for those of the gentler.

This went on for about a year and a half, and I thought I’d answered all the questions.

Today, though, is different. Today, a new question has come up. And as usual, I do mean UP. So here we go again, by request, actual questions, posed by real women, and answered by a REAL man. What could go wrong?

Question:   Do all of our not-sexy pajamas vs sexy pajamas choices even make a difference in the level of the hard sell… or do men not even notice the difference?

Answer:    I will tell you a story. To protect the guilty, I will change the names. My friend, who is certainly not named Greg, went a-travelling some years ago, with a co-worker (whose name is no more germane to our story than Greg’s is, but it’s more fun quoting Greg). I will add that Greg is, or anyway was at the time, a suave and good looking guy, worldly, morally upstanding, and righteous before the lord. You know the kind I mean. His co-worker was a brilliant woman, a leader as well as a funny and kind person. She also happened to be very attractive. She also happened to be married, a condition that did not at the time plague our man Greg.

It turned out that she also happened to be horny, a condition which with our Greg was afflicted reasonably often, being as how he’s a guy. (I feel that I can say with some degree of certainly that he’s still afflicted with this condition reasonably often, since he’s still breathing.) Long story short, she entered his hotel room to talk about the meeting they had the next day, and she put the question of Hey Hey to him.

He said no.

She said OK, and stepped into the bathroom to fix her makeup, leaving the door open.

Being a man for whom words were in no short supply, he expounded on his answer very eloquently, so as not to hurt her feelings, with great tenderness, and in the spirit of friendship, and loyalty, with a discussion of their workplace relationship, and of her husband, known to our man Greg, and of her many wonderful qualities as a co-worker and a friend.

When he wound down from his prolixity, she stepped out of the bathroom, without a word. She was wearing, as you say, sexy PJs.

She looked at him.

“Did you hear all of what I just said?” asked Greg.


“Yeah, never mind. And Take. That. Off.”

Now you know – we notice. We ALWAYS notice. We might not always engage, but we really do notice!

Please, feel free to comment! Also, forward any questions you’d like answered to BUMD – at –!

Bathroom Break!

Dear Friend, Fond Relation, and Gentle Reader:  Welcome back!  I’ve been away a while. I’ve missed a few marks and notes; I missed commenting on my birthday.  Yes, I missed commenting on your birthday, also – sorry about that!

But I’ve been hearing a lot lately about the state of America’s underpants. We seem to have them twisted, bunched up, slightly damp, and certainly uncomfortable. We can’t stop talking about what’s in who’s pants and what we need to do about it – particularly in the bathroom.

So, in my capacity as the final arbiter of sanity, good taste, decency, and gender equality in this country, and speaking as a Real Man, I figured it was my civic duty to take a break from this semi-retirement and assist the country as it grapples with the deep, penetrating question of who should use which bathroom.  What could go wrong?

Without further ado, and in the interest of the complete objectivity for which I am known, I give you the answer to the Great American Bathroom Debate:

The men’s room is for Real Men.

It’s that simple. If you’re a Real Man, use the men’s room.  Now, I know that not everyone knows at a glance if someone is or isn’t a Real Man.  (Someone else, that is.  If you’re not a Real Man, you probably know that.  If you’re wondering whether or not you’re a Real Man, you’re not.  If you are a Real Man, the question just doesn’t occur to you.)

Just as a handy checklist, here are a few things that differentiate a Real Man:

  • A Real Man will ask what you need, not what he can do for you. There’s a difference.
  • A Real Man does not use the words “I promise” lightly.
  • A Real Man cries watching True Grit, but not at the part you’d expect.
  • A Real Man will have a 20-second imaginary conversation with his broker when a 3-yr-old child hands him a plastic phone and says, “It’s for you.” Even if he doesn’t have a broker.
    • This is a particularly American phenomenon:
    • An Real Italian Man will have an imaginary conversation with his mother.
    • A Real British Man will talk to an imaginary member of the aristocracy.
      • If he *is* a member of the aristocracy, he’ll talk to someone above him in station – a Baron will have received an imaginary call from an Earl, the Earl a call from a Duke, the Duke a call from the Queen.
        • It is unknown if the Queen has ever been handed a plastic phone by a 3-yr old, but I think it’s safe to assume she would answer it.  The Queen may or may not be a Real Man, but the Queen is a badass.  A very, very polite badass.
    • A Real Frenchman will have received an imaginary call from his cheese monger.
    • A Real Russian Man will pretend to listen to the phone in stony silence for 20 seconds, say “Nyet!” and hang up.
  • If he walks in and says, “I gotta take a piss,” he’s a Real Man.
  • If he walks in and says, “I gotta take a wicked piss,” he’s a Real Man from Boston.
  • If he walks in and says, “I gotta take a fuckin’ wicked piss,” he’s a Real Man from South Boston.
  • If he walks in and says, “I gotta take a fuckin’ wicked fuckin’ piss, get outta the way,” he’s a Southie and he’s drunk. You really don’t want to ask him about what’s in his pants, because he’s gonna fuckin’ show ya, ya chucklehead.
  • A Real Man is known for complete objectivity.
  • A Real Man walks in like he owns the place, regardless of where he is.
  • A Real Man is only interested in what’s in your pants if he’s hoping to get into them.

You can always tell a Real Man – he’s using the men’s room.  After all, it’s a guy thing.

You might notice that none of these things are affected by physiology, size or shape of genitalia, or sexual orientation. Those things don’t matter, any more than color or religious beliefs matter – not in the bathroom, and especially not to a Real Man.

So, if you’re in the men’s bathroom and you’re wondering if the person next to you is a Real Man, you’re the one in the wrong bathroom. Real Men don’t care.



ManFAQ Friday: Well, I’m Ever Upper Class High Society

13 September, 2013 | | 4 Comments

This Friday is once again answer time at the ManFAQ, and so I don my manly mantle as Sage of the Sexes, helping demystify the more malodorous gender for those of the gentler, as we add to the list of questions women have asked about men over the years.  Actual questions, posed by real women, and answered by a REAL man.  Like the man said, “What could go wrong?”

Question:  There’s a study out that says men with smaller testicles make better fathers.  Is this true?

Answer:   No.  Assuming I remember my math and the commutative nature of addition, which also applies to spurious studies, if A equals B, then B also equals A, and therefore your question is actually better phrased as, do great dads have small balls?

No, no we don’t.

The study making headlines these days postulates the notion that human men with comparatively smaller testes might turn out to be, as a group, comparatively better fathers than those men with larger testes.  And when I say “making headlines,” I mean there were more than 20 at my last glance, all debating the relative merits of the study with various levels of aplomb, decor, and punch lines.  Most of them stick pretty closely to the standard “Testicle size linked to father role,” or “Men with smaller testicles may be more nurturing dads.”  They move quickly into “Do better dads have smaller gonads?”, “Small testicles equal big parenting skills?”, and “Men with smaller testicles predisposed to hands-on parenting.”  Once we’re done thinking about how anyone managed to run a headline with the words “testicles” and “hands-on” in the same line, we get to these gems:  “Size Matters: Testicle Size Linked To Nurturing Skills,” “Study: Choose Dads With Smaller ‘Nads,” “Aw, nuts! Nurturing dads have smaller testicles,” and “Dudes With Smaller Balls Are Better Parents, Says Science,” as well as some that have leads of “This is nuts!”

We’re left with the perpetually feminine-leaning Huffington Post, who turns it around: “Men With Big Testicles Less Likely To Be Caring Fathers.”  That’s right – it’s not that John Smallberies is a great dad, it’s that John Bigbooty is a bastard.  (Like that was news, right?)  The Week Magazine is the only one in their camp: “Do big testicles really make for bad fathers?” They’re at least asking it as a question; HuffPost just goes straight to “they’re all bastards.”

Now, this here study was based in Atlanta, GA, and included no more than 70 men, almost all of whom were Caucasian.  What can we infer from these facts?  First, what is it with those southern boys feeling up each other’s junk?  Second, dudes, why so few black guys?  Were they afraid to skew the results?  Third, Emory University clearly has too much time on their hands.   Also note this quote from the study:  “We’re assuming that testes size drives how involved the fathers are … but it could also be that when men become more involved as caregivers, their testes shrink.”

This sounds a lot like a couple of academics looking to get an endowment to explain their under-endowment, as it were.  They want a plus side – “But hey, at least I’m a good dad!”  They want an explanation – “What?  No no, they were bigger, um, just this morning, I looked, I swear – they must have shrunk as I was changing the baby!”  I’d also love to hear how they recruited volunteers for this study.  “Well, first they bought me dinner…”

And so I here cheerfully refute this premise, coming to my conclusion by generalizing from one example (which everyone does – or at least, I do) – to wit, the hunk with the junk can be an awesome dad as well.   I leave you with some final thoughts from those paragons of brilliant parenting, AC/DC.




Now you know.  Please, feel free to comment!  Also, forward any questions you’d like answered to BUMD – at –!  As always, your anonymity is guaranteed!



ManFAQ Friday: Not by the Hairs of his Chinny Chin Chin?

28 June, 2013 | | 1 Comment

Friday is once again answer time at the ManFAQ.  And so I don my manly mantle as Sage of the Sexes, helping demystify the more malodorous gender for those of the gentler, as we add to the list of questions women have asked about men over the years.  Actual questions, posed by real women, and answered by a REAL man.  Like the man said, “What could go wrong?”

Question:  Dear Big Ugly Man Doll, at what point should I request/insist my spouse address the 14 hairs sprouting on my 14-year-old son’s chin? –when the black one on his cheek passes one inch long? –when the chin hairs could, theoretically, be braided? I have mentioned it enough times that my Cool Mom status is in serious jeopardy. Shouldn’t someone who actually shaves (his neck, quarterly) have to deal with this?

-Sincerely, Hairy-legged Mom of Boys

Answer:  Dear Hairy,  Let me say first that you are wise and wonderful to approach this with some delicacy, or at least to make it your spouse’s problem.   They say you never forget your first girl, and I assure you as a former 14-yr-old boy, you never forget your first shave, either.  Mind you, I was 13.  My mother looked at me from across the room, rolled her eyes, and told me to go wash my face.  I returned a moment later, and she said “I thought I told you to go wash your face!”  “I did,” I protested.  “Come here.”  She realized that mere soap wasn’t going remove the incipient mustache that was darkening my lip, and immediately called for my father. 

So I have to side with you on this one – someone familiar with the razorly arts should sit him down in front of the mirror, bust out the whipped cream, and show him how much fun it is to scrape a phenomenally sharp blade across your features until you bleed.  Even for women who shave their legs, it’s just not the same thing.  (Women who regularly shave their faces don’t tend to have this particular problem in the first place.) 

But the question of when – when he’s ready.  (After all, if you’ve mentioned it to him, he’ll get to it.  No need to nag him about it every six months.)   No, OK, not really.  You’re going to need leverage.  Your best bet is to explain to the 14-yr-old that Fu Manchu never got girls, and that his own best chances of getting girls someday – some far disant day 4 years from now, perhaps, but still – is to chafe those cheeks and trim the scraggle-chin.  When he brings up ZZ Top – and we all bring up ZZ Top – tell him that when it comes in like theirs, he can grow it out like theirs – but until then, Gillette is still the best a man can get. 

Good luck!



Now you know.  Please, feel free to comment!  Also, forward any questions you’d like answered to BUMD – at –!  As always, your anonymity is guaranteed!



ManFAQ Friday: Who’s the Asshole Now?

21 June, 2013 | | 1 Comment

Happy Solstice!  We’re taking advantage of the extra daylight today, on this longest day of the year, and making sure that Friday is once again answer time at the ManFAQ.  It’s been a while, for reasons good and bad, but we’ve been getting actual questions – sometimes from actual women – and the start of a new season is reason enough to start answering them.   Mind you, we can’t answer questions we don’t get – send yours today! 

Today we turn to a question from my own father, FOBUMD, who, despite not being a women, posed a pretty good question.  Thus inspired, I don my manly mantle as Sage of the Sexes, helping demystify the more malodorous gender for those of the gentler, as we add to the list of questions women have asked about men over the years.  Actual questions, posed by real women (and sometimes my dad), and answered by a REAL man.  Like Dad used to say, “What could go wrong?”

Question:  The instructions on your MANFAQ tab clearly indicate that this section of your blog is dedicated to answering questions from women.  I’m not one!  In fact BUMD, it’s FOBUMD here and I have an English grammar question related to gender.

