Friday, April 18, 2008


Q: I read this Man Cave on the internet:
Can every man need to order a Man Cave? Why? I want to have one, and want to say reasons to my wife that I need to have a Man Cave.
Cave-Curious, Omaha NB

World's Greatest Dad answers: Whoa there, cowboy: a link that's labeled "Man Cave" may give some of my readers the wrong idea (why, i know fellas who make $100 bucks an hour offering glimpses of their man-caves). So let me explain.

"man-cave" is most commonly meant to be a physical space in a house where the man goes to "get away" from his wife and kids. To better ensure that he has mentally AND physically "gotten away" from his wife and kids, the man-cave is often associated with alcohol: note that most of the man-caves in the article above are really elaborate recreations of bars, pubs, and other places where the man went when he was single and could encounter available, fertile females.

For some reason, men are happy in bars full of people who aren't their wife and kids.

(hey son-- i dont mean you. i love hanging out with you. we play that game you like-- the one with the pictures on it. i forget what it's called. Adventure Island? something like that. you won, that one, dintcha! that's my little tiger! we'll play catch when i get home one of these days!)

why have a man-cave? Many men feel the need to create one of these rooms in their basement, garage, or bonus room because they may otherwise
go rogue and kill everything in sight. Of course, if they went to an actual bar, pub or nightclub, they may be have to deal with the pressures of having fun, experiencing pleasure, encountering desire, and all kinds of other stuff that daddy's dont have time for. After all, somebody's gotta pay for all those Martha Stewart towels!

Why the basement?
it's the physical analog to your repression of desires. You are a house; your deep needs are in the basement. Think Silence of the Lambs.

So if you decide to carve out a dungeon all your own, but need to explain it to the missus, here are some tips:

1. do not tell the truth. if she knew just how close you were everyday to becoming a wolfish beast frothing at the mouth and screaming rape, riot and murder, she may become alarmed and call the police. of course if you explain to her that the slow encroachment of soul-death that grows from spending your entire life prostrate to an antiquated and inefficient social instituion of breeding control has leached out of you every semblance of life, love, and humanity, she may accuse you of being depressed and suggest couples counseling-- which you will not only have to attend but also pay for. So tell her that she can have the whole house to decorate and micro-manage if she lets you hang a stupid neon beer-sign in the basement and let s your buddies drink a beer down there once a month. Everybody wins: she retains control of the living-space but gets to avoid the image of being a shrewish control-freak by "allowing" you some space, and you get to forget your miserable life for an hour or two.

2. get the ugliest bar crap you can find and ask if you can hang it in the dining room. tell her you collect it, and that it is your "hobby." she will of course deny the request, and you can say "well, how about the basement? " she'll be forced to agree with you. then hang all that stupid, alcohol-glorifying garbagae all over th eplace, along with autographed sports items, posters of lamborghinis, and maybe some kind of dead animal trophy. This will keep her away.

3. tell her you read a book called Passionate Marriage, and that to better enable "differentiation" for you two and therefore have a more "fulfilling" relationship, you must learn to be comfortable with being by yourself. The man-cave will facilitate this. She'll buy it. (now i know that sounds like a mouthful, but seriously: you memorized the lines to caddyshack for god's sake-- you can handle this. when she presses you on it, tell her that you are getting emotional and need time to talk about it on your own terms-- trust me, this stuff is like magic).

Do all men need a man-cave? All men are already in one, my friend: a man-cave in their heart. An until they can come out, they have to make a real, physical man-cave -- in their basement. and stay in it. and also get cable down there-- hopefully cinemax.

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