Due to the high demand for quality blogging, there are only a few times during thanksmemethe year that the crack staff here at Shoe: Untied are given the day off and allowed to leave their basement blogging lair. Those days are Christmas, New Year’s Day, Easter, Groundhog Day (big Bill Murray fans here), Chinese New Year (it’s 2/19 and I give them the day off because Sim Hao Xiang and Tan Qi Xuan are two of my top humor writers), Independence Day (our parties are legendary and have resulted in neighborhood calls to the authorities), and finally National Dog Day (der). Of course, Sparky comes to work with me every day so to him it’s no big deal.

I also give employee Ancel Pinsky the day off on Yom Kippur so he can atone and repent, because let’s just say he needs it.

We used to honor Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day on 4/23 but discontinued because things took an ugly turn. ‘Nuff said about that, but let’s just say that employee Hank Moffitt’s 8-year old son is an asshole and incredibly inappropriate around 13-year old girls.

And yes, we work Valentine’s Day because we believe it’s a commercially created atrocity. Plus we’re cheap and hate leaving flowers in somebody’s house to die a slow and agonizing death, so there’s that.

Anywho, enjoy your day feasting on turkey, watching football and arguing with extended family members or that weird uncle who smells funny. And no worries, the crack staff here at Shoe: Untied will be right back toiling away tomorrow morning, churning out hilarious and opinionated blogs about a wide-ranging variety of topics, as well as the occasional video of somebody getting knocked out or falling down the stairs.

But for today, we hope you have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving.

PS – Seriously, I’m firing Hank Moffitt tomorrow because of that awful kid of his. He has no idea just how black Black Friday shall be. I’m accepting resumes as we speak.

Really, Ohio? That’s the best we can do?



Yes, the old man being threatened is in a walker. Good times.


Aerial view.

[click to enlarge, man]


So this Magpie was found as a fledgling little bird and raised by some folks over in Europe somewhere. It was released back into the wild but will actually come when called. When it does return it laughs like a child. My take? It has stolen the voice of the captive soul it harbors. Just sayin’.


Since it’s Thanksgiving and all it got me to thinking about the original colonists and 987yhgt54whatnot. Being a history teacher of some renown, I know a little bit about this sort of stuff, kids. Anywho, anyone who ever had me in class will tell you that we had a bit of an anything goes policy, and if a kid brought up an interesting subject related to the lesson (and sometimes not) we’d usually run with it.

I also made it my mission to tell my kids the truth about history, not the glossed-over nonsense that was taught when I was a kid. That said, some of it wasn’t pretty, which brings me to today’s history lesson.

We all know that Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in the new world, right? Established in 1607? We’re not counting that previous settlement down in Manteo, NC since it didn’t turn out so well. We can’t really call a settlement eventually known as The Lost Colony as permanent, now can we?

Turns out America was an absolutely terrible place to live in the beginning. Food was so scarce during the first winter that only 60 out of 500 colonists survived. That’s a survival rate of 12%, folks, which is not good. Anyway, everyone was really hungry so they had to resort to some rather, interesting methods of chowing down.

A government document from that time gives the gruesome details:

Driven thru insufferable hunger to eat those things which nature most abhorred, the flesh and excrements of man as well of our own nation as of an Indian, digged by some out of his grave after he had lain buried three days and wholly devoured him; others, envying the better state of body of any whom hunger has not yet so much wasted as their own, lay wait and threatened to kill and eat them; one among them slew his wife as she slept in his bosom, cut her in pieces, salted her and fed upon her till he had clean devoured all parts saving her.

Yeah, so there you have it. They feasted on dead bodies and poop.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Holly Holm, the MMA fighter who recently beat the hell out of Ronda Rousey, met Jay-Z the other day. She was then introduced to his wife Beyonce and promptly asked what her name was. Here’s the dilly:

hollyHuffpost Sports: We all know who the woman on the right is. That’s Beyoncé. The woman on the left, however, you still may not recognize, but chances are, you’ve heard of her. 

It’s Holly Holm, the 34-year-old UFC fighter who knocked out Ronda Rousey in the biggest upset fight sports has seen in recent memory. As the newly crowned UFC bantamweight champion, Holm’s distinction as David to Rousey’s Goliath has elevated her from relatively unknown niche sport star to the kind of person who just happens to run into Beyoncé. 

Holm was at a VIP viewing party in Las Vegas on Saturday watching Canelo Alvarez beat Miguel Cotto in their middleweight boxing match. There she met Jay Z.

“I met Jay Z and he says, ‘This is my wife,’ and I say, ‘Oh, hi, what is your name?’ That is what I do when I meet someone’s wife,” she explained.

This is several kinds of awesome, isn’t it? Someone not having a freaking clue who Beyonce is? It’s always satisfying to watch a self-absorbed, unself-aware megastar to get dissed, amirite? I think if I ever met Beyonce or one of the Kardashians or somebody of their ilk I’d pretend I didn’t know them just for kicks.

This reminds me of a great story about my dad. A few years ago country singer Josh Turner was going to perform at the Ross County Fair and somebody brought him to dad’s lake to fish the morning of the concert (Turner had mentioned he wanted to fish, somebody on the fair board new dad, and he ended up at dad’s lake). Anyway, he’s there fishing with his wife and dad walked out to say hello. I mean, they’d called ahead and told dad he was a country singer but otherwise dad was clueless. Before he left Turner asked my father for his address and said he’d send him some CDs. Dad’s response?

“Ah, no thanks. I don’t really care for country music.”

Classic. Josh Turner just chuckled and patted him on the shoulder.

Note: I refuse to add the little apostrophe thingy above Beyonce’s name. Seems pretentious to me.

Note II: I have no idea how to add the little apostrophe thingy even if I wanted to.  



Quite simply the greatest nature video of all-time. Un-be-lievable.


Maybe not so gentle?


Busted by Frank

Posted: November 24, 2015 in Classroom, Education, Humor

damnI was a High School Athletic Director at the time, and I was making the rounds passing out some paperwork to my coaches.  One of my volleyball coaches taught 3rd Grade, and I have to say she was, well, pretty straight if you will. In fact, she was really uptight about some of the very things in life that yours truly indulges in from time-to-time.  Keep this in mind as you read the conversation that took place between me and a little kid named Frank as I walked into her room:

Frank: “HEY! I saw you in the liquor store!”

Me, startled: “Huh? What? I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Frank: “Yeah, it was you. It was on Thursday in Greenfield. You were at the liquor store.”

At this point I remember that I was in fact in Greenfield on Thursday, and was, yes, at the liquor store. At this point I’m not sure why but I felt compelled to cover my ass. Perhaps it was the uptight teacher standing there and I didn’t want to be teacher’s lounge gossip fodder. Anyway . . .

Me: “Oh yeah, a buddy of mine owns the place so I was stopping in to say hello.”

Again, I’ve no idea why I felt I needed to lie to the kid but he had me on the ropes. Alright, I admit it.  I panicked. Anyway, the kid wasn’t convinced…

Frank, skeptically: “Huh.”

At that point I’d given the papers to the teacher and was on my way out. Hey, I felt I was good to go. But as the door was about to shut behind me I heard this:

“That’s funny. I thought I saw him buying vodka.”


Damn kid was probably flunking 3rd Grade but he remembered every detail of my trip to Joe’s Party Shop.



Morello can shred, man.


So I watched the Shining a Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America the other night, featuring Bruce Springsteen, Pharrell, Sting, Ed Sheeran, Eric Church and others. It was a mostly solemn affair considering the topic and was treated as such by the performers who attended. It was a cool show that included Pharrell and others visiting Ferguson, Missouri and Charleston, South Carolina to talk with the locals about the race related incidents there. With all this in mind, the entertainers maintained a pretty low profile, honoring the cause with the respect it deserved. And then somebody named Sia took the stage wearing this:

Listen, I know this get-up is probably part of this chick’s schtick. Sort of a poor man’s Lady Gaga if you will. I also get the attempt at symbolism with the light and dark hair thing, and maybe the giant hat thingy is supposed to reference traditional African headwear. Who knows. Bottom line she looks like an idiot and she seems to be trying to draw attention to herself. Everyone else sort of toned it down, ya know? Not Sia.

Good grief.

Listen, I’m not mad at this guy. If he can use a fake Tiger Woods ID and get chicks to fall for it I say roll on brother. Hey, I pretended to be Sean Connery’s brother once. It never panned out but if I’d planned ahead and had a fake ID like this bro you never know. Well played, Fake Tiger Woods. Well played indeed.

PS – I think the guy looks more like a skinnier Darius Rucker, amirite?


Remembering 1980

Posted: November 23, 2015 in History

All in all it’s just another brick in the wall.


Check out the Muscovy Duck. Dude looks like a chicken, man. He hangs out down in Mexico, Central and South America, and some even roll on up to Texas to hang out on weekends and holidays. Both sexes have pink or red wattles around the bill, and no, I have no freaking idea what a wattle is and I’m too tired to search it up on the Goggle. Fun fact: Muscovy Ducks have long claws on their feet. Anywho, Muscovy Duck.

Note: Muscovy Duck sounds like some sort of cheap wine, amirite?



Classic Lennon.




I knew it was high, but . . .


I see you, French Guiana.


Firecrackers & Clotheslines

Posted: November 22, 2015 in Humor, Kids

That title sounds like a Strawberry Alarm Clock album from the 60’s. Anyway . . .

When I was 16 or 17 I hung around a lot at my sister’s house. She was young and hadn’t 1been married long, so for a teenager that was the place to go, ya know?

Anywho, one summer night a buddy and I were hanging out there, probably looking for trouble and up to no good. Somehow we got hold of some fireworks and decided to have some fun. First, we went out back and shot bottle rockets at each other, always a guaranteed good time. After a bit, disappointed that nobody was maimed or anyone’s eye was put out, we headed down to the creek to throw M-80s into the water. Lemme tell ya, watching underwater explosions was pure entertainment for a southern Ohio kid in 1973. Probably still is. The fish probably didn’t think so, but hey.

That amused us for awhile, until we began throwing the M-80s at each other, because of course we did. If you don’t know, M-80s are deadly and banned in many parts of the good old USA, basically because they are deadly in the hands of moronic people such as I. How my brother-in-law had possession of these I do not know, but let’s just say he knew a guy. Anyway, in the beginning we at least had the good sense to throw them at each other’s feet, because anyone can spare a toe or two, right?

But of course that didn’t last.

Because at one point I see a lit M-80 coming straight for my face. I instinctively threw my hands up, and as luck would have it the M-80 blew right as it hit my hand.

Good God it hurt. I was certain I’d lost some fingers or worse, but I couldn’t tell because A) It was dark, and B) I couldn’t feel my hand.

The only thing I could do was run to my sister’s house in a panic. I bolted through the darkness of the backyard with my eyes on the light over her backdoor. I was running as fast as I could, holding my hand as I went, certain I was minus some digits. All I wanted was to get to the house and examine the extent of my horrific injuries.

To reiterate – pitch dark, running full-speed through the backyard, focused on porch light. What more could possibly go wrong?

Turns out, a lot – like being clotheslined by a clothesline.

Yep, I forgot that was there.

It caught me exactly at throat level, so my feet kept going but my head stayed where it was. I was upended feet first, flew through the air, and eventually landed on my back.

After lying there stunned for a few minutes I got up and staggered into the house and into the bathroom to check out the damages. Turns out my throat had a rope burn across it and looked as if I’d attempted suicide by slitting my throat with a butter knife. Oh, and my back felt as if a railroad spike had been hammered into it.

But on a positive note, I still had all my fingers, and after a couple hours I could actually feel them.

You know, in retrospect I really should have been more cautious as a kid.

Nah, that wouldn’t have been any fun.

We all have ’em. Unwritten rules we live by. Some are sort of universally accepted, some not so much. I touched on some of this stuff in my acclaimed blog “If I could just have a minute . . . where I gave my thoughts on wearing sunglasses indoors, popped collars, and other assorted annoyances. This is sort of in that same vein but not really. Bottom line we’re not talking 10 Commandment level stuff here.

So without further ado, I present to you Shoe’s 30 Unwritten Rules to Live By. Feel free to make a print-out and post on your fridge.

Or not. Here we go . . .

Don’t mess with another guy’s volume knob.

This goes for a guy’s car stereo, period. The driver has sound priority. As a matter of fact it goes for the entire dashboard. Air conditioning, etc.  And I like my music loud, so deal with it. So, hands off my knob. I can’t believe I just typed that.

Acknowledge the person who lets you cross the street in front of them.

This also applies when somebody lets you cut in front of them in traffic. Just a small wave of recognition is all that’s required. Just a raise of the hand. I usually give a point and a wink, but that’s just me. The alternative, which is ignoring somebody after an act of kindness, is inexcusable and an extreme act of assclownishness.  Note: That is the type of vocabulary that separates me from the other ordinary bloggers.

There is always an available room at the hotel or seat on the plane.

Always, at least at the nice hotels. Never, ever let them tell you differently. If you are persistent enough you will get what you want. I’ve witnessed this on more than one occasion.

Chew with your mouth closed.

And for God’s sake don’t talk while you’re chewing. Nothing worse. I once faked a death in the family to cut a date short after a girl did this repeatedly. Not even kidding.


Stand up straight.

Especially you, ladies. Girls who slump aren’t attractive. It shows a lack of confidence, and that is in no way sexy. Stand up straight and proud!

Always say “bless you” when someone sneezes.

Even if you don’t know them. Say it.

Don’t walk on a people mover in airports.

Same for escalators. People are on them because they don’t want to walk. I’ve been known to intentionally block people who do this. If you want to walk, walk. Or take the stairs.

Don’t talk during the movie.

True story here. Back in my younger days, before I learned to control my temper (sort of), I once made a guy pay me $7.00 in the parking lot after he’d ruined a movie by yapping to his girlfriend throughout. On a related note, I have no idea why I haven’t been shot at some point.

Don’t talk on your cell phone too loudly in public.

I think this is a pretty universal rule, no? Nobody wants to hear you discuss your business deal or where you’re going for dinner, dumbass.

Let others go first.

Always. Hold the door for the person behind you. Let them off the elevator first. And If they don’t acknowledge you with a wave you’re allotted one attempt to trip them. On a related note, let people off the elevator before you get on. Jeesh.

If you dig a hole at the beach, always refill.

I see this often. For some weird reason, as soon as people get to the beach they start digging a hole. I’ve never understood this phenomenon, but for God’s sake fill it in when you’re finished. Nothing ruins a romantic midnight stroll on the beach like a snapped fibula.

Always leave a one urinal buffer zone.

At least. Men, pay attention here. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than standing at a urinal with 5 empty urinals on each side of you and some tool walks in and uses the one right next to you. Not cool. And under no circumstances should you ever do this.

Sign your name.

I can’t tell you how many times, as an administrator and coach, I’ve seen anonymous letters or emails complaining about one thing or the other. Take ownership people! As an Athletic Director I would toss any unsigned letter straight into the trash can, simply because people can say anything they want if they aren’t going to be held accountable for it. Unfortunately I had a superintendent for awhile who actually read this garbage and acted on it. Dumb. Anywho, own it like Hancock!

Look people in the eye during conversation.

Big pet peeve of mine, and I used to preach to my students about it all the time. It’s such a simple social skill, but it’s one that is dying a slow and agonizing death.

Don’t use “K” when texting.

Here’s why. Let’s say you send a text like this: “I had a wonderful time tonight. You looked absolutely gorgeous”, and the response is “K”. That’s not good. The “K” is weird and dismissive when you’re expecting a more in-depth response, ya know? On a related note, the “Thnx. We need to talk” is never good either.


Not . . . good.

Stand at a proper distance during conversation.

Not too close, man. An arm’s length is a good rule of thumb.

Pick up after your dog!

Should be an obvious courtesy, but sadly it isn’t.

Don’t park in handicapped spaces.

I have been known to call people on this. In addition, don’t be the pretentious douchebag who parks his Corvette at an angle so he doesn’t get a ding on his door. Go park at the far end of the lot, asshat.

In divorce, always side with family.

I have a friend whose sister is a better friend to his ex-wife than she is to him. I can’t wrap my head around that.

If you don’t run at home, don’t run on vacation.

We’ve all seen this. A guy struggling down the beach, huffing and puffing at near coronary levels. Not sure why this occurs, but maybe it has something to do with being more aware of body image since you’re wearing a swimsuit a lot? Anywho, not a good look.

Never wear a hat on vacation that you wouldn’t wear at home.

I know, another beach rule. But why in the name of God do guys wear weird hats while on vacation? This is a complete mystery to me. Maybe they feel like they can be whoever they want when they’re away from people they know? Kill the weird hats guys.

Whenever possible, eat at the bar.

Trust me on this one, kids. Your service, and food, will be better. In addition, don’t let your kids sit at the bar, especially if every seat is taken. This seems to happen when people are waiting for a table and they sit at the bar. Make your kid get up so an actual paying customer can grab a stool. Your bartender will thank you. In addition, if somebody moves down a seat to make room you’re always required to by them a drink. That’s Bar Etiquette 101, really.

Cyclists, both motor and bike, please obey the traffic laws.

Don’t bitch about us not seeing you or respecting your rights, then cruise by us when traffic is stopped. If you do and this happens, I won’t feel sorry for you.

Have your cash ready and know what you want to order when you get to the register.

There are few things more annoying to me than standing behind somebody who waits until he gets to the front of the line to get his money out and/or decide what to order. Plan ahead, jackwagon!

Don’t stand too close behind me at the ATM.

I have been known to turn around and unleash the famed Shoe Death Stare to get people to back-off. That’s just inappropriate. The standing too close, not the Death Stare. Back off.

Slow drivers, stay in the proper lane!

Another universal complaint, I know, but it haunts me still. We need more “Slower Traffic Keep to Right” signs, damn it!

Break up with somebody in person.

Kids, listen up. Don’t call, don’t text, and for the love of all that is holy don’t have a friend give the bad news. Man (or woman) up and handle it with as much class as possible. A little heads-up though. It’s always better to do it in a restaurant or other crowded area to avoid, you know, a potential ugly scene. On a personal note, I once broke up with a girl in my apartment on OSU Campus. Let’s just say that “Frampton Comes Alive!” double album I had on the turntable at the time could not be put back together.

Always tip 15%-20%, especially if you’re a regular.

In addition, you tip for service, not product. You don’t have to tip when you pick up a pizza, for instance. Tip your waiter, valet, barber, people like that. You’ll come out ahead in the end. It’s karma.

Guys, don’t wear tiny shirts.smedium

We know you work out. We see your biceps. Wearing a small t-shirt when you should be wearing a XL only makes you look stupid. On the other hand, ladies, you may ignore this rule.

Be a good listener.  

I admit I’m still a work in progress on this one. I tend to start staring over somebody’s shoulder at points unknown if I’m not interested in the subject matter. One the other hand, one of my exes tells me I’m a helluva listener when a pretty woman is involved.

So those are my Top 30. I’m sure I’ll think of more and if so I’ll adjust accordingly. Hell, I may post 31-50 one day soon. And sorry if it seems as if I’m telling you how to live your life, but I guess I sorta am. Hey, if you’ve screwed up as much as I have you learn things.

Finally, a wise man once told me this – as a general rule you don’t regret what you do in life, you regret what you don’t do. More often than not I’ve found that to be true.

Enjoy the holidays.

Very interesting stuff.


November 22nd, 1963

Posted: November 22, 2015 in Death, Life
JFK sailing off the Massachussetts coast.

JFK sailing off the Massachusetts coast.

It was 1963, and I was in second grade. Coming from a strongly Democratic family, we’d gone door-to-door in 1960 in support of John F. Kennedy, the charismatic young Senator from Massachusetts who went on to be elected President of the United States in 1960. As young as I was, I still remember watching him on television and feeling that he was so much different than the other politicians. Keep in mind I was, because of my family, pretty aware of the political landscape in our country. Hell, I can remember the Kennedy-Nixon debates of 1960 and I was only 4-years old.

Anyway, I can vividly recall that Friday in November, 1963 when a knock  came on the door of my classroom in Twin Elementary in Bourneville.  I was in row 2, seat 2. My teacher, Mrs. Hughes,  walked to the door and listened for a few seconds. For some reason, the classroom became completely quiet. Somehow we sensed something in the air. I distinctly remember Mrs. Hughes sort of toppling a bit and leaning against the door jamb upon receiving the news. Then she turned, deathly white, and walked to the front of the room . . .

Kids, I have terrible news. Our president has been assassinated.”

I remember my friend Jeff, who was sitting in front of me, turning around and asking me what that meant. I have no idea how I knew for sure, but I told him that somebody had killed John F. Kennedy, our president. Our president was dead.  I don’t remember the rest of the school day, but I do remember going home after school and being surprised that my dad was home, sitting on the couch watching the television. I also remember that for the first time in my life, I saw tears in my father’s eyes.

Two days later was a Sunday, and after church Dad and I drove to Columbus to get lunch for the family. This sounds incredible today, but believe it or not the closest McDonald’s was at what is now the Southland Mall. Anyway, I remember standing in line waiting for our food, outside. Inside there was a small black and 1white television that had been set up so people could watch the JFK coverage. As I recall they were cutting back and forth to the Dallas Courthouse. Soon, Lee Harvey Oswald was shown being escorted through the basement of the Dallas Police Station. As I watched, Jack Ruby stepped up and shot him in the stomach. Dad tried to cover my eyes but I’d seen it all. I remember some people in line cheered, but dad told me later in the car that it wasn’t a good thing, that it was another murder and perhaps we’d never know what really happened now. He couldn’t have been more right. We still don’t know for sure.

I’ll never forget the funeral procession, how brave and strong Jackie Kennedy seemed to me, and young John John saluting his father’s coffin. It was such a sad, sad time. There was just a dark cloud cast over everything.

And even at so young an age, I sensed the world was different after those few days. A certain innocence had been lost, and lost forever.



So I ran across an article in Esquire today entitled “25 Essential Skills Every Man Should Know.” Yes, kids, I read. Everything. I read good stuff and bad stuff. I read everything I can get my hands on. Anywho, I thought I’d run through Esquire’s list and see how I stack up. Let’s get it on . . .

1. How to skin a moose.

What? KNOW HOW TO SKIN A MOOSE? I couldn’t skin a Field Mouse, let alone a moose. And why is it essential that I know how? Is there some apocalypse coming where moose-skinning will be required? I’m confused already.

2. How to get a busy bartender’s attention.

Hey-O! Now we’re talkin’. This I can do. For some reason bartenders are good to me, quite possibly because I’m good to them. Bartenders generally like me.

3. Bet the horses.

What? Why? I like to play Blackjack and Roulette but I’m not a big betting the horses guy. Not sure why that’s necessary or essential.

4. Give a good massage.

Oh yeah. I’m all about the massage and I’m damn good at it. I have had no professional training, but some things just come naturally. Trust me on this one.

5. Fell a tree.

I’ve felled a tree or two in my time, and not once has said tree been felled upon something it shouldn’t have, such as a car, house, or pet cat. Sure, I once felled a tree on my cousin, but he survived somewhat unscathed if you don’t count a broken collarbone.

6. Buy a woman clothing.

Oh, I can buy a woman clothing. I have great fashion taste. Women like it when guys help them pick stuff out. I think. Maybe? Now that I think about it I could be completely off on this one. Ladies?

7. Fillet a fish.

No, I cannot fillet a fish, but I was once married to an excellent fish filleter so I sort of know how it’s done. Now that I think about it I’m pretty sure I could fillet a fish.

8. Make eggs four ways.

I only like eggs one way (over easy) so the answer is no. Come to think of it, I can’t even name four ways to make eggs.

9. Google efficiently.

HELLO! I’m a Master Blogger, so I can search it up on the Goggle like a boss. Big-time Googler here.

10. Sew a button.

I cannot sew a button, nor can I sew anything. That said, remember those little doodads you could buy on infomercials that popped buttons right onto shirts and stuff? What were those called? Boy, that would make a great birthday present. Hint-hint.

Note: I looked it up. It was The Buttoneer. Jeez, do I have to go buy it for you?

11. Console a crying woman.

You realize who you’re talking to here, right? Can I console a crying woman? Hell yes I can console a crying woman. I’m all about consoling crying women. Women, cry around me and you shall be consoled.

12. Look good in a picture.

I’m about 75-25 on this one. 25% of the time I think I look OK, 75% of the time I think look like an idiot.

13. Calm a crying baby.

Let me tell you a secret. Babies love me. LOVE me. I’ve been known to calm the babies of complete strangers, swear to God. I was on a the subway in Washington DC once and a baby was just bawling like crazy. Wouldn’t take a binky, screamed louder every time anyone came close. I said, “May I?” and this woman I’d known for a minute and a half handed me her baby. 30-seconds later the kid was out like a light. Women must like that sort of thing because before I got off the subway I was proposed to twice, but that’s neither here nor there. True story.

14. Parallel park.

Here’s the deal. I flunked my driver’s test back in the day and was embarrassed as hell. The result was I practiced parallel parking like a beast for a week. I passed my next test, and am to this day an excellent parallel parker.

15.Wire a ceiling fixture.

Kids, I’m color blind. Trust me, you don’t want me messing with electrical wiring unless you want your house burned to the ground.

16. Make pancakes from scratch.

I don’t even know what that means. Do I have to make my own flour? Go milk a cow? Tap a Maple Tree for syrup? I’m so confused.

17. Stop a running toilet.

Anyone with a fully functioning brain can stop a running toilet. You jiggle the handle, and if that doesn’t work you take the top off the tank and mess with the floaty-thing in there. I could probably pass the Plumber’s Test right now.

18. Rock the man in the boat.

Not gonna lie. I had to search this up on the Goggle. I found out what it means and trust me, I’m not going near this one.

19. Carve a turkey.

Excellent turkey carver here. Question: Can you carve a ham? Because if you can I can do that too.

20. Make a drink, just for her.

Do I even have to answer that?

21. Pick a ripe one.

Whew. I thought this was another dirty one. Turns out they’re talking about picking ripe fruit at the supermarket, and yes, I do this often. In fact, I probably handle the fruit a little too much trying to find exactly what I’m looking for. On a related note, that last sentence sort of described my life in a nutshell.

22. Jump start a car.

 Listen, I’m not a car guy and there’s not a whole lot I know about engines. Hell, if my car quit running and I popped the hood to look in, half the engine could be missing and I wouldn’t know it. But yes, I can jump start a car.

23. Get a table in a restaurant.

Trust me, if you want a table in a restaurant I’m your man. Not even kidding. I’ve schmoozed my way into many a restaurant that was supposedly full. I scoff at your reservations, and I shall take your table.

24. Shine a shoe. 

What is this, 1924? Shine a shoe? Really? Who shines shoes these days? Do shoe shiners even exist anymore? Good Lord.

25. Kill an injured animal.

Do we really have to end with this one? Listen, everyone knows I’m an animal lover. I’m not against hunting, I love venison, veal, beef and all that but I’m not a hunter. I hate seeing animals die. A few years ago I found a baby rabbit on my porch that had been skinned alive by a cat, just lying there. I knew I had to kill it so I got a shovel and put it out of its misery, but I swear it bothered me for a week. So yes, I can do it but I don’t like it.

So there’s my take on Esquire’s “25 Essential Skills Every Man Should Know.” According to my calculations, I have 17 of these skills. That’s 68%. Not good, but I think I passed on all the important ones, right? Right?


Birds-eye view.

[click to enlarge]