Being nearly 70 years old and having grown up on the streets of Chicago, then spending 26 years in the military including 12 months in Vietnam, I believe I’ve heard every curse word in the book.  I’ve heard them used in almost every conceivable way, correctly and incorrectly I might add.  In fact, I’ve probably used every curse word in the book and could give lessons on their proper use.  That’s why it surprises me that I have never before pondered the question that struck me several days ago.  I’m wondering if the word “asshole” is male specific.  Now I’m not talking about sphincter muscles here.  Both sexes surely have those.  I’m asking about using the A-hole word pejoratively to describe a person that… that… that… well, you know, “is an asshole.”

I guess I started to ponder that because it dawned on me that I’ve never used that term for a woman, only for men.   Now, I might have shot that term out there a few times to other drivers, not knowing the driver’s gender.  That’s different, of course.  So, you being both the English major and the ManFAQ person, I was hoping you could shed some light on this topic, unless this is where the sun don’t shine.

Answer:  In keeping with the serious and erudite nature of this blog, and particularly the ManFAQ, we will constrain our reply to refrain from gratuitous, puerile, prurient profanity and turn to that mighty (and somewhat phallic) pillar of erudition, History.  We shall start with History’s Arse. 

As one of those great four-letter monosyllabic words for which English has become so famous, arse has been with us since way back in the day.  As with many other words for the buttocks, tail, rump, or base of the spine, it came from the Proto-Germanic, and has cognates in Old Saxon, Old High German, Old Norse, Middle Dutch, Greek, Hittite, Armenian, and Old Irish – and of course in modern German, Arsch.  (“Wenn’s Arscherl brummt, ist’s Herzerl g’sund!”)  Near the start of the 1400s, someone stuck a hole on the end of it:  arsehole!  At the time this was pronounced arce-hoole, presumably at the top of ones lungs while shouting at someone who’s donkey had just cut in front of yours on the way to the market.  It wasn’t until the early 1700s that we lost the “r” before the “s” – as we did with many other words (burst/bust, curse/cuss, barse/bass, and, in Texas, horse/hoss) – and our old arse became our ass.

Now, in addition to losing its Rs (thank you, thank you very much), English has long since lost most of the genders on its nouns, so for clarity we’ll look to a language that hasn’t suffered this loss.  Specifically we shall turn our gaze on the German asshole, which, like all good German nouns, has a gender.  Or does it?  It turns out that das Arscherl is, in fact, neutral – presumably since, as noted in your question, everybody has one. 

The donkey, on the other hand, der Esel, is masculine, as it was in Latin – asinus, from which all our asses are descended.  (Also, note that unlike assholes, not everyone has a donkey.)  Since English has been politely interposing “donkey” for ass since Shakespeare transmogrified Nick Bottom in 1594’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, it is not surprising that we would subconsciously bring over the sense of masculinity from the donkey. 
The other reason that we tend not to use asshole when specifically referring to a woman may have to do with the plethera of richer choices of epithets that are usually specific to the feminine gender, which I will here gleefully enumerate for the sake of my ratings on internet search engines inner George Carlin: bitch, slut, whore, Ann Coulter…  Well, you get the idea.  Suffice it to say that the list tends to be  longer for women than it is for men.  Interestingly, in researching this, I ran across a note that the term “douchebag” tends to be more often directed at men, despite its obvious association with women. 

Looking briefly at pop culture, Hustler magazine has a regular column featuring people they don’t like, called the “Asshole of the month.”  For the record, they’ve included women in that list over the years, so certainly Hustler believes that there’s nothing semantically incorrect with calling a woman an asshole. 

Mind you, they might simply not care, either, and I hesitate to put words in their mouth lest I make the list.  Not that it wouldn’t be a great honor to be Hustler’s Asshole of the Month.

A brief review of the vast literature on the topic shows that you are far from the only asshole to ponder this, and that most people concur that the sense of asshole is masculine – saying something like “Jane’s an asshole” comes out sounding wrong to most ears.  At the same time, the concurrence is that intellectually, it should be gender neutral – it’s just seldom used so.   As to why, I think we’re left with our residual sense of old Asinus the Donkey taking the masculine form, and transposing that gender onto its cognate, ass, within the asshole in question. 

But I could just be an asshole here.



Now you know.  Please, feel free to comment!  Also, forward any questions you’d like answered to BUMD – at –!  As always, your anonymity is guaranteed